Kleine Ergänzung zum World Rhino Day – Paper Review

BLOG: Vom Hai gebissen

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Vom Hai gebissen
Do you remember the World Rhino Day? Of course you do, because i published an article about a rhino paper concerning the differences between the northern white rhino and the southern form on that day. You know, i love those animals and already mentioned them a couple of times here in my blog – and I read even more about them for sure. So i´m feeling pretty good informed, concerning populations and so on.
When I started reading the paper, i was a bit confused in the beginning…
"As much a cause for celebration the conservation success of the Southern white rhino is, equally shocking and dire is the fate of the Northern white rhino. After recovering from a handful of survivors at the turn of the 20th century, the Southern form escaped relatively unscathed from the large-scale African rhino poaching epidemic of the 1980s. In contrast, the once tolerably numerous Northern form has been reduced to a tiny remnant (less than 20) in the Garamba National Park, Democratic Republic of Congo, and a similar number in two zoos. Teetering on the brink of extinction, its in-situ and ex-situ survival hang by a thread. Urgent and concerted effort is required to stave off its extinction. The taxonomic status of the Northern form is central to determining its conservation importance and will be a critical driver of efforts to save it."
Huh? I only knew about 7 remaining northern white rhinos. Four of them are living in the Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Keny, one is still at Dvur Kralove Zoo and 2 of them are in San Diego Zoo. So what about more of them? To make sure, i didn´t miss a few, i wrote an email to Colin Groves and felt instantly better, when he told me, that I was right. But in his opinion, there could be still a few nothern white ones out there – not many of course, but a few. Wouldn´t that be great? 
I really need such news, although it is not sure at all, but time is running. The last northern white rhinos in zoos are too old to reproduce and Sudan, Suni, Fatu and Najin don´t seem to feel (have?) any need to have some fun – from a scientist´s point of view it is all about sex in this case – or do it with southern ones like Sudan…It is hard for me to believe in a pregnancy within the next couple of months. You have to keep in mind that a rhino-pregnany takes 16 months and they are not getting younger.
I would be glad to read about researchers and ranchers, traveling to Africa to make sure, what´s up there and – in case there are still existing wild ones – to protect them…
Thanks to Colin Groves for taking time to answer my questions.

Kleine Anmerkung dazu: Als ich Colin fragte, ob ich diese kleine Ergänzung zum Paper schreiben dürfe, wollte er vorab einen Blick drauf werfen, weshalb der Artikel auf Englisch ist. All zu schwer verständlich sollte er aber nicht sein. Ansonsten fragen…


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Wissenschafts- und Agrarblogger seit 2009 – eher zufällig, denn als „Stadtkind“ habe ich zur Landwirtschaft keine direkten Berührungspunkte. Erste Artikel über Temple Grandin und ihre Forschungen zum Thema Tierwohl wurden im Blog dann allerdings meiner überwiegend ebenfalls nicht landwirtschaftlichen Leserschaft derart positiv aufgenommen, dass der Entschluss zu einer stärkeren Beschäftigung mit der Landwirtschaft gefallen war. Auch spätere Besuche bei Wiesenhof und darauf folgende Artikel konnten die Stimmung nicht trüben. Seit 2015 schreibe ich auch gelegentlich für das DLG-Blog agrarblogger.de, teile meine Erfahrung in der Kommunikation als Referent und trage nebenbei fleißig weitere Literatur zum Thema Tierwohl zusammen. Auf Twitter bin ich unter twitter.com/roterhai unterwegs.

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