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2014-03-10. Sex and the Single Rhino.

posted Mar 15, 2014, 9:55 AM by Alan Gould
For GSS Losing Biodiversity chapter 8. Excerpt: ...Last spring, wildlife experts met in Singapore for what was starkly titled the Sumatran Rhino Crisis Summit. ...it was announced that the number of Sumatran rhinos in the wild had dropped to a perilously low level: only about 100 animals remain. ...The Javan rhino, which once ranged across most of Southeast Asia, is even rarer than the Sumatran, with probably fewer than 50 individuals left, all in a single Javanese reserve. The Indian rhino, the largest of the five living rhino species, ...is down to about 3,000 individuals. A century ago in Africa, the population of black rhinos approached a million; it has since been reduced to around 5,000 animals. (Two years ago, the Western black rhino, a subspecies that lived in and around Cameroon, was officially declared extinct.) The white rhino, also from Africa, is the only species not currently classified as threatened. It was hunted nearly to oblivion in the nineteenth century, then made an astonishing comeback in the twentieth, owing to a combination of careful protection and breeding on game farms. Now, in the twenty-first, the white rhino has come under renewed pressure from poachers, who can sell rhino horns on the black market for more than $20,000 a pound. The horn is particularly popular these days in Southeast Asia, where it is sometimes powdered and used as a party “drug.” (In fact, rhino horn is made of keratin, like your fingernails.).... http://www.onearth.org/articles/2014/03/in-the-case-of-saving-the-sumatran-rhino-is-incest-best. Elizabeth Kolbert, OnEarth (NRDC).