Posts Tagged With: Extinction

Only 3 rhinos left?!

Here’s a little clarity with the  “last white rhinos”…

There are five species of rhinos:

  • Javan
  • Sumatran
  • Greater one-horn (or Indian)
  • Black
  • White

Within the white rhinos species, there are two subspecies: the Northern whites and the Southern whites.

Southern white rhinos at the San Diego Zoo

There are no more than 20,000 SOUTHERN white rhinos left in Africa. However, poaching has taken a quicker toll on the NORTHERN whites. With the recent passing of Nola, the northern white rhino at the San Diego Zoo, there are now only 3 Northern white rhinos left on the planet.

The remaining three are under constant guard at Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya.

four northerns 2

Northern white rhino under guard at OPC

LAST DITCH EFFORT FOR THE SPECIES

A few weeks ago, 6 southern white rhinos were flown from Africa to San Diego, California as part of an attempt to re-populate the northern white rhinos.

The plan involves implanting an embryo of a northern white rhino into a southern white. Researchers estimate it could take 10-15 years for the project to bear a successful birth.

We proudly support Ol Pejeta Conservancy and their protection of not just the remaining Northern white rhinos, but as part of one of the most successful black rhino sanctuaries in east Africa.

Please consider purchasing an ornament, a piece of art, making a donation or remember us when using Amazon smile. 100% of profits benefit Ol Pejeta, the Black Mambas, or one of our individual conservation campaigns.

 

 

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Legal Trade: Is it worth the gamble?

It seems time to address the idea of legal horn trade again.  We understand the desire to try almost anything to save our rhinos. But it is our opinion that entertaining legal trade is not one of them.  There are far more reasons why legalizing rhino horn is a BAD idea.

#1 The number of rhinos left does NOT support the extreme demand for horn.

#2 We KNOW by flooding the market with something, it does not alleviate the demand, but on the contrary, increases it. Case and point-bears and tigers. China’s “farming” of them, has only expanded the market, in addition to leaving the animals in horrible health, with shortened lives (see The Legal Trade Myths: Debunked by Annamiticus)

#3 Members of CITES would need to approve the measure, which they have all spoken up on with a definite NO, including China.

not a chance

#4  Not all animals are easily farmed. Rhinos succumb to conditions in close quarters with one another, in which they are unaffected by in the wild. In addition, it is a costly endeavor, both for veterinary and security costs. Most individuals would not even be able to achieve this. (see: The Road to Hell is Paved with Good Intentions)

#5 Certain Asian communities ONLY want wild rhino horn. The mindset is that it is more valued because it is harder to come by. Therefore farmed horn will be meaningless to them.

#6 Corruption is rampant not only in South Africa, but in so much having to do with rhino horn. IF trade were legalized, WHO is trusted to police the system? Even during the time ivory was allowed legally in a one-off sale, there was corruption and selling of illegal ivory. (see AWF Ivory)

#7 Asian attitudes on horn are changing, more awareness is taking hold. By making horn legal for a short time then pulling it back off the market, it stands to confuse consumers, re-fuel current demand, as well as possibly reaching a larger market because of the legality.

Hanoi airport

One-off sales have not worked before, there is no evidence to show it would work now. In fact, the opposite is true. If we are serious about stopping poaching, we must stop the demand. It must be loud, clear and forceful that trade and demand are NOT options.

At the very least the idea of legal trade is an enormous risk. It is an action where there is no turning back, and if the worst case scenarios are realized, the rhinos would be gone forever.

rhino crash running

 

 

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World Ranger Day – THANK YOU

world ranger day

The depth of our gratitude is endless, as these people put it all on the line, affording the rest of us more time to rack our brains to come up with a solution. We are indebted to them all for their perseverance and very existence, as without them we would never fully possess our sanity, let alone be able to sleep. To know they are there, on guard, watching, listening; it is a comfort like no other.

Thank you for your hearts, your strength. KNOW we stand beside you during the patrols, in the silence of the night, in the heat of the forest, during times of fear, fatigue, and despair. You are each an inspiration, a hero.

