Happenings Website

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SUMMARY OF RHINO POPULATION WORLDWIDE.(cont)

The poaching depredation to Black Rhino in East and central Africa was to a large extent as a result of demand by the Yemen. Rhino horn was used to make handles for daggers - called Jambiyas - for young men reaching maturity. Today this demand is furnished mainly by buffalo horn, plastic and other synthetic materials, as a result of the unavailability of rhino horn.

According to the International Rhino Foundation, the total African population in 2008 was estimated to be 4,240.

In 2011 the IUCN declared that the Western Black Rhino is extinct.

 

2.) Borneo Rhino. (Dicerorhinus Sumatrensis Harrissoni)

Borneo Rhino
This rhino is a sub specie of the Sumatran Rhino. Borneo is the 3rd largest island in the world is divided between three countries, Brunei, Indonesia and Malaysia and lies - just north of Java in South East Asia.

This rhino is critically endangered.

A small population of 13 was discovered in 2006, in the interior forests of Sabah, Malaysia. Mahedi Andau, Director of the Sabah Wildlife Department,says "While the total number of Borneo rhinos remaining is uncertain, we do know there are very, very few." It is thought optimistically that there are about 25 of these animals left. Habitat loss as well as poaching is also a threat to these rhino.

 

3.)Greater One Horned Rhino, or Indian Rhino. (Rhinoceros Unicornis)

 

Indian or Greater One Horned Rhino

This animal is the second largest rhino specie after the White Rhino.

One-horned or Indian rhinos once ranged across the entire northern part of the Indian subcontinent, along the Indus, Ganges
and Brahmaputra River basins, from Pakistan to the Indian-Burmese border. They may have also existed in Myanmar (formerly Burma), southern China and Indochina.
Today, their habitats are restricted by human settlements,so they often occur adjacent to cultivated areas, pastures, and
secondary forests.

A further risk to the Indian Rhino is the fact that about 70% of its population is in the Kaziranga National Park, which is to rhino poachers advantage, as these animals are concentrated in one relatively small area.
If a disease should break out or civil unrest, or further habitat loss due to human population growth demands, these factors could have
a devastating impact on the Indian rhino's status.

 

There are less than 3000 of these rhino left in the world. These Rhinos are now extinct in Pakistan.

 

4.) Javan Rhino. (Rhinoceros sondaicus). It is also known as the Lesser One Horned Rhinoceros

 

Javan Rhino or Lesser One Horned Rhino

There are at this time (2012) an estimated 35 Javan Rhino left. The Vietnamese sub specie is now extinct, consequently the Javan Rhino is the most threatened of the rhino species.

The Javan Rhino was once the most widespread of all Asian rhinos, and they ranged from the islands of Java and Sumatra,
throughout Southeast Asia,into India and China.

The species is critically endangered, with only one known population in the wild occuring in the Ujung Kulon National Park at the western tip of Java in Indonesia.

 

5.) Sumatran Rhino ((Dicerorhinus sumatrensis)

 

Sumatran Rhino

Sumatran Rhino once lived in rainforests, swamps and cloud forests all across India, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, and China.

Most of the Sumatran rhino's body is covered with A coat of reddish-brown hair. This rhino is the most primative of all the rhino species in the world and is a very close relative of the Woolly Rhinoceros that lived during the ice-ages.

They are now highly endangered, with only six viable population groups in the wild: Sumatra has four groups, Borneo one group, and there is also one in the Malay Peninsula.

It is difficult to determine what the current population is because they are solitary animals and are widely distributed across their areas. It is estimated that there are between 130 to 190 of these Sumtran Rhino left in the world.

 

6.) Southern White Rhino (Ceratotherium simum simum)

 

Southeern White Rhino

The name white does not refer to colour, which is in fact greyish-brown. There is a theory that the name is derived from the Dutch word 'wijd', which describes it's wide upper lip.
There is no proof of this however and there is no literary reference to Wyd-Renoster or any other name of this kind in any written document. It is therefore highly unlikely that the term 'White' in White Rhinoceros has been derived from a Dutch or Africaans word.

The exact source of the white in White Rhino is still unknown.

The White Rhino is the biggest of Africa's rhino species and it has an elongated skull to facilitate getting it's wide lips down low enough to graze. It also has a large hump on it's withers for muscle attachment necessary to cope with the cantilever effect of the elongated skull.

 

This rhino is the only success story of a rhino specie being rescued from the brink of extinction. At the turn of the 20th centuary there were thought to be only 30 - 50 southern White Rhinos left alive. As a result of conservation efforts this specie is now the most abundant rhino specie in the world, around about 20 000, occuring mainly in South Africa. We will examine this in more detail further on.

7.) Northern White Rhino (Ceratotherium simum cottini)

 

Northern White Rhino

This is a sub specie and is the most threatened of all the worlds rhinos. In July 2008 the International Rhino Foundation reported that they believed that this rhino specie was now extinct in the wild. There are only 7 left alive in the world and are now living in the Ol Petjeta Conservancy in Kenya.

 

SUGGESTIONS TO CONTROL POACHING (cont)

 

- with a lot less risk, involving more organised crime syndicates.

