Endangered Animals in the Rainforest

The more your backyard looks like the tropical forests, the more homes you are giving to wild animals.
The more your backyard looks like the tropical forests, the more homes you are giving to wild animals. | Source

Endangered Animals of the Rainforest

Every year, more and more of the rainforest is destroyed by both natural means and preventable means. Unfortunately, the larger the loss of tropical forests, the more homes of animals that are being lost as well. Here is a brief look at some animals that have found homes in the rainforest. The only protection we can give them is to provide them with more areas where they can call home, to prevent these endangered animals from becoming extinct.

Rhinoceros

This one does not have horns like either the Javan or Sumatran Rhino, nor does it have armor like skin. There are five types of Rhinos in the world known today.
This one does not have horns like either the Javan or Sumatran Rhino, nor does it have armor like skin. There are five types of Rhinos in the world known today. | Source

Javan Rhino

Rhinoceroses, due to their enormous size, require a large amount of area to roam. One of these, the Javan Rhinoceros lives in the tropical forest and is now considered critically endangered. Of the five species of rhinoceroses, this is the most threatened with only 35 left in the wild. They currently reside in Ujung Kulon National Park, where they are protected. The park is located in Java, Indonesia, which is where they inherited their name.

They used to run free in Vietnam; unfortunately, the last known Javan rhinoceros that was wild in Vietnam was poached in 2010. Since then, there has not been any known sitings in this area.

A Javan Rhino weighs anywhere from 1,984 - 5,071 pounds, stands at about 4'7" - 5'8" tall, and is 10-10.5 feet long. Both males and females have a single horn in the center of their head that measures about 10 inches. They are noted for their armor-plated appearance, due to several loose-folds in their dusky gray skin.

Pic of Sumatran Rhino

Source

Sumatran Rhinoceros

The Sumatran rhinoceros is another endangered rhino with fewer than 400 in the wild. Though not as endangered as its cousin the Javan rhino, it is still one of the rarest large mammals in the world. They are found living in isolated dense mountain forests. There have been sitings in Malaysia and Indonesia, although there are rumors they may also be living in Burma.

These are the smallest of the rhinos measuring somewhere between 4 feet and 5 feet. They weigh around 1,760 pounds and are about 8-10 feet long. The Sumatran rhino has small patches of short dark, stiff hair and their hide is a dark red-brown color. The hair cakes mud to the body, which helps them stay cool.

They are also unique due to having two horns rather than one. The longer horn grows about 31 inches, whereas the smaller horn grows to 3 inches. Unfortunately, it is their horns that have caused them to be a subject for poaching. In Asia, they use the horns for medicinal purposes, which is why these animals are so sought after. Middle Eastern countries also use the horns for their own purposes. Many have turned them into decorative dagger handles.

Three-toed Sloth

The sloth is the slowest mammal.
The sloth is the slowest mammal. | Source

Three-Toed Sloth

Sloths are another animal that relies on the tropical forests to survive. These animals, notorious for being the slowest mammal on earth, are differentiated by how many prominent claws they have. They are split between two-toed and three-toed sloths. Both are so sedentary, that their main defense is the algae that grows on their fur, which camouflages them in trees. They sleep 15-20 hours a day, and even when they are awake, they rarely move. They even have their babies in the tree tops. Sometimes after a sloth dies, they will remain suspended from a branch.

Although they will rarely be on land, when they are, they are quite clumsy and do not move very well. They also have no protection when they are on land from predators such as big cats. Surprisingly, they are quite good swimmers, and will on occasion fall into water where they will have to swim out. The one natural advantage they do have is their ability to turn their necks at 270 degrees. This allows them to look around quite well.

Since they are too slow to catch food, they are herbivores, eating fruit and leaves from the trees. Since they are unable to go to a pond for a drink, they rely on the water they get from the leaves and fruit. They weigh less than 10 pounds, and grow less than two feet in length.

South Island Kokako

There are two types of kokaos, the North Island Kokako, and the South Island Kokako.
There are two types of kokaos, the North Island Kokako, and the South Island Kokako. | Source

Kokako

Of the endangered animals of the forest, the kokako brings the most joy with its loud, melodious song. Their song carries through the forest and can be heard long ways away. They usually sing in pairs, and will begin as the sun is rising. All the other birds enjoy this song and will join them.

Since the 1970s, the bird was believed to have been extinct. Fortunately, in 2003, there was a sudden increase in the amount of Kokako's and they were sited. Although even with the sudden increase, this was not significant enough to replenish their numbers. There are two subspecies, the North Island Kokako and the South Island Kokako. Both are endangered. There are many programs, such as captive breeding and trans-location, that are in place to help renew their population.

Part of why they became endangered is because they are not strong fliers. They usually glide from place to place, and not for long periods of time. Unfortunately, with their dying numbers, kokakos have found that a territory, which with a typical bird would have both a male and female pair, you may find have paired up males with males, since a male/female pair is not always possible. They are the only bird known to follow this behavior. It is believed to be a result of the dying female population. This is cause for concern, since they will not be able to mate unless they each have a match.