Thank you for everything you do. You are a blessing to the animals. May God keep you safe. -Gerri

Thank you to all the wonderful Rangers that perform such a dedicated job to help save the rhinos from poachers! -Jo Wiest

Thank you rangers! -Lisa Chien Hunkler

The entire Fabrily Team would like to extend our gratitude to the brave Rangers who risk their lives daily to protect our planet’s precious wildlife. Thanks to your efforts rhinos, elephants, lions and many more species are being saved from extinction. Please continue this important work and know that you’ve got our appreciation and support!  ~ Fabrily Team, UK

I visited South Africa in August 2014 and it changed me forever.  I was incredibly moved by the amazing creatures who live in the protected areas.  I became overwhelmed by the amount of nature we have lost on this planet.  And it saddened me greatly.  It still does. I don’t know how to thank you adequately for working to protect what’s left.  I know you put your lives on the line every day to protect animals from harm.  Please know that although I’ve never met you, I think of you all often, and I wish you well. I live in the state of Kentucky, in the USA.  From my small town I’m working to raise money for night vision equipment for rangers.  My group, the Try Anything Rhino Project, has already purchased one piece of equipment that has arrived in South Africa in the last week or two.  I’m now working to raise funds to buy more. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for what you do.  You are all heroes.  I appreciate you more than you’ll ever know!! -Marla Knight-Dutille

 Please give our heartfelt thanks to all he Ranger Heroes out there! Wildlife Guardians, protectors of our precious wildlife, the world is forever in your debt. You truly are Guardian Angels for Wildlife -Thank you so much from Rebecca Bush & Family, UK
rangers 1
Thank you from the depths of my heart. The Indian rhino tattoo on my ankle is a reminder of these magnificent creatures who deserve the right to be free from humans. -Arden Zalman
Where do we begin? Because of YOU these lives carry on… THANK YOU for your dedication!!!! -Carla Viljoen
Thank You Rangers for your dedication and love of Animals. -Norma Crichton
We will never meet or talk, but you are in my mind and heart.  You have my admiration, respect, and gratitude.
I do what I can in the ways that I can, but YOU are the everyday living presence that does the work that will save so much in our world.Thank you, thank you.  I send good thoughts for your safety, health, strength, and peace. Catherine;Santa Rosa, California, USA
A huge thank you for all that you do to protect the vulnerable and magnificent creatures that share this world with us. You are true heroes-Sara Wickenden
Thank you Rangers for your brave efforts to protect wildlife.-Jean du Ross
We need companionate like you to protect these beautiful creatures.  May God Bless and protect you and the animals you care for. Thank you for your dedication and service-Dan Seme
You are the true protectors of our future.you might not know this but your efforts and true love you have for our animals are what keeps the planet alive.thank you from the bottom of my heart.you are true heros -Brendon Hoy
ranger with gorilla
Hello all your wildlife rangers, we want to say a big “THANK YOU” to you all for helping animals! You all are our HEROES!!! –Susanna Sikorski and Jens Strohkirch from Germany

TO ALL OF YOU WHO DO THIS HARD WORK- THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!! I read about as much as I can about your efforts, which are saving so many animals lives—at the same time, you have to deal with criminals who don’t care about anything but greed—so I just say a huge THANK YOU FOR ALL YOUR EFFORTS TO HELP KEEP ALLTHE MAGNIFICENT CREATURES ALIVE—I PERSONALLY AM EXTREMELY GRATEFUL FOR ALL YOUR EFFORTS—Louise Smith

Rangers, I have the privilege of witnessing daily on WildEarth’s wildsafarilive.com, the love and care guides & rangers have for your wildlife.  I am blessed that I am able to witness ellies, lions, leopards, etc. thanks to the hard work and dedication you all put into your daily lives.  If it wasn’t for you, WE would have nothing to see and admire.  🙂 Keep up  the great work so WE can continue to be in awe.  WE are rooting for you, and praying for your safety and success.  Words cannot express enough, but I can say THANK YOU!Blessings, Vicky Sanders, New Mexico USA

To all the Rangers in the World, You’re true guardians of the Earth and the vital eco-systems we need to desperately protect. I’m heart broken for the tragedy in your work but we must all fight for your triumphs. -Thank you, Paula

KWS rangers line up

 

It is not money, goodwill or millions of people who care so much about wildlife, that actually saves it. That all helps, tremendously; but it is the rangers who actually save our animals. I have never had so much respect for anyone. Thank you! -Jenna Grant