Rhino poaching now also involves more affluent members of society with farmers, pilots, officers within the wildlife industry and also vets.

 

A well known case was the contemptible Groenewald gang involving Groenewald, his wife, a professional hunter and three vets. They ran a hunting operation called “Out of Africa Adventurous Safaris”, which allegedly, bought rhinos on auction from the Kruger National Park, and then slaughtered them. They sold the horns and buried more than 20 carcasses which were found on their farm.

 

South Africa is fighting a war against well organised criminals that if not contained will wipe out the outstanding conservation success it achieved by saving the White Rhino.

 

The price of a single rhino horn is worth more on the black market then either gold or cocaine. The Chinese population is becoming wealthier and as a result more people can afford traditional medicine containing rhino horn which is also driving the price up.

 

With a higher price more sophisticated methods are being used involving cell phones, gps', helicopters.

 

The cost of protecting our rhino is becoming more and more expensive. Some African countries just cannot afford to keep up the battle to protect their rhinos any more and bribery and corruption involves a lot of people in conservation departments.

 
Considerations:

Let us consider the success of the White Rhino being saved from extinction!!

By the early 1900's the White Rhino population was thought to be about 50 animals left in the wild, and today there are about 20 000. How was this success achieved?

Plain and simply put it was financial economics.

 

South Africa, particularly through the efforts of Dr. Ian Player and the then Natal Parks Board, used the vehicle of private ownership of game including the White Rhino, to attract people to want to own wild game animals.

Private game farms could become commercialy registered and were then the owners were allowed to buy and sell and possess wild game and in particular White Rhinos.

This meant that private game farmers could now legally own and breed rhinos to sell as breeding stock to other land owners or they could sell some of their rhinos for trophy hunting purposes.

People would travel and pay entry fees to go and look at wild animals on the game rancher's land.

 

This meant that the land owners could now legally generate money for their own account through the commercial use of rhino and other game species, which meant that the game species so owned were an investment to the owner.

This is evidenced by the increase of the price of a rhino in the early 1980's of about R10,000.00 to R300,000.00 in 2012.

 

In the early 1970's there were thought to be over 60 000 Black Rhino in the wild in Africa, most of these lived in other African countries. Today they have been all but wiped out by poaching and only an estimated 4800 - less than 1% - remain. Of these about 3500 - 75% - live in South Africa and neighbouring Namibia.

Why is this? Because South Africa and Namibia applied the same approach to Black Rhino as to White Rhino and the

legal owners have a vested interest in protecting their animals as this is a financially driven need to look after their investment.

 

Unfortunately the short sightedness of the world and the conservation authorities' ban on legitimate legal trade in rhino horn, is a major threat to the remaining rhino in the world.

 

Banning the trade of rhino horn by legal owners is one of the major threats to rhino survival. There has been a ban on rhino horn trade for thirty five years and it has FAILED.

 

Not only has it failed miserably but it has driven the black market price of rhino horn up to unbelieveable levels, which is posing a further risk on the remaining animals.

This is a disaster situation that pig headedness or misguided emotion, cannot play a part in.

 

OUR RHINO ARE GOING TO BE WIPED OUT, SO DO SOMETHING CONSTRUCTIVE.

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Suggestions:

 

The trade in legititmate rhino horn makes economic as well as common sense.

 

Private Rhino Owners and conservation bodies possess an estimated 30 to 35 years supply of rhino horn to meet the current demand for rhino horn.

This is a major risk and danger to the people that store these rhino horns, they are a target for criminals.

 

The private owner who has invested so much money in a rhino and has a natural death occuring to his animal, cannot under these short sighted restrictions reap any compensation for commitment , hard work and investment.

He is forced by current laws to either run the risk of keeping the horn at great risk to himself or hand it over to the authorities to be of a greater risk to them because of the sheer volume they are forced to store.

 

It has been worked out that the yearly rhino horn becoming available, by just the natural die off of the worlds' remaining rhino population, would be sufficient to meet todays' demand.

 

It has been argued that by placing the current rhino horn stocks that are in storage, on the market, the demand for more rhino horn would be created.

The answer to that is, that by opening up the market with rhino horn of animals already dead, the heat would be off the remaing live rhino populations because poachers would not be paid enough to risk poaching live animals. This would allow the remaining rhinos to breed up and increase.

With the heavy poaching pressure relieved, the worlds rhino population could start the long uphill struggle to increase.

 

The legitimate sale of legal rhino horn by the owners would make available a tremendous amount of money that would directly benefit conservation and the rhino.

These bodies are currently fighting an extremely expensive poaching war for no gain in sight because of the worlds' emotional short sightedness.

 

Huge strides forward could be made with this money to directly benefit our remaining rhino and conservation.

 

Nobody appears to want to make that logical quantam leap because they are afraid of the consequences of the worlds' emotional blackmail.

I cannot argue that mistakes won't be made, but they can be addressed and rectified.

 

To try something new is by far and away better than remaining locked in a 35 year old policy outlook that has not worked but in fact has worsened the rhinos' plight.

 

The NASA space programme had its problems but in the long run NASA succeeded, not by standing still and wringing their hands over failures but by striving forward and trying new ideas to succeed.

 
 
 

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