Extinction of Javan Rhinos in Vietnam


The last known Javan rhinoceros from the subspecies Rhinoceros sondaicus annamiticus was found dead in Vietnam with its horn cut off, most likely a victim of poachers. Another subspecies, The Indian Javan rhino (R. sondaicus inermis), is believed to have gone extinct in the early 20th century.

With only about 50 members left from the Indonesian subspecies, R. sondaicus sondaicus, in West Java, the outlook for these animals is bleak.

BBC News

CP Groves, DM Leslie. Rhinoceros sondaicus (Perissodactyla: Rhinocerotidae). Mammalian Species, 43(1):190-208. 2011.

Ramono, W., Isnan, M. W., M., Sadjudin, H.R, Gunawan, H, Dahlan, E.N., Sectionov, Pairah, Hariyadi, A.R., Syamsudin, M., Talukdar, B.K., and Gillison, A.N. 2009. Report on a Second Habitat Assessment for the Javan Rhinoceros (Rhinoceros sondaicus sondaicus) within the Island of Java. International Rhino Foundation, Yulee, FL, USA.


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But what we really need to know is, do they taste good?

By Vince Whirlwind (not verified) on 02 Nov 2011 #permalink

They need to send teams out to cut off all elephant tusks and rhino horns and flood the market with them. The money then pays for these teams to continue to keep the tusks and horns trimmed to rob these murderers of their livelihood. Keep on doing it until the market is itself extinct; then they let 'em grow their horns & tusks back.

IW: de-horning the rhinos was a farcical failure for many reasons, among them being that rational market forces have no input on the sort of voodoo-minded pagans who want the horns. Poachers get the same payments for shooting de-horned rhinos and bringing in the ears as proof of a kill. The goal is to exterminate the species in order to make hoarded horns more valuable--setting the traders up like the spice merchants in "Dune." There's also the problem that rhino calf mortality increases with de-horning, because mothers cannot defend them as successfully from predators. The whole effort was a stupid and self-destructive waste and must never be used again. The chainsaws involved could be put to much better use on poachers' hands.

Quibble: 'Local extinction' is called 'extirpation'.

By snooty pedant (not verified) on 20 Nov 2011 #permalink