The Red List, drawn up by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), has declared the subspecies extinct in the wild.
The annual update of the Red List now records more threatened species than ever before. The IUCN reports that despite conservation efforts, 25% of the world’s mammals are at risk of extinction. As part of its latest work it has reassessed several rhinoceros groups.
As well as declaring the western black rhino (Diceros bicornis longipes) extinct, it records the northern white rhino (Ceratotherium simum cottoni), a subspecies in central Africa, as being on the brink of extinction. The last Javan rhino (Rhinoceros sondaicus) outside Java is also believed to have disappeared. Overall numbers of black and white rhinos have been rising, but some subspecies have been particularly vulnerable to poaching by criminal gangs who want to trade the animals’ valuable horns…
“Pooh looked at his paws. He knew that one of them was right and he knew that when you had decided which one of them was the right, the the other was the left, but he never could remember how to begin.” Winnie The Pooh