This video says about itself (translated):
September 11 2015
See also here.
This video says about itself:
30 August 2015
This video from South Africa says about itself:
Black Rhino Cow Tries To Revive Dead Calf
8 February 2013
Black Rhino grieves over her dead calf and tries to revive it after it was struck by lightning.
BABY RHINO DE-SNARED
14 August 2015
Today we received this update from our partners at the Lilongwe Wildlife Trust in Malawi.
Kate Moore tells us more about the operation:
After four days of tracking the team finally had the opportunity to dart the mother, Namatunu, allowing the team to sedate the calf, believed to be just a few months old, and work on removing the snare. The snare had become embedded around the baby’s foot.
WERU’s lead vet Amanda Salb cleaned up the wound, which was very deep, and gave antibiotics to avoid infection. The team also found out that the calf was a ‘she’…nice to know! A VHF transmitter was then attached to her tail so that she can be monitored to make sure the injury heals properly and she experiences no further problems as a result. Once awake, both mother and daughter were seen leaving the area together and have been spotted doing well since then.
Wire snares are set by poachers to catch buffalo and antelope so they can sell the meat, but other wildlife such as elephant, rhino and lions are regularly caught accidentally as snaring is indiscriminate in their action.
The operation took a lot of teamwork from Lilongwe Wildlife Trust, Department of National Parks and Wildlife, CAWS, Cluny Wildlife Trust and African Parks, as well as the Born Free sponsored vehicle, so congratulations to everyone involved!
This video from South Africa says about itself:
Two rhino bulls chased around a pride of six hungry lions at the waterhole Renosterpan in Kruger park, great fun to watch. Square-lipped rhinoceros (Ceratotherium simum). Happened in 2009. Rhinos are being poached at an alarming rate; please help to protect these amazing animals by donating to the wildlife funds fighting rhino poaching.
From daily The Independent in South Africa:
Orphan baby rhino rescued
July 27 2015 at 08:33am
By Leanne Jansen
Durban – A baby rhino that lost its mother to poachers in the Kruger National Park has been rescued by rangers, and is settling into its new home at the Care for Wild Africa rehabilitation centre in Mpumalanga.
The rhino, not older than two months, wandered on to a road and cosied up to a tourist’s car. The tourists alerted park staff, and rangers Don English and Craig Williams helped to have it tranquillised, and flown to the rehabilitation centre.
But that was not the end of the little creature’s ordeal – it stopped breathing and had to be resuscitated along the way.
By Friday afternoon, it had recovered and was doing well, said park spokesperson William Mabasa.
Sadly, the carcass of its mother was found on Saturday, its horns removed.
Mabasa extended his gratitude to the tourists who had told rangers about the orphaned rhino and also urged the public to play an active role in conservation efforts.
“These people (poachers) live in our communities. Somebody somewhere knows who they are and where they are,” Mabasa said.
Last month the Kruger Park, which is South Africa’s largest rhino reserve, announced that it was installing boom gates along three popular tourist roads to control people entering the new Intensive Protection Zone for rhinos after nightfall.
The booms are manned by armed rangers from sunset to sunrise every day.
As part of a long-term plan, fencing will also be improved on the western and eastern borders of the park.
Earlier this year The Mercury reported on how poaching had soared to a record level of 1 215 killings countrywide last year, mostly in the Kruger Park, where the poaching rate has climbed every year since 2008.
Care for Wild Africa is home to infant, injured and orphaned animals.
Its animal hospital tends to the animals until they can be rehabilitated into the wild, and the centre welcomes volunteers to help care for distressed creatures.
This video says about itself:
World-first: A genet rides a black rhino
21 July 2015
Rhino Africa donated their awesome multimedia team’s time to put this video together.
See also here.
For those interested in the mechanics of the proposed RAPID rhino-cam to photo rhino poachers, see this paper.
This video is called Rhino Attack (Chitwan National Park Nepal 2010).
From Wildlife Extra:
Nepal rhino population increases by more than 100
Nepal’s rhino population in the Terai Arc Landscape has increased 21 per cent over the last fours according to figures released by the Nepali Government.
There are now 645 rhinos there, compared to the 2011 estimate of 534, and numbers are the highest they’ve been since the early 1950s.
The increase in rhino numbers also comes just days after Nepal marked yet another 365-day period without a single rhino being poached – the third time in five years they’ve achieved this zero-poaching feat.
