Catch Rhinos To Save Them

KOTA KINABALU: Captive breeding of the Borneo Sumatran rhinos seems to be the way forward in preventing its extinction.

With an estimated 216 of the species left in Sabah and Indonesia, conservation groups want funding and captive breeding allowed.

If nothing is done, they claim the species can become extinct in two decades.

Endangered species: The Borneo Sumatran rhinos may become extinct in 20 years.

The groups that are making the call are Borneo Rhino Alliance, Land Empowerment Animals People, Resources Stewardship Consultants Sdn Bhd, Malaysian Nature So­cie­ty, TRAFFIC Southeast Asia and WWF-Malaysia.

Their appeal comes following the extinction of the Javan rhino in mainland Asia.

Leaving rhinos in the wild to be poached or die of old age, they say, is no longer an adequate approach in conservation.

The groups noted that such measures were necessary based on recent data from governments, non-governmental organisations and researchers indicating that the global Sumatran rhino population had declined from about 320 in 1995.

In their statement, they suggested a two-pronged approach based on a paper entitled “Now or never: what will it take to save the Sumatran rhinoceros Dicerorhinus Sumat­rensis from extinction?” published in the international conservation journal Oryx earlier this year.

The paper was presented by Ahmad Zafir and his colleagues in WWF-Malaysia, Sabah Wildlife Department and Yayasan Badak Indonesia.

“The argument is ethical, not economic,” said Ahmad. “Fossils show that something very similar to this form of rhino species had existed for about 20 million years, and we may be only a decade or two away from its extinction.”

http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2011/11/7/nation/9851793&sec=nation#13206264041001&if_height=309

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~ by narhvalur on November 7, 2011.

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