Rhinos are amazing creatures that are enormous and powerful. They are one of the Big Five game animals. The rhinoceros, sometimes known as the rhino, is one of the largest remaining wild mammals, with weights that can approach and exceed one tonne. They are herbivorous odd-toed ungulates with a thick layer of skin and a horn or two on the nose. Rhinos are only found in Africa and Southern Asia.
There are at least five different rhinoceroses, each with its traits. The African species, for example, have no teeth in the front of their mouths. Thus, they chew green material with their lips. Despite their enormous size, they are vulnerable. The IUCN Red List classified the Black, Javan, and Sumatran species as severely endangered.
Here is some further information about rhinos, including why they have become endangered, where they live, their value, how the world can help keep rhinos from extinction, and some fun facts about rhinos.
The Rhinos: A Few Interesting Facts
1. Rhinos can run at speeds of up to 30 miles per hour!
Rhinos, despite their size, can run at speeds of up to 30 miles per hour.
2. Rhinos can weigh up to two tons.
Depending on the species, rhinos can weigh up to 2 tons. The herbivores known as ungulates have large bodies, stumpy legs, and one or two dermal horns that contribute to their enormous size. African black species, for example, weigh between one and one-and-a-half tonnes, while white species weigh more than two tonnes.
3. Rhinos have extremely poor vision.
Rhinos have a weak vision but excellent senses of smell and hearing.
4. They have a 50-year lifespan.
The animals have a life expectancy of up to 50 years. White rhinoceros can live for 40 to 50 years, black rhinoceros for 35 to 50 years, and Indian rhinoceros for 35 to 45 years.
5. Rhinos have a 16-month gestation period and mature in roughly five years.
Rhinos have a 16-month gestation period. Females take up to five years to reach sexual maturity.
6. Rhinos are primarily found in Africa and Southern Asia.
Rhinos are mostly found in Asia and Africa, with populations as high as 500,000 in Africa and Asia before the century. Today, the population is under 29,000, and the decline is due to decades of hunting and habitat destruction.
7. The length ranges from 7.4 to 10 feet.
Rhinos have a body length of four to ten feet and a shoulder height of roughly 60 inches.
8. There are just two Northern white rhinos left in the world as of March 2020.
As of March 2020, there are just two northern white rhinos left on the planet. They are kept in captivity at the Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya, monitored 24 hours a day.
9. The two largest rhinoceros families left, the African white rhino and the Asian larger one-horned rhino.
The African white rhino and the Asian larger one-horned rhino are the largest of the remaining five rhino species.
10. Only the Javan rhino can be found in the Indonesian island of Java.
After being declared extinct in Vietnam in 2011, the Javan rhino can now only be found in one national park on Java Island, Indonesia, as of March 2020.
11. With populations currently nearing 3,700, up from 200 at the turn of the century, the Indian rhino has been successfully conserved.
Due to conservation efforts, the one-horned or Indian rhino has been downgraded from endangered to vulnerable. Yet, poachers for its horn continue to pose a threat.
What Is the Importance of Rhinos?
1. They are necessary for the ecosystem’s survival.
Rhinos are known as “umbrella species” or “keystone species.” These animals have roamed the world for millions of years, playing a crucial role in ecology. They eat a lot of green leafy materials, especially grass, and they eat a lot of it. As a result, they contribute to the shaping of the African landscape. They also assist other creatures such as elephants and buffalo in maintaining a healthy environmental balance.
2. They are popular tourist destinations.
Rhinos are one of Africa’s ‘Big Five,’ which means they are among the most well-known and visited creatures in the wild. Tourists and locals alike flock to parks and other rhino habitats to observe these magnificent beasts, contributing to the local and national economies. As a result, they provide people with a source of income.
3. They assist in the preservation of ecosystems for others.
Inadvertently, our efforts to safeguard the African rhino are also helping to protect the habitat of other wild species. We provide cash for local communities and people by protecting them all, as the animal is a tourist attraction. By ensuring that these resources are available for future generations, we aid local communities and people.
What Is the Habitat of Rhinos?
Rhinos are found in Africa and Asia, with two species in Africa and three in Asia.
1. The rhinoceros of India
They’re called bigger one-horned rhinos, and they’re located in India, Pakistan, and Nepal. They’re nearly as big as African white rhinos. They thrive in the Himalayan foothills’ tall grasses and woodlands. The Kaziranga National Park in India is home to around 67 per cent of India’s rhinos.
