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Rising to the

challenge of protecting Namibia’s rhinos


Exciting news at the Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary

Find out why a rhino’s new

best friend is

a dog



4 Kenya Meet the rhinos’ new best friends 6 Kenya Welfare must be our primary objective 7 Become a member of Save the Rhino 8 Kenya The most exciting rhino space in Africa 9 Kenya Pioneering translocations and a boost for ranger

Hope & sadness in Ol Jogi

The annual London migration


Field Insights






Rhino update


35t IRF


0 1 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18

Kenya Preparing for the future of Kenya’s rhinos

9 1 20 21 22 23 24

Zimbabwe Positive trends in Matopos National Park

6 2 27 28 29 30 31 32 34 35 36 36 38 39 40 42 43 44

South Africa Motivation through the basics






one year’s progress...

5 4 46 47

Kenya Hope and sadness at Ol Jogi Zambia Life as a teacher and Lolesha Luangwa mentor Zambia The dilemma of the horned Where the money went Millions captivated by magnificent annual rhino migration Rhino events RideLondon 2015 Tanzania Continual adaptation to the rising poaching threat

Zimbabwe Harmonising land use in Save Valley Conservancy Zimbabwe A lucky escape from a very unlucky circumstance Namibia Hanging rhinos in Namibia Shopping with a purpose Namibia Rising to the challenge of protecting Namibia’s rhinos

South Africa Appeal update: Help a Ranger, Save a Rhino Field Insights Ian Pollard, Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park Collaborating for conservation Swaziland Swaziland’s Big Game Parks Rhinos our speciality The state of the rhino Indonesia An heir and a spare Indonesia Javan rhinos – things are looking up Thorny issues Can synthetic rhino horn save the rhino? Thorny issues The use of drones in rhino conservation India The challenges of expanding India’s rhino population Unite for rhinos Rhino legends Viet Nam What’s going on with Vietnam? Viet Nam One year’s progress of the Chi Campaign Viet Nam A snapshot of the war to save rhinos from the frontlines of Viet Nam   Thank you  Puzzles Our thanks go to....

45tyou Rhinosaver



Saving rhinos is a group effort Cathy Dean | Director


arlier this year, we reviewed our organisation’s mission statement, aims and objectives, and decided it was time to update these. Much has changed since the last redraft in c. 2005 and it was time that our new priorities were properly reflected. We held a series of team discussions, tested ideas on a few close supporters, and then presented our revised mission, vision and strategies to our Trustees for sign-off.

Vision All five rhino species thriving in the wild for future generations. Mission Collaborating with partners to support endangered rhinos in Africa and Asia. Strategies To conserve viable populations of rhinos in the wild by:

In this issue of The Horn, you’ll read many articles by the field programmes we support on what we’ve done to help deliver the first strategy, supporting ongoing rhino monitoring and anti-poaching patrols. Dr Mike Knight of the African Rhino Specialist Group explains the importance of organisations and individuals from different countries sharing rhino expertise. There are articles on how our grants benefit local communities, primarily through environmental education but also via a proposed project to develop sustainable livelihoods. We talk about the work that we, our partners ENV and TRAFFIC, and other organisations are doing in Vietnam to reduce the demand for rhino horn. And we’ve written about some of our wider awareness work including World Rhino Day and our Rhino Dog Squad appeal, plus updates from our fantastic rhino supporters. I do hope you enjoy reading this issue, and that you will want to stay closely involved with our work. Please do get in touch: we have developed a wide range of resources and ideas for children, students and adults who want to help. Rhinos need all the friends they can get.

