The white rhino (Ceratotherium simum)used to have a range discontinuous and across a smaller area than the black rhino, because this species lives in grasslands and savannah woodlands. The white rhino is also called square-lipped rhino, because of the shape of its mouthpiece adapted to its grazing habitat.
Two subspecies are recognised: the northern white rhino (C. s. cottoni), which survives in north-eastern Democratic Republic of Congo; and the southern white rhino (C. s. simum), which used to range across much of southern
. The SADC Rhino Conservation Programme targets only the southern sub-species.
In 1895 only 20 animals of the southern white rhino were left as a result of intensive hunting and the reclamation of land for agriculture. This small population was in the Umfolozi area in
Since then, due to intensive management and protection and the development of techniques for successful translocation of rhino to set up additional populations, numbers have climbed back to over 10,000 (over 11,000 including all the southern white rhino in captivity) as a result of one of the few conservation success stories. Populations were gradually re-established through translocation in other sites in South Africa and hence in other countries.the
and in the Gulf, but is also linked to a complex set of factors among which poverty in
plays a major role.
94% of the present wild population lives in
. Smaller populations also exist in
. Reintroductions in
failed. SADC range states account for 98% of the present population of the southern sub-species (the populations in
are out of range).