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Access to vehicles was expensive and unreliable. Armed gangs attacked travelers on many roads.

Wherever the researchers traveled they saw evidence of illegal hunting for a wide range of species. Snares were present everywhere, waterholes had been poisoned and the teams frequently found wounded or trapped animals. Even though the area was classified as a national park, they found that poaching pressure in the region was 2. Tragically, although the research team heard several anecdotes about lone rhinos living in the area, none of the surveys found any evidence that the western black rhino actually still existed. A paper published in Pachyderm that year concluded that the last members of the subspecies had been poached in or around and that the western black rhino was probably extinct.

People kept looking, but no rhinos were ever found. In , with no sightings in a decade, the International Union for Conservation of Nature formally declared that the western black rhino had gone extinct. Unfortunately, the western black rhino will not be the last rhino species or subspecies that we lose.

Endangered Black Rhinoceros • Fun Facts and Information For Kids

The Javan rhino subspecies in Vietnam was also declared extinct in The northern white rhino is down to its last seven, non-breeding, aged adults. The main Javan rhino species is down to fewer than 50 individuals and the Sumatran rhino has fewer than The remaining three black rhino subspecies as a whole are considered critically endangered one subspecies is listed as "vulnerable to extinction," although its population is still quite low.

The Indian one-horned rhino and the southern white rhino both enjoy healthier populations, but with poaching levels seemingly increasing almost every day , even they may not last long. Will we learn from the lessons of the western black rhino's extinction? I think it's possible.


Although the species disappeared a decade ago, many people are still just learning that it is gone. In the past week alone dozens, if not hundreds, of media outlets have run articles proclaiming that the western black rhino has gone extinct. Almost all of them mistakenly reported that the extinction happened just this past week—a burst of coverage set off by CNN republishing its two-year-old story with an "updated" date of November 6, This unleashed a veritable tsunami of sadness for the western black rhino on social media.

In some ways it's good to see so many people express horror that the western black rhino has gone extinct. Maybe, just maybe, that will also lead to people caring about the rhino species that remain, and to take action before they, too, are gone. Photos: A western black rhino photographed by M. Used under Creative Commons license.

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A western black rhino skull from an animal shot by a sportsman in Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons. The views expressed are those of the author s and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.

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  7. The rear horn is smaller and measures up to 22 inches 55 cm long. This website uses cookies to improve your experience while you navigate through the website. Out of these cookies, the cookies that are categorized as necessary are stored on your browser as they are as essential for the working of basic functionalities of the website. We also use third-party cookies that help us analyze and understand how you use this website.

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    These animals are big, bulky and absolutely brilliant!

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    They remember that you have visited a website and this information is shared with other organisations such as advertisers. Although the animals have a pretty thick dermis, they're surprisingly vulnerable when it comes to bug bites and sunburn. Rhino horns are made up of nothing but keratin, but that doesn't stop poachers from killing thousands of the animals each year and selling their horns on the black market. The horns are fashioned into jewelry and figurines, and in some parts of Asia they're believed to hold healing properties they don't.

    Just a century ago, there were more than half a million rhinos around the world. Now, around 30, survive in the wild, largely due to poaching. All five species of rhino are in danger, but three are considered critically endangered: Sumatran, Javan, and black rhinos. Today, there are about 60 remaining Javan rhinos , fewer than Sumatran rhinos , and about black rhinos.


    There is some good news, though. Thanks to conservation efforts, black and white rhino numbers have increased in recent years, with the white rhino having been "brought back from the brink of extinction," according to the World Wildlife Fund. The organization Save the Rhinos is taking a multi-pronged approach to the issue, working to deploy more field rangers to protect the animals, reduce demand in Asia, and breed rhinos that are currently in captivity.

    Many inventors regret their most famous inventions: The scientists behind the atomic bomb , the creator of the AK, and, as he recently revealed on a podcast , the dog breeder behind the Labradoodle. According to the BBC , the Australian breeder created the Labradoodle in to meet the specific needs of one couple from Hawaii.

    Rhino Extinction in Our Lifetime? - Not On Our Watch - Saving the Survivors

    The wife was blind and needed a guide dog, but her husband was allergic to the type long hair found on typical service dogs like labs. Conron's solution was to crossbreed a poodle with a Labrador. That way, his clients would have a dog with the obedience and temperament of a Lab and the short, curly coat of a poodle. The experiment produced some unintended consequences: Labradoodles are prone to a number of health problems, such as epilepsy and hip dysplasia.

    They're also incredibly adorable, which has been enough to make them a popular pet breed despite their genetic baggage.

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    Since the inception of the Labradoodle, designer crossbreeds have become a hot trend in the dog world. Conron says that the practice has encouraged breeders to cross poodles with "inappropriate" breeds, prioritizing cuteness and novelty over the dogs' wellbeing.

    12 amazing rhino facts you might not know

    Health issues aren't exclusive to Labradoodles. Many designer dogs are more vulnerable to hereditary diseases that make life harder for both the pooches and their owners. That's one more reason to adopt instead of shop —even if it means the dog you take home doesn't have a catchy breed name. Earlier this year, the Monterey Bay Aquarium found two male baby otters—just weeks old—on the coast of California with no adult sea otters in sight.