Jarod Wood 4th Period 3/4/15
Black rhinos have doubled in number over the past two decades from their low point of 2,480 individuals, but total numbers are still a fraction of the estimated 100,000 that existed in the early part of the 20th century.
The Javan Rhino- less than 35
The Sumatran Rhino- less than 200
What do they eat?
Why are they endangered?
Rhino poaching has escalated in recent years and is being driven by the demand for rhino horn in Asian countries, particularly Vietnam. It is used in Traditional Chinese Medicine but more and more commonly now it is used as a status symbol to display someone’s success and wealth. As South African is home to the majority of rhinos in the world it is being heavily targeted by poachers, see poaching numbers in South Africa. However poaching is now a threat in all rhino range states and field programmers are having to investment heavily in anti-poaching activities.
The scarcity of rhinos today and the corresponding intermittent availability of rhino horn only drives the price higher, and intensifies the pressure on the declining rhino populations. For people whose annual income is often far below the subsistence level, the opportunity to change one’s life by killing an animal that they don’t value is overwhelming.
Poachers are now being supplied by international criminal gangs with sophisticated equipment to track and kill rhinos. Often they use a tranquilizer gun to bring the rhino down and hack of its horn leaving the rhino to wake up and bleed to death very painfully and slowly. Poachers are also often armed with guns making them very dangerous for the anti-poaching teams who put their lives on the line to protect rhinos.
Why do they matter? Why do we care if they go extinct?
2: When protecting and managing a rhino population, rangers and scientists take in account all the other species interacting with rhinos and those sharing the same habitat. When rhinos are protected, many other species are too; not only mammals but also birds, reptiles, fish and insects as well as plants.
3:Rhinos are the second-biggest living land mammals after the elephants. Together with lion, giraffe, chimpanzee and polar bear, the rhino is one of the most popular species with zoo visitors. In the wild, rhinos attract tourists who bring money to national parks and local communities. They are one of the “Big Five”, along with lion, leopard, elephant and buffalo.
4: At the turn of the 19th century, there were approximately one million rhinos. In 1970, there were around 70,000. Today, there are only around 28,000 rhinos surviving in the wild.
What organization is working to protect them or reintroduce them to the wild? How are they accomplishing that?
Save the Rhino International works to conserve viable populations of critically endangered rhinos in Africa and Asia. They recognize that the future of wildlife is inextricably linked to the communities that share its habitat. By funding field projects and through education, our goal is to deliver material, long-lasting and widespread benefits to rhinos and other endangered species, ecosystems and to the people living in these areas.