The Impact of Rhino Extinction

Many might not think that rhinos are very important, but once they are extinct, the Earth will really feel their impact.

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Griffin Hackeloer

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Associated Press

Rhinos are becoming harder to come by each year. There are five species left living on Earth: white, black, Greater One-Horned, Sumatran and Javan rhinos. The white rhino has 20,170 members left in its population. These animals are the second largest land mammal alive today.

White rhinos are known for their square upper lip and are known to be most common in just four countries: South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe and Kenya. They are the only rhino species that are not classified as endangered.

One species that is endangered is the Greater One-Horned Rhino. Due to conservation efforts, the number of these rhinos present today has increased dramatically.

In 1975, there were only 600 of these rhinos that were surviving in wild. As of 2015, there are now 3,555 of these mammals living in the wild. Even with the few amount of Great One-Horned Rhinos living in the wild, they are not the closest to being extinct.

The second closest rhino to becoming extinct is the Sumatran Rhino. There are only 220-275 left living in the wild. These are the smallest living rhinos. Even though they are surviving in greater numbers than the Javan Rhino, Sumatran Rhinos are hunted by poachers more. There is no data showing a steady population increase; only two females in captivity gave birth in the past 15 years.

The closest rhino to becoming extinct is the Javan Rhino. Their skin is loose and gives off the appearance of armor.  With only 60 of this species of rhino living in the wild, they are the closest to being extinct.

It is important to protect all five of the species, because when action is taken to protect these rhinos, it helps to preserve other rare plants and animal species. This includes elephants, buffalo and small game in the areas that the rhinos roam.