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Inspiring the next generation in North Luangwa

South Africa

Equipping teams to combat rhino poaching

Rhino runners

raise over








Training on the frontline


4 South Africa  Help a Ranger, Save a Rhino 6 Namibia  The China syndrome 7 Field Insights  Simson Uri-Khob, CEO Save the Rhino Trust

8 Namibia  Standing as a united front to save Namibia’s rhinos | Training on the frontline

9 Zimbabwe  Dublin Zoo’s support for Lowveld’s rhinos


Lowveld Rhino Trust Success






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Fundraising  Fundraising Stars | On yer Bike!

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News in brief

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Kenya  Everybody needs good neighbours

65th CITES Standing Committee meeting Mozambique  The problem with Mozambique Thorny Issues  Rhino horn stockpiles Zambia  Stepping up security Zambia  Inspiring the next generation Kenya  The rhino is anything but an aphrodisiac for the Maasai Kenya  Held to ransom on Ol Jogi Who owns Kenya’s rhinos?

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Tanzania  25 years of Mkomazi

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Vietnam  ‘The Strength of Will’ campaign

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  Helping rangers save rhinos

Rhino goodies | Take part in rhino events Powerful partnerships Vietnam  No demand, no supply Indonesia  The road ahead for Indonesia’s rhinos Thank You!








Inspiring the next generation ENV

Raising awareness & reducing demand



Saving rhinos

is all about people


Cathy Dean | Director

ccasionally, someone will say to us ‘I don’t support animal charities; I prefer to give to people causes’. I do wonder what they think our grants pay for. Painting rhinos’ toenails a fetching shade of frosted pink? A spa treatment for those wrinkly hides? Laser treatment for suboptimal eyesight?

In practice, rhinos are pretty low maintenance – security aside – and will do perfectly well left to their own devices, as long as they have enough habitat, enough space to establish territories or ranges, water and the right kind of vegetation. For my first eight years at Save the Rhino, perhaps the biggest problem rhino conservation managers faced was finding enough suitable habitat to accommodate the steadily growing populations of black and white rhino in sub-Saharan Africa in order that numbers could increase to the point that both species could come off the IUCN’s Red List.

Again, this work is all about people – working with Vietnamese nationals who are as keen as we are about conservation and the environment, to win over hearts and minds. The field programmes we support also rely on the support of local communities: they create employment, provide training and deliver outreach and education programmes; all an essential part of creating a well-functioning mosaic of wildlife, landscape, agricultural and urban land-use. Anyone who calls us an animal charity is misguided. Conservation is done by dedicated, talented, passionate people, and it’s these people that we are supporting.

Save the Rhino International is a UK registered charity which raises funds and awareness for the world’s five rhino species. We work with global project partners to support 18 long-term rhino conservation programmes in Africa and Asia

This year, thanks to a grant from the UK government’s Illegal Wildlife Trade Challenge Fund, we are also working with TRAFFIC-Vietnam and PSI to tackle the demand for rhino horn in Vietnam; we are also supporting the work of local NGO Education for Nature Vietnam. 18% of this year’s grants  so far have been allocated to  demand reduction efforts.


But it’s security that’s the problem now, and a very large proportion of our grants (67% of grants made since 1 April 2014) are allocated to anti-poaching and monitoring efforts. We’re helping the rangers on the ground to go out on patrol, with the right kit, so that they can check on the rhinos in their park or reserve. Our grants are enabling rangers – people – to do their jobs effectively and safely.



HELP A RANGER SAVE A RHINO So far this year, nearly 800 rhinos have been brutally slaughtered for their horns in South Africa alone, putting 2014 on track to be the worst poaching year on record. This is the year when rhino populations are predicted to go into decline. Katherine Ellis | Office and Communications Manager


ehind these shocking statistics, teams of dedicated rangers are battling round-the-clock to protect our magnificent rhinos from ruthless criminal syndicates.

Save the Rhino has helped fund rhino conservation efforts in South Africa’s Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park since 2006, and right now the rangers need our support more than ever. With the increasing poaching threat, funding for ranger equipment is urgently needed in order to replace old items that have worn through and equip more rangers to expand proactive and reactive patrol coverage in the Park. So far, Kruger National Park has been the hardest hit. However there are concerns that, as Kruger becomes better protected following major philanthropic grants, poachers will switch attention to other reserves, such as Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park. Christmas and the New Year have been the most dangerous time of the year for rhinos, with poaching gangs hitting hard. This is why Save the Rhino has launched our Help a Ranger, Save a Rhino appeal. In addition to the grants we have recently sent over, we need your help to raise £20,000 by Christmas to fund essential equipment to give the ranger teams the best possible start to combat poaching. According to Dirk Swart, a Section Ranger in Hluhluwe:

Rangers patrol the Park on foot, by horse and from the air to protect rhinos

Our field rangers are the most important guys on the ground. They are our eyes and ears, they are the front line, they pick up poachers, they monitor the rhino and put their lives at risk to protect the reserve.

Rangers on the frontline ‘As field rangers we are proud of our work, we are proud of saving rhinos, so that is why my team is always out in the field trying to stop poachers’, says Sibonelo Zulu. Sibonelo is an Anti-Poaching Unit (APU) officer in HluhluweiMfolozi Park. Being part of an APU is an incredibly challenging job – the teams spend 21 days straight camping in the remote field environment covering huge distances by foot, often working with just two or three hours sleep per day. APU rangers are highly skilled and adept at life in the bush, living alongside dangerous animals such as lion and buffalo. With increasing poaching levels, Sibonelo says ‘The APUs have to spend more days in the field – the poachers come during the darkness, especially during moonlight.’ Sibonelo and his team work throughout the night to detect and ambush poachers, and are often the first to react to poaching incidents.


It’s not just rhinos that are facing danger; each day rangers are also risking their lives, with an increasing likelihood that they will encounter armed and dangerous poachers. Sibonelo explains ‘Poachers, they want to shoot at us, we have to defend ourselves.’ Bullet-proof vests, first-aid kits and pepper spray are essential kit items, which are often in short supply.

Hooves on the ground Doris, Derick, Igamalikho, Nkunzana and Nkhalakatha are five very special horses, assisting with the battle against rhino poaching. Under the supervision of Dennis Kelly, a Section Ranger at the Nqumeni horse establishment, Ze and Corporal Simon Nyawo are two rangers who have close bonds with these horses and conduct regular horseback patrols to protect the Park’s rhinos. Dennis explains ‘The advantage of having horses on patrols is to assist with ground cover, as horses can cover much more distance than we can on foot and we can get to places that are further away from our temporary bases. Horses are a lot more neutral in the bush compared to human beings, and other animals don’t seem to be disturbed. ‘ The presence of field rangers on horses is a good poaching deterrent and horses are also important for enabling closer black rhino monitoring. However, maintaining the horse establishment is very expensive, and ongoing funds are needed for the horses’ veterinary care such as wound-spray, de-worming tablets and vaccinations. Funds are also needed for equipment such as brushes, saddle soap and helmets.

Eyes in the skies Aerial surveillance is crucial to supplement ground-based patrols. Save the Rhino helps fund the ongoing costs of the Bat Hawk aircraft, which enables Dirk to get a spatial view of the Park, while carrying out black rhino monitoring and is a strong deterrent to potential poachers. The microlight also assists with detecting rhino carcasses as it can fly low and slow.



But funds are needed for equipment and training to expand aerial surveillance in the Park. Dirk says ‘We need funding for fuel running costs, the maintenance of the plane and other equipment such as cabinets and safes.’

First Aid kit

Deep in the wilderness The iMfolozi Wilderness area is a vast expanse of pristine rhino habitat, where no development of any kind is allowed — no roads, no lodges, no tourist vehicles. Ian Pollard is a Section Ranger in iMfolozi and explains the difficult job the rangers face.



Camouflage uniform

It is not uncommon for field rangers to walk 15 – 20km per day and they do that 24 – 25 times per month.

With such large distances being covered, the rangers wear through their boots extremely quickly. Ian adds ‘The most basic things are required, like uniform; my field rangers don’t have raincoats, so they get very, very wet. Rangers are dedicating their lives to protecting rhinos. Ian says ‘We have to sacrifice a lot, the guys are constantly in the field and on standby, they are not surprised when they get a phone call at 2am to say you need to get out of bed. This has a massive impact on our work, and even on our personal lives, as you don’t get to see the people you care for.’ While we enjoy Christmas in the comforts of our own home, rangers will not be taking a break. ‘We live on 24-hour alerts and work 365 days a year.’ Please donate to our ‘Help a Ranger Save a Rhino’ appeal to support rangers with the essential equipment they need to protect South Africa’s rhinos.

Grants and thanks For HiP’s rhino monitoring and anti-poaching work this year, we have sent several grants from regular and new donors: €7,650 Vrienden van Safaripark Beekse Bergen; €2,000 Safari de Peaugres; ZAR 111,473 Davmark; €2,000 Montpellier Zoo; €1,250 Golf de L’Ile Fleurie; $190 SRI Inc.; £1,590 Woburn Safari Park; £2,000 Zoological Society of East Anglia – Africa Alive!; £650 International Animal Rescue Foundation; £3,900 Ales Weiner; £5,374 Colchester Zoo Action for the Wild; $24,985 USFWS; and many individual donors including Mat Hartley/(Braai 365), the Association of Veterinary Students and Peter de Wit. Thank you to Tom Rowland and Sam Bond for filming and editing our ‘Help a Ranger, Save a Rhino’ video series. We are incredibly grateful to Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife and staff at Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park for hosting Katherine, Tom and Sam during their visit in April this year.


Camelbak rucksack


Canvas boots


£25 LED


Donate online Visit helparanger to donate online by card and leave a message of support for the rangers Donate by post  Cheques can be UK£, US$ and Euro €, made out to Save the Rhino International to Unit 5, Coach House Mews 217 Long Lane London  SE1 4PR and marked ‘Help a Ranger Save a Rhino’ on reverse Donate by phone  Call us on (+44) 020 7357 7474 Fundraise  Become a fundraising champion and raise money for ranger equipment. Find out more Watch our youtube video series about Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park savetherhinoofficial Get in touch Email with any other queries



The China syndrome For many years, the last detected case of a Namibian illegally hunted desertadapted black rhino occurred in 1994 in the north-west of the country. Two suspects were arrested and spent a couple of years in prison. Since then, with help from the Ministry of Environment and Tourism (MET), Save the Rhino Trust (SRT) and local communities, the rhino population in the Kunene and Erongo Regions of Namibia has grown and dispersed over the species’ entire range. Save the Rhino Trust, Namibia


n September 2011, this encouraging scenario changed when a young male rhino was found in a snare deliberately set for a rhino. The illegal poachers had done their homework, possibly having observed the movement of the mother and calf for a while, then setting the snare on the game trail the animals were using to and from the natural spring. Fortunately a second snare, set for the female rhino, was removed before it could do any harm by a joint SRT and Community Game Guard patrol.


