Monday, June 02, 2008

Dr Jose Kalpers responds on Northern White Rhino numbers

In a further clarification to a recent Scotsman story about the numbers of Northern White Rhino, Dr Jose Kalpers, Country coordinator for DR Congo's African Parks Network wrote to the paper.
In your report, "Scots scientists to save one of rarest animals on the planet" (17 April), you wrongly state that there would be 13 northern white rhinos left in Garamba National Park. In fact, since August 2005, the working figure has been at only four rhinos, to which one can add five individuals in captivity (San Diego and Dvur Kralove).
Contrary to your report, habitat loss is not such an important issue in and around Garamba. Poaching is of course still a potential threat to which we continue to mobilise important resources. But the main hurdle to our conservation efforts is the insecurity that prevails in the region, in particular with the presence of the Lord's Resistance Army, a Ugandan rebel group that has been active in the area for almost three years.

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