White rhino subspecies is down to one breeding male


#1

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#2

Y: The Last Rhino


#3

There are thousands of white rhinos, and the white rhino is not a subspecies but an entirely different species than the black rhino. Instead, it is the northern white rhino that is the subspecies being described.


#4

Her: Are you done yet? [eats grass]
Him: Unnnnggggg! [passes out and falls over]

No wonder there’s only one male left.


#5

Someone pitch RhinoHeart to Sean Connery.


#6

Send in the clones.


#7

There is a pair at the wild animal park in San Diego, but she apparently hated him. Sadly, I think that she is sliding towards death now.


#8

A species driven to extinction by superstition :frowning:


#9

The eastern black rhino is not far behind, down to just a few hundred in the wild. When I traveled there, I learned that Kenya does take poaching very seriously. (Fun fact: if a ranger finds someone poaching in Kenya they may be shot on sight! At least, that was the case when I was there.) Still, it is a losing battle, and many people are now saying they need to seriously step up their efforts.

The southern white rhino is doing well.


#10

Thanks, made that clarification!


#11

Still, the southern and norther subspecies are only distantly related.

Following the phylogenetic species concept, recent research has suggested the northern white rhinoceros may be an altogether different species, rather than a subspecies of white rhinoceros, in which case the correct scientific name for the former is Ceratotherium cottoni. Distinct morphological and genetic differences suggest the two proposed species have been separated for at least a million years.[15]


#12

Please tell me they’ve collected DNA samples from all 6 and sent them to labs for sequencing? Seriously, our descendants will be able to figure out what to do with that information if this too-small-to-be-really-viable population dies out.


#13

Every adolescent boy’s fantasy! I’m the last male on earth, and six beautiful female rhinoceri have a duty to reproduce…


#14

#15

The camerapeople are lucky he didn’t rough them up just for witnessing his humiliation.


#16

About 70K years ago, the population of humans dipped to 40 breeding pairs (by some estimates).


#17

Yes, I’ve heard that, and I remember (really digging deep into the literature ;)) from a documentary on cheetah’s I saw fifteen years ago that fifty individuals is about as small as a viable population can get, depending on genetic variance between individuals. One male and a handful females will probably be too much inbreeding for future generations to be healthy, unless we’re really lucky.


#18

Let’s think about the real tragedy here: the price of white rhino boner pills is now going to be out of reach of the average chinese consumer.


#19

Don’t worry, there are still enough tigers to meet the demand for now.


#20

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