The rhinoceros horn is a sought-after accessory for the upper echelons of some Asian cultures, making the animal a prime target for poachers. This has resulted in a rapid decline in the rhinoceros population, and the western black rhino being driven to extinction. “In the case of the western black rhino and the northern white rhino, the situation could have had very different results if the suggested conservation measures had been implemented,” warned Simon Stuart, chair of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, earlier this year. Now, the US Fish and Wildlife Service seems to be heeding that warning and declaring the southern white rhino a threatened species, which will give the federal government greater autonomy to take protective measures and prosecute those who kill rhinos or sell their horns.
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