SOLVING ENDANGERED SPECIES
African Black Rhinos
Generally, Rhinos were formerly f …
SOLVING ENDANGERED SPECIES
African Black Rhinos
Generally, Rhinos were formerly found in the entire African continent, however because of
human activities that involves activities like poaching as well as hunting, Rhino â€™spopulation
throughout African have dropped to the extinction brink. This day, the poaching of Rhino horn
forms the major threat facing Rhino because of increased in Asian countries, particularly in the
country of Vietnam. Notwithstanding no demonstrated medicinal value as well as made of
keratin, the horn of rhino has been used in traditional medicines for along time although in the
current years, ithas been wrongly applauded as acure of illnesses that ranges from hangovers to
cancer treatment and symbol of status.
African Black Rhinos
Two African species of Rhino are the smaller black rhinos. The most outstanding distinction
between black rhinos and the white ones are their hook-shaped upper lip. This differentiate them
from those rhinos that are white having alip that is square. Black rhinos are deemed to be
browsers instead of being grazers with their pointed lip assists them consume leaves found in
bushes as well as trees. Ideally, they possess two horns and sometimes athird believed to be
posterior horn. Black rhino â€™spopulation has reduced dangerously in the twentieth century during
the settling of European settlers as well as hunters (Clements et al., 2020 ).
Particularly, the number of black rhino reduced between 1960 and 1995 by grievous 98 per cent
to less than 2,500. Consequently, there has been asignificant come back made the species from
the brink of devastation. Thanks to pertinacious efforts of conservation made throughout the
continent of Africa, the number of black rhino have doubled from their historically lower
numbers in the past 20 years to approximately 5,600 currently. Nevertheless, the black rhinos are
be deemed to be seriously vulnerable, and much more work is left in bringing up the numbers to
even apercentage of what itsometimes used to be and ensuring that itis maintained at that. The
crime of wildlife, which is poaching as well as rhino horn trafficking black market that continues
to plague rhino species as well as threatening their recovery.
Biology and Behaviour
ï‚· Physical description
The rhinos which are black are deemed to be smaller as compared to white rhinos, however the
height of adults can be 1.5 meters weighing about 1.4 tons. The black rhino species is
differentiated from the rhino that white by aprehensile-upper lip thus the other name of hook
lipped rhino and normally feeds on woody twigs plants as well as numerous herbaceous plants.
They have aliking that is specific for acacias. Following the two horns, the front horn is very
much longer with an average of 50 cm in length.
ï‚· Life cycle
The most solitary are those black adult rhinos. It is worth noting that the mother as well as
daughter can remain together for longer duration whereas afemale with no offspring is likely to
team up with another neighbouring female. However the sexual maturity of female is 4to 5years,
they fail to have their first calf at early periods until they attain 6.5 to 7years old. For the case of
males, they are expected to wait until they attain 10 t0 12 years old prior to territory claim as
well as mating. The calves of black rhinos live up to 40 to 50 years of age. Throughout the
courtship period, conflicts over afemale may lead to death of any males who are competing.
Their breeding normally takes place across the year. Furthermore, gestation period takes place
between 419 and 478 days with calves average interval taking place between two and half years
and three and half years (Di Minin et al., 2022 ).The black rhino claves starts to wean at
approximately two months of age.
A part from females as well as their offspring, rhinos that are black are solitary. The reproduction
of females only takes place 2.5 to 5years. Their single calf may only stay on their own when
they are about 3years old. The feeding time of black rhinos is at night as well as the dawn and
dusk especially at the gloaming hours. When the sun is hotter in Africa, they prefer taking cover
by sleeping under the shade. In fact, rhinos are also deemed to be wallowing alot. They
frequently look for awater hole that is suitable and roll in its mud making their skin to be coated
with arepellent bug that is natural as well as sun-block.
Rhinos are very keen in smelling and sharp hearing senses. They might search for one another by
simply following scent trails left behind them by every immense animal leaves on the landscape.
