A total of 30 white rhinos have been relocated from the Phinda Private Game Reserve in South Africa to Akagera National Park in Rwanda. The aim is to extend the white rhino population growth and create a secure new breeding stronghold to ensure the long-term survival of the species in the wild as high levels of poaching continues.
The translocation was carried out through a collaboration between the Rwanda Development Board, African Parks and Beyond with funding that was provided by the Howard G. Buffett Foundation.
We are excited to share that 30 white rhinos, sourced from @andbeyondtravel Phinda in South Africa, were successfully translocated to @AkageraPark in Rwanda in the largest single rhino translocation ever undertaken. pic.twitter.com/VIlfCqdeZu
— African Parks (@AfricanParks) November 29, 2021
RDB Acting Chief Tourism Officer, Ariella Kageruka said: “This is an opportunity for Rwanda to substantially advance its contribution to rhino conservation, with Akagera poised to become a globally important sanctuary for black and now white rhinoceros. This is timely for the conservation of these incredibly threatened species.
“We’re extremely proud of our conservation partnerships and our national parks, which are playing a pivotal role in meeting biodiversity targets and in driving sustainable, transformative, equitable socio-economic growth.”
Their journey covered a total distance of 3 400 km and forms the largest single rhino translocation in history. The rhinos will be monitored daily in Akagera by a dedicated team and a specialist veterinarian who will be overseeing their acclimation.
White rhinos are threatened species with their numbers declining across existing strongholds, mostly due to poaching driven by demand for their horns. These majestic animals are classified as near threatened with numbers declining across existing strongholds, largely due to poaching driven by demand for their horns.
“We have meticulously managed and grown the rhino population at Phinda over 30 years”, says Simon Naylor, andBeyond Phinda Conservation Manager. “This has been recognized in many ways, including being selected as the first private reserve to receive animals as part of the WWF Black Rhino Range Expansion Project in 2004.
“We are dedicated to ensuring the survival of the species throughout Africa and are proud to have provided healthy rhino, as well as volunteered our translocation skills, to help boost the creation of a new breeding cluster in Akagera,” Naylor adds.
In 2010, the Rwanda Development Board and African Parks partnered to manage Akagera, transforming the park into one of the most coveted wildlife destinations in Africa and a sustainable revenue source for the region’s communities.
To ensure that this new population of white rhinos also flourishes, each rhino has been fitted with a transmitter to enable constant monitoring by dedicated tracking teams; a canine anti-poaching unit and helicopter surveillance are also in place to provide further support for their long-term protection.
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Picture/s: Facebook / African Parks