Project Rhino was launched on World Rhino Day, 22 September 2011. It is a province-wide rhino-focussed association that brings together a provincial government conservation body, private and community-owned reserves, rhino owners, leading conservation NGOs and anti-poaching security specialists.
Please visit the Project Rhino website for further information.
Project Rhino is built on four pillars, namely:
- Coordination Unit: The team that keeps the engines running by 1) mobilizing stakeholders; 2) gathering and synthesizing information; 3) prioritising needs; and 4) sourcing funds and donations. Without effective coordination, we would see a disjointed and dysfunctional response to wildlife crime – resulting in higher poaching levels.
- Ranger and Technical Support: 1) Direct training and material support to rangers; 2) providing and operationalizing K9 and equine patrols units; and 3) ZAP-Wing aerial surveillance including lease and support costs of Hluhluwe airfield.
- Wildlife Youth and Leadership Development: Targeting youth and communities through 1) Feeding the Wildlife community, 2) Rhino ART (Art, Recreation and Theater); 2) Youth camps; 3) Leadership forums; and 4) the annual World Youth Wildlife Summit.
- Building a Conservation Economy: Building and supporting a network of responsible use landscapes and identifying business opportunities within them.
To secure all rhinos in KZN and beyond from the threat of poaching so that their numbers continue to increase and contribute to the national and global rhino populations, for the benefit of current and future generations:
- Prevent duplication of projects;
- Consolidate resources for maximum impact;
- Create a common vision;
- Create credibility with the general public;
- Educate the public and rural communities bordering KZN game reserves;
- Ensure collaboration, coordination and communication;
- Create a space for information sharing and a community of learning;
- Create a credible platform for fundraising and partnerships;
- Conduct reviews, benchmark successes and identify shortfalls in poaching interventions.
“Project Rhino is an association of like-minded organisations facilitating rhino conservation interventions aimed at eliminating rhino poaching and securing the white and black rhino populations of KwaZulu-Natal.
The members of Project Rhino recognise that the work in conserving and protecting rhinos from the threat of poaching is symbolic of the broader threat faced by all wildlife, and that all wildlife will benefit from actions taken by Project Rhino. The association is also aware that the poaching of rhino is symptomatic of the overall, bigger conservation & environmental crises facing South Africa and its neighbours.”
More than 40 KZN game reserves have benefitted from Project Rhino interventions, including 24 Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife Game Reserves as well as community-owned reserves.