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canopuss
2010-Aug-31, 04:01 AM
Can the endangered mammals like Rhinos be moved to live in other parts of the world such as large and partially warmer countries like Australia, USA etc where the Rhinos are much less likely to be poached.

Jens
2010-Aug-31, 04:25 AM
Can the endangered mammals like Rhinos be moved to live in other parts of the world such as large and partially warmer countries like Australia, USA etc where the Rhinos are much less likely to be poached.

I think there are a bunch of issues. The first is, would rhinos thrive in that environment? Second, would they put pressure on other native species that may themselves be endangered? And finally, where would you put them, and how would this affect human settlements? There are lots of farms and towns in the US and Australia.

jlhredshift
2010-Aug-31, 11:32 AM
Can the endangered mammals like Rhinos be moved to live in other parts of the world such as large and partially warmer countries like Australia, USA etc where the Rhinos are much less likely to be poached.

Having had experience with cattle, I would suggest that fencing would be an issue. Having a rhino wander on to a highway would be a problem for all concerned.

Swift
2010-Aug-31, 12:17 PM
The idea has been suggested, of introducing such animals in other parts of the world (sorry, can't find a link). There are wild animal parks in the US already (the San Diego zoo has one) where animals like rhinos are kept and though they aren't completely free, they do have areas much bigger than your typical zoo. But there are all sorts of problems, as Jens and jlhredshift said. There is a great danger of causing a lot of damage to the ecosystem you introduce them into, where they would not be native animals. You might save the rhino by driving another species to extinction.

HenrikOlsen
2010-Aug-31, 12:32 PM
The history of mankind's move of species to places where they are not native has been one of many ecological disasters, some of which are small extinction events in their own right (Nile Perch in Lake Victoria), and very few successes.
The only case I can think of off the top of my head which was a reasonable success is wild camels in Australia. For horror stories from the same place think dingoes, rabbits, red foxes and cane toads.

swampyankee
2010-Aug-31, 05:44 PM
There are also some horror stories in North America. Neglecting the ones which were probably accidental (Asian longhorn beetle, chestnut blight, Dutch Elm disease, zebra mussels), we've got the gypsy moth, starlings, and wild pigs. Usually introduction of exotics is a bad thing. Just ask anybody with kudzu in their neighborhood.

HenrikOlsen
2010-Aug-31, 11:48 PM
I only mentioned horror stories from Australia to contrast the one success story in the whole world I know of.
Ok, potatoes and some other crops are grown successfully far from their native areas, but they don't compete well in the wild.

swampyankee
2010-Sep-01, 12:31 AM
Wild horses in North America may also be considered a second "success" story, but that's largely because so many of the bison (the large herbivore of pre-Columbian North America) were killed off. On the other hand, the worst eco-disasters associated with introduced species involve fairly small animals (depending on how you categorize goats) which are fecund and rather good at avoiding predation. Just about no North American birds eat gypsy moth caterpillars, apparently nothing in Australia will eat cane toads (can you blame them?), and rabbits and mice just seem too fecund and too canny for the Australian carnivores.

I think that deliberately ranching rhinos and other endangered species would be a more sensible solution than trying to establish them as "wild" animals in new locations. Clearly, any artificial environment will not provide the selection pressure that the animals' natural environment will provide, but I suspect that a rhino-ranch would be better in this regard than a zoo.

HenrikOlsen
2010-Sep-01, 01:36 AM
I think that deliberately ranching rhinos and other endangered species would be a more sensible solution than trying to establish them as "wild" animals in new locations. Clearly, any artificial environment will not provide the selection pressure that the animals' natural environment will provide, but I suspect that a rhino-ranch would be better in this regard than a zoo.
The international zoo-run breeding programs for endangered species do actually tend to have a fairly strong selection pressure, but one aimed at maximizing the variations kept in the gene pool, to the point where they are very careful about only breeding animals that have as little consanguinity to each other as possible.

