Saving desert rhino

appealIt’s great to see that the images we got visiting Save the Trust (SRT) in Namibia last month are already being put to work by Save the Rhino International in its newly-launched 2013 appeal to raise funds for SRT’s conservation work protecting the world’s largest free-ranging population of critically endangered black rhino.

The Trust’s dedicated teams of trackers go out on patrol by foot, vehicle, donkey or camel, closely monitoring the population of desert-adapted black rhino in the harsh, unforgiving terrain of Namibia’s remote Kunene and Erongo regions. After spending several days with patrols during our visit we can vouch for just how tough conditions are!

Trackers take detailed notes of every rhino sighting, which are then compiled into a database providing an essential long term record of the area’s rhino population. The presence of patrols in the region also acts as a powerful deterrent to would-be poachers. Working closely with the Namibian Ministry of Environment and Tourism and local communities, the Trust has played a key role in the recovery of the desert black rhino population, seeing numbers increase fivefold in the 30 or so years it has been in operation. It is also heavily involved in training trackers to work for community conservancies in the region, and in the development of community-based rhino tracking tourism, giving local people an even more significant stake in the survival of the species.

So far Namibia has largely avoided the poaching epidemic currently plaguing South Africa. But conservationists fear it may only be a matter of time before poachers target desert black rhino, making Save the Rhino Trust’s presence on the ground even more important. You can find out more about Save the Rhino International’s ‘Operation Wild and Free’ appeal in aid of the Trust by visiting

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