November 10, 2011
Western Black Rhino Of Africa Declared Extinct
The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) said on Thursday that the Western Black Rhino of Africa has been declared officially extinct.
The group said the Northern White Rhino of central Africa is also now "possibly extinct" in the wild and the Javan Rhino is "probably extinct" in Vietnam.
"A lack of political support and willpower for conservation efforts in many rhino habitats, international organized crime groups targeting rhinos and increasing illegal demand for rhino horns and commercial poaching are the main threats faced by rhinos," the group said in a statement.
The latest update is an addition of its "Red List" of endangered species.
IUCN said about a quarter of all mammals are at risk of extinction, and some species have been brought back from the brink with successful conservation programs.
The Southern White Rhino population was at 100 animals at the end of the 19th century, but it has flourished since and now has a population of 20,000.
The Przewalski's Horse, a type of wild horse from Central Asia, has come back from extinction after a successful breeding program in captivity.
The annual update of the Red List now holds more threatened species than ever before. The IUCN said that 25 percent of the world's mammals are at risk of extinction.
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