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Subspecies Extinction Alert
January 16, 2013 8:47 PM   Subscribe

DNA analysis has confirmed the death, by poaching, of the last Javan rhino in Vietnam. This marks the official extinction of the Vietnamese subspecies of Javan rhinoceros. The entire species is now represented by just 35 individuals from the Indonesian subspecies, all of whom reside in Ujung Kulon National Park in Indonesia.
posted by Scientist (52 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite

 
Thanks to ChuraChura for bringing this to my attention, and for graciously allowing me the honor of bringing it to yours.
posted by Scientist at 8:47 PM on January 16, 2013


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posted by benzenedream at 8:51 PM on January 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


Bravo, mankind. Bravo.

jokerclap.gif
posted by turgid dahlia 2 at 8:52 PM on January 16, 2013


Well at least the rhino's horn will be put to good use: curing cancer and other maladies! Never mind it's basically a ginormous fingernail which they will grind into powder. That shit saves lives, dude.
posted by ReeMonster at 8:54 PM on January 16, 2013 [2 favorites]


We're number one!
posted by Mezentian at 8:55 PM on January 16, 2013


We're number one!

Look, I'm not saying we aren't a competitor but Nature definitely tops us here. We haven't even managed a mass extinction yet.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 9:07 PM on January 16, 2013


Further proof of my theory that the reason advanced alien civilizations still have not contacted us is because they determined long ago that we are total assholes who ruin everything we touch.
posted by elizardbits at 9:08 PM on January 16, 2013 [5 favorites]


This is why we can't have nice things.

.
posted by acorncup at 9:25 PM on January 16, 2013 [3 favorites]


Look, I'm not saying we aren't a competitor but Nature definitely tops us here. We haven't even managed a mass extinction yet.

Oh, we haven't?
posted by Scientist at 9:25 PM on January 16, 2013 [13 favorites]


Jesus. Good work, asshole humans.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 9:27 PM on January 16, 2013 [2 favorites]


This is why we can't have nice things.

We can have nice things, just not all the time.
posted by mattoxic at 9:27 PM on January 16, 2013


Once widespread in Southeast Asia, the Javan rhinoceros was presumed extinct in Vietnam in the mid-1970s, at the end of the Vietnam War. The tactics used in the combat wrought havoc on the ecosystems of the region: use of napalm, extensive defoliation from Agent Orange, aerial bombing and use of landmines. The war also flooded the area with inexpensive weapons. After the war, many poor villagers, who previously relied on methods like pit traps, now had deadly weapons at their disposal, enabling them to become efficient poachers.*

USA! USA! USA!
posted by Sys Rq at 9:27 PM on January 16, 2013 [10 favorites]


Favoriting snarky comments as a substitute for crying. Thanks guys.
posted by six-or-six-thirty at 9:31 PM on January 16, 2013 [3 favorites]


GODDAMMIT.

.

We don't need *^%%$%^ aphrodisiacs at this cost in this region.
posted by infini at 9:32 PM on January 16, 2013


USA! USA! USA!

hey

We didn't start the fire
It was always burning
Since the world's been turning
We didn't start the fire
No we didn't light it
But we tried to fight it

(hummed to a tune by someone else but probably not Billy Joel)
posted by mattoxic at 9:34 PM on January 16, 2013


We can have nice things, just not all the time.

and not all of them, either.

I just read, Into the Heart of Borneo. Yeah, they didn't find any rhinos there, either.
posted by alex_skazat at 10:04 PM on January 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


I bet Obama's got a rhino ranch somewhere with hundreds of them, a whole damn rhino rodeo, and they're making it all up like the way they faked global warming. Osama Bin Laden's probably there right now, riding side-saddle on a rhino.
posted by XMLicious at 10:13 PM on January 16, 2013 [2 favorites]


Look, I'm not saying we aren't a competitor but Nature definitely tops us here. We haven't even managed a mass extinction yet.
Oh, we haven't?



Given that the paper defines a mass extinction as 75% species loss and the concluding section says "In historic times we have actually lost only a few per cent of assessed species", I'm going to go with Yes, We Haven't.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 10:16 PM on January 16, 2013


Rhinios are fighting back.
posted by Mezentian at 10:21 PM on January 16, 2013 [2 favorites]


Yeah, fair point. I guess time will tell though, eh? We're certainly on track, we just need to keep up the extinction rate for a few hundred more years and maybe we'll be in the running.
posted by Scientist at 10:23 PM on January 16, 2013


.
posted by R343L at 10:26 PM on January 16, 2013


.

Very painfully reading. I love those gloriously ugly critters! They are like living tanks. We need MORE rhinos.
posted by Katjusa Roquette at 10:45 PM on January 16, 2013


Why can't we cause a mass extinction of icky things, like bed-bugs, lice, cockroaches?
posted by Katjusa Roquette at 10:51 PM on January 16, 2013


We really don't want the conditions that would lead to an extinction of cockroaches.
posted by gingerest at 10:55 PM on January 16, 2013 [9 favorites]


Whadda you mean, 'we' don't want?
posted by not_on_display at 11:01 PM on January 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


rhinoceros are our real life unicorns :(
posted by TwelveTwo at 11:08 PM on January 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


Somewhere Dali! sheds a tear.
posted by Jahaza at 11:17 PM on January 16, 2013


"Thanks to ChuraChura for bringing this to my attention, and for graciously allowing me the honor of bringing it to yours."

