據世界自然保育聯盟（IUCN）非洲犀牛專家團隊（the African Rhino Specialist Group）所提供的數據顯示在非洲大陸共有超過21,000隻犀牛。其中白犀牛（Ceratotherium simum）亞種總數已從2005年所發現的14,540頭，增加至2007年的17,480頭，然而另一支亞種──北非白犀牛（Ceratotherium simum cottoni），則被列在瀕絕物種的極危名單，數量幾近絶滅。
北非白犀牛現階段正於剛果民主共和國內的加蘭巴國家公園（Garamba National Park）受到保護，2003年4月時曾尋獲30隻北非白犀牛，但因盜獵猖獗，最近一次的發現記錄是在2006年8月所確定的4隻。
在犀牛保育研討會中，專家們不但訂立保育工作的優先事項，也為合法與非法買賣犀牛角的挑戰，提出不同的解決方式。北非白犀牛並非處於絕種邊緣的唯一亞種，據世界自然基金會非洲犀牛計畫指出，西非黑犀牛（D. bicornis longipes）的處境一樣危險，而被歸類於可能絕種的名單。
Populations of most African rhinos are increasing as a result of conservation efforts, but one sub-species, the Northern white rhino, may already be extinct, the world's most expert rhino specialists said today. Just four animals were counted in 2006, but none of these could be found during the most recent fieldwork in the Congolese park where they lived.
There are now more than 21,000 rhinos across Africa, according to figures complied by the African Rhino Specialist Group of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, IUCN. Numbers of the white rhino, Ceratotherium simum, have increased from 14,540 animals counted in 2005 to 17,480 animals found in 2007, but one of its two subspecies, the Northern white rhino, Ceratotherium simum cottoni, is listed as Critically Endangered and is on the brink of extinction.
Now, the Northern white rhino is restricted in the wild to Garamba National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo and the only remaining population was reduced by poaching from 30 in April 2003 to only four confirmed animals by August 2006.
By contrast, the other subspecies, the Southern white rhino, is considered one of conservation's greatest success stories. Thought to be extinct in the late 19th century, in 1895 a small population of less than 100 animals was discovered in Kwazulu-Natal, South Africa. After more than a century of protection and management, the southern white rhinos are now the only non-endangered rhinos.
Numbers of the African black rhino, Diceros bicornis, have increased from 3,730 animals found in 2005 to 4,180 counted in 2007, although this species still remains Critically Endangered on the IUCN Red List. The majority of African black rhino can be found in four countries - Zimbabwe, South Africa, Namibia and Kenya - and there are increasing numbers in a number of other range states. All countries with breeding populations have recorded increases, except Zimbabwe, whose numbers are slightly down.
Poaching for rhino horn remains the main threat to rhino survival, and while under control in many countries it has been responsible for losses in both the Democratic Republic of Congo and Zimbabwe. "Even though protection from poaching is critical, effective rhino conservation must also include intensive monitoring and biological management to ensure annual growth rates of at least five percent per year so that surplus rhinos are made available to create new populations," says Martin Brooks, chair of the African Rhino Specialist Group.
"One of the highlights," says Dr. Brooks, "was the first ever introduction of a significant founder population of black rhino to community land in South Africa, made possible through the WWF Wildlife's range expansion project, and hopefully this approach can be applied elsewhere to enhance rhino ownership by rural communities."
Workshops were also held to identify conservation priorities and to address challenges relating to legal and illegal trade. The Northern white rhino is not the only subspecies that is on the brink of extinction. The West African black rhino, D. bicornis longipes, is classified as Probably Extinct, according to the WWF African Rhino Programme.