Despite their name, black rhinoceroses are not black in color at all. They received their name due to their color distinction from the white rhinos. The black rhinos call the Savannah’s, grasslands, and tropical brush lands in Africa home. There are 4 different black rhino sub-species. Typically, while in the wild a black rhino can live up to 35 years, but in captivity they are known to live up to 45 years. According to the African Rhino Specialist Group, there are only about 4,240 black rhinos in the wild and captivity combined.
Causes for Endangerment
The black rhinos have become endangered in large part by the acts of mankind. Rhinos are often hunted for sport or to be sold illegally. Sadly, these rhinos are hunted for their horn, which is later sold. Poaching has played a large role in the drastic decrease in the endangered black rhino population.
Another reason the black rhino has become endangered is because of the loss of their natural habitat. As mankind continues to grow, so does man’s need for land. This causes the rhinos to lose their natural habitat and food supplies.
Endangered black rhinos are not only hunted for their horns, but other body parts as well. Body parts, including urine and blood, are often used in remedies, natural medicines, and other rituals in other communities and cultures.
Black Rhino Conservation
The black rhino population drastically decreased by as much as 96% in between the years of 1970 to 1992. It was estimated, there were 65,000 of these rhinos in Africa in 1970. Sadly, by 1993, there were an estimated 2,300 rhinos left in Africa. In 1996, strong efforts against rhino poaching began. Although this has been very helpful, the population has only increased slightly. It is very difficult to monitor and enforce the poaching restrictions set to protect the black rhinos. In Asian countries, laws have been set in place against the selling and purchase of the rhino horns to try to decrease illegal poaching in Africa.
Many of these rhinos are kept in captivity. There are numerous facilities that breed these rhinos to try to reestablish their population. With these efforts in place, the black rhinos may someday be removed from the endangered species list permanently.
“Black Rhinoceros” Endangered!
“Rhino Captive Programs” International Rhino Foundation
“The Black Rhino” Bagheera