This incident was followed by the shocking illegal hunting of a cow and six-month-old calf around Christmas 2012. The female rhino had been shot once, her horns surgically removed, indicating that the suspect had done this before. The six-month old female calf spent nearly five days with its mother before help arrived, and unfortunately she died due to severe Namibia has lost 14 rhino within dehydration during the first nine months of 2014 the transport to safety. With a bit of luck and help from the local community, the culprit was arrested with the horns, and the bullet point retrieved was matched to the rifle confiscated. On 20 August 2014, the poacher was sentenced to seven years’ imprisonment for the illegal hunt of a protected game species, without the option of a fine; fined N$ 10,000 or three years for possession; N$ 7,000 or one year for illegal possession of a firearm; and a further N$1,000 or six months for the illegal possession of ammunition. In 2013 Namibia experienced a sharp increase in the illegal hunting of rhino and possession of horns, losing two

This photo shows a badly decomposed rhino at a crime scene


white rhino (the female was pregnant) on privately owned land, one desert black rhino on a privately owned rhino custodian farm and one black rhino in the north-west of Namibia. In two cases, nine suspects have been arrested and one set of horns was recovered. Namibia has lost 14 rhinos within the first nine months of 2014: 12 desert black rhino on communal custodian land and two white rhino on privately owned land, Another three desert-black rhino have been wounded, but were successfully treated by a MET veterinarian and translocated to safety. Though no suspects have been arrested so far, two sets of horns have been secured. Customs and Airport Police successfully intercepted 14 horns from seven individual desert black rhino and one white rhino, packed in two suitcases destined for Hong Kong. Three Chinese nationals were arrested and court proceedings have begun. Another Chinese national was arrested during a sting operation trying to obtain rhino horn on the black market. All the Chinese nationals were denied bail by the state, and remain in custody. In all cases, there has been good cooperation and strong will by government agencies, supporting NGOs and the private sector to try to stop, or at least minimise, the impact of the crime syndicates targeting Namibia’s wildlife .

Congratulations on your new role as CEO of Save the Rhino Trust! Can you describe the work you will now be doing?

the day. I mostly like to have a programme but have realised it never works out; I work with people on different programmes and sometimes I have to follow their plans and not mine.

Thank you. On top of the fieldwork co-ordination, I will be responsible for running the Trust in all aspects. I will focus on leading the Trust, representing it at high-level meetings with politicians and donors, and making sure that my staff are well looked after and happy with the work they do.

How have you seen rhino conservation change in Namibia?

How did you get involved with rhino conservation and how long have you worked at SRT?

Rhino conservation in Namibia has changed within the 23 years I have been working. It is more now in the hand of the communities, where previously it was the sole responsibility of the government. Also communities in conservancies are getting direct benefits through rhino tracking tourism or pay-back for good conservation efforts.

Long story short: while I helped maintain the Trust’s vehicles I become good friends with Blythe Loutit, (who co-founded the Trust with her husband Rudi). I think she saw more conservation value in me than I thought and offered me a job with SRT. I started as a welder and supervisor for the junior staff who built elephant protection walls in the communal farms. Not long after I found myself tracking rhino with elderly trackers who taught me all the tricks to track rhino.

What do you think are the three key challenges facing SRT? Funding, poaching threat and political willing­ ness. If the politicians do not support rhino conservation then it will be a problem for our rhino, because they are the strongest people.

What future do you see for Namibia’s rhinos?

Some 13 years later I found myself at Canterbury University where I gained my Master’s degree — this was for my field experience that I built up during my experience of rhino conservation. I went through the ranks at SRT and finally became CEO. Thanks to the late Blythe and Mike Hearn, who left me behind in their shoes.

If we manage to stop the poaching before it’s out of hand, we surely will have a very healthy black rhino population in Namibia. As we talk, we are the world leaders in this species. We have experienced some poaching in the Kunene, but have joined forces with many to combat and stop these idiots from killing our valuable assets; the rhino.

We understand that you have always been very involved with local communities. What does community conservation mean to you?

Interview by Rory Harding, former Michael Hearn Intern.

Community conservation is the most important aspect of conservation success on communal land. My perception is that if you work with wildlife within a community then there is always the question: ‘What are we getting from this wildlife that causes us problems?’ Therefore it is important that the communities know the value of wildlife; they should benefit from wildlife and at the same time become co-owners to be able to absorb the losses and conflicts.


What do you enjoy most about working in rhino conservation? Tracking rhino with the trackers; watching the rhino’s behaviour and collecting data. Also during rhino capture operations, I enjoy being close to the rhino when we are working with them on the ground.

With so many different challenges, is there a typical working day? My work day starts mostly at very different times, but no later than 6:30am and stops usually around 10pm. It’s not like you always know where to start and where to go for


Teams of highly skilled trackers scan the Namibian horizon for the critically endangered desert rhino

SIMSON URI-KHOB  CEO, Save the Rhino Trust




Since 1 April 2014, Save the Rhino has donated a total of £72,248 to SRT, which includes grants of $112,895 from US Fish and Wildlife Service, £2,000 from Blair Drummond Safari Park and €2,000 from Zoo Krefeld, as well as many other smaller amounts from donors to our 2013 Operation Wild and Free appeal in aid of SRT.



Training on the frontline


Since 2010, the Namibian Ministry of Environment and Tourism has been proactive in its endeavours to combat the onslaught of poaching. A number of security workshops and scene-of-the-crime courses have been held, new technology tested and even drones deployed. Piet Beytell | Principal Conservation Scientist: Wildlife Research, Namibian Ministry of Environment and Tourism


n a sense, Namibia has been lucky that the majority of rhino poaching has taken place in Zimbabwe and South Africa. However this has changed, with Namibia now experiencing a sharp spike in rhino poaching. The recent upsurge in poaching of rhino and elephant in the north-east of Namibia has emphasised the need for specially trained Wildlife Protection Unit members. Poachers are mostly heavily armed and trained criminals; thus the need has arrived to train Wildlife Protection Services (WPS) members in the Ministry to counter these illegal activities. Therefore, MET has approved a Wildlife Protection Unit training school of excellence on an MET rare species breeding farm adjacent to Waterberg Plateau Park. During the first year, the aim of the school will be to train 200 WPS staff members in various anti-poaching methods. This training is very important to ensure all staff members are fully able to combat poaching in Namibia’s protected areas.


MET is establishing a Wildlife Protection Unit training school of excellence to counter poaching

Also during the first year, twelve WPS staff members will be identified to be trained as instructors in the second year, to ensure the future sustainability of the school; retraining of the first year’s staff members will also be done. At the end of year two, a programme will be developed to ensure that all staff are retrained annually to ensure good standards are maintained. The training will be done by experienced instructors with experience in tactics, bush-craft and weapons handling. The company identified to provide the training currently holds the contract to train the Special Forces of the Namibian Defence Force. All training modules will be evaluated and adjustments made to ensure the highest standard of training is provided. The facility will also be used to conduct other courses such as the annual law enforcement training, scene-of-thecrime, DNA collection and rhino monitoring. The facility will also be used to train members of the Protected Resource Unit of the Namibian Police and could in future be used to train anti-poaching units of rhino custodians.

Grants Our thanks to USFWS, which has provided a grant of $89,112 for additional security measures for Waterberg Plateau Park; Save the Rhino is contributing another £3,200 from our own core funds.


Standing as a united front to save Namibia’s


After successfully suppressing an upsurge in rhino poaching in Namibia in the late 1980s, the Namibian Ministry of Environment and Tourism recognised the need for and importance of improving national coordination and maximizing the impact of conservation programmes in the country. Birgit Kötting | Rhino Custodian Manager, Namibian Ministry of Environment and Tourism


onsequently, the Black Rhino Custodianship Programme began in 1993, enabling private land owners and communal conservancies to enter into an agreement with the Namibian government in order to have the desert-adapted black rhinoceros reintroduced in their area and thereby diversify tourism-related benefits from wildlife.

Since its launch in 1993, the Custodianship Programme has blossomed into an incredible conservation success story, with 26 freehold and 11 communal custodians currently taking part. Despite the disturbing upsurge in rhino poaching in southern Africa, the Programme continues to receive a lot of interest from individuals dedicated to rhino conservation, and during early 2014 another seven freehold properties were assessed for their suitability for black rhino. In 2012, the Programme was decentralised to regional offices in order to distribute the responsibility of the Programme more effectively within the Ministry and maintain the achievements the Programme has produced thus far. Also during early 2014, white rhino owners in Namibia took the long-overdue initiative to form an association that pulls together all private rhino owners in an effort to assist the Namibian government in the fight against rhino crimes. People have come to realise that in order to curb the current rhino poaching onslaught in rhino range states, we have to stand as a united front against poaching syndicates.


Dublin Zoo’s support for the Lowveld’s rhinos This May I was very fortunate to have the backing of Dublin Zoo to visit the Lowveld Rhino Trust in Zimbabwe, a programme the zoo has supported since 2009. Ken Mackey | Rhino Keeper, Dublin Zoo


s a rhino keeper, we try to make the zoo habitats simulate the wild environment as much as possible. I had worked with white rhinos for just under 20 years and had never been to Africa, so I was excited to see rhinos in their natural environment and experience their habitat for myself.

The Lowveld region of southern Zimbabwe is over 1.3 million acres and holds Key 1 populations of black rhinos (Diceros bicornis minor) and Southern white rhinos (Ceratotherium simum simum), one of the largest in sub-Saharan Africa. I was based in Save Valley Conservancy (SVC) and was privileged to work with an amazing team of rhino specialists at the Lowveld Rhino Trust (LRT), led by director Raoul du Toit. I participated in four rhino procedures where rhinos were sedated, dehorned, micro-chipped, ear-notched and transmitters fitted. I was really impressed with the cohesiveness of the LRT crew; it was really important that each person knew exactly what to do and ensure the animal was sedated for the least time possible. Head Rhino Monitor, Jackson Kamwi, and his team of trackers really impressed me with their skill in spotting rhino spoor when driving down a dirt track at speed. Their ability to pick out the tiniest detail seemed to surmount human ability! This meant individual rhinos could be located and procedures completed. The trackers could recognise rhino species from their tracks (black and white rhino spoor are different), allowing the team to monitor the rhinos on their home ranges. I experienced the harsh reality facing rhinos. Just prior to arriving in SVC, two rhino were killed by poachers and had their horns hacked off. One female had a week-old calf that luckily survived the ordeal, was rescued by the rangers and is now being hand-raised. The female killed was one of the founding rhinos translocated to Save Valley. I was involved with microchipping and ear-notching her granddaughter.

an increase in the population size. Poaching losses in 2013 were the lowest experienced in the Lowveld region in over nine years. No one knows what the future holds for rhinos but with dedicated conservation teams and zoos working together, the future looks a lot brighter. Fieldwork is not only about conservation, it’s also about building links with local communities. Without local community support, the chances of a programme succeeding and saving precious animals could fail. LRT works closely with local communities and runs outreach projects for schools in the locality. Personally there will always be a place for Zimbabwean people in my heart. Friendly smiles and warm-hearted people greeted me everywhere I went. Since my return, I feel more enabled to educate visitors at Dublin Zoo about rhino conservation and the efforts being made both in the wild and by zoos. By protecting rhinos and helping them in the wild, we are working to maintain a whole ecosystem. The team I worked with in Lowveld are amazing people and their dedication and commitment to saving rhino inspired me. I would like to thank Cathy Dean, SRI Director, and Leo Oosterweghel, Paul O’ Donoghue, Sandra Molloy and Helen Clarke at Dublin Zoo, and all at LRT for an amazing opportunity and making a dream of mine come true.

Grants and thanks Since 1 April 2014, Save the Rhino has sent €5,000 from Dublin Zoo and $55,000 from the Anna Merz Rhino Trust to support the work of the Lowveld Rhino Trust.


The sheer scale of rhino poaching hit home when we were taken into the Conservancy’s store rooms. There were over 100 rhino skulls from poached rhinos, which would put a lump in anyone’s throat. However, it’s not all bad news. There have been more recorded black and white rhino births than losses, meaning A white rhino sedated for horn removal procedure and to micro-chip the remaining horn. Ken Mackey (foreground) assists with the rhino’s oxygen supply.





Thank you to Matthew Jarvis (left) who celebrated his eleventh birthday by holding a Save the Rhino party, raising £1,250. Matthew helped organise several activities for his guests including a conservation quiz, a falconry demonstration and ponytrap rides. Matthew also approached local businesses for donations and raffle prizes, and asked for donations instead of presents.

