Threats to Rhinos

Why are rhinos endangered?

The biggest threats to rhino populations are illegal wildlife trade, habitat loss and climate change which threatens key habitats, weather patterns causing drought and shrinking viable landscapes:

Habitat loss and human encroachment

In just 40 years, human populations have doubled with no sign of slowing down (particularly in Africa and Asia).

Alongside these population increases, agricultural and human settlements continue to expand into rhino habitats who require space to survive and thrive.

Rhinos are sensitive breeders and, without sufficient space, wild populations will continue to decline.

The following countries have lost their rhino populations altogether:

Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Togo, Benin, Nigeria, Chad, Central African Republic, Sudan in Africa; and Pakistan, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos and Sarawak in Asia.

Climate change

In the last few decades, we have already begun to witness an increase in extreme weather events such as droughts, flooding, heat waves and storms as human-induced carbon emissions continue to grow at alarming rates and natural carbon sinks are destroyed.

Climate change is a very real environmental problem with the scale and scope to affect various ecosystems causing famine, access to water, changes in migratory patterns and increases in human wildlife conflict.

Climate change poses one of the largest threats to rhino populations in the 21st Century and, if left unchecked, could have serious implications to the survival of this iconic species among others including, elephants, pangolins, lions, tigers and snow leopards.

Illegal wildlife trade

In less than a decade more than 8,000 rhinos have been lost to the poaching epidemic in Africa alone, with their horn now rivalling the price of gold on the black market.

Used in traditional medicines in Asia and as a status symbol, consumer demand for rhino horn is higher than ever before and pushing this magnificent creature closer to extinction.

Poaching is now a threat throughout all rhino range states and the scarcity of wild populations only drives the price for rhino horn higher.

£40 could help to educate local communities neighbouring rhino habitats on the importance of rhino conservation.