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Western Black Rhino Declared Extinct by Wildlife Group

The Western Black Rhino is extinct and two other rhino species are potentially extinct as well according to wildlife experts, the AP reports:

RhinoThe International Union for Conservation of Nature said a recent reassessments of the Western Black Rhino had led it to declare the species extinct, adding that the Northern White Rhino of central Africa is now "possibly extinct" in the wild and the Javan Rhino is "probably extinct" in Vietnam, after poachers killed the last animal there in 2010.

A small but declining population of the Javan Rhino survives on the Indonesian island of Java, it added.

"A lack of political support and willpower for conservation efforts in many rhino habitats, international organized crime groups targeting rhinos and increasing illegal demand for rhino horns and commercial poaching are the main threats faced by rhinos," the group said in a statement accompanying the latest update of its so-called Red List of endangered species.

Gawker notes: "It should be noted that the Red List's assessment contradicts the far less dire one quoted by the World Wildlife Fund, which had estimated that 4,240 black rhinos were still alive."

Read the WWF's report HERE.

Watch a video on the African rhino poaching crisis, AFTER THE JUMP...

(image source)

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Comments

  1. Congratulations, China.

    Posted by: Adam | Nov 10, 2011 10:24:06 AM


  2. Combine the apathy and irresponsibility of the Chinese towards wildlife conservation--and their increasing affluence--with the corruption and dysfunction of Africa and this is what results.

    The most pathetic aspect of it is that the Asians who can afford to buy rhino horn and other "products" made from endangered wildlife are highly educated, educated enough to know how bogus the claims for the medicinal properties of these products are and enough to know that there are effective legitimate products on the market already. And they also doubtless know that their actions are decimating these majestic species (they are also destroying all the big cats and sharks and bears and most other charismatic species).

    So it boils down to their social irresponsibility.

    A perfect storm, the only solution to which is to shoot poachers on sight, although that is only a partial solution as long as Asian culture in general remains so indifferent to the environment.

    Posted by: RIck | Nov 10, 2011 10:36:22 AM


  3. Rick,

    does your wall poster of Hitler have a metal frame, or is it just laminated like Max's, Ratbastard's and DanCornCobbb?

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Nov 10, 2011 10:42:37 AM


  4. The WWF has been the subject of a lot of criticism over the last few years for being in bed with corporations. The WWF is the Human Rights Campaign of the wildlife conservation world. If I had to believe one or the other, I would believe the IUCN.

    Posted by: Mike | Nov 10, 2011 10:45:37 AM


  5. This makes me so angry. People riot in the streets because their favorite football coach got fired (justifiably no less), but few will care two cents about this.

    Posted by: endo | Nov 10, 2011 10:52:34 AM


  6. I'm not sure how the poaching problem could be increasing when the animal in question is 'extinct'. Of course, extinction has been defined down over the last couple of decades. It used to mean "gone like the Dodo". But now they talk about "functional extinction" or incipient extinction as a way of saying the population is unsustainably small. There are lots of black rhinos, just not where they used to be.

    Posted by: anon | Nov 10, 2011 10:54:08 AM


  7. Yeah to Anon's point, the black rhino is not extinct. The Western black rhino as categorized is - in that it no longer is where it used to be.

    That said, it's still very sad to watch the numbers dwindle and nothing be done to protect the species. Especially when the reason for the extinction is based on a completely false belief that the horn has homeopathic powers.

    The only endangered species China cares about is the panda. And that is only because they make a shitload of money off of the conservation efforts surrounding the panda.

    Posted by: AlexD | Nov 10, 2011 11:22:42 AM



  8. Alex and AnonThe Western Black and Northern Black are subspecies of Black Rhino that are distinct from the main populations of Black Rhino- they are extinct- in the same way as the Pinta Island tortoise, a subspecies of tortoise from the Galapagos Islands, will go extinct in a 100 or so years when Lonesome George dies. This is a sad day...

    Posted by: Wirrrn | Nov 10, 2011 12:17:26 PM


  9. @Derrick from Philly - Ha! Thanks for taking the time to respond to these creeps. You would think that Rick would wholeheartedly support the manly pursuits of rhino hunting and exploitation of natural resources. Maybe he's turning into a p--sy?

    Posted by: Vlad | Nov 10, 2011 1:05:59 PM


  10. Subspecies isn't a well defined zoological term. Generally it means an isolated population, which would be like saying the Bronx Zoo subspecies. Sometimes there are morphological distinctions in subspecies, but it's never clear that our limited snapshot view of species distinctions in live populations represents anything truly important.

    The main problem is that the WWF and other conservationist groups never seem to browbeat Asian populations over their poaching. Rather, they perpetually ask Western nations to pay for anti-poaching enforcement and other conservation efforts. It's not exactly effective, yet they don't change their tactics.

    Posted by: anon | Nov 10, 2011 1:06:09 PM


  11. @ANON If you meant that WWF doesn't browbeat Asians over their consumption (rather than poaching), it is because it doesn't do any good.

    The Japanese, for example, have been "browbeaten" to death by every world body than counts and by every nation that counts over their continued hunting of whales, in addition to being interfered with directly by Greenpeace and others, but to no avail. They just ignore world opinion, claiming that such behavior is "part of their culture", when they are well-educated enough to know what effect they are having.

    And the Chinese behave the same way. India actually has a bit of an indigenous conservation movement and plenty of people who actually care about wildlife, but conservation efforts there are also hampered by corruption and by the willingness of the Tibetans to act as smugglers via the Himalayas of tiger, bear, and rhino parts.

    Ironic that the Tibetans, who are the darlings of the Left in the West, are a critical link in the destruction of the world's wildlife--and in cahoots with the Chinese in this dastardly enterprise.

    Posted by: Rick | Nov 10, 2011 4:03:05 PM


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