PROJECT RHINO FOUNDING MEMBERS
Project Rhino’s members have a wide range of rhino conservation and anti-poaching strategies, with each member focusing on their specific areas of expertise. Each and every one is needed if we are going to turn the poaching tide in KZN and each initiative requires funding.
AFRICAN CONSERVATION TRUST (ACT)
African Conservation Trust acts as the Secretariat and central recipient of funds for Project Rhino members. In 2011 and 2012 ACT ran a successful Skydive for Rhino’s campaign. The funds raised provided the foundation for the support of the Project Rhino initiative. This initial campaign and future efforts have supported aerial surveillance, advanced training for game reserve staff, the provision of equipment for rhino anti-poaching units (APU’s) and community engagement and upliftment programmes. As an core member of Project Rhino, ACT continues to raise funds for anti-poaching efforts of both state and private sector reserves, combatting Wildlife Crime in KZN and SA. To date, the ACT Rhino Fund has raised over R10 million for urgently needed rhino anti-poaching priorities in South Africa that are implemented by legitimate conservation groups that support large groups of threatened rhinos. ACT has a particular focus on developing agro-ecological farming enterprises and unlocking economic benefits for communities around the reserves and is a key player in developing the Wildlife Economy in KZN and SA. They also actively support leadership development for communities around reserves and work tirelessly to create an enabling environment for unblocking the economic, social and ecological benefits that this sector brings to the wider community. ACT is also a key facilitator of the NGO forum within Project Rhino, co-ordinating efforts of non-governmental stakeholders.
&BEYOND (PHINDA PRIVATE GAME RESERVE)
&Beyond has made a significant contribution to the protection of rhino over the past 26 years. They have stepped up the security initiatives at their reserves and looked for other ways to ensure the survival of this majestic species. &Beyond works hand in hand with a number of conservation bodies and the communities surrounding their lodges, who are vital stakeholders in the conservation story. With neighbouring Botswana, proven as a successful rhino habitat with a strong security and monitoring framework in place, one of the initiatives undertaken by &Beyond was the donation and translocation of 87 white rhino from South Africa to Botswana’s Okavango Delta.
BLACK RHINO RANGE EXPANSION PROJECT (WWF)
The Black Rhino Range Expansion Project (BRREP) creates new populations of black rhino on large areas of privately or community-owned land with adequate habitat and security, with the aim of accelerating the growth in numbers of this endangered species. The BRREP also supports security and monitoring of source populations of black rhino, such as in the state-owned ones of Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife and those of previous BRREP sites. Eleven new black rhino populations have been created since 2004.
Conservation Outcomes is a non-profit organisation created to provide support to land that is being developed and managed for biodiversity conservation outside of traditional state protected areas. The focus of the organisation is on securing remnant biodiversity, ecological integrity and resilience, whilst contributing to poverty alleviation and meaningful socio-economic development in rural southern Africa, through the development of the conservation and wildlife sector. The organisation provides a range of extension services, including site establishment, ongoing advice and support and long-term monitoring to corporate, private and communally-owned conservation and protected areas. The ultimate goal of the organisation is to secure the ecological integrity and resilience of many vulnerable rural areas in southern Africa.
EZEMVELO KZN WILDLIFE (EKZNW)
EKZNW is KZN’s 100-year old provincial conservation authority. It is entrusted with the long-term conservation of the regions rich biodiversity and manages 68 game reserves. It manages all rhino conservation programmes in KZN (both public and private parks) and is the primary body tasked with counteracting rhino poaching in KZN.
GAME RANGERS ASSOCIATION OF SOUTH AFRICA
The Game Rangers Association of Africa trains field rangers in the field, through the South African Wildlife College and through other partnerships. It aims to standardise skills development in the profession and develop a ranger community of practice. Their key funding need is for training in Field ranger skills, anti-poaching, advanced weapons handling, tracking, skills development, law enforcement, crime scene management, field ranger management and scene of the crime.
The HAWKS in KZN work closely and jointly with all Rhino stakeholders to successfully address the illegal hunting of rhino. There are dedicated investigators within the four units situated throughout the province. All rhino and rhino related cases and crime scenes are investigated by specialist and dedicated investigators. Information received is treated with the strictest confidence and followed up on. This has led to the arrest and dismantling of syndicates in other provinces and neighbouring countries.
The Aims and Objectives of the Honorary Officer Corps are:
The Honorary Officer Corps is a volunteer service organisation to supplement and support the staff of Ezemvelo in their conservation work within protected areas and District Conservation Areas. The Honorary Officers are currently working with Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife in a supportive role in the rhino security so as to release the staff to concentrate on their anti-poaching patrols.
