Black rhino and calf in Borana Conservancy, Kenya. Black rhino and calf in Borana Conservancy, Kenya.

Habitat loss

As Asia and Africa’s human population booms, the habitats on which rhinos depend are inevitably squeezed.

Clearance of land for human settlement, agricultural production and logging are constantly increasing. This is a major threat to all species as wildlife needs space to survive and thrive. This is a major barrier to enabling rhino numbers to recover and increase.

If we compare a map of the distribution of the five rhino species in the present day with one showing the distribution c.1800, the difference is striking.

Many countries have lost their rhino populations altogether, in part due to habitat loss: Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Togo, Benin, Nigeria, Chad, Central African Republic, Sudan in Africa; and Pakistan, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos and Sarawak in Asia.