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Articles / Flora and Fauna

The International Union for Conservation of Nature has released its Red List, and amongst the casualties is the Western Black Rhino (Diceros bicornis longipes). It's officially been declared extinct.

The list shows a general trend in biodiversity, and it's a backward one. Species are declining en masse, and while there have been success stories as well, at least 25% of the worlds mammals are on the brink of extinction. One fourth of all the mammals in the world! It's mind-boggling.

The report also lists the Northern White Rhino (Ceratotherium simum cottoni) from central Africa as being critically endangered. While the overall numbers of white and black rhino's has been bouncing back, particular subspecies are very alluring to poachers for their horns. Simon Stewart, speaking on behalf of the IUCN, was quoted as saying

"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."

The problem is, the security is needed in places where the term 'security' is both rhetorical, and satirical. These animals are simply out in the middle of terrain where most people don't hang out. They're really far away from any kind of organized authority, humping it out in the wild and it's damned difficult for the Good Guys to catch poachers in the act. The consequence is that these animals are now on the tipping point, and as the Western Black Rhino now shows, the problem is becoming very serious indeed.

Written by: Timothy Smith


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Comments

Posted by Tibor on November 12, 2011 at 8:38 am
It truly is sad to know that my children, and their children and so on will not have to go to a zoo to see these animals but rather view pictures of beauty that once freely roamed this planet.
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