Richard Flamand & Stephanie Piat ran the Paris marathon, with Richard in rhino costume, raising a massive $4,285. No stranger to the rhino costume, Richard (below) ran the Dubai Marathon in 2012.

Kenneth Donaldson raised £1,520 by running from London to Brighton and wrote a race diary which you can read on Save the Rhino’s online blog. In his own words, ‘Without your sponsorship, believe it when I say, I would not have done this. I would not have got up at 4am on a miserable cold wet day to run 100km other than to Save the Rhino.’

Bryan Hemmings (above) ran 56 miles to complete one of Save the Rhino’s favourite ultras, the Comrades Marathon in South Africa, raising £1,040 for rhinos and the MS Society

A fantastic £17,221 was raised for the Anthony King Conservation Leaders Trust in February by a group of climbers taking on the peaks of Mount Kenya. The Trust has been set up in memory of conservation leader Anthony King by his wife Delphine and sister Juliet. The Trust aims to find and support local people in Kenya who have a conservation vision and could become future leaders.

Thank you to long-term supporter Ben Thornton who ran the 118th Boston Marathon in April, raising nearly £1,500 for rhinos. The Desert Heart Party, organised by Jim Hearn and Vanessa Buxton and others, celebrated the life of conservationist Mike Hearn and raised money for Save the Rhino Trust in Namibia. They raised an incredible £21,175 at the party, held aboard the HMS President.

Charlie Wemyss-Dunn and Katy Magill (bottom right) have raised a $4,050 as part of their Mt Kilimanjaro climb this summer, which helped to pay for training for 30 new rhino rangers at Ol Jogi in Kenya.




Nye Banfield held a big band fundraising event at his school (left), raising £470 for Save the Rhino’s ‘Help a Ranger, Save a Rhino’ appeal to support rhino rangers in HluhluweiMfolozi Park.






Year 3 pupils from Braeburn School in Kenya supported Save the Rhino at the school’s ‘Fun For Each Other’ day. The children held a bake sale, produced rhino posters and sold bookmarks and painted clay rhinos (left).

On yer bike! Over the past year, we’ve seen some amazing fundraisers take on some truly awesome cycling challenges, all to raise money for rhinos. Laura Adams | Events Manager

Cape Town to Nairobi


Clementine Keyes and Portia Cox (left) raised £2,380 through the Devises-to-Westminster International Canoe Race. The 125 mile race has 77 portages: “getting the kayak to a stand-still, jumping out, and running with it to the next place to continue the paddling”! Congratulations on this amazing achievement.


With support from teachers, friends and family, the pupils raised a wonderful £358.10 for Kenyan rhino conservation efforts at Ol Jogi.

Around the world Will Frazer and Johan du Plessis (above) are currently cycling around the world to raise money and awareness of the plight of rhinos. Along the route they have been keeping us entertained with their ‘Rhino cam’ blogs and you can follow their progress at As we go to print, they have now travelled over 18,071 km and are now in the USA, with over £16,700 raised so far. Go on, help them round it up to £1 per km.

Ivan (above) has named his challenge ‘Racing the Swift’ in tribute to his favourite bird, the Common Swift, which migrates from Southern Africa to Europe each year on a journey of at least 10,000 km. Ivan wrote about his travels on his blog and raised over £10,000 for rhinos.


A big thank you to the pupils of Holy Cross Preparatory School who chose Save the Rhino as one of the school’s Lenten charities this year. The pupils took part in a variety of events including a sponsored run (with teachers in rhino costume!), raising a fantastic £2,023.65.

Thank you to our Ride London team! Battling ex-hurricane Bertha, 30 windswept but ever-determined cyclists took on the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100 this August in aid of Save the Rhino (above). It may have been a damp day but there was no stopping our fundraisers, with over £23,000 raised so far. We are very proud of the team and want to say a huge thank you to everyone who took part this year.


Turn your Christmas car d shopping into a great fun draiser. Are you a whizz in PhotoS hop, or good at drawing? Or maybe you’re a crafting guru, abl e to fold an origami rhino! Simple or wildly elaborate, a handmade card is on everyone’s list for Christm as. Make them early and you can sell them to friends, family, at school, work, or why not ask you r local gym or community centre if they will stock a few? You can set a specific price for your cards, or simply ask for a donation.

Ivan de Klee’s mission was simple: cycle unsupported from Cape Town to Nairobi in 90 days, raising money for Save the Rhino and the TerraMar Project along the way. His cycling route covered an impressive 10,000 km across 12 African countries.

Buy a pack of Save the Rhino Christmas cards  Money raised will go towards supporting the rhino programmes we support in Africa and Asia.

Donate the money you would have spent on Christmas cards to Save the Rhino Email a personal note and sen d one of our Save The Rhino eCa rds.

Save the Rhino has places in the 2015 event and you can get in touch at for an application form, or visit our website


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65th CITES Standing Committee meeting CITES is an international agreement that started in 1975 and is currently supported by 180 countries. It aims to ensure international trade in specimens of wild animals and plants is sustainable and does not threaten their survival.

What is a Conferences of the Parties? CITES Conferences of the Parties (CoPs) are usually held every three years and are the main decision-making body of the organisation. CITES also has a Standing Committee (SC) that usually meets annually to provide policy guidance to the CITES Secretariat concerning implementation of the Convention and coordinate the work of the various Committees and Working Groups (WGs).

65th CITES Standing Committee meeting The 65th meeting of the CITES Standing Committee (SC65) was held in Geneva, Switzerland from 7—11 July 2014. The meeting considered rhino reports and recommendations that had been submitted in advance by the CITES Secretariat and the CITES Rhino Working Group. In particular, the SC65 rhino recommendations focused on Mozambique and Vietnam, which have previously been identified by CITES as significant implicated states.

Mozambique The Rhino Working Group was critical of Mozambique’s limited, late and non-response to its CITES CoP16 (2013) Decisions. Other observers noted that Mozambique needed to respond appropriately and if not, then for CITES to retain credibility appropriate action would be needed. The rhino recommendations approved by SC65 set out specific requirements for Mozambique. Firstly the country has to submit a detailed national rhino action plan with timeframes and milestones by October 2014. This plan must outline the measures being taken or planned to combat illegal killing of rhinos and trade in rhino horn. Mozambique was invited to urgently implement this plan before the next SC meeting; and to provide an interim report by the end of January 2015. Mozambique also has to provide a comprehensive report on the implementation of its rhino action plan by the end of March 2015. This must include information on arrests, seizures, prosecutions and penalties for offenders. Importantly, the approved SC65 recommendations contained a clause that allows the Secretariat, in consultation with the Rhino

Working Group, to draw the attention of the SC at any time to any significant issues of non-compliance with SC65 recommendations, without having to wait for the next SC meeting. Should Mozambique fail to adequately respond again, this would be a step towards possible future CITES actions which ultimately could include some form of sanctions.

Pelly Amendment sanctions Just prior to CITES SC65, the Environmental Investigation Agency and International Rhino Foundation submitted an application to US authorities calling for Pelly Amendment sanctions to be imposed on Mozambique, given its role in the escalation of rhino poaching and the country’s failure to adequately deal with the issue.

Vietnam Vietnam was requested to provide a further progress report on several issues by the end of March 2015 for consideration at the next SC meeting. Following the international focus on Vietnam at CITES and elsewhere, the involvement of the Prime Minister and his Directive on measures for controlling and protecting endangered wild animals are welcomed.

Czech Republic pseudo-hunters While the number of white rhino hunts in South Africa has fallen significantly following legislative changes in South Africa, CITES Law Enforcement in the Czech Republic has reported a number of Czech citizens who have been involved in ‘proxy hunting’ to illegally supply horn to Viet Nam. The Czech Republic, South Africa and Viet Nam were each asked to submit a comprehensive report (by Mar 15) on measures taken to improve cooperation to ensure that rhino trophy hunting is not exploited by criminal groups, nor used to launder horns into illegal trade. South Africa announced it was not issuing any more export permits to Czech and Vietnamese citizens until investigations have been completed. To find out more about CITES visit




Since 1 April 2014, Save the Rhino has sent £3,200 from its own core funds, £937 from miscellaneous donations received and $7,500 (first instalment of two) from US Fish and Wildlife Service for the core activities of the African Rhino Specialist Group.


Dr Richard Emslie | Scientific Officer, IUCN SSC African Rhino Specialist Group


THE PROBLEM WITH MOZAMBIQUE Up to the 1970s, large numbers of black and white rhino roamed throughout Mozambique; today only the few occasionally crossing the country’s border with South Africa’s Kruger National Park remain. Katherine Ellis | Office and Communications Manager


hino populations in Mozambique became extinct due to poaching, and now South Africa’s rhinos face the same fate. According to the International Rhino Foundation (IRF) and the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA), Mozambican nationals have slaughtered up to 1,862 rhinos in South Africa since 2010, as well as thousands of elephants in Tanzania and Mozambique. Last year, 1,004 rhinos were poached in South Africa, with 606 of these killings taking place in Kruger National Park, which shares a long (356km) shared border with Mozambique and the country’s Limpopo National Park. According to the IRF and EIA, Mozambican poachers are thought to be involved in 80—90% of rhino poaching incidents in the Kruger-Limpopo National Parks. Despite over 125 Mozambican poachers having been arrested in South Africa's Kruger National Park in recent years, the pace of rhino poaching shows no sign of declining. The rapid escalation in the black-market price of rhino horn has led to the involvement of well-organised criminal syndicates, involved in trafficking other illicit commodities. The huge sums of money involved facilitate corruption and entice young unemployed Mozambicans into criminal activities.

The main causes leading to the increase of elephant and rhino poaching and illegal trafficking are complex

According to a report produced by WWF Mozambique to develop a strategy to combat rhino horn trafficking, the main causes leading to the increase of elephant and rhino poaching and illegal trafficking are complex and interlinked. Some of the main factors include:

However, at present there is not enough capacity within the judicial system to deal with wildlife crime. In reality, prosecutors lack the necessary expertise in environmental issues. On the ground, ranger numbers in national parks are incredibly low. There is also a lack of infrastructure and equipment needed to deal with poaching incidents. Detecting and seizing illegally trafficked goods at border points are generally conducted by the customs authorities; however current technology is insufficient to detect products such as ivory and rhino horns. A wide range of interventions are needed to tackle Mozambique’s role in the poaching crisis. Along with highlevel government involvement, support is needed from the private sector, NGOs, donors and civil society. Going forward, the strategy produced by WWF Mozambique has a number of recommendations including: ■■





Reinforcing law enforcement in conservation areas, ports and airports with improved training, equipment and technology Introducing a special police force that deals with the protection of natural resources Improving legislation and the judicial system, including training court officials so they can appropriately sentence wildlife crime Raising awareness at political level, with public statements emphasising the negative impacts of poaching on the country’s international reputation, economic development, national security and biodiversity. Also targeting awareness campaigns in priority areas where poaching incidents are frequent Introduction of community-based initiatives, to allow local people to be involved in and benefit from managing wildlife

Poor capacity of state law enforcement Low appreciation of nature in Mozambique and lack of funding for conservation ■■ Vulnerable borders ■■ Lack of institutional co-ordination ■■ Loopholes in the current legal and judicial framework ■■ Increased connectivity and ease of communication ■■ Human population growth within the parks and reserves ■■ ■■

With thanks to Jo Shaw from WWF South Africa for input into and information for this article

At an international level, Mozambique is a signatory to CITES and the Convention for Biological Diversity and the country also made commitments at the recent London Declaration on Illegal Wildlife Trade. At a regional level, Mozambique and South Africa signed a Memorandum of Understanding in April 2014 aimed at strengthening the co-operation between the two countries in matters regarding the protection and enforcement of biodiversity. Also in April, the Mozambican parliament adopted a new law regarding the management of conservation areas. When this new Conservation Areas Act comes into effect, persons convicted of illegally killing protected species will face prison sentences of 8—12 years. IMAGE SARAH NELSON


News in brief

Success for the Lowveld Rhino Trust, Zimbabwe as dehorning, treatment of wounds, ear-notching to aid identification, hand-rearing orphaned calves, translocations to safer areas etc.) has recently been rewarded in two ways: a grant of $55,000 by the Anna Merz Rhino Trust (see right) and the short-listing of staff member Lovemore Mungwashu for the 2014 Game Rangers’ Association’s Rhino Conservation Awards.

