Archive for May, 2008
As part of a relocation agreement between South Africa, Namibia and Zambia, five black rhinos were flown to Zambia on Wednesday.
Black rhinos are highly endangered and four of the five animals were selected from South Africa’s flagship game reserve, the Kruger National Park.
“This translocation shows that we are definitely committed to regional conservation and are certainly not xenophobic when it comes to creating more habitat for Africa’s endangered species,” said the Kruger’s managing executive, Dr Bandile Mkhize.
According to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), which has banned all international trade of rhino parts and products, there are less than 4 000 black rhinos in the wild today.
Most are found in South Africa, Namibia, Kenya and Zimbabwe.
Durban – “I feel like I’ve been swimming underwater for a long time and I’m finally coming up to the surface,” says Kirsten Bond.
Bond can remember nothing about September 20 2004, the day her life changed forever. “I can’t even remember waking up that morning,” she says. “All I remember is waking up in hospital roughly 40 days later.”
Bond had been working as a research technician at the game capture bomas in the Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Park for Wayne Linklater, a PhD student funded by San Diego Zoo and the University of Port Elizabeth (now Nelson Mandela University).
Her last sample
He was focusing his main study on the stress levels and behaviour of black rhino, which were being relocated to the Phinda-Munyawana Private Game Reserve.
Kota Kinabalu: The continued survival of the endangered Sumatran rhino is one of the main reasons the State Government shot down the proposed coal-fired power plant in Silam, Lahad Datu.
State Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Masidi Manjun, who disclosed this, said it was not an easy decision considering that Sabah is currently facing a power shortage problem.
“But finally, we thought, we can have a power plant built anywhere but we cannot have a rhino anywhere,” he said, assuring that the State Government will continue to preserve all wildlife in Sabah.
“In the recently-launched Sabah Development Corridor (SDC) 2008-2025, the rhino rescue programme was high on the State agenda,” he said.
He also directed the department to spearhead a State-level rhino conservation task force to develop an action plan and embark on a rhino breeding programme based on the sanctuary concept similar to Indonesia’s.
HUNTING for rhinoceros in the 16th century was quite a business. There were no sporting rifles or telescopic sights. Instead the animals, short-sighted and short-fused, were trapped in holes in the forests of Java, Sumatra and India and killed with sticks.
Still, it was worth the effort. Rhinos were thought to be related to the unicorn, and their amber-hued horn was believed to crack or change colour if it came into contact with poison. This made rhinoceros horn much sought after for drinking cups. The raw material was more costly than gold, and only the finest carvers were commissioned to work on it.
Many cups have been ground down over time for the supposed medicinal properties of the horn, but about 4,000 survive. Most are in museums in France, Britain and Israel, as well as Ireland, where the Chester Beatty Library in Dublin has probably the most beautiful collection in the world.
Only two elephants have been poached from the Kruger National Park during the past four years, but as many as 44 white rhinos have been taken, according to figures supplied in Parliament today by Environmental Affairs and Tourism Minister Marthinus van Schalkwyk.
Giving a written reply to a question from Gareth Morgan, the Democratic Alliance spokesman, Van Schalkwyk told him that two crocodiles and one hippo were poached in that time.
The worst hit species was the impala, which lost 109 individuals in the four years.
Thirty-one other antelopes were also taken.
Three lion were poached in 2006, and another was stolen earlier in 2004.
The only other national park where poaching was a problem (apart from the marine parks where abalone were constantly under pressure) was Addo Park, which lost kudu, bush buck, bush pig, warthog, common duiker, porcupine and also abalone, though no figures were given.
Source: The Times, 9 May 2008
A white rhino thought by keepers to be on the small side and sickly when born in March has fought his way back to full health.
The 55th white rhino born at Whipsnade Zoo in Bedfordshire since 1970 now weighs in at about 100kg (220lbs).
His mother Clara has fed the six-week-old since he was born and he has rapidly put on weight.
They made a first official appearance together this week but the baby calf has still to be named, the zoo said.
BBC News 30 April 2008