The reasons it probably seems like rhinos are “more important” is because they are charismatic megafauna suffering mainly from poaching. People like rhinos — they’re big, they’re interesting. Not only that, but they are being actively hunted and killed for their horns — because of superstitions around the medicinal benefits of said horns. So it makes it seem even more heinous that they are being slaughtered. Beyond that, rhinos are an important part of their ecosystem just like any other organism. That said, they aren’t necessarily a “keystone species”, and I believe the main reason people see them as being “important” is because of the nature of the threat facing them and their popularity.
I think all animals are important to save, whether they are endangered or not. Rhino horns have become popular on the black market, which has increased rhino killings in Africa. Some cultures in Asia believe the rhino horns have medicinal uses. South Africa has taken steps to control rhino poaching, declaring that it is a form of organized crime. Steps like this, I believe, will be a proactive way of making sure rhinos are not killed illegaly.
The other answers here are all ture, and I’d like to add something extra to them by saying the following:
The Big 5 without the Rhino isn’t the Big 5 anymore…
By their extinction we would have insulted not only our planet, but ourselves too.
All animals play an integral part in the ecosystems they live in, which seems to be the general theme of this dialouge. Personally, I feel all animals and plant life should be saved and each is of equal importance to others. In the case of the rhino, more species would be affected by its extinction than just the rhino. The rhino bill bird relies on the rhino for food and shelter.
Through fund raising and subsequent financial aid for nature projects, community conservation projects to help manage resources, education for children and adults about the importance of conservation, anti-poaching and monitoring patrols, and relocation of rhinos from established populations to former habitats.
To answer your question, I am summarizing oscap’s website the link to whick is below.
Rhinos are big and hungry herbivores, which shapes the landscape because not only do they eat a lot, but they force themselved through forests like a tank. If they were extinct, the landscapes would adapt and change, meaning destruction of a certain habitat for certain species. Some species depend on the “holes” or openness rhinos make or the trees and shrubs that the rhinos left to grow short or changed it’s shape.
Their poop is very nutritious for the soil as well as organisms that live in the soil and contribute greatly to the ecosystem. It also attracts insects, which attract invebrates or other animals.
I love this quote from the website: “Rhino are an umbrella species – Protect the rhino, and you protect all the other species that share their habitat.”
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