Feeds

OFFICIAL: Last Western Black rhino snuffs it

Poached ... and fried

The Power of One Infographic

The last of the Western Black rhino (Diceros bicornis longipes), a rare species of black rhino, has died and the survival of the northern white configuration hangs in the balance, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

The revelation was made as part of the IUCN's Red List, which it claims is a "true barometer for life", with stats on 61,900 species collated.

The study found that despite the best efforts of animal conservationists, one-quarter of the world's mammals are now endangered.

The western black rhino is a sub-species of Black rhino which has been poached to extinction by criminal gangs who want to trade the animals' valuable horns.

“Human beings are stewards of the earth and we are responsible for protecting the species that share our environment,” says Simon Stuart, Chair of the IUCN Species Survival Commission.

He said the fortunes of the northern white could be reversed if proposed conservation methods were put into action to manage habitats to improve breeding.

The IUCN said the Javan rhino is also "making its last stand" as the subspecies Rhinoceros sondaicus annamiticus – those outside of Java – are likely "extinct" after poachers killed what was suspected to be the last one in Vietnam in 2010.

"Although this is not the end of the Javan rhino, it does reduce the species to a single, tiny, declining population on Java," said the IUCN.

A lack of willingness among political leaders to curb the destruction of the rhinos' natural habitat and the illegal trade in rhino horn are the main threats faced by the species.

The Red List also reveals that reptiles are also under threat, with 40 per cent of Madagascar's land-loving population endangered – including chameleons, geckos and snakes.

But conservation efforts are under way that should help to safeguard some deemed at risk, including Tarzan's chameleon, the bizarre-nosed chameleon and the limbless skink.

There are success stories: fewer than 100 Southern White Rhino were in the wild at the end of the 19th century but more than 20,000 survive today, and there are more than 300 Przewalski's horses around today 15 years after the species was listed as extinct.

Powdered rhinoceros horn can sell for up to $20 a gram. ®

Eight steps to building an HP BladeSystem

More from The Register

next story
Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 claimed lives of HIV/AIDS cure scientists
Researchers, advocates, health workers among those on shot-down plane
Forty-five years ago: FOOTPRINTS FOUND ON MOON
NASA won't be back any time soon, sadly
Mwa-ha-ha-ha! Eccentric billionaire Musk gets his PRIVATE SPACEPORT
In the Lone Star State, perhaps appropriately enough
MARS NEEDS OCEANS to support life - and so do exoplanets
Just being in the Goldilocks zone doesn't mean there'll be anyone to eat the porridge
The Sun took a day off last week and made NO sunspots
Someone needs to get that lazy star cooking again before things get cold around here
Diary note: Pluto's close-up is a year from … now!
New Horizons is less than a year from the dwarf planet
Boffins discuss AI space program at hush-hush IARPA confab
IBM, MIT, plenty of others invited to fill Uncle Sam's spy toolchest, but where's Google?
prev story

Whitepapers

Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.