Thank you for all that you do to protect our most precious and endangered wildlife. Thank you for doing your best to keep them safe and sound. You are the extraordinary and elite. I wish you many blessings and thanks. -Love Always, Susan
Thank you so much for all your hard work and dedication to help saving these animals. We all owe you so much.  -Anita
My heart breaks so much each time I read a horrendous poaching story. But it heals each time I hear of the wonderful work you do. Humanity must respect all animals, who give so much to us. Respect their habitat, their spirit and their being. We are all in this together. Thank you a million times over! -Janis Byrne
Thanks for your effort, love and hearts in action towards Rhino protection. Hope for the best outcome in their and your lives in harmony and soon! Love to you all. Many thanks all the way from Argentina. 🙂 -Marita  ❤ 😉
I’d like to thank you for all that you do. You are in my heart, and I am certain in the hearts of every adult and child who has ever reflected on the importance of the preservation of the Earth that we all share and belong to. The feeling of struggle is progressively relieved with every animal that is protected. This helps us all, even economically. We love you! -Santos of California
Zambia female officer
You are protectors of those animals who need you. You are their voice. Without you, they would be gone. I can’t thank you enough for the service you do. Bless you. Please have hope and love in your hearts. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!! -Kari Tucker
You’re great at what you’re doing! Keep doing it because we need these animals! They’re important to a lot of people and what you guys are doing is an amazing thing! -Hannah
To my heroes – Thank you for all that you do every day to stop poachers and care for the animals that survive this horrific crime.  What you do for these majestic animals is so amazing.  I can only hope to someday see these animals with my own eyes in their own habitat and it will be because of your efforts.  And if I don’t ever get to see them, knowing that they are still alive because of your efforts is all I really need.  Thank you for saving these beautiful animals. Best-Abbie

Thank you for all you do to protect these beautiful creatures. Full of admiration for your bravery and dedication x Best wishes-Amy G

Beyond thanking you, I am unsure what else to say. You are protecting the inalienable rights, life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness, of the wildlife. They lack a voice our society to request the protections which we enjoy and take for granted. Please continue your fine work and let the rest of us know how to better assist you.
Thank you. Sincerely, Ken
ranger with rhino near hand
I want you to know that if I was able I would be there to help. You are an inspiration in this cruel world. What you are doing is truly remarkable and I hope that you continue to save and protect these magnificent creatures. We are losing our beautiful animals on this planet at such a rapid rate it is horrific. Unfortunately mankind carries on. Thank you for all that you do. Keep up the fight. Thank you. –Sandra Mason, Mono, Ontario

On World Ranger Day  my  message of thanks goes to all those men and women who are prepared to lay their lives for the protection of their country’s wildlife heritage. This is often done enduring hardships and difficult conditions , for disproportionately low salaries. Their dedication is often overshadowed by other figures (‘the experts’) who provide technical and scientific knowledge for Nature conservation. Governments , in any country, should make it a priority to provide better conditions for these men and women, the game rangers: not only for the purpose of incentivizing an increasingly important profession, but also to express a nation’s gratitude for their sacrifice. Rangers are aware of the high risks they face , especially where poaching is conducted with extreme determination and violence,  and their choice of enforcing the law makes their work even more commendable. Thank you, for you are today’s heroes for tomorrow’s enjoyment of Nature by our children! –Silvana Olivo, France

Thank you wonderful folks, I appreciate all that you are doing! Bless you, may your lord be with you always! Thank you again! –Carol D

Thank you for your courage and commitment to protect the most endangered animals on the planet. It takes a special kind of person to be a wildlife ranger! –Yasmine Saad

Thank you so much for all that you do to protect our wildlife. Our national and state parks, and the plants and animals within them, are a treasure that you work so hard to preserve and protect—that does not go unnoticed or unappreciated! Your service means the world :)-Sophia D

Thanks so much for all you do to protect our planet! This World Ranger Day, and every day, let us never forget those who have given their lives to protect our wildlife and environment from poachers, polluters, and others intent on causing harm. Your bravery and sacrifices will not be forgotten! –Jeremy Taylor, Ravena, NY USA

So many of you sent support and appreciation for our rangers. We will be sending these messages to our friends at Ol Pejeta Conservancy, the Black Mambas APU, Game Reserves United (GRU) & RPU Program in Indonesia.

To further support our efforts with them, please purchase our limited edition summer tee: FIGHT FOR THE RHINOS YOU LOVE tees

 

Categories: Making a Difference, Ranger Heroes, Rhino Ramblings | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Vote for your favorite!

Rhino tee lover and fighter

Tev rhino tee logo

 

rhino tee dsign

1-Kids image one

 

1-kids image two

 

Winning design will be featured on our summer tees! Vote for the tee you want to wear. Voting ends on July 7th. Share with your friends.

