Northern white rhinoceros
Northern white rhinoceros; Rhinocéros blanc du Nord (Fr); Rinoceronte (Sp)
Ceratotherium simum cottoni
Democratic Republic of Congo
4, in Garamba National Park, DRC
The northern white rhinoceros once occurred in southern Chad, the Central African Republic, southwestern Sudan, northeastern Zaire, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), and northwestern Uganda. As late as 1960, there were more than 2,000 northern white rhinos remaining.
However widespread poaching decimated the population, and in 1984 only about 15 individuals survived, all in Garamba National Park, DRC.
Under a strict regime of protection in Garamba National Park and through the intervention of the World Heritage Committee, IUCN, WWF, the Frankfürt Zoological Society and the Congolese government, this popuation increased to a minimum of 30 animals by 1993.
However, an intensive aerial survey of the park carried out in July 2004 counted a minimum population of just 17-22 animals.
Current population & distribution
Poaching has since decimated the population even further - today, only four individuals remain in the park, although there are unconfirmed reports of a few survivors in southern Sudan.
Thanks to the dedication of park staff through years of armed conflict in the region, the northern white rhino still survives, but the surveys suggest its survival prospects are bleak.
East African Woodland/Savanna
Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC)
Northern Congolian Forest-Savanna Mosaic
Sharing habitat with other illustrious speciesGaramba National Park consists of a wide plateau, with isolated rocky hills and marshland depressions. It lies on the watershed area enclosed by the Nile and Zaïre rivers. The park's savannas, grasslands and woodlands, interspersed with gallery forests along the river banks and the swampy depressions, are also home to elephant, giraffe, and hippopotamus.
While park guards are struggling to protect the subspecies, they are risking their lives in the process and several have been killed in anti-poaching operations.
Lawlesness in the eastern part of the DRC has led to widespread attacks on Garamba National Park's infrastructure, with loss of equipment and defection of staff. The site is now back on the List of World Heritage in Danger.
Increased support is required for the guard force in the field and appropriate diplomatic initiatives to ensure that peace returns to the region.
- Don't buy rhino horn products! Illegal trade in rhino horn is a continuing problem, posing one of the greatest threats to rhinos today.
- Donate towards much-needed anti-poaching equipment and support for rangers across Africa.
South Africans / Residents of other countries
Donations will go towards:
- night-vision gear
- bullet-proof armour
- rhino tracking
- camping equipment
- training for guards