What makes black rhinos to be foremost more popular as compared to the rest is their two horns
that they are able to boast about. The horns of rhino can grow up to 3inches in agiven and is
believed to be growing up to 5feet long. The young rhinos are protected by their mothers using
their horns whereas males use such horns as adefense mechanism against the attackers (Mwangi
et al., 2022 ).
The outstanding rhino horns that is widely popular as defense mechanism has also been their ruin.
Numerous animals have died for the hard, hair-like growth being adored for medicinal uses in
countries such as Singapore, China, Hong Kong as well as Taiwan. Also, rhino horns are
valuable in North Africa as well as Middle East countries as ornamental dagger-handle.
Previously, black rhino used to roam in many parts of Sub-Saharan Africa, however currently
they are on the extinction verge because of human activities like poaching increased by
commercial demand for rhino â€™shorns.
In comparison of the two African rhino species, the black rhino is widely known to be smaller.
The most outstanding distinction between white as well as black rhino are their hooked-upper lip.
In fact, this differentiate them from those white rhinos having square lip. Further, itis import to
note that rhinos that are black are browsers instead of being grazers with their possible lip
assisting them to feed on leaves from trees as well as bushes. Better still, they possess two horns
and many occasions athird one called posterior horn.
Black rhino â€™spopulation has reduced dangerously in the twentieth century during the settling of
European settlers as well as hunters. Particularly, the number of black rhino reduced between
1960 and 1995 by grievous 98 per cent to less than 2,500. Consequently, there has been a
significant come back made the species from the brink of devastation (Jhala et al., 2021 ).Thanks
to pertinacious efforts of conservation made throughout the continent of Africa, the number of
black rhino have doubled from their historically lower numbers in the past 20 years to
approximately 5,600 currently. Nevertheless, the black rhinos are be deemed to be seriously
vulnerable, and much more work is left in bringing up the numbers to even apercentage of what
itsometimes used to be and ensuring that itis maintained at that. The crime of wildlife, which is
poaching as well as rhino horn trafficking black market that continues to plague rhino species as
well as threatening their recovery.
The global demand for rhinoceros horns for medicinal value besides perceived socio-cultural
symbolic value is the leading motivation for illegal harvesting. Three is continued rise in the
number of rhinoceros that are poached on an annual basis in Africa with the highest number of
poaching cases noted in 2015 in which more than 1342 rhinoceros were poached. The illegal
killing of rhinoceros mainly for global trade has been noted to be the largest threat to the
continued survival of this endangered species (Mamba et al., 2020 ).Research has established
that the endeavored existence of the currently available illegal rhinoceros horn markets coupled
with the ever increasing high illegal prices in the market as aresult of arise in the demand has
remained to be amajor threat. Such unprecedented poaching levels act to substantially
compromise the population of the rhinoceros in the wild and call for strategic interventions
aimed at ameliorating such ascourge trade.
Fragmentation of habitat & cascading effects
The main cause of nearly all the on gong and recent declines in the population of the mammal
species is human population â€™sgrowth and the related effects. Modification and loss of habitat
have diverse implications on the rhinoceros conservation. Most of the conservancies have been
invaded by the locals especially during the fast track land reform phase. Weighty concerns have
remained to be raised on the sustainability of conflicting uses of land and their possible
implications on the persistence of the species in such conservation areas. Fragmentation of the
habitat has the potential of threating the persistence of population through reducing the habitat
patches size, isolation of patches of habitat as well as creation of edge effects (Witter and
Satterfield, 2019 ).
Fragmentation results in qualitatively different habitats juxtaposition, materials flow as well as
individuals between might exert profound pressure indirectly and hence influencing on within-
fragment communities. The various protected areas as well as buffer zones have been noted to
continuously be suffering from human encroachment as well as grazing by the domestic cattle
resulting in serious damages in certain localities. This as aresult leads to inevitable compromise
of rhinoceros habitats suitability. Alien invasive plant species have as well been noted in some
instances to be invading certain grasslands which are depended upon by rhinoceros resulting in
destruction and domination of the indigenous palatable vegetation.