The rhino count was conducted from 11 April–2 May in Chitwan National Park, Parsa Wildlife Reserve, Bardia National Park, Shuklaphanta Wildlife Reserve and their buffer zones in the Terai Arc Landscape.
It was led by the government’s Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation and Department of Forests, in collaboration with WWF Nepal and National Trust for Nature Conservation.
The count was done using a sweep operation with 267 official observers, including wildlife biologists, national park technical staff, conservationists, local people and the army – some riding on trained elephants to help traverse the difficult landscape.
In order to estimate numbers, the observers gather unique identifying information from individual rhinos they see, so they can avoid double-counting. This can include the shape and size of horns, folds in the skin on the neck and rump, and other identifying characteristics or marks, for instance on the ears or around the body.
The news come at a difficult time for the country, as it comes to terms with the devastating earthquake that struck the nation on 25 April. WWF colleagues in Nepal have been focusing their time and resources on supporting relief efforts and helping affected communities in the regions where they work.
From Newsweek in the USA:
Africa’s Conservation Miracle: The Return of the Rhinos
By Simon Barnes / March 23, 2015 2:29 PM EDT
Habitat destruction. That’s almost always the answer to a question of wildlife conservation. Why has this species declined? Why has that species gone extinct? Because the place where it lives is being or has been destroyed.
The ever-increasing demands of the human population in India mean that there is less room for tigers. A vast suite of creatures – many unknown to science – go under every day with the continuing destruction of the rainforest. Migrating birds find their journey impossible when their rest-and-feed-up stopovers are destroyed. The baiji – Yangtze river dolphin – went extinct this century because of the pollution and traffic of its home river system.
It all comes back to one problem: that of the ever-expanding human population and its ever-increasing demands. But fly over the Luangwa Valley in Zambia and you see an endless expanse of glorious uncluttered savannah. It’s still wild as hell. Here is a habitat in the best possible shape, a place where conservation can for a moment set aside concerns about the loss of wild places.
If you take a walk anywhere in the two great national parks that dominate the valley – though you’d be well-advised to bring an armed scout – you will find yourself in perfect black rhino habitat. It’s mostly the kind of wooded savannah black rhinos love, studded with bushes, plenty of browse. Plenty, too, of Kigelia or sausage-trees: drooping with enormous elongated white fruit, so that each tree looks like an Italian delicatessen. Rhinos gourmandise on the fallen sausage-fruit, and scatter the seeds in their dung.
Forty years ago, Zambia had the third largest black rhino population in Africa: around 12,000, with 4,000 of them in the Luangwa Valley. Twenty years later there were none. They were declared extinct in Zambia in 1998. They had been poached out of existence in the 1970s and 1980s to meet illegal commercial markets. The Yemeni wanted the horns for dagger-handles, and the Chinese medicine trade has an immense and expanding appetite for them. Rhino horn is believed to help relieve fevers and disorders of the blood; it’s not used as an aphrodisiac, though the myth dies hard in the West.
There are five living rhino species: in Asia the Javan, Sumatran and Indian, in Africa the white and the black rhinoceros. (Both species are actually grey, and tend to be the colour of the country they live in, from their habit of ecstatic rolling and dust-bathing.) Tests in Switzerland found that rhino horn has no effect whatsoever on a mammalian body, good or bad, though an experiment by Chinese scientists demonstrated that immense doses had a very small effect at reducing fever in mice.
But it’s not about what rhino horn does, it’s about what people believe it does. And in the 1970s and 1980s the price it fetched was more than enough to establish an effective poaching industry in Zambia. It worked well until they ran out of rhinos. That left behind a still-perfect ecosystem lacking one of its most significant species. The North Luangwa National Park and the South Luangwa National Park are both jumping with elephants, lions, leopards, buffalo and most of the sexy species of African megafauna. The Luangwa River has the highest density of hippos in the world and one of the highest concentrations of Nile crocodiles.
It’s a thriving place. The south park has a well-established tourist industry, one that tends to be well-run, with high ethical standards. The north park is different – no permanent camps, hardly any roads. The tourist industry there is scanty, expensive and adventurous. And there are black rhinos there.
If your prime target in conservation is birds, you have a much easier time of it. You just get the habitat right and wait for them to fly in. So how long do you have to wait for a flight of rhinos?
