In an annual report titled “The State of the Rhino,” IRF revealed that the populations of several rhino species and subspecies are increasing, while poaching rates are decreasing.
The greater one-horned rhino, in particular, is seeing great success. In India and Nepal, the populations of that rhino have grown from just 100 individuals in the 1900s to an estimated 3,700 individuals today.
According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature, the greater one-horned rhinos are still considered “vulnerable,” but their populations are increasing.
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IRF’s executive director, Nina Fascione, said, “The continued growth of the greater one-horned rhino population is encouraging and the result of tremendous collaboration between the governments of India and Nepal, local and international organizations and the local communities that value their rhinos and other wildlife as national treasures. With ongoing combined efforts, we can expect to see continued growth of existing populations as well as the potential to introduce rhinos to additional habitats they once called home.”
In addition to the greater one-horned rhino making a comeback, there are other species and subspecies doing increasingly well.
As the report noted, Javan rhinos experienced “a small but significant increase to 75 individuals, with new births offsetting natural deaths in the world’s last remaining population.”
The Javan rhino is the rarest rhinoceros species. They reside in Indonesia’s Ujung Kulon National Park, and their populations seemed to have stabilized, according to the IRF. It’s believed they’re doing better now thanks to Rhino Protection Units that protect the animals from poachers.
While there is plenty of good news, there’s also some troubling news in the report. South Africa’s rhinos saw increased rates of poaching, and Africa’s white rhino population declined. The World Wildlife Fund reports that rhinoceros populations have plummeted from an estimated 500,000 in the early 1900s to 27,000 today.
Conservation efforts are critical to see rhinoceros survive for generations, and the report shows small wins that are being accomplished.
The IRF invested $20 million into rhino conservation efforts over the past 10 years, and we’re now seeing the benefits of that work.
Nina Fascione said it best when she stated: “We must act today, to ensure these marvelous creatures can thrive for future generations. Let’s continue to build on our successes…and reverse the declines for Sumatran and white rhinos, working together so rhinos can continue to thrive on Earth.”Whizzco