Why Are Rhinos Becoming Endangered?


Quick Answer

According to Save the Rhino, rhinos are becoming endangered due to threats such as illegal rhino horn trade, habitat loss and political conflict. The greatest threat facing the survival of rhinos is the poaching of their horn for the production of traditional Chinese medicine.

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Why Are Rhinos Becoming Endangered?
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Full Answer

Save the Rhino states that traditional Chinese medicine has been using rhino horn for thousands of years. The significant increase in rhino poaching is fueled by the demand for such medicine in Asia.

Another reason for the decline in rhino population is habitat loss, which is caused by both illegal and authorized logging and clearance of land for agricultural production and human settlement.

Poaching for jambiya handles is a major threat to the existence of rhinos. In the 1970s and 1980s, rhino horn was used to create ornamental handles for these daggers.

Conservationists try to eliminate the occurrence of rhino poaching through intensive anti-poaching patrols, fencing sanctuaries and other activities. However, the lack of normal law and order in some places, especially in war zones with political instability, has made it much easier for poachers to kill rhinos.

The World Wildlife Fund explains that natural disasters, reduced genetic diversity and diseases are additional reasons why rhinos are becoming endangered. For example, Ugung Kulon National Park, the home of Javan rhinos, is extremely vulnerable to tsunamis. Some rhinos have also died from disease that was likely transmitted to wild cattle, and then subsequently to the rhinos.

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