Rhinoceros: The Endangered Species

The worlds last male white rhino is dead
Photo Credit: time.com

With a small brain that weighs 400-600kg, unusual for animals their size, the mammals are members of the family of the rhinoceros with thick protective skin made from collagen with one or two horns weighing a tone in weight. Rhinoceros is a name used for any of the five species (usually abbreviated as Rhino), two of which are native to Africa and three to southern Asia.

Rhinoceros are herbivorous; they generally eat leafy material, although their ability to ferment food in their hindgut allows them to subsist on more fibrous plant matter when necessary, although the two African species of rhinoceros lack teeth at the front of their mouths, relying instead on their lips to pluck food.

Hunting and poaching activities has altered the natural distribution of the rhino population. The horns of rhino are bought in the black market. By weight, rhino horns cost as much as gold on the black market. People grind up the horns and consume them, believing the dust has therapeutic properties. East Asia is the largest market for rhino horns. The IUCN Red List identifies the Black, Javan, and Sumatran rhinoceros as critically endangered.


The world mourned over the death of the last male rhino in the world in the Ol Pajeta Conservation in Kenya
Photo Credit: flickr.com

There are two subspecies of white rhinoceros: the southern white rhinoceros and the northern white rhinoceros.  The white rhino has an immense body and large head, a short neck and broad chest. Females weigh 1,600 kg and males 2,400 kg. The world mourned over the death of the last male rhino in the world in the Ol Pajeta Conservation in Kenya

There are only four species of the black Rhinoceros
Photo Credit: streamafrica.com

There are four subspecies of black rhino: South-central, the most numerous, which once ranged from central Tanzania south through Zambia, Zimbabwe and Mozambique to northern and eastern South Africa; South-western which are better adapted to the arid and semi-arid savannas of Namibia, southern Angola, western Botswana and western South Africa; East African, primarily in Tanzania; and West African which was declared extinct in November 2011.

Indian rhinoceros animal once inhabited many areas ranging from Pakistan to Myanmar and maybe even parts of China
Photo Credit: saveus.in

Indian rhinos once inhabited many areas ranging from Pakistan to Myanmar and maybe even parts of China. However, because of human influence, they now only exist in several protected areas of India and Nepal, with a few pairs in Lal Suhanra National Park in Pakistan

The Javan rhinoceros is one of the most endangered large mammals in the world
Photo Credit: Animalsake.com

The Javan rhinoceros is one of the most endangered large mammals in the world. According to 2015 estimates, only about 60 remain, in Java, Indonesia, all in the wild.

The endangered Sumatran rhinoceros is the smallest extant species of this family
Photo Credit: Rhinos.org

The Sumatran rhinoceros is the smallest extant rhinoceros species, as well as the one with the most hair. It can be found at very high altitudes in Borneo and Sumatra. Due to habitat loss and poaching, their numbers have declined and it has become the most threatened rhinoceros.

Climate change puts the Pacific Walrus population on thin ice

Climate change puts the Pacific Walrus population on thin ice
Photo Credit: wwf.panda.org

Every autumn for about the last decade, the residents of Enurmino—a tiny, Russian village located along the Chukchi Sea—have witnessed a strange sight. Tens of thousands of Pacific walruses have exited the chilly ocean waters and assembled en masse along the shoreline.

This phenomenon, known as a “haulout,” occurs when large hordes of mostly females and calves pull themselves onto the beach to rest. The walruses climb on to shore because of declining sea ice cover.

“Typically, walruses spend most of their time at sea hauled out on ice floes as they forage for food on the ocean floor” explains WWF’s Nikhil Advani, “but as sea ice declines, they’re increasingly hauling out on land instead.”

Throughout the Arctic, sea ice is forming later in the season and disappearing earlier, limiting the amount of space available for walruses to congregate. Floating summer sea ice is also receding further north to where the water is too deep for the animals to dive and feed. This forces them to desert the ice and seek refuge ashore. Once on land, the walruses must travel much longer distances—up to 250 miles round trip—to reach their food supply.

Climate change puts the Pacific Walrus population on thin ice
Photo Credit: mmc.gov

Researchers first observed large haulouts off Alaska’s Point Lay in 2007, when summer Arctic sea ice reached its second-lowest minimum extent in recorded history. As the extent of summer sea ice has continued to decline in Arctic waters, the number of walruses coming ashore has grown considerably.

In 2014, around 35,000 walruses hauled out along a small stretch of beach in Point Lay.

These massive haulouts can be incredibly dangerous for walruses. The crowded animals are easily spooked; any sound or scent—an airplane flying by, a human, or a whiff of a predator—can cause a deadly stampede. In their rush to the ocean, the heavy walruses—which can weigh up to 1.5 tons—can trample other walruses, especially young calves, which are susceptible to injuries and death. Last year, disturbances to a haulout near Cape Schmidt, Russia caused more than 500 deaths.

