Q:

Why are rhinos endangered?

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Quick Answer

Rhinos are endangered due to poaching, habitat loss, reduced genetic diversity, natural disasters and disease. Several species of rhinos exist, including the Sumatran rhino, the black rhino, the white rhino, the Javan rhino and the greater one-horned rhino.

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Why are rhinos endangered?
Credit: W. Alan Baker CC-BY-2.0

Full Answer

The rhino has lost its habitat to both people and land cleared for agricultural and commercial uses. For example, in Bukit Barisan Selatan National Park in Sumatra, forests formerly inhabited by rhinos are being used for coffee and rice settlers. Some populations, such as the Javan, are so small that it is difficult to breed large numbers that are healthy. Natural disasters, such as tsunamis and volcanoes, threaten some rhino populations. Finally, diseases transmitted from other animals also hinder their health and numbers.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    Are rhinos endangered?

    A:

    Three of the five species of rhinoceros are listed as critically endangered on the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources Red List: the black rhinoceros, the Javan rhinoceros and the Sumatran rhinoceros. The Indian rhinoceros is listed as vulnerable, and the white rhinoceros is listed as threatened.

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  • Q:

    What do rhinos eat?

    A:

    Rhinoceroses are herbivorous mammals, meaning they do not consume meat but subsist on plant matter only. They tend to eat whatever vegetation is available to them, and rhinos have adapted specific features to enable this kind of diet.

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  • Q:

    Why are leopards endangered?

    A:

    Leopards are endangered mainly due to over-hunting and habitat loss. Their fur was prized as a very valuable commodity in the 1960s and 1970s, and livestock farmers drive them away from their natural habitat.

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  • Q:

    What are the reasons for poaching rhinos?

    A:

    Asian markets demand rhino horns for medicinal use, hangover cures and gifts. Rhino horns command high prices, which is why the poaching trade has flourished. Misinformation is another reason why hunters poach rhinos, as Internet rumors circulate about the possibility of rhino horns curing cancer.

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