Posts Tagged With: Lowveld Rhino Trust

Update on Sparky, Bebrave, and Long Playing

In the world of conservation, there are times when animal orphans find unusual companions in other species. In May, three such friends found each other and grew close. See previous post: Sparky, Bebrave and Long Playing

Here, reblogged from the International Rhino Foundation,is an update on the trio.

Long playing (standing) and Bebrave

Long Playing (standing) and Bebrave

It is now over nine months since our last two black rhino poaching orphans, BeBrave and Long Playing, were returned to their natural home. The rainy season has started well into October and the resulting flush of new leaves is ensuring that our little rhinos are growing outwards as well as upwards.

Settling into life in the wild took our two hand raised orphans a little time to work out. Initially, they remained very close to the water point they were released at and promptly appeared from the bush at 4:30 PM daily in the hope of their routine bottle of milk. Eventually they accepted milk was no longer a part of their diet and they started to range slightly more, exploring their new home.

It did not take long for the only other black rhino in the 24,000 acres to sniff out that there was new rhino company to meet. Exactly seven days after the orphans were released, black rhino bull “Romeo” turned up at the release site water hole. An adult black rhino bull stands at close to 1.5 metres tall and weighs in at about 1,500 kilograms – so it is not surprising that three year old BeBrave decided that discretion was the better part of valor and departed the area, leaving Long Playing and Romeo alone to get to know each other.

Within a month BeBrave and Long Playing were back together again with Romeo only making occasional visits to the area to keep in contact with his young neighbors.

eland herdSparky the eland had been hard to track down but given the large numbers of eland in the area it is likely he has just blended into the herds.

Categories: Rhino Ramblings, Rhino Spotlight | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Zimbabwe Leads the Way

Zimbabwe- has a poverty rate at 63%, faces economic crisis and questionable human rights violations. Yet this unsettled country may hold the key to rhino conservation.

This is thanks to the Lowveld Rhino Trust. The LRT is centrally involved in the protection of 90% of the country’s black rhinos in private reserves. With most of Zimbabwe facing the same loss of rhino as other  African countries, LRT is solely responsible for a 10% increase in the black rhino population.

Since 2009, they have worked tenaciously against poaching, attempting to slowly rebuild the rhino population. No easy feat, as they are in the midst of their country’s political and economic  turmoil and unrest.

raoul du toit director of lowveld

Raoul du Toit, director at Lowveld Rhino Trust

So how do they do it?

Like other efforts across the African continent, they relocate rhinos from unsafe areas to  higher protection zones. They fight the same fight, stepping up anti-poaching units, maintaining security and tending to individual rhinos.

Yet the key to their success may lie in their localized efforts. They provide support to the local schools, the amount of their efforts and contribution directly hinging on the rhino growth population. If the rhino populations are thriving, schools receive extra funds from the LRT. If poaching is taking its toll, the funds are removed and applied to extra anti-poaching units.

The idea is to provide incentive to the people to save their rhino, in turn this applies pressure on the poachers from their own communities. As diligent as anti-poaching units are, they cannot be everywhere all the time, so this gives them additional “eyes” and “ears” on the ground.

Win for the rhinos, win for the people.

“We have made many enemies in both the public and private sectors by our efforts to wrestle rhinos away from those who attempt to keep them in ever declining populations, but we have seen annual population growth rates of around 10% as result of our efforts at demographic consolidation in adequately extensive and more secure areas of good habitat, which means that the rhinos can save themselves as the evolutionarily successful species that they are,” says du Toit.
Read more at http://news.mongabay.com/2013/1002-hance-wcn-lrt.html#9T7FtfwUrR3mcZ4v.99
“We try to maintain a situation in which rhinos can save themselves through effective breeding. By concentrating our efforts on the areas that have ecological and economic potential for large, viable rhino populations rather than frantically ‘fire-fighting’ to maintain fragmented populations, we can build and maintain the larger populations to the level that poaching losses (which can never be totally avoided under current funding constraints) are more than compensated for by births,” du Toit says.
Read more at http://news.mongabay.com/2013/1002-hance-wcn-lrt.html#9T7FtfwUrR3mcZ4v.99
the LRT, which is centrally involved in the protection of around 90 percent of the country’s rhinos in private reserves along with conservancy members
Read more at http://news.mongabay.com/2013/1002-hance-wcn-lrt.html#9T7FtfwUrR3mcZ4v.99
which is centrally involved in the protection of around 90 percent of the country’s rhinos in private reserves along with conservancy members, has proven tenacious and innovative in its battle to safeguard the nation’s rhinos from the poaching epidemic.
Read more at http://news.mongabay.com/2013/1002-hance-wcn-lrt.html#9T7FtfwUrR3mcZ4v.99
which is centrally involved in the protection of around 90 percent of the country’s rhinos in private reserves along with conservancy members, has proven tenacious and innovative in its battle to safeguard the nation’s rhinos from the poaching epidemic.
Read more at http://news.mongabay.com/2013/1002-hance-wcn-lrt.html#9T7FtfwUrR3mcZ4v.99
Categories: Good News, Rhino Ramblings | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

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