Why Are Rhinos Endangered?

rhinos-endangered Credit: W. Alan Baker/CC-BY-2.0

Rhinos are endangered due to poaching, habitat loss, reduced genetic diversity, natural disasters and disease. Several species of rhinos exist, including the Sumatran rhino, the black rhino, the white rhino, the Javan rhino and the greater one-horned rhino.

The rhino has lost its habitat to both people and land cleared for agricultural and commercial uses. For example, in Bukit Barisan Selatan National Park in Sumatra, forests formerly inhabited by rhinos are being used for coffee and rice settlers. Some populations, such as the Javan, are so small that it is difficult to breed large numbers that are healthy. Natural disasters, such as tsunamis and volcanoes, threaten some rhino populations. Finally, diseases transmitted from other animals also hinder their health and numbers.