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Rhino Rescue: Changing the Future for Endangered Wildlife


"Whenever you touch a rhino, you think you're touching a dinosaur."
- from the introduction

A rhinoceros is a powerful beast weighing 3 tons or more and wielding a deadly horn up to five feet long. Ruthlessly slaughtered for centuries, rhinos are suddenly one of conservation's great success stories as populations of white rhinos and black rhinos recover. Even so, rhinos are still at risk: Javan and Sumatran ...

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"Whenever you touch a rhino, you think you're touching a dinosaur."
- from the introduction

A rhinoceros is a powerful beast weighing 3 tons or more and wielding a deadly horn up to five feet long. Ruthlessly slaughtered for centuries, rhinos are suddenly one of conservation's great success stories as populations of white rhinos and black rhinos recover. Even so, rhinos are still at risk: Javan and Sumatran rhinos are close to extinction and the world rhino population is still less than it was just 30 years ago.

Rhino Rescue profiles people around the world who are helping rhinos, including:

  • Terri Roth of the Cincinnati Zoo, who guided the successful breeding of a rare Sumatran rhino in captivity for the first time in 112 years
  • Esmond Martin, who helped stop the use of rhino horn in ceremonial daggers, a change that saved thousands of rhinos
  • Rob Brett, who risks his life relocating rhinos, a key to successful conservation
  • Bibhab Talukdar, a conservationist from India, who does almost anything to protect the Indian rhino, including going undercover to nab poachers.

Illustrated with 50 spectacular color photographs, Rhino Rescue also surveys the biological issues in and challenges of preserving a future for endangered wildlife.

About the Firefly Animal Rescue series:

The Firefly Animal Rescue identifies endangered and threatened species and what is being done to protect them. Combining lively, accessible text and stunning color photographs, each book provides a detailed overview of the species, describing its characteristics, behavior, habits, physiology and more.

"These attractive books are a call to action... fascinating readable accounts."
- School Library Journal

"Succinct introductions to the science and practice of wildlife conservation... written in accessible, lively language."
- Booklist

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Editorial Reviews

Canadian Camera - Laura Nell
A joy to read because they carry a message of hope... told in a clear, engaging fashion.
Green Teacher - Debra Bridgman
Award winning... With beautiful photography and inspiring examples of individuals passionately devoted to wildlife conservation, these are excellent resource for the classroom or school library.
Resource Links - Heather Empey
The pictures throughout the book are wonderful... The index and fast-facts sections are especially helpful... Overall, a very well-presented and informative book.
St John's Telegram - Lynn Barter
These books have a lot of punch, not just in content, but in the presentation... magnificent color photography.
BC Parent - Elizabeth Shaffer
Plenty of vivid color photographs, maps, timelines, resources, and fast paced and informative text keep young readers interested and aid them in understanding the complex issues surrounding endangered species and their environment.
Wildlife Activist
Document past and present efforts to stave off extinction... beautifully illustrated Firefly Series. It is good stuff.
Library Media Connection - Ruie Chehak
[review of series:] Anyone interested in learning more about endangered animals will find these books fascinating... This series will make a strong addition to any school library.
This book outlines the threats to the alligators and crocodiles. It tells about the people and programs around the world who are involved in preserving the future for these endangered animals. The colorful photos are clear and students can glean much information for reports or pleasure reading. Fasts facts. index, and How you can help are included.
INFOLINK - Pauline Lurie
In 1984, in an attempt to stop slaughter of black rhinos in Zimbabwe, Operation Stronghold was launched which allowed park rangers to shoot poachers on sight. Over the next 10 years, 178 suspected poachers and 4 game wardens were killed. In the 1970s the value of rhino horns rose and there was a spread of highpowered rifles which further threatened the black rhino, almost to extinction. Beautifully illustrated with clear photos and lots of charts, fast facts an index and How You Can Help, the book is good for reports and for anyone concerned that the number of rhinos alive today is but a fraction of their numbers even 30 years ago. Maps show where the 5 major types of rhinos live, mostly in southern Africa, India and Indonesia. Happily many organizations and individuals are devoting themselves to the preservation of this ungainly 3-ton animal.
INFOLINK - Maxine Levitt
One oddly successful method described to restore the alligator is a partnership of conservationists with hunters where hunters are permitted to hunt alligators for use of their skins while others are protected. Major players in the conservation movement are profiled. Each topic is dealt with in a two-page spread, which makes information accessible. The strength of this book is the vivid, crisp, abundant photos that almost tell the story. There is much information to be found here, accompanied by a timeline, fast facts, and a list of conservation agencies as well as a red and white map pinpointing the location of each species. Paper quality is good and tiny little crocodilians under each page number are a cute touch.
INFOLINK - Jean Wipf
A great book for educating young people [on] the need for conservation, this time the topic is rhinos. The information covers background on the five species of this animal and what has been done and still needs to be done to preserve this interesting creature. The information is clear and concise and does not talk down to the reader. The photographs do much to explain the plight of rhinos and show them in their natural setting. A well-written book.
Canadian Materials - Gillian Richardson
Not necessarily a first choice as poster child for the animal world, the huge, homely and often bad-tempered rhino nonetheless has achieved a remarkable feat as one of the world's best conservation stories. Having no significant enemies other than humans, some species of this animal have rebounded through the aggressive efforts of conservation programs in Africa, India and Indonesia. The white rhino stands out for a reversal from a population low of a few dozen in the early 1900s to nearly 12,000 in Africa... As in other books in this series, individuals who work closely in rhino conservation efforts are profiled.... Readers are treated to exciting close-ups of the animals and action shots of conservationists at work worldwide. If you haven't been attracted to rhinos before, you may change your mind after seeing the appealing portrait of that new calf at the Cincinnati zoo. A list of groups devoted to rhino conservation is included for further investigation. Highly Recommended. - Heath Empey
The pictures throughout the book are wonderful—especially one of a cute baby rhino out for a run. The index and fast-facts section are especially helpful and include addresses of organizations dedicated to helping save these endangered animals. Overall, a very well-presented and informative book.
The pictures throughout the book are wonderful—especially one of a cute baby rhino out for a run. The index and fast-facts section are especially helpful and include addresses of organizations dedicated to helping save these endangered animals. Overall, a very well-presented and informative book.
Canadian Teacher
Although the rhino population is nowhere near what it was even thirty years ago, three of the five species have increased their numbers enough that the rhino was dubbed "the comeback kid" when concentrated efforts were made to address the issues that threaten their survival. No surprises here—it is human behaviour that is to blame for rhino numbers dropping to near extinction levels in every part of the world. Luckily for them, a few dedicated individuals and organizations have persevered in the face of determined poachers and indifferent local peoples. Rhino Rescue tells the stories of these "megaherbivores" who originally flourished in Africa, India, and Nepal, and Indonesia and Malaysia, and of the people who are trying to save them. Rhino Rescue is another weapon in our arsenal of materials so desperately needed to educate young people and motivate them to take action in their lifetimes to protect the diversity of life on this planet. Hopefully they'll do a better job than their ancestors.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781552979105
  • Publisher: Firefly Books, Limited
  • Publication date: 1/20/2006
  • Series: Firefly Animal Rescue Series
  • Pages: 64
  • Sales rank: 1,061,670
  • Age range: 10 - 13 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.25 (d)