Climate change puts the Pacific Walrus population on thin ice
Photo Credit: photoartinc.com

In addition to posing risks for individual animals, these mass aggregations are a troubling sign that Pacific walruses and other species are under serious threat from climate change-driven habitat loss. “Some projections suggest that the Arctic could be ice-free in the summers as early as 2040,” says Advani. “That means sea ice-dependent species like walruses and polar bears will be spending more time on land, which could decrease access to their prey base and increase human-wildlife conflict.”

Pacific walrus numbers reached record-low numbers in the early 1960s, but rebounded by the 1980s following significant conservation efforts. Unfortunately, the Pacific walrus population is once again in decline—with just 129,000 animals left.

Marine Animals Tanked in Captivity in Aquariums

Should marine animals be kept in aquariums
Photo Credit: dreamaquarium.com

Aquariums are such a beauty to behold with marine lives swimming within a restricted and confined space, colorful and radiant. The British and Irish association of zoos and aquariums holds that 25 million people visit the aquariums and zoos every year, and that is about a third of the population of the United Kingdom, now you can imagine how much people love to see marine animals swim and display with their beautiful colors and trilling motor moves.

Animals in aquarium
Photo Credit: bpaquarium.com

Individuals, organizations and businesses now put up aquariums in their houses and office spaces, just to enhance the aesthetic of their apartment oblivious of the welfare and condition of the animals. Marine lives are definitely a beauty to behold especially when you are viewing them from a very close range in captivity.

Just like the zoo and circuses, the effect of captivity is not just physical but psychological. Some orcas have destroyed their  teeth by chewing on metal cage bars and all captive adult male orcas have collapsed dorsal fins, a condition that rarely occurs in wild orcas, and this case of the orcas is just one amongst many too numerous to mention.

The animal right activists are strongly pushing-on to free animals that have been tanked in captivity. There have always been pros and cons to circumstances as this, just like in the case of the zoo and circus in my previous articles but you will find in most cases that the merit is much bigger than the demerits.
Should marine animals be kept in aquariums
Photo Credit: aquariumfiltersetup.com
 Animals in an aquarium are usually confined in small tanks and they can get bored and frustrated. In an effort to provide more natural environments for the animals, different species are often kept together, which lead to predatory animals attacking or eating their tank mates. Tanks are also stocked either with captured animals or animals bred in captivity. Capturing animals in the wild is stressful, injurious and sometimes fatal; breeding in captivity is also a problem because those animals will live their entire lives in a tiny tank instead of a vast ocean. Some individuals believe that animals can be better studied for scientific purposes but that does not justify the suffering and right infringement of the animals living in tanks.
 Should marine animals be kept in aquariums?
It is undeniably true that we need to connect with nature; marine and all its components, but should we do that by keeping them in captivity?

Top Five Endangered Animals of Miwildlife

Top 5 endangered animals
Photo Credit: gizmodo.com

"Orangutan" Man of the forest, as translated in Malay is Critically endangered and it is found in Borneo, Sumantra and Tapanuli, with population 104,700, 13,846, 800 respectively. Sumantra and Borneo were the only known spots where orangutans have been untill 2017 when 800 Orangutans were found in Tapanuli

Top 5 endangered animals
Photo Credit: Popsci.com

The Tasmanian devil became the largest carnivorous marsupial in the world following the extinction of the thylacine in 1936..Experts estimate that the devil has suffered a more than 80% decline in its population since the mid-1990s and that only around 10,000–15,000 remain in the wild as of 2008, recent research has proven that the population is still declining as a result of the devil facial tumor disease.

Top 5 endangered animals
Photo Credit: wwf.org

At the turn of the 20th century, there were about 100,000 Asian elephant but today the population ranges from 35,000 to 40,000, habitat loss has been one of the major factor facing  Elephants, as well as Poaching activities.

Top 5 endangered animals
Photo Credit: theverge.com

Since it was discovered in 1983, the Ili Pika population is thought to have declined by nearly 70 per cent. With only 1,000 left, the small mammal is now thought to be one of the world's most endangered species. The species is a native to the remote Tianshan mountain range in the Xinjiang region of northwestern China. 

Top 5 endangered animals
Photo Credit: Savenaturesavehuman.blogspot.com

No accurate Survey has been made on the Saola.  Accurate population estimates would be exceedingly difficult to obtain even if the species were not rare, due to its reported secretive behavior, the difficulty of making direct observations in dense, rugged and remote forest habitat, and the fact that signs of the species cannot at present be unequivocally distinguished from other ungulates of similar size in its range .The IUCN estimates the total Saola population to be between 70 and 750.