The answer is five years. They came in not under their own power, but by Hercules aircraft. Five of them landed in North Luangwa National Park in 2003, five years after the declared national extinction, rather longer since the last rhino was killed for its horn in Zambia.
The North Luangwa Conservation Programme (NLCP) had taken four years of preparation to set up, but now the great adventure was on, a glorious attempt to put the toothpaste back in the tube. It was established by Frankfurt Zoological Society, and it receives funding from organisations that include Save the Rhino, which is based in London. Ten more rhinos came to North Luangwa in 2006, five more in 2008, and another five two years later. That meant that by 2011, there were 25 rhinos in a well-watched and well-guarded area of 220 square kilometres. They were kept in protected circumstances, initially in a boma, or timber-walled enclosure.
Now the population is free-ranging, protected by the vigilance of people on the ground. Circumstances are not entirely natural – at least not yet – and the project will supply lucerne and sausage-fruit to animals in sub-optimal condition and to lactating females.
It’s not been straightforward. It never is. The process makes considerable demands on the animals involved. They’re not machines: the flight is difficult and the instant change of environment is traumatic. Such things can be hard for domestic animals, as horse-people will tell you. For wild animals, not selectively bred for docility, there will always be problems.
Some rhinos found it harder to make the change than others. Others possibly contracted trypanosomiasis, from the tsetse flies that favour the Valley and so make it a no-go area for cattle farmers – which is the reason the habitat has remained in such good shape for so long. Others died in fights. And in the traumatic year of 2011, six of the rhinos died: more than 15% of the population. “It was one of the hottest and driest years on record,” says Claire Lewis, technical adviser for the NLCP. “All wild animals suffer under such extreme conditions. It was hugely disappointing, but we had to be pragmatic about it.”
That is the problem with all small populations: there is no such thing as a small disaster. The project is still a fragile thing: it wouldn’t take much to lose the lot, at the cost of a good deal of money and great deal more hope. A mother of a three-month-old calf was found dead and the calf never seen again. Such things are hard to deal with for the people on the ground.
There was easy consolation to be found: six more calves were born. There is now a population of 34 black rhinos in North Luangwa National Park, and it’s time to think about expanding. At the time of writing, and in the entire history of the project, not a single rhino has been lost to poaching. This is a kind of miracle: and it comes from hard work, high motivation and considerable skills. The rhino trade has gone through the roof. Demand has escalated – and with it, the criminal trade.
In 2007 South Africa lost 13 rhinos to poachers; in 2014 the number was 1,215. …
The trade is much easier than it was 30-40 years ago, as the supply lines are infinitely shorter. There is a strong Chinese presence in much of sub-Saharan Africa these days, including Zambia. It’s a fair assumption that some of these are involved in illegal trading. So it seems that the North Luangwa rhino population is approaching critical mass just as the rhino-horn trade is more demanding than ever. It’s an illegal trade that’s right up there with gold and cocaine.
The NLCP has no option but to work on the prevention of poaching – 250 anti-poaching officers make 60 four-man 10-day patrols every month. The boots-on-the-ground policy makes sure the rhinos aren’t easy targets. Their work is backed up by regular flights, surveying both rhinos and intruders. In recent years, there has been much greater emphasis on intelligence-led operations. “We have to be very careful about showing our hand here,” Lewis says. “But we have invested more and more in the Intelligence and Investigations Unit run by ZAWA (Zambia Wildlife Authority) and they’ve had some success. We see this as our priority until the international cartels are broken down.” The price of living rhinos is eternal vigilance.
The next stage is the beginning of the abnegation of control. A population of 70 to 80 rhinos within a few years is feasible if the vigilance keeps on paying off. Patrolling will become less intensive – the rhinos would be using a much greater area and there isn’t the funding to put more people on the ground.
There is talk about reintroducing rhinos elsewhere in Zambia: the South Luangwa National Park, and on the other side of the country, in the Kafue National Park, though Ed Sayer, the chief technical adviser at NLCP, says: “If we can get through this period of severe threat, then those areas need to start setting up the necessary security now. It took us four years at a time when rhino poaching was much less intense.”
This is an extraordinary project. It’s much harder than flying in the face of nature, it’s flying in the face of human greed. But so far it’s working. It’s a miracle of hard work and good planning and the sort of dedication that, in an earlier age, would lead to canonisation. There have been rhinos back in the Luangwa Valley, rhinos back in Zambia for 12 years. And they’re still there. At the time of writing, anyway.