Not all is lost

Dave Killion — December 3, 2011

Readers know I am a fanof the rhinoceros, and an advocate of private ownership as a means to speed the recovery of their populations. So, you may be surprised to know that I am not particularly upset or alarmed at the declaration by the International Union for Conservation of Nature that the Western Black Rhino is extinct.  This is because the Western Black Rhino is a subspecies, about which Wikipedia has this to say –

Organisms that belong to different subspecies of the same species are capable of interbreeding and producing fertile offspring, but they often do not interbreed in nature due to geographic isolation or other factors. The differences between subspecies are usually less distinct than the differences between species, but more distinct than the differences between breeds or races (races can be assigned to different subspecies if taxonomicallydifferent). The characteristics attributed to subspecies generally have evolved as a result of geographical distribution or isolation.”

Basically, so long as we don’t run out of Black Rhinos, we can stick some of them in Western Black Rhino territory and things will be pretty much as they were. Which is not to be flip… if the currently popular command and control methods of wildlife management continue to dominate, there won’t long be any rhinos to stick anywhere.


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