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anonymous Rhinos July 17, 2007 1:37 PM

The International Rhino Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to the worldwide conservation of the five living species of rhinoceros: Black, White, Indian, Javan and Sumatran.

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anonymous  July 17, 2007 1:39 PM

Today there are 5 species and 11 subspecies of rhinos surviving on earth. Two species (Black & White) occur in Africa. Three species (Indian, Javan, and Sumatran) occur in Asia. Thousands and especially millions of years ago, rhinos were more diverse (many species), widespread and abundant. Rhinos occurred in North America and Europe as well as in Africa and Asia. The surviving rhinos are precious representatives of the glorious heritage and history of the rhino family on our planet.
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anonymous Black Rhino July 17, 2007 1:40 PM

During the last century, the Black Rhino has suffered the most drastic decline in total numbers of all rhino species. Between 1970 and 1992, the population of this species decreased 96%. In 1970, it was estimated that there were approximately 65,000 Black Rhinos in Africa but by 1992-93, there were only 2,300 surviving in the wild. However, since 1996, the intense anti-poaching efforts have had encouraging results. Numbers have been recovering and are now back up to about 3,610 and still increasing. Nevertheless, the poaching threat remains great and there is no cause for complacency.

Common Names

  • Black Rhinoceros: Not black at all, the Black Rhino probably derives its name as a distinction from the White Rhino (itself a misnomer) and/or from the dark-colored local soil covering its skin from wallowing.
  • Prehensile-Lipped Rhinoceros: The upper lip of the Black Rhino who is a browser is adapted for feeding from trees and shrubs and is the best distinguishing characteristic.
  • Hook-Lipped Rhinoceros: also referring to the prehensile lip.

Scientific Name and Origin

  • Diceros bicornis
  • Diceros: from the Greek di, meaning "two" and ceros, meaning "horn"
  • bicornis: from the Latin bi, meaning "two" and cornis, meaning "horn"

Current Black Rhino Numbers and Distribution

There are currently approximately 3,610 Black Rhinos surviving.

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anonymous  July 17, 2007 1:41 PM

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anonymous White Rhino July 17, 2007 1:42 PM

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anonymous  July 17, 2007 1:43 PM

 Northern White Rhino and the Southern White Rhino.

Common Names

  • White Rhinoceros: From the Afrikaans word describing its mouth: weit, meaning "wide"; early English settlers in South Africa misinterpreted the "weit" for "white".
  • Square-lipped rhinoceros: Lacking a prehensile "hook".

Scientific Name and Origin

  • Ceratotherium simum
  • Ceratotherium: from the Greek cerato, meaning "horn" and therium, meaning "wild beast"
  • simum: from the Greek simus, meaning "flat nosed"

Current White Rhino Numbers and Distribution

There are currently approximately 11,330 White Rhinos surviving.

 

Click for large White Rhino distribution map
 

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anonymous  July 17, 2007 1:43 PM

Physical Characteristics

Size

  • Weight: 4,000-6,000 lb (1,800 - 2,700 kg)
  • Height: 5 - 6 ft (1.5 - 1.8 m) tall at shoulder
  • Length: 12.5-15 ft (3.8-5m) length of head and body

Horn

  • There are two horns. The front (anterior) horn is larger and measures 37 - 40 in (94 - 102 cm), (northern subspecies), 37 - 79 in (94 - 201 cm) (southern subspecies). The rear (posterior horn is smaller and measures up to 22 in (55 cm) long.

Other Features

  • Relatively broad snout with a square lip

Natural History

Subspecies

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anonymous Indian Rhino July 17, 2007 1:44 PM

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anonymous  July 17, 2007 1:45 PM

 Black Rhino InformationWhite Rhino InformationIndian Rhino InformationJavan Rhino InformationSumatran Rhino Information
Printable version
 

Rhinoceros unicornis

 


The Indian Rhino is one of the two greatest success stories in rhino conservation (the other one being the Southern White Rhino in South Africa). With strict protection from Indian and Nepalese wildlife authorities, Indian Rhino numbers have recovered from under 200 earlier in the 20th Century to around 2,500. However, poaching has remained high and the success is precarious without continued and increased support for conservation efforts in India and Nepal.

Common Names

  • Asian Greater One-Horned Rhinoceros: referring to the single large horn
  • Indian and/or Nepalese rhinoceros: referring to the species' endemic range

Scientific Name and Origin

  • Rhinoceros unicornis
  • Rhinoceros: from the Greek rhino, meaning "nose" and ceros, meaning "horn"
  • unicornis: from the Latin uni, meaning "one" and cornis, meaning "horn"

Current Indian Rhino Numbers and Distribution

There are currently approximately 2,500 Indian Rhinos surviving.

