There are about 5 500 black rhino in the wild, an increase from less than 2 500 around 25 years ago and this year… we can celebrate 13 more little ones!
South Africa (22 September 2020) – On World Rhino Day, the Black Rhino Range Expansion Project celebrates the birth of at least 13 calves in 2020 on project sites across South Africa and Malawi.
Two of the calves are second generation, meaning that their grandmothers were among those moved to create new populations.
“This is why WWF entered into a partnership with Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife nearly two decades ago,” says WWF’s project leader Dr Jacques Flamand.
“It’s what we’re about. We decided to increase the range of black rhino to increase growth rate and numbers of the critically endangered species. It started slowly and has taken a lot of hard work and commitment from a lot of partners. Now we are starting to see the results that we hoped for.”
There are now approximately 270 black rhinos on the project’s 13 partner sites.
The WWF is an independent conservation organisation, with over 30 million followers and a global network active in nearly 100 countries. Their mission is to stop the degradation of the planet’s natural environment and to build a future in which people live in harmony with nature, by conserving the world’s biological diversity, ensuring that the use of renewable natural resources is sustainable, and promoting the reduction of pollution and wasteful consumption.
In November 2019, the Black Rhino Range Expansion Project undertook its first cross-border translocation when a group of black rhinos was moved from South Africa to Malawi’s Liwonde National Park.
The massive operation was a partnership between Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife, African Parks, WWF SA and Malawi’s Department of National Parks and Wildlife. It was the largest ever transport by air of black rhino. The animals were flown from King Shaka International Airport in Durban to Lilongwe International Airport, then driven by truck to their final new home.
The rhinos have acclimatised well, and two already have calves.
There are about 5 500 black rhinos in the wild, an increase from less than 2 500 around 25 years ago. Translocation projects that create new populations in well-protected areas are essential in giving populations a chance for recovery.