(MENAFN- Swissinfo) According to the IUCN, there were 23,290 rhinos on the continent at the end of last year, an increase of 5.2% compared to 2021.
"With this good news, we can breathe a sigh of relief for the first time in ten years," said Michael Knight, who chairs the IUCN's African Rhino Specialist Group. The organisation has compiled estimates of the number of rhinos in different countries to obtain the figure for the continent.Slaughtered for their horn
It attributed the 4.2% increase in the number of black rhinos, or 6,487 individuals, to "a combination of protection and biological management initiatives".
White rhino numbers rose by 5.6% to 16,803, the first increase in the population since 2012.
The rhino population has been decimated by decades of poaching driven by demand in Asian countries, where their horns are used in traditional medicine for their alleged therapeutic effects. According to the IUCN, more than 550 animals were killed by poachers on the continent in 2022, mainly in South Africa.South Africa is home to almost 80% of the world's rhinos. Poachers there are increasingly targeting private reserves in their hunt for horns. The horns are highly sought-after on the black market, where the price by weight rivals that of gold and cocaine, estimated at $60,000 a kilogram.
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