The last two surviving Northern White Rhino females in the wild were translocated from a Zoo in the Czech Republic. As these ex-Zoo animals have not yet been bred in the wild, under RedList rules, they cannot be included in the wild population for this Red List assessment. The largest private White Rhino subpopulation that currently conserves over 1,700 White Rhinos is semi-wild.
Although wild subpopulations remain the conservation priority, such semi-wild operations were recognized as a possible option in the latest approved South African White Rhino Biodiversity Management Plan. Provided that there is no selective breeding and that the animals are not too domesticated in this semi-wild subpopulation; they could potentially in the future be re-wilded – providing founder rhino to restock or boost other wild populations as needed.
It seems highly probable that White Rhino from this semi-wild subpopulation could also be successfully re-introduced back into a wild subpopulation.
The southern white rhinoceros is the most abundant of all rhino individuals and has been recognized as one of the greatest conservation achievements in the world. As of December 31, 2010, there were approximately 20,160 surviving animals in the wild, most of which 18,796 were found in South Africa, Namibia 469, Kenya 365, and Zimbabwe 290. Smaller populations exist in Botswana Swaziland, Uganda, Zambia, and Mozambique In iMfolozi, Southern White Rhinos had attained local densities exceeding 5/km², and a regional density of 3/km².
The species accounted for about half of the total biomass of large herbivorous mammals. Numbers have subsequently been held below this level through regular live removals. , the growing white rhino population maintained local densities of 0.5 to 1.4 animals/km2.
The northern subspecies were locally abundant 20th century, a few thousand must have been present in five countries. No signs of rhinos have been found despite intense field searches, except for a 2-3-year-old poached carcass, discovered in 2008 and this population is now considered extinct,
It has been estimated that there may have been as many as 850,000 Black Rhinos in Africa around 1700 and throughout most of the twentieth century, the Black Rhino was still the most numerous of the world’s rhino species. However, this has resulted in relentless hunting of the species and the clearing of land for settlement and agriculture. The population was reduced by several hundreds of thousands likely at the turn of the century. There may still be as many as 100,000 animals in Africa in 1960, but in 1970 it was estimated that only 65,000 remained, while Kenya still had 16,000 to 20,000 animals.
Large-scale poaching made a 96% drop in numbers between 1970 and 1992. From 1992 to 1995, the total number remained relatively stable despite the increase in some countries (those with the best protected and best-managed populations) being thwarted by the decline of the others.
The minimum population estimate in 1995 was about 2,410. Since 1995, Black Rhino numbers at a continental level increased steadily, 3,725 from December 2005 to 2007), 4,230 from December 2007 to 2009, and 4,880 in 2010.
Two countries have recorded large increases in the number of black rhinos over the period 1980-2010: Africa and Namibia.
Except for the Northern white rhino which is considered extinct from the wild, all other rhinos are not extinct but are critically endangered species.
Status of Rhinos: CITES: Appendix IUCN: Near Threatened (Southern population). The Indian, Javanese, and Sumatran rhinos, as well as Black rhinos, are critically endangered and in big danger of extinction, with an exception of Black rhinos whose populations are increasing. Southern White is recorded as Vulnerable. The northern population is considered extinct from the wild. Today, thanks to great management in the Republic of South Africa, the population of southern white rhinos has increased dramatically.