Half a century ago, Belgian Zoologist Bernard Heuvelmans first codified cryptozoology in his book On the Track of Unknown Animals.

The Centre for Fortean Zoology (CFZ) are still on the track, and have been since 1992. But as if chasing unknown animals wasn't enough, we are involved in education, conservation, and good old-fashioned natural history! We already have three journals, the largest cryptozoological publishing house in the world, CFZtv, and the largest cryptozoological conference in the English-speaking world, but in January 2009 someone suggested that we started a daily online magazine! The CFZ bloggo is a collaborative effort by a coalition of members, friends, and supporters of the CFZ, and covers all the subjects with which we deal, with a smattering of music, high strangeness and surreal humour to make up the mix.

It is edited by CFZ Director Jon Downes, and subbed by the lovely Lizzy Bitakara'mire (formerly Clancy), scourge of improper syntax. The daily newsblog is edited by Corinna Downes, head administratrix of the CFZ, and the indexing is done by Lee Canty and Kathy Imbriani. There is regular news from the CFZ Mystery Cat study group, and regular fortean bird news from 'The Watcher of the Skies'. Regular bloggers include Dr Karl Shuker, Dale Drinnon, Richard Muirhead and Richard Freeman.The CFZ bloggo is updated daily, and there's nothing quite like it anywhere else. Come and join us...

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Tuesday, September 20, 2011

OLL LEWIS: The Habitat and Ecology of the Sumatran Rhinoceros

Whilst there is still no news from Sumatra, Oll is hard at work looking at the forteana of that strange island...

As I mentioned in my previous blog about the conservation state of the Sumatran rhinoceros (Dicerorhinus sumatrensis) there are, or were, three subspecies of the rhinoceros found on the mainland, Sumatra and in Borneo. Of these three species the Western Sumatran rhinoceros (D.s. sumatrensi) found on Sumarta and the Malasian peninsular is the most common with an estimated 220 individules left and the Eastern Sumatran rinoceros (D. s. harrissoni) from Borneo is the seccond most common with only aroud 50 known individules. The third subspecies, the Northern Sumatran rhinoceros (D. s. lasiotis) which was to be found in Berma, Bangledesh and India, is thought to be almost certinly extinct. There was once considered to be a fourth subspecies found on the malasian peninsular which was known as D. s. niger but these were found to be no different to the Western Sumatran rhinoceros.

Sumatran rhinos main habitat is montaine moss forest and although it prefers deep forest it will ocasionally be seen on the outskirts of the forests.During the dry season it tends to inhabit more lowland forest but retreats to higher ground during the rainy season and flooding. It will tend to stay within a very short distance of water with a females home range being around 500-1500 ha and a males home range is larger, often overlapping the home range of several females. A Sumartran rhinoceros will not travel far in a day, usually not more than 1 or 2 km between feeding and wallowing sites, unless it is looking a new sourse of water or a salt lick. In order to reach a salt lick a rhino can travel up distances between 5 to 10 km.

The Rhinos are mainly solitary animals, with pairs only being seen when maiting and when mothers are looking after young. Gestation will take around 62 weeks with offspring reaching maturity at around 6 to 7 years of age. The offspring will disperse while still sub aduls leaving their mother when they are about 4 years old.

1 comment:

Dale Drinnon said...

Yes. You are still neglecting populations of the one-horned rhinoceros, which is a distinct genus and in fact the more common one in Southeast Asia and Indonesia overall.

Best Wishes, Dale D.