Jens
2010-Sep-01, 03:48 AM
Having had experience with cattle, I would suggest that fencing would be an issue.

That wouldn't really be a problem. Just take away their foils.

jlhredshift
2010-Sep-01, 11:03 AM
That wouldn't really be a problem. Just take away their foils.

I see your point.

jlhredshift
2010-Sep-01, 11:42 AM
Species Invasions and the Relationships between Species Diversity, Community Saturation, and Ecosystem Functioning (http://www.cedarcreek.umn.edu/biblio/fulltext/t1921.pdf)
by: Stachowicz, J. J. et al. 2006.


In this chapter, we examine how the ecology of invasions helps clarify the relationships
among community saturation, diversity, and ecosystem functioning.
We begin with a theoretical approach that suggests a common underlying
mechanism for the negative effect of diversity on community invasibility and
other ecosystem functions, such as productivity. This stochastic model of community
assembly predicts that, within a given habitat, increasing species richness
should reduce resource availability and decrease invasion success. A brief
review of evidence from the fossil record of biotic interchanges reveals that the
less diverse region is typically more invaded by species than the more speciesrich
region. The reason for this could be either that species-poor regions have
greater resource availability (there are empty niches), or that species from
more diverse regions are competitively superior. Experimental studies with recent
invaders suggest that, all else being equal, increasing diversity decreases
invasion success by decreasing resource availability. More complete or efficient
utilization of resources at higher diversity extends beyond invasion resistance
in its contribution to other ecosystem processes, such as productivity,
nutrient recycling, and stability/consistency. In accord with theory, data from
both grassland plants and marine invertebrates suggest that successful invaders
are those with niche requirements most different from those of species
in the existing community, providing a degree of determinism to an otherwise
stochastic community assembly process. We also suggest some other ways in
which the study of introduced species could increase our understanding of diversity
and its impacts on ecosystem processes.

DonM435
2010-Sep-01, 12:47 PM
That wouldn't really be a problem. Just take away their foils.

Watch it there! You may give someone an idea to stage rhino fencing matches.

swampyankee
2010-Sep-01, 01:49 PM
Watch it there! You may give someone an idea to stage rhino fencing matches.

Thanks! I will give you appropriate credit.

jlhredshift
2010-Sep-01, 03:59 PM
From "Vertebrate Paleontology", M. J. Benton, 1990, page 282:


The horned rhinoceroses radiated widely in the Miocene, but died out in North America in the Pliocene.

jlhredshift
2010-Sep-01, 05:18 PM
Well, what is the largest land mammal known to have existed, indricotherium. You guessed it a member of the rhinoceroses family.

image (http://blogs.nationalgeographic.com/blogs/intelligenttravel/Indricotherium_RM.jpg)

ETA: Benton says 30 tonnes.

HenrikOlsen
2010-Sep-01, 09:08 PM
Species Invasions and the Relationships between Species Diversity, Community Saturation, and Ecosystem Functioning (http://www.cedarcreek.umn.edu/biblio/fulltext/t1921.pdf)
by: Stachowicz, J. J. et al. 2006.
That may be true when it's a herbivore, but definitely not true when the introduced species is an apex predator such as the Nile Perch in Lake Victoria, since in that case the existing ecology is the resource.

jlhredshift
2010-Sep-01, 10:07 PM
That may be true when it's a herbivore, but definitely not true when the introduced species is an apex predator such as the Nile Perch in Lake Victoria, since in that case the existing ecology is the resource.

The same could be said when Homo sapiens sapiens left Africa, when Ursidae and Felidae crossed to North America, and the Terratorn crossed from South America, but I agree that introducing the perch was stupid, and we didn't have to do that. Though, however unpleasant, a new ecological balance will arise, which is what Stachowicz, et al. chapter is about.

