Save the Rhinoceros
Rhinoceros populations are under siege. More than 90 percent of the world's rhinos have disappeared since 1970; hundreds of rhinoceros species are now down to just five. Rhinoceros conservation projects are struggling to keep extinction at bay, and your effort could be what it takes to help them succeed.
Rhinos have been roaming the earth for more than 50 million years, but today there are only about 25,000 of these animals left. Of the five rhinoceros species not yet extinct, one has fewer than 300 individuals remaining, while the most endangered — the Javan rhino — has dwindled to just 50 animals in the wild.
In addition to habitat destruction, which is responsible for much of the loss of animal life on earth today, the decline in rhinoceros populations is due primarily to hunting. Rhinoceros horns have long been prized for use in Eastern medicines as well as for dagger handles in the Middle East. Each rhinoceros horn can bring tens of thousands of dollars, making the illegal trade a lucrative one.
As a result, despite the implementation of laws and emergency measures to help these great animals stay alive, poachers are the greatest threat to rhinoceros populations today. Since 1980, most of the black rhino population has been wiped out from its traditional range, and it's largely due to illegal poaching.
Conservation programs are one of the rhinoceros's greatest hopes for survival. With the help of volunteers, these efforts have made strides for the rhinoceros through research, education and awareness, care and protection on reserves, and reintroduction in protected areas. A week or more of your volunteer vacation could make a world of difference for the world's tragically endangered rhinoceros species.
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