2. The rhinoceros of Java
Only 60 of them are thought to exist, making them one of the world’s most endangered species. Since they were hunted to extinction throughout the Himalayan region and the Peninsular of Malaysia, they are no longer found in those areas. Javan rhinos can be found at the Ujung Kulon National Park in Indonesia’s Java Island.
3. The Sumatran rhinoceros is number three on the list.
It is the tiniest and hairiest rhino species. It can be found in Indonesia’s Borneo and Sumatra at high altitudes. Today, there are just about 275 Sumatran rhinos surviving in the wild.. The once extensively widespread species is now confined to Indonesia and Malaysia, where it faces extinction.
4. The White Rhinoceros is number four on the list.
There are around 20,500 southern white rhinos and only two northern white rhinos. The white rhinoceros is not fully white but rather grey. Kenya, Zimbabwe, Namibia, and South Africa are among the countries where they have been discovered.
They were also once found in Chad, the Central African Republic, Sudan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Uganda, but their populations have vanished. By 2020, the two last northern white rhinos will be captive in a Kenyan reserve.
5. The black rhinoceros is number five on the list.
Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, and South Africa are home to the black rhinoceros. Their black rhinos are smaller than white rhinos, have a pointed mouth, and can sprout a third horn on occasion.
Why are Rhinos on the Verge of extinction?
1. Loss of habitat
Rhino habitat has been destroyed due to changes in grassland composition, agricultural operations, logging, and deforestation. The rest are strewn about in disjointed and lonely regions. There is a risk that they will crossbreed and generate rhinos that are less agile.
One of the ways that sickness spreads is through isolation. Pressure on rhinos and their habitats increases as human populations increase, resulting in animal-human conflicts.
2. The act of poaching
The animals are regularly hunted illegally for their horns. Their horns were in high demand, and they were nearly extinct in numerous countries, including Vietnam, in 2011. Their horns are thought to have medicinal and aphrodisiac properties and the ability to cure a variety of disorders such as hangovers, fevers, and malignancies.
As a result, the animals are frequently unlawfully hunted for their horns, sold in dirty markets for thousands of dollars. For example, in some parts of Asia, a kilo of ground rhino horn can sell as much as seventy thousand US dollars. In some communities, the horns are also seen as a symbol of riches.
3. Ineffective law enforcement
Countries like Vietnam and China, where animal parts trafficking is mostly unregulated, are popular destinations for rhino parts. As a result, criminals have been able to form networks and gangs to sell animal parts for a profit.
Also, the vast quantities of filthy money have given rise to organized crime, especially by drug traffickers who view the ivory business as a way of extending out.
4. illegal Wildlife trade
As previously stated, rhino parts are traded for large sums of money, with demand increasing, driving prices even higher on the underground market. The trade-in rhino horns are forbidden under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Fauna and Flora (CITES). However, certain countries are reluctant to enforce the international treaty.
How Can We Assist Rhinos?
1. Become a part of the anti-poaching campaign.
Regardless of where they reside, communities and individuals may join the battle against rhino poaching and the illegal sale of rhino parts. Those who live near or inside the protected regions should also be cautious and assist in protecting the endangered creatures. Any sightings of poachers or others bent on harming the animals should be reported.
2. Establishing new, safe sites
Some of the animals’ existing residences may not be convenient for them or may be vulnerable to assaults. As a result, governments, non-governmental organizations, communities, and individuals should work together to find new areas where the animals can be translocated, providing them hope for a secure future. The move would also keep the rhinos out of areas where humans are encroaching, endangering their habitats.
3. Increasing the size of the protected areas
The rhinos’ present habitats might be enlarged, providing additional room and habitat to roam.
4. Enforce far stricter treaties and regulations prohibiting unlawful poaching.
Governments enforcing far stricter local and international regulations should combat poaching and the illegal trafficking of animal parts. This will save not only the rhino but also all other endangered animals.
5. Poaching is outlawed
Suppose governments, organizations, and environmental protection agencies around the world act together to combat rhino poaching and the illegal trade of rhino parts. In that case, demand will fall, decreasing poaching. In addition, violators should face the full force of the law.
World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF). (n.d). Rhino. Retrieved on 9 March 2020 from https://www.worldwildlife.org/species/rhino
World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF). (n.d). Where do rhinos live? And eight other rhino facts. Retrieved on 9 March 2020 from https://www.worldwildlife.org/stories/where-do-rhinos-live-and-eight-other-rhino-facts
Baraniuk, C. (18 May 2015). The story of Rhinos and how they conquered the world. BBC. Retrieved on 9 March 2020 from http://www.bbc.com/earth/story/20150518-the-epic-history-of-rhinos