Status: Near Threatened
Known as: White Rhino, White Rhinoceros, Square-lipped Rhinoceros.
Estimated numbers left in the wild: 20,000 (southern species), 4 (northern species).
White rhinos or Square-lipped Rhinoceros are the largest of the five rhino species. Their distinctive features are a hump on the back, a square broad lip used for grazing and three toes on each foot.
They can grow up to 4 meters long and up to 1.85 meters in height. Their weight typically ranges between 1.3 – 3.6 tonnes for adults, which is almost double that of a black rhino.
They have two horns made of keratin (the same as in human teeth) with the front horn reaching an average of 90 cm in length.
The Southern White Rhino can be found in South Africa, Namibia, Kenya and Zimbabwe.
The remaining 4 wild Northern White Rhinos can be found in the Garamba National Park in northeast DRC, and there are unconfirmed reports that there might be a few survivors in south Sudan.
Both sub-species can be found on grassy plains and on the savannah.
Threats: Rhino horns are highly valuable in some East Asian countries because of the belief that the horn possesses medicinal properties. These beliefs however hold no scientific weight. The growing demand from the Asian market is the main threat to all rhino species.
While the southern white rhino is not endangered because of successful conservation efforts, northern white rhinos are on the brink of extinction in the wild and it is possible that they may unfortunately already be extinct.
Conservation efforts: Conservationist are undertaking efforts to increase the numbers of rhinos by establishing new protected areas and increasing existing areas, improving security to combat and ultimately stop poaching, improving local and international laws to stop the horn trade and promoting eco-tourism.
White Rhino Videos
Dambari Wildlife Trust work to protect this rhino species in Zimbabwe through field work, research, education and outreach programmes. They also provide supplies to rangers to stop poaching and support translocations of rhinos in danger.
Save the Rhino works with local partners in Asia and Africa to protect the five different rhino species. They support anti-poaching activities, monitoring, environmental education, community conservation, translocations and captive breeding.