Modifications of the natural environment, loss of habitats as well as the general decline in the
biodiversity are among the numerous factors that result in the spread of the various emerging
infectious diseases. In as much as documentation of habitat fragmentation has been done to have
effects on wildlife population â€™svariability, such has not been the case of the rhinos which are
often found in secure regions. Disturbances to the habitat has ageneral effect of resulting in
fragmentation as well as wildlife populations â€™isolation. It is argued that in cases noted with
habitat fragmentation, persistence and viability of the small as well as isolated rhinoceros
populations would experience significance compromise (Vogel et al., 2022 ).The challenge is
even exacerbated and tends to be more pronounced in cases fragmentation occurs in connection
with illegal harvesting which might lead to magnifications of the effects of small and isolated
The resultant small meta-populations persistence tends to be compromised as aresult of their
vulnerability to the environmental, demographic besides genetic stochastic events. Among the
leading critical genetic stochastic process affects rhinoceros viability within the wild is with
regard to in bleeding depression that leads to genetic variation loss within ameta-population.
Such genetic variation loss results in compromise of the success of reproduction of individuals
besides lowering the environmental adaption pressures for instance pests, extreme weather
events, and parasites alongside diseases.
Illegal wildlife trade
The rise in the rhinoceros poaching might be linked with the virtual extensive demand and rise in
the rhinoceros horn value in Vietnam among other nations. The trend is least surprising as illegal
wildlife trade is approximated to be valued at billions of dollars per annum. The ready market
alongside wildlife products demand allows for comparison with other illegal trade and organized
crime commodity syndicates for instance firearms and drugs. Rhinoceros horns poaching has
remained unabated over the time and such is linked to criminal syndicates â€™existence providing
economic incentives to the perpetrators (Muntifering et al., 2020 ).Most of the illegal wildlife
products perpetrators enjoy the backing of global crime syndicates rendering wildlife products
poaching and trafficking one of the leading profitable ventures.
Legalization remains asophisticated issues as the rhinoceros market remains scanty. There has
been adecline in the revenue from live rhinoceros sales will the rise in the illegal trade. The rise
in the cost of protection of rhinoceros has as well substantial grown.
Current conservation efforts
Black rhinoceros conservation has remained akey wildlife trade issues for more than adecade.
The most worrying threat to the endeavored survival of this species within the wild mainly
emanates from poaching aimed at satisfaction of the demand of their horns by consumers
especially from Asia (Chanyandura et al., 2021 ).There are currently about 5000 black rhinos
still remaining in Africa, grouped as by IUCN as critically endangered. There are three surviving
subspecies from this population.
However, the most important issue in black rhino conservation appears to be in the form of
efficient protection field for several animals which are wildlife themselves. Many of the world â€™s
blacking rhinos populace that are remaining are actually settled in sanctuaries which are fenced
as well as those areas of conservation having strong law enforcement and zones that have high
intensity of protection.
In the sanctuaries of black rhinos, rangers of ant-poaching unit provide a24-hour security check
amongst hotpots of poaching such as watering-holes as well as near roads or building at dawn. In
fact, certain locations have military-style operations as their employed staff to patrol in search of
poachers and offer protection exceptionally vulnerable populations. Units of Canine are trained
to track and detect and certain cases added to reclaim wildlife products that have been smuggled
illegally by tracking and apprehending these poachers (Duffy et al., 2019 ).
Ideally, the most dangerous work is patrolling for poachers. Following statistics in 2018, an
approximately 107 rangers of wildlife died while on duty over ayear, that is, almost half of the
wildlife rangers murdered by the poachers. The death toll in that year alone made the total
number of wildlife rangers who lost their lives in the line of work since 2009 rose to 871 wildlife
rangers. Experts believe that the death actual numbers might much greater as compared to the
reported figures in the worst case scenario. Thin Green Line Foundation and Project Ranger, are
organizations that provides direct support to wildlife rangers dedicating their lives in the
protection of the world â€™svulnerable rhinos (Muntifering et al., 2019 ).
