White Rhino Wipeout
By: Giselle Hernandez
Unnoticed, the animal kingdom is slowly decaying under our noses, the beautifully bold square lipped rhino has met its decimation.
Rhinos, a species that dates back further than a millenium, have been endangered since the 20th century due to poaching.
Poaching is the illegal act of hunting wildlife, especially those which are on the endangered species list, and trading them for profit. .
These rhinos typically in groups of 14 run the planes of Africa, mothers protecting their young while the males protect their territory.
There is a high demand in Asia and Japan for rhinoceros horns, being the biggests consumers of this illegal product, they use them as symbols of wealth and riches, and even break them down to be used in traditional Chinese medicine.
The northern white rhino population decreased astonishingly fast, leaving only 15 of them by the end of the 1980’s.
On March 2, 2018, the last of the white rhino subspecies were reduced down to three, spending their time roaming in the Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya, a striking moment in history for these beings.
Two of which were female and one male, on march 19th the last last male Northern white passed away at age 45 from and infection on his leg which was too painful to bear.
With only two females left, they have come to an official extinction, the idea of reproduction is impractical.
The giant herbivores are being guarded around the clock to live out the rest of their lives in peace without the threat of poachers.
The illegal trade of wildlife not only has an impacting effect on biodiversity as these animals are being swept away, it may also affect the amount of carbon in the atmosphere, feeding into climate change.
This is because rhinos feed on tons of grass per day, It helps maintain the Savanna Grasslands.
Now with a whole group of subspecies wiped out, The grasslands won’t be maintained and certain Little Critters who live among the grasslands will be at threat with their ecosystem.
In relation to carbon dioxide, these grasslands help maintain carbon levels by soaking it in by a process called photosynthesis.
Ultimately the White Rhino population helped maintain the grasslands, in which the grasslands helped maintain CO2 levels, which is why rhinos are an important part in the ecosystem.
Scientist are trying to find a solution to this dilemma, but they collected eggs from the male rhinoceros when he was still alive, they are hoping to try and reproduce them synthetically.
The fact that the 2nd biggest mammal is critically endangered, shows that laws need to be enforced on hunting and higher wildlife surveillance to prevent poaching.