Inbreeding among white rhino is the enemy within

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Inbreeding among white rhino is the enemy within

Now that all rhino live in fenced reserves, they cannot disperse far enough to avoid the crisis

Senior science reporter

Poachers have killed almost 1,800 SA rhino in the past two years, but a first-of-its-kind study has uncovered a threat to the species that is just as deadly yet far more subtle.

German scientists say inbreeding is playing a major part in propelling the southern white rhino towards extinction as fenced reserves have reduced the range over which they roam.

Over 13 years, a team from the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research collected genetic material from 104 offspring, 37 mothers and 13 males on a game farm near Thabazimbi in Limpopo...

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