Africa is home to a variety of iconic and unique animals, like this Black Rhinoceros.
The Black Rhino’s distant relative called the Paraceratherium roamed the Earth 50 million years ago and was possibly the largest land mammal to have ever lived. Although there was a diverse range of rhino species 35 million years ago, only five species have remained to modern times.
The Black Rhinoceros was the most common of all rhinoceros species in the last century, but is now Critically Endangered and lives almost entirely in protected sanctuaries. Over the last 150 years its numbers have decreased by 96% due to intense poaching for its horn and widespread land clearing.
The Black Rhino plays a critical role in maintaining a healthy balance within the African landscape and ecosystem. Hopefully with effective conservation efforts and the involvement of local communities, it will stage a comeback.