IUCN Declares West African Black Rhino Extinct

10 November 2011: In the face of the extinction of the West African population of Black Rhinoceros, John Scanlon, Secretary-General of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), has called for a more assertive multilateral approach to prosecute the organized crime groups behind illegal trade in rhino horns.The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) declared the subspecies officially extinct on 10 November 2011, while warning that other species and populations of rhino also are on the brink of extinction as a result of rampant poaching. According to CITES, 330 rhinos were killed this year. Demand for the horn is high, with prices reaching more than US$50,000 per kilogram.

Scanlon noted that engaging with key partners is essential to address poaching and illegal trade, highlighting  partnerships with Interpol, the World Customs Organization, the UN Office of Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the World Bank. [UN Press Release] [IUCN Press Release]