White rhino feature on the Internation Union for Conservation of Nature Red List as a near threatened species teetering on the edge of vulnerable due to a 9000% increase in poaching from 2007-2018. Although landowners, anti-poaching & conservationists have banded together to protect this species, they are far from secure. Since the start of the poaching epidemic in 2007, 7425 rhinos have been killed for their horn. Game reserves bear the full brunt of the poaching scourge.
Rhino poaching is a devastating problem across both the public and private sectors. Everyday at least three rhino are poached in South Africa predominately due to lack of resources and intelligence. We are fighting a war with criminal masterminds who are forever 2 steps ahead of the protectors on the ground. The financial incentive to rhino poachers combined with very high unemployment figures in rural communities, mean that poachers will force entry into these reserves to get a shot at a Rhino.
Provision of resources through funds for up-skilling of staff, vehicles, high-tech fencing, canine units and intelligence is the only way we can hope to turn the tables for rhino and begin to claim back our losses. This project aims to allow local partners and reserves access to critical funding required to develop strategies against poaching, as well as raise awareness of the impact that poaching has on the community.
The success of this project will significantly improve the security of the wildlife protected, deter illegal rhino poachers & enable a 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 & thus survival of the reserve itself and the jobs of hundreds of people from surrounding communities.