Help save Rhino of South Africa. Rhinos are an integral part of the South African ecosystem.
Save Rhino ? Rhino are an umbrella species – Protect the rhino, and you protect all the other species that share their habitat.
TOURISM – The rhino is one of Africa’s iconic animals and the rarest and most threatened of The Big 5. Imagine having to re market The Big 5 as The Big 4. Our rhino are well-known and loved by many people all over the world.
- Rhinoceroses are huge mega-herbivores and impact greatly on their environment by shaping the landscape
- By forcing through thick scrub and forest like a tank, they open up access for other species and, by continuously browsing shrubs and small trees, rhino’s shape the way they grow and keep them short and accessible to a whole range of smaller leaf eaters.
- The seeds rhinos eat take three days to pass through their gut and so when passed out – in their own, ready made pile of fertiliser – they may be many kilometers from the parent soil, returning vital nutrients .
- The dung also enriches the soil,returning vital nutrients and organic matter that improve the soil structure for the plant communities, as well as feeding whole communities of soil organisms that are the foundations of an ecosystem.
- The dung piles known as middens also attract a great variety of animals: those that directly use or eat the dung such as dung flies and dung beetles; and those that feed on the invertebrates that are attracted there, including lizards, many birds such as flycatchers and hornbills, and many kinds of other insectivorous animals.
- All rhinos are extremely fond of wallowing and will dig to create wallows for themselves.
- These then become used by many different species for bathing and drinking, and become breeding sites for animals that require small pools of open water to complete their life-cycles, such as frogs, many insects and a huge array of other invertebrates.
- Rhinos are great diggers and excavate minerals from the ground using their horns and feet.
- This provides an important service for those species requiring, but unable to open up, the earth for themselves.
Why do Rhino have Horns?
Rhino horn is made up of keratin and has no medical or medicinal value what soever!
- Some Rhino use their horn to guide, protect and help feed their offspring.
- Horns are used for digging in waterbeds to find water, or to uproot shrubs etc.
- Horns also have a function to impress members of the opposite sex
- Rhino use their horns to protect themselves and their young from predators like hyena and lion and also from elephant and other rhino who they may come into contact with, most often over territory disputes. They are able to jab at the soft and vulnerable underbelly of their attacker.
- The horns are also thought to afford some protection to a rhinos already compromised poor eyesight.