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African Rhinoceros


Recently, a report has stated that Rhino poaching rates in Africa declined to 2.3% in 2021 from 3.9% in 2018.

  • At least 2,707 rhinos were poached in Africa between 2018 and 2021, including critically endangered black rhino and near threatened white rhino.


GS II: Environment and Ecology

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Key findings of the Report
  2. About Black Rhino & White Rhino

Key findings of the Report

  • The African and Asian Rhino Specialist Group (AfRSG), the Species Survival Commission (SSC), the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), and TRAFFIC put together the study.
  • The thirteen nations that make up the rhino’s range that the African Rhino Specialist Group (AfRSG) gathered data from are Botswana, Chad, Eswatini, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.
  • From a peak of 5.3% of the total population in 2015 to 2.3% in 2021, rhinoceros were poached at a lower rate in Africa.
  • 90% of all documented cases originated in South Africa, mostly affecting white rhinos in Kruger National Park.
  • While there was no poaching in Kenya in 2020, South Africa lost 394 rhinoceros to the practise.

About Black Rhino & White Rhino:

Black Rhino: 
  • Black rhinos are the smaller of the two African Rhino species.
  • The most notable difference between white and black rhinos is their hooked upper lip.
  • While White Rhino has a square lip.
  • Black rhinos are browsers rather than grazers, and their pointed lip helps them feed on leaves from bushes and trees.
  • They have two horns, and occasionally a third, small posterior horn.


Semi-Desert Savannah, Woodlands, Forests, Wetlands.

Protection Status:

  • IUCN Red List: Critically Endangered
  • CITES: Appendix I
  • Wildlife Protection Act 1972: N/A
White Rhino: 
  • White rhinos are the second largest land mammal after the elephant.
  • White rhinos are also known as the square-lipped rhinoceros due to their square (not pointed) upper lip.
  • Two genetically different subspecies exist, the northern and southern white rhino and are found in two different regions in Africa.


Long and short grass savanna areas in grasslands.

Protection Status:

  • IUCN Red List: Near Threatened
  • CITES: Appendix I & Appendix II
  • Wildlife Protection Act 1972: N/A

-Source: Indian Express

February 2024