Biology and History

There are two species of rhinoceros in Africa. The White Rhinoceros (Ceratotherium simum) is a grazer, while the Black Rhinoceros (Diceros bicornis) is a browser. Historically, there were hundreds of thousands of rhino across the African continent. Both species were decimated in the 19th Century and today the majority of African rhino occur in South Africa, Namibia and Zimbabwe, with growing pockets in Botswana and Zambia.

The current population of approximately 20,000 southern white rhino are all descended from fewer than 100 individuals surviving in South Africa in 1900, when they were on the brink of extinction. Regrettably, the northern subspecies is now considered extinct in the wild with only three captive individuals remaining.

Some 5,000 black rhino survive, having increased from 2,400 in the mid-1990's, and the species is classified by IUCN as Critically Endangered. There are three surviving subspecies: eastern (Diceros b. michaeli); south-central (D. b. minor) and south-western (D. b. bicornis). The western subspecies (D. b. longipes) was confirmed extinct in 2011.

Species of Rhino in Africa

Rhino Compare

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