Red List Released: Western Black Rhino Now Extinct

The Western Black Rhino is extinct. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), which draws up the Red List, announced today that there are no more Black Rhinos, a subspecies of rhino, alive in the wild.

The organization also said that the Central African White Rhino is possibly extinct.

The Red List, which is updated annually, now holds more endangered species than ever before. The IUCN says that despite conservation efforts, nearly 25% of the world’s mammals are at risk of extinction.

The IUCN believes that the last Javan Rhino may have been killed earlier this year by poachers.

Simon Stuart, chair of the IUCN Species Survival Commission, told BBC News:

“They had the misfortune of occurring in places where we simply weren’t able to get the necessary security in place. You’ve got to imagine an animal walking around with a gold horn; that’s what you’re looking at, that’s the value and that’s why you need incredibly high security.”

The Red List reports that mammals aren’t the only species fighting for survival. The IUCN reports that 40% of terrestrial reptiles are also threatened.

But it isn’t all bad news. Some conservation efforts have really paid off. The Equus Ferus was listed as extinct in the wild in 1996. Thanks to a captive breeding program, the wild population is now more than 300.

Dr. Monika Boehm said:

“This Red List update very much shows us a mixed picture of what’s happening to the world’s species. There’s some good news and some bad news. Unfortunately, the overall trend is still a decline in biodiversity. We still haven’t achieved our conservation potential.”

Are you surprised by the Red List?