When you hear the word “rhino” you think of a huge, prehistoric beast with horns and armour. Which shouldn’t be surprising, because they have been on the Earth for more than 60 million years. But recently, the rhinos are on the brink of extinction, and the rate of decrease is not getting any better.
The numbers have dropped tremendously since the 1970s, as their horns are in high demand in the global markets. Trade regulation has been set to try to stop the poaching, but preserves are finding new ways to deal with these issues. Overexploitation is causing them to lose their habitats, and new ways to deal with poaching has been introduced. The preservation of black rhinos is indeed succeeding, but will take time to get their name off of the endangered species list.
The trade regulation law has not benefited rhinos, but lead them to extinction. To help save the Rhino, trade regulation was made. But right now, there is a debate about either rhino horns should be able to trade, or not. The trade regulation law was put in place in 1970, which was when the number of rhinos plummeted drastically throughout the decade, for the higher demand for horns. ” Unfortunately, poaching began to take its toll and between 1970 and 1992, 96% of the black rhinos in Africa were killed” (Sterne, 2015). When the law was set, a black market was made for selling and buying horns illegally, and had just made a bigger problem. South Africa’s population of rhinos decreased close to no black rhinos, and if this trade regulation law wasn’t set, rhinos would be off the endangered species list.
As well as the demand for their horns would go down which means no more poaching. Now, wildlife organizations and foundations need to raise money, and spend money on something that would not be happening if it wasn’t for this law. For example, the International Rhino Foundation needs armed guards, demand reduction, community involvement and intensive monitoring and tracking. Having legal trade for horns will have very unpredictable effects. It’s almost impossible to know how the buyers will deal with the legal trade, and how much demand there is for it when it becomes legal. “The small amount of rhinos left today in contrast to the high population of East Asian countries means that demand will never be able to meet potential supply” (Anderson, 2016).
More people will want to purchase rhino horns then there are alive, which will put a huge effect on the market. So the trade regulation, is indeed not effective. The trade regulation should not of even been introduced, and rhinos would not be endangered because of it. Changing it now will have more drastic effects than it would have 30 years ago.
Every year, the population of humans is rising. Which means a demand for resources, and land. “The human population in the area where the rhinos live is growing . More food is needed for these people.
So the rhinos’ habitat is being turned into farms to grow food (Orme, Helen)”. When this happens, rhinos are forced out of their habitat, and into organizations that take care of them. Even though this may be a plus, when the population gets higher that they can’t fit any more rhinos in the preserve. Do they live their lives in cages for the rest of their life? If they are raised in captivity, how will they be able to find their own food in the wild when it is already given to them? According to the World Conservation Unit, “overexploitation counts for 30 percent of the Rhino endangerment”. It is important to be able to save the rhinos from habitat alterations of course, but it’s just not happening. Even though habitat loss is 30% of the reason why they are critically endangered, poaching is the main focus, where most of the money goes to, and what the society thinks about when they hear endangered rhinos.
Most of the money goes to animal poaching, because it is a much bigger issue. “Black rhinos are also sometimes perceived by the public as being menacing and unstable animals to human beings, and as a result of that, are also frequently killed” (Brakefield, 2017). When houses are built, humans usually come before the rhinos.
They scare humans, and seem deadly to us, causing the act of violence. It’s not only the loss of shelter, food, and water that causes death, but simple scared humans that are not trying to kill and sell the ivory. Poaching, is by far the main reason for the deaths of rhinos. As well as the hardest and most laborious to get rid of. Organizations have tried to get rid of them, some fail, and some succeed. Rhinos are poached for the high demand in their horns. It is said to have medicinal value, but credible sources say differently. Two black rhino horns can sell for an upwards cost of fifty thousand dollars.
They have increased in value as the years go by, due to the low number of rhinos left. In 2007, only 13 rhinos were poached. In 2016, 1064 rhinos were poached. The reason why so many rhinos have decreased in numbers. Preserves are failing and the money they spend and raise to go into the anti-poaching programs are a waste and is using citizens donated money for a cause that isn’t succeeding. South africa has a lot of land, and many preserves for rhinos.
“But while the implementation of this intervention has yielded results in the Kruger, the unfortunate knock-on effect has been that there has been an increase in poaching in other areas in South Africa” (Guedas, sep 16 2016). Howard Buffett, son of US investor Warren Buffett, donated 255 million dollars to the Kruger National Park, for rhino conservation. No other preservations got that much money, and did not succeed and have as much security against poachers like them. What happened? Rhinos were poached in the other National Parks, which was a huge failure. More money had to be raised, and more resources were needed for the parks, all while poachers were taking advantage of this opportunity to gain money selling ivory.
In our industrialized world we live in today, the room for rhinos to roam has diminished, as they are on the road to extinction. Trade regulation laws, overexploitation, and poaching, are causing these beautiful species to die out, and nothing is helping. Trade regulation laws put on rhinos decades ago intended to help the rhinos bounce back to normal did the opposite.
Humans’ selfish needs for land and disrespect for animals that live in the area make them suffer and lose their lives. Preservation groups that try to help the situation, do the opposite. Rhinos are going to become extinct and if somebody doesn’t do something soon, they will be wiped from existence.