Rhino monitoring
Issue 4 (May 2009) Extra ‘rhino monitors’ are being drafted in to observe, record and protect rhino populations in Namibia. The monitors – or field scouts – are a crucial tool in the conservation of the black rhino which lives on conservancies and private land.


Often these rhinos have been translocated as part of the Black Rhino Custodianship Programme. The programme takes rhinos from thriving groups – principally in Etosha – and re-locates them. This stimulates the donor population of rhino to reproduce, thus increasing the overall numbers.

Currently there are not enough competent and dedicated monitors to record the daily progress of the animals, which puts them at risk from poachers. Save the Rhino Trust and the Namibian Ministry of the Environment are to run training courses at Ojovasondo in Etosha National Park for people keen to help.

After these courses, the monitors will have up-to-date knowledge of each population of rhino. Trained monitors will ensure greater protection for individual rhinos, and also provide relevant management information on distribution patterns and population dynamics.

In addition, professional surveillance and protection of black rhino populations in the communal conservancies will mean greater accessibility to the animals by guided tourists and less conflict between the rhino and members of the community.

The project has been supported by UK-based Sindisa Foundation and Wilderness Wildlife Trust. Sindisa also operates a rapid response fund which it uses to support key projects when they encounter problems in the field, often small but critical problems that need small but immediate funding to resolve them. 


For more information, check out www.sindisafoundation.org.uk

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