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What causes the Sumatran Rhino to be highly endangered?
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Mother & Child Rhino

(Image credit: Wikimedia Commons under Creative Commons licence)


A two-horned rhino that calls Sumatra and Central Borneo their home, the Sumatran Rhino is classified as being highly endangered.

They are the closest surviving relative of Woolly Rhinos, a specie of rhinos that had been extinct about 10,000 years ago.

Now, on records, there are less than 100 such rhinos in Sumatra with even lesser (less than 10) in Sabah, Malaysia!


Woolly Rhinos

(Image credit: Wikimedia Commons under Creative Commons licence)


Why is the Sumatran Rhino at the brink of extinction? What possible ways could help to boost the numbers of the Sumatran Rhino?


Low Numbers. With the Sumatran Rhino already in very low numbers, it is a challenge to find femaile rhinos who may still be in the childbearing age. Coupled with a birth interval of 3 years, this makes it even more difficult to get enough population replacement for the Sumatran Rhinos.


Imbalanced Gender Ratio. For the Sumatran Rhinos, there is a skewed gender ratio with havng much more females than males. This makes finding a suitable mate difficult and thus affect the number of baby rhinos being born.


A possible way to help the Sumatran Rhinos boost their numbers more naturally will be to have the Sumatran Rhinos be located near each other. This then creates more opportunity for them to breed.

Baby and mother

(Image credit: Wikimedia Commons under Creative Commons licence)

Governements to work to prevent or minimise poaching. Sumatran Rhinos are hunted for the belief that their horns could cure cancer.


Conversion of forest into cash crops are causing the Sumatran Rhinos to shrink in numbers. Protecting their natural habitat through conservation and better alternative livelihoods for the farmers are ways to help.


Let's hope that all these efforts will not be too little, too late.

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