October 25, 2011
Poachers Drive Javan Rhino to Extinction in Vietnam | Extinction Countdown, Scientific American Blog Network

What do you know?  Alt-med quackery can be plenty harmful.  Just ask the rhinos.

All rhino species worldwide are heavily threatened by rampant poaching for their horns, which are sold for upwards of $30,000 each for use in so-called traditional Asian medicine, even though the horns are of no actual medicinal value. There are two other Asian rhino species: the one-horned Indian rhinoceros (Rhinoceros unicornis), which numbers about 3,000 animals in the wild, and the critically endangered Sumatran rhinoceros (Dicerorhinus sumatrensis), which has two subspecies with a combined population of less than 300 individuals. A third Sumatran rhino subspecies may or may not still exist. In addition, there are two African rhino species: the white rhinoceros (Ceratotherium simum)—which includes the southern white rhino (the healthiest rhino subspecies, with more than 17,000 animals) and the northern white rhino, which is now down to its last seven individuals—and the black rhino (Diceros bicornis), with three critically endangered subspecies (two of which are below 1,000 individuals) and a fourth subspecies that was last seen in the year 2000 and is now believed to be extinct.

  1. snightingale posted this