Federal Document Clearing House, Inc.
March 15, 2001
Rhinos are still in crisis but stabilization and some recovery
of numbers have commenced. Support from the RTCF has been a critical
and catalytic factor in this improvement. There is need for support
from the RTCF to continue and if possible to increase over the next
5-7 years. Therefore, the IRF, the IUCN/SSC Asian and African Rhino
Specialist Groups, and the AZA Rhino Advisory Group encourage Congress
- Reauthorize the Rhino and Tiger Act through the Year 2007 as
proposed in HR 645.
- Increase the amount of the appropriations to at least $1 Million
for Fiscal 2002, toward a goal of $1,500,000/fiscal year in the
- Reauthorize the African and Asian Elephant Conservation Acts,
which provide substantial support for rhinos as well as the species
for which they are designated.
As a final comment, may I observe another reason that support from
the United States for rhino conservation in Asia and Africa is both
appropriate and ironic considering the history of the rhino family.
The United States was long ago the center of rhino distribution
on this planet. Rhinos were the most common large mammal in North
America from about 40 until about 5 million years ago, long before
the bison arrived. Native American rhinos disappeared because of
ecological reasons not well known.
However, through the RTCF, as well as the efforts of IRF and the
AZA and its Species Survival Programs for rhino, the United States
has the opportunity to help save the surviving species of this venerable
and once American family of mammals from extinction. Thank you Mr.
Chairman and Members of the Sub-Committee.