Southern white rhinoceros
Southern white rhinoceros; Rhinocéros blanc du Sud (Fr); Rinoceronte (Sp)
Ceratotherium simum simum
Saved from extinctionPrevious population & distribution
Southern white rhinos once ranged across Southern Africa. In the face of colonization, the subspecies suffered the earliest decline of all African rhinos.
In the late 19th century, it was considered extinct. However, in 1895 a small population of less than 100 individuals was discovered in the Umfolozi-Hluhluwe region in Natal, South Africa.
Current population & distribution
After more than a century of protection, southern white rhinos now number over 20,000, confined to protected areas and private ranches. Classified as Near Threatened, they are now the only non-endangered rhinos.
South Africa remains the stronghold for these rhinos, with smaller populations having been re-introduced to Botswana, Namibia, Swaziland, and Zimbabwe. Southern white rhinos have also been introduced to Kenya, and Zambia.
However, white rhinos are bearing the brunt of the current poaching crisis with hundreds being killed each year, primarily in South Africa.
SizeThe southern white rhino is the heaviest of the two white rhino subspecies, weighing up to 3.6 tonnes.
Montane Grasslands and Shrublands
South Africa, Botswana (re-introduced), Namibia (re-introduced), Swaziland (re-introduced), Zimbabwe(re-introduced), Kenya (introduced), Zambia (introduced)
Central and Eastern Miombo Woodlands, Southern Rift Montane Woodlands, Namib-Karoo-Kaokoveld Deserts
- 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