Observations on the ex situ management of the Sumatran Rhinoceros Dicerorhinus sumatrensis (Mammalia: Perissodactyla: Rhinocerotidae): present status and desiderata for conservation

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Francesco Nardelli


The Sumatran Rhinoceros is approaching extinction.  A few dozen animals remain, dispersed in dwindling Indonesian rainforest with only a few years of likely survival time.  Eight rhinos belonging to two subspecies are in controlled breeding centres.  The Sumatran Rhinoceros differs markedly from the other four species of Rhinocerotidae and requires management according to specific protocols.  Several Sumatran Rhinoceros have died in zoos, owing to lack of knowledge concerning their particular dietary requirements and their high sensitivity to anthropogenic activities.  Recently more positive results, including successful births, have been achieved with the aid of scientific research, which continues to examine factors required for successful conservation and accommodation efforts.  

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