An overview of the conservation status of and threats to rhinoceros species in the wild
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96 ELEPHANTS AND RHINOCEROS Int. Zoo Yb. (2006) 40: 96–117 © The Zoological Society of London An overview of the conservation status of and threats to rhinoceros species in the wild R. AMIN1, K. THOMAS1, R. H. EMSLIE2, T. J. FOOSE3, 5 & N. VAN STRIEN4 1 Zoological Society of London, Regent’s Park, London NW1 4RY, United Kingdom, 2 IUCN/SSC African Rhino Specialist Group, Box 1212, Hilton 3245, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, 3International Rhino Foundation, 20 Pen Mar Street, Waynesboro, Pennsylvania 17268, USA, and 4IUCN/SSC Asian Rhino Specialist Group, Kondominium Taman Anggrek 3-23B, Jalan Parman. Slipi, Jakarta 11470, Indonesia E-mail: Raj.Amin@ioz.ac.uk This paper summarizes the recent status of rhino- species (Foose et al., 1995) for the ecosys- ceros species, as provided by IUCN Species Survival tems they inhabit because their conserva- Commission’s Rhinoceros Specialist Groups, and describes some of the current conservation measures. tion requirements, by default, encompass At the time of writing there are c. 14 950 rhinoceros those of other smaller species. If rhino- remaining in Africa and c. 2850 in Asia. During the ceros can be successfully conserved and last decade conservation initiatives have achieved protected within an area, then the other notable successes; however, numbers of some species and subspecies have declined over this period and species in the area will also benefit. Before three subspecies are close to extinction. The illegal considering the status of each rhinoceros demand for rhinoceros horn and the subsequent species in turn, it is worth first examining poaching this generates continue to pose a serious the main threats to rhinoceros species threat to rhinoceros populations worldwide. How- worldwide. ever, experience indicates that where anti-poaching efforts are concentrated above minimum threshold levels population losses as a result of poaching can be reduced to a low and sustainable level. However, THREATS TO RHINOCEROS POPULATIONS not all populations receive sufficient protection and Rhinoceros have been hunted for centu- declining budgets of range-state governments for ries as agricultural pests, for trophies and field conservation are a major cause for concern. The role of donor support is, therefore, becoming meat, their skin has been used for shields increasingly important. For some subspecies lack of and good luck charms, and their horn has adequate habitat protection rather than lack of suit- been used in traditional medicines and as able habitat is a major constraint for population handles for ceremonial daggers (Emslie & expansion and growth. Many rhinoceros popu- lations in Africa are managed as part of bigger meta- Brooks, 1999). Over the last century a populations. However, sub-optimal biological significant area of rhinoceros habitat has management is also reducing population growth been degraded or lost as result of land- rates in a number of populations. management practices and human settlement. Key-words: conservation status, endangered species, habitat, illegal trade, protected areas, rhinoceros, Increasing poverty in many African threats countries has often been associated with war and civil unrest, and the associated free flow of weapons has also had a neg- Rhinoceros, like other charismatic megah- ative impact on conservation efforts for erbivores, require large areas to support rhinoceros. For example, insurgencies and viable populations. They act as umbrella civil wars in Nepal, parts of Assam and 5 Dr Tom Foose, International Rhino Foundation Program Director, died on 18 May 2006. One of the foun- ders of the IRF and with a passion for rhinoceros conservation, Tom will be remembered for the enormous contribution he made to the shaping of rhinoceros conservation programmes.
REVIEW: RHINOCEROS CONSERVATION STATUS AND IN SITU THREATS 97 the Democratic Republic of the Congo parks in Africa and Asia have increased have led to considerable reductions in over the last 10 years. Evidence suggests numbers in specific parks in recent years that in order to be effective, anti-poaching (Hillman-Smith & Ndey, 2005). efforts need to be concentrated above The use of large tracts of land for wild- minimum threshold levels. Where this can life conservation is under continued threat be achieved, poaching invariably has been in Asia and Africa, as demand for land reduced to low and sustainable levels. For for subsistence farming, cattle grazing and this reason many rhinoceros are main- commercial use, such as plantations and tained in fenced sanctuaries or in intensive logging, increases. Human population protection zones within larger national growth and rising unemployment add to parks where manpower and resources can the pressure for land. In particular, hab- be concentrated at effective levels (Leader- itat loss has had a significant impact on Williams, 1988; Emslie & Brooks, 1999). the Sumatran rhinoceros Dicerorhinus In contrast, attempting to reintroduce sumatrensis. However, many range states rhinoceros into vast tracts of land without still have sufficient land to maintain the necessary budgets and manpower to rhinoceros populations. protect them successfully is not Protection and conservation-manage- recommended. ment programmes for rhinoceros can be Rhinoceros poached in Africa and Asia extremely expensive and beyond the reach are targeted primarily for their horn but of some range states. In both Africa and in some cases the entire carcass is used. Asia effective anti-poaching efforts and However, the preparation and transpor- management of rhinoceros can cost up to tation of other body parts is difficult and US$1000 annually for every square kilo- in practice only the horn is taken from metre of habitat (N. Leader-Williams, most poached animals (E. B. Martin, pers. comm.; T. Conway, pers. comm.). pers. comm.). Well-armed poaching gangs Declining government budgets in real that cross international boundaries in terms and, in some cases, declining search of rhinoceros have also impacted capacity, pose a threat to the continued populations. While most of the profit successes in a number of range states from poaching goes to a few traders and where population numbers have been middlemen, even the small amounts increasing under effective protection and earned by poachers are enough incentive management strategies. Therefore, the to risk fines, imprisonment or death. One assistance of donor agencies is becoming problem is a tendency of the press to pub- increasingly important, as are attempts by licize the high value of rhinoceros horn. a number of range states to increase rev- These are usually quotes of the final resale enue for conservation through eco- prices for rhinoceros horn, which does not tourism. In some southern African bear any relation to the much lower countries rhinoceros contribute towards amount poachers may get for whole horns the cost of conservation through sustain- (especially in Africa). This can send the able-use ventures, such as ecotourism, live misleading message to potential criminals sales and limited sport hunting of old and that there is a lot of money to be made surplus 77. from poaching, when the reality is that in The major threat to rhinoceros is the Africa the rhinoceros are worth far more illegal demand for horn and the poaching alive than the horns are worth to pressure that this trade stimulates. Over poachers. There have been a number of the last few decades poaching has been the cases in Africa in recent years where local main cause of decline in some areas. How- dealers have not been able to sell horn and ever such declines have not been universal have in the end been caught in undercover as populations in many well-protected sting operations, where it became clear
