New figures have shown that the population of critically endangered African black rhinos is gradually increasing, thanks to the conservationists’ efforts. According to The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the total number of African Black rhinos increased from 4,845 in 2012 to 5,630 in 2018. Dr. Grethel Aguilar, acting director general of IUCN, said that these rhinos are still unsafe from extinction. However, the increase in population proves the massive efforts made by countries that these animals live in and a great reminder to the world that conservation works. The population data shows that the black rhinos will continue to increase gradually in the next five years, said IUCN.

There has been consistent population growth of the southwestern black rhinos over the last three generations. However, the two other subspecies, the southeastern and eastern, remain critically endangered due to population decline between the 1970s and 1990s. While poaching is still the main threat to these species, the IUCN said that the countermeasures have improved the conditions. The poaching of rhinos declined from 1,349 in 2015 to 892 rhinos in 2018. Dr. Richard Emslie, Red List authority coordinator for the IUCN Species Survival Commission’s African Rhino Specialist Group, said that to maintain the progress, “continued expenditure and efforts will be necessary”.