posted: 04 February 2008 04:31 pm ET
A white rhino munches grass. African rhino populations have rebounded after nearly going extinct. Credit: stock.xchng
After nearly disappearing from the planet, African white and black rhinos have made a healthy recovery, according to a wildlife advocacy group.
In the 1990s, these species had been poached almost to extinction for their valuable horns. But thanks to anti-poaching efforts, as well as the cooperation of local communities, African rhinoceros populations are on the rise.
"We have seen an increase in rhino populations of at least five percent per year over the last decade, which is encouraging," said George Kampamba, coordinator for World Wildlife Fund International’s African Rhino Program.
In 1997, there were 8,466 white rhinos and 2,599 black rhinos living in the wild. Today, there are 14,500 white rhinos and nearly 4,000 black rhinos.
"There's been a healthy increase in rhino numbers," said Petra Fleischer, fundraising manager of Save the Rhino International. "It’s the combined effort of anti-poaching work and monitoring to get a better picture of populations, environmental education, government strategies and community involvement. International funding is important, too."
Fleischer said getting local African people involved has been critical.
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