Measuring more than five feet tall and ten feet long, the Javan rhinoceros is often called the rarest large mammal on earth. None exist in zoos. Like the Indian rhino, the Javan has only one horn; African and Sumatran rhinos have two. While the Javan rhino habitat once extended across southern Asia, now there are fewer than one hundred of the animals in Indonesia and under a dozen in Vietnam. Very little is known about Javan rhinos because they lead secretive and solitary lives in remote jungles. Until recently, scientists debated whether females even have horns, and most scientific work has had to rely on DNA garnered from dung.
The near extinction of the Javan rhino is the direct result of human actions. For centuries, farmers, who favored the same habitat, viewed them as crop eating pests and shot them on sight. During the colonial period, hunters slaughtered thousands. Now, human efforts to save them may well prove futile. The Vietnamese herd is probably doomed, as too few remain to maintain the necessary genetic variation. Rhinos from Java cannot supplement the Vietnamese numbers because in the millions of years since Indonesia separated from the mainland, the two groups have evolved into separate sub-species. In Indonesia, the rhinos are protected on the Ujung Kulon peninsula, which is unsettled by humans, and still have sufficient genetic diversity to have a chance at survival. Ironically, however, the lack of human disturbance allows mature forests to replace the shrubby vegetation the animals prefer. Thus, human benevolence may prove little better for these rhinos than past human maltreatment.
1]Which of the following can be inferred from the passage?
a]Javan rhinos are one of the most endangered animals on the planet.
b]More is known about the genetics of the Javan rhino than is known about its mating patterns.
c]Hunters killed more Javan rhinos in Vietnam than in Indonesia.
d]Most animal extinctions are the result of human actions.
e]Genetic diversity is the most important factor for the survival of a species.
2]The author’s attitude toward current human efforts to save the Javan rhino can best be described as
a]optimistic and worthwhile
b]pointless and doomed
c]idealistic but profitable
d]problematic and ironic
e]confused but heroic
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