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Bertschinger, H.J., 1994. Reproduction in black and white rhinos: a review: pp. 155-161, fig.1

In: Penzhorn, B.L. et al. Proceedings of a symposium on rhinos as game ranch animals. Onderstepoort, Republic of South Africa, 9-10 September 1994: pp. i-iv, 1-242

Location: World
Subject: Management - Programs
Species: All Rhino Species

Original text on this topic:
Strategies to save the rhino by means of captive breeding programmes have also not been successful. If one looks at the 1987-1990 statistics of rhinos in captive breeding programmes, 204 black rhinos were to be found in 72 locations all over the world. During this period 30 births were registered and 26 animals died, giving a net gain of 4 black rhino. The statistics for white rhinos are hardly better. During the same period 709 white rhinos were held in 245 locations, there were 45 births and 31 deaths, thus giving a net gain of 14 animals. If one compares these statistics to the phenomenal population growth registered for black and white rhinos in South Africa game reserves over the past 80-90 years, one must really question the validity of some of the captive breeding programmes. There are some very successful stations like Zurich Zoo but, on the other hand, many of the rhinos that die in captivity are young animals. If the individual rhino species are to be saved from extinction, we need to learn from the captive breeding stations that are successful. What factors in the management and nutrition of the rhino make zoos like Zurich so successful? On the other hand, white rhinos appear to need a certain minimal critical number before they will breed. What is this number and should zoos that have only one or two animals be allowed to continue their breeding programmes? What is crystal clear is the good reproductive rate of rhino in their natural habitat. In this context game ranching, particularly in South Africa, where animals are relatively safe from poaching, offers a good adjunct to the breeding of rhino outside of our game parks.

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