Friday, December 26, 2008

A Christmas gift for endangered rhinos

One of the most endangered large mammals in the world is Rhinoceros sondaicus, the Javan rhinoceros. Ujung Kulon National Park in West Java, Indonesia, holds about 60 of the animals, and only three calves had been documented over the last three years. Now conservationists are happy to report they have made a mistake. A new survey turned up four more calves, indicating not only slightly greater numbers overall but much more energetic breeding activity than had been suspected. Coming on top of the 2006 discovery that the species still existed, at least in tiny numbers, in Vietnam as well, the species - while still on the critical list - has at least a slightly better chance of survival than seemed the case a few years back.

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