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article imageSumatran rhino declared extinct in Malaysia

By Owen Weldon     Aug 23, 2015 in Environment
The Sumatran rhino has been declared extinct by a recently published study and now their survival depends on fewer than 100 rhinos in Indonesia.
A study published earlier this month has deemed the Sumatran rhino, one of the rarest types of rhinos, to be extinct in the wild in Malaysia.
Since 2007, only two Sumatran rhinos have been spotted, and both of them were captured. They were both female and were taken for breeding purposes. The first rhino was captured in 2011 and the second rhino was captured two years after that.
One of the main reasons why the Sumatran rhino is extinct in Malaysia is because of poachers. There is a strong demand on the black market in Asia for their horns, and this has posed a serious threat to the Sumatran rhino.
The remaining Sumatran rhinos are viewed as a metapopulation, according to Rasmus Gren Havmoller, a PhD student at the Center for Macroecology, Evolution and Climate at the University of Copenhage. Metapopulation means the rhinos are managed under one program across both international and national borders.
Havmoller said that part of the solution to help bring the rhino back from the brink is to create management zones that boost protection against poaching, as well as relocating individual rhinos to improve the number of potential mates.
The fewer than 100 rhinos in Sumatra live in three separate populations. The study found that in one population, there was a 70 percent drop in distribution range, and that was for the last 10 years.
More about Sumatran extinct, Rhino, Extinct, rhino extinct, Malaysia
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