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‘World’s last male white rhinoceros will never mate’

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White rhinoceros, Ceratotherium simum.
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London: White rhinos are on the verge of extinction as it is unlikely that their last male member would father an offspring, conservationists say.

The world’s only remaining male of his kind, 42-year-old Sudan, is counting his days under armed protection to guard him from poachers, Daily Mail reported.

White rhinoceros, Ceratotherium simum.
White rhinoceros, Ceratotherium simum.

“Sudan is quite an old animal as far as rhinos are concerned – he is an old animal and going to die soon, I think that is the reality,” said Richard Vigne, the chief executive of Ol Pejeta Conservancy – a 90,000-acre not-for-profit wildlife conservancy in Central Kenya.

“The quality of Sudan’s sperm is not particularly great. His ability to mount a female is almost non-existent due to problems with his back legs. It was always going to be a shot in the dark. We had the last remaining potentially reproductively viable northern whites left in the world and to recover a species from that level was always going to be a long shot,” he said.

Sudan was caught in the Shambe region when he was just one-year-old and shipped to the Dvur Kralove Zoo in the Czech Republic.

In December 2009, he was moved to the Ol Pejeta Conservancy with two female northern white rhinos and another male, for a ‘Last Chance To Survive’ breeding program.

Three of the five northern white rhinos left in the world lived at Ol Pejeta and it was hoped Sudan would be able to mate with the females Fatu, 15, and Najin, 25, but so far all attempts have failed.

The other remaining male has now since passed away – meaning that as the last remaining male in the world, the fate of the species rests solely on Sudan’s shoulders.

The majestic animal is under guard 24-hours-a-day to protect him from poaching, and his horn has been filed down to further lower the risk of attack.

(IANS)

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Rare Indigenous Australian Bird is Left with Only 12 Breeding Pairs

Conserving the ground-nesting birds is important as there are only 12 breeding pairs left.

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beach stone-curlew bird
Beach stone-curlew bird. Flickr

The last 12 breeding pairs of the beach stone-curlew bird indigenous to the Australaia region are under threat from feral foxes in New South Wales (NSW).

The aboriginal community in the coastal bushland has now taken up action to protect the rare birds by laying fox traps, Xinhua news agency reported.

Also Read: Researchers Explain How They Tracked Migrating Birds

Conserving the ground-nesting birds is important as there are only 12 breeding pairs left, said Banahm Slabb from the Tweed Byron Aboriginal Land Council.

The foxes were first introduced Down Under from Europe in the mid-1800s for sport hunting. Later they proliferated on minimal competition and have now started affecting native species. (IANS)

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