Monday, January 08, 2018

save the rhinos

Rhinoceroses are one of many families of Pleistocene megafauna that have declined dramatically and come close to extinction. Of the five surviving species, three are critically endangered right now, another has made a dramatic recovery after it was believed to be extinct a century ago.

As growing demand for illegal products from the rhino horn fuels a new crisis and conservation science has to pull all the stops keep the species that are still with us, I've looked at the hopes and fears for the surviving rhino species in my latest feature:

Last call to save the rhinos

Current Biology Volume 28, Issue 1, 8 January 2018, Pages R1–R3

Restricted access to full text and PDF download
(will become open access one year after publication)

Magic link for free access
(first seven weeks only)

Oh, I should also mention there are two research papers on rhino conservation in the same issue (I briefly mention them in my feature too):

Cindy Harper et al.: Robust forensic matching of confiscated horns to individual poached African rhinoceros, pages R13-R14, open access

H. L. Mays et al.: Genomic Analysis of Demographic History and Ecological Niche Modeling in the Endangered Sumatran Rhinoceros Dicerorhinus sumatrensis, pages 70-76, open access

which explains why there's a rhino on the cover as well:

This is an Eastern black rhino (Diceros bicornis michaeli), apparently. No relation of mine as far as I'm aware.

And here's abonus illustration which I added before I saw the cover:

Rhinos depicted in the Chauvet Cave (southern France, ca. 30,000-32,000 years ago)


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