Rhinoceros Conservation Status
The fact that the Rhinoceros doesn’t have very many natural predators means that they should be safe in numbers right? Unfortunately that isn’t the case at all due to the fact that humans have destroyed them in mass quantities. Humans have killed the adult Rhinoceros for their horns. They have also cleared out areas of the natural habitat making it extremely hard for them to find enough food and water for survival.
The International Rhino Foundation is one of the key organizations for the conservation of these animals. Sharing information about their demise is one way that they go about helping to get people to take an interest in their future. Passing laws that reduce the destruction of such habitats is very important.
Global awareness is very important when it comes to the Rhinoceros. Since they only live in the wild in Asia and Africa there is a lack of concern for them from many areas. Today the United Nations which is made up of representatives from many countries is on board to protect them. They understand that the balance of the ecosystems in these environments would be detrimental if the Rhinoceros is wiped out.
Poaching continues to be the largest threat to the future of the Rhinoceros. Conservation efforts include sanctuaries where these animals have the freedom to roam and protection. At these sanctuaries they can also be given medical attention and assisted with finding plenty of food and water for survival. The cost of operating such facilities though is unbelievable.
Part of the Rhinoceros conservation efforts also include getting stricter laws in place for those that are found to be involved with poaching. The problem though is that the manpower for such programs is often lacking. Offering sums of money as rewards for those that turn in poachers has been helpful. Money seems to be a key motivator though both for being involved with poaching and for reporting other people taking part in it.
The problem though is that those in charge of such poaching operations aren’t out there doing it. They pay villagers that are desperate for money to do the work for them. When they get caught then someone else is put into their place. It is very hard to get to the source at the top and to take down a complete regiment of poaching that is so well organized and profitable.
The Chinese government has been complying with Rhinoceros conservation efforts too. They still use the powder from the horns for various types of medications. However, they aren’t killing Rhinoceros for them any longer. They are using what they already have as inventory. They are also looking at measures for removing the horns without killing the animals. They do this by tranquilizing them and then the animals are fine.
Without their horns though it can create problems for them in the wild. The females often won’t mate with a male that doesn’t have a horn. He also can’t fight against other males for territory or mating rights. So this measure may keep these animals alive but it is also still not a solution that animal right groups are very pleased with. This move is a step in the right direction but the Chinese people feel that they aren’t ready to give up their old traditions which would be necessary if they stopped using the horns to make a variety of medicines.
Estimates show that there are only about 17,000 Rhinoceros that remain in the wild. This is a compilation of all five species. The majority of what remains belong to the species of the White Rhinoceros. This means that the others are in grave danger of becoming extinct if we don’t do everything we can to protect their natural environment.