 

Click for large Black Rhino distribution map
 

Indian Rhino distribution map

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anonymous  July 17, 2007 1:46 PM

Physical Characteristics

Size

  • Weight:4,000-6,000 lb (1,800 - 2,700 kg)
  • Height: 5.75 - 6.5 ft (1.75 - 2.0 m) tall at shoulder
  • Length: 10- 12.5 ft (3.0-3.8m) length of head and body

Horn

  • There is a single horn 8 to 24 in (20 to 61 cm) long

Other Features

  • Brownish-gray, hairless, with folds of skin that resemble plates of armor with rivets.
  • Upper lip semi-prehensile

Natural History

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anonymous Javan Rhino July 17, 2007 1:46 PM

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anonymous  July 17, 2007 1:47 PM

The Javan Rhino is the rarest of the rhino species with fewer than 60 animals surviving in only two known locations: one in Indonesia and the other in Vietnam. Rhinos have been poached from these small populations in recent years and much more intensive protection is needed if this species is to survive. The Javan and the Sumatran compete for the dubious distinction of being the most endangered species of rhino.

Common Names

  • Javan Rhinoceros
  • Asian Lesser One-Horned Rhinoceros: in contrast to the Greater One-Horned Rhino
    (i.e., the Indian Rhino) because of the Javan's smaller size.

Scientific Name and Origin

  • Rhinoceros sondaicus
  • Rhinoceros: from the Greek rhino, meaning "nose" and ceros, meaning "horn"
  • sondaicus: (Latin -icus indicates a locality) referring to the Sunda islands in Indonesia.; "Sunda" means "Java"

Current Javan Rhino Numbers and Distribution

There are currently approximately 60 Javan Rhinos surviving in two widely separate places, one in Java, Indonesia; the other in Vietnam.

 

Click for large Black Rhino distribution map
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anonymous  July 17, 2007 1:47 PM

Physical Characteristics

Size

  • Weight: 2,000 - 5,060 lbs (900 - 2,300 kg)
  • Height: 5 - 5.5 ft (1.5 - 1.7 m) tall at shoulder
  • Length: 6-11.5 ft (2.0-.4 m)

Horn

  • There is a single horn 10 in (25 cm) long, at least in males; females have a smaller or no horn.

Other Features

  • Gray, hairless; armor plates (actually skin folds) apparent but less so than in the Indian Rhino.

Natural History

Subspecies

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anonymous Sumatran Rhino July 17, 2007 1:48 PM

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anonymous  July 17, 2007 1:49 PM

The Sumatran, a.k.a. the hairy rhino, Dicerorhinus sumatrensis, is probably the most endangered of all rhinoceros species. Numbers have declined over 50% due to poaching over the last 15 years. Fewer than 300 Sumatran Rhino survive in very small and highly fragmented populations in Southeast Asia with Indonesia and Malaysia being the only significant range states. Furthermore, there is no indication that the situation is showing any signs of stabilizing.

Common Names

  • Sumatran Rhinoceros
  • Asian Two-Horned Rhinoceros: the only two-horned rhino in the Asian region.
  • Hairy Rhinoceros: refers to the long, shaggy hair found on the species in contrast to the other species which appear hairless.

Scientific Name and Origin

  • Dicerorhinus sumatrensis
  • Dicerorhinus: from the Greek di, meaning "two"; cero, meaning "horn" and rhinus, meaning "nose"
  • sumatrensis: referring to Sumatra (with the Latin -ensis, meaning locality)

Current Sumatran Rhino Numbers and Distribution

There are currently approximately 300 Sumatran Rhinos surviving.

 

Click for large Sumatran Rhino distribution map
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anonymous  July 17, 2007 1:49 PM

Physical Characteristics

Size

  • Weight: 1,300 - 2,000 lbs (600 - 950 kg)
  • Height: 3 - 5 ft (1.0 -1.5m) tall at shoulder
  • Length: 6.5 - 9.5 ft (2.0 - 3.0m) length of body

Horn

  • There are two horns. The front (anterior) horn is larger and measures 10 - 31 in. (25-79 cm) long. The second horn is smaller, generally less than 3 inches (10 cm).

Other Features

  • Fringed ears and reddish-brown skin, variably covered with long hair (sparse to sometimes dense).

Natural History

Subspecies

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anonymous  July 17, 2007 1:50 PM

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anonymous  July 17, 2007 1:51 PM

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anonymous  July 17, 2007 1:52 PM

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anonymous  July 17, 2007 1:52 PM

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anonymous  July 17, 2007 1:53 PM

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anonymous  July 17, 2007 1:53 PM

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anonymous  July 17, 2007 1:53 PM

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anonymous  July 17, 2007 1:54 PM

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anonymous  July 17, 2007 1:54 PM

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anonymous  July 17, 2007 1:55 PM

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anonymous  July 17, 2007 1:56 PM

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anonymous  July 17, 2007 1:58 PM

white rhino
Park wardens and conservationists warn that poaching by Sudanese militia fighters may wipe out the last wild population of northern white rhinos (Ceratotherium simum cottoni) in Garamba National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Above: a captive white rhino.

