Black Rhinocerous

Diceros bicornis

Discovery and Extinction

Discovery- The Black Rhino has been on the earth for around 60 million years

Extinction- Declared critically endangered in 1996

Bio-geographical Data

Location- Throughout southern Africa

Population size- Throughout most of the 20th century the Black Rhino numbered around 850,000 and was the most populous rhino species. Now, they number around 10,000-11,000.

Ecology- They live in a wide variety of habitats but mostly in savannas. The acacia is their preferred food source.

Behavior- They are terrestrial and breed every 2.5-5 years. They are solitary and feed at night and dawn/dusk. They take cover during daylight hours in the shade to keep cover from the hot African sun. They wallow in mud in order to keep bugs off and block the sun. It will defend itself if provoked with its two large horns.

Causes of Endangerment

The main causes of Black Rhino population loss are poaching and, to a lesser extent, habitat loss. Rhino horns go for a high price, making them targets to many poor hunters and subsistence farmers in the area.

Ecological Effects of Black Rhino Endangerment

It allows other large browsers to rise in population numbers and take over what was previously rhino territory. Also, the savanna would have many more woody trees and bushes, such as the acacia.

Actions to Prevent Extinction

  • It is illegal to kill rhinos
  • It is also illegal to sell rhino horns internationally
  • Some rhinos are kept under guard
  • More money could be put into making safe havens for them to live peacefully
  • It should be made illegal (in certain Arab countries) for people to possess ceremonial items made with rhino horns
  • International police forces should crack down on the black market rhino horn trade

Bibliography

  • Emslie, R. "Support the Black Rhino." Diceros Bicornis (Black Rhinoceros, Hook-lipped Rhinoceros). IUCN Red List, 2012. Web. 18 Feb. 2016.
  • "Black Rhinoceroses, Black Rhinoceros Pictures, Black Rhinoceros Facts - National Geographic." National Geographic. National Geopgraphic, 2012. Web. 18 Feb. 2016.