Sunday, November 13, 2011

Mammalian genus in danger of extinction

From National Geographic's daily news: Entire Mammal Genus on Brink of Extinction, Critically endangered African antelope is last species of its kind.

Considered critically endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, the hirola has seen its numbers fall by as much as 90 percent since 1980. The latest survey, in February, found about 245 animals in fragmented pockets of northeastern Kenya and southwestern Somalia, according to the Nature Conservancy.
In all, conservationists estimate there are fewer than 400 hirolas scattered throughout the species' historic range of East Africa.
A range of factors, including climate change-related drought; unregulated hunting; habitat destruction; and more recently, predation have slashed populations.

This story actually ties in to numerous topics from class, both from last week:
Because all attempts to breed hirolas in captivity have failed, conservation plans have mostly involved relocating the animals.
and also from next week - including local communities in conservation efforts.

The Nature Conservancy's Tear noted that for conservation for work long-term, "local people have to be engaged, involved, and supportive of conservation."

In a controversial move, the government took the animals from an impoverished area where residents believed the animal was "one of last hopes in this area for tourism," he said.
A court injunction initiated by the communities temporarily halted the translocation. According to a Kenyan court document dated August 29, 1996, locals brought the injunction on "the grounds that [the hirola] was a gift to the people of the area and should be left there."
Overall, local communities had not been involved in the government's initial relocation plan—"a big mistake," Goeltenboth said.

1 comment:

Sergio J said...

Given the instability of the region and its neighbor(Somalia.) id have to agree with the relocation.