Friday, November 11, 2011

Western Black Rhino Declared Extinct(Which is something RJR didn't want to hear.)

For some species on the edge, captivity is the only hope.

No wild black rhinos remain in West Africa, according to the latest global assessment of threatened species.

The Red List, drawn up by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), has declared the subspecies extinct.

A subspecies of white rhino in central Africa is also listed as possibly extinct, the organisation says.

The annual update of the Red List now records more threatened species than ever before.

The IUCN reports that despite conservation efforts, 25% of the world's mammals are at risk of extinction. As part of its latest work it has reassessed several rhinoceros groups.

Poaching vulnerability

As well as declaring the western black rhino (Diceros bicornis longipes) extinct, it records the northern white rhino (Ceratotherium simum cottoni), a subspecies in central Africa, as being on the brink of extinction.

The last Javan rhino (Rhinoceros sondaicus) outside Java is also believed to have disappeared.

Overall numbers of black and white rhinos have been rising, but some subspecies have been particularly vulnerable to poaching by criminal gangs who want to trade the animals' valuable horns.

Simon Stuart, chair of the IUCN Species Survival Commission, told BBC News: "They had the misfortune of occurring in places where we simply weren't able to get the necessary security in place.

"You've got to imagine an animal walking around with a gold horn; that's what you're looking at, that's the value and that's why you need incredibly high security."

Another focus for this year's list is Madagascar and its reptiles. The report found that 40% of terrestrial reptiles are threatened. But it also says that new areas have been designated for conservation.

That will help protect endangered species including Tarzan's chameleon (Calumma tarzan) and the limbless skink (Paracontias fasika).

Among the success stories identified in the latest annual update is the reintroduction of the Przewalski's horse (Equus ferus). Listed extinct in the wild in 1996, it was brought back after a captive breeding programme and the wild population is now thought to exceed 300.

Among the partner organisations involved in compiling the research for the list is the Zoological Society of London (ZSL).

ZSL's Dr Monika Boehm said: "This Red List update very much shows us a mixed picture of what's happening to the world's species. There's some good news and some bad news.

"Unfortunately, the overall trend is still a decline in biodiversity. We still haven't achieved our conservation potential."

Could legalising horn trade save rhinos?

Courtesy of Mark Rosenthal

Record for S Africa rhino killing

The seventh black rhino population established by the WWF Black Rhino Range Expansion Project, was recently released after an epic 1500 kilometre trip across the country. 19 of the critically endangered animals were moved from the Eastern Cape to a new location in Limpopo province.

"This was possible because of the far-sightedness of the Eastern Cape Provincial government who were prepared to become partners in the project for the sake of black rhino conservation in South Africa," said WWF's project leader Dr Jacques Flamand. "The operation was difficult due to the number of animals and the long distances involved. But wildlife veterinarians, conservation managers and capture teams from WWF, Eastern Cape Parks and Tourism Agency, SANParks and Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife worked cooperatively to ensure the success of the translocation. We all learned from one another and were united in a common cause."

"We are a young organisation and this is a great opportunity to be giving something back to the national conservation effort," said Dave Balfour, conservation director of the Eastern Cape Parks and Tourism Agency. "We are excited about getting ourselves integrated into national conservation. A critical element of future conservation success will be the ability of agencies with a common interest to work together. This was a great example of that."

A relatively new capture technique was used to airlift some of the rhinos out of difficult or inaccessible areas by helicopter. This entails suspending the sleeping rhino by the ankles for a short trip through the air to awaiting vehicles. "Previously rhinos were either transported by lorry over very difficult tracks, or airlifted in a net. This new procedure is gentler on the darted rhino because it shortens the time it has to be kept asleep with drugs, the respiration is not as compromised as it can be in a net and it avoids the need for travel in a crate over terrible tracks," explains Dr Flamand. "Another advantage is that rhinos can be more easily removed from dangerous situations, for example if they have fallen asleep in a donga or other difficult terrain after being darted. The helicopter translocations usually take less than ten minutes, and the animals suffer no ill effect. All of the veterinarians working on the translocation agreed that this was now the method of choice for the well-being of the animals."

Security of rhinos is a major concern given the current poaching onslaught. Project partners receiving rhinos on their land are only chosen if their security systems are of a high standard. "Translocating rhinos always involves risk, but we cannot keep all our eggs in one basket. It is essential to manage black rhino populations for maximum growth as it is still a critically endangered species and this is what the project does by creating large new populations which we hope will breed quickly," concludes Dr Flamand.

The WWF Black Rhino Range Expansion Project aims to increase the range and numbers of black rhino in South Africa and has created seven significant black rhino populations in eight years. Close to 120 black rhino have been translocated to date.

Courtesy of Jim Stockley

The Circus "NO SPIN ZONE": Eastern Cape Black Rhino Range Expansion Project

'It get's harder and harder each day to justify spending millions of dollars building feel good sanctuaries for elephants that will make no genetic contribution what so ever to an endangered population, and rescuing lions from Bolivia and spending millions to feed them and build them "biodome habitats," when we are losing valid animal species every daily. Yes, by all means correct what was wrong to bring them to their current state, not by banning, but by educating and regulating. Don't continue wasting millions to make their last years "happy and joyful." Happy and joyful!!! Get real world, wake up to reality. They are finished, done with, of no use what so ever. Learn from mistakes, capitalize on success's. Don't think for a moment you are doing animals of the world any favors with a non breeding sanctuary members cocktail party. You are pissing in the wind, in an effort to give yourself some type of emotional validity. Donate your millions to a zoo or game preserve where it will be of some good to the world, and not just good for you.


Anonymous said...

I wonder why they didn't consider de-horning the rhinos to make them unattractive to poachers.


Anonymous said...

Donate your money to a serious conversation group for a specific project if you want the maximum benefit for endangered species. Not to the WWF and NOT to a zoo!! Zoos spend way too much money on multi-million dollar exhibits that DO NOT benefit the survival of any critically endangered species. I`m not saying that these exhibits should not be build, same as I`m not saying that old elephants and half-dead circus lions shouldn`t be rescued and given a nice life until they die, but people need to know that this is not conversation.


Wade G. Burck said...

What's wrong with WWF?


Anonymous said...

"people need to know that this is not conversation."

or even conservation

Wade G. Burck said...

Thank you for the translation. It didn't make sense to me.


Anonymous said...

The WWF spends most of its money on campaigns that involve a lot of talking and not a lot of action. Rhinos are not going to be saved from printing posters that they that rhinos need protection. They are only saved if someone organizes and pays for anti-poaching patrols and habitat protection. WWF puts very little money into projects that actually do something to directly ensure the survival of endangered species. If you donate to groups more directly involved with habitat protection, anti-poaching measures ect, you get much more "value" for your money.