Rampant poaching by organized criminal networks, habitat loss, and factors ranging from inbreeding to invasive species are driving Africa’s black rhino and Indonesia’s Sumatran and Javan rhinos to the brink of extinction. Due to this, two-thirds of the world’s five rhino species could be lost in our lifetime.
But we also have victories to celebrate.
Rhino conservation has seen some spectacular successes. Once down to 20 animals in South Africa’s Umfolozi Game Reserve, Southern White rhinos were brought back from the brink of extinction through the concerted efforts of dedicated conservationists and the South African government. By 2013, white rhino numbers had increased 1,000-fold — up to about 20,000 animals.
Just 100 years ago, the Greater One-horned or Indian rhinoceros faced certain extinction. Down to less than 200 animals, the species survived massive hunting campaigns and habitat loss in the Himalayan foothills. Fortunately, Indian rhinos rebounded because dedicated wildlife conservationists and government agencies made a commitment to bringing them back from the brink and now they number more than 3,500.
We do what it takes to save rhinos.
Conservation and protection of endangered species is a complicated business – especially for rhinos. There is no easy, one-size-fits-all solution to the grave crisis at hand, and each rhino species faces unique challenges.
There is more work to do to save rhinos than one person or organization can ever accomplish in a lifetime. Rhinos face continuously changing and intensifying challenges, which makes it more important than ever that the International Rhino Foundation reaches out, makes connections, and builds bridges with partners and supporters throughout the world.
Well-planned conservation programs yield results.
IRF funds protection and management of all five species and we are dedicated to ensuring these species don’t go extinct. We remain confident in our ability to deliver state-of-the-art rhino conservation and will continue to honor our legacy of hard work, passion, optimism, and partnership to ensure our effectiveness.
Throughout 2019, we will share first-person stories and lessons about How to Save a Species from conservationists around the world. You’ll learn about success stories, tried and true methods (like frontline protection, translocations and captive breeding), innovative scientific approaches, and how you can help.