February 04, 2021 3 min read

This is the first time in 11 years that the International Union for Conservation of Nature has listed the black rhino as endangered.This is the first time in over a decade that the elusive and endangered black rhinoceros has been added to the endangered species list

Rhinos are considered a critically endangered due to poaching and growing demand from consumer markets in Asia, mostly China.The recent move by the IUCN to list the Black Rhino as a critically endangered species is the first time black rhinos have been downgraded to this status in over a decade.The last time the IUCN listed the Black Rhino as an endangered species was back in 2001

, the assessment of black rhinos occurred back in 1996, so this is the first time an actual assessment has taken place for black rhinos is over 20 years.The IUCN talks about the first time black rhinos were listed as an endangered species:In 1996, a population of less than 3,500 mature individuals was estimated. In addition to low population numbers, Black Rhinos are threatened by widespread illegal hunting and are often illegally poached for their horns.

January 1993, the World Conservation Union (IUCN) listed the Black Rhino as Critically Endangered, but in 1996 this assessment was re-evaluated and the species was placed in a new category of Vulnerable. However, in 2001, the species was placed in the even lower category of near threatened as its population had recovered to 4,500 in 2000 and was approaching the 4,000 mark. Hence, the last assessment was done in 2001. The current rapid escalation of poaching for horn is driving the resurgence of poaching resulting in increased pressure on small populations. This puts the rhinos at much higher risk of extinction. Therefore, it is urgent that the species is reassessed and consideration is given to up listing it to Critically Endangered. (IUCN, 2018)Black rhinos are a native species to Africa, and are currently listed asVulnerable by the IUCN. The IUCN lists several numbers for the black rhino, but the numbers listed are for its overall worldwide population, and not specifically for Asia.

The overall black rhino population is listed at 5,055, and this number includes the number of rhinos that live in Africa, South Africa, Asia, andother (which includes rhinos found at zoos, sanctuaries, forages, and wild populations that are consideredextinct).The IUCN lists the black rhino population in Asia asCritically Endangered, and this population sits at about 800 black rhinoceroses. The population in Africa is listed by the IUCN asNear Threatened. The IUCN estimates that only about 2,000 black rhinos live in Africa, with the majority of rocks living in South Africa.

Where the black rhinos live is also a huge factor to their endangerment, as rhinos will find living in the open grasslands much easier, as opposed to a forest habitat. Based on industrial and urban development also takes a toll on the black rhino populations, and this is especially true for those rhinos that live outside the protected area.The IUCN states that habitat loss is a huge problem for black rhinos, and as land is developed in Africa, as noted above, this encroachment tends to push rhinos out of their natural habitat. Poaching is also another big problem that has taken a toll on the black rhino population...