Africa loses 3 rhino per day.
South Africa is home to approximately 80% of the world’s wild rhino, with only an estimated 5000 black rhino and less than 20 000 white rhino remaining. In 2014 the country lost 1215 rhino to poaching. Whilst the number of rhino poached decreased to 1028 in 2017, the species remains under critical threat.
Saving the rhino goes beyond just doing the right thing. It extends further than safeguarding a mega-herbivore crucial to building and maintaining the natural ecosystems in which they and other wildlife exist. Protecting the rhino and other keystone species from poachers also means standing up against wildlife crime syndicates that threaten entire ecosystems, sustainable livelihoods and national security.
On 4 February 2014, the Dutch Postcode Lottery awarded €14.4 million from its Dream Fund to Peace Parks Foundation and WWF Netherlands to help them in their efforts to save southern Africa’s rhinoceros from extinction. In addition to this, Peace Parks Foundation received €1 million from the Swedish Postcode Lottery to combat rhino poaching. This have allowed us to initiate detailed projects as part of a multifaceted Rhino Protection Programme. The programme is also receiving additional funding and expertise from various charities, non-profit organisations and businesses as Peace Parks engages with increasing numbers of strategic partners to multiply the effect of interventions.
We work closely with the South African government and its conservation management authorities, South African National Parks (SANParks) and Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife (Ezemvelo), as well as with Mozambique’s National Administration for Conservation Areas, to develop and implement practical, well-considered methods through which to address issues at various critical points along the so-called ‘poaching supply chain’.
The programme has led the way in investigating a multitude of methodologies that holds potential to assist in stemming the tide of rhino poaching. From successes achieved and lessons learnt over the past few years, and in line with our overall approach to combating wildlife crime, the programme has been refined to focus on the following:
- To counter and ultimately stop the killing by enhancing protected area support on the ground, with a specific focus on disruption through technology;
- To stop the trade through harmonisation of policies, legislation and counter-trafficking activities; and
- To reduce the demand through awareness and behavioural change campaigns