No wild black rhinos remain in West Africa, according to the latest global assessment of threatened species, the Red List, drawn up by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
The IUCN reports that despite conservation efforts, 25% of the world’s mammals are at risk of extinction. As part of its latest work it has reassessed several rhinoceros groups.
As well as declaring the western black rhino extinct, it records the northern white rhino, a subspecies in central Africa, as being on the brink of extinction.
Overall numbers of black and white rhinos have been rising, but some subspecies have been particularly vulnerable to poaching by criminal gangs who want to trade the animals’ valuable horns.