29 Jan Guardians of the Horn: The Battle for Rhino Conservation
The species of rhino as a whole has been facing extinction for decades. They are one of the most highlighted animals when it comes to combating poaching and preserving species.
With the five species ranging from near-threatened to critically endangered, the persistent battle to safeguard this majestic animal marks a long and challenging road ahead. But there is hope as there have already been remarkable steps taken that will establish a cornerstone to bring this species back to a level of becoming self-sustaining.
This is where zoos and game reserves are essential as they act as a safe haven for these animals to be able to prosper. Not only do the individuals get proper care but they are able to be monitored to better understand the needs of the species as a whole which then contributes to the efforts of preserving the animals in the wild. Through various research methods such as behavioral observations, breeding cycles, and tracking genetic diversity we can better understand how the species functions in the wild. In addition to these practices, this is where wildlife tracking initiatives are implemented such as ankle bracelet monitoring. This non-invasive harmless method allows for GPS tracking which accounts for the rhino’s everymove. So if a rhino was ever stuck in a trap, injured, or sick, the tracking system can send out an alert to notify the proper individuals and help the rhino as best they can.
One of the hurdles that makes it challenging for an extreme exponential growth in populations is the fact that a rhino’s gestation period falls within fifteen to eighteen months, depending on the species. That time frame in itself is hard to cope with the fact that it was estimated in 2022 a rhino was poached every 16 hours. Killed purely for their horn. This economic incentive is what is driving this terrible predicament. The level of unemployment and poverty rate is what makes this decision so intriguing by those participating in poaching. So the solution doesn’t just lie in ensuring the rhinos’ protection but it also incorporates diminishing the monetary attractiveness of this endeavor. By addressing this concern it also protects other species subject to poaching such as elephants, giraffes, and pangolins, the list could go on!
The plight of the rhinos may seem grim, especially when you feel helpless in the situation but here is how you can help! Even in our day to day lives of being aware of the products we are buying. As consumers we have the power to determine the value of products based on our willingness to buy and spend money on them. Be conscious and ensure that you are avoiding products that contain palm oil or organizations that practice unsustainable harvesting for wood or paper which are destroying the rhino’s habitat. Also, there are plenty of reputable organizations that are out there supporting rhino conservation like the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and the International Rhino Foundation but be sure to do your research to ensure that you are supporting a credible organization monetarily. Though these may just seem like small steps forward, we have to take that step to truly make a difference in the long road ahead of us.
Have a topic of interest? Let us know in the comment section below!