Meet the Author

Garry Hamilton is also the award-winning author of Frog Rescue. His articles have appeared internationally in newspapers and magazines such as Wildlife Conservation, New Scientist, Equinox and Canadian Geographic.

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Table of Contents

The Comeback Kid
Where Do Rhinos Live?
The Story So Far
The 5,000-pound Vegetarian
One Predator Too Many
On the Frontlines: White Rhinos
At Work: Esmond Martin
For the Lust of Horn
When Giants Collide
On the Frontlines: Black Rhinos
Turf Wars
At Work: Rob Brett
What's a Rhino Worth?
On the Frontlines: Indian Rhinos
At Work: Bibhab Talukadar
Room to Roam
On the Frontlines: Sumatran Rhinos
Baby on Board
On the Frontlines: Javan Rhinos
At Work: Sushila Nepali
What Is the Rhino's Future?
Fast Facts
How You Can Help

Photo Credits
Author's Note

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First Chapter

The Comeback Kid

Throughout history, the rhinoceros has been regarded as nature's heavy hitter — a powerful beast that can weigh 3 tons (2,700 kg) while wielding a deadly horn up to 5 feet (1.5 m) long. It's well known for charging humans, head-butting trees, buckling the sides of rugged vehicles and stomping its way through roaring campfires.

Now the rhino has a new reputation — the comeback kid.

Ruthlessly slaughtered for centuries, these great beasts are one of conservation's great success stories. Just look at the white rhinoceros, the second-largest land mammal next to the African elephant. A century ago there were only a few dozen living in a single game reserve in what is now South Africa. Today there are nearly 12,000 in several African countries, and the number continues to grow each year.

Or consider the Indian rhino of central Asia. In India's Kaziranga National
Park this species numbered barely a dozen in the early 1990s. Now there are 1,550 of these magnificent animals. In Nepal too, the Indian rhino is being reintroduced into its former range.

Even the notoriously aggressive black rhino, victim of one of the worst wildlife massacres ever, appears to be making a comeback.

The story is not all brightness. The total number of rhinos alive today — estimated at 17,500 — remains only a fraction of what it was even 30 years ago. And both the Javan and Sumatran rhinos of Southeast Asia remain perilously close to extinction. Poaching (illegal hunting) remains a constant threat as demand for rhino horn remains high, both as a traditional Asian medicine, and to make ceremonial dagger handles that are highly treasured by Muslims in Yemen.

But conservation efforts around the world are addressing these problems, and the rising numbers suggest there's good reason for optimism. For now at least, the brute is back.

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