■ Raising funds to protect and increase rhino

numbers and population distribution in African and Asian range states ■ Facilitating the exchange of technical

support and information between rhino conservation stakeholders ■ Ensuring that local communities in key

■ Developing and delivering behaviour-

change campaigns to reduce the demand for rhino horn in consumer countries


Save the Rhino International is a UKregistered 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

rhino areas benefit from employment, capacity building, education, outreach and the sustainable use of natural resources

■ Raising global awareness

of the need for urgent action on rhino conservation



MEET THE RHINOS  NEW BEST FRIENDS Over the last three years, almost 10% of Kenya’s rhinos have been killed by poachers. But there’s a team on the frontline right now that’s fighting back. The team members are hairy, loyal and can’t be bribed. They work day and night, using their incredible senses to save rhinos. It’s the Rhino Dog Squad. Katherine Ellis | Office and Communications Manager, Save the Rhino International


ade up of ranger and dog teams, the Rhino Dog Squad plays a vital role in protecting rhinos across four wildlife sanctuaries in Kenya: Ol Jogi, Ol Pejeta Conservancy, Borana Conservancy and Lewa Wildlife Conservancy.

Scent dogs can be trained to detect illegal substances such as rhino horn, guns or ammunition. They can be deployed at checkpoints or roadblocks and can search vehicles and property.

These conservancies are all members of Kenya’s Association of Private Land Rhino Sanctuaries; one of Save the Rhino’s long-term programme partners.

Attack dogs are trained to bite and hold would-be or actual poachers, in order to disable the gun-holding arm so that handlers can safely apprehend and arrest suspects. These dogs help protect handlers and are a good deterrent to illegal activity.

Dogs are extremely useful for their track, scent and attack skills. The best breeds for the job are Bloodhounds and Belgian Malinois. The dogs have three main roles: Tracker dogs have an incredible sense of smell and can cover huge distances over difficult terrain. Handlers can find one footprint, obtain a scent and give it to the dog, which then follows the scent for up to 24 to 48 hours.

The Rhino Dog Squad also protects other endangered wildlife and helps to reduce crime in local communities. The dogs have been used to locate stolen property, find lost children and track suspected criminals. With the rhino poaching threat increasing, it is important that the rhino conservancies have well-equipped and well-trained dog units to stay one step ahead of the poachers. Please donate to support our Rhino Dog Squad appeal.

Star (Nyota) Breed: Bloodhound Gender: Female Age: 9.5 years Role:     Tracker Home: Ol Jogi Likes: Sausages, sce nt training, being brushed and tickled Dislikes: Thundersto rms, running on hot sand, poachers, ticks, visiting the vets About: Nyota (meanin g Star in Swahili) came from the USA as a puppy to embark on a new life saving rhinos. She’s an amazing bloodhoun d, who’s mothered puppies that have go ne on to become the best tracker dogs in the business



Sweep Breed: Belgian Malinois


Role:     Attack

The Rhino Dog Squad needs your support; to provide essential training, vital equipment and the best care for the dogs. To survive, the Rhino Dog Squad needs support from everyone who won’t accept a world without rhinos.

Home: Ol Pejeta Conservancy

Your gift could help buy:

Gender: Male Age: 2 years

Likes: Being out in the field protecting rhinos

£7 could feed a dog for a week £15 could buy a dog leash and collar

Dislikes: Poachers and intruders About: Criminals wouldn’t want to meet Sweep in a dark alley: he’s bold, fearless and when he gets a grip on a poacher, he doesn’t like to let go

£28 could provide a month’s veterinary care for a dog £38 could buy a Camelbak hydration system to carry water for the handlers and dogs while in the field £100 could buy a life-saving medical kit for both rangers and dogs £365 could pay for a month’s vehicle transport for the dog teams


Inspire others to give through fundraising

Breed: Bloodhound

We need your help to raise donations for the Rhino Dog Squad! Why not try the following: ■ Bake cakes and biscuits and sell to friends, family and colleagues

Gender: Male

■ Organise a sponsored dog walk or run your local area ■ Get creative, and sell your artwork at a craft sale

Age: 4.5 years

■ Complete a sponsored run, cycle or swim to support the dogs ■ Organise a fancy dress day — donate £1 to wear a crazy outfit

