What Rhinos Are Endangered? ????

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All 5 species of rhino are threatened in some way due to poaching or habitat loss. Some subspecies sadly have already become functionally extinct. Gone forever.

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What Rhinos Are Endangered Already?

There are 3 of the 5 rhino species already listed as ‘Critically Endangered’ by the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) which means that that species, across its range, is very likely to go extinct in the wild if extensive and rapid conservation methods are not implemented and continued for the foreseeable future. How sad.

The remaining 2 species are listed as ‘Vulnerable’ and ‘Near Threatened’ – so still both in the endangered category and needing human intervention to survive and (hopefully) thrive.

Overall numbers of a species are, of course, important for this classification, but sometimes their distribution or other factors can make the survival of one more precarious – even if numbers are relatively high. For example 2000 animals in a reasonable location is a lot safer than 6000 animals divided up into 30 small pockets of remaining habitat.

Javan Rhino (Rhinoceros sondaicus)

Critically endangered – c.70 left in the wild:

Only found in a tiny nature reserve on the island of Java in Indonesia, Javan Rhino are the most threatened because their entire population is all in the same place at the same time – there are absolutely none kept in zoos. If a disease or natural disaster were to occur, genetic recovery from near extinction would be almost impossible.

Until quite recently this species was found throughout Asia and South-East Asia, from India to Vietnam, however poaching has taken a massive toll on numbers. As little as 10 years ago it was declared extinct in Vietnam, leaving only the one known population in the Ujung Kulon Peninsula, south-west Java. Even though conservation efforts are ongoing, there seems little sign of recovery.

Sumatran Rhino (Dicerorhinus sumatrensis)

Critically Endangered – less than 80 left in the wild:

With a highly fragmented population across Sumatra and Borneo – this population is declining. Estimates say there has been an 80% loss of individuals in the past 30 years.

There was, however, the discovery of a few individuals in Borneo – there don’t appear to be many live young found anywhere in its current range. There is hope that there is also a small population still present in Malaysia (part of its original range) but research is ongoing.

Indian Rhino (Rhinoceros unicornis)

Vulnerable – around 3500 left in the wild:

Belonging to the same family as the Javan Rhino, this species has several distinct populations across India and Nepal. Also known as the Greater One-horned Rhino – this giant has a much larger population than the Javan or Sumatran, and is listed as Vulnerable – meaning it needs ongoing conservation action to stay safe.

Many reintroductions and translocations have been implemented due to the disjointed nature of the 11 subpopulations. Without these actions, the genetic diversity could be reduced, threatening their long-term survival.

Black Rhino (Diceros bicornis )

Critically Endangered – c.5,600 in the wild:

This rhino suffered an estimated 98% population collapse during the second half of the 20th century due to poaching and land clearances. Thankfully since then, the numbers have since doubled and are still increasing.

Reduced to a third of its original range, it has since been reintroduced to another third and is now found in most countries in southern Africa. With ongoing conservation work, increased rangers protection and supported relocations to keep the populations viable.

Can Hippos and Rhinos Coexist in the Same Habitat?

Can Hippos and Rhinos coexist in the same habitat? The two species might share similar habitats, but conflicts can arise. A hippo vs rhino battle could occur due to territorial disputes or competition for resources. However, such confrontations are relatively rare, as these animals usually try to avoid direct conflict and establish a peaceful coexistence.

White Rhino (Ceratotherium simum)

Near Threatened – 18,000 in the wild:

Although this species has high numbers, these are reducing fast. reduced to populations in just one country of its original home range (South Africa) translocations and reintroductions have initially proved successful and it is now resident in (possibly) 13 countries across the continent.

Their numbers however are only stable in 5 countries and are actually, overall, decreasing. The subspecies usually known as the ‘Northern White Rhino’ is now functionally extinct (with only 2 known individuals alive – both female) and all translocations back into where they used to live are now the ‘southern’ White Rhino.

There is always hope with subspecies being able to keep the genetic diversity alive – but it also further increases the delicacy of the situation. Many scientists are beginning to think, for example, that the Northern White Rhino was actually a separate species (to the Southern), which would mean that a species of rhino has gone extinct in our own lifetime.

*Numbers and conservation status is taken from IUCN Red List Website (2021): https://www.iucnredlist.org

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