THE EARTH ORGANIZATION
In 2012, in partnership with the Earth Organization, East Coast Radio launched Rhino Watch; a campaign that raised over R1 million to secure helicopter support for Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife. The Earth Organization also started the first rhino orphanage in Zululand. The Earth Organization continues to partner with Project Rhino in an effort to end the scourge of rhino poaching.
Contact details: email@example.com
MAGQUBU NTOMBELA FOUNDATION
Dr Ian Player’s Magqubu Ntombela Foundation has established a team of legal, intelligence gathering and forensic experts whose primary aim is to provide support to Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife and the SAPS in their efforts to combat Rhino poaching. They also provide advice and support to other members of Project Rhino.
MANYONI PRIVATE GAME RESERVE
Previously known as Zululand Rhino Reserve, Manyoni was proclaimed as a Nature Reserve under the Protected Areas Act (Act 57 of 2003), and was one of the first BRREP (Black Rhino Range Expansion Project) sites. This is a project facilitated by WWF, which saw black rhinos from Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife Reserves being placed on private land, which acts as a custodian site for the rhinos. Manyoni has significant populations of both white and the more endangered black rhinos and has intensive monitoring and security programs in place to ensure these are effectively managed and protected.
SPACE FOR ELEPHANTS FOUNDATION
We see the survival of our Rhino and all wildlife in Africa like the African 3-legged pot that provides food: If one leg collapses, we will all go hungry. Space for Elephants’ rhino work includes: 1. Protecting rhinos in the field 2. Working with communities and schools, educating them on the value of rhino to South Africa 3. Intelligence and information gathering
The Thanda Foundation is dedicated to educating and informing communities bordering the Thanda Private Game Reserve of the need to protect the wildlife legacy and biodiversity of northern KwaZulu-Natal. In recognition of the dire situation of the African rhino, Thanda is one of the founding members of Project Rhino and is actively involved in its conservation efforts.
The WESSA Rhino Initiative is involved in 1) direct anti-poaching interventions aimed at reducing and preventing rhino poaching and 2) fundraising to support these initiatives. The WESSA actions are also focused on short and long-term impacts. Some of the short-term actions include rhino poaching information-gathering, supporting the collection of rhino DNA samples for registration onto the National Rhino DNA database (RHoDIS) and implementing critically-needed training for field rangers and conservation managers. Long-term interventions involve education and awareness of all age groups, but with particular focus on the youth. Another important area of work is to foster stronger collaboration between rhino owners (both private and public) for improved area security management.
WILDERNESS ACTION GROUP
African rhinos are iconic and wilderness-dependent species. The Wilderness Action Group is committed to ensuring that South Africa’s wilderness areas are protected and effectively managed for the long-term survival of our rhinos for the benefit of current and future generations.
The Wilderness Leadership School (WLS) was founded over 50 years ago as the vision of Dr Ian Player and his friend and mentor, Magqubu Ntombela. WLS is a non-profit organisation, which falls under the management oversight of the Wilderness Foundation, and is part of the Foundation’s experiential education programme. The school fits in well with the Wilderness Foundation’s vision to protect and sustain African wilderness and wildlands through integrated conservation and education programmes. The WLS has recognised the opportunity to work with Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife’s Rhino Ambassadors youth development program in providing a layered experiential educational component to the overall campaign to provide these 400 ambassadors with a direct experience of nature. For many of these young people from communities surrounding the reserve, a trail provides a first-hand opportunity to view wild animals in their natural habitat and an opportunity to learn respect for the role that these animals play in conservation, biodiversity and eco–tourism.
WILDTRUST WILDLANDS PROGRAMME
The Wildlands Rhino Conservation Project aims to preserve rhino populations in KwaZulu-Natal by employing advanced surveillance technologies (GPS & GSM tracking) to improve monitoring and security. Wildlands is a programme of WILDTrust.
Wildlife ACT is a founding member of Project Rhino. It is a Non-Profit PBO which works on a number of Rhino conservation initiatives across South Africa. Wildlife ACT assists the WWF Black Rhino Range Expansion Project (BRREP) in locating suitable release points for Black Rhino. In addition, the work entails training of new Black Rhino monitors, the purchase and fitment of tracking equipment for the individual Rhino to be released and the post-release monitoring work while the Rhino settle into their new homes. Wildlife ACT’s support across the province also includes monitoring, dehorning and other strategic security initiatives across numerous reserves in KZN where crucial rhino populations exist. Through their established Community Conservation Programme, Wildlife ACT works in the communities adjacent to Somkhanda Game Reserve and others to educate individuals about the issues of Rhino poaching and to empower the youth to engage formally in the sector.