When I was a kid, marking days off the calendar until school holidays arrived, I knew that each day took me closer to Etosha National Park in Namibia. Unfortunately, the rhinos that live there are targets for armed poachers and international wildlife crime syndicates that kill them for their horns. We must protect them.
WWF-South Africa's wildlife veterinarian, Dr. Jacques Flamand, has dedicated his career to the protection and conservation of South Africa's iconic species, including the critically endangered black rhino.
Since 2016, WWF and FLIR Systems Inc., a thermal imaging company, have been working together to equip rangers in Kenya with night vision thermal technology to better protect wildlife from poaching under cover of darkness. Since the project began, no rhinos have been poached in the areas where the night vision cameras operate.
Illegal killings of rhinos in South Africa are on the decline. In 2019, poachers killed 594 rhinos, down from 769 in the year prior, according to South Africa’s Department of the Environment, Forestry, and Fisheries.
In an enormous setback for wildlife conservation, China announced it will allow hospitals to use tiger bone and rhino horn from captive-bred animals for traditional medicine. The decision reverses a decades-old ban that has been instrumental in preventing the extinction of endangered tigers and rhinos.
WWF’s Black Rhino Range Expansion Project (BRREP) has been working with passion, commitment, and determination for a brighter future for the critically endangered black rhino for more than a decade. BRREP works to grow black rhino numbers by creating new populations and provides equipment and training to rangers to monitor, manage, and protect rhinos.
Looking back over years of moving black rhinos to create new populations as part of the Black Rhino Range Expansion Project in South Africa, it’s worth noting how capture and release techniques have improved.
In 2016 alone, 1,054 rhinos were reported killed in South Africa.This figure represents a loss in rhinos of approximately 6% in South Africa, which is close to the birth rate, meaning the population remains perilously close to the tipping point.
World Wildlife Fund Inc. is a nonprofit, tax-exempt charitable organization (tax ID number 52-1693387) under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Donations are tax-deductible as allowed by law.