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Rhinos are critically endangered
At the turn of the 19th century, there were approximately one million rhinos. In 1970, there were around 70,000. Today, there are only around 28,000 rhinos surviving in the wild. Three of the five species of rhino are “Critically Endangered” as defined by the IUCN (World Conservation Union).
Hundreds of thousands of rhinoceros populated Africa and Asia at the beginning of the twentieth century even after centuries of demand for rhino horn from the Middle East, India, China, and eventually the West.
Today illegal hunting accounts for the vast majority of rhinoceros deaths and poaching throughout the Asian and African continents is largely spurred by demand from wealthy individuals in Asian nations eager to show off their financial success.
At the beginning of the 20th century there were 500,000 rhinos across Africa and Asia. This fell to 70,000 by 1970 and further to just 29,000 in the wild today.
Despite this bleak picture, and the continuing threat of poaching for their valuable horns, global rhino population figures have been increasing in recent years.