A Moment of Silence for the Western Black Rhino

Written by Michael Graham Richard

Officially Extinct

Another beautiful species that we won’t see again. The western black rhino, which is a sub-species of black rhino, was was once widespread in the savanna of sub-Saharan Africa, but no more. The last individual was spotted in 2006, and after years without any new sightings, it was officially declared extinct by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), who maintains the famous Red List of Threatened Species.

Wikimedia/Public Domain

The IUCN warns that other rhinos could follow saying Africa’s northern white rhino is “teetering on the brink of extinction” while Asia’s Javan rhino is “making its last stand” due to continued poaching and lack of conservation.

“In the case of the western black rhino and the northern white rhino the situation could have had very different results if the suggested conservation measures had been implemented,” Simon Stuart, chair of the IUCN species survival commission said in a statement.

“These measures must be strengthened now, specifically managing habitats in order to improve performance, preventing other rhinos from fading into extinction,” Stuart added. (source)

Conservation efforts certainly are not futile! The IUCN gives the example of the southern white rhino, which went from less than 100 individuals at the end of the 1800s to around 20,000 individuals in the wild today.

Here are some black rhinos (though obviously not western black rhinos…) filmed by the BBC:

This post was originally published in TreeHugger

Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons


Jim Ven
Jim V2 years ago

thanks for the article.

Carrie-Anne Brown

thanks for sharing

Gita Sasi Dharan
Gita Sasi Dharan4 years ago

Shocking !

Sue Matheson
Sue Matheson4 years ago


Jocelyn S.
Jocelyn L4 years ago

A conversation between one of my family members and I:

Family member: "Well don't you think we're the pinnacle of creation?"

Me: "I don't believe in creation. Comparing the species, we're not the top species. Every other species that ever lived is much more important than we'll ever be, so find the deepest pit in the world, and we don't just belong in it. We belong at the bottom."

Stories like this are all the proof I need to make that assertion.

LMj Sunshine
James Merit4 years ago


LMj Sunshine
James Merit4 years ago


Past Member 4 years ago

: /, and the sad truth is we (humans) never learn from past mistakes.

Rekha S4 years ago

Nooooo! I can't believe its extinct, shocking. This is such a wake up call and we need to stop this kind of thing from happening.

Danuta Watola
Danuta W4 years ago

Thanks for the article