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Neocolonial Conservation: Is Moving Rhinos to Australia Conservation or Intellectual Property Loss

Version 2 2024-06-03, 03:07
Version 1 2024-03-13, 01:29
journal contribution
posted on 2024-06-03, 03:07 authored by Matt W Hayward, William J Ripple, Graham IH Kerley, Marietjie Landman, Roan PlotzRoan Plotz, Stephen T Garnett
AbstractThe Australian Rhino Project (http://www.theaustralianrhinoproject.org) proposes importing 80 rhinos from South Africa to Australia by 2019 at a cost of over $US4 million, with the first six due to have been moved in 2016. This project has high‐profile supporters in the private sector, zoos, and both governments, and is gaining major publicity through association with sporting teams and TedEx talks (http://www.theaustralianrhinoproject.org/index.php/news/blogs/11-news-and-blogs/242-ray-tedx). However, establishing extralimital populations of African rhinos is a very low‐priority conservation action, particularly given over 800 are already in captivity, and we argue this project diverts funds and expertise away from more important conservation activities; the proposed captive conditions will lead to selection for domestic traits; the most likely species involved is the white rhino, which is the lowest priority rhino species for conservation; it removes a driver of in situ conservation; it does not focus on the critically endangered Asian rhino species; and it extends the historical exploitation of Africa's resources by colonial powers. There are also insufficient details in the public domain about the project for objective decision‐making. We believe this is misdirected neocolonial conservation and the policy support from both governments for this project should be reconsidered.

History

Journal

Conservation Letters

Volume

11

Pagination

1-7

Location

London, Eng.

ISSN

1755-263X

eISSN

1755-263X

Language

eng

Publication classification

C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Issue

1

Publisher

Wiley