The last sighting of the Africa Black Rhino was made in the year 2006 and now, they have officially beendeclared extinct. The news comes as a result of a survey conducted by the world’s largest conservation network. Only recently, the group conducted its most recent survey regarding plants and animals.
For conservatives, the blame of this calamity falls on the shoulders of poachers and a lack of adequate conservation measures.
The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has warned that in addition to the fate of theBlack Rhino, the African White Rhino is closer to extinction than ever before, while the Asian Javan Rhino is already fighting for its life one last time.
The last sighting of the Black Rhino which was categorized as “critically endangered” by the IUCN took place back in 2006 in a part of Western Africa. The IUCN chairman was critical of the efforts or lack of efforts that were taken to protect the species. He said that in the case of the Northern White Rhino and the Western Black Rhino, the situation would have been much more different had their suggestions for conservations been implemented.
He further reiterated that the time was now to act, specifically manage and strengthen the habitats ofthese Rhinos to ensure that the performance of the safety measures improved and other Rhino species were kept away from extinction. The Western Black Rhino, a subspecies of the Black Rhino, was one of the most coveted animals for hunting during the 20th Century.
There was a momentary surge in their population back in the 1930s when some preservation actionswere implemented, yet as the efforts of protection declined, so did the population of one of the most stunning creatures.
The hunting increased, and the numbers dropped so much that back in the 1980s, there were estimatedto be mere hundreds left, and by the year 2000, the number fell to a meager 10 and by 2006, when a survey was made of the last remaining habitats, it failed to find any specimens.
The blame for this debacle is not only being placed on the poachers and a lack of anti poaching efforts.Ten courts are also being blamed for their failure to hand down strict, aggressive sentences to punish poachers that were caught in the act.
According to an estimate, the Ujung Kulon National Park in Indonesia is the last remaining home of the Javan Rhinos with only 40 to 60 now remaining. Interestingly, none of these Rhinos are in captivity. The Javan Rhinos in Vietnam had been decreasing increasingly over the last decades with a rising human population and land conversion threatening their habitats.
Not all is Lost
Yet according to the IUCN, not all is lost. There have been conservation efforts underway for a while now for the White Rhino subspecies of the south, which only had an estimated population of 100 at the close of the 19th Century. Today, a fruit of those efforts is that 20,000 of these species now roam the earth.
Another such success was seen in the case of the Przewalski Horse which despite being listed as extinctto the wild back in 1996 was brought back to a population of 300 using captive breeding. Of all the animals reviewed by the IUCN in the latest survey, 25% of the mammals face a risk of extinction.