‘Tis the season for anniversaries. As you’ll read in this issue, Tony and Lucy Fitzjohn are celebrating 25 years in Mkomazi National Park in Tanzania. And in India, our friend Dr Bibhab Talukdar, founder of NGO Aaranyak, celebrates 25 years of conservation work in Assam. Congratulations all!

Congratulations to

Would-be poachers intercepted in

Anna Merz Rhino Trust

Dr Benson Okita Ouma!

Manas National Park

We’ve known Ben Okita, of the Kenya Wildlife Service for years. A scientist formerly based in the KWS’s Biodiversity Research and Monitoring Division, he was the National Rhino Coordinator until recently, and has been Vice-Chair of the IUCN African Rhino Specialist Group since 2011. His efforts in aid of rhino conservation were recognised in 2009 when he was appointed a Moran of the Burning Spear, one of the highest citizen awards in Kenya. This summer, Ben successfully gained his PhD, on factors affecting population densities of black rhino, at Wageningen University in the Netherlands. Ben now works at Kenyan NGO 'Save the Elephants'. We wish him good luck in his new job.



Forest guards in Manas, one of the Indian Rhino Vision 2020 reintro­ duction sites, prevented another possible rhino poaching incident, when they encountered poachers on a routine patrol. The poachers fled, but the guards recovered 49 live cartridges from an AK-47, along with two magazines and axe. Recent trouble in the Manas area, due to separatist issues in Bodoland, have disrupted WWF-India’s rhino monitoring work, and we hope that the situation has now stabilised. Meanwhile, plans continue to ready Laokhowa-Burachapori Wildlife Sanctuary for the next phase of rhino reintroductions.


Despite heavy poaching in Zimbabwe in 2008 and 2009, a phenomenal breeding performance by the black and white rhino areas in the Lowveld mean that numbers are once again rising, making this one of the most important rhino areas in sub-Saharan Africa. The Lowveld Rhino Trust’s vital work in monitoring these rhino, as well as performing strategic interventions (such


DWT assists the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority with rhino monitoring in Matobos National Park in southern Zimbabwe and also helps obtain funding for ear-notching / dehorning / transmitter-implanting operations. This year the teams were able to find and dart all but one of the target animals. The operations also included an attempt to treat a 5-month old female calf, which unfortunately died from serious peritonitis. Later this year, DWT will deliver a train-thetrainers course on rhino monitoring for Matobos NP’s staff.

In April 2013, the world mourned the loss of Anna Merz, a truly inspirational leader who championed black rhino conservation in Kenya. With the support of the Craig family, Anna was the driving force behind the establishment of the Ngare Sergoi Rhino Sanctuary at Lewa Wildlife Conservancy and its successful rhino breeding programme. Anna’s legacy trust was established under the name of the Anna Merz Rhino Trust, and according to her wishes will be used to support rhino conservation worldwide, split approximately 75% to African rhino conservation efforts and 25% to Asian. Save the Rhino was delighted to receive a total of $121,726 in August 2014, which is being split between the Lowveld Rhino Trust in Zimbabwe, the North Luangwa Conservation Programme in Zambia, and Borana Conservancy and Lewa Wildlife Conservancy in Kenya.



Dambari Wildlife Trust

Thorny Issues

Rhino horn stockpiles to store or destroy?  Katherine Ellis | Office and Communications Manager


any rhino horns in stockpiles come from natural mortalities. When dealing with a rhino carcass, the horns are immediately removed to prevent them being taken by poachers.

Since 2008, the demand for rhino horn has skyrocketed, presenting difficult challenges for those tasked with protecting rhinos and their precious horns, whether still attached Those advocating destruction to the rhino or not. say burning and crushing horns Individuals, organisations and governments now gains publicity and makes have to deal with a tricky a political statement issue: should rhino horns be stored securely or destroyed? And if they are destroyed, should this be done in a high-profile burning or crushing demonstration? Over the last year, governments including the US, France, China and the Philippines have organised public ivory stockpile destruction displays, leading many to question whether the same should be done with rhino horn stockpiles. Dvur Kralove Zoo also held a public burning of Czech and Slovak rhino horns on World Rhino Day 2014. There are a number of arguments in favour of destroying rhino horn stockpiles.With the soaring value of rhino horn, stockpiles present a large target for thieves and substantial sums are needed to ensure adequate security of the strong room and to reduce the risk of danger to staff. For example, in April 2014, 112 horns were stolen during a night-time raid at South Africa’s Mpumalanga Tourism and Parks Agency. In countries or on reserves where there are limited resources or concerns about corruption, it may be better to destroy horns immediately, thus eliminating the risk of leakage onto the black market. Those advocating destruction say that burning and crushing horns gains publicity and makes a political statement that rhino horn is worth nothing, and sends a strong signal to the criminal networks that the smuggling of rhino horn will not be tolerated. Conversely, there are reasons why not to destroy rhino horn stockpiles. One reason why both private owners and state

agencies may be currently stockpiling horns in South Africa is the country’s interest legalising the trade in rhino horn. If a proposal at the 2016 CITES meeting were successful, this would allow rhino owners to sell their rhino horns legally and use the profits to cover their spiralling security costs. There are other reasons too. Historically, rhino horns have been stored for recordkeeping purposes and geneticists can recover DNA from horns that can be traced back to individual animals. Storing genetic material like rhino horns maintains evidence that may be used in rhino-crime prosecutions.


These rhino horn stockpiles can’t simply be locked up and forgotten about. Due to the high value of rhino horn and the risk of leakage onto the black market, there are several rules and checks done on rhino horn stockpiles. Managing a rhino horn stockpile involves scrupulous record-keeping and auditing procedures, including weighing, measuring and cataloguing each horn and taking DNA samples.


Government agencies have secure central storerooms in confidential locations. Private rhino owners may also have safes or strong-rooms. Storerooms may also contain horns recovered from poaching incidents and any removed during dehorning operations. Zoos and wildlife parks deal with the horns of deceased captive animals, and there are many antique rhino horns and trophy mounts across the world in museums, galleries and private collections.

Above: rhino horns in a secure storeroom. Top: earlier this year China held a high profile destruction of confiscated ivory

Several zoos have announced plans to publicly destroy stockpiles. A planned burn in North Carolina Zoo in the USA had to be postponed while legal issues concerning the destruction of state property were examined. Another issue is that such publicity draws attention to the fact that zoos may be in possession of valuable horns. What is the objective behind a public burn event? Is it a publicity stunt? Is a public burn the best use of time and money? Some have argued that the burn will result in reducing the demand for rhino horn amongst East Asian consumers. What is the message that will go to the criminal syndicates? There are real concerns that destroying rhino horns simply helps drive up the price of rhino horns, by making them even rarer and harder to buy illegally. Our conclusion is that rhino horns should not be destroyed, unless there is a real concern about safeguarding their secure storage, in which case they should be destroyed in accordance with the laws of the country concerned, but with no publicity.



STEPPING UP SECURITY As I sit at my computer for several hours a day (because that’s what my conservation job is) analysing data and churning out reports with statistics, trends, numbers, anomalies and significances, I still find it hard to believe that –within my lifetime – Zambia has lost 90% of one of Africa’s largest elephant herds (estimated in 1973 in excess of 100,000 in the Luangwa Valley alone) and all of the continent’s third-largest black rhino population (around 12,000). Claire Lewis | Technical Advisor, North Luangwa Conservation Programme


uite simply a wholescale slaughter of these two species. Yet we are facing the same threats again. So what are we doing to stop it? In 1974, two years after being established as a national park, North Luangwa National Park (NLNP) was declared a ‘wilderness area’ to be left untouched by man. This was a planned strategy in contrast to the management policies of its southern sister — South Luangwa National Park — where elephant numbers were controlled due to their detrimental effect on vegetation.

part of the anti-poaching effort in the ecosystem. But it is becoming increasingly necessary to focus efforts not just on the ‘boots on the ground’ but to pursue intelligence-fed operations that target strategic hotspots, areas, villages and people. It has come down to an individual scale, not an ecosystem scale. Such efforts are intensive. Lots of resources are channelled towards small intelligence and investigations teams to catch the bigger fish who do not set their poaching feet inside a protected area. They are the middle men, the buyers, the facilitators, the bad guys.

The North Luangwa elephants were to be left alone, and monitored to establish if they would decrease naturally. But the experiment failed as NLNP became lawless and poaching overran the wildlife. Elephant numbers decreased, that bit was right, but populations of all large herbivores plummeted and, during the In 2014, NLCP has directed more poaching epidemic of the effort than ever to intelligence 1970s and 80s black rhino and investigations support were extirpated.

NLCP can’t abandon its traditional approach to anti-poaching though. It is still necessary to deploy and mobilise the 60plus four-man 10-day long patrols it supports every month to cover as much of that 21,000km2 as possible. But more and more resources are being swallowed up by specialised units to mitigate the influencers and source of the scourge rather than the impoverished local residents they recruit to carry out the dirty work. In 2014, NLCP has directed more effort than ever to intelligence and investigations support. A training programme beginning in September will tackle upgrading a group of 36 men into a specialised Rhino and Elephant Protection Unit as the rapidly increasing demand for ivory and rhino horn is made worse by increasingly sophisticated poaching methods utilising helicopters, nightvision goggles, high-calibre weapons, and every means available to meet the lucrative demand from Asia.


There are very few national parks in Africa, or even the world, as undeveloped as North Luangwa, but the long-term (now in its 28th year) North Luangwa Conservation Project partnership between Frankfurt Zoological Society (FZS) and the Zambia Wildlife Authority (ZAWA) has led to NLNP being, arguably, the best managed and most secure national park in Zambia. NLNP is a spectacular wilderness and anyone who has visited cannot fail to be impressed by its vastness, its wildlife, its landscapes and its vibrancy. Today it remains, in essence, true to its wilderness roots but is now afforded the protection it deserves, driven largely by the presence of those curious pachyderms. Elephant numbers have increased and are stable and 25 black rhinos have been reintroduced since 2003 — the biggest translocation of its kind ever undertaken on the continent.


NLNP covers an area more than 4,500 km2, but NLCP facilitates protected area management operations over an area nearly five times that size (greater than 21,000 km2), including the SRI surrounding ‘buffer zones’ or Game Management Areas. At the heart of efforts to protect the elephants and rhinos in the North Luangwa ecosystem are the ZAWA Wildlife Police Officers and village scouts from communities adjacent to the Park, who carry out the law enforcement patrols and apprehend poachers. Together they form an integral

Zambia’s reintroduced black rhino population has not, yet, experienced any successful poaching in NLNP.


