ERP SUPPORTS THE INTRODUCTION OF BLAck RHINO INTO LOCAL GAME RESERVE
ERP recently supported a local nature reserve in the introduction of a founding population of black rhino into the reserve. This introduction marks the establishment of a population of rhino in a region which has not had black rhino in over 100 years. ERP have been assisting the reserve for the last year in the management of their elephant population and are now adding value to their rhino population.
ERP specifically assisted the reserve with the following aspects in the project:
- Removal of large distances of perimeter fencing to expand the reserve by 3000 hectares to ensure the black rhino had adequate space to roam.
- The fence removal programme was conducted by a group of people from the local community around the reserve, appointed by ERP. This ensured economic value to the communities living adjacent to the reserve.
- We provided telemetry equipment to ensure that the reserve management could track the rhino and monitor their movements. This contributes significantly to their safety.
- We have raised funds for binoculars for the rangers which will be arriving at the end of December.
The bigger picture:
The reintroduction was coordinated by the WWF Black Rhino Range Expansion Project. The project aims to increase numbers and growth rate of the critically endangered black rhino. It does this through facilitating partnerships between landowners with good black rhino habitat. Often, neighbouring landowners must be willing to remove the internal fences between them.
As well as creating new populations, the Black Rhino Range Expansion Project supports security of black rhino source populations by providing equipment for anti-poaching work, paying for helicopter hours when vets go out to treat snared black rhino, paying for rhino monitors and buying light aircraft for aerial surveillance.
The way forward:
ERP is constantly looking for new properties/expansion areas for the establishment of white and black rhino populations. ERP intends on working with Provincial Authorities and the Black Rhino Range Expansion Programme in the establishment of rhino safe havens. A number of potential properties have already been identified for the project.