Tag Archive | Endangered Species

Pygmy elephant calf desperately tries to wake up dead mother who was one of ten animals found poisoned

Mysterious deaths ... A pygmy elephant calf walks next to its dead mother in Gunung Rara Forest Reserve. Ten endangered Borneo pygmy elephants have been found dead in Malaysia's state of Sabah on the Borneo island. Photo: ReutersRead more: http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/environment/animals/poison-suspected-in-pygmy-elephant-deaths-20130129-2dj11.html#ixzz2JaFhdpCd

Mysterious deaths … A pygmy elephant calf walks next to its dead mother in Gunung Rara Forest Reserve. Ten endangered Borneo pygmy elephants have been found dead in Malaysia’s state of Sabah on the Borneo island. Photo: Reuters

  • A total of ten of the creatures have been discovered in the Gunung Rara Forest Reserve, Borneo, over the past three weeks
  • Conservation officials believe the endangered animals had been poisoned
  • Estimated to be fewer than 1,500 Borneo pygmy elephants in existence

A baby pygmy elephant tries in vain to rouse its mother, one of ten of the endangered creatures found dead in a Malaysian forest.

Experts believe the rare, baby-faced animals, whose bodies were found in the Gunung Rara Forest Reserve in Sabah state, Borneo, had been poisoned.

Wildlife officials rescued this three-month-old elephant calf, which was found glued to its dead mother’s side in the jungle.

The seven female and three male elephants, which were all from the same family group, have been found over the past three weeks.

Sabah’s environmental minister Masidi Manjun said the cause of death appeared to be poisoning, but it was not yet clear whether the animals had been deliberately killed.

There are believed to be fewer than 1,500 Borneo pygmy elephants in existence.

While some have been killed for their tusks in the area in recent years, there was no evidence to suggest the elephants had been poached.

‘This is a very sad day for conservation and Sabah. The death of these majestic and severely endangered Bornean elephants is a great loss to the state,’ Mr Masidi said in a statement.

‘If indeed these poor elephants were maliciously poisoned, I would personally make sure that the culprits would be brought to justice and pay for their crime.’

Borneo pygmy elephants live mainly in Sabah and grow to about 8ft tall, a foot or two shorter than mainland Asian elephants.

Known for their babyish faces, large ears and long tails, pygmy elephants were found to be a distinct subspecies only in 2003, after DNA testing.

Their numbers have stabilised in recent years amid conservation efforts to protect their jungle habitats from being torn down for plantations and development projects.

The elephants found dead this month were believed to be from the same family group and ranged in age from 4 to 20 years, said Sen Nathan, the wildlife department’s senior veterinarian.

Post-mortem examinations showed that they had suffered severe haemorrhages and ulcers in their gastrointestinal tracts. None had gunshot injuries.

‘We highly suspect that it might be some form of acute poisoning from something that they had eaten, but we are still waiting for the laboratory results,’ Mr Nathan said

 

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Video Reveals Rare Tiger Cubs in Sumatran Forest

One of the tiger cubs caught on camera. CREDIT: The Zoological Society of London

One of the tiger cubs caught on camera.
CREDIT: The Zoological Society of London

Our Amazing Planet

A camera trap caught video of a mother tiger and her two cubs in a protected Sumatran forest, the first evidence of breeding in this location, conservationists say.

The footage was captured in Sumatra’s Sembilang National Park. Scientists from the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) have documented evidence before of the endangered species in nearby Berbak National Park.

The video of these big cats shows the mother and her two youngsters walking past the camera. Scientists said they estimate the cubs are less than a year old, according to a ZSL release.

“This is the best early Christmas present, and we are absolutely delighted to find the first evidence of breeding in Sembilang,” said Sarah Christie, ZSL head of regional conservation programs, in a statement. “We will continue working with leaders of both national parks as well as the government to ensure the areas are better protected and well patrolled.”

watch the video here

The finding gives scientists some hope; there are only 300 Sumatran tigers, the smallest of the tiger species, estimated to be in the wild, according to the release. Camera traps have also caught video of tapirs and sunbears in the nearby Berbak forest.

Sembilang and Berbak National Park are some of the only places in the world where these tigers remain, according to the release.

Reach Douglas Main at dmain@techmedianetwork.com. Follow him on Twitter @Douglas_Main. Follow OurAmazingPlanet on Twitter @OAPlanet. We’re also on Facebook and Google+.

Zoos and wildlife parks are no way to treat an animal

The idea that a zoo is the sole or even best repository for learning is risible

Stop monkeying about: Damian Aspinall says the Foundation that bears his name is committed to changing the way people think about animals in captivity Photo: Eddie Mulholland, Source: Telegraph UK

By Damian Aspinall

Telegraph UK

Over the past century, thousands of species have disappeared from our planet, and many more are on the critically endangered list. Yet even as we wantonly destroy nature’s great habitats, and hunt species to extinction, we console ourselves with the thought that we are preserving many species in zoos and wildlife parks.

As the owner and operator of two such parks – Howletts and Port Lympne in Kent – you would expect the Aspinall Foundation, founded by my late father John, to argue that it is sometimes right to keep animals in captivity. Although we do agree that there are times when the interests of the species can be best served by animals being kept in captivity, we believe that it is scandalous that so many zoos around the world remain packed with often miserable animals, kept in unnatural conditions where they remain incapable of breeding, despite frequently being paired biblically, two by two.

In these zoos, lions, tigers, elephants, rhinos and other wonderful creatures exist in these conditions largely, if not solely, for humans to gawp at, on the pretext that they and their children are being educated about the wonders of the natural world. This view may have been partially justified up to the advent of the digital age, and the spread of information via television. Today, the idea that zoos provide the sole – or even the best – repository of learning is risible.

