Currently there are five species of Rhino on earth, two species in Africa and three in Asia. All these species are on the IUCN Red List and are currently under threat.
The Asian species include the following;
- Javan Rhino (+-60 individuals) – Critically Endangered
- Sumatran Rhino (<100 individuals) – Critically Endangered
- Greater One-horned/ Indian Rhino (+-3,000 individuals) – Vulnerable
Although poaching is a big issue in these Asian Rhinos, Habitat loss remains the biggest risk to these prehistoric animals. As human populations grow, we require more land for residential, agriculture and industrial industries.
The African species include the following;
- White Rhino (+- 18,000 individuals) – Near Threatened
- Black Rhino (+- 5,500 individuals) – Critically Endangered
Poaching remains the biggest threat to these two species with an average of 1,100 individuals killed each year over the past five years. Rhinos are poached for their horns which are made of keratin, the same substance that makes up our own nails and hair. It has no medical properties even though being used in traditional Asian medicine. Its vital that we educate as many people as possible about the true facts.