The NLNP fledgling population is isolated and remote but it is considered only a matter of time before the demand for rhino horn is such that even comparatively small returns will be worth the risk. The escalation in poaching needs to be addressed with an equally rapid escalation in law enforcement before it is too late and Zambia is faced with the possibility of losing all of its black rhino again. North Luangwa National Park plays a vital role for the future of this endangered species in the country, as well as on a regional scale. Focusing law enforcement efforts on this mega-herbivore inherently safeguards all other species and habitats for the benefit of the overall integrity of the larger ecosystem. So NLCP focuses on anti-poaching patrols, training, technical support, and most importantly facilitating and fundraising for initiatives to stay one step ahead, as much as possible. I am proud and privileged to be part of this rhino reintroduction project, and there are now 34 roaming this wild and remote Park. Here are some more statistics: the Zambia Wildlife Authority officers tasked with the protection of this fledgling population have observed and photographed these rhinos over 3,000 times in the last decade, representing an almost impossibly intense security and monitoring effort. But at the same time they have recorded a 10-fold increase in poached elephant carcasses mirroring the catastrophic rhino figures being released by the South African conservation agencies. Will the younger generation of Zambians living on the edge of NLNP care about the survival of black rhinos if they don’t grasp the global significance of the loss of the species, when so many other priorities take over their lives? I don’t know but I do know this: the local school children we brought into the Park today for their first-ever visit to NLNP saw a black rhino, so make that 3,001 sightings. And maybe that is the most important sighting of all because now they know; now they have seen what all the fuss is about; now they can believe.

Zambia's reintroduced black rhino have not yet, experienced any successful poaching in North Luangwa National Park


Rangers use radio tracking equipment to monitor wildlife. Left: a poacher is apprehended with confiscated ivory NLCP/FZS

Grants Since 1 April 2014 Save the Rhino has sent £28,108 to the North Luangwa Conservation Programme, made up of a series of grants including: £1,617 for tracking devices and cameras, thanks to Peter Lawrence and other donors; and $19,515 from US Fish and Wildlife Service, £1,600 from our core funds and £180 in miscellanous donations for the ongoing costs of Lolesha Luangwa; and finally $12,000 from the Mohamed Bin Zayed Species Conservation Fund and £5,000 from the de Brye Charitabe Trust for the creation of a new education centre in the Park. We are about to transfer $19,550 from the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund for ongoing Lolesha Luangwa costs, and €2,419 from rhino’s energy GmbH.


Zambia Who’s the black rhino? Each child is given a different animal photo as part of this activity

INSPIRING THE NEXT GENERATION In August 2013, Save the Rhino sent a grant of $25,000 to the North Luangwa in Conser vation Programme a of se cha pur Zambia, for the k. truc d rlan ove nd -ha second y The truck has now been full a as e pos pur its adapted for k, conservation education truc of and in August 2014 the first many Park visits have taken place, taking selected school groups and their teachers into k. North Luangwa National Par

Educating the next generation of conservation leaders: a ranger demonstrates how radiotracking equipment is used to monitor the Park’s wildlife

The Park visits are a key development of Lolesha Luangwa that has had key input into its strategy and l delivery from the Zoologica ch Society of London, whi began mentoring the programme in July 2012. We are incredibly grateful to the USFWS RTCF for providing a grant of $20,000 towards the purchase of the bus; while the ongoing costs of Lolesha Luangwa are covered by the USFWS, Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund, Frankfurt Zoological Society and Save the Rhino.


These local Zambian schoolchildren are some of the first to take part in the new Lolesha Luangwa Park visits, with the newly refurbished conservation education truck

During the 3-day, 2-night visits, pupils learn about biodiversity, the importance of conservation, and the benefits of protecting their local wildlife. The pupils take part in a range of engaging activities and are presented with a certificate on completion of their visit.

Thanks Let’s hear it for BIODIVERSITY! Local Zambian school children learn the meaning of keywords and how to spell them

Schoolchildren learn about the different wildlife species found in the North Luangwa National Park during a conservation education activity

The key lesson aims are written up for all to see in the classroom

Each child is presented with a certificate on completion on their visit to the Park and participation on the conservation education programme


Children learn about the conservation, and how humans and biodiversity are connected. In this activity if one pupil breaks the seating chain, then everyone will fall down!

In the Lolesha Luangwa classroom, children are presented with activity books and stationery during their first conservation education lesson

Kenya The rhino is anything but an aphrodisiac for the Maasai The rhino area of Kenya’s Chyulu Hills is a refuge; a paradise where a historical landscape still exists and where walking around might put you face-to-face with a free-ranging Eastern black rhino. Samar Ntalamia | Programme Manager, Big Life Foundation


ack in the late sixties and early seventies, the Maasai country was teeming with Eastern black rhinos. The well-muscled and lanky Maasai warriors would often go to the shallow wells on the banks of Eselenkei River to water their cattle.

Big Life Foundation Rangers with Maasai warriors during the Maasai Olympics


The jolly warriors would walk in groups, spears over their shoulders, chanting songs as they moved along. All of a sudden a black rhino would sprint out from under a shade of a tree and charge like a missile. Other common experiences were of rhino heading straight towards a fire at night and stamping it out. The black rhino is quick-tempered and selects one warrior to be its victim. The warriors would wait in anticipation with their spears poised. 96% of the rangers are Maasai, You were lucky if the rhino known for their bush-craft skills missed the intended victim, that come in handy for rhino because once the rhino passes it never comes security and tracking poachers back to attack again. One moonlit evening, my father and his friend were walking through the thick bush to a nearby village to visit their girlfriends. Somewhere on the way they saw dark silhouettes. A few quick steps, a nod of the head and some munching left no questions as to what the animal was. The rhinos snorted as they grazed and after a long wait to see if they would move, my father and his friend gave up on their mission of seeing their dates. Frustrated by their ruined romantic plans, they returned home to spend a lonely night. As a result of experiences like this, for the elder Maasai generation the rhino is anything but an aphrodisiac!

Present day… Whereas not a single day would pass in the sixties without a rhino encounter, the situation today is quite grim; with Eastern black rhino numbers having plummeted to the edge

of extinction. In the Chyulu Hills National Park and part of the Maasai group ranch of Mbirikani, the task of protection of these remaining rhino falls upon Big Life Foundation (BLF) rhino rangers and the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS). To the Maasai of the sixties and seventies, the rhino was an enemy that was either avoided or killed for sport to prove bravery. To the present-day young Maasai, like Sergeant Ungani Mpompet and his fellow rangers, rhino and other wildlife are resources that help livelihoods and should be protected. 96% of the 310 BLF rangers are Maasai, known for their bush-craft skills that come in very handy for rhino security and tracking poachers. Some have been community rangers for over 21 years! Now that the few rhinos are so highly threatened, BLF rangers work with the local Maasai community, as well as the Kenya Wildlife Service. Unemployed Maasai form part of the community-based informer network, which is now dreaded by the poacher community of the Amboseli-Tsavo ecosystem. The poachers say ‘don’t underrate a Maasai, a VHF radio could be tucked to his sword belt and hidden by the loin cloth and after you pass, they pass on information to the rangers’. The informers are rewarded through an incentives scheme that motivates men and women to be BLF’s eyes wherever our rangers cannot be. In 2012, one such Maasai, easy to ignore to the untrained eye, passed on information to BLF rangers about Somali poachers who were planning on entering the rhino area. This information led to thwarting of a poaching attempt and the arrest of the gang’s driver.

Grants Since 1 April 2014, Save the Rhino has sent £86,746 to the Big Life Foundation, made up of wonderful grants of $118,812 from US Fish and Wildlife Service and £16,000 from Chester Zoo.


Events Kenya


A rhino lost is a rhino lost to us all. Whether it be it on Borana, Lewa, Ol Jogi, Ol Pejeta or anywhere else, every rhino poached is a step closer to losing the species altogether. Because of this we must all work together. An isolationist approach to rhino conservation means lost opportunities to share experience and learn from each other. Sam Taylor | Chief Conservation Officer, Borana Conservancy

he fight to save rhino is constantly evolving; new threats, new ideas and new technology. Borana has been extremely lucky with the support and advice we have received from the KWS and the seasoned sanctuaries, which have helped us to get to similar levels of operational capability in such a short space of time. Now, a year into receiving rhino on our conservancy, the relationship remains the same.


Of course the introduction of rhino was always a collaborative effort with our neighbours Lewa. There is little sense in being an enclosed rhino conservancy next to another conservancy. So by working together we are opening up more space for existing populations to breed more prolifically. On the ground, our men train and operate together, and a constant flow of information flows The removal of the fence line back and forth, will lead to two established ensuring we can both operate with and healthy rhino populations maximum efficiency becoming one in terms of covering ground and spreading our resources and assets. In effect, we act as each other’s buffer zones on our respective boundaries, providing another line of defence for rhino. Before the year is out, the long-anticipated removal of the fence line between the two properties will be realised, with two established and healthy rhino populations becoming one. Protecting rhino is cripplingly expensive, and raising funds for the conservation of rhino is surprisingly difficult, even with the global attention the plight of rhino is receiving in the media at present. It makes sense that we all do this together too — raising revenue for universal needs in a wider landscape, rather than competing for the same pot for conflicting needs. If we operate together, we can bring the costs down, buying kit and equipment for rangers in bulk as well as ensuring that standards of welfare are the same across the board.



Everybody needs good neighbours

The welfare of the rangers is of paramount importance. These are the men who have it in their power keep rhino alive, and as such we need to invest in these men, both financially and personally. Their ownership of the difficult (and often dangerous) task they are performing is directly related to morale, and a level playing field of welfare must be standardised across all conservancies. Of course, this collaboration means that we must all retain similar operating standards, and this is not always easy, with different conservancies having different resources, capabilities or focuses. This is where communication is essential and a thorough understanding of what we are all trying to achieve collectively is necessary. Ultimately, this means we are one entity in the fight to save rhino, and as such should be more formidable for it.

Grants Since 1 April 2014, we have sent two grants to Borana Conservancy: $29,406 from the Anna Merz Rhino Trust for ranger training; and $10,000 from the Taliaferro Family Fund. Our very grateful thanks to both donors. Rhinos from Lewa and Nakuru seen together on Borana




Held to ransom

on Ol Jogi The letter was handwritten and on the reverse were the names and signatures of 75% of our armed personnel. The contents demanded an immediate pay rise of 200– 300% for all individuals listed, and a positive response by 2pm on the same day. Failure to satisfy the demand in full would result in the immediate resignation of all parties; notice would not be served! Jamie Gaymer | Warden, Ol Jogi


e convened a crisis meeting with the said individuals. All reasonable avenues at our discretion were employed to resolve the situation but it was not to be. Ol Jogi was without, arguably, the most critical component of rhino security; an effective armed response team.

In a time of crisis, the Kenyan conservation community displayed tremendous unity; both government agencies and private sector conservancies provided significant support. Circumstance analysis and evaluation was thorough in order to avoid a repeat situation; in Ol Jogi or elsewhere.

WHO OWNS , KENYA S RHINOS? The rapid inflation in the price of rhino horn in consumer markets has put tremendous pressure on those protecting rhinos. One indirect impact of poaching is the increased capacity requirement needed to grow rhino populations. The primary capacity factor affected by the increase in demand is security. Jamie Gaymer | Warden, Ol Jogi


t is becoming increasingly difficult and costly to maintain acceptable standards to ensure that populations maintain positive growth. Kenya currently has a significant space deficit for rhinos, exaggerated by the 150,000 acres recently lost through private sector disinvestment. The economic burden is becoming increasingly unsustainable. In Kenya 44% of Eastern black rhinos and 72% of Southern white rhinos are currently hosted on private land; this equates to 55% of the total rhino numbers. Additionally, the Kenyan private sector currently hosts three of the last six remaining Northern white rhinos in the world. Based on these statistics, one might assume that economic motives drive private sector investment in rhino conservation. This could not be further from the truth.

A critical component to give our new team a competitive edge lay in further training, which has never been more important considering the evolving threats. 51 Degrees was contracted for a month’s training course, which included weapons training, first aid, strategic patrolling, navigation, ambushing, use of dogs in security and much more. It is the edge that might make the difference between life and death for our new rangers. We hope to maintain this level of competence though refresher courses, as well as increasing ranger capacity with further and more advanced training. The enemy is evolving, risk increasing, threat worsening and it is our responsibility to ensure that our security is prepared.