Photograph by Gary M. Stolz, courtesy U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
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anonymous  July 17, 2007 2:03 PM

Black Rhinoceros Diceros bicornis
Photo: Close view of a black rhinoceros
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anonymous  July 17, 2007 2:04 PM

Both black and white rhinoceroses are actually gray. They are different not in color but in lip shape. The black rhino has a pointed upper lip, while its white relative has a squared lip. The difference in lip shape is related to the animals' diets. Black rhinos are browsers that get most of their sustenance from eating trees and bushes. They use their lips to pluck leaves and fruit from the branches. White rhinos graze on grasses, walking with their enormous heads and squared lips lowered to the ground.

Except for females and their offspring, black rhinos are solitary. Females reproduce only every two and a half to five years. Their single calf does not live on its own until it is about three years old.

Black rhinos feed at night and during the gloaming hours of dawn and dusk. Under the hot African sun, they take cover by lying in the shade. Rhinos are also wallowers. They often find a suitable water hole and roll in its mud, coating their skin with a natural bug repellent and sun block.

Rhinos have sharp hearing and a keen sense of smell. They may find one another by following the trail of scent each enormous animal leaves behind it on the landscape.

Black rhinos boast two horns, the foremost more prominent than the other. Rhino horns grow as much as three inches (eight centimeters) a year, and have been known to grow up to five feet (one and a half meters) long. Females use their horns to protect their young, while males use them to battle attackers.

The prominent horn for which rhinos are so well known has also been their downfall. Many animals have been killed for the hard, hairlike growth, which is revered for medicinal uses in China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Singapore. The horn is also valued in North Africa and the Middle East as an ornamental dagger handle.

The black rhino once roamed most of sub-Saharan Africa, but today is on the verge of extinction due to poaching fuelled by commercial demand.

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anonymous  July 17, 2007 2:04 PM

Type: Mammal
Diet: Herbivore
Size: Height at shoulder, 4.5 to 6 feet (1.4 to 1.8 m)
Weight: 1,760 to 3,080 lbs (800 to 1400 kg)
Protection status: Endangered
Size relative to a 6ft (2m) man:
Illustration of the animal's relative size
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 July 20, 2007 9:13 PM

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 July 20, 2007 9:14 PM

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 July 22, 2007 6:11 AM

  • Rhino research
    2006-07-14

    Two researchers representing the San Diego Zoo's Conservation and Research for Endangered Species (CRE centre are currently travelling throughout South Africa conducting a study that hopes to unravel the mystery of why zoo populations of rhinos across the world are not reproducing as expected.

    Across northern America and Europe, zoos are finding that female white rhinos born in captivity are not breeding as expected, with the result that the number of rhinos in captivity may soon dramatically dwindle as wild-caught adults pass reproductive age and subsequently die, with no new babies to replace them.
     
    The problem of the captive-born females not breeding has been puzzling zoological institutions for some time. After comparing the results of years of behavioural and reproductive studies in zoos and the Hluhluwe-Umfolozi Park in KwaZulu-Natal, it was decided that a new study was needed to try and shed some more light on the problem.

    This led to Shannon Chapman from San Diego and Dale Airton from KwaZulu-Natal joining forces to travel to all the areas in South Africa where rhinos are kept on game ranches less than 10,000ha in size, and preferably less than 2,000ha.

    Currently four months into their six-month survey, which will be followed by six months of data analysis, they visit all willing game farmers and fill our questionnaires and conduct interviews with anyone who has kept rhinos on game farms of the required size. According to Shannon, they are finding that South African ranches are not having the same problems as the zoos, and that second generation ?captive' female rhinos are successfully breeding on the game farms, even the smaller ones.

    One of the theories proposed by Dr Ron Swaisgood from San Diego's CRES centre is that the female rhinos in zoos are being bred too young, at two and half to three years old, as opposed to wild rhinos which breed at around five. The early breeding may be leading to uterine infections in the young rhino, which damage their reproductive organs so that they cannot have calves in later life.
     
    They have also found that male rhinos in captivity tend to follow certain females and harass them, whereas in the wild with larger territories male rhinos are not able to do this as much Although Shannon and Dale's research is supporting the theory that wild rhinos breed later than the rhinos in zoos, no one is sure yet why this is happening, and why wild male rhinos are more inclined to ignore young females than they are in zoos.
     
    Using data gathered on the questionnaire, which looks for information on social, nutritional, ecological and reproductive histories on rhinos on small reserves, they hope to be able to test various theories. After all the analysis is performed, the plan is to create new management strategies for zoos and animal parks that will hopefully increase breeding success in captive rhino, ensuring a future zoo population of rhinos without more having to be taken from the wild.
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