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September 22: World Rhino Day

World Rhino Day

World Rhino Day is an annual event celebrated on September 22 to raise awareness and promote their conservation. Rhinos are large, herbivorous mammals known for their thick skin and distinctive horns. There are five species of rhinos found worldwide: the Black Rhino, White Rhino, Indian Rhino, Javan Rhino, and Sumatran Rhino. South Africa has the largest number of rhino population,


1. Black Rhino (Diceros bicornis)

The black rhinoceros is one of the most prominent species of rhinos. These solitary animals are known for their pointed upper lip, adapted for browsing on leaves and twigs. There are three subspecies of black rhino: the southern, eastern and southwestern.


IUCN Status : Critically Endangered

Population : Estimated 6195

Status : Population Increasing

Countries : Africa ( Botswana, eSwatini, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia,

Rwanda, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Uganda and Tanzania)

Black Rhino (Bernard Dupont, France via Wikimedia Commons)
Black Rhino (Bernard Dupont, France via Wikimedia Commons)

2. White Rhino (Ceratotherium simum)

White rhinos are the largest of all rhino species and are known for their broad mouths adapted for grazing on grass. There are two subspecies of white rhinos: the southern white rhino and the northern white rhino. The Southern white rhino (Ceratotherium simum simum) is only surviving, and the Northern white rhino (Ceratotherium simum cottoni) is extinct in the wild due to poaching.


IUCN Status : Near Threatened

Population : Estimated 15942

Status : Population Decreasing

Countries : Africa ( Botswana, eSwatini, Kenya, Mozambique, Namibia, Rwanda,

Zimbabwe, Zambia and Uganda.)

White Rhino (Bernard Spragg, Christchurch, New Zealand via Wikimedia Commons)
White Rhino (Bernard Spragg, Christchurch, New Zealand via Wikimedia Commons)

3. Indian Rhino (Rhinoceros unicornis)

The Indian rhinoceros, often referred to as the greater one-horned rhino, is native to the Indian subcontinent. Their single horn and thick, folded skin make them distinct. The good news is that the population of Indian rhinos is more stable compared to some other species.


IUCN Status : Vulnerable

Population : Estimated 4,014

Status : Population Increasing

Countries : India, Nepal and Bhutan.

Indian Rhino (by vladimircech via freepik)
Indian Rhino (by vladimircech via freepik)

4. Javan Rhino (Rhinoceros sondaicus)

The Javan rhino is one of the rarest large mammals on the planet. They are critically endangered, with only a few dozen individuals left in the wild, primarily in Indonesia. This species is characterized by a single horn and loose, armour-like skin.


IUCN Status : Critically Endangered

Population : Estimated 76

Status : Population Stable

Countries : Indonesia’s Ujung Kulon National Park (UKNP)

Javan Rhino (International Rhino Foundation)
Javan Rhino (International Rhino Foundation)

5. Sumatran Rhino (Dicerorhinus sumatrensis)

The Sumatran rhino is the smallest and hairiest of all rhino species. It once inhabited various parts of Southeast Asia but is now critically endangered, with fewer than 80 individuals remaining. The Sumatran rhino is one of the most endangered mammals on Earth.


IUCN Status : Critically Endangered

Population : Estimated <80

Status : Population Increasing

Countries : Indonesia’s Gunung Leuser and Way Kambas National Parks (both located

on the island of Sumatra) and central Kalimantan

Sumatran Rhino (International  Rhino Foundation via Wikimedia Commons)
Sumatran Rhino (International Rhino Foundation via Wikimedia Commons)

Rhino Species in India

India is blessed with two of the world's five rhino species, the Indian Rhino and the Javan Rhino.


1. Indian Rhino (Rhinoceros unicornis)

The Indian rhinoceros, also known as the greater one-horned rhino, is one of the world's success stories in rhino conservation.


Current population of greater one-horned rhinos in India

  1. Kaziranga National Park : 2613

  2. Orang National Park : 125

  3. Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary : 107

  4. Manas National Park : 40

  5. Jaldapara National Park : 287

  6. Gorumara National Park : 52

  7. Dudhwa National Park : 38

Indian Rhino Vision 2020 (IRV2020)

  1. Started : 2005

  2. Population : In Assam, the population has been increased to 3,000 ( by 2021)

Four Protected Areas in Assam in which Rhinos are found:

  1. Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary

  2. Orang National Park

  3. Kaziranga National Park

  4. Manas National Park

IRV 2.0 : It will start soon!


2. Javan Rhino (Rhinoceros sondaicus)

  1. The Javan rhino is one of the rarest and most critically endangered large mammals on Earth.

  2. Historically, Javan rhinos were found in India, primarily in the state of Assam.

  3. However, the last confirmed sighting of a Javan rhino in India was in 1966, and they are believed to be extinct in the country.

Why World Rhino Day is Celebrated?


1. Raising Awareness

One of the primary purposes of this day is to educate people about the critical challenges facing rhino populations, including habitat loss and poaching.


2. Promoting Conservation

World Rhino Day serves as a platform to highlight the importance of conservation efforts, such as anti-poaching initiatives, habitat protection, and breeding programs.


3. Supporting Fundraising

Many organizations and conservation groups use this day to raise funds for rhino conservation projects. These funds can go towards various activities aimed at protecting rhinos.


4. Celebrating Rhinos

It's also a day to celebrate these magnificent creatures and their role in the ecosystems they inhabit.


References

  1. 2022 State of the Rhino Report, The International Rhino Foundation.

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