Africa’s Western black rhino has officially been declared extinct and other subspecies of rhinoceros could follow, according to the latest review by a leading conservation organization.
“In the case of both 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, chairman of IUCN’s Species Survival Commission, said in a statement Thursday. “These measures must be strengthened now, specifically managing habitats in order to improve breeding performance, preventing other rhinos from fading into extinction.”
The rhinos were among more than 61,900 animal and plant species reviewed for the IUCN’s latest Red List of Threatened Species. A quarter of the mammals on the Red List were found to be at risk of extinction. But the organization said there have also been conservation successes.
Fewer than 100 Southern white rhinos survived at the end of the 19th century, but the population in the wild is now believed to number over 20,000
It’s strange knowing that your favorite animal growing up as a kid is completely extinct or about to be extinct.