Friday, January 25, 2008

Rhino Conservation

Rhino Conservation
Rhinos have been driven to near extinction – the world rhino population has fallen by more than 90 percent in the past 30 years. Whereas 30 species of rhino once roamed the planet, only five remain today, and all of them are endangered. In Africa, only the black rhinoceros and white rhinoceros still exist.

The Challenge

What’s the cause of the rhino’s precipitous decline? Not the habitat loss or food supply disruption that affects so many African animals. Rather, it is man’s relentless pursuit of the animal’s unique horn that poses the single most dangerous threat to rhinos today.

Saving the Rhino

AWF has been at the forefront of rhino conservation for decades. In the 1970s, when demand for rhino horn skyrocketed, AWF recognized this alarming development and joined with other organizations to launch conservation measures.
Despite these efforts, rhinos stood at the brink of extinction by the mid-1980s. AWF and other conservationists agreed that the only way to ensure their survival was to secure them in protected areas such as sanctuaries. Today, thanks to these rhino areas and the work of conservationists around the world, African rhinos are recovering from threat of extinction. Though populations remain small, the outlook for rhinos is good. With the support of a host of governments, communities, scientists, and conservation organizations, AWF continues to catalyze efforts to save the rhino.