World Rhino Day – Dedicated to Conserving the World’s Rhinos.
World Rhino Day is an international observance celebrated on September 22 every year. Inaugurated by WWF South Africa in 2010, its purpose is to raise awareness of the need to protect the five existing species of rhinoceros: white rhino, black rhino, Indian rhino, Javan rhino and Sumatran rhino.
All rhino species are threatened by poachers for the illegal trade in rhino horn. The horn, made up of keratin (a protein found in hair, fingernails and animal hooves), is perceived by certain Asian cultures to have medicinal properties. In fact, no scientific studies support this belief.
Once abundant throughout Europe, Asia and Africa, rhino numbers have dropped to about 27,000 in the wild today. Black, Javan, and Sumatran rhinos are classified as Critically Endangered. White rhinos are classified as Near Threatened globally.
#WorldRhinoDay gives NGOs, conservation bodies, businesses and concerned members of the public an opportunity to raise awareness of the plight of these unique and threatened species.
Why Rhinos are Important in Africa
Rhinos have been around for millions of years (10 – 20 million years) and have evolved as an intrinsic part of their natural ecosystems. The white rhino’s extensive grazing habits have helped to shape the African savanna.
As one of Africa’s ‘big five’, rhinos are a popular sighting for tourists and an important ecotourism drawcard, which, in turn, benefits local communities whose lives and livelihoods depend on the tourist industry.
It is essential that we protect rhinos, not only for future generations, but also for the future of our wild animals and wild places. Rhinos are an integral part of our ecosystems and our heritage.
How you can Help
For the SANParks Honorary Rangers, every day is rhino day. Here’s how you can help us to help them.
Our Conservation Services National Project raises funds and provides support and equipment for rangers and counter-poaching initiatives in our national parks.
Our K9 National Project supports rhino conservation by supporting the K9 anti-poaching units. Using well-trained dogs for anti-poaching initiatives in the Kruger National Park has been considered a game-changer in the fight against poaching.
To donate, please click here and select “K9 National Project” or “Conservation Services National Project”.