Photo credit: Daryl & Sharna Balfour
The Black Rhino, Diceros bicornis, is listed as ‘CRITICALLY ENDANGERED’ on the IUCN’s Red List of Threatened SpeciesTM. Once found throughout much of sub-Saharan Africa, over 98% are now protected in state, private and communal conservation areas in South Africa, Namibia, Kenya, Zimbabwe and Tanzania. There are also small re-established breeding populations in Swaziland, Zambia, Malawi and Botswana.
While it was the most numerous of the world’s rhino species into the middle of the 20th century, it soon lost this “status” as numbers plunged due to intensive targeted poaching for its horn. From numbering in the region of 100,000 in the early 1960s, only about 2,400 individuals of the four sub-species of Black Rhino remained by 1995. Fortunately, Black Rhino numbers have steadily recovered since then to about 4,200.
The overall recovery has been largely due to their effective protection and the translocation of surplus rhinos to re-establish viable populations elsewhere within their former range. Controls resulting from its listing on CITES Appendix I (the global convention to address species threatened by international trade) have been an additional positive influence.
To learn more about Black rhinos, click here. Or visit the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™ by clicking their logo below.
To learn more about the Bush Warriors “Species of the Day” feature, please click here and read up on our initiative to raise awareness about the loss of earth’s biodiversity.