Saturday, October 14, 2006

NORTHERN WHITE RHINOS - Save The Rhino update

This month's "Save The Rhino" newsletter contained the following comment on the recent agreement with the LRA to help protect the last 4 critically endangered Northern White Rhinos in Garamba National Park.
In September, several newspapers and websites reported on a "deal" between conservationists and the rebel Lord's Resistance Army, which controls large areas of the DOC, to help save the final four Northern white rhinos in the world. This story is more complex than it first appeared.
Click here for the original story [The Guardian]
Click here for reaction [from Richard Burge of the African Parks Foundation]
Click here for an update on conservation in Garamba [African Parks Foundation]
The reaction from Richard Burge of the African Parks Foundation is enlightening...
The northern white rhinos are imperilled but at the moment are relatively safe - indeed they have never been in the areas of the park invaded by the Lord's Resistance Army. The main threat comes from organised and heavily armed local poachers and those crossing the border with Sudan. So while the negotiations with the LRA were doubtless done in good faith, they have not changed the situation.
This news is about as encouraging as one could expect given the perilous position that the Northern White Rhino is in. All we can do is hope that these special endangered animals can be pulled back from the brink one more time.

It's nearly 20 years since Douglas Adams wrote Last Chance To See. I hope it will be many more years before I have an Official extinction to report, although I expect the Baiji Dolphin news may come sooner rather than later.

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