Grants We are indebted to those that helped to make this training possible: Space for Giants, Save the Rhino International Inc. ($6,000), Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund’s Rapid Response Fund ($5,000), Chester Zoo (£2,000) and Braeburn School (£358).


The Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) was co-opted to assist with a recruitment exercise. Immediately after the new team was selected, the KWS embarked on a ranger training programme. Ol Jogi management simultaneously applied for National Police Reserve (NPR) status on behalf of the candidates. Once this was received in May, the police embarked on a mandatory training course, after which the team was legally and technically ready for deployment.

All black rhinos are owned by the state and although the private sector owns their white rhinos, policy regulations prohibit many avenues for revenue generation. Nevertheless, the private sector works very closely with the government. Cooperative support includes intelligence sharing, armed response, asset sharing, policy development and biological management. The Kenya Rhino Management Strategy clearly outlines the need for retention and development of the private sector sanctuaries. However many rhino sanctuaries, private and public, have reached or exceeded ecological carrying capacity and this is of sincere concern.







Has it really been that long? We’re moving forward at such a pace these days that I’m really having to think back to when I first came to this poached out, burnt out, cattle-filled, tsetse fly wasteland at the request of the Tanzanian government, and sat on the site where our camp now is wondering where to start. Tony Fitzjohn | Field Director, George Adamson Wildlife Preservation Trust


Black rhino and wild dog are the focus of Mkomazi’s conservation efforts

Step by agonisingly slow step, we put the infrastructure of roads in, de-silted seasonal water pans and dams, cut boundaries, flew

non-stop in a dangerously cheap Cessna 206 after poaching gangs, cattle barons and motorised poaching from a very eclectic selection of the population, slowly coming out of many years of economic decline. After a few years and as we began to get to know the area and its animals and habitat better, we decided that as far as the endangered species programmes went — which is what we came here to carry out originally — we would concentrate on the African wild (or hunting) dog and the black rhinoceros. Little did we realise the furore this would cause. The dogs were disappearing everywhere and the rhinos were down from 12,000 in the seventies to a couple of dozen in Tanzania, but this didn’t stop all sorts of opposition from academics, hunting organisations, those with government in their pockets and sundry others. We had established a local George Adamson Wildlife Trust in Tanzania with some highly respected local Tanzanians on the board, and they were a tower of strength. The ‘system’ meant that progress was slow but sure — a bit like a 5-mile hurdles race.


We started off initially with the wild dog programme, catching them on the Maasai Steppe, where they were



think I was in tears! After nearly 20 years with George Adamson in Kenya and at the tender age of 45 it was my first humbling ‘hero to zero’ moment ever and I didn’t think I could do it. But like all things in life, the answers slowly came to questions that I hadn’t even considered when I agreed to help in the rehabilitation of this 1,500 square mile area between Mt Kilimanjaro and the Indian Ocean. If I’d had a plan, I think I would have been so overwhelmed by it all, I would probably have gone sailing.

being poisoned, with the help of the local Maasai. And then turned our attention to the black rhinoceros.

We needed wages and radios We had just started thinking about this when Dave Stirling and Johnny Roberts pitched up in camp. Renowned for their Sahara Desert crossings and other great adventures, antics at Glastonbury and social connections, they had recently started up Save the Rhino International in the UK and were keen to help. After traipsing around a very under-developed area that we thought would be suitable for rhino they said ‘What do you need, man?’ ‘Wages’ I said, and wages it was. They also found a very kindly supplier in Kenya who kitted the whole Mkomazi Rhino Sanctuary out with a Motorola VHF radio system. Dr Mike Knight and Dr Pete Morkel of the National Parks Board of South Africa came to do a detailed environmental study and vegetation analysis of the area; Ian Craig of Lewa Wildlife Conservancy came down to help us demarcate the right area and give us an idea how to run it; top-level meetings took place in Dodoma between our Trust, the Wildlife Division, the Ministry and the National Parks Board of South Africa; we were lent a bulldozer by Friends of Serengeti Switzerland and a grader by Noremco; and we were off. In 1997 we flew in our first four Eastern black rhino from Addo National Park in South Africa. Offspring of those sent there in the 1960s by Nick Carter, a Kenyan Game Department vet, who had darted them in Kibwezi just north of us here in Mkomazi, they had bred up into a viable, if exotic, and expensive population.

But it was a start. Save the Rhino was with us then, with Rhino Raves and Rhinos at the Dogs (at a London greyhound track) and other events, and always seeing where they could help with funds and equipment, year in, year out. Dave’s sister even drove a Land Rover to camp that had been to Cape Town and back, which we are still running as the main Rhino Sanctuary vehicle.

Where do you find more rhino? We imported four more from South Africa, three from the Czech Republic and then Damian Aspinall gave us two females and a male from Port Lympne Wild Animal Park in Kent, whom we are currently introducing to the Czech male. The nineties sadly came to an abrupt end (they tell me), Dave and Johnny moved onto more esoteric things and Along Came Cathy. And we all grew up. Cathy Dean and Save the Rhino have both eased us into institutional funding and created relationships for us. They have done most of the enormous load of paperwork involved, We now have well over found funding for 20% of Tanzania’s total rhino incredibly non-sexy projects like replacing population: a sad reflection all the fence poles along of the times we live in the Rhino Sanctuary line (we have 14,000 to replace!), finding tractors from EAZA, and covering all angles — recently with the donation of a new digital radio system from USFWS being just being one example.

Local school children are able to visit the Park through the ‘Rafiki wa Faru’ programme

When we established our environmental education programme ‘Rafiki wa Faru’, which involves a school bus and a classroom for day visits for schoolchildren in the Rhino Sanctuary, Save the Rhino were the first to support it (pictured below). It’s been amazing to see how the kids have managed to create positive and supportive local attitudes towards the whole Park and our operation. We could never have done that on our own. We now have well over 20% of Tanzania’s total rhino population and that’s a sad reflection of the times we live in — but it’s a population that is now increasing rapidly as we have only just reached our ‘founder population’ after all these years. All the

animals came from captive sources overseas or were born here. This year we have had two more female calves already. We have an incredibly good team, many of whom started with me 25 years ago and their loyalty and dedication has certainly been responsible for getting me through some very bleak times. Our main security is a slightly wrinkled bunch of retrenched Tanzanian army soldiers that chased Idi Amin out of Uganda. Now they look after their own rhino and no one comes near us — such is their reputation. They have also brought a solid sense of discipline to all sectors of the Sanctuary that I doubt I could have done on my own. That all sounds a bit rosy, but the poisoned chalice that is a rhino sanctuary, in these days where the price of rhino horn in the street is higher than the price of gold, weighs heavily on us all. But the sheer privilege of being the entrusted guardians of these remarkable animals outweighs it all. Rhinos aren’t going to go on my watch.

Questions, questions... The past 45 years, since I first arrived in East Africa, have seen dramatic changes, even more so now. Will we find the political will to support these incredible wildlife areas in new and emerging democracies where The Vote rules? Will we be able to engender, through the children, local community support instead of a ‘them and us’ situation? Will we be able to enter into true partnerships with the government wildlife authorities, instead of just being a bunch of blind funding idiots? Can we hold the line against mining and oil interests? And all those other questions… The answer is, in Tanzania, yes, I think we will. With the rhino we certainly hit rock bottom but, phoenix-like, we are rising from the ashes stronger, more dedicated, more professional and more inclusive. We can do it but we need the leaders, businessmen and celebrities of the established order to do their bit in changing the perceptions of the countries they trade with, so as not to impoverish ours with their demands for animal’s teeth and compressed hair. If we lose the real Africa, we lose our spiritual bridges to the past and our origins. For what?

Grants Since 1 April 2014, Save the Rhino has sent £45,233 to Mkomazi, made up of grants of $49,000 from USFWS for Sanctuary staff salaries and fence maintenance, $17,192 from USFWS for Rafiki wa Faru, and £4,800 from our core funds for a mix of both.


Rhino goodies


A Zimbabwean ten trillion dollar banknote  £5

RHINO EVENTS Rhino runners raise over


Fluffy black and  white rhinos  £7.50 each Our best-selling cuddly rhino. Nose to tail approx 19cm. Complies with SCS specifications. Suitable for ages 3+


CHRISTMAS Fill your stockings with rhino goodies and help save rhinos this Christmas! See more at

Rhino pin badge  £2.50 Gold or silver finish. Stud fitting. 25mm.

NEW Festive Rhino Christmas cards  £5.50 pack of 10

All cards are blank for your own message

Snowy Rhino Christmas cards £5.50

A huge thank you to all our runners who completed the Virgin Money London Marathon in April this year. We are very proud of the fantastic team who have so far raised over £92,500 for rhino conservation. We look forward to the next London Marathon on Sunday 26 April 2015. If you would like to join us, (costumes not obligatory) you can sign up online www.savetherhino. org/events or email aron@savethe Sean proudly displays his marathon medal after completing the 26.2 mile course

A touch of

rhino magic

Potterites and Simpsons-fans gathered in their many for the twelfth Douglas Adams Memorial Lecture, this year given by Roger Highfield and Simon Singh (above, left and right). In The Science of Harry Potter and the Mathematics of the Simpsons, we learnt about real-life ghosts, how to make an invisibility cloak, the Googolplex and – what’s more – the evening raised £8,600 for Save the Rhino and the Environmental investigation Agency. The Douglas Adams Memorial Lecture 2015 will be given by Neil Gaiman on 3 March. Buy your tickets at www.

pack of 10

Winter Rhino Christmas cards




pack of 10

World Rhino Day

Rhino Mayday

On World Rhino Day, 22 September, we launched our Nail it for Rhinos campaign! We asked supporters to make a stand for rhinos by painting their nails and uploading their nail selfies to social media (below) to raise awareness that rhino horn is made from keratin, the same substance found in human nails.


We held our firstever debate at Rhino Mayday 2014, with Susie Watts and Michael ‘t Sas-Rolfes (left) presenting the arguments for and against the trade in rhino horn. As usual, we had a packed schedule of speakers and we would like to thank presenters and supporters for their valued input.



Get involved  Upload your nail selfie to social media with the hashtag #nailit4rhinos. UK supporters can donate by texting NAIL14 £3 to 70070.


See lots more nailart at nail_it_for_rhinos

Watch out for Rhino Mayday 2015 taking place on Tuesday 16 June 2015 in Chester, during the International Rhino Keepers’ Association’s workshop.

Save the Rhino

turns 21!

21 challenges Is there a challenge in rhino costume you have fancied doing? Maybe you live near to an iconic place that you feel the rhino costume should visit? In 2015, we want to put on 21 big challenges with the rhino costume and are asking you to get involved.

Save the Rhino was formally registered as a UK charity on 28 February 1994, although Founders Dave Stirling and Johnny Roberts started fundraising for rhinos as early as 1991. We kick off a year of special appeals and events with Save the Rhino’s 21st Birthday Celebration on Friday 7 November 2014.



Tuesday 3 Mar 2015 Douglas Adams Memorial Lecture by Neil Gaiman Sunday 26 Apr 2015

Virgin Money London Marathon

Tuesday 16 Jun 2015

Rhino Mayday

Sunday 2 Aug 2015

Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100

Throughout 2015

‘21 challenges’ in rhino costume

Dates to suit 2014, 2015

Rhino Climb Kilimanjaro

Various dates in 2014

UK challenges

For more information about events, visit events or email or call +44 (0)20 7357 7474


partnerships We’re excited to share updates from some of our top corporate partners who help support our rhino conservation programmes, through financial donations, staff fundraising and pro-bono support. Josephine Gibson Corporate Relations Manager 23red, the integrated creative communications agency, has provided pro-bono creative support in developing two exciting campaigns including ‘Help a Ranger, Save a Rhino’. The team also baked sweet treats (above) as they fundraised with an African-inspired Great British Bake Off! Mahlatini Luxury Travel which creates tailormade itineraries to Southern and Eastern Africa and the Indian Ocean Islands, has kindly donated £1,095 with a dedicated membership scheme with Save the Rhino for its clients. Mahlatini’s support will help us raise awareness and tackle the rhino poaching crisis.

