Human and climate change influences on white (Cerathotherium simum) and black (Diceros bicornis) rhino populations in southern Africa
University of Massachusetts, Amherst
Fulbright Foreign Student Program
Timothy Randhir and Todd Fuller
Rhinos are Africa’s iconic animals that are both economically and ecologically important to human communities. Despite their recognized importance, however, their populations continue to decline. In Africa, black rhino (Diceros bicornis) numbers have decline >97% since 1960 and this species has been listed as Critically Endangered in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Animals since 1996. White rhinos (Ceratotherium simum) have responded well to ongoing conservation efforts with populations having recovered from near extinction. Still, white rhinos are classified as Near Threatened with just over 20,000 animals existing in protected areas and private game reserves. The purpose of my study is to investigate the current state of rhino populations and evaluate the system dynamics of populations under the effects of climate change and ongoing human influences.