News

Rhino Ranger Incentive Programme Update 2016

18 Apr 2017 | News

In 2011, in the face of an escalating poaching threat, local community leaders and game guards saw the need to improve their capacity to protect the rhino on their lands and better fulfill their obligations as Rhino Custodians.

A small group of dedicated field conservationists together with support from the Ministry of Environment and Tourism formed an informal working group that sought to provide targeted support to these Communal Rhino Custodians. Our first initiative was to design and implement a programme to strengthen and expand the capacity for Communal Rhino Custodians to monitor the rhino on their lands.

The Rhino Incentive Programme utilizes specialists from dedicated field-based organizations, namely Save the Rhino Trust, Integrated Rural Development and Nature Conservation and Minnesota Zoo, to train a new generation of “rhino rangers” - highly talented groups of local people, chosen by and accountable to their communities to conduct rhino monitoring and, more recently, lead rhino tracking tourism activities and provide local outreach.

The program provides an enhanced training curriculum, state-of-the-art rhino monitoring and field patrol equipment, performance-based cash bonuses and non-monetary awards that enable and incentivize rhino ranger teams to complete quality patrols. Once rhino ranger teams acquire the basic skills needed to effectively monitor the rhino on their land and pending necessary approvals, training in rhino tourism will help guide the development of community-led rhino tourism activities that would improve rhino security by generating the critical finances needed to sustain rhino monitoring and enhancing the value that people place on keeping rhino alive.

To read the full report, please download attached PDF File.