Two subspecies of White Rhinoceros are currently recognized, the northern and the southern, each having a strikingly discontinuous range. The Northern White Rhino used to range over parts of north-western Uganda, southern Chad, south-western Sudan, the eastern part of Central African Republic, and north-eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (Sydney 1965). The previous only confirmed population in Garamba National Park in north-eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo is now considered probably extinct as despite systematic ground surveys over probable range and additional foot patrols and aerial reconnaissance no live rhinos have been seen since 2006 and no fresh sign since 2007. There have been unconfirmed reports of rhino in southern Sudan, and surveys are planned. The last four potential breeding Northern White Rhino in captivity in Dvur Kralove Zoo in the Czech Republic have been translocated to a private conservancy in Kenya in the hope this will stimulate breeding. These animals form the only current confirmed population.
The Southern White Rhino is now the most numerous of the rhino taxa, with South Africa remaining the stronghold for this subspecies despite increased poaching. Sizeable populations occur in the Greater Kruger National Park (which incorporates additional private and state reserves) and Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park, but also occur in numerous state protected areas and private reserves (some of which are also well protected) throughout the country. There are smaller reintroduced populations within the historical range of the species in Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe and Swaziland, while a small number survive in Mozambique. Populations of Southern white rhino have also been introduced outside of the known former range of the subspecies to Kenya Uganda and to Zambia (Emslie and Brooks 1999, Emslie et al. 2007). Uganda was previously a Northern White Rhino range state and so the species has been reintroduced to this country.
While Kenya has not been a White Rhino range state in the last two hundred years; evidence from fossils and cave paintings in Kenya and northern Tanzania suggests that the White Rhinoceros, presumably similar to the northern race (C. s. cottoni), was widespread and a part of the East African savanna fauna until 3,000 years ago or less (M. Leakey pers. comm.), when it was probably displaced by pastoralists who could easily kill such tame animals (Brett RA [ed] 1993). This is based on the White Rhino subfossil documented by Maeve Leakey from 3,000 year from Rift Valley (Lake Nakuru area). Thus at one stage Kenya was once a White Rhino range state (subspecies unknown) and hence the White Rhino as a species but not C. s. simum as a subspecies has probably been reintroduced to Kenya (with the latter being an introduction of a probable out of range subspecies).
Note: At the request of certain members and countries, the IUCN SSC African Rhino Specialist Group (AfRSG) has a policy of not releasing detailed information on the whereabouts of all rhino populations for security reasons. For this reason, only whole countries are shaded on the map.
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