At the Aspinall Foundation, we believe that mankind owes it to nature to re-evaluate the role of zoological institutions in the 21st century and to change the way we think about animals in captivity. The ultimate aim should be to render zoos and wildlife parks obsolete – including our own.

The continuing presence of animals in captivity is, we believe, a sign of mankind’s failure. Of course, we are not anarchists or Luddites. There is certainly a role for such animal collections for at least the next two or three decades. But it can no longer be for the simple collection and display of animals.

Rather, the beating heart of any such institution, anywhere in the world, must be true conservation. This means that the rationale for maintaining collections of wild animals – always, preferably, in wildlife parks with large open spaces – has to be the protection of endangered species, coupled with sustainable breeding programmes and projects to reintroduce them to the wild. The ultimate aim should, wherever possible, be the return of the captive and captive-bred creatures with whom mankind is privileged to share the planet.

The Aspinall Foundation has worked tirelessly to become a world leader in the captive breeding of endangered species. Our animal parks have seen the births of 135 gorillas, 33 black rhinos, 123 clouded leopards, 33 Javan gibbons, 104 Javan langurs and 20 African elephants. Our charity manages conservation projects in Congo, Gabon, Indonesia and Madagascar, as well as providing financial support to partner projects around the world. We are dedicated to helping prevent some of the most endangered species on the planet from becoming extinct.

We do this through restoring, wherever possible, animals to their natural habitats and by protecting those habitats. Between 1996 and 2006, we released 51 gorillas in the Congo and Gabon – into an area of some million acres which had been the first large wilderness area to see gorillas hunted to extinction. In the coming year, the foundation is planning to release from its parks an entire family of 11 lowland gorillas, six Javan gibbons and eight Javan langurs. Three black rhinos have already been released this year, and are all doing well.

The work is not easy, and requires dedication and resources. But it offers a possible blueprint for the future of animal conservation, away from the confines of crowded zoos – which serve better to illustrate the arrogance of man than the glory of the animal world he has done so much to destroy. We believe in the right of animals to coexist on our planet, and that the wilderness is Earth’s greatest treasure. We must all act now to save it.

 

Endangered Sumatran Rhino Gives Birth in Indonesia

The Jakarta Globe

A critically endangered Sumatran rhinoceros gave birth Saturday at an Indonesian sanctuary, following just three other in-captivity births over the past century, a conservationist said.

“Ratu gave birth a male baby at 12:45 a.m. on Saturday. Both the mother and the baby are all very well,” conservationist Widodo Ramono, who works at a sanctuary on the southern tip of Sumatra island, told AFP.

The last three in-captivity births for Sumatran rhinos took place in the United States at the Cincinnati Zoo in Ohio.

One of those was a male named Andalas, born September 13, 2001.

He was raised in captivity and was recently brought to Indonesia to mate with Ratu, a female who grew up in the wild but wandered out of the forest and now lives at the Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary in Way Kambas National Park.

This is believed to be Ratu’s first full-term pregnancy, Konstant told AFP. She has already miscarried twice after prior attempts to breed in captivity.

Sumatran rhinos have suffered a 50 percent drop in population over the past 20 years, largely due to poaching and loss of tropical habitat.

There are now believed to be fewer than 200 Sumatran rhinos alive. Most reside in isolated pockets in Southeast Asia.

Agence France-Presse

Foreign Aid for Critically Endangered Indonesian Rhinos? No Need, Forestry Minister Says

Fidelis E. Satriastanti | June 06, 2012
The Jakarta Globe

Indonesia doesn’t need foreign aid to conserve its critically endangered Sumatran and Javan rhinos because it can still manage on its own, says Forestry Minister Zulkifli Hasan. “We can still manage to take care of the funding, so there’s no need to ask from the international [community],” Zulkifli said on Monday. “If there is [money], it’s better to focus [it] on other rhinos.”
The minister was speaking during the declaration of the 2012 International Rhinoceros Year, when asked about Indonesia’s commitment to protecting its rhinos, which it signed with ten other countries. Zulkifli said Indonesia was chosen for the declaration of the awareness campaign because it still had two different rhino species: the two-horned Sumatran rhino and the single-horned Javan rhinoceros, both of which are on the verge of extinction. He said that Indonesia was also selected because it had a history of success in breeding Sumatran rhinos. “The declaration is meant to campaign about the importance of the rhino to the public. Tigers and orangutans have already attracted a lot of attention, but there’s not enough attention for rhinos,” Zulkifli said.
Darori, Forestry Ministry’s director general for forest and nature conservation, said the ministry had allocated Rp 300 billion out of its total budget of Rp 1.6 trillion for conservation purposes. “There are also [funds] from the private sector. For rhinos, these funds have so far come only from APP [Asia Pulp and Paper], which [gave] Rp 6 billion in 2011,” he said. There are currently five rhino species in the world: the Sumatran and Javan, the Indian rhino in Nepal, India and Bhutan; and the white and black rhinos in southern and central Africa. Ujung Kulon National Park in Banten is the only remaining habitat of the Javan rhino, and hosts a population of around 35 individuals.
A small population of the species in Vietnam’s Cat Tien National Park was declared extinct last year by the International Union for Conservation Nature. Around 200 Sumatran rhinos remain in the wild, in the Way Kambas National Park in Lampung and the Leuser National Park in Aceh. The two Indonesian subspecies are listed by the IUCN as critically endangered, just one step above being extinct.