98 ELEPHANTS AND RHINOCEROS that the price poachers thought they could 2005 came from the Northern white command was much higher than the rhinoceros Ceratotherium simum cottoni actual black-market price. (Vigne & Martin, 2006). Jambiya with new rhinoceros-horn handles have been TRADE found on sale openly suggesting that There are two main uses for Rhinoceros craftsmen have little reason to hide them horn. It is carved to make ornate handles because government inspectors are not for jambiyas (ceremonial daggers worn in doing enough to curb the trade (Vigne & Yemen). Rhinoceros horn is also used in Martin, 2006). traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) Even though the use of rhinoceros horn (Martin & Martin, 1982; Emslie & in TCM is now banned in most countries, Brooks, 1999). Although the media rhinoceros horn is still being traded routinely claim that a major use of rhino- throughout Asia. It has been suggested ceros horn is as an aphrodisiac, this has that in the late 1980s and early 1990s been found to be largely a myth (Martin rhinoceros horn may have been stockpiled & Martin, 1982). Historically, the Guja- as a speculative investment (Emslie & rati in India did use rhinoceros horn as an Brooks, 1999). With the increased imple- aphrodisiac but following the increase in mentation of domestic trade bans the the price of horn this practice effectively trade has gone underground and it is now ceased (E. B. Martin, pers. comm.). more difficult to monitor and assess levels Since the early 1970s Yemen has of illegal trading. imported the largest quantity of African While some TCM practitioners have rhinoceros horn, which is preferred to identified a number of acceptable substi- Asian rhinoceros horn owing to its larger tutes, others believe that rhinoceros horn size, thus allowing more jambiya dagger is irreplaceable for the treatment of cer- handles to be made per horn. Most illegal tain, sometimes life-threatening, condi- horn from eastern Africa has been smug- tions. In TCM rhinoceros horn is used gled by traders into Yemen. Africa’s primarily for the treatment of ailments, Black rhinoceros Diceros bicornis popu- such as epilepsy, fevers and strokes. Many lation fell from c. 65 000 in 1970 to 2450 pharmacists consider Asian rhinoceros by the early 1990s. It is only in recent horn to be more effective than African years that Yemen became a party to rhinoceros horn. Although African rhino- CITES (Convention on International ceros horns are bigger than the horns of Trade in Endangered Species of Wild the three Asian rhinoceros species, owing Flora and Fauna) and has outlawed to the greater rarity, smaller size and per- imports of rhinoceros horn and exports of ceived superior medicinal properties, horn shavings to the East. Internal trade Asian horn sells at a premium (Martin & in rhinoceros horn was also prohibited Martin, 1982). Clinical studies testing the and the making of new rhinoceros-horn efficacy of rhinoceros horn to reduce fever jambiya handles was banned. Attempts have concluded that it either had no effect have been made to lower demand by in rabbits (Laburn & Mitchell, 1997) or encouraging high-value substitutes for the had only a small effect when given in mas- horn (e.g. agate: a hard, fine-grained semi- sive doses to rats (But et al., 1990). precious stone). For a time the amount of Seizure of medicines containing rhino- rhinoceros horn entering Yemen declined ceros horn indicate that the majority were (Martin et al., 1997; Martin & Vigne, produced in China, with Hong Kong and, 2005). However, recent information indi- more recently, Singapore acting as major cates that Yemen remains the main recip- holding centres for rhinoceros horn ient of rhinoceros horn from Africa and (Mills, 1997). Research by TRAFFIC has the bulk of horn imported into Yemen in shown that the principal consuming
REVIEW: RHINOCEROS CONSERVATION STATUS AND IN SITU THREATS 99 nations are South Korea, Taiwan and AFRICAN SPECIES mainland China, with manufactured med- Of the five extant rhinoceros species, the icines also being exported to expatriate White rhinoceros Ceratotherium simum Chinese communities around the world and the Black rhinoceros Diceros bicornis (Leader-Williams, 1992; Nowell et al., occur in Africa. Historically, the White 1992; Mills, 1997). rhinoceros had a much more restricted The issue of trade bans is controversial distribution than the Black rhinoceros because such bans have meant that rhino- (Emslie & Brooks, 1999). Currently, three ceros horn has had to be obtained unsus- of the four Black rhinoceros subspecies tainably by poaching and this may have and one of the two White rhinoceros sub- encouraged black-market activity. Some species are listed as Critically Endangered have argued that if this trade was legal- on the 2006 IUCN Red List of Threatened ized, the legal stockpiles in some range Species (IUCN, 2006). states could provide a supply of horn without killing rhinoceros; and that horn WHITE RHINOCEROS recovered from rhinoceros that die from There are two distinct subspecies that natural causes and routine harvesting of differ greatly in their current conservation horn from live rhinoceros could also pro- status: the Southern white rhinoceros Cer- vide much needed revenue for conserva- atotherium simum simum and the tion as well as creating a further economic Northern white rhinoceros Ceratotherium incentive for the expansion of rhinoceros simum cottoni. The Northern white rhino- range. This, in turn, would convey a ceros is extremely rare and only occurs in strong message that rhinoceros are not one wild population of just a few animals becoming extinct, which could lead to a in the Democratic Republic of the Congo drop in the black-market price of horn (DRC) where recent surveys only con- and thus reduce illegal demand and, firmed a minimum of three animals sur- viving following a major upsurge in hence, poaching. However, many others poaching since mid-2003, while the are against re-opening a legal trade Southern white rhinoceros is the most arguing that the combination of inter- numerous rhinoceros taxa, with its main national trade bans under CITES and the stronghold in South Africa (Fig. 1). more recent imposition of domestic trade Because of the spectacular recovery in bans are starting to be effective in numbers of Southern white rhinoceros, reducing poaching and the trade bans the species is no longer listed in one of the should be given more time. Concerns have IUCN (2006) threatened categories and is also been expressed about whether any rated as Near Threatened. The White proposed trade could be properly con- rhinoceros is also the only species where trolled and, in particular, whether it numbers now exceed the currently rec- would be possible to prevent poached ommended Minimum Viable Population horn from being laundered and smuggled (MVP) size of 5000–7000 individuals into the market illegally. No range state (Reed et al., 2003). proposed any downlisting to trade in rhinoceros horn at the last CITES Con- Southern white rhinoceros ference of the Parties (COP 13) and it is Ceratotherium simum simum highly unlikely that any such proposal Once widespread in the bushveld areas of would gain the necessary two-thirds of southern Africa south of the Zambezi votes needed for a downlisting. Thus, for River, this subspecies was on the brink of the immediate future it is unlikely that the extinction by the end of the 19th century trade in rhinoceros horn trade will be having been reduced to just one small legalized. breeding population of c. 20–50 animals
