Population Matters

Western black rhino declared extinct

Western black rhino declared extinct

The western black rhinoceros was officially declared extinct by the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) Red List this week.

According to the nonprofit organization, Save The Rhino, however, the subspecies of the black rhinoceros was given the proclamation two years ago in 2011.

Even that status change was in some ways late. The IUCN had enough evidence to declare western black rhinos extinct in 2006, but the conservation group typically waits five years before making a significant change in case of new evidence, Save The Rhino reported.

To find the last time western black rhinos were seen in the wild, one has to go even further back to 2003, according to Save The Rhino (other breaking stories list the last sighting as 2006). The remaining rhinos were confined to a small region of Cameroon and eventually killed by poachers.

Poaching was the main reason for their demise and continues to threaten the remaining three subspecies of the black rhino (the eastern black, the south central black, and the southwestern black). Consumers in Asia, mostly Vietnam, covet the rhinos almost exclusively for their horns, which they hold as a symbol of status and believe to be a cure for cancer and hangovers, according to Save The Rhino.

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Read the rest of this article at: www.universityherald.com

Read more on this issue: declining biodiversity

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