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North Queensland Rhino Project

Selected Projects

North Queensland Rhino Project; Australia
Concern is mounting about the world's rhinoceros species. Most are now confined within protected areas; the Sumatran, Javan and Indian species having extremely restricted distributions and an increasingly narrow genetic base. The two African species have similar problems. There is hence an urgent need to actively consider genetically sustainable
ex situ conservation options at a scale not possible in conventional zoos, in order to provide long-term insurance against possible extinction.

The purpose of this project was to test the feasibility of importation and the identification of suitable locations for a sanctuary in North Queensland of 100,000 to 250,000 hectares, to be situated within the 5 million hectares of savanna already severely degraded by
Acacia nilotica and other thorny exotic woody species - and therefore now similar to favoured black rhino habitat in Africa.

Although the project has yet to proceed, the
New Scientist reported: "An official delegation is visiting South request that about 50 black rhinos and a similar number of southern white rhinos be transplanted to Queensland to form a breeding colony...A gene pool will be created outside Africa and, if needed, animals can be sent back."

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