Role:     Tracker Home: Lewa Wildlife Conservancy Likes: Going out into the field to follow a trail Dislikes: Cats About: Tony’s sense of smell is 40x stronger than a human’s, and he’s trained to use it to protect rhinos

to school or work

Donate Donate online Visit to donate online by card and leave a message of support to the Rhino Dog Squad Donate by post Cheques can be UK£, US$ and Euro€ made payable to Save the Rhino International, marked ‘Rhino Dog Squad’ on the reverse and posted to: Unit 5, Coach House Mews 217 Long Lane, London SE1 4PR, UK Donate by phone Call us on +44 (0)20 7357 7474


Contact us Email with any queries

Breed: Belgian Malinois Gender: Male

Watch our youtube video series about the Rhino Dog Squad

Our thanks to Blair Drummond Safari Park, which kickstarted the appeal with a wonderful donation of £2,025

Age: 2 years Role: Search, assault & track Home: Ol Pejeta Conservancy Likes: Property searches: Diego can find arms, weapons and ammunition hidden away Dislikes: Poachers


About: A great all-rounder — Diego is an incredible dog; he can track scents, search through property and attack if necessary

Thank you to Twogether, the full-service creative agency, for providing probono design and support for the Rhino Dog Squad appeal. They’ve also held staff fundraising events and donated office equipment to Save the Rhino.


Kenya If rhino conservation has escalated into warfare,

then welfare must be our primary objective Our recent (and first) poaching incident on Borana was performed with the collusion of two employees. Both were fencers on Borana, both well paid and looked after. It is nearly always the case that there is inside involvement. Wander around Borana after sunset, even with a bright full moon, and it is unlikely you will find a rhino without any prior knowledge of their whereabouts. Sam Taylor | Chief Conservation Officer, Borana Conservancy


Obviously money is the primary motive. However, whilst they are offered comparatively large sums of money by poaching syndicates for their help, it cannot compare to even a year’s salary, let alone 25 to 30 years’ service. Many Allowing rangers to take ownership of our rangers have of their roles creates an enabling only a minimal amount environment whereby the men feel of conventional a personal responsibility for the education, and so the wildlife in their charge concept of financial planning is perhaps not as straightforward as it seems to us. With a growing economy in Kenya, the upwardly mobile population’s first-world desire for material possessions combined with an aggressive marketing culture equates to many spending beyond their means. As a result, individuals get themselves into serious debt. Kenya has some fairly draconian banking laws, and while large un-backed loans are available, failure to meet the payments can end in bailiffs literally lifting the mattress from underneath you. The catastrophic impact this can have may drive someone to risk aiding a poacher for the sake of some financial relief. Above: Rangers If this is the case, then the financial departments at receive financial conservancies have a greater role to play than just planning advice balancing the books and running the payroll. An open-door at Borana policy, whereby employees are encouraged to come forward Main: Equipment with financial difficulties and get advice about the best and such as binoculars, sustainable way out of any financial trouble, is as significant boots and uniforms to the protection of rhino as the habitat and wildlife are essential for protection itself. the rangers



t has led me to think about what motivates a relatively well-paid employee of a conservancy to risk a long jail sentence for what amounts to a significant amount in the short-term, but not much when one balances it against a lifetime of employment, housing and social security. I think it is important for us to try and understand the mindset and profile of the individuals that risk so much to bite the hand that feeds them.

Furthermore, the rangers’ training must go beyond just learning to shoot and track. One of the most significant things our armed teams have taken away from their ongoing training with 51 Degrees is an education beyond the military tactics needed in anti-poaching. Long discussions about family planning, financial and life choices and health have placed the men in a better position, so as not to get themselves into a scenario whereby desperation forces them into the criminal underworld of commercial poaching. But it‘s not all about finances and education. As I mentioned, these two fencers were well paid, with salaries far exceeding union demands. There are other factors. Allowing rangers to take ownership of their roles creates an enