Save the Rhino International

Lowveld Rhino Trust, Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe is in danger of losing its biological currency – rhinos and other wildlife. Tourism was once a key source of revenue, so we need to safeguard the rhinos of the Lowveld for Zimbabwe’s future recovery. This high-value biological currency could be a key factor in turning around the economy through tourism, if we can act now to ensure it is not lost.

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Registered Charity in England and Wales (1035072)

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  • AnimalsAnimals
  • Environment/ConservationEnvironment/Conservation

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Situation

As Zimbabwe's economy has collapsed, large-scale commercial rhino poaching is increasing dramatically and rhino population gains are being severely eroded. The rhinos are targeted for their horns, which are then sold on the black market. Over 130 Critically Endangered black rhinos have been killed by poachers in the Lowveld in 2008 and 2009. In the early 1990s there were only 42 black rhinos in the Lowveld; today there are approximately 400 black rhinos, comprising almost 10% of the world’s wild population. Despite the upsurge in poaching, the birth rate of the Lowveld rhino population is still high, with some areas experiencing an annual growth rate of 12%. However, the margin between births and mortalities is being narrowed and efforts must be maintained to avoid greater losses. This requires not only intensive anti-poaching patrols but also a sophisticated monitoring system, so that all 400 of the Lowveld’s rhinos are individually identified and monitored on a regular basis, thus injuries or deaths can be acted upon quickly. This system of intensive monitoring enables LRT accurately to document the status of the population and to guide management and protection interventions required to maintain strong population growth. Funding priorities include ongoing support for the monitoring units, veterinary treatment, and the development of an intelligence network and legal support. The Lowveld Rhino Trust is working to save Zimbabwe’s rhinos from poachers by translocating rhinos from high-risk areas to smaller, well-protected locations; treating rhinos with snare and shot wounds and returning them to the wild; rehabilitating injured orphaned rhino calves; helping authorities track, apprehend and prosecute poachers; and intensively tracking and monitoring rhinos to ensure their safety. All of these operations require vital funds, so please give whatever you can.

Solution