Rhinoceros: Magnificent Creature on the Brink of Extinction - TGB Charity
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2021.09.13
Rhinoceros: Magnificent Creature on the Brink of Extinction

Rhinoceros is the second largest land mammal on Earth. They belong to a group of animals called perissodactyls, which are also the ancestors of horses, zebras, donkeys and tapirs. Their footprints can be traced back to the Eocene Epoch, which was about 50 million years ago - long before humans appeared. 


Human poaching and habitat loss are two major reasons for the decline of rhino populations. South Africa Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment (DFFE) reported that there were a total of 394 rhinos in Africa being poached in 2020. It might seem like a little number for some people, but when you take into account of the rhinos left in the world – which is currently around 27,000, shows how serious poaching is threatening the survival of rhinos.


Do you know there are only 5 species of rhinos left in the world? In honor of World Rhino Day, TGB Charity have put together a video “3 Things You Didn’t Know About Rhinoceros” with International Rhino Foundation for everyone to get to know about rhinos and why so important to protect them. 

The Myths About Rhino Horn

There are a lot of myths and misconceptions about rhino horns. Some people, especially people in Asian countries, believe that rhino horns can cure ailments and consider owning them as a status symbol. There is also a belief in Western countries that rhino horn is used as an aphrodisiac and sexual stimulant. 


None of these claims are true. In fact, many scientific studies have shown that rhino horn is primarily made of keratin, the same substance as our hair and nails. These false medicinal interpretations have been going on for decades and rhinos have been suffering the consequences.

The Difficulties in Rhino Breeding

Rhinos have specific preferences of habitat where they would like to give birth. For example, black rhinos prefer shrubby, closed-up areas. One rhino is recommended to have at least an area of 2 km², some rhino species may require up to 44 km² for each rhino. When protecting the rhino you also protect the entire ecosystem and all species in it.


Translocation is often needed because if rhinos in one area reach the maximum carrying capacity, they become aggressive and fight with one another due to the lack of space – which results in the decline of populations. Translocation would ensure that rhinos continue to reproduce, and will also allow adjustment of male to female ratio. The best ratio is about ¾ female and the other ¼ being male. 


All rhino species have a long gestation period, rhino moms are pregnant for 15-16 months before giving birth to a single calf (twins are rare). All rhino species make for very attentive mothers. Rhino moms will spend the next 2 years nursing and protecting their calves, by the time the calves turn 1.5-2 years old, rhino moms may be ready to give birth to their next calves. 


As a keystone species, rhinos help shape the entire ecosystem by geo-forming – fundamentally reshaping the land around them, and create natural waterholes for all species. Protecting rhinos and continuing to restore lost populations are vitally important for all species living alongside them, as well as for the entire ecosystem and local communities.

Guard Rhino Together

The International Rhino Foundation is dedicated to the survival of the world’s rhino species through conservation and research. TGB Charity urges the public to join the battle to protect rhinos and ecosystems.


Find out more about IRF and their works:

https://rhinos.org/

Check out TGB Charity “Love for All Kinds” fundraising page here. Learn more about endangered species and why it is essential for us to protect them.

Sources:

https://africageographic.com/
https://bbc.com/earth/story/20150518-the-epic-history-of-rhinos
https://iucnredlist.org/species/6553/18493355#population
https://livescience.com/27439-rhinos.html
https://panda.org/discover/knowledge_hub/endangered_species/rhinoceros/q_a_joseph_okori/
https://rhinosos.com/myths-about-rhino-horn-dont-buy-it/
http://rhinoresourcecenter.com/
https://theconversation.com/we-asked-people-in-vietnam-why-they-use-rhino-horn-heres-what-they-said-116307
https://ucmp.berkeley.edu/mammal/mesaxonia/perissodactyla.html

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