During the world’s largest ever wildlife trade meeting—the 17th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (CoP17) to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES)—governments united behind a series of tough decisions to provide greater protection to a host of threatened species and bolster efforts to tackle soaring levels of poaching and wildlife trafficking.
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 relocate rhinos and provide equipment and training to rangers to monitor, manage, and protect rhino populations.
With immense pleasure, we’re welcoming the birth of one very special rhino in Nepal! Moved from one national park to another earlier this year to establish new populations in areas where they used to exist, a rhino gave birth to the male calf on May 22—an encouraging sign that the mother is thriving in her new environment. Four other rhinos were also translocated with her in March.
Nepal marked two consecutive years since its last rhino was poached on May 2, 2014. This exceptional success is a result of a combination of high-level political will and government entities, and the active involvement of conservation communities.
WWF designed and installed a camera and software system smart enough to both distinguish human movement from that of animals and to alert rangers of the presence of poachers. What does this mean for conservation?
A Greater one-horned rhino found a new home today in Nepal’s Bardia National Park through a successful translocation program. The move is part of a greater effort to create a second, viable population of Nepal’s rhinos to help restore the species to historic numbers.
South Africa announced its first decrease in rhino poaching since 2007, but an increase in the number of rhinos killed in neighboring countries offsets this slight improvement. The South African government confirmed 1,175 rhinos were lost in the country in 2015—slightly down from 1,215 in the previous year.
The plight of Sumatran rhinos needs global attention and commitments if conservation is to succeed. The science is telling us that we can’t put off mounting a serious, concerted effort to save Sumatran rhinos. We have pulled three species of rhino back from the brink so we know we can do the same for the Sumatran rhino.
Much-needed hope for the critically endangered Javan rhino has come in the form of three calves. The calves—one female and two males—were spotted on new camera trap footage from earlier this year, bringing the total number of Javan rhinos up to 60. There are none in captivity.
Stunning images of an elusive Javan rhino were captured by photographer Stephen Belcher in Indonesia’s Ujung Kulon National Park—a first in nearly 15 years of only capturing blurry camera trap images of the animal. Javan rhinos are extremely difficult to photograph because they are very shy and live in dense, often impenetrable rain forests.
Rajkumar Praja, one of Nepal’s most wanted wildlife criminals, was arrested by an INTERPOL team in Malaysia and extradited to Nepal where he faces a lengthy spell in jail for rhino poaching and trafficking in rhino horns.
A one-horned rhinoceros was successfully collared in Nepal late last month. The event was particularly significant because it occurred in a wildlife corridor that connects Nepal’s Bardia National Park with India’s Katerniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary.
As conservationists, we have learned what it takes to help rhinos recover from the very edge of extinction.The formula is quite simple: protect rhinos where they exist, incentivize community stewardship of rhino populations, manage populations for maximum growth, establish new populations in suitable locations for maximum protection and population growth. This formula is achievable, but it does require political will and resources to see the plan through.
WWF is one of the few organizations attempting to tackle all threats to rhinos. We work on strengthening protected areas in Africa and Asia, lobbying to halt the illegal timber trade that threatens rhino habitat, and stamping out the illegal trade in rhino horn.
The United States imposed one of the longest sentences for a wildlife trafficking on Zhifei Li, the ringleader of an illegal wildlife trafficking operation that spanned the US and China, on May 27, 2014.
As wildlife crime sweeps through Africa and Asia, WWF joined wildlife advocates, conservation orgnizations and concerned citizens gathered at the first public meeting of President Obama's Advisory Council on Wildlife Trafficking in Washington D.C
Rotiken Denis, warden for the Maasai Mara Rhino Monitoring Team in Kenya, is a Maasai with a background in wildlife management. He is responsible for preventing rhino poaching in the Maasai Mara National Reserve in Narok County, Kenya.