100 ELEPHANTS AND RHINOCEROS Fig. 1. Distribution of White rhinoceros Ceratotherium simum (as at end of 2003, updated from Emslie & Brooks, 1999). in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa (Emslie rhinoceros numbers had recovered to over & Brooks, 2002). 11 300 animals in 379 wild populations in The development of translocation tech- eight African countries with a further 737 niques in the 1960s and subsequent annual animals held in captivity (Emslie, 2004a). removals has resulted in large-scale While Hluhluwe-iMfolozi National Park, restocking of many wild populations (pre- South Africa, currently conserves 1900, dominantly in South Africa but also in a the largest population of 4900 is in number of range states and some non- Greater Kruger National Park, South range states) with hundreds more being Africa, and adjoining private reserves. exported to zoos worldwide. Under pro- South Africa remains the stronghold tection by the end of 2003 Southern white for this subspecies, with 93% (10 540
REVIEW: RHINOCEROS CONSERVATION STATUS AND IN SITU THREATS 101 animals) of the total population as at the victed offenders instead now face paltry end of 2003. While the majority are still fines. However, jail terms of 5–20 years conserved in state Game Reserves (GR) have been given in South Africa, Swazi- and National Parks (NP), by 2002 a min- land and Namibia. imum of 2856 Southern white rhinoceros Undercover wildlife investigations indi- were owned and conserved by the private cate that the demand for horn is still high, sector in South Africa (Knight, 2004). so there is no room for complacency. Smaller reintroduced Southern white Should the quality and intensity of field rhinoceros populations occur in Bot- protection efforts decline, poaching levels swana, Mozambique, Namibia, Swaziland could increase. Maintaining sufficient and Zimbabwe. Out-of-range populations budgets and field-conservation capacity have also been established in Kenya, will therefore be critical in the years Zambia and most recently in 2005 ahead. Declining budgets for range-state Uganda (a former Northern white rhino- conservation agencies and, in some cases, ceros range state). declining capacity for field-conservation Kenya, Namibia and Zimbabwe are the action are a major concern (Emslie & only countries outside of South Africa to Brooks, 1999). maintain populations of q175 Southern white rhinoceros. Together these ‘Big 4’ rhinoceros range states conserve 99% of Conservation measures The Southern the subspecies in the wild. Interestingly white rhinoceros was listed on CITES the same four countries also conserve 97% Appendix I. However, since 1994 the of Africa’s Black rhinoceros. South African population of Southern The Southern white rhinoceros is now white rhinoceros was downlisted to the most abundant and its numbers are Appendix II but only for trade in live greater than all the other taxa of rhino- animals to ‘approved and acceptable des- ceros combined (Table 1). This recovery tinations’ and for the (continued) export in only 110 years from c. 20–50 to of hunting trophies. In 2004 the Swaziland q12 000 animals (including those in cap- population was also similarly downlisted tivity) represents one of the world’s by CITES but with a fixed per cent upper greatest conservation success stories. quota for both live removals and the export of hunting trophies. Trade in horn is still banned under CITES and at the last Threats to Southern white rhinoceros CITES COP no White rhinoceros range Illegal poaching for the international states proposed downlisting to reopen a trade in rhinoceros horn is still the main legal trade in horn. To help reduce illegal threat to the subspecies, although it has trade and complement CITES inter- been infrequent in South Africa. Poaching national trade bans, domestic anti-trade increased around the time of the inde- measures and legislation were imple- pendence elections and peaked at 26 mented in the 1990s by a number of con- animals in 1994 but levels have since sumer states. Effective protection of declined (Emslie & Brooks, 1999; Knight, rhinoceros populations has been critical 2004). In several range states a number and many are now concentrated in fenced cases of poaching have been successfully sanctuaries, conservancies, conservation investigated, resulting in convictions and areas and intensive-protection zones jail terms, which should act as deterrents. (Leader-Williams et al., 1997; Emslie & A major concern is a recent change to Brooks, 1999) where law enforcement can legal interpretation in Zimbabwe whereby be concentrated at effective levels. poaching of rhinoceros no longer results Monitoring of rhinoceros numbers and in a mandatory jail sentence with con- performance has provided the necessary
102 white rhinoceros Ceratotherium simum black rhinoceros Diceros bicornis cottoni simum total trend bicornis longipes michaeli minor total trend Botswana 67 67 up+intro 5 5 intro Cameroon 5*? 5*? ? DRC 22† 22† down Ethiopia 4‡ 4 ? Kenya 218 218 up 439 437 up Malawi 8 8 up+intro Mozambique 2 2 ? 0? 0 extinct? Namibia 186 186 up 1238 1238 up Rwanda 1 1 down South Africa 10 536 10 536 up§ 71 36 1177 1284 up Swaziland 61 61 up 15 15 up Tanzania 42 24 66 up Zambia 3 3 down 5 5 intro Zimbabwe 250 250 up 536 536 up total 22 11 345 11 350 up§ 1310 5? 520 1770 3610 up * Extensive ground surveys are under way at time of writing to confirm how many (if any) Western black rhinoceros still survive. There is a chance this subspecies may now be extinct in the wild. † The minimum confirmed number in Garamba NP and surrounding hunting areas in the Democratic Republic of the Congo was only three by the end of April 2006. ‡ Diceros bicornis bruceii? § The figures given are from 2003 (state and defence-force areas) and 2002 (private, municipal, zoo and biosphere reserves). Table 1. Numbers of White and Black rhinoceros in Africa as at 31 December 2003, presented by country and by subspecies (Emslie, 2004a). These numbers are routinely updated by the AfRSG every 2 years and updated estimates for 31 December 2005 will be released after the AfRSG meeting in late June/early July 2006. The table excludes speculative guesstimates. Subspecies totals q500 rounded to nearest ten rhinoceros. Numbers for D. b. minor in Tanzania, D. b. bicornis in Namibia, D. b. michaeli in Kenya, D. b. longipes in Cameroon and C. s. cottoni in DRC may be higher but this requires confirmation. Numbers of D. b. minor in Swaziland approximate to the true number. Other numbers compiled by IUCN SSC African Rhino Specialist Group at meeting in Kenya 6–11 June 2004; intro. introductions. ELEPHANTS AND RHINOCEROS
