Honors College

Document Type

Honors Thesis

Publication Date

Fall 2014


Rhinoceros poaching is an act of killing a rhinoceros in order to take its horn, which is then used for human consumption or for cultural traditions. Both the Asian and the African rhinoceros are targets because of the demand from China, Vietnam, Yemen, and other countries around the world. Traditional Chinese Medicine practice is the main demand for rhinoceros horn and this demand in rhinoceros horn has caused an increase in the black market. Conservation of the rhinoceros is decreasing primarily because the price of rhinoceros horn is more than double the average household income in South Africa, thus making rhinoceros poaching very profitable. Although there is an international ban on rhinoceros horn, there is thought of legalizing the horn trade and then using the profits for conservation. There have been measures taken to deter illegal poaching including dehorning and poisoning of rhinoceros horn; however the cost to do so is not practical. The problem does not stop at poaching, but at regaining the population once poaching is under control. Understanding poaching on a global level and what is currently being done is the first step in educating the public and understanding the fate of the future generations of rhinoceros.