Of the five species of rhinoceros in the world all are endangered, primarily because they have been hunted for horn, and also because of habitat destruction.
Rhino horn has been used in a wide variety of products for treating fevers and convulsions in traditional Chinese medicine, for ornaments like cups and figurines, and in the Gulf States, particularly Yemen, for handles of the most expensive daggers, which are still carved from rhino horn.
The quantity of rhino horns entering the illegal trade has increased significantly since 2000, indicating ongoing market demand and organized trade routes to the Middle and Far East.
The continued threats of poaching to satisfy the high illegal demand for horn. Successful protection depends on significant state effort and expenditure, and if these were to decline, especially in South
africa, rampant poaching could once again seriously threaten the rhinos' survival.