Posts Tagged With: endangered

Kenya keeps hope alive for the black rhino


In 2013, after a trip to Samburu, Nakuru, Amboseli and Masaai Mara, the one disturbing theme was “There used to be rhinos here.” Aside from an occasional siting on the Mara, rhinos had vanished, wiped from what used to be their home.

In contrast Ol Pejeta was maintaining a safe haven for both white and black rhinos within the sanctuary.

Black rhino at Ol Pejeta.

But today, there is something stirring in the bush that wasn’t there on my trip-hope.

In 2015, with combined efforts of Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS), Northern Rangelands Trust (NRT) and Lewa Conservancy, several black rhinos were reintroduced to Samburu. They have been relocated to a 21,000 acre sanctuary in Sera Community Conservancy  with hopes they will slowly reestablish a population in the area.

Inside Sera’s translocation, photo courtesy of Lewa Wildlife Conservancy

This is the first time in Kenya, a community is responsible for the protection and management of black rhino, as it is usually a goverment led initiative.

In February of 2017, the  Sera conservancy will launch a black rhino tracking safari to further their investment in tourism.

Additionally, both Ol Pejeta Conservancy and Lewa Wildlife Conservancy have been successful in maintaining a healthy, breeding population of black rhinos. In fact, so much so, they have run into the situation of reaching maximum capacity.

The success of both sanctuaries stems from their surrounding areas; it is a symbiotic relationship when communities see the financial benefit from tourism, and ultimately the key to keeping the rhino alive.

 

 

 

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If Sudan could speak..

Sudan is THE LAST male northern white rhino on our planet. One of his caregivers at Ol Pejeta Conservancy has some wise words from the majestic, soon to be extinct rhino in his care:

Sudan you are ok and healthy,though you spend many days alone,I wish you can tell the story more than i do; tell them how life was in southern Sudan, before that finger pulled the trigger and saw your brothers, sisters and cousins brought down,helplessly bleeding with their God given horns hacked..

..before humans reproduced and took the land meant for you and your colleagues,tell them what it feels to be last of your kind in the whole world! And tell them that you are the way you are because of them.

Right, let me help you, and I will be straight:  their lust for sex , I mean to satisfy their craving for it, have used your horn as an aphrodisiac, as well as to prove their social status and make them beautiful; yes, their immature beliefs in the medicinal value of your horns.

Tell them that the most stupid man is the one who lives, eats sumptuous food, wears well at the expense of your life, yes….And the most ugliest woman and lady is one who catwalks with ornaments made of rhino horns at the expense of your own natural beauty. Its shame: from the greed of power to the greed of social status quo and boost of immorality.

You are you, just you alone in the world! The truth is that you deserve equal rights with all human beings. Anyway I will stop but I will remind the human race that there is no grief in life as great as denying the truth until it is too late.

The big question is where are you within the circle of conservation my friends- food for thought.🤔

Sudan, photo: James Mwenda

 

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Ngwenya, the first APU canine

Canines are a highly sought after and integral part of the most successful anti-poaching units. With advanced training, their keen skills enable rangers to be more effective and efficient.

But initially people were skeptical the canines could be effective in an environment alongside the Big Five.

In 2010, the first canine was trialed in Kruger National Park. Ngwenya (whose name means crocodile), proved her critics wrong. Since then, there no less than 50 working dogs in Kruger alone.

Fight for Rhinos proudly supports the HESC (Hoedspruit Endangered Species Center) and OPC (Ol Pejeta Conservancy) APU canines.

Please donate to keep the ranger’s dogs working, and the rhinos safe.

Ngwenya, photo: Ravi Gajjar

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Clash of the Titans


Check out these amazing photos of a black rhino brawl. A younger male confronted the older bull. Both endured battle wounds, but walked away in one piece, with the youngster eventually submitting to the more seasoned veteran.

Photos: Richard de Lange/Africa Geographic

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Ranger James: caretaker of the last male Northern White Rhino

Name: James
Age: 29
Location: Ol Pejeta in Kenya
I have been a ranger for the last 5 years now,3 years as a rhino patrol man and 2 years now as the last three northern white rhinos caretaker.
I grew with a passion for the conservation of nature,I realised there was need to have a right-minded people who would speak out for poaching stricken elephants and rhinos, as well other living things. After my high school and I was unable to fund further education, I decided to get a job that would allow me to be close to these animals and serve to protect them.

