Endangered animal success stories

Discussions on the interactions between components of the environment and their effects on all types of organisms.

Endangered animal success stories

Postby zetreque on July 13th, 2015, 2:37 pm 

Here is an interesting one I never heard about.

Bontebok Can’t Jump: The Most Dramatic Conservation Success You’ve Never Heard About
July 8, 2015 | by: Matt Miller
- See more at: http://blog.nature.org/science/2015/07/08/bontebok-cant-jump-the-most-dramatic-conservation-success-youve-never-heard-about/

Just a couple of decades after the bluebuck’s disappearance, only one herd of bontebok remained on some Cape farms. These particular farmers were sympathetic to the bontebok’s plight. But once they left the property, all bets were off.
Salvation came in an unlikely form. The bontebok was saved because bontebok can’t jump.

So when Dutch farmer Alexander van der Bijl built a fence to enclose the last 17 bontebok on his farm, the bontebok didn’t escape. Whereas almost any other African ungulate would have simply and quickly moved out of this simple enclosure, the bontebok couldn’t jump.
The ability to jump would have been a leap into extinction.
The bontebok received a stay of execution, but its future was far from secure. pasture land was not ideal habitat. And so the last herd of bontebok survived, but barely.
In 1931, only 17 bontebok remained. These animals were transferred to a national park established to save the species, appropriately named Bontebok National Park. Located near the Cape community of Bredasdorp.

By 1969, there were 800 bontebok in the world. Today, the population hovers between 2,500 and 3,000. That hardly makes it abundant, but its future is considered secure.

Some hunting ranches are even breeding “designer” trophies – golden wildebeest and black impalas and “copper” springbok.
None of this has anything to do with conservation. It’s the opposite: it spreads non-native species and can lead to more common animals hybridizing with rare ones.
But conservation-minded game ranching has undeniably helped save species, including the bontebok.

It’s easy to decry wild ideas like the recent plan to move four percent of Africa’s rhinos all the way to Texas ranches as a sign of desperation. But certainly, it’s no more desperate than putting a fence around a pasture containing the last herd of bontebok – a fence that worked only because bontebok can’t jump. -

What do you think about bringing African animals (like elephants or rhinos) to the US as wild species? How would they, being invasive or non-native species, effect the environment?
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Re: Endangered animal success stories

Postby Sircoth on July 13th, 2015, 2:44 pm 

zetreque » July 13th, 2015, 1:37 pm wrote:What do you think about bringing African animals (like elephants or rhinos) to the US as wild species? How would they, being invasive or non-native species, effect the environment?

It would be a grand experiment in natural selection and a spectacular case study for the children to learn about survival of the fittest.
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Re: Endangered animal success stories

Postby Watson on July 13th, 2015, 4:45 pm 

I don't think they would last long enough to harm the environment.

Good story.
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