All five of the world’s rhino species are threatened by illegal poaching for their horns. For two decades we have participated in efforts to manage and protect the two African species; the browsing black rhino Diceros bicornis and its larger, grazing cousin the white rhino Ceratotherium simum.
Once numbering as few as 20 animals, the Southern white rhino Ceratotherium simum simum has been a conservation success story. Protection and translocation helped re-establish the species across southern and eastern Africa where there are now over 20,000 individuals. Meanwhile, the population of black rhino reduced from an estimated 100,000 in the 1960’s to fewer than 2,500 in the mid-1990s before a more recent modest recovery, similarly demonstrating the value of a high degree of monitoring and protection. However, both species have been suffering from a recent upsurge in poaching driven by organised crime across East and southern Africa.
We continue to contribute to the conservation of both white rhino and black rhino in protected areas in Zimbabwe and Kenya. This includes rhino management operations, training of rhino monitoring personnel, provision of monitoring equipment, and technical support for data management. Our latest initiative is a study on the ecology of rhinos in the Matobo National Park in Zimbabwe and the effects of land use and management on their distribution.