Advancing the health and well-being of animals and people


Fellow: Nathaniel LaHue

Mentor: Robin Radcliffe
Contact Information: Email: rwr32@cornell.edu; Phone: 607-253-4314
Sponsor: Morris Animal Foundation - Wildlife Health Studies
Grant Number: D12Z0-613
Title: The Risk of Trypanosoma evansi to Sumatran Rhinoceros in Way Kambas National Park, Sumatra, Indonesia
Annual Direct Cost: $4,000
Project Period: 06/1/2011-08/31/2011

DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): This study will look for the presence of Trypanosoma evansi, the causative agent of the disease Surra, around Way Kambas National Park on the island of Sumatra in Indonesia. The target animal for this investigation is the Sumatran Rhino, a critically endangered animal with a population under 275 and decreasing. Trypanosoma evansi caused the death of 5 Sumatran Rhinos in 2003 at a breeding facility in Malaysia and proposes a significant threat to both captive and wild rhinos in the Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary and the park as well as to the rarer Javan rhinoceros that lives across the Sunda Straight in Java. We will test for T. evansi in the rhinos of the sanctuary, captive elephants of the Way Kambas Elephant Training Center, domestic cattle and water buffalo in villages surrounding the park and the tabanid fly vector at the sanctuary. Testing will be done by blood smear and PCR. The results will be reported to several agencies and organizations involved in the conservation of the Sumatran Rhino and will facilitate their management strategies in order to protect Rhinos from disease.