Project Rhino KZN
The world Rhino population has fallen by more than 90% in the past 30 years. Whereas 30 species of Rhino once roamed the planet, only 5 species remain today, and all of them are threatened in some way, with 3 species being listed as critically endangered. The current threat to Rhino in South Africa is as a result of the dramatic increase in demand for Rhino horn in the East, for medicinal and cultural reasons.
As a result of the ever-increasing numbers of white and black rhinos being poached in South Africa, the need to pool resources and co-ordinate activities has resulted in KwaZulu-Natal’s leading conservation agencies joining forces with provincial game reserves to fast-track urgently needed anti-poaching and conservation interventions. Wildlands was one of the founding members of Project Rhino KZN, which was launched on World Rhino Day 2011 (22 September). The members of Project Rhino KZN also recognise that the work in conserving and protecting rhinos from poaching is symbolic of the threat faced by all wildlife, which will benefit from actions taken by Project Rhino KZN. Furthermore it is noted that the poaching of rhino is indicative of the larger environmental crisis that South Africa is facing.
Project Rhino KZN brings together organisations with a common vision and goal, identifies synergies through an integrated, common approach, and, collectively, is a representative body which carries powerful leverage ability. With over 300 years of collective experience, Project Rhino KZN has been able to identify priority rhino protection needs for KZN, and is working together to fulfil them.
Each individual organisation brings with it a set of skills, allowing the association to play a much bigger role collectively than each individual organisation on its own.
- Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife
- African Conservation Trust (ACT)
- Wildlands Conservation Trust (WCT)
- Wildlife ACT
- Wilderness Foundation
- Thanda Private Game Reserve
- Phinda Private Game Reserve (& Beyond)
- Zululand Rhino Reserve
- Zululand Wildlife Security Initiative
- Game Rangers Association of Africa (GRAA)
- WWF Black Rhino Range Expansion Project
- Wildlife & Environment Society of SA (WESSA)
- Space for Elephants Foundation (SEF)
- Magqubu Ntombela Foundation
- Thanda Foundation
In terms of Wildlands’ involvement, we are focusing on three main elements:
- Project Rhino Tracker – the fitting of the latest GPS technologies to rhino to allow better monitoring of rhino populations on key protected areas
- Project Rhino Aerial Support – supporting and strategically positioning aircraft across northern KwaZulu-Natal, to provide aerial surveillance over the key rhino properties
- Project Rhino Investigations and Prosecution Support – providing a professional and well-managed investigation process at each and every rhino poaching incident, ensuring that all relevant forensic information is collected, thus resulting in an improved rate of prosecutions of poachers.
Funding for these vital rhino conservation projects are generated through a number of unique and innovative fundraising activities, which include (please click on link for more information):