Photo of Panda Bear

The giant panda, after DNA testing, is in fact a bear, despite previous beliefs.
The giant panda, after DNA testing, is in fact a bear, despite previous beliefs. | Source

The Giant Pandas

The giant panda, known for its love for bamboo, is a very rare bear that lives in a remote, mountainous region of central China within the rainforest. They eat twelve out of the twenty-four hours in a day, eating as much as twenty-eight pounds of bamboo in one day. Sometimes they will need to climb as high as 13,000 feet in order to reach their food of choice. They are herbivores, so they will occasionally eat rodents or birds, as well.

In the wild, they may live as long as twenty years. They are about four to five feet tall, and weigh around 300 pounds. They also have a very keen sense of smell, which allows males to avoid one another, and yet to mate with the females. Although pandas may give birth to twins, they will only care for one of the cubs. The cubs are born all white, and will not gain color until they are much bigger.

As with all large animals, it takes a lot of land for them to survive. That is why there are only 1,000 left in the wild, although around a hundred are in captivity, usually as a very popular zoo attraction, due to their vivid beauty.

How to Save Endangered Animals

The more our world is covered in trees, grass, and plants, the more homes we are giving our animals. There are so many ways we can help give homes to the animals around us. As you often hear, we need to continue to reduce, reuse, recycle. This will help tremendously, since it prevents us from destroying the land that is already here.

Another is by encouraging growth in our own backyard, plant a tree, plant a garden, opt out of using cement, choose stone where small creatures can crawl like insects. Also, you can donate to your favorite animal preservation site. Worldwildlife.org is an awesome site where you can actually adopt most any endangered animal, giving money to help preserve that animal's habitat. Plus you get great gifts for donating. Need more great ideas? Here are some:

  • Recycle plastic, tin, and paper. Some schools collect paper for you!
  • Instead of writing on one side of a piece of paper, write on both sides.
  • When you leave a room, reduce the energy you are using by turning off the lights.
  • Use timers on your faucets, lights, etc.
  • Use reusable water bottles, rather than prepackaged water.
  • Use a towel, rather than paper towels.
  • Plant a tree.
  • Join an Adopt An Animal Program.
  • Grow a garden.
  • Watch less TV and reduce the electricity.
  • Have bird feeders.
  • Don't catch and keep wild animals, they are meant to stay in the wild.
  • Don't litter.
  • Be careful when setting fires, especially in hot dry places.

Be creative, there are hundreds of ways that you can protect our earth. Feel free to share some of your ideas.

© 2012 Angela Michelle

More by this Author


Comments 12 comments

angela_michelle profile image

angela_michelle 4 years ago from United States Author

I should look into ones that are in Puerto Rico specifically. I don't even know what species are native to there.


AnnaCia profile image

AnnaCia 4 years ago

angela; Thank you for writing about the endangered rainforest and its animals. Puerto Rico also has a rainforest (property of the USA National Forests) which is having issues of endangerment. If we keep losing them, we won't have much to offer the next generations. Voted up


AliciaC profile image

AliciaC 4 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

I love your series of hubs about endangered and extinct animals, Angela. This article is fascinating and very informative! I love your tips for preserving the environment, too - they're very important. Thanks for sharing them.


FullOfLoveSites profile image

FullOfLoveSites 4 years ago from United States

I've learned something new in this hub, especially the kokako (interesting name too). There are more animals I've never even heard of before, probably because they are dwindling in numbers. I like the picture of the garden there, it's a good idea to give home to wild animals. :)


angela_michelle profile image

angela_michelle 4 years ago from United States Author

I've only ever seen a three-toed sloth sleep. I wish I could see one moving. That would be neat. :) Supposedly they are great swimmers too!

Thanks JPCMC. it truly is a shame.


teaches12345 profile image

teaches12345 4 years ago

We recently enjoyed watching a sloth climb on trees at the zoo. It was fascinating to watch. Usually they are so still or sleeping. I didn't realize that they would be so active and such great climbers. I hope that people realize we must prevent the extinction of these animals. Great information.


jpcmc profile image

jpcmc 4 years ago from Quezon CIty, Phlippines

This is a very timely topic now that more people are loooking into saving the environment. The more we learn about what can be lost, the more we should strive to prevent it. Isn't sad to see so many beautiful animals go extinct because of our own doing? It's just nat a good way to treat other creatures. Voted up. You did Mother nature a great favor my friend.


angela_michelle profile image

angela_michelle 4 years ago from United States Author

Oh wow, thank you everyone, I appreciated all of your great feedback!


Kate Mc Bride profile image

Kate Mc Bride 4 years ago from Donegal Ireland

Your outline of the endangered animals here is very interesting and the ideas to reduce, reuse and recycle are very sensible and easy to implement on a daily basis. They are things we should get into the habit of doing really.


HSchneider 4 years ago from Parsippany, New Jersey

Excellent Hub, Angela. The rapidly disappearing Amazon Rain Forest is not only rapidly making numerous animals extinct, it further exacerbates our global warming problem. We need this forest for CO2 purposes.


Eiddwen profile image

Eiddwen 4 years ago from Wales

A brilliant hub on a subject close to my heart.

I vote up and save as one of my favourites.

Take care and enjoy your day.

Eddy.


carol7777 profile image

carol7777 4 years ago from Arizona

I am glad I decided to check this hub out. Learned some new things and enjoyed reading a well written piece. Voted UP.

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.


    Click to Rate This Article
    working