Johanna Rode-Margono, the zoo’s South East Asia conservation field
programme officer who is working on the conservation of Asian wild cattle,
“Zoos from Europe, America and Indonesia, field conservationists and Indonesian
government representatives have, for the first time, joined forces in a global
collaboration - working together to share expertise and resources for the
conservation of banteng. The new-born calf is a very important step towards a
sustainable insurance population of the species.”
Jasmine is one of the first
mammals to be born in the zoo’s new £40m Islands zone - which showcases
threatened species from region of South East Asia - since it opened in summer
Her arrival means the zoo now has a herd of 10 – four males and six females.
Rowlands, curator of mammals at Chester Zoo, added:
“By making sure there is a viable global population of banteng in zoos, whose genetic
diversity represents the genetic diversity in the wild, the global zoo community can play a key role in
the conservation of the species. There’s no doubt that zoos are now an
important piece of the puzzle in the long-term protection of banteng.
“We’re thrilled with our new calf and are pleased to say she is strong and
doing extremely well. Hopefully she will draw some much needed attention to
these very special animals and help us to highlight the plight of her cousins
in the wild.
“The banteng is one of the few remaining species of totally wild cattle in
the world and, in the wild, they are hardly ever seen.
“Sadly the threat of extinction to these magnificent animals is imminent.
Banteng are now rarely sighted in Malaysian and Indonesian Borneo where their
remaining forest home is fragmented and populations isolated. They’re facing a
real battle for their survival as forests across South East Asia are being
turned into palm oil plantations and hunting for their horns and meat, although
illegal, is rife.”
- The banteng (Bos
javanicus) is listed as endangered on the IUCN Red List of Threatened
- The species
occurs in Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Malaysia,
Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam but in small populations that are often very
once-thriving species is in severe decline and is at risk from a host of
threats including poaching inside protected areas, habitat loss, hybridisation
with domestic cattle and infections from domestic cattle diseases
play a key role in circulating nutrients through ecosystems, dispersing seeds
and maintaining food chains. They are and are a critical food source for many
carnivore species, including tigers and leopards
zoo’s new youngster was born on 13 March 2016