The IRF, SRI, and most parties agree:
* Wild populations of NWR are likely extinct in DRC and the Sudan
* The remaining eight individuals in captivity are not reproductively ideal
* Steps to preserve genetic material from the captive population are needed immediately
* Crossing NWR with SWR is the only remaining option
However, the IRF and SRI do not endorse the concept that the only way to succeed with this effort is to move the remaining animals to Africa.
Additional coverage at ECOWorldly.com and TimesOfTheInternet. Having recently watched the related TV series episode this was interesting timing.
The hope of the NWR Conservation Project is that relocating the rhinos to a natural environment will stimulate breeding - and preserve critical genetic material by allowing NWR to breed with the far more numerous Southern white rhino. In addition, AI options are being explored.
Proponents acknowledge that while there is no way to predict whether or not moving the rhinos to Africa will result in successful breeding, they also point out that captive southern white rhinos do not have a strong record of reproduction in captivity - and require “wild supplements” from time to time.