As usual, all proceeds from the tees will directly benefit our rhino conservation projects.

Categories: Rhino Ramblings | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Happy Fathers Day Andalas

Andalas is not just any rhino dad. What makes him special is the fact he was the first Sumatran rhino born in captivity in 112 years! At 6 years of age he was moved to the Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary (SRS) in south Sumatra.

Andalas

Andalas photo: Asian Rhino Project

His transition from zoo to jungle presented some challenges. He didn’t know how to wallow in mud holes, wasn’t used to browsing for his own food, or having such a variety of it. It took time for his caregivers to teach him these vital skills.

He was also initially scared of other rhinos and ran when they came near. Not quite a lady’s man, he was overly aggressive to the females. After guidance and socialization skills from the staff, he was gradually introduced to two female rhinos.

He chose Ratu. In 2012 he and Ratu became parents to Andatu, the first rhino ever born at SRS.

It is hopeful he will be able to duplicate that success with other females.

Baby Andatu in 2012

Baby Andatu in 2012. photo:International Rhino Foundation

 

 

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Elephant Size awareness in Times Square

In 2013, a massive campaign for awareness was launched. The goal: a giant digital billboard in Times Square, New York to raise awareness to the massive crisis of elephant and rhino poaching.

elephant in times square

The campaign raised the necessary $25,000 and the billboard ran for a month, once every 2 minutes, 24 hours a day, exposing the message to thousands of people.

Now two years later, Times Square will serve as the center of attention again for the New York ivory crush. 1 ton of ivory will be pulverized today as a symbol of the USA’s commitment to stop wildlife trafficking.  According to the Fish and Wildlife Service, most of the pieces are large statues and tusks confiscated in seizures in Philadelphia and New York.

ivory crush denver

Denver, Colorado ivory crush in 2013

This is the second public crush for the US, the first was a destruction of 6 tons in Colorado in 2013.

According to the group ’96 elephants’, since 1989, 13 nations have burned and crushed almost 150 tons of confiscated ivory, which represents slightly more than 13,600 elephants.

 

 

 

 

 

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The Last Male on Earth

Imagine as a male being the last of your kind… you, 2 females, and a handful of other creatures surrounding you. This is the life of Sudan, the last male Northern White Rhino on the planet.

At the ripe age of 42, this old-timer is spending the last of his days at Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya. He is a calm and relaxed old rhino, who enjoys the company of Mohammed and Esagon, his keepers who care for him around the clock. He responds to their voices and their presence is extremely calming to him.

Mohammed and Esagon

Mohammed and Esagon with Sudan

 

His days are spent alternating between his own enclosure and a larger area with both Fatu and Najin, the two females. When in their presence, he seems to prefer time with Najin.

Where most white rhinos are munching on grass, this is not his favorite; as he prefers Lucerne  (alfalfa), carrots, bananas and pellets. And why not? As the one and only of his kind, shouldn’t he get his favorites?

His relaxation and comfort only waver with  an unfamiliar person’s scent in his presence or when he is startled, like being approached from behind. Like many animals, the unfamiliar agitates him.

sudan 1

Sudan munching on one of his lesser favorites-grass

 

These are his days; fed, secure, cared for until the end. But the end is coming too soon. And the end of Sudan symbolizes the extinction of the Northern White Rhinos.

2014 Oct: Suni, the male at Ol Pejeta died at 34.

2014 Dec: Angalifu, the male at SanDiego died at 44.

With both Najin (18) and Fatu (29) getting on in age, they too are living in an hourglass, the sands of time the only enemy that rivals a poacher.

The heartbreak and loneliness we feel for him…his fate making him unique; does he feel it? Does he on some level know he is different?

As Ol Pejeta states : There’s no way to truly ascertain this. But we try to the extent that is possible to ensure that he is not alone. He is always in the company of his keepers or his sister rhinos, Najin and Fatu.

Ol Pejeta is caring for these precious rhinos, as well as being the largest black rhino sanctuary in East Africa. Fight for Rhinos supports their efforts . To help, please donate to Fight for Rhinos or to Ol Pejeta’s Running for Rhinos campaign.

For more on the Northern Whites: Watching the Sun Set on a Species,  What Happened to the Northern Whites?

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Watching the sun set on a Species

Northern whites in sunset tony karumba AFP

Northern whites at Ol Pejeta. by Tony Karumba

Plan A was to make conditions as perfect as possible to breed the last remaining Northern White Rhinos.  Ol Pejeta did everything they could to make that a possibility.

