The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the world’s largest conservation network, has declared the western black rhino subspecies as extinct. From 2007 to 2012, rhino poaching has increased 5000%.
According to Jan Eliasson, United Nations Deputy Secretary-General, the proceeds of illegal poaching goes toward terror organizations and transnational organized crime. It is linked to drug smugglers, gun runners and human trafficking.
Meanwhile, other rhino species remain on the brink of extinction. Last seen in 2006 in western Africa, the western black rhino is a subspecies of the African black rhino. According to CNN, the black rhino is listed as “critically endangered” by the IUCN, also warning that the Asia’s Javan rhino are “teetering on the brink of extinction.”
What will cause further extinction of the remaining species of rhinos are the lack of conservation practices and removal of are their horns, a poached product that is popular in Asia as a powdered rhino horn medicine and in the Middle East as a decoration.
Conservation has paid off with the white rhino, with populations rising from less than 100 at the end of the 19th century to an estimated wild population of 20,000 today. Yet, they are considered to be on the brink of extinction.
In 1960, about 70,000 black rhinos existed, with only 4,000 remaining today. Six days ago, the "Dallas Safari Club" stated they would be auctioning off a permit for hunting an endangered black rhino, expected to bring in over $1 million. This attracted criticism from conservation groups, but the club said the money was a fundraiser to help protect the species.