How the world celebrates World Rhino Day
BY: Tasneem Johnson-Dollie
World Rhino Day comes around on 22 September every year, and while it’s all about rhino conservation, there seem to be many different ways of celebrating it.
This day, to honour the rhino, was established in 2010. Since then, people across the world have come up with interesting ways to put rhinos in the public eye and boost rhino conservation efforts.
Let’s take a look at why there’s a World Rhino Day and how people across the world are celebrating this horn-bedecked herbivore.
Why was World Rhino Day established?
There are five different types of rhino and all of them are recognised on World Rhino Day. The following facts about rhinos are the reason why World Rhino Day was created.
Facts about rhinos
The rhino species found across the world today, and their conservation statuses according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), are:
black rhino – critically endangered
greater one-horned rhino – vulnerable
Javan rhino – critically endangered
Sumatran rhino – critically endangered
white rhino – near threatened.
So why are all rhino species at risk of becoming endangered?
Well, there are many factors that affect the well-being of rhinos, but poaching and habitat loss are some of the biggest challenges to rhino conservation.
Rhinos are especially vulnerable to poaching because their horns are considered an important ingredient in some traditional medicines. For this reason, rhinos stand a better chance at survival if they’re placed in protected reserves.
Other interesting facts about rhinos show that these creatures were previously found all over Africa, Asia and Europe. Today, rhino species are only found in Africa and Asia.
Because of this species loss, rhino conservation has been an important focus in countries like South Africa for decades.
By 2010, the decline in rhino numbers had sparked even more action by rhino conservationists. Part of this action was an announcement by the South African branch of the World Wide Fund for Nature: the organisation was launching World Rhino Day on 22 September that year.
How World Rhino Day promotes rhino conservation
Like many other annual conservation awareness days, World Rhino Day is an important event for growing support for conservation efforts.
Because facts about rhinos paint a meaningful picture that can add to everyone’s understanding of the challenges facing these creatures, spreading this information is key on World Rhino Day.
World Rhino Day adds to conservation efforts in meaningful ways by:
building on the awareness communities have about the conservation status of rhinos and the challenges facing them
filling people in on what’s being done in the way of rhino conservation and how these efforts are making an impact
getting everyone clued up on what they can do to add to rhino conservation efforts
spreading the names and contact details of organisations that contribute towards the well-being of rhinos
keeping us all up to date on the most important rhino facts.
And, because having an online presence means competing with top achievers in the conservation industry, rhino conservation organisations have pulled out all the stops so that they can stand out online and offline.
Here are some examples of how rhino conservation is promoted worldwide.
1) Making an impact with music
When you think about World Rhino Day, what emotions stir up inside you?
Maybe you feel angry that rhinos are facing such big challenges? Or, you could feel sad that so many rhinos have been poached?
Don’t carve those feelings in stone just yet, because World Rhino Day has a way for you to support the cause you care about, through music!
You can find the World Rhino Day playlist on Spotify and sing along to tons of rhino-related tunes. By downloading these tracks, you’ll be adding to World Rhino Day’s online presence. This way, rhino conservation awareness can reach even more people online.
Ever heard of the song, “Let’s Party” by Rhinoceros? How about “Rhino skin” by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers? Well, you’ll get to know these and tons more tracks while supporting rhino conservation by downloading the playlist.
Photo by: Donald Fraser
2) Keeping social media abuzz
And, speaking of an online presence, World Rhino Day has some tech-forward features that keep it ahead of the game.
Just search for World Rhino Day online and you’ll see worldrhinoday.org popping up at the top of your screen.
This website is an excellent source of information about World Rhino Day and advice on how to get involved.
More than this, the site also offers downloadable videos that individuals and organisations can share on their social media platforms.
These videos provide anyone who is passionate about rhino conservation with resources that offer accurate and informative information.
And some of these clips even capture the work being done by conservationists in the field and volunteers who are adding to rhino conservation where they live.
These videos can give so many people a glimpse into what rhino conservation involves and even inspire a future conservationist or two.
3) Old-fashioned footwork
And, to make sure that the festivities spill out onto the streets and catch the eye of every passerby, rhino conservation organisations also make use of traditional techniques to raise awareness.
T-shirts, posters, flyers, mugs: you name it and you can bet that rhino conservationists have dolled it up with a World Rhino Day emblem and used it to add to rhino conservation awareness.
These old-school tactics make it possible for facts about rhinos and rhino conservation awareness to reach individuals who operate off the grid.
What’s the best way to celebrate World Rhino Day?
This image was taken pre-COVID-19.
Of all the activities taking place on World Rhino Day, what would be the best one for you to get behind?
You can add to rhino conservation in more meaningful ways when you learn more about these creatures and how to safeguard them.
Out on the African savannah, you can join a Bushwise Field Guides course and learn about rhino conservation while researching these animals in their natural habitat.
In this way, you’ll be adding to efforts aimed at better understanding rhinos while also contributing to the conservation of African rhinos.
And, while you’re at it, you can also get involved in any of the World Rhino Day celebrations taking place where you are!
Find out more about Bushwise Field Guides Wildlife Research Expedition and see how you can get involved in meaningful efforts this World Rhino Day.