Sporting Rifle, the monthly magazine for the live quarry shooter, and its readers have raised an incredible £13,170 through an auction for Save the Rhino. This money has been split between Mkhuze Game Reserve in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa and Big Game Parks, Swaziland.

Alex is a freelance graphic designer who’s been designing The Horn and most of our print communciations for many years. When not working with Save the Rhino, she works with a number of major businesses and design agencies.

Get involved We’ve got lots of great ideas and interesting opportunities for companies to get involved in a charity partnership with a difference: email to find out more.



The Strength of Will campaign A ground-breaking campaign to change the behaviour of rhino horn consumers was launched on 22 September, World Rhino Day, in Hanoi. The Strength of Will campaign is based on the Vietnamese concept of ‘Chi,’ signifying the power within. TRAFFIC


nlike conventional conservation messaging that focuses on the plight of endangered animals, the Chi campaign addresses the emotional motivators behind rhino horn consumption.

The concept, developed locally through market research and consumer focus groups, promotes the idea that success, masculinity and good luck flow from an individual’s drive and internal strength of character rather than a piece of horn. ‘The most charismatic and successful men create their own good fortune’ is the essence of the campaign that is supported by an Illegal Wildlife Trade Challenge Fund grant awarded to Save the Rhino International, TRAFFIC and implementing partner PSI.


The campaign is set against the backdrop of intense poaching pressure on rhinos. The animals’ horns are removed and trafficked to Asia to meet the demand there. In South Africa, home to 82% of Africa’s rhinos, poaching has skyrocketed from just 13 animals in 2007 to 1,004 in 2013, and by 14 October this year 868 rhinos had been illegally killed, putting 2014 on course to be even worse than 2013. The recent rise in rhino poaching coincides with a rapid increase in purchasing power in Asian economies, with a concomitant trend towards conspicuous consumption of luxury goods, including rare wildlife products. Central campaign poster reads 'Masculinity comes from within: A man's allure and charisma come from within, not a piece of horn'


In combination with greater enforcement measures and increased penalties against those convicted of criminal actions are moves to reduce the demand for horn in Asia that fuels the trafficking. The Chi campaign is based upon findings from qualitative and quantitative market research on rhino horn consumers conducted in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. The research identified a major consumer target group as wealthy businessmen aged 35 to 50, who view rhino horn as an effective way to rid the body of toxins and to enhance business relationships, while also serving as a symbol of good fortune.

Campaign messages were developed, tested and refined with assistance from a focus group of existing or potential horn users. During testing one focus group participant noted, ‘Since these concepts — power, charisma and luck — come from what I do myself, this campaign makes me feel good as a man.’ The focus group participants also responded well to the Chi concept, explaining that it was ‘extremely powerful’ and ‘very Vietnamese.’ The campaign therefore focuses on promoting the Chi concept and identifying and mentoring influential spokesmen within the business community and engaging with the private sector to create a culture of zero tolerance of wildlife consumption in business. Existing or potential consumers will also be engaged through social marketing and social media, and the campaign message will be disseminated through installations at high-end stores, golf clubs and similar venues, in print and online publications, digital media advertisements, mobile messaging, credit card and airline mileage statements and radio slots during morning drive time. One of the campaign’s first events took place in Ho Chi Minh City on 26 September at a large, influential gathering of business leaders, while Vietnam Airlines is all set to distribute campaign materials through its business check-in counters. The campaign is currently set to run for two years, although additional funding is being sought to extend it further. Feedback from consumers and follow-up surveys will help to shape the direction of the campaign, which may be able to guide future consumer behaviour change activities. The success or otherwise of this and similar initiatives could be vital in securing the future for the world’s rhinos. As one South African ranger recently remarked: ‘The battle to save Africa’s rhinos will be won or lost in Asia’.

Grants We are extremely grateful to the Illegal Wildlife Trade Challenge Fund, which awarded £289,075 to Save the Rhino International. We are contributing a further £30,000 from our own core funds to this important demand reduction project.


No demand, no supply

Raising awareness and reducing demand Due to the elitist yet hidden nature of rhino-horn consumption in Vietnam, conducted for diverse reasons such as to cure cancer or as a hangover tonic, it is immensely difficult to even access consumers, let alone change the views of those whose money and power renders them unanswerable to the rest of society. Louise Cotrel Gibbons | Wildlife Trade Programme Advisor, Education for Nature Vietnam


his is a challenge that local organisation Education for Nature — Vietnam (ENV) readily accepts, deploying a number of educational and communicative strategies aimed at permeating the world of consumers and potential consumers, including their home, workplace and leisure spaces, to such an extent that the notion of rhinohorn consumption becomes unthinkable. The simplest way to reach millions of people is via television. ENV has produced three rhino-focused public service announcements that take various approaches, including falsifying the beliefs in the medical/status value of rhino horn and presenting the truth about the origins of rhino horn through graphic footage of a dying rhino. Each film has been aired free-of-charge by over 60 channels nationwide and through various social media channels.


Awareness banners are being placed in luxury locations such as car show rooms

Media exposure in Vietnam for rhino horn issues has also greatly increased over the last year as a result of the coverage of ENV’s trip to South Africa. In September 2013, ENV took a delegation of Vietnamese celebrities, journalists and officials to South Africa, to see first-hand the impact of Vietnamese consumption of rhino horn, and most importantly to bring their experiences and learning back to the Vietnamese public. On their return to Hanoi, the delegates have become long-term ‘Rhino Ambassadors’, sharing their stories through their social media channels, numerous articles and television features, and a high-profile press conference. This September, ENV will take another group of well-known figures, including a popular singer, a prominent journalist and a high-profile CEO, back to South Africa.

ENV is continually developing targeted campaigns that aim to disassociate social status with rhino horn consumption, such as displaying banners in government offices and office buildings, and hosting interactive rhino-focused public events in luxury locations like expensive entertainment centres, during which visitors are able to learn more and share their thoughts about rhino horn consumption. The Vincom group of ‘mega malls’, along with BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Hyundai, Toyota, MG and premier fitness centres NShape Fitness and Club M are supporting ENV in our ‘win-win’ campaign, displaying materials that present the idea that smart, stylish, or healthy people do not consume rhino horn, but drive a luxury car, go to the gym, or buy new clothes instead.

 Rhino horn has no value to you but it is very important to rhinos, so let’s work together to protect them!  Ha Van Vu (26), visitor to ENV’s public event in Hanoi in August 2014. This approach therefore appeals to the status-driven consumerist nature of the rhino-horn consumers, associating well-known brands with wildlife protection and contradicting the perception of rhino horn as a status symbol. ENV plans to further extend this campaign to other expensive locations, such as golf and tennis clubs. ENV’s dedicated team of staff and volunteers are battling every day to challenge rhino horn consumption, joined by a growing base of supporters in the media, government, and business world who also want to ensure that the demand for rhino horn is eliminated. As messages reach into homes, workplaces, and leisure spaces across the country, ENV hopes that beliefs will be challenged and attitudes will be changed, tipping the scales back in favour of the rhino before it is too late.

Grants Save the Rhino made a grant of £16,280, which included a donation of €2,500 from Zoo de la Barben, to ENV in March 2014 for its campaigning work this year.




INDONESIA S RHINOS Sumatran and Javan rhinos are possibly the rarest and most endangered large mammals in the world. Their combined populations probably number less than 175 animals.

Bill Konstant | Program Officer, International Rhino Foundation


umatran and Javan rhinos were once bountiful and ranged over many hundreds of thousands of square miles stretching from India to Indonesia. Today, however, they survive almost entirely as relict populations in a handful of scattered tropical forests; the future for both species lies almost entirely in the hands of Indonesian wildlife authorities; and continued support for intensive monitoring and protection efforts is the last hope for avoiding extinction.

Elusive Sumatran rhinos: Population profiles needed In 2013, rhino specialists from around the world gathered in Singapore for the Sumatran Rhino Crisis Summit, a call to action based upon reports that wild populations in Malaysia Forests through which only had dwindled if not a couple of rhinos trod a year disappeared in recent or so ago, recently yielded the years and that the global population probably tracks of nine distinct individuals numbered no more than 100 animals. This conclusion came as something of a shock, considering that estimates less than a decade earlier had put the population at more than double that. The truth is that the Sumatran rhino has always stymied field biologists, remaining secretive and poorly documented throughout its range. Scientific journals contain numerous accounts of researchers spending months in the forest searching in vain for this species, and the same truth applies today for those given the job of protecting it. To give you some idea, since 2010, seven Rhino Protection Units (RPUs) — 28 men — have patrolled more than 37,000 kilometres within Indonesia’s Bukit Barisan Selatan (BBS) National Park,

one of the last places on earth where Sumatran rhinos survive. That’s the equivalent of traveling back and forth from London to Moscow at least half a dozen times. During their patrols, the RPUs recorded more than 800 rhino footprints, over 300 wallows, and more than 100 dung deposits. Yet, during the same four-and-a-half years, the rangers laid eyes on living Sumatran rhinos a grand total of six times — three times in 2011 and three times in 2013. In 2010, 2012 and thus far this year they’ve seen none. Still, the data the RPUs collect allows biologists to map distributions and monitor population density. RPUs began operating in southern Sumatra’s BBS and Way Kambas National Parks in the late 1990s and are supported by the international conservation community. They are now managed by the national NGO Yayasan Badak Indonesia (YABI). Their wildlife protection efforts have been commendable: the last documented rhino poaching in BBS occurred in 2002, the last in Way Kambas in 2006. In addition to rhinos, the RPUs help Indonesian government authorities monitor and protect other threatened species, most notable among them endangered Sumatran elephants and tigers. According to RPU reports, five elephants and two tigers have been killed by poachers in the two protected areas since 2010. More common are illegal hunting and trapping practices that target deer, small mammals and birds, captured to supply the local pet trade. Illegal fishing is also a threat, as is human encroachment into park land to plant agricultural crops, illegal wood-cutting, and the gathering of non-timber forest products. Combined, these activities negatively impact more than 50 other threatened mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians that share the Sumatran rhino’s habitat. What’s absolutely essential to saving Sumatran rhinos is reliable data regarding the size, sex ratios, age distributions and relatedness within remaining populations. Standardised survey methodology has been agreed upon by experts. RPUs are collecting dung samples for genetic analyses

The newly built Rhino Protection Unit base camp in Ujung Kulon has an impressive rhino feel to it!


>Stop Press >  Photographer captures new images of rare Javan rhinos >Stop Press >  Photographer captures new images of rare Javan rhinos >Stop Press > 

Incredible Javan rhino photography


Earlier this year, Stephen Belcher crowd-funded an expedition to Ujung Kulon National Park. He suceeded in his mission; capturing 14 fascinating images of elusive Javan rhinos on camera

and monitoring camera traps in the parks to record wildlife movements. These new duties must be carefully balanced, however, with the RPU’s standard patrol and survey practices, which are becoming increasingly focused on concentrations of rhinos within what are best described as intensive management zones. The long-term goal is to manage Sumatran rhino populations at an annual growth rate of at least 3%, to eventually reach carrying capacity for this species in its present habitat, and ultimately to reestablish populations in regions where it formerly occurred.

