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Black Rhinoceros (Diceros bicornis) Fact Sheet: Distribution & Habitat

Distribution

Wide historic distribution

  • Sub-Saharan Africa
    • Everywhere except extremely mesic and xeric (dry) areas.

Current distribution

  • Small isolated pockets in sub-Saharan Africa
  • Ecomorph (subspecies) distributions (Harley et al. 2005)
    • D. b. bicornis (southwestern)
      • Historical - Namibia, S. Angola, W. Botswana, and S.W. South Africa
      • Present - most in deserts and arid savannahs of Namibia; reintroduced populations in South Africa and other parts of Namibia; possibly a few in Angola
    • D. b. longipes (western)
      • Historical - savannahs of central western Africa
      • Recent - Cameroon
      • Present - considered extinct as of 2006 (Emslie, 2012)
    • D. b. michaeli (eastern)
      • Historical - S. Sudan, Ethiopia, and Somalia, through Kenya to N. central Tanzania
      • Present - mostly Kenya; small numbers in Rwanda and Tanzania, and a game reserve in South Africa (well outside its range)
    • D. b. minor (south central)
      • Historical - W., S. Tanzania through Zambia, Zimbabwe and Mozambique to N. and E. South Africa
      • Present - mostly in South Africa (stronghold) and Zimbabwe; fewer in Swaziland, S. Tanzania, and Mozambique

Habitat

Savannahs

  • Often in regions with a high diversity of woody shrubs and herbaceous plants
  • Not found in closed canopy forests or open grasslands

Distribution Map

Black Rhino distribution map

Black Rhino distribution.
Adapted from www.d-maps.com according to IUCN fact sheet. Click here or on map for detailed distribution (IUCN).

Page Citations

Emslie (2012)
Emslie & Brooks (1999)
Harley et al. (2005)

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