Policy ForumConservation

Legal Trade of Africa's Rhino Horns

Science  01 Mar 2013:
Vol. 339, Issue 6123, pp. 1038-1039
DOI: 10.1126/science.1229998

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Summary

Africa's western black rhino Diceros bicornis longipes was declared extinct by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) in 2011. Africa's other rhino populations are also under siege. South Africa is home to more than 90% of the world's 20,000 white rhino Ceratotherium simum, and 40% (more than 80% together with its neighbor Namibia), of the 5000 remaining black rhino (13). Yet, poaching in South Africa has, on average, more than doubled each year over the past 5 years (see the chart). If poaching continues to accelerate, Africa's remaining rhino populations may become extinct in the wild within 20 years (4, 5).