Northern Whites by Tony Karumba

 
What has been your most rewarding and most difficult moment as a ranger?
 The most rewarding thing (as a ranger) is to see the rhino populations rise steadily,more so the role they play in the ecosystem  and the tourism sector as well.
The most difficult and worse of it as a ranger is the site of a poached rhino. You take care of a rhino for years and then in one night or day a poacher kills it and hacks off its horn and make millions, its horrible!! Leaving the whole carcass and blood spilt everywhere..too sad.
What do you do in your off days?
In my off days I like to do a lot, from nature walks, birding, playing guitar, reading and hiking too.
Where would you like to travel someday?
I would ike to travel a lot; from America and other parts of Africa and meet different people and diverse culture, beliefs and practices, as well as other adorable living things.
What is your favorite animal?
Rhino of course.
What’s one thing you wish you had to make your job easier?
I need learning. I know and understand that it is an essential tool that can curb poaching at a very great extent, its one tool I yearn for everyday.

Sudan, photo: James Mwenda

You work with Sudan, the last male Northern White Rhino. You see a lot of tourists come and go. Do you think they truly understand the gravity of the situation with him and the other two?
When we are addressing the plight of rhinos, the awareness point of it is very crucial. In my personal tours with visitors to Sudan, I can truly see them understand the gravity of the whole crisis facing the N.whites. I have seen from emotional transitions to assertions that we all must do something to save and avoid the black and white rhinos from facing the same threat as the N.whites; to a positive and conservation oriented people.
The story of the northern whites is a mind changing and transforming one. Sudan alone is a voice himself to the human race,who have reduced all his relatives,brothers and sisters. He is also appealing to political leaders who have facilitated political instability and thus their massacre; at a greater extent they are playing a major role in ambassadoring for other species too.
Categories: Ranger Heroes, Rhino Ramblings | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Justice for Rhinos-PLEASE do your part!

With the recent tragedy at Thula Thula Rhino Orphanage, the staff are doing their best to heal and pick up the pieces. There has been an outpouring of donations and support. Now we must be sure that justice is served. Please sign the following petition.

Justice for Thula Thula Rhino Calves

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Even the outright horror of this recent attack hasn’t effected the South African governments intent to allow trade.

Although CITES is against it, evidence does not support it, and their so-called “legal” trade will only serve to fuel and mask the already illegal trade, Edna Molewa and the government are planning on going forward. Please sign this petition from the International Humane Society and voice your concern. This MUST not go forward!

Urge South Africa NOT to Trade in Rhino Horn

Keywords: stock, rhinoceros, wildlife, southern white rhino confirmed wild by iStockphoto 10/2013

Together, we must persevere in our pursuit of justice. Together, we must be the voice for the voiceless.

 

Categories: Making a Difference, Rhino Ramblings | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments

Miracle rhino gives birth (again)!

Thandi’s a mama (again)-watch the video

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First glimpses of mama and baby from Ranger Daniel @ Kariega.    

Read about Thandi’s Story and about her first baby, Thembi, It’s Official, Thandi’s a mum! 

Categories: Good News, Rhino Spotlight | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The battle to save the Sumatran Rhino

For the smallest and most unique species of rhino, it is a race against time to try to re-populate the Sumatran rhino species. Indonesia and Malaysia are the only areas they are still thought to exist.

In Indonesia there are fewer than 80 left and in Malaysia, the situation is even more urgent, with only three Sumatrans remaining.

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One of the three remaining Sumatran rhinos in Malaysia. Photo: Borneo Rhino Alliance

The International Rhino Foundation (IRF) supports two critical efforts in Indonesia; 1) they maintain 12 Rhino Protection Units to protect against poaching and
2)support the Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary (SRS), a 250 acre area where a handful of rhinos are given the utmost of care in an intensely managed research and breeding program.

The SRS has been home to rhinos who were born from successful breeding efforts at the Cincinnati Zoo, including the latest resident, Harapan. (see previous post: The Journey of Hope)

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Harapan w/ the Director of the IRF October, 2016

Yet in Malaysia, all Sumatrans are thought to be extinct in the wild. So efforts are solely focused on the only 3 rhinos left; the male, Tam, and females Puntung and Iman.

The Borneo Rhino Alliance manages the three, and shoulders one of the greatest responsibilites-creating more rhinos. As the situation is so dire, the hope lies in advanced reproductive technology.

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Baby Sumatran @ Way Kambas National Park, photo: metrowebukmetro                           

Teaming up with experts from around the world, attempts are underway to create the world’s first test tube Sumatran rhino embryo and implant it into a viable surrogate.

