Rhinos are of various species that include the White Rhino, Black Rhino, the Greater one-horned rhino, the Sumatran rhino and the Javan Rhino. They used to be widely spread across various parts of the globe in past decades, and rightly so centuries, but with changing times, they have now become scarcely populated. They have become endangered, and, therefore, you will rarely find them in their natural habitats; the tropical forests in either Africa or Asia. Most of them are now in protected sanctuaries. The question that now needs an answer is why these wild gems are becoming endangered.
According to population estimates, the white rhino is at 20,405 with a vast majority in South Africa. The black rhino stands at around 5,055. The greater one-horned rhino is not at a critical endangering stage and are you will mainly find them in the forest of Nepal and floodplains of India. The Sumatran is closely associated and often perceived as a relatives to the woolly rhinos that lived in the ice age period. The rarest of them all is the Javan rhino, and it is as well among the rarest of mammals on earth. They are mainly found in the Ujung Kulon National Park protection as they have become extremely vulnerable. The Javan Rhinos are beautiful species and have a heritage that is worth preserving before they become extinct. The below factors are significant causes to Rhino endangerment.
The biggest risk for this species is poaching. Poaching has increased in recent years with demand for the rhino horns being at its peak especially in the Asian countries. These horns are used for different purposes such as the making of traditional medicines used to treat various ailments. The horns also are a sign of wealth and a boost to one’s social status among peers. The demand for these horns and its prices keeps on increasing leading to the population of rhinos decreasing. If this trend continues, these animals could become historical documented in films and books.
Loss of Habitat
Loss of habitat is also another factor and it is a major threat to rhinos’ survival. Human action in clearing forest to get land for settlement, agricultural production and industrialization among other reasons is the primary cause of rhino habitat loss. Some of the significantly affected countries include the Vietnam, Cambodia and Myanmar where forest cover loss has exposed these species to poaching and other dangers.
Political conflict has also contributed to the reduction of the world rhino population. War zones and similar areas where there is no law and order are more vulnerable in this case. Poachers take advantage of political instability in these zones to poach the rhinos. Good examples of such areas include the Democratic Republic of Congo, Zimbabwe and Nepal where there have been cases of invasion of privately owned rhino conservancies by land squatters, consequently driving away and endangering the rhinos.
Reduced genetic diversity
Reduced genetic diversity is another cause of rhinos becoming endangered. Of concern, in this factor, is the Javan Rhino. This type of rhino is of a small size and has low genetic diversity that, therefore, makes it more possible for the species to become extinct.
Natural disasters have also contributed significantly to the scarcity of the rhinos. In Ujung Kulon National Park where Javan Rhinos are mainly found, there have been cases of Tsunamis, even explosions from the Anak Krakatau volcano. The effects of these disasters have been far-reaching and could easily clear the animal population completely. Diseases have also been a cause for alarm especially in recent years.
These animals need to be protected, and iron cut laws made to avoid losing them