By continuing While habitat destruction, competition for food, and war in the surrounding areas all contribute to the decline of this species, their primary threat is illegal poaching. The species still occurs in South Africa, Namibia, Angola, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Malawi, Zambia, Tanzania, Kenya, Botswana, and Swaziland. The black rhinoceros was originally widespread from the Cape of Good Hope to southwestern Angola and throughout eastern Africa as far as Somalia, parts of Ethiopia, and Sudan. It is a selective browser, and grass plays a minor role in its diet. They can inhabit deserts, acacia savannahs, wooded grasslands, and woodlands. These large mammals are amazingly well adapted for survival. Omissions? Read on to learn about the black rhino. See if your geographic knowledge points north or south in this journey through Africa. Registered Charity Number: 1035072. The other African species, the “white rhino,” has a broad, squared, upper lip. (adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({}); Animals.NET aim to promote interest in nature and animals among children, as well as raise their awareness in conservation and environmental protection. The black rhino, or rhinoceros, is one of two species of African rhino (and five species worldwide.) They can inhabit deserts, acacia savannahs, wooded grasslands, and woodlands. Rival males will spar with one another over breeding rights, and the strongest male will remain with the female for up to a few weeks at a time. CTRL + SPACE for auto-complete. Black rhinoceroses were abundant about 1900; some estimates put their numbers at more than one million individuals. long, but horns up to 55 in. Population distribution of the Black Rhino ( Click for larger view) Black rhinos are the smaller of the two African rhino species. We use cookies to enhance your experience on our website. Director, Biodiversity and Wildlife Solutions Program, RESOLVE. Populations kept in well-guarded small sanctuaries and game ranches have expanded rapidly. Habitats. Unfortunately, today they are restricted to small pockets of population in heavily guarded reserves. In a zoological setting it is important to provide precise and proper nutrition. Rampant poaching reduced the total population to some 2,400 by 1995, but since then conservation efforts have brought the numbers up to approximately 4,800. Western black rhino Diceros bicornis longipes (declared extinct in 2011), LocationKenya, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Botswana, Malawi, HabitatTropical and Subtropical Grasslands, Savannas, and Shrublands; Deserts and Xeric Shrublands. This species has been known to eat up to 220 different species of plants, making them generalist feeders that do not specialize on one specific type of food. The black rhinoceros occupies a variety of habitats, including open plains, sparse thorn scrub, savannas, thickets, and dry forests, as well as mountain forests and moorlands at high altitudes. Now live in Namibia and South Africa. Home ranges commonly overlap, but fighting does occur during the breeding season and to protect calves. : “Di” meaning “two”, “cerato” meaning “horn” in Greek and “bi” meaning “two”, and “cornis” meaning “horn” in Latin. They are browsers, which means that they feed on leaves and shoots. Once the calf is 3 days old it will begin to follow its mother on her search for food. Write CSS OR LESS and hit save. Mother and calf have a strong bond, but the calf will eventually disperse when it reaches sexual maturity. They are critically endangered and highly protected. It stands 1.5 metres (5 feet) high at the shoulder and is 3.5 metres (11.5 feet) long. We’ll send you the latest news about rhinos plus information about our work, campaigns, and events. Black rhinoceros, (Diceros bicornis), the third largest rhinoceros and one of two African species of rhinoceros. Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article. The best way to describe any rhinoceros species is “built like a tank.” They have broad, sturdy bodies with thick, armored skin. All photos used are royalty-free, and credits are included in the Alt tag of each image. Habitat:black rhino can occur in a range of habitats where there are sufficient resources to support them. Its range also extended westward through the northern savanna zone to Lake Chad, northern Cameroon, northern Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, and possibly Guinea. © Rhino Resource Center. There are four subspecies of the black rhino: For press enquiries & images, please contact our Communications Manager on. Black rhinoceroses now occupy a much smaller area, within which they are found in scattered pockets, many of them in parks and reserves. The black rhinoceros typically weighs between 700 and 1,300 kg (1,500 and 2,900 pounds); males are the same size as females. Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. Generally they have smaller home ranges and larger density in habitats that have plent… Small populations exist in Malawi, Zambia, Botswana, South Africa, and Chad. Two keratin-sheathed horns sprout from a core of bone in the front of the face. Let us know if you have suggestions to improve this article (requires login). They are normally ill-tempered and unpredictable and may charge any unfamiliar sound or smell. Eastern black rhino Diceros bicornis michaeli To this day, despite the prohibition of commercial trade, China is the biggest importer of rhino horn. Habitat of the Black Rhino While this species can naturally occur in a wide range of habitats, they only occur today in areas that are heavily guarded nature preserves. Four subspecies are recognized, including one from Namibia that lives in near-desert conditions. The longer horn is usually around 20 in. South-western black rhino (D. b. bicornis): More adapted to arid and semi-arid savannahs. South Africa and Namibia have more black rhinoceroses than any other countries, but the future of the animals outside parks and reserves is rather bleak. Save the Rhino, Unit 3, Coach House Mews, 217 Long Lane, London, SE1 4PR You are here: Home » Species » Black rhino, Southern Central black rhino Diceros bicornis minor They are not very territorialand often intersect other rhino territories. It is highly illegal to own any rhino as a pet! This species is also known as the “hook-lipped rhino” for its pointed upper lip. Because they are browsers of plants rather than grazer, which eat grass, this species must live in areas with dense vegetation. In addition to their fantastic defensive traits, they have a number of small, unique, adaptations to aid in everyday life. The most notable difference between white and black rhinos are their hooked upper lip.