Support Mounted Rangers Fighting Rhino Poaching

by African Conservation Trust
Support Mounted Rangers Fighting Rhino Poaching
Support Mounted Rangers Fighting Rhino Poaching
Support Mounted Rangers Fighting Rhino Poaching
Support Mounted Rangers Fighting Rhino Poaching
Support Mounted Rangers Fighting Rhino Poaching
Support Mounted Rangers Fighting Rhino Poaching
Support Mounted Rangers Fighting Rhino Poaching
Support Mounted Rangers Fighting Rhino Poaching
Support Mounted Rangers Fighting Rhino Poaching
Support Mounted Rangers Fighting Rhino Poaching
Support Mounted Rangers Fighting Rhino Poaching
Support Mounted Rangers Fighting Rhino Poaching
Support Mounted Rangers Fighting Rhino Poaching
Support Mounted Rangers Fighting Rhino Poaching
Support Mounted Rangers Fighting Rhino Poaching
Support Mounted Rangers Fighting Rhino Poaching
Support Mounted Rangers Fighting Rhino Poaching
Support Mounted Rangers Fighting Rhino Poaching
Support Mounted Rangers Fighting Rhino Poaching
Support Mounted Rangers Fighting Rhino Poaching
Support Mounted Rangers Fighting Rhino Poaching
Support Mounted Rangers Fighting Rhino Poaching

Project Report | Jun 18, 2021
An update from the Project Rhino Horse Units

By Kira Macdougall | Project Rhino & African Conservation Trust

Feeding Wildlife Communities - Ntabamnyama South
Feeding Wildlife Communities - Ntabamnyama South

A huge thank you to all the GlobalGiving donors who supported the work of Project Rhino and those on the frontline of the rhino poaching crisis this quarter. Your contributions and support continue to make a tremendous difference in the battle against wildlife crime and we value each and every donation.

Project Rhino supports horse units operating in KwaZulu-Natal wherever it can, but primarily those based in the game reserves of Spioenkop and Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Park (HiP). Managed by State Conservation Authority, Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife, these game reserves protect more than 100,000 HA and include a significant rhino population (authorities are withholding exact rhino population figures for their protection). Both horse units operate on a shoestring budget and all GlobalGiving donations go directly to essentials like supplementing feed and veterinary costs, as well as a modest groom salary.

In the past few months, horsemanship specialist Mr Gordon Bailey conducted two training sessions (one week each) for the rangers operating in Spioenkop Game Reserve. Many of the trainees had little to no prior riding experience, but participated with great enthusiasm. We believe that increasing the number of horse patrols will be of great benefit to the reserve – not only in preventing poaching, but by allowing rangers to cover much greater distances than on foot patrol, to monitor game numbers and movements, as well as conduct fence patrols and search for snares. A follow up visit to Spioenkop is planned in the next few weeks, followed by training sessions for the rangers of Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Park.

Project Rhino believes that a multi-phase approach is needed to prevent poaching and our initiatives range from urgent interventions like K9-Units and aerial patrols to prevent poaching in the short term; to community engagement and education initiatives, which help build understanding of the value of wildlife and biodiversity at community level over time. These horse units are one important tool in the toolbox, responding to the complex range of factors that drive wildlife crime.

  • In the past few months, a dedicated K9 anti-poaching unit has been established by Ezemvelo and a number of partners in Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Park. The dog unit currently consists of two handlers and two ‘cold scent’ dogs, Doberman/Bloodhound Crosses, which can follow scents up to eight hours old. The Project Rhino K9 Unit (based in Hluhluwe town) has been providing additional mentorship and the team has already had a number of successes.
  • Whilst in Spioenkop, Wildlife ACT (a Project Rhino founding member) facilitated the dehorning of the entire white rhino population over three days - making it one of the biggest rhino dehorning operations in the province. Dehorning is a difficult, but necessary measure to prevent poaching threats – it is viewed as a temporary solution as horns regrow slowly over time.
  • Project Rhino and partners also delivered food parcels to four communities near to Spioenkop, with a focus on mothers and children. The Feeding the Wildlife Communities relief effort has now delivered more than 1,2 million meals to hungry families impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

World Rhino Day in September will mark Project Rhino’s 10th birthday, and we remain committed to our goal of keeping South Africa’s black and white rhino populations safe. Please visit our website or follow our social media pages to find out more about our various projects and initiatives.

Spioenkop training (image by Gordon Bailey)
Spioenkop training (image by Gordon Bailey)
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Organization Information

African Conservation Trust

Location: Hillcrest - South Africa
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @ACTsafrica
Project Leader:
Sandy Grossmann
Hillcrest , South Africa
$10,389 raised of $20,000 goal
 
115 donations
$9,611 to go
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