Rhino’s are Critically Endangered

by on January 28, 2011

in 2020 Vision

2010 was the year of the rhino for Londolozi.  6 members of our team partook in the greulling Challenge4aCause in order to raise money and awareness for the Save the Rhino Trust in Damaraland.  Now 6 months later, the cause for the protection of black and white rhino in Southern Africa is only getting stronger.  One such conservation initiative is the Black Rhino Range Expansion project in conjunction with the WWF and supported by the Mazda Wildlife Foundation.

The Black Rhino Range Expansion Project aims to increase land available for black rhino conservation, thereby increasing numbers of this critically endangered species. This is done by forming partnerships with landowners with large areas of black rhino habitat. Usually several landowners agree to remove internal fences in order to create large enough areas to hold a significant population of black rhino. The Project also supports security measures on important black rhino source populations.

The critically endangered black rhino continued to expand into its historical range when a founder population of 13 animals was released on to a new home in Limpopo province recently. The animals form the sixth founder population created through the WWF/ Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife Black Rhino Range Expansion Project.

The recent surge in rhino poaching underlines the importance of conservation initiatives like the Black Rhino Range Expansion Project, WWF project leader Dr Jacques Flamand explained. “There are two sides to good rhino conservation. One is intensive security for existing populations. The other is managing to make sure that your population grows as fast as possible. If you do not manage for high population growth rate, then effectively over time you are losing a lot of animals that could have been born. Rapid population growth rate can mean the difference between survival and extinction for a critically endangered species.”

98 black rhino have been translocated through the Black Rhino Range Expansion Project so far, and at least 26 calves have been born on project sites. One site already has 11 calves, and 10 calves have been born in 2010. “We wanted a minimum of 5% growth per year, and now we’re reaching more than 7% on some of our project sites, which is very good to see,” says Dr Flamand. “Also, indications are that the growth rate is improving on source populations such as Imfolozi, which was a concern before.”

There are currently about 4500 black rhino left in Africa, up from the lowest point of about 2100 in the early 1990s. Black rhino have a reputation for being bad-tempered but in fact are just shy and nervous of strangers. New research suggests they have social structures that were previously not recognised.

The Black Rhino Range Expansion Project aims to increase land available for black rhino conservation, thereby increasing numbers of this critically endangered species. This is done by forming partnerships with landowners with large areas of black rhino habitat. Usually several landowners agree to remove internal fences in order to create large enough areas to hold a significant population of black rhino. The Project also supports security measures on important black rhino source populations.

Video and Copy: Rhinos are Critically Endangered from Green Renaissance on Vimeo.


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  • http://www.facebook.com/herman.prager Herman

    The last paragraph seems the most promising. I wish it the best.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jonathan.colerangle Jonathan Colerangle

    The black rhino is a very special creature. It is majestic, and one of the major mega fauna that are still extant. It truly was a shame that the west african black rhino was hunted all the way to extinction. I hope that just maybe, there are a handful of west african black rhinos left somewhere in the world, whether on farms or in zoos. And that a project similar to the quagga project will be created to bring them back from the brink of extinction. Also, there is a project in what I believe is Kenya. They are trying to revive the Northern White Rhino species, and there are only 4 members of the Northern White Rhino species left! The rhino really must be conserved, it is such a magnificent creature, and every time I see a rhino, I think of the movie with Robin Williams called Jumanji. Rhinos should be protected just like Elephants are protected, as I said previously, they are important mega fauna that have a major impact on their environment.

  • Ravi Joshi

    Rhino are an amazing animal and we as human beings should do all we can to save such a magnificent animal. Rhino horn is not medicine! A simple message but one western countries must use to put trade pressure on countries like Japan and Vietnam to stop the slaughter. If we do not act to help this and other fantastic animals our planet has we should hang our heads in shame! Are we given our brain power to simply destroy our planet?

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