Plan B was to cross-breed the Northern whites with the Southern whites to at least perpetuate this precious gene pool. Somehow they would still live on; their genes remaining part of rhino populations to come.

But for the last living male, Sudan, and the two remaining females, Najin and daughter Fatu, this will not be an option. All three are getting on in age. Najin (25) has weak knees and cannot endure the breeding attempts. In a cruel twist of fate,  Fatu (14) is infertile, and Sudan (38) has weak sperm.

Sudan

The last male Northern White Rhino on the planet, Sudan. by: Ed Barthorp/Ol Pejeta Conservancy

 

So now what? There’s no superman, no magical 11th hour miracle, no known options left to us. THIS is extinction. Watch, appreciate and admire them while they breathe.

Human greed and ego have slaughtered this species to the point of irreversible catastrophe.  We are witnessing the last of the Northern White Rhinos. It is inevitable.

But the big question is- Will we learn from it? Will we allow it to happen again? The Sumatrans, the Javans..they are dangerously close to the same fate. Black, White and Greater One-horned rhinos aren’t much further behind them.

We must not let the Northern Whites die in vain. It is our duty to learn from them, and to prevent the future decimation of rhinos and other species on our planet. The future of rhinos is NOT doomed, it is in the balance, waiting for us to determine the outcome. Vigilance, commitment and determination can preserve the rhinos, and in the end, our own fates as well.

You can be a part of the final days by “adopting” the Northern Whites at Ol Pejeta: Adopt a Northern White Rhino. Proceeds are used on their care, as well as care of the other rhinos at Ol Pejeta.

 

 

 

 

 

Categories: Making a Difference, Rhino Ramblings | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments

Possibility of Success in Rhino Conservation

White Rhino, Photographed in the Kruger National Park South Africa

White rhino crash by Etienne Osthuizen

The Southern White Rhinos

Just over a hundred years ago the southern white rhinos were on the verge of complete extinction, with less than 20 rhinos remaining. Hunting by Dutch and English settlers had taken a devastating toll.

In 1895, the area of these rhinos, which is now Hluhluwe-Umfolozi Park in South Africa, officially became a protected zone. After rebounding slightly, by the mid 20th century additional measures were taken.

Operation Rhino: The operation was headed by Dr. Ian Player. Breeding groups of rhino were captured and relocated. They were moved to Kruger National Park, private reserves, and even zoos. The goal was to reestablish viable populations. It worked.

By 1960 there were 650 southern white rhinos, by 2010 there were 18,800. Today’s current population estimates are at 20,000.

white rhino population growth graph

 

Ian Player INLSA

Ian Player (INSLA)

As a game warden, Dr. Player worked tirelessly to relocate rhinos.  Among his many accomplishments, he established a successful anti-poaching network in South African game reserves which resulted in an impressive reduction in poaching. His efforts were the root of the success for today’s ecotourism in South Africa.

Rhino Today

Kruger National Park appears to be attempting the same strategy for the black and white rhinos today. Relocation of rhinos to private reserves, and neighboring countries seems a logical, albeit costly and difficult maneuver.

It is a daily saga that leaves us angry, heartbroken, but always hopeful.

What Has History Taught Us?

1.There will always be hunters, poachers and greedy, short-sighted men.

2. There are not enough Ian Players in the world, but in the right time and place they surface to achieve insurmountable things. They are here to teach us. By this teaching, we know it IS possible to save the rhino. 

So ultimately it is up to us. The poachers will not go away, but neither will the people who want to protect wildlife. Their future is undoubtedly in our hands. For those of us trying right the ship, Ian Player’s spirit is is alive in us and together we have more than a fighting chance at saving our rhinos.

White Rhino, Photographed in the Kruger National Park South Africa

    “Conservation is not a plaything, or a luxury, or something new. It is survival” -Dr. Ian Player

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Change for Rhinos Starts TODAY

So much of the fight for rhinos starts with awareness. It is amazing how many people simply don’t know about their danger of extinction!

We all know there is strength in numbers. So let’s start the new year with a bang. Each of you reading this post- Fight for Rhinos challenges you to post one of our messages OR one of your own! Tweet or FB- reach out to the world.

We can stem the poaching. Change starts with YOU. Don’t wait. Do just one thing today.

Rhino facts

 

50 mill years

unless mom is killed

 

extinction is forever

 

Categories: Making a Difference, Rhino Ramblings | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

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