Incidentally, everyone doing the G+ thing absolutely should put her in their circle, or whatever the G+ thing is, because her page is a pretty fucking awesome resource.
posted by Blasdelb at 11:59 PM on January 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


National Geographic: Rhino wars (warning: graphic image on page).
posted by smoke at 12:58 AM on January 17, 2013


.

And here I was, thinking that our performance as a species in first 16 days of the New Year hasn't been too shabby.
posted by The Illiterate Pundit at 1:24 AM on January 17, 2013


This is just stupidity piled on greed. How many rhinos have to die like this so some rich jackass in Shanghai can take a placebo for his non-functioning penis?
posted by 1adam12 at 1:32 AM on January 17, 2013 [2 favorites]


Terrible news.
posted by h00py at 1:34 AM on January 17, 2013


This is just stupidity piled on greed. How many rhinos have to die like this so some rich jackass in Shanghai can take a placebo for his non-functioning penis?

All of them.
posted by Mezentian at 1:39 AM on January 17, 2013 [6 favorites]


Given the firewall, can't we just fake the news that all the rhinos and the tiger cubs and the bear paws and the monkey brains are already dead?
posted by infini at 2:02 AM on January 17, 2013


Man. There's just nothing sad enough to say.
posted by Kit W at 2:11 AM on January 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


.
posted by Elly Vortex at 2:57 AM on January 17, 2013


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posted by FeralHat at 4:29 AM on January 17, 2013


All of them.

Yes, all of them. Rhinos are vastly outnumbered by people who are ignorant and ineducable enough to think rhino horn will do them something good. Outside zoos, all rhinos will be gone in a decade.

But I'm in favor of trying pretty much anything (including killing all poachers) to slow things down.
posted by pracowity at 5:16 AM on January 17, 2013 [2 favorites]


I just. Have they not heard of viagra?
posted by elizardbits at 5:32 AM on January 17, 2013


First step: stop calling it "traditional medicine". Even though everyone knows it's silly bullshit, the phrase leaves a patina of legitimacy to the practices. It's "stone-age superstition".
posted by notsnot at 5:37 AM on January 17, 2013 [2 favorites]


For those who may want to expand their perspective on poaching... NYT Link, an article about elephant poaching and culling and the harms to elephant societies. (Elephants being social creatures with giant brains.)

This above is one of the saddest articles I've ever read, and discusses some of the effects besides extinction.
posted by kellybird at 5:42 AM on January 17, 2013


Thanks for the shoutout, blasdelb and scientist.

This story made me so sad. Remember when Lonesome George died? He was the last member of his subspecies (maybe), and spent his later years surrounded by lovely tortoise ladies who were just not quite right for him. And then this poor female rhinoceros - the last rhinoceros in Vietnam, wandering around rainforests all by herself in search of some virile male who just didn't exist anymore. And then poached. Sad sad stuff.
posted by ChuraChura at 5:57 AM on January 17, 2013 [2 favorites]


And then this poor female rhinoceros - the last rhinoceros in Vietnam, wandering around rainforests all by herself in search of some virile male who just didn't exist anymore. And then poached. Sad sad stuff.

This would make a great animated short. With no dialogue, only background music.
posted by infini at 6:02 AM on January 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


<derail>
Why can't we cause a mass extinction of icky things, like bed-bugs, lice, cockroaches?
posted by Katjusa Roquette at 0:51 on January 17 [+] [!]


We're working on it.
</derail>

G'bye, Javan rhino. we'll miss you. Or rather, if there are any of US left in a few hundred years; they'll miss you, and be angry at us.
posted by Xyanthilous P. Harrierstick at 6:05 AM on January 17, 2013


June 14, 2013: PETA infiltrates the J Sisters salon on West 57th Street in Manhattan, covering the elegant waiting room with red, spray-painted graffiti. CROTCH GENOCIDE, reads one message. WAX IS MURDER, reads another.
June 17, 2013: Anne Josephson, a waxer in St, Paul, Minn., loses a finger when she attempts to wax a mons pubis that has been “spiked” with a tiny explosive charge. Porn stars and congressional Republicans decry the “eco-pubic-terrorists.”
Oh my god that link is the most brilliant thing ever
posted by Blasdelb at 6:21 AM on January 17, 2013


A bad week for Java exploits in the wild. :(
posted by Riki tiki at 9:39 AM on January 17, 2013


.
posted by Fig at 10:31 AM on January 17, 2013


Yeah, ChuraChura's G+ feed is a cavalcade of awesome (and awful) news from the environmental sciences. Highly recommended.
posted by Scientist at 11:36 AM on January 17, 2013


> we just need to keep up the extinction rate for a few hundred more years and maybe we'll be in the running.

... so we do get through global warming ok. Knew it. Now we need to stock up on rabbits' feet.
posted by de at 5:42 PM on January 17, 2013


I wish the U.N. would run sting operations on the sponsors of poachers, and replace the rhino horn powder with polonium-210.
posted by benzenedream at 8:47 PM on January 17, 2013


> I wish the U.N. would run sting operations ...

How can the nations possibly be united when we're all at such different stages of exploiting one another?
posted by de at 9:11 PM on January 17, 2013


I was totally wrong.
posted by euphorb at 7:00 PM on January 18, 2013 [2 favorites]


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