Rhinos are one of the world’s most endangered species. Not long ago, around the start of the twentieth century, there were over 500,000 of the enormous creatures wandering over Africa and Asia. The rhino population has been destroyed as a result of the terrible surge in rhino horn hunting and habitat destruction. There are around 27,000 rhinos left in the wild outside of parks and sanctuaries.
Rhino horn is poached for the illicit market, mostly in China and Vietnam. The widespread belief that the keratin in rhino horn has therapeutic qualities that may treat everything from hangovers to erectile problems has made rhino hunting profitable. The illegal trade has kept rhino horn’s black market value higher than gold, making it worthwhile for poachers.
There are currently five species of Asian and African rhinoceros left in the world.
1. Javan Rhino (Rhinoceros sondaicus)
The Javan rhino is one of Asia’s three rhino species. They are the most endangered of the five rhino species, with just 50 known to live in the wild today. The Javan rhino’s extinction is a very serious prospect. The final remaining population in Ujung Kulon National Park in Indonesia is being well protected, with no poaching occurrences reported since 2005.
The male of the species is said to have a single horn, whereas the females do not. The Javan rhino spends much of the day wallowing in water holes and taking mud baths. The Javan rhino’s large upper lip distinguishes them and lets them to nibble on branches, twigs, and leaves, however they often graze on broad grassland.
2. Sumatran Rhino (Dicerorhinus sumatrensis)
The Sumatran rhino population is estimated to have dropped by half since the late 1990s. Their decline, like that of all rhino species, is due to poaching for their horn, but the Sumatran rhino is also suffering from habitat destruction. Their native habitat is being destroyed in order to make way for palm oil plantations.
Unfortunately for the Sumatran rhino, its habitat is quite near to China, which, along with Vietnam, is one of the primary destinations for establishing a market for rhino horn. The Sumatran rhino is a browser, and they enjoy eating leaves, plant tips, twigs, and fruits. The Sumatran rhino is the smallest and hairiest of the remaining rhinos.
It is said to be the closest living relative to the now extinct woolly rhino.
3. Greater One Horned Rhino (Rhinoceros unicornis)
The Greater One Horned rhino, often known as the Indian rhino. The Greater One Horned rhino, like its African relative, the white rhino, has seen a population increase in recent years. In the early 1900s, it is thought that as few as 200 individuals lived in the wild. Thanks to a concerted conservation effort their current population is thought to be around 3,333.
The Greater One-Horned Rhino is a grazer that lives in grasslands and marshes. They will frequently spend up to 60% of the day wallowing in water and are used to eating beneath water.
4. Black Rhino (Diceros bicornis)
The black rhino is one of Africa’s two rhino species. The black rhino is not genuinely black, in the same way that the white rhino is not genuinely white. Its skin is more greyish in color. There are several explanations as to why the black rhino is termed “black,” but the two most prominent are because the top lip has a sort of beak structure that has been translated to “black.”
Perhaps the most popular hypothesis is that the English termed it black since it was the polar opposite of white! The hook-lipped rhino is another name for the black rhino. The black rhino is a browser who prefers dense bush. The black rhino is far more timid, secretive, and hostile than the white rhino, making it more difficult to track and see.
Black rhino populations have been destroyed in recent years. It is estimated that there were as many as 65,000 black rhinos in the wild as recently as 1970. Today’s population is expected to be 5,630 people.
5. White Rhino (Ceratotherium simum)
The white rhino is one of Africa’s two rhino species. The white rhino, despite its name, is not truly white; its skin is grey. There are several hypotheses as to where the term “white” originated, but the most popular is that it is derived from the Afrikaans word for “broad,” referring to the white rhino’s broad mouth and top lip. The white rhino is also known as the square lipped rhino.
The white rhino is a grazer who is frequently seen feeding on grass in the broad plains. They must be fed on a daily basis, however they may go for 4 to 5 days without water. White rhino populations have rebounded from a low of roughly 100 in 1895 to a current wild population of over 18,067. However, a rise in rhino poaching since 2008 has put the whole species in jeopardy.
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