REVIEW: RHINOCEROS CONSERVATION STATUS AND IN SITU THREATS 103 information to allow wildlife managers to that conservation is a valid economic focus on rapid population growth, which form of land use and not ‘a waste of land’. has resulted in a surplus of animals for translocation and to establish new popu- lations both within and outside the former Northern white rhinoceros range of the species. Increasingly attempts Ceratotherium simum cottoni are also being made to integrate local The situation facing the future of the communities into conservation efforts. Critically Endangered Northern white While the majority of Southern white rhinoceros is bleak (IUCN, 2004). This rhinoceros live in South Africa, the fact subspecies once ranged in large numbers that this subspecies is now managed by a throughout north-central Africa south of range of different stakeholders (private the Sahara. In 1960 there were c. 2250 sector and state) in several countries with animals remaining but in the 1970s significant numbers also in captivity (Emslie & Brooks, 1999) and early 1980s, worldwide, increases long-term security. poachers reduced the number of Northern In Southern Africa the non-consump- white rhinoceros from 500 to 15 surviving tive (ecotourism viewing and live sales) in Garamba NP, DRC. However by 1995, and consumptive sustainable use (sport under protection, the population had hunting of limited numbers of surplus 77 recovered to 31. Civil wars in neigh- since 1968) of Southern white rhinoceros bouring Sudan and in the DRC led to an has helped catalyse private-sector demand influx of automatic weapons into the for rhinoceros. By the end of 2003 it was neighbouring region and an upsurge in estimated that c. 29% (3252) of Southern poaching. Nevertheless, for many years white rhinoceros in Africa were privately births in Garamba NP balanced poaching owned. The commercialization of the losses and overall numbers remained stable. Southern white rhinoceros has allowed However, in mid-2003 there was a formal state conservation agencies to major upsurge in commercial poaching by remove surplus rhinoceros, preventing ex- or current Sudan People’s Liberation overstocking in the populations and thus Army (SPLA) members and other solving a biological-management southern Sudanese, often in collaboration problem. At the same time this has gen- with Congolese. The start of incursions by erated substantial additional revenue to well-armed groups of Arabic horsemen cover some of the funding shortfall caused from northern Sudan soon after this fur- by declining state budgets for conserva- ther compounded the problem (Hillman- tion in real terms. On average the under- Smith, 2004). By September 2004 numbers lying growth rates of Southern white had been reduced to c. 15 individuals but rhinoceros populations on private land a subsequent count revealed even fewer have been high, contributing to the overall rhinoceros and additional poached car- growth in numbers. The movement of cases (Hillman-Smith & Ndey, 2005; Southern white rhinoceros onto private K. Hillman-Smith pers. comm.). Recent land has also significantly increased the intensive surveys in March 2006 con- range area for the subspecies. The eco- firmed the presence of only one adult 7 nomic value of rhinoceros has also been and one adult 8, although since the sur- used in some court cases to convince mag- veys an additional adult 7 has been seen, istrates that crimes against rhinoceros are bringing the current known minimum serious offences deserving of heavy deter- number as at May 2006 to three. It is rent sentences. Their value has also helped hoped one or more additional animals conservation-resource economists in may still survive and further survey work southern Africa to suggest to politicians is required to clarify numbers.
104 ELEPHANTS AND RHINOCEROS In May 2004 ten Northern white rhino- gency plan included increasing anti- ceros were maintained in two zoological poaching support to Garamba NP to institutions; Dvur Kralove, Czech counter the current high levels of Republic (seven animals), and San Diego poaching. Unfortunately before a pro- Wild Animal Park, USA (three animals). tocol could be formalized and signed by However, most of these animals are old the DRC Government, the translocation and breeding has been poor (Hermes fell victim to political manoeuvring and et al., 2006). national divisions. Conservation activities in Garamba NP were obstructed and Threats to Northern white rhinoceros The finally suspended, leaving the remaining main threat to this subspecies has been rhinoceros defenceless for a period against poaching as a result of political instability, poaching (Fauna & Flora International civil unrest and war. The small population and International Rhino Foundation, size, with only one confirmed breeding 8 Press Release, 7 April 2005). Since then, and two 77 remaining, will limit popu- Africa Parks Foundation has taken over lation growth and increase the chance of management of the Park in collaboration the subspecies going extinct in the wild as with the national conservation agency a result of chance demographic effects ICCN (Institut Congolese pour la Con- and/or genetic problems in the future servation de la Nature), and overall (inbreeding depression). Despite improved poaching in the Park appears to have security since Africa Parks Foundation reduced significantly. became involved with Park management, with so few animals remaining and the BLACK RHINOCEROS instability and general availability of Black rhinoceros exist wherever herb and weapons in the area, poaching threatens woody browse occurs in sufficient this subspecies to extinction in the wild. amounts to support a population. This spans a wide range of habitats covering Conservation measures The subspecies is deserts, semi-deserts, wooded savannahs, included on CITES Appendix I. In 1984 woodlands, forests and even sub-alpine the Garamba NP Project began with heathlands. However, the densities at rhinoceros conservation as its central which Black rhinoceros can exist in these focus. The increased protection afforded habitats vary 100-fold, from one rhino- by anti-poaching efforts in Garamba NP ceros per 100 km2 in the desert plains of allowed the population to double from 15 Western Kunene, Namibia, to more than in 1984 to 30 by 1991. Since then there one rhinoceros per 1 km2 in thicket vege- has been a long-running civil war in tation. There are four recognized subspe- neighbouring Sudan and two civil wars in cies of Black rhinoceros occupying the DRC. In response to the recent different areas of Africa (Fig. 2). poaching, an emergency strategy to move five rhinoceros to a safe sanctuary in Western black rhinoceros Kenya as a temporary measure was Diceros bicornis longipes developed by the protected-area authority This Critically Endangered subspecies in DRC and a coalition of international once ranged throughout the savannah organizations in late 2004. The objective zones of central West Africa but was was to remove a small breeding group of reduced to only a few scattered animals rhinoceros and conserve them on a cus- remaining in northern Cameroon with todianship basis with the long-term inten- some animals believed to be seasonal vis- tion to re-establish the Northern white itors to Chad. There are no animals in rhinoceros population in Garamba NP captivity and in recent years the status of once the Park was secured. The emer- this subspecies has not been adequately
REVIEW: RHINOCEROS CONSERVATION STATUS AND IN SITU THREATS 105 Fig. 2. Distribution of Black rhinoceros Diceros bicornis (as at end of 2003, updated from Emslie & Brooks, 1999). known. At time of writing, extensive courts to give sentences that can act as a ground surveys are under way to deter- deterrent to potential poachers, and mine the status of this subspecies and, genetic and demographic factors all pose indeed, whether or not any animals still serious threats to this subspecies. Over the survive. last decade remaining animals have been scattered in highly vulnerable small groups that may not be in breeding con- Threats to Western black rhinoceros tact (H. Planton, pers. comm.). Poaching, lack of finance, limited anti- poaching efforts, limited local capacity for Conservation measures The Western conservation management, failure of black rhinoceros is included on CITES
