Every week, we are being hammered through a news related to species extinction – most of them are dumb animals. This time, a sad news for animal lovers, as one more rarest animal has been listed in the extinction list. Also known as Dicerorhinus sumatrensis, Sumatran rhinos are of the three species of rhinos native to Asia. It is also the smallest species of all the living five species of rhinos.
In the past, Sumatran rhinos could be found across southeast Asia. However, because of the increased hunting and habitat loss in the past few years, this species has become one of the rarest species of large mammals in the world.
Scientists have now confirmed that the Sumatran rhino is now extinct in Malaysia. The survival of the entire species now depends on less than 100 rhinos that remain in the wild in Indonesia and nine that under captivity.
The scientists reached in the decision after conducting intense surveys to determine if there were any rhinos left roaming the country. Unfortunately, no sign of a Sumatra rhinoceros has been seen in Malaysia since 2007 apart from two captured for breeding purpose.
“It is vital for the survival of the species that all remaining Sumatran rhinos are viewed as a meta population, meaning hat all are managed in a single program across national and international borders in order to maximize overall birth rate” said Rasmus Gren Havmoller, from the Center for Macro-ecology, Evolution and Climate.
“This includes the individuals currently held in captivity” Rasmus added, who is the lead author of the report declaring the extinction published in Oryx, the International journal of Conservation.
Rhinos once roamed freely in southeast Asia, but due to the high value of their horns in the black market, they have been relentlessly poached by hunters.
“The tigers in India was saved from extinction due to the direct intervention of Mrs. Gandhi, the then prime minister, who set up Project Tiger,” said Christy Williams, co-author and coordinator of the WWF Asian and Rhino and Elephant Action Strategy.
“A similar high level intervention by President Joko Widodo of Indonesia could help pull the Sumatran rhinos back from the brink,” she added.