Western Black Rhinos Officially Extinct

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The western black rhinoceros, last spotted in 2006, is now officially extinct. According to the Daily Mail U.K., the International Union for Conservation of Nature, the largest conservation network, declared this week that the subspecies is totally wiped out.

Credit: Thinkstock

Experts say the western black rhino fell victim to poachers and an overall lack of conservation efforts. Conservationists hope that this tragic news encourages people to protect other rhino species in danger of extinction. Both the northern white rhino and Javan rhino are at the brink of disappearing.

"In the case of 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," said Simon Stuart, chairman of the IUCN species survival commission. "These measures must be strengthened now, specifically managing habitats in order to improve performance, preventing other rhinos from fading into extinction."

The Western Black rhino is a subspecies of black rhino that was thriving until the 20th century. Around this time, poachers began to hunt the animal. By the 1980s, the population was down to a few hundred, with only 10 rhinos spotted in the 2000s.

With more aggressive efforts against poaching, conservationists believe this animal could have been saved, similar to the success seen with the southern white rhino. There were only several hundred of these rhinos in the 19th century, but now, thanks to a strict protection plan, this subspecies numbers more than 20,000. While it is too late for the western black rhino, hopefully the Javan rhino and northern white rhino will thrive again.


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Celina Roy

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November 30 2013 at 1:39 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

we just keep building, knocking out areas where wildlife used to live. what's the big deal. its all about money and people. nothing else really matters after all.

so very sad.

November 11 2013 at 5:59 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

We are just like The Matrix we only destroy and without thought or reason, the only thing we think about is the almighty dollar that is all that is all that is important. We do not see the long term effects until it is to late.

November 11 2013 at 4:05 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Its sad that so many here seem to believe that extinct species call into question the continued existence of man. I support common-sense conservation efforts for animals like the black rhino, but its probable extinction wont affect mankind or other ecosystems at all. If you know your ecological history, you will know that thousands of animals have become extinct both before and since man's ascension as the capstone of the food pyramid. If ALL rhinos become extinct, it would affect ecosystems and it is possible that due to the stupidity of humans they WILL become extinct. It will be a terrible loss for all of us, but the only way to stop it is to educate the people of Africa, Asia and the few people in the Western world who created the demand for these animals and/or their parts. Do any of us miss the auroch or giant auk? Yes, only because we knew they existed. You don't know about the ten thousand other animals/insects that have become extinct, you don't miss them or care. Can you tell they aren't here? Of course not. Some of you will intentionally interpret this an anti-conservation rant. I cant stop you from thinking incorrectly. I can tell you not to try to fit my common-sense attitude into your "only correct thinking allowed" bull manure. Someone financially demanded that poachers kill western black rhinos... and THOSE people and the poachers are responsible for this tragedy. However, I NEVER confuse the value of human life over the value of animal life. I am a strong supporter of animal rights (please notice I didn't say EXTREME supporter), but if we don't eat that cow, a coyote will. The cow is just as dead either way. I guess it makes sense to lament the loss of a species due to man's stupidity in hunting it out of existence... but is is less sad if it becomes extinct and man had nothing to do with it? I think there IS a sadness to it, but it is still extinct and gone.

November 11 2013 at 3:07 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

dIck chaney : what\'s a few rhino\'s ??? or was it caribou ??? little difference !!!

November 11 2013 at 2:52 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I was chased by a rhino once in my car at a drive through zoo in LA. It was an experience my kid and I will never forget. He still talks about today.

Countries that go into debt are selling their land to corporations to drill for oil and grow food on corporate farms are destroying the environment, until the oceans are to acidic for life, and the forests and jungles are stripped of their ability to convert CO2 into oxygen, that all life on this planet will cease to exist because of capitalism's debt driven policies.

November 11 2013 at 2:42 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

What a shame that so many people in the future will never get to see these wonderful creatures a live. I will never understand man's need to completely destroy things that live.

November 11 2013 at 2:41 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Give man enough time and every thing will be EXTINCT including MAN .

November 11 2013 at 2:26 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Put rewards on poachers heads....Say $2500 per .......just for starters :>)

November 11 2013 at 2:23 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

What,No one thought about having some in a zoo somewhere?

November 11 2013 at 2:22 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
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