Swift
2010-Sep-02, 01:26 AM
A little off topic, here is a link to a story from cleveland.com (http://blog.cleveland.com/metro/2010/08/cleveland_metroparks_zoo_intro_1.html) (with a video) of a new baby black rhino that was just born at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo. WARNING- Cute alert!

jlhredshift
2010-Sep-02, 01:42 AM
A little off topic, here is a link to a story from cleveland.com (http://blog.cleveland.com/metro/2010/08/cleveland_metroparks_zoo_intro_1.html) (with a video) of a new baby black rhino that was just born at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo. WARNING- Cute alert!

Not off topic at all. Notice the "fencing". As the little girl said in the movie, "they're here".

They said about 3000 pounds versus the indricotherium at about 60,000 pounds, I wonder if the babies were the same size for both.

DonM435
2010-Sep-02, 12:52 PM
Thanks! I will give you appropriate credit.

Re: rhino fencing matches.

When I was a little kid, someone told me about bullfighting, wherein a man with a sword does battle with a bull. My imagination spun this out into furious contests with the human facing tough odds as two horns clashed repeatedly with his sword. It must have been, I thought, really exciting.

I had no idea that the actual thing involved someone distracting the beast with a cape and skewering it with spears in somewhat sneaky fashion until, well, until it died. In the early 1960s, Chicago's first UHF station used to televise bullfights from Spain -- be assured that they got some flack for this -- and I got tired of rooting for the bull, because he always lost.

Jim
2010-Sep-02, 10:21 PM
There are several wildlife parks in Texas. Some years back I was driving us through one when we encountered a rhino on the road. Rather than argue right-of-way with him, I decided to stop and enjoy the sight.

He decided to use my left front quarter panel to scratch an itch. After about five minutes, the itch was sated and he moved on.

Sorry, no real point, just reminiscing.

Swift
2010-Sep-02, 10:25 PM
How much did it cost to repair the rhino's scratching post? ;)

swampyankee
2010-Sep-02, 11:42 PM
How much did it cost to repair the rhino's scratching post? ;)

Probably less than it would have cost to argue with the rhino about the right of way.

Never mind the rhino; farmers can be a bit proprietary about their animals.

jlhredshift
2010-Sep-03, 12:37 AM
Probably less than it would have cost to argue with the rhino about the right of way.

Never mind the rhino; farmers can be a bit proprietary about their animals.

Yes, there is no such thing as a free animal.

The sign at the driveway entrance says: "Don't worry about the dogs......."

swampyankee
2010-Sep-03, 01:29 AM
Having had the dubious pleasure of having a dairy farmer point a double-barreled shotgun in my general direction, I figured out annoying the herd is not a good idea.

flynjack1
2010-Sep-03, 02:36 AM
In New Mexico we have on the White Sands Missile Range a species of antelope from North Africa. The Oryx which is Native the desert areas of North Africa is also very comfortable in New Mexico's deserts. In fact it has found such a happy home that it reproduces much more prodigiously than it did in its native land. It has been of keen interest to game biologist here, and also has been a very successful game species (with very tasty meat I might add). But I think part of its success story has been that it has filled a rather empty niche rather than compete with other species. It has more or less been contained to the White Sands Missile Range (a significantly large area of central southern New Mexico). As far as rhinos go, I suspect that they would probably not fit into the North American fauna as easily due to the cooler climate in our savanna regions. Purely a guess on my part.

HenrikOlsen
2010-Sep-04, 12:41 AM
I had no idea that the actual thing involved someone distracting the beast with a cape and skewering it with spears in somewhat sneaky fashion until, well, until it died. In the early 1960s, Chicago's first UHF station used to televise bullfights from Spain -- be assured that they got some flack for this -- and I got tired of rooting for the bull, because he always lost.
Almost always (http://thewildones.faketrix.com/picture-115-bullfighting-sports-injuries-matador-gored-in-butt.htm). Ok, the bull subsequently died, but I won't call that a loss.
I keep remembering Zelazny's Auto-da-fe (http://arthursclassicnovels.com/zelazny/autoda10.html) when people mention bull fighting.