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Planton, H., 1999. Rhinoceros noir du Nord Ouest de l'Afrique (Diceros bicornis longipes): le compte a rebours continue. Pachyderm 27: 86-100, figs. 1-6, photo 1-8, table 1

Location: Africa - Western Africa - Cameroon
Subject: Distribution - Records
Species: Black Rhino

Original text on this topic:
The evolution of the numbers of Diceros bicornis longipes in Central and West Africa does not follow the curve for the entire species. An intense period of destruction at the start of the 20th century wiped out the subspecies in West Africa, Bouna and Ivory Coast in 1905, and brought it to the brink of extinction in Central Africa, where however still 400 were thought to exist in Nord Cameroun, North Central African Republic and southern Tchad. After 25 years of strenouous efforts, scientists in central Africa could report an increase in numbers and an extension of the range towards places where the animal had disappeared. Numbers of 1000 individuals were mentioned in 1957, of which 300 (or 450) were listed for Cameroon, an annual increase of 3 %.. The increase continued to numbers of 2000 in 1960 to 3000 in 1980, an increase of 4,5 to 6 % per annum. The status of the subspecies changed qickly. Some numbers reported in the 1980's lacked coherence and seemed to reflect some disinterest in the subspecies. The numbers mentioned by IUCN, between 320 and 3000, for central Africa shows a very mediocre knowledge of these animals. In 1980, the number was estimated at an absolute minimum of 100 (Pfeffer, unpublished) for Cameroon, but that author is convinced that the actual number probably was more than double.In 1990, after continued poaching, there were no more than 50 rhinos. In 1991, 30 individuals are confirmed to exist (Planton, unpublished). As populations in CAR and Tchad were wiped out in the 1980's, Cameroon was the only country with a viable rhino population. The institutional capacity and the political will of the country were much reduced. No aid was requested, nor proposed, despite the urgency of the situation. The scientific community added to the general confusion. The numbers were much under-estimated and the survival chances were considered very weak, while nobody acted on the report of Alers, and by 1987 the subspecies was considered extinct genetically.

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