This may be the only chance for the species, but it’s a costly endeavor. As of June 2016, the group has run out of funds, and won’t be able to continue much longer. To remain operational for the next two years, they need  USD$900’000.

To help, please donate at Saving the Sumatran Rhino. Help keep hope alive.

 

 

 

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Ring of Fire: life or death for most rare rhinos

Where does the rarest of all rhinos live?

…Ujung Kulon National Park, in the western tip of Indonesia.  It is also one of the most densely populated areas on Earth AND one of most volcanically active as well.

javan-map

 

Java’s volcanoes have left their mark on the Javan rhinoceros’ fate in many ways.

They gave the island its immense fertility, rich enough to feed the fast-growing population; that is until man began to poach them.  Man drove the rhino to the corners of Java ‑ out of its natural habitat, toward higher grounds and isolated peninsulas, as far as possible from civilization without actually dropping into the Indian Ocean.

Then in 1883, there was a massive volcanic eruption. Afterwards, as the land began to recover, Javan rhinos — under heavy threat elsewhere on the island — re-colonized. Humans never returned in large numbers, so to this day Ujung Kulon remains a safe haven for the rhino.

krakatou-volcano

Krakatou volcano

Yet where it was once a lifeline for Javans, an eruption now ,could prove catastrophic. There are only approximately 60 of them left.

“It’s never a good idea to keep all eggs in the one basket”, Susie Ellis, executive director of the International Rhino Foundation (IRF)confirmed.

“Everyone is convinced of the need for a second site, so we can translocate a subset of the current population.” This way, numbers can be raised, the gene pool extended and the future of the Javan rhino secured. Especially since Ujung Kulon has its limits.

javan-indonesia-tourism

Javan rhino caught on camera trap, photo: Indonesia tourism.com

from Mongabay: The Javan rhino: protected and threatened by a volcano

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CITES Recap: the good, the bad and the ugly

The CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) 2008-2020 vision states
*they will be contributing to the conservation of wildlife as an integral part of the global ecosystem on which all life depends,
*as well as promoting transparency and wider involvement of civil society in the development of conservation policies and practices

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Are they following their vision?

Well, here’s a recap. The animals who reaped ‘benefits’ from increased protection are:

*Pangolins (trade was completely banned, and the most highly trafficked animals in the world were given highest protection status)

*African Gray Parrots (trade was completely outlawed)

*Sharks and Rays (Thirteen species of rays and Thresher and Silky sharks were given highest protection status)

In addition, proposals to grant legal trade in ivory and/or horn in Namibia, Zimbabwe and Swaziland were denied.

But the disheartening news was the denial of CITES to grant the highest level of protection to:

*Elephants 

*Rhinos 

*Lions 

An added issue for lions is the trade in captive bred lion parts remains legal. This perpetuates the Asian demand, and serves as an added incentive for South Africa to continue breeding farms. (Currently there are approximately 7,000 lions kept on 200 breeding farms throughout South Africa.)

seizures-of-lion-parts

© Data from UNEP-WCMC

In theory wild lion parts are not legally traded. Yet, there is no way to tell the difference between a wild lion bone and a captive lion bone. If money is to be made, bones will likely be obtained. Like a fenced in yard with surrounded by only  three sides, protection for Africa’s lion is incomplete, and proves worrisome to an even  faster decline.

In the end, the negligence to protect one species casts a shadow over the decision to protect others. It also casts doubt on the credibility and intentions of our CITES delegates.

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President Zuma at CITES. South Africa has been accused of “selling out” both elephants in lions in their votes against added protection. Photos by IISD/ENB | Kiara Worth

 

There is no necessity in trading lion parts, wild or captive. To perpetuate a market and feed a false cultural perception is not only ethically questionable, but also sends a mixed message in the overall trade of wildlife products. Why is one species an acceptable “commodity” over another? And if a species becomes “captive bred”, is the door open for that species to be traded as well?

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Currently there are approximately 7,000 lions kept on 200 breeding farms throughout South Africa photo: One Green Planet

For Appendices ratings, just how low do the numbers have to get for us to act? The Northern White Rhinos are a perfect example of the error in waiting too long. There are 3 left. They were never afforded protection in time. Why isn’t their predicament enough; does history teach us nothing?

northern-white-by-brent-stirton-nat-geo

Only three Northern White Rhinos remain, all living in Kenya at Ol Pejeta Conservancy. photo: Brent Stirton/Nat Geo

(It is important to note that upgrading lions to the Appendix I status would ONLY have affected wild lions, and would not have afforded protection to their captive cousins.)

 

 

 

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