Endagered for 10,000 years, Sumatran rhinoceros on the verge to get extinct
New Delhi : Scientists have discovered the endangered creatures’ full genome revealing that their population has been declining from a long time now.
Threat on their existence started way back during the last Ice Age, when its habitat shrunk, says a US team.
Since then, humans have just added to the worry. As per latest information, only 250 Sumatran rhinoceros are left alive.
"This species has been well on its way to extinction for a very long time," said study researcher, Terri Roth at the Center for Conservation and Research of Endangered Wildlife at the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden.
The genome sequence data revealed the Pleistocene "was a roller-coaster ride for Sumatran rhinoceros populations," added lead researcher, Dr Herman Mays of Marshall University in West Virginia.
World's most recent Ice Age lasted from about 2,588,000 to 11,700 years ago, it is also called Pleistocene.
With rising sea levels, the habitat became increasingly fragmented for the species, which is also a prime reason behind decreasing population of rhinoceros.
The DNA sample Prof Mays and his team sequenced belonged to a rhino named Ipuh, after the locality on the island of Sumatra where he was originally collected. Ipuh lived at the Cincinnati Zoo for 22 years until his death in 2013, and his remains are still on display at the Cincinnati Museum Centre.