Western Black Rhinos Officially Extinct
By Kelli BenderNov 8th 2013
Sadly, the world has lost another majestic animal. The Western Black Rhino, last spotted in 2006, is now officially extinct. According to Daily Mail, the International Union for Conservation of Nature, the largest conservation network, declared the subspecies totally wiped out this week.
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.” 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 was only several hundred of these rhinos in the 19th century, but now, thanks to a strict protection plan, this subspecies numbers over 20,000. While it is too late for the Western Black rhino, hopefully the Javan and Northern White rhino will have their moment to thrive again.