In the Namibia â€™sprivate land, there exist numerous black rhinos with the landowners who are
custodian are both charged with the responsibility of protecting animals as well as regularly
reporting to the Ministry of Environment and Tourism in Namibia. Monitoring is very costly and
in certain case is time consuming, although, attached to the tracking devices which are basically
fixed around the leg or drilled into the horn hence might be detrimental. Scientists have come up
of asolution of new identification technology using smartphones in recording of black rhino â€™s
foot prints. This technology is able to analyze movement of rhino as well as its location from far
to assist in keeping them safe from poachers (Rubino and Pienaar, 2018 ).
Species â€™rehabilitation over the years to agreater extent, has remained acrucial of biological
management. When individuals are monitored within their areas of jurisdiction or zones of
specific protection, experts are able to access information useful in decision making as well as
managing black rhino sub-populations for optimal population growth.
Most communities in the entire Africa have been involved in education as well as engagement,
establishment of conservancies to assist in fostering of community governance, training together
with necessary skill to ensure successful management of their own wildlife resources.
Conservationists in South Africa work in tandem with the WWF-Rhino Range Expansion Project
to facilitate the safe movement of rhinos from parks with substantial populations into another
regions within the historic range of the origin. In many cases, wildlife veterinarians sedate the
rhinos and lift them using helicopters transporting from dangerous and difficult boundaries or
territories onto vehicles and finally take them to their new safe homes (Pant et al., 2022 ).Ideally,
the number of this project work is notable, that is, the population of black rhino have increased
by 21 per cent in South Africa in the province of KwaZulu-Natal which was the first site of the
project when itwas started in the year 2003. The performance of the site has been outstanding
with certain offspring of the first translocation in the past being moved to be part of 11 thbreeding
population of the program.
Enhanced crime detection, law enforcement & forensics
Uninterrupted monitoring, intelligence activities and protection is needed to ensure rhinoceros
safety. The participation of the transnational organized criminal syndicates taking part in horn
trafficking has faced enhanced efforts of law enforcement for apprehension, prosecution and
sentencing of the traffickers alongside poachers with the aim of minimizing poaching. Poaching
of rhinoceros is known to be one of the illegal trades that is more sophisticated and driven by the
syndicate, reducing the efficiency as well as effectiveness of the conventional measure of low
enforcement. Innovative systems alongside advanced technology including drones, seismic
sensors, and sniffer dogs besides field closed-circuit television camera may be adopted in aiding
protection and monitoring of this endangered species. These interventions however need a
relatively holistic approach, reinforced by international support, effective and strategic legal
alongside policy frameworks besides augmentation of the various law enforcement frameworks
(Cheung et al., 2021 ).
In certain instances, efforts aimed at law enforcement should strengthen the capacity of
identification of wildlife species besides investigation via forensic approaches. Possible
strategies which might be scaled-up are among them analysis of footprint at the crime sites,
molecular techniques, species morphological studies as well as serological methodology.
This report has presented an analysis of the various threats to the conservation efforts for
rhinoceros. The black African rhino is noted to be acritically endangered species due to the
horns that are believed to be of medicinal value besides ameasure of the social class. Illegal
poaching or harvesting is found to the greatest threat to rhinoceros. Other threats include
fragmentation and loss of habitat, weak legal and policy frameworks, and inadequate law
enforcement among others. Recommendations are made that the existing legal and policy
frameworks aimed at protection of rhinoceros be further strengthened at the global scale. Being a
crime syndicate trade, illegal harvesting of rhinoceros can only be contained via concerted efforts
of the various nations. Integration of technological advancement and innovation can serve to
further alleviate the conservation strategies by ensuring the proprietors are held to account of
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