668 rhinos were illegally killed in South Africa in 2012. In the first five months of 2013, 367 were killed. This is alarming and unsustainable. This project aims to assist cash-strapped game reserves with rangers and equipment they need to effectively protect these rhinos.
Rhino poaching is a huge problem. In Limpopo, the financial incentive to rhino poachers combined with very high unemployment figures in rural communities, mean that poachers will force entry into the reserves to get a shot at a rhino, often at high risk to themselves. Many reserves are also partly funded by eco-tourism, so viewing these magnificent creatures is critical to the success of these lodges who employ many local staff, targeting unemployment figures and preventing poaching.
Anti-poaching staff, equipment, training, technology is all required to minimise the threat and ensure that the rhino are protected in their natural habitat. This project aims to employ additional local anti-poaching staff members on a minimum one year contract, provide them with initial training, uniforms, boots, radios, flashlights, a firearm, field rations and other equipment needed for effective anti-poaching work.
The success of this project will significantly improve the security of the wildlife protected by this game reserve, deter illegal rhino poachers, and enable fast and effective reaction when any illegal activity on the reserve is reported. Protection of the rhino and other wildlife will ensure the sustainability of eco-tourism ventures on the reserve and thus survival of the game reserve as an entity for generations to come, and the secure income for at least 220 local households.
GVI Charitable Trust website
Wildlife research in South Africa with GVI
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