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Scientists Create Two Embryos of Nearly Extinct Northern White Rhino

Today we achieved an important milestone on a rocky road which allows us to plan the future steps in the rescue program of the northern white rhino

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Scientists, Embryos, Extinct
FILE - The last two known female northern white rhinos are fed carrots by a ranger in their enclosure at Ol Pejeta Conservancy, Kenya, Aug. 23, 2019. VOA

Scientists have created two embryos of the nearly extinct northern white rhino, part of an effort to pull the species back from the brink.

“Today we achieved an important milestone on a rocky road which allows us to plan the future steps in the rescue program of the northern white rhino,” said Thomas Hildebrandt of the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research in Germany.

The institute is part of a team of international scientists and conservationists racing to save the rare giants.

The eggs were harvested from the last two living females. They were injected with the frozen sperm of dead males.

Scientists, Embryos, Extinct
Scientists have created two embryos of the nearly extinct northern white rhino, part of an effort to pull the species back from the brink. Pixabay

The embryos will be transferred into a surrogate mother, a southern white rhino.

The conservationists hope to create a herd of at least five animals that can be introduced back into the wild in Africa.

The last male northern white rhino, Sudan, died last year at age 45. He gained international fame in 2017 when he was named the “The Most Eligible Bachelor in the World” on the Tinder dating app as part of fundraising effort.

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“Five years ago, it seemed like the production of a northern white rhino embryo was almost an unachievable goal, and today we have them,” said Jan Stejskal, director of communication at the Dvur Kralove Zoo in the Czech Republic, where the last two surviving females were born. (VOA)

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Chinese Scientists Reveal Distribution History of Endangered Trees

The study was published in the journal Ecology and Evolution

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Trees Landscape
Trees have spiritual representation. Pixabay

Chinese scientists have revealed how the distribution of abies trees changed in the Quaternary glacial period, providing scientific guidance for the protection of the endangered species against climate change.

As an ancient and typical coniferous species living in southwest China, abies is a good example to study the impact of the ongoing climate changes, which are similar to those in the Quaternary period, on biodiversity in this area, the Xinhua news agency reported.

Researchers from the Chengdu Institute of Biology under the Chinese Academy of Sciences rebuilt the distribution patterns in different periods of four abies taxa to know how they migrated in response to adverse climate.

Climate, Crisis, Vulnerable, trees
According to the distribution patterns of abies showed in the study, the researchers suggested that enough corridors should be conserved in Hengduan mountains and the Three Parallel Rivers to protect biodiversity against climate change. Pixabay

They revealed that seasonal fluctuation of temperature and rainfall, rather than average annual temperature and rainfall, was one of the factors that determined the four taxa’s distribution, which means that extreme climate events are major threats to the species.

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According to the distribution patterns of abies showed in the study, the researchers suggested that enough corridors should be conserved in Hengduan mountains and the Three Parallel Rivers to protect biodiversity against climate change.

The study was published in the journal Ecology and Evolution. (IANS)