There is heartening report about the Javanese cousins of the South Asian rhinoceros. At the same time, there is reason to worry about the Manchurian relative of the Royal Bengal Tiger.
The good news is that a rare species of Javanese Rhinoceros facing extinction and thought to remain only in the Indonesian island of Java was located last month in the jungles of Vietnam. The discovery was made by American naturalist George Schaller, well known for his work in the Himalaya and among the Pandas in China. The Java rhinoceros once populated all of Southeast Asia but is now the most endangered species of rhinoceros. There are only about 50 in a national park in Java. Schaller now believes that at least 10 to 15 survive in Viet Nam, even though they were decimated during the Vietnam War.
While the Javanese rhino might have retained a toehold in the mainland, the Manchurian Tiger may have become extinct in the wild according to the news agency Xinhua. It quotes Qian Yanwen, Secretary General of the Chinese Society for Animal Protection, saying that an aerial survey in 1987 spotted no Manchurian tigers in northeast China, which is their only remaining habitat. A survey conducted in the 1970s had observed only seven. More than 20 Manchurian tigers remain in Chinese zoos, but Qian believes that inbreeding could quickly lead to the extinction of the species. Healthy reproduction can only be achieved with 4,000 or more animals in the wild, says Qian.