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Rare Rhino's Population Grows from 100 to 3,700 Rhinos as Poaching Deaths Fall, Report Finds

·2-min read

John Milner/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty

A new report from the International Rhino Foundation (IRF) shows dramatic growth in the population of one rhino species that almost went extinct.

More than 3,700 greater one-horned rhinos currently reside worldwide, according to the 2021 edition of the IRF's signature report, which is released each September. In the early 1900s, the rare rhino species' population dipped as low as 100.

The foundation lauded tighter protections on poaching by government authorities in recent years for the increased rhino population.

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"The continued growth of the greater one-horned rhino population is encouraging and the result of tremendous collaboration between the governments of India and Nepal, local and international organizations and the local communities that value their rhinos and other wildlife as national treasures," said Nina Fascione, executive director of IRF, in the report.

"With ongoing combined efforts, we can expect to see continued growth of existing populations as well as the potential to introduce rhinos to additional habitats they once called home," she added.

In 2020, poachers killed two greater one-horned rhinos in the state of Assam in India, per the report. Though still vulnerable, these rhinos are seeing their population rise in several countries. Nepal added 107 to their population between the current survey and 2015, the report stated.



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The number of Javan rhinos — which only live in Indonesia's Ujung Kulon National Park — has also increased, per the report, though not as dramatically. Though the species remains critically endangered, there are now at least 75 Javan rhinos in the wild after there were fewer than 50 about ten years ago.

Another critically endangered species, the black rhino, has also seen its population increase following "devastating poaching loss" in the 1970s. There are now 5,366 to 5,630 in the wild, according to the IRF.

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Meanwhile, the report showed that Sumatran rhinos from Indonesia and white rhinos from Africa declined. Sumatran rhinos are critically endangered, with under 80 in existence, and white rhinos are considered "near threatened" with 17,212 to 18,915 left.

"We must act today, to ensure these marvelous creatures can thrive for future generations," Fascione said in the report. "Let's continue to build on our successes of greater one-horned, black, and Javan rhinos and reverse the declines for Sumatran and white rhinos, working together so rhinos can continue to thrive on Earth."

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