Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Saving the last groups of wild Sumatran rhinoceros


Enhanced population survey techniques

Date:September 16, 2015

Source:University of Massachusetts at Amherst

Summary:Researchers carried out an island-wide survey of the last wild population of Sumatran rhinoceros, and now recommend that wildlife conservation managers consolidate the small population, provide strong protection for the animals, determine the percent of breeding females remaining and 'recognize the cost of doing nothing.'

Lead author Wulan Pusparini, a UMass Amherst environmental conservation doctoral student who also works for the WCS, says the new study provides vital data to support a final attempt to prevent the Sumatran rhino's extinction. She notes, "Sumatran rhinos can still be saved in the wild, but we must secure these protection zones, which would require significant investments in additional law enforcement personnel."

The study for the first time identifies priority forest protection zones "irreplaceable for saving the critically endangered species," the authors say, and identifies small and scattered populations that should be consolidated if they are to become viable. Details appear in the current issue of PLOS ONE.

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