of habitat

The clearance of natural areas for human settlement, agricultural production and logging is constantly increasing. This is a major threat to all species because wildlife needs space to survive and thrive. Rhinoceros are solitary animals that are usually scared of human contact or interference. Males and females live alone and require a fairly large area to graze and live. But when their individual territories are depleted, these animals are forced to look elsewhere for a suitable place to live.

Many countries have lost their entire rhino populations, partly as a result of habitat loss: Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Togo, Benin, Nigeria, Chad, the Central African Republic, Sudan, Pakistan, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Myanmar , Thailand, Cambodia and Laos. Malaysia comes with an article on May 25, 2019 in which they write that they have lost the fight against the extinction of the Sumatran rhino.

When you talk about loss of habitat you speak of two terms. The push factor, refers to conditions within the current habitat that forces them to leave, the animals are pushed to another area. Factors that cause this are insufficient food or water, poachers entering an area, agriculture or deforestation in their habitat. The pull factor refers to external elements that pull them away from the natural habitat to another area. Factors that cause this are areas where food or water is easier to reach than the natural vegetation around them, for example an adjacent farm.

Deforestation is one of the main causes of habitat loss. Deforestation makes room for farms and therefore agriculture, houses and industry. The animals in these areas are forced to flee and look elsewhere for food, shelter and security. Many are unsuccessful and die. Deforestation is not only a problem for animals, but clearing an area for agricultural purposes also ensures that an existing vegetation is completely changed or destroyed. This changes the entire ecosystem of an area that is completely stripped of all its natural inhabitants and variety. The loss of even an animal species in an area, such as the rhino, can have a wrinkle effect on the other plants and animals that live there. The black rhino eats buds of shrubs and trees, which therefore controls growth and prevents overgrowth. This again benefits other plant species. Without the black rhino, certain vegetation will suffocate due to a lack of pruning. A small example of the importance of a single rhino within its ecosystem.

The loss of habitat is currently the biggest problem for Sumatran, Javanese and Indian rhinos. The low population density and having to move further and further to look for food ensures that rhino females and males hardly meet anymore and no offspring arise. Relocating rhinos to safer areas is also becoming increasingly difficult due to the loss of habitat. Rhinos are located in specific areas for their own protection, the forced departure from these areas can mean an increased danger in terms of poaching. It is imperative that we do everything within our power to preserve habitats and thus protect rhinos.