Monday, September 06, 2010

Another way to conserve?

An interesting article in the Economist. An alternative to statist legislation, a more free market way to conserve. This is not a new idea. See this 60 minutes piece. Once again alternate solutions should be considered to the ones which have failed.

ONLY eight specimens of the northern white rhino are left alive on the planet, and they are all in captivity. The handful that remained in the wild in Congo have not been seen in years; they are almost certainly dead. A final effort to save the sub-species earlier this year saw four northern whites shipped from a zoo in the Czech Republic to the Ol Pejeta conservancy on the Laikipia reserve in Kenya.

The senses of these rhinos had been dulled by the cold concrete of Slav zoo life. In Africa, by contrast, they found themselves under open skies, with wild browse, the trees filled with weaver birds, the red soil interrupted with termite mounds and the land sweeping away to the icy peak of Mount Kenya. In such an environment the hearing of the rhinos soon sharpened and their agility returned. “They became wild again,” says Berry White, a rhino expert who oversaw the move.

Yet the chances of saving the northern white are remote. Short of re-engineering it from frozen samples in the future, the best hope of preserving its genetic stock is to breed the last individuals with southern whites. That means the end of a creature that has probably been distinct for a million years. Indeed, the decline of the African rhino—which includes the black rhino as well as the white—is among the sorriest and most instructive tales in conservation....

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

If Humans killed them then we owe them their survival using human technology. We played god when we made them extinct and we can play god to bring them back from extinction. I pray the day comes they can roam in Africa again. Not sure but I did see some sort of white rhinos in Aftica Lion Safari (outside Hamilton), this summer but don't know if it's the same creature or not. (real conservative)

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