Wildlife Trade Specialists

White rhino Ceratotherium simum grazing in Kruger National Park, South Africa © Christiaan van der Hoeven / WWF-Netherlands

African Rhinos African Rhino conservation and the global trade in rhino horn

White rhino Ceratotherium simum grazing in Kruger National Park, South Africa © Christiaan van der Hoeven / WWF-Netherlands


African Black and White Rhino conservation

The conservation of African rhinos has been a major wildlife trade issue for well over a decade. The most pressing threat to their continued survival in the wild is from poaching to satisfy consumer demand for their horn, predominantly from Asia.

Currently, there are approximately 20,000 White Rhinos Ceratotherium simum on the continent, classified by IUCN as Near Threatened. Tragically, the last remaining wild population of the northern subspecies cottoni will soon become extinct as only two female captive individuals remain.

There are approximately 5,000 Black Rhinos still in Africa, classified as Critically Endangered by IUCN, with three surviving subspecies: Eastern Black Diceros b. michaeli, South-central Black D. b. minor and South-western Black D. b. bicornis. The Western Black subspecies D. b. longipes was confirmed extinct in November 2011. Increased enforcement and policy action is urgently needed to prevent remaining African rhino populations moving further towards extinction.

rhinos in Africa once numbered in the 100,000s

today, 3 are poached every day

Viet Nam

and China are the primary consumer markets for rhino horn


of Black rhinos were poached between 1972 and 1996


rhino horns were seized by law enforcement agencies globally between 2010 and 2017

3 rhinos

are poached every day in South Africa alone

Tom Miliken, Elephant and Rhino Programme Leader

co-ordinated action from international governments and enforcement agencies is essential if we hope to reverse the ruthless poaching affecting African rhinos

Tom Miliken, Elephant and Rhino Programme Leader

the demand that drives rhino poaching

fighting the trade in rhino horn

fighting the trade in rhino horn

related reports to RHINOS

Explore the latest publications, reports and papers from TRAFFIC related to rhino conservation and trade in rhino horn.

Visit our resource library for the full TRAFFIC publication archive.


The Reducing Opportunities for Unlawful Transport of Endangered Species (ROUTES) Partnership brings together government agencies, transportation and logistics industry companies and representatives, international conservation, development and law enforcement organizations and donors in order to disrupt wildlife trafficking by air.



Reducing Trade Threats to Africa's wild species and ecosystems works to identify species most at risk from illegal trade and develop solutions to reduce the availability and opportunity for poaching to occur as well as the effiency and effectiveness of law enforcement agencies.


changing policy and ongoing work : a timeline

Since TRAFFIC first flagged the alarming rise in rhino poaching we have stayed on the frontline of defence by monitoring evolving trade trends and facilitating direct action by governments, organisations, agencies and decision-makers to combat poaching and trafficking.

our achievements