We all live our daily lives thinking about playing games, having fun, using social media and playing outside, but in fact there other issues going on around the world, such as climate change/global warming, poverty, lack of education, lack of food and clean water, but today I will be talking about the issue of illegal wildlife trade. Has anyone heard of this issue?
The Black Rhinoceros’s scientific name is Diceros bicornis. Black rhinos are the smaller species of the two African rhino species. They are 5.2 feet in height and 9.8 to 12.3 feet in length. They weigh about 1,760 to 3,080 pounds. Black and white rhinos are in fact, both grey. The most distinct difference about them is that the black rhinos have a hooked upper lip, but the white rhinos have a square lip. Black rhinos are browsers rather than grazers, and their pointed lip helps them feed on leaves from bushes and trees. Their head is also held higher than a white rhinos. They have two horns, and occasionally a third, small posterior horn. The average size of the front horn is 50cm in length and is the longer one of the two horns. Black rhinos are native to eastern and southern Africa including Botswana, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.
Black rhinos are classified as critically endangered and there are about 5000 to 5400 left. The black rhino is classified as critically endangered because of two different ways. Firstly, the illegal wildlife trade and secondly the growth development of agriculture and infrastructure.
Out of all the threats that the black rhino has to face, poaching is the deadliest. Their two horns make them rewarding targets for the illegal trade in rhino horn. A huge wave of poaching for their horn rippled through Kenya and Tanzania, continued south through Zambia’s Luangwa Valley as far as the Zambezi River, and spread into Zimbabwe. Political instability and wars have greatly hampered rhino conservation work in Africa, notably in Angola, Rwanda, Somalia, and Sudan. This situation has worsened threats such as trade in rhino horn and increased poaching due to poverty.
A recent increase in poaching in South Africa threatens to erase conservation success, reaching a top in 2014 when 1,215 rhinos were poached. Poaching numbers, fortunately, are slowly decreasing. Only 1,054 were poached in 2016, but poaching continues persistently with numbers remaining unsustainably high.
Their horns are in rising demand in the Asian market too, particularly in Vietnam and China, who use them in folk remedies.
Another thing that affects them is habitat loss and fragmentation. Next to poaching, loss of habitat contributes to the decline in the rhino population. Human activities such as agriculture, settlements, and infrastructure development result in the loss and fragmentation of rhino habitat, which increases the risk of poaching and inbreeding.
The illegal wildlife trade is a big problem and it does not just happen to few a few animals, but hundreds. Something needs to be done about this or the black rhino and many other animals will become extinct in a matter of time. If
•We should not harm animals •They have daily lives just like us
•They have families
•They have not done anything to us
•We need to do something about it