Javan rhinos: numbers on the upswing? Though Javan rhino numbers may be only half those of Sumatran rhinos — 50 versus 100 — some experts contend that the Javan rhino is not as seriously threatened. That’s because, while the Javan rhino population does not appear to have lost ground in recent years, the Sumatran rhino almost seems to be in freefall. Ujung Kulon National Park is the final stronghold for the Javan rhino, and the most recent evidence suggests that its numbers may be slowly increasing. A video camera-trap census conducted in 2011 yielded estimates of 35—44 animals, while a similar but more robust study in 2013 appears to indicate a resident population closer to 50 animals or more. That would be incredibly good news, especially if the increase is shown to include new infants and not just animals that might have been missed in the earlier study.


Just as they do on Sumatra, RPUs patrol and survey Java’s tropical forests for rhinos and other wildlife, including 25 species of threatened amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals. There are no elephants on Java and the last of the island’s tigers was killed sometime late in the last century. Endangered Javan leopards still roam the landscape, however, as does the elusive Javan banteng (a wild form of cattle) and rare silvery gibbon. One major way in which rhino management practices differ on Java is the effort currently being put into habitat restoration, all of which are focused on an invasive palm known locally as langkap and as Arenga obtusifolia to the scientific community. Langkap is a fast-growing species that can quickly dominate the lowland forest canopy, crowd out other trees, and suppress plant growth on the forest floor. Since the langkap’s fruit and leaves are not favoured food for wildlife, its dominance correlates negatively with healthy

populations of several threatened species, including the Javan rhino. This observation led to a formal programme for removing the Arenga palm to establish alternative native plant communities, preferably containing a high percentage of Javan rhino food species. This work has been underway for almost two years now, during which approximately 70 hectares of langkap are rapidly being replaced by regenerating forest. The project is based in a 4,000-hectare section of Ujung Kulon designated as the Javan Rhino Study and Conservation Area (JRSCA). JRSCA encompasses the eastern boundary of Ujung Kulon, abutting the burgeoning human population of Banten Province, for which the Javan rhino is an official symbol. Although only a small portion of the study area has been cleared of the invasive palm thus far, researchers are already documenting some encouraging project results. First of all, the growth of recolonising plants is rapid, with some species towering above a man in a year or less. Secondly, the percentage of rhino food plants represented in the regrowing forest is exceptionally high — above 90%. Lastly, the rhinos are responding well to the effort, seemingly beating a path to JRSCA. Forests through which only a couple of rhinos trod a year or so ago, recently yielded the tracks of nine distinct individuals that are presumably venturing into unfamiliar terrain to partake of the new ‘salad bars’. And only a couple of months ago, one adventurous rhino nonchalantly walked right through the yard of the newly-built RPU base camp, perhaps admiring its unique construction.

Grants Since 1 April 2014, Save the Rhino has sent a total of £22,386 towards Indonesian rhino conservation, including £8,000 from Chester Zoo and £5,000 from our core funds towards the development of a Sumatran rhino strategy, $2,000 from the Taiwan Forestry Bureau to help buy motorbikes for the RPUs, €5,000 from Wilhelma Zoo Stuttgart and $4,000 from Save the Rhino International Inc. for ongoing RPU patrols, and £355 from Twogether Creative Ltd for the Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary.




You can help a ranger save a rhino



Pepper spray

Water bottle


Sleeping bag




Boots SRI

South Africa’s rhinos are currently facing the worst poaching crisis in history and the rhino rangers protecting them need our help! Get involved Could you be a rhino fundraising champion? We are calling on all our supporters to help us raise money for ranger equipment. Ask your teachers if you can hold a rhino fundraising day at school. You could hold a non-uniform day – get kitted up as rangers, or go green for the day! Other great ideas include cake sales, quizzes, art competitions or school concerts.

How your fundraising will help Every penny you raise will be sent to South Africa to purchase essential equipment for the rangers. Your fundraising will help purchase items such as boots, camouflage uniforms, rain jackets, first aid kits, binoculars, camping kit, radio equipment and much more. Find out more at helparanger or email


Katherine and Jack get involved with helping a ranger save a rhino

THANK YOU! Our heartfelt thanks go to... We would like to express our warmest thanks to the following individuals, companies and grant-making bodies for their generous support for our work over the last six months. We could not achieve all that we do, without the time, goodwill, and financial and pro-bono support of you all.



Mark Alexander, Andrea and David Archer, Gail Arnesen, Stephen Atchison, Margaret Avison, Nye Banfield, Tracy Baughman, Janice Beccaloni, Dina Bekker, Stephen Belcher, Tanya Billingham, Samuel Bond, Roddy Boulton, Hayley Bridgman, Michael Briselli, Walter Brown, Enric Casals Brufau, Ian Burton, Myrto Bylos, Greg Campher, Damian Carr, Pete Carter, John Cavanagh, Bronwyn Clark, Paul Clements, Karen Coppin, Richard Cowan, Portia Cox, Adam Davies, Laurie Davis, Ivan de Klee, Sean Denny, Charlie Dewhirst, Hugo Dias, Kevin Diemont, Parnell Dmt, Kenneth Donaldson, Johan du Plessis, Amy Eaton, Dave Edwards, Lourens Erasmus, Frances Ewer, Amy Fitzmaurice, Richard Flamand, Will Frazer, Jono Goldsack, Doug and Celia Goodman, Andrew Green, Duncan Green-Armytage, Thierry Guillet, Damien Gultig, Will Hall, The Harnby family, Mat Hartley, Stewart Hayward, James Hefin, Bryan Hemmings, Mr JJ Hennessy, Nicola Hewitt, Jim Higham, Richard Holm, Matthew and Alastair Hopkins, Max Hoy, Nicholas Humphrey, Syed Imad, Emilia Izqierdo, Matthew Jarvis, Peter Jones, Holly Kavonic, Andrew Kay, Clementine Keyes, Stephen Knight, Emma Knott, Will Lanceley, Janice Law, Sunil Lath and team, Dr Peter Lawrence, Heather Lazzeri, Andrew Lindsay, Chin Ling, Emily Link, Katy Magill, Francesco Mantero, Oliver Marschner, Harriet McGuire, Ben McKenna, Nicole McKersie, Fabienne Messelink, Douglas Metcalfe, Mandy Middleton, Steph Monteith, Georgie Morgan, Sol Mountjoy, The Murphy family, Susan Murrin, Craig O’Callaghan, Linda Oteri, Julie Papay, Jo Paulson, Malcolm Pearce, Phil Perry, Stephanie Piat, Andrew Post and Mary Aylmer, Sherrye Price, Olivia Pugh, Blake Quinn, Luke and Paul Rawsthorn, Joshua Richardson, James Robins, William Rome, Tom Rowland, Tangi Salaün, Siu Lam Samuell, Zac Schwarz, Rebecca Sennet, Vian Sharif, Adam Sloan, Amy Smith, Christian Solbach, Tanya Stapleton, Dieter Sticht, Mark Strong, Samantha Suppiah, Jennifer Tabbush, Rob Thomas, Ben Thornton, Rachel Toogood, Olly Tovey, Constance Tragett, Geoff Trinder, Michael Turner, Tim Vuyk, Richard Walker, Sam Walker, Louise Watt, Ales Weiner, Charlie Wemyss-Dunn, Keith Wigley, Steve Woolley, Mark Worsfold, Lewis Wright, Thomas Wright, Sean Wyckoff

23 Red, Acacia Africa, Alex Rhind Design, Art of Time SA, Baxter Hoare, Black Rhino Capital LLP, Chelsea Physic Garden, dmAFRICA, Expert Africa, Gaia HR Consulting, Golf de L’Ile Fleurie, Google, Mahlatini Luxury Travel, Microsoft, Ranchi Rhinos, Red Hen Creative, Rhino Rugby, rhino’s energy international GmbH, Robin Best Outdoor Media B.V., Saffery Champness, Save, Ancient Heritage, Sporting Rifle, Steppes Travel, Steve and Ann Toon Photography, Stichting Painted Dog Conservation, The Atass Foundation, The Bead Coalition’s Rhino Force, Thumbprint, LLC, Trans African Safaris, Twogether Creative Limited, Victor Stationery, Wildlife Worldwide, World Odyssey, Worldwide Experience

Charities, trusts and foundations, and other grant-making organisations Zoo D’Amneville, Association Ecofaune Virement, Balmain Charitable Trust, Zoo Bassin d’Arcachon, Beit Trust, Blair Drummond Safari Park, Zoo Boissiere du Dore, Braeburn School, Bryan Guinness Charitable Trust, Croydon High School for Girls, Chessington World of Adventure, Chester Zoo Act for Wildlife, Colchester Zoo Action for the Wild, Cotswold Wildlife Park, De Brye Charitable Trust, Zoo de la Barben, Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund, Dublin Zoo (ZSI), EAZA, Ernest Kleinwort Charitable Trust, Guildford High School, Holy Cross School, Illegal Wildlife Trade Challenge Fund, International Animal Rescue Foundation, International Rhino Foundation, Kellett School, Knowsley Safari Park, Lotus Foundation, Parc Darwin - Parc Zoologique de Montpellier, The Mohamed bin Zayed Species Conservation Fund, Nazareth Lodge, Safari de Peaugres, Anna Merz Rhino Trust, Save the Rhino International Inc., ShareGift - The Orr Mackintosh Foundation Ltd, Simon Gibson Charitable Trust, Skeleton Crew, St Giles the Abbot Farnborough, Swire Charitable Trust, Taiwan Forestry Bureau, Treasure Charitable Trust, US Fish and Wildlife Service, Vrienden van Safaripark Beekse Bergen, Whitegate School, Wilhelma Zoo Stuttgart, Woburn Safari Park, WWF-South Africa, Zoological Society of East Anglia – Africa Alive!, Zoological Society of London

Alex Rhind

And all those who wish to remain anonymous 31 31

Patrons Polly Adams Benedict Allen Clive Anderson Louise Aspinall Nick Baker Simon Barnes Suzi Bullough Mark Carwardine Giles Coren Mark Coreth Dina de Angelo Robert Devereux Kenneth Donaldson Jim Hearn Ben Hoskyns-Abrahall Friederike von Houwald Angus Innes Fergal Keane Tom Kenyon-Slaney Francesco Nardelli Martina Navratilova Julian Ozanne Viscount Petersham Alex Rhind Mark Sainsbury Robin Saunders Alec Seccombe Tira Shubart James Sunley William Todd-Jones Jack Whitehall

Founder Directors Johnny Roberts David Stirling

Save the Rhino International Connecting conservation and communities Unit 5, Coach House Mews, 217 Long Lane, London SE1 4PR T: +44 (0)20 7357 7474 F: +44 (0)20 7357 9666 E: W:

Staff Director  Cathy Dean Deputy Director Susie Offord

Save the Rhino International, Inc c/o Chapel & York Limited, 1000 N. West Street, Suite 1200, Wilmington, DE 19801 Save the Rhino International, Inc is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organisation. Donations to it are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law. EIN 31-1758236.

Events Manager Laura Adams Office and Communications Manager  Katherine Ellis Finance Manager Yvonne Walker

Michael Hearn Intern Aron White | Rory Harding


Corporate Relations Manager  Josephine Gibson

The Horn Design and layout  Alex Rhind Design Printing  Park Communications This magazine is printed using 100% vegetable-oil based inks on a paper containing 100% Environmental Chlorine Free (ECF) virgin fibre sourced from FSC-certified forests. On average 99% of any waste associated with this production will be recycled.


Founder Patrons Douglas Adams Michael Werikhe




Trustees Henry Chaplin | Vice Chair Christina Franco Tim Holmes George Stephenson | Chair David Stirling Sam Weinberg

Registered UK Charity No. 1035072

The Horn - Autumn 2014  

Updates & articles from the field programmes that Save the Rhino International helps support around the world.