News

Conservancy based Rhino Rangers are extending the patrol areas for black rhino protection.

19 Nov 2014 | News

The Namibian Conservancy Rhino Ranger programme is rapidly growing the patrolled area for the largest free-roaming black rhino population in the world.

The Conservancy Rhino Ranger programme -  run by Save the Rhino Trust, community Conservancies in Kunene, and with the support of the Namibia Nature Foundation, IRDNC and WWF Namibia - is extending the range and frequency of its rhino patrols after only two years of operation.
 
In the face of an increasing threat of poaching, the community rhino custodians have taken up the support offered by the Rhino Ranger programme. The 2014 Review covers all the achievements this year, but in brief the region has achieved:
  • 4 new Rhino Custodians (Conservancies)  officially joined the program
  • adding 8 new Rhino Rangers to the team
  • Advanced Rhino Monitoring training for Rhino Rangers who passed their basic exams. This includes advanced knowledge in rhino ecology and conservation issues and advanced uses of digital cameras and GPS
  • 8 Rhino Rangers received and passed Rhino Conservation Tourism training
  • 949 total rhino ranger field days were recorded (an increase of 53% from 2013)
  • 667 ranger rhino sightings were recorded (an increase of 60% from 2013)
  • 98% coverage of the Kunene black rhinos range on community land is now being provided by rhino rangers (increase from 85% in 2013) with the final Rhino Custodian team ready to begin (full 100% coverage!)
  •  2 new rhino tracking tourism activities began operating in August 2014 (providing a sustainable revenue source for continued Rhino Ranger patrols)
Sadly, despite all efforts, 6 new rhino poaching cases were confirmed during the 12 month period but no rhino were poached in the rhino tourism areas. This is an indication of the potential long-term success of this innovative, community based programme.