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How many white rhinoceros are there ?

The white rhinoceros: an endangered species

To ensure the conservation of the species, several international and national laws have been established by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) with a strong majority. Currently, there are about 20,000 white rhinos left living in the wild. These are the result of the combined efforts of biologists, conservationists, researchers and individuals. Thus, in South Africa, the white rhinos of this region have seen their population increase from 20 to 50 animals only in 1895 to more than 20,000 today.

However, the activity of Man considerably slows down this beautiful progression. In northern Africa, civil war and poverty in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Sudan have shattered years of conservation work. Indeed, white rhinoceros hunting has particularly developed in these conflict zones.

In addition to destroying the natural habitat in which its animals and many other species live, we have been able to observe the increase in poaching of which the white rhinoceros remains the prey. Its horn, highly esteemed in certain cultures of Asia and the Middle East in particular, is the victim of real trafficking. In 1960, the population of white rhinos in the north of the continent was estimated at 2,250 individuals spread over five countries. 25 years later, that number has plummeted. There were only 15 white rhinos left alive in Garamba National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo.


Poaching: the main reason for its disappearance

The only reason for this decline remains the poaching of the white rhinoceros. To the greatest despair of scientists, this practice continued to such an extent that in 2006, there were only 4 white rhinos left alive. Even declared as an endangered species, the white rhinoceros is the victim of poaching. Asia and the Middle East are the two regions where the international rhino horn trade is most successful.

In Asia, the horn of the white rhinoceros is sought after for traditional medicine. Although it has been shown that white rhinoceros horn probably does not have any healing properties, it is still widely used by this sector. In China, Taiwan and South Korea, this practice is the most widespread on the continent. At present, this market is unfortunately not about to stop. The Chinese and Vietnamese authorities are themselves involved in this traffic. In fact, nothing can stop the ever-increasing poaching in these regions.

In the Middle East, poachers also sell a lot of white rhino horn. Indeed, in Yemen and Oman, humans use animal horn as a material. The culture wants it to be used for the manufacture of the handle of ceremonial daggers also called "jambiyas". Even if this practice does not diminish, a glimmer of hope seems to appear in these countries. Indeed, more and more, the inhabitants of the region buy white rhinoceros horns from domesticated and non-wild animals. Even if the poaching of the white rhinoceros is still very present, this makes it possible to reduce it a little.