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Ceratotherium simum cottoni

The Northern White Rhino is critically endangered in ironic contrast to the status of its relative the Southern White Rhino, which is the most abundant of all rhino taxa known today. Once ranging in large numbers throughout north-central Africa south of the Sahara, wild Northern White Rhino populations have been reduced to between 5 and 10 individuals located in Garamba National Park, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). There has been much concern about the status of this last surviving population because of the recent civil wars and attendant disruptions.

In the 1970s and 80s, poachers reduced the number of northern white rhinos from 500 to 15, however by the early 1990s through mid 2003 the rhino population had recovered to double their low point to more than 32 rhinos. Since mid 2003 the poaching has intensified reducing the northern white rhino population to 5 to 10 animals.

Find all the recent Garamba Press Releases at this linked Archive

Another ten Northern White Rhino are maintained in two zoological institutions: seven (3.4) at the Dvur Kralove in the Czech Republic and the remaining three (1.2) located at the San Diego Wild Animal Park in the United States.

The Northern White Rhino in captivity have not been reproducing well. However, a female calf was born at Dvur Kralove in 2000, the first captive born of this subspecies in a decade. Considering the numbers (about 20), distribution (all the wild Northern White Rhino in a single site), and circumstances (captive rhinos not breeding well; wild under severe poacher threat), the Northern White Rhino is one of the three most endangered rhino taxa on the planet (along with the Vietnamese Javan and the Cameroon Black Rhino).


Click for large White Rhino distribution map

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