World Rhino Day




World Rhino Day falls on the 22nd September 2015. The five rhino species are White Rhino, Black Rhino, the Sumatran Rhino, the Javan Rhino, and the Greater One Horned Rhino.   

The charity Save the Rhino has a number of reasons to save rhinos, including:

  1. They are umbrella species.   Protect the rhino and the rhinos' habitat, and you protect many other species who interact with rhinos and share the same habitat as them.  
  2. Rhinos have been around for 40 million years and they continue to be an important part in the ecosystem.   But human activities have caused the huge decline in rhino numbers - these human activities include:
    • poaching - their horns are used for traditional Chinese medicine, for high status gifts in Vietnam and quack cures invented by criminal syndicates to drive up demand
    • land encroachment
    • illegal logging
    • pollution
    • political conflicts
  1. Rhinos are critically endangered.   Save the Rhino says there were about one million rhinos at the turn of the 19th century.  There were 70,000 in 1970.  Today about 28,000 survive in the wild.  You can see more information about rhino numbers in the world here
Rhino holidays from Responsible Travel

Examples of projects to help the rhino

Save the Rhino's Rhino Dog Squad plays a vital role in protecting rhinos across four wildlife conservancies in Kenya - bloodhounds and Belgian Malinois are helping to sniff out illegal substances such as rhino horn, guns or ammunition and track poachers. 

WWF supports rhino conservation projects across Africa, expanding protected areas and creating new ones.  It's increasing security to protect rhinos from poachers and promote wildlife-based tourism to help fund conservation efforts and gives local communities an income from living alongside wildlife.  It's working with TRAFFIC (the wildlife trade monitoring network) to investigate, expose and crack down on poaching and the illegal trade in rhino horn – and to reduce the demand so that this trade is no longer a significant threat to African rhinos.  Here's the WWF's Rhino Conservation Appeal 2015.

Teaching primary school children about the rhinos' plight

The Humane Society International is reaching out to children in Vietnam with this short video, "I'm a Little Rhino".  It's based on its children's book "I’m a Little Rhino.  Both book and video will be used in schools to help teach children about rhinoceros poaching concerns and conservation efforts. The demand for rhino horn in Viet Nathe key drivers for poaching, which is causing a decline in already fragile rhino populations.


The storybook and film will be used in schools to help teach children about rhinoceros poaching concerns and conservation efforts, and it gives them ways to help, such as not buying or using rhino horn. The demand for rhino horn in Viet Nam is a key driver for poaching.   The campaign has reached over 10 million people in Viet Nam already, and this year, 1.4 million copies of the book will be given to every single primary school child in 6 major cities, so the message should reach out to children and their families.  The campaign is showing results:  demand for rhino horn has reduced 77% compared with that before.  Viet Nam’s rhino horn campaign has engaged many sectors of society including women’s associations, universities, primary school children, and businesses in six major cities so the word is getting around. 

Charities involved in rhino conservation - visit them to see how you can help:

Conservation efforts are working in many areas.  In a release in May 2015, WWF reports that Nepal marked a 365-day period without a rhino being poached.   "A coordinated response from central to grassroots level, and heightened protection measures within Protected Areas, buffer zones and community forests, including the use of new technologies such as SMART and real-time SMART patrolling, played a critical role in Nepal's latest zero poaching success," WWF reported