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Western black rhino declared extinct

Other subspecies of rhino also face extinction due to commercial poaching and threats from international crime groups targeting rhinos for their horns.

Two black male rhinos trying hard not to become extinct.
Two black male rhinos trying hard not to become extinct.
Image: Gareth Fuller/PA

There are no more black rhinos in western Africa, according to the latest international report on threatened species.

The Red List of Threatened Species released today has declared the western black rhino officially extinct in western Africa. Another subspecies of rhino –  the northern white rhino – is currently “teetering on the brink of extinction” and has been listed as possibly extinct in the wild, according to the report.

The Javan rhino is also making its last stand following the poaching of what is thought to be the last surviving animal in Vietnam in 2010.  A tiny population of the subspecies remains on Java.

The annual update was put together by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. The report blames a  ”lack of political support and will power for conservation efforts” for hindering attempts to save rhinos from extinction. The main threats faced by rhinos are “international crime groups” targeting rhinos,  ”increasing illegal demand for rhino horns and commercial poaching”.

The study records more threatened species than ever before, noting that 25 per cent of the world’s mammals are at risk of extinction, despite conservation efforts.

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Christine Bohan

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