Queen's researcher finds situation dire for threatened rhino species

Aug 03, 2012

Peter de Groot hopes his recent finding confirming the extinction of the Javan rhinoceros in Vietnam pushes the public to protect the last remaining group of these prehistoric creatures living in Indonesia.

"We still have a chance to save the species but before we do anything, we have to determine the profile of the remaining group," he says.

Dr. de Groot, Peter Boag and colleagues confirmed the demise of the Javan rhinoceros population living in Vietnam by analyzing animal dung collected with the assistance of special dung detection dogs. Using genetic tools developed at Queens and Cornell, they determined only one Javan rhinoceros was living in Vietnam in 2009. That rhinoceros was found dead the following year.

Drs. de Groot, Boag and other researchers are now working to save a group of 29 Javan rhinoceroses currently living in a tiny area called Ujon Kolong in Indonesia. They will use the rhinoceros feces collected by fellow researchers to determine the age, sex and pedigree of this group. This research will provide a direction to try to save the remaining population of one of the most threatened large in the world.

This work is part of Drs. de Groot and Boag's ongoing initiative to develop that can assist in the conservation and management of all rhino species in Africa and Asia. Through the integration of non-invasive field data collected with the help of local and with collaborators in the US , France, Africa and Asia they are developing inclusive methods to accurately monitor and conserve our shared .

Dr. de Groot's research was published in .

Explore further: PacifiCorp Energy pleads guilty in bird deaths (Update)

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Rhino poached to extinction in Vietnam: WWF

Oct 25, 2011

A critically endangered species of rhino has been poached to extinction in Vietnam, wildlife groups said Tuesday after the country's last Javan rhino was found dead with its horn hacked off.

Rhino poaching surges in Asia, Africa

Dec 01, 2009

Rhino poaching worldwide is on the rise, according to a new report by TRAFFIC and the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

New tracking approach will help protect polar bears

Jun 18, 2009

A new approach to tracking polar bears, developed by Queen's University researchers, will shed more light on the potentially endangered Arctic animal and help boost the economy of Canada's north.

Diet may be affecting rhino reproduction

Mar 21, 2012

Southern white rhinoceros populations, once thriving in zoos, have been showing severely reduced reproductivity among the captive-born population. San Diego Zoo Global researchers have a possible lead into why the southern ...

Last chance to save the saola from extinction?

Sep 03, 2009

Conservation biologists based in four countries gathered for an emergency meeting in Vientiane, Lao PDR, August 19, to address the peril of extinction facing one the world's most enigmatic mammals, the Saola.

Recommended for you

Study finds tropical fish moving into temperate waters

Dec 19, 2014

Tropical herbivorous fish are beginning to expand their range into temperate waters – likely as a result of climate change – and a new international study documents the dramatic impact of the intrusion ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.