Wildlife is amazing to look at. There are many beautiful animals and birds all over our planet. One such amazing species is the Rhino. There are various types of rhinos such as black, white, Javan, Sumatran and greater one horned rhinos. Millions of years ago there were many more species of rhinos, but they are extinct now. You can easily find rhinos in zoos and national parks. White rhinos were about to become extinct, but thanks to those huge conservation efforts that saved them. They were quite near to extinction, but at present there are more than 20,000 rhinos available.
The vast majority of this population lives in South Africa.
They are experiencing poaching issues. The wildlife conservation centres are in continuous efforts to save them. Black rhinos are smaller to the other African species of Rhino. They are now critically endangered with a limited number of 5,055 only. They eat bushes, trees and shrubs. They are called as browsers.
They have a specially designed upper lip which helps them in doing so. The greater one horned rhino are adapted to living quite close to water bodies. They can be found in the floodplains of Nepal and India. They have folds of skin over their entire body. There is nothing to be scared by it as that is their structure.
Sumatran rhino is the closest relative of the woolly rhino. These extinct rhinoceros species lived in the ice age. They have got a hairy skin with many other ancient characteristics. They spend their day time sitting in a pond or mud. They do so to keep their body cool. Javan rhino is the rarest found species of rhinoceros. It is very large in size and is only found in the Ujung Kulon National Park now. It has become extremely vulnerable now due to which its population is now limited to a single place.
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Rhinos are wonderful animals. They are very calm unless intrigued. They cause no potential threat to people around them. Rhinos were once abundant in Asia and Africa, but today there are only a few countable number of rhinos are remaining. Conservation efforts are active, but poaching is seeing no mark to stop. Unless and until a full stop is put over poaching, nothing can be done to save these beautiful species. Rhino population is moving very close to extinction due to continuous poaching. IUCN declared the Western Black rhino as extinct in the year 2011. The major reason for the extinction of this species was poaching.
Not to your surprise, all five species of rhinos are listed in the red list of IUCN. Three out of these five species are categorized as critically endangered. South Africa is the major centre of conservation for rhinos in today’s date. Scientists have estimated that if the rhino poaching is not controlled, it will exceed their birth rate by the year 2018. In the year 2014, around 1,215 rhinos were killed by poachers. Poaching is not based only in South Africa. It is everywhere. Rhino population in Asia is also very limited. Especially, the Javan rhino is on the verge of extinction. Scientists have surrendered saying that it is not possible to create a living habitat for them anymore.
Whatever may be the reason, poaching has to be stopped strictly. It is the major trouble making a problem for these innocent animals. The growing demand for rhino horn in Asian countries such as China and Vietnam has led to increased poaching. Rhino horn has got no specific medical benefits still it is used to treat many different kinds of human conditions. People who sell these horns get very highly paid. This is the reason these people have made poaching a profession.
At the beginning of 20th century, there were around 5,00,00 rhinos across Asia and Africa. By 1970, this population fell to a count of 70,000. Today, this count has reduced to mere 29,000 in the wild. During the onset of the last decade, their population started to decrease significantly. With regular efforts, their population has started to increase in the past few years. Many conservation experts have come up actively to help grow their population. Poaching has also become regulated now. With strict action, poachers have been sent behind the bars. Uncontrolled poaching in the 1970s led to a dramatic decrease in the rhino population.
A statistics released in 1993 showed that there are only 2300 left in the wild. In the early 1970s, there were 65,000 of them. Across Africa, many active programmes were run to save black rhinos. This led to an increase in their population by early 2000s. The success stories of rhino conservation programmes are widely known and discussed. The most overwhelming story is of the southern white rhino. There were only 20 of them left in the early 1900s. Today, there are more than 20,000 of them. Thanks to the conservation department that made their consistent efforts to save them. It was largely needed to save them. The population is increasing every year now, so threats have reduced to a great extent now.
However, poaching is still not much under control. If it continues at the same rate, the chances are there they will again reduce to an extinction level. Strict laws are made still poachers somehow escape from the eyes of the officials. Maximum attention is now needed on the Javan rhinos. There are only 40 to 45 of them now that too in a single national park. Let’s see how far their population is saved from extinction in the near future.