106 ELEPHANTS AND RHINOCEROS Appendix I. An action plan for Cameroon into dagger handles (Martin et al., 1997; was developed in 1993, following an inter- Martin & Vigne, 2005). national mission and workshop held at Some populations of the Eastern black Garoua in northern Cameroon, but this rhinoceros in enclosed areas appear to be was never implemented. A high-level stak- overstocked and are showing clear signs eholders workshop was held in Cameroon of density-dependent reductions in repro- in 2000 to discuss potential strategies to ductive performance (Ouma, 2004). In prevent the extinction of the subspecies. some cases competition from other Before fund-raising could begin it was browsers, such as African elephants Lox- agreed that there should be evidence that odonta africana and Giraffes Giraffa at least five Western black rhinoceros camelopardalis, appears to also be nega- remained. New surveys in 2001 failed to tively affecting rhinoceros carrying confirm and photograph at least five capacity (Birkett, 2002; Brett & Adcock, rhinoceros. Surveys are nearing comple- 2002). Limited budgets for conservation tion to determine the status of this sub- are also a problem. species and whether or not it has gone extinct. Conservation measures The Eastern black rhinoceros is included on CITES Appendix I. Effective field protection of Eastern black rhinoceros rhinoceros populations has been critical. Diceros bicornis michaeli Increasing efforts are being made to inte- Historically this Critically Endangered grate local communities into conservation subspecies ranged from southern Sudan, efforts. In Kenya, the major range state, Ethiopia and Somalia through Uganda, Eastern black rhinoceros are now man- Rwanda, Kenya and into north–central aged by a range of stakeholders from a Tanzania (Emslie & Brooks, 1999). Its municipal county-council run area, to current stronghold is Kenya with 458 state-managed parks and fenced, well-pro- rhinoceros as at the end of 2003, mostly tected sanctuaries, some of which are within protected areas, sanctuaries in both managed by the private sector. protected areas and on private land, and National conservation strategies have in a free-ranging population on county- also been implemented. Kenya’s revised council land. Tanzania has c. 42 Eastern rhinoceros conservation strategy has black rhinoceros, mostly in free-ranging placed increased priority on improved populations in unfenced protected areas monitoring and biological management and a few in one sanctuary. Rwanda and for rapid metapopulation growth fol- Ethiopia hold relict populations of one lowing lower than average increases in and two to four animals, in a protected recent years. The Kenyan Darwin Initia- area and on community land, respectively. tive project has implemented these key ele- At the end of 2003 South Africa had c. 36 ments and the national population Eastern black rhinoceros of pre- estimates over 2004 and 2005 have shown dominantly Kenyan origin maintained on an annual increase of over 5% (Amin, private land. As at December 2004 there Ouma-Okita et al., this volume). were 171 Eastern black rhinoceros in cap- tivity worldwide (Foose & Wiese, this South-western black rhinoceros volume). Diceros bicornis bicornis The original range of this Vulnerable sub- Threats to Eastern black rhinoceros species included Namibia, southern Poaching is the main threat to this sub- Angola, western Botswana and probably species. The majority of poached rhino- also south-western South Africa. Signifi- ceros horn ends up in Yemen to be made cant populations have remained in the
REVIEW: RHINOCEROS CONSERVATION STATUS AND IN SITU THREATS 107 desert and arid savannah areas of stakeholders from community conservan- Namibia and this country is the strong- cies, state parks and the private sector (on hold for the taxon, conserving 1238 rhino- a custodianship basis for the state). South- ceros as at the end of 2003 (Emslie, western black rhinoceros have also been 2004a), with South Africa conserving a reintroduced to South Africa and num- further 71. There are no South-western bered 71 by the end of 2003 (Emslie, black rhinoceros in captivity. 2004a). At the recent CITES COP, Namibia was granted an annual quota for Threats to South-western black the sport hunting of up to five surplus rhinoceros The main threat to this sub- South-western black rhinoceros 77. Not species is poaching. Illegal hunting has only will this deal with the problem of sur- been blamed for the disappearance of the plus 77 in some populations but also it South-western black rhinoceros from arid should generate significant revenue to habitats in at least two range states fund and stimulate conservation efforts. (Angola and Botswana). Since 1979 con- Namibia has indicated that if any surplus servation efforts in Namibia have 77 are hunted in communal areas, local stemmed poaching activities and the communities will have access to all the net population has increased steadily. As in revenue raised via Namibia’s Game Prod- other range states, declining budgets for ucts Trust Fund. In this way Namibia is conservation are a problem. looking to deliver tangible benefits to the communities that have successfully been Conservation measures The South- conserving the desert rhinoceros in the western black rhinoceros is included on north-east of the country. CITES Appendix I. In Namibia poaching during the war of independence caused South-central black rhinoceros public outcry and increasing support for Diceros bicornis minor local protection efforts by international This Critically Endangered subspecies is and local conservation agencies and com- the most numerous of the Black rhino- munities living in areas with rhinoceros, ceros subspecies. Historically, this subspe- have stemmed poaching activities in the cies occurred from western and southern country and the population has shown a Tanzania through Zambia, Zimbabwe steady increase since 1980 when there and Mozambique to the northern and were only c. 300 animals (Emslie & eastern parts of South Africa. It probably Brooks, 1999). Effective field protection also occurred in southern DRC and of South-western black rhinoceros popu- northern Angola. Today its stronghold is lations has been critical to the rapid South Africa and to a lesser extent Zim- increase in numbers. Monitoring has also babwe, with smaller numbers remaining in provided information to guide biological southern Tanzania. The South-central management decision making aimed at black rhinoceros is now thought to be managing rhinoceros populations for extinct in Angola and Mozambique but rapid population growth. This has small numbers have been reintroduced resulted in surplus animals being trans- into Swaziland, Malawi and, more located to establish new populations. recently, Zambia and Botswana. The Increasing efforts are also being made to Italian funded Southern African Develop- integrate local communities into conser- ment Community (SADC) Regional Pro- vation efforts. Namibia pioneered the use gramme for Rhino Conservation has of community-based game guards to pro- played an important catalytic role in pro- tect rhinoceros living in communal areas. moting translocation of rhinoceros Namibia’s South-western black rhino- between countries and as at May 2004 ceros are now managed by a range of there were 69 South-central black rhino-
108 ELEPHANTS AND RHINOCEROS ceros in captivity (Foose & Wiese, this made to investigate and prosecute volume). poachers effectively to act as a deterrent. Although threats to some managed Threats to South-central black populations on state and private land in rhinoceros Poaching is still the main Zimbabwe cause concern, some of the threat to the subspecies. Conservative bio- South-central black rhinoceros popu- logical management appears to have lations in that country have been among limited metapopulation growth rates in the best performing in Africa. Like some key populations (Emslie, 2001). In Namibia, at the recent CITES COP, parts of Zimbabwe, land transformation South Africa was granted annual quotas following re-settlement has negatively for the sport hunting of five surplus affected habitat in some areas and has South-central black rhinoceros 77. Sport resulted in a number of snare-related hunting should generate significant rev- deaths. There is a plan to create an addi- enue to help fund and stimulate conser- tional intensive-protection zone in Zim- vation efforts. Similar to the limited babwe. Declining conservation budgets, Southern white rhinoceros hunting, the an apparent increase in poaching and hunting quota for South-central black losses of animals to snaring, and the pros- rhinoceros represents Q0·5% of the popu- ecution of rhinoceros offences under lation and, therefore, will be sustainable. statues without deterrent sentences are of Indeed it has been argued that the concern. removal of old surplus 77 may counter- intuitively help increase overall metapo- Conservation measures The subspecies is pulation performance (Emslie, 2004b). included on CITES Appendix I. Effective field protection of rhinoceros populations ASIAN SPECIES has been critical. Increasing efforts are There are three species of Asian rhino- being made to integrate local communities ceros and all three are threatened with into conservation efforts. A range of stak- extinction: two are Critically Endangered eholders, from state-run conservation and one Endangered as listed by IUCN agencies to privately owned sanctuaries, (2004) (Table 2). manage this subspecies. Increasing num- bers have enabled translocations of sur- Asian greater one-horned or Indian plus animals to establish new populations rhinoceros within the former range of the subspecies. Rhinoceros unicornis However, overly conservative removals The Endangered Indian rhinoceros was from some South African populations in once abundant throughout the floodplains the past resulted in density increases and of the Ganges, Brahmaputra and Sindh declining population performance. Rivers and their large tributaries between Removal levels appear to be on the Indo–Burmese border in the east and Pak- increase. Ongoing monitoring of indivi- istan in the west. Currently, rhinoceros dual rhinoceros occurs in the majority of are restricted to protected areas mainly in populations and annual status reporting India and Nepal. In India, the majority and improved estimates of ecological are in Assam (Kaziranga NP, Pobitora carrying capacities provide useful WS and Orang NP) but also in West information to assess performance and Bengal (Jaldapara WS and Gorumara assist biological decision making. Indivi- WS) and a few in Uttar Pradesh (Dudwa dual rhinoceros populations form part of NP). In Nepal rhinoceros occur mainly in a bigger metapopulation and there have Royal Chitwan NP but have also been also been occasional transfers for genetic- reintroduced to Royal Bardia NP and conservation reasons. Efforts are also Royal Suklaphanta Wildlife Reserve
indian rhinoceros javan rhinoceros sumatran rhinoceros Rhinoceros unicornis Rhinoceros sondaicus Dicerorhinus sumatrensis total trend sondaicus annamiticus total trend sumatrensis harrissoni total trend India 2100 up Indonesia 40–50 40–50 stable 200 200 stable or up Malaysia 75 25 100 stable Nepal 400 down Vietnam Q5 Q5 down total 2500 down 40–50 down 300 stable or up Table 2. Approximate numbers of Indian, Javan and Sumatran rhinoceros in Asia as at 2005, presented by country and subspecies. A third subspecies of Javan rhinoceros Rhinoceros sondaicus inermis, formerly in India and Bangladesh, is extinct. A third subspecies of Sumatran rhinoceros Dicerorhinus sumatrensis lasiotis, may survive in very small numbers in northern Myanmar and on the India–Myanmar border. REVIEW: RHINOCEROS CONSERVATION STATUS AND IN SITU THREATS 109
110 ELEPHANTS AND RHINOCEROS Fig. 3. Historic and current distribution of Indian rhinoceros Rhinoceros unicornis. (Fig. 3). Reintroduced Indian rhinoceros The largest population of Indian rhino- populations in Duduwa NP in Uttarpra- ceros is conserved in Assam’s Kaziranga desh, India and Royal Suklaphanta WR, NP (also a World Heritage Site), which Nepal, are small with only Bardia NP so celebrated its centenary in February 2005. far receiving a founder number greater The recovery of numbers in this Park than the minimum 20 recommended. under protection in many ways mirrors Indian rhinoceros numbers have the recovery of Southern white rhinoceros recovered from Q200 earlier in the numbers. By 1905 numbers may have 20th century and the total wild population been as low as ten individuals but the last has increased from 600–700 individuals in census estimated a population of 1850 by 1975 to c. 2500 in 2006. Periodic out- 2006. However, in contrast to the breaks of insurgency in parts of its range Southern white rhinoceros recovery, in the has often resulted in certain populations past little attention was paid to biological being eradicated or reduced significantly. management or expanding the number of The two major range states, India and populations and range. As a result there Nepal, have invested significant commit- have been few translocations and Kazir- ment, effort, manpower and resources in anga NP holds at least two-thirds of the protecting and conserving this species remaining Indian rhinoceros numbers in and, as a result, there have been notable the wild. Apart from the strategic dangers successes. of having so many ‘eggs in one basket’,
REVIEW: RHINOCEROS CONSERVATION STATUS AND IN SITU THREATS 111 there are clear signs of a density- may have eluded the poachers or emi- dependent reduction in population grated from refuge in Bhutan have reap- performance and possible habitat degra- peared. The population in Orang NP had dation following the increase in numbers been reduced by poachers from c. 100 to (R. Emslie, pers. obs). In an encouraging c. 50 by 1999, with poaching still occur- development the Assam government has ring (three more were lost in 2005). Never- recently approved and launched a range theless, overall protection has improved expansion project called Rhino Vision and the most recent census in 2006 located 2020, which will use translocations from 81 rhinoceros including 13 calves. There Kaziranga NP to re-establish Indian has also been recent poaching in Pobitora rhinoceros in other parks with the aim of WS. In Nepal, the rise in Maoist insur- conserving 3000 rhinoceros in Assam by gency has also led to a significant increase 2020 (Williams et al., 2005). in poaching, with numbers declining in Royal Chitwan NP holds the second Royal Chitwan NP by about a third in the largest population of the species. Its popu- last 5 years: 544 in 2000 to c. 350 today. lation recovered through intensive protec- In Royal Bardia NP, at least 40 of 100 tion from 60–80 individuals to c. 540 by Indian rhinoceros have been lost 2000 (DNPWC, unpubl.). However, (K. Chapagain, Kathmandu Post, poaching has escalated dramatically in 2 August 2005; C. Williams, pers. comm.). recent years following the removal of Increasing conflicts between Indian many of the army anti-poaching units rhinoceros and people inhabiting the from the Park because of the Maoist vicinities of the parks and reserves has insurgency in the country. A recent census also created negative attitude towards the (2005) identified only 372 individuals, rep- conservation of this species among some resenting a 31% decrease since 2000. Since local communities. The economy of the that 2005 census 15 or more rhinoceros marginalized communities in the buffer- have been poached. As at 2004 there were zone areas is particularly affected by crop 154 animals in captivity worldwide (Foose damage caused by the species. & Wiese, this volume). In addition, domestic grazing pressure and illegal burning of grassland has Threats to Indian rhinoceros Human resulted in further habitat degradation. population growth has resulted in signifi- Encroachment of invasive alien plant cant habitat loss. Figure 3 shows that the species, such as Micania micarantha and reduction in the range of the Indian rhino- Lantana camara, over natural riparian ceros has been caused mainly by the dis- vegetation has further increased the risk appearance of alluvial plain grasslands. of survival of the Endangered megaher- Despite this there are still several potential bivores that primarily inhabit the riverine areas and parks for reintroduction. How- environment (G. J. Thapa & ever, proposed hydroelectric schemes in S. R. Jnawali, pers. comm.). the Bramhaputra River pose a major threat to the habitat of this species. Conservation measures The Indian The existing populations in India and rhinoceros has been included on CITES Nepal remain vulnerable to poaching. Appendix I since 1975 and has been Records of poaching in India show that intensely protected by the Indian and 266 rhinoceros were poached between Nepalese wildlife authorities. However, 1989 and 1993. Manas NP had an esti- poaching has remained high and conser- mated population of 90–100 rhinoceros in vation efforts will require continued sup- 1990 but during a period of insurgency port. New anti-poaching strategies are virtually the entire population was lost, being implemented by the Nepal parks although a few Indian rhinoceros that following significant losses. The recently
112 ELEPHANTS AND RHINOCEROS Fig. 4. Historic and current distribution of Javan rhinoceros Rhinoceros sondaicus. launched rhinoceros range-expansion pro- More extensive education and commu- ject (Rhino Vision 2020) in Assam is a nity programmes are being planned by the major positive development that will con- authorities in Nepal and India to improve tribute to both increased metapopulation awareness so that the communities living growth rates as well as having strategic around the reserves are sympathetic to benefits (Williams et al., 2005). and benefit from the Indian rhinoceros.
REVIEW: RHINOCEROS CONSERVATION STATUS AND IN SITU THREATS 113 Asian lesser one-horned or Javan Threats to Javan rhinoceros The rhinoceros increasing human population means that Rhinoceros sondaicus the demand for land is high in the two This Critically Endangered species once protected areas that Javan rhinoceros are ranged over a vast portion of south-east known to exist. Clearance of forests for Asia, occurring in three distinct subspecies agriculture and commercial logging are inhabiting coastal plains and river valleys. occurring in and around these protected The dominant form Rhinoceros sondaicus areas and poaching is an ever-present sondaicus survives only in Ujung Kulon threat. NP. Rhinoceros sondaicus inermis, once The lack of growth in the main popu- found in Bengal, Assam and Myanmar, is lation is of concern as numbers of this now extinct and a third subspecies, Rhino- species are low and in order to minimize ceros sondaicus annamiticus, was feared loss of genetic diversity it is necessary to extinct until the 1980s, when a population increase the population as soon as of Q10–15 animals was discovered in an possible. The low number of individuals unprotected forest in Vietnam (Fig. 4). in a single viable population makes the The area has subsequently been included species extremely vulnerable to extinction in the Cat Tien NP but the number of because of uneven sex ratios, unbalanced Javan rhinoceros in that area is now prob- age structure, reduced rates of reproduc- ably less than five and no successful tion, natural catastrophes, disease, breeding has been observed since 1998. poaching, political disturbances and At time of writing 40–50 animals genetic drift. If no reproduction occurs in remain in Ujung Kulon NP on the west- the Cat Loc population it is doomed. The ernmost tip of Java. This only surviving lack of appropriate wildlife-conservation viable population has been stagnant for laws and effective field law enforcement in Vietnam are major threats to the survival the last 30 years. Either limited poaching of the Cat Loc population (P. Hartley continues to cancel out births, although pers. comm.; G. Polet, pers. comm.). no poaching has been recorded since 1991 and the rhinoceros are protected and Conservation measures Protecting the monitored by three Rhino Protection Javan rhinoceros has been the primary Units, or (more probably) the population conservation focus. There are currently has reached carrying capacity and popu- three trained and well-equipped Rhino lation performance has been negatively Protection Units (RPUs) maintaining affected as a result. To date there has not patrols in Ujung Kulon NP. The RPUs been an attempt to establish a second have been highly successful with no population elsewhere. This is unfortunate known improbable losses of Javan rhino- on biological-management (demographic ceros in the last 5 years. and genetic) and strategic grounds. How- Faecal-DNA analysis and camera traps ever, the recently formulated and adopted are being used to assess the population (by the government) Indonesian Rhino structure in Ujung Kulon NP as the popu- Conservation Strategy, known as the lation in the region is poorly known. Rhino Century Project (Proyek Abad Studies are being carried out on habitat Badak), is proposing a vigorous initiative and food availability, and to determine if to establish a second population. The only Banteng Bos javanicus are limiting popu- other Javan population, currently esti- lation growth of the Javan rhinoceros by mated to be less than five individuals, is competing for food. The feasibility of at the Cat Loc part of the Cat Tien NP translocating rhinoceros to establish a in Vietnam. There are no Javan rhino- new viable population in another suitable ceros in captivity. habitat is also being considered in order
114 ELEPHANTS AND RHINOCEROS to initiate the recovery of numbers. The Kalimantan. In Sarawak the species is no population in Cat Loc Reserve is heading longer found. There are ten Sumatran for extinction partly as a result of human rhinoceros in captivity: four in North pressure, a lack of appropriate laws and American zoos, four at the Sumatran penalties, and inadequate law Rhino Sanctuary in Sumatra and two at enforcement. Sepilok in Borneo. The attempt to develop a captive-propagation pro- Asian two-horned or Sumatran gramme as part of the conservation rhinoceros strategy under the auspices of the AsRSG Dicerorhinus sumatrensis has been very challenging. From the The Critically Endangered Sumatran inception of the programme in 1984 until rhinoceros once ranged from the foothills 2001, mortality was high and no repro- of the Himalayas in Bhutan and eastern duction occurred among the 40 ‘doomed’ India, through Myanmar, Thailand and rhinoceros rescued from unviable situa- the Malay Peninsula, and on the islands tions in the wild. However, two births of Sumatra and Borneo. At the beginning have occurred (in 2001 and 2004) at the of the 20th century, the Bornean form of Cincinnati Zoo & Botanic Garden and the Asian two-horned rhinoceros Dicer- there is renewed hope that the captive- orhinus sumatrensis harrissoni, also known propagation programme for this species as the Eastern Sumatran rhinoceros, was can now succeed, especially with the guid- fairly widespread and common ance of the Global Management and throughout Borneo, in both the Malay- Propagation Board (GMPB) that has sian (Sabah and Sarawak) and Indonesian been formed for Sumatran rhinoceros. (Kalimantan) parts of the island. The population was c. 600 in 1994 but Threats to Asian two-horned or Sumatran has declined to c. 300 worldwide in 2006. rhinoceros The Sumatran rhinoceros About 200 occur in Sumatra but are con- survives in several small isolated popu- fined to only three national parks, except lations so some metapopulation manage- for a few solitary animals in remote loca- ment for genetic-conservation reasons tions. Bukit Barisan Selatan NP and may be necessary in the longer term. With Gunung Leuser NP are the highest-pri- few animals surviving in each population ority areas each with c. 60–85 Sumatran there is a much greater chance of the rhinoceros. About 20–25 Sumatran rhino- reproductive process being disrupted by ceros occur in Way Kambas NP. an uneven sex ratio, unbalanced age struc- Outside Sumatra small populations ture or declining reproduction. Evidence occur in a few areas in Malaysia. In Pen- suggests that this has already occurred in insula Malaysia, the only populations many areas, most recently in the Kerinci- with more than a few Asian two-horned Seblat NP in central Sumatra (van Strien, or Sumatran rhinoceros are in Taman pers. obs.). Negara NP and the Belum Forest Com- Poaching is the major threat for this plex. Danum Valley (with an estimated species. The financial commitment given minimum of 13 rhinoceros) and Tabin to Asian two-horned or Sumatran rhino- WR in Sabah, Malaysia on the island of ceros conservation by the two main range Borneo, contain the only known popu- states is also less than that provided by the lations of the subspecies Dicerorhinus Greater one-horned rhinoceros range sumatrensis harrissoni. The status of the states or the major range states in Africa. species in other parts of the region is The threat is still severe in most areas unknown (Fig. 5), although a few are because of the continuing demand for likely to survive in remote parts of Thai- Asian rhinoceros horns for the TCM land and Myanmar, and possibly also in market. Strict protection of the rhinoceros
REVIEW: RHINOCEROS CONSERVATION STATUS AND IN SITU THREATS 115 Fig. 5. Historic and current distribution of Sumatran rhinoceros Dicerorhinus sumatrensis. in their habitat is, therefore, currently the cant difference, in Indonesia and only conservation option. In the past, Malaysia. In addition, more vigorous anti-poaching patrolling inside the prosecution of wildlife crimes means that national parks was inadequate. However, poaching has ceased almost completely in in recent years the introduction of field several key areas, such as Bukit Barisan anti-poaching teams known as Rhino Pro- Selatan NP, Way Kambas NP and tection Units (RPUs) has made a signifi- Gunung Leuser NP.
116 ELEPHANTS AND RHINOCEROS Habitat encroachment is a more serious the effective RPUs and more vigorous problem in most areas. The land sur- prosecution, poaching of the Asian two- rounding rhinoceros habitat is generally horned or Sumatran rhinoceros has densely populated and large parts are ceased almost completely in a number of under severe pressure for land and areas including Bukit Barisan Selatan NP, resources. Significant areas within the Way Kambas NP and Gunung Leuser NP national parks, and often all of the pro- (Foose & van Strien, 1998, 2005). A tected forests in the buffer zones, have number of external agencies have contrib- been converted for agriculture. Occasion- uted financially and technically to the ally important habitat is de-gazetted for development of the RPU programme. logging and illegal logging is also Major new initiatives to invigorate efforts increasing, particularly in Sumatra. Over to protect the Sumatran rhinoceros have the last 15 years c. 30% of Bukit Barisan been inaugurated in Indonesia (Project Selatan NP has been converted and Way Rhino Century) and Malaysia (Rhino Kambas NP has lost 15% of its area. For- Rescue). tunately, in Way Kambas NP, little of the There are also ongoing efforts to actual rhinoceros habitat has been lost but develop captive-breeding centres in Indo- if the trend continues, the entire Park is in nesia and Malaysia (N. van Strien & jeopardy. Natural disasters may also T. Foose, pers. obs). While so far these impact the survival of this species, either have not been successful as more deaths directly, such as the El Niño induced fires are recorded than births, there is renewed of 1997, or indirectly, such as the tsunami optimism based on the success that has in December 2004, which may have long- recently been achieved in reproducing this term repercussions on economic and polit- species as well as the advent in captivity ical development thus intensifying the of younger and presumably more fertile pressure on the conservation areas. animals (van Strien, 2005). Conservation measures The Asian two- horned or Sumatran rhinoceros has been REFERENCES Birkett, A. (2002): The impact of giraffe, rhino and included on CITES Appendix I since elephant on the habitat of a black rhino sanctuary 1975. Anti-poaching, habitat protection, in Kenya. African Journal of Ecology 40: 276. and captive-breeding, research and moni- Brett, R. A. & Adcock, K. (2002): Assessment of toring programmes have been initiated by the options for the expansion of the black rhino population at Ngulia rhino sanctuary, Tsavo West local and international organizations, in NP, Kenya. In African Wildlife Foundation report: co-operation with governmental authori- 71. Nairobi: African Wildlife Foundation. ties and local communities. Perhaps the But, P. H., Lung, L. C. & Tam, Y. K. (1990): Eth- longest-running and most effective pro- nopharmacology of rhinoceros horn. I. Antipyretic gramme is the RPUs, which have been effects of rhinoceros horn and other animal horns. Journal of Ethnopharmacology 30: 157–168. operating since 1995. The RPUs operate DNPWC (Unpublished): Count rhino 2000: initial in all key areas, concentrating on anti- report. Unpublished report, Department of National poaching and law enforcement, and have Parks and Wildlife Conservation, Kathmandu, 2000. been highly successful. Emslie, R. (Ed.) (2001): Workshop on biological management to meet continental and national black In Bukit Barisan Selatan NP a mobile rhino conservation goals. In Proceedings and work- Intelligence and Law Enforcement Unit shop report: 130. Harare: Southern African Develop- has been established to assist the RPUs ment Community, Regional Programme for Rhino and the National Park to detect and Conservation. apprehend poachers. With the assistance Emslie, R. (2004a): Rhino population sizes and trends. Pachyderm 37: 107–110. of the Intelligence and Law Enforcement Emslie, R. (2004b): Black rhino hunting quotas Unit many cases of wildlife poaching have approved for Namibia and South Africa at CITES been prosecuted successfully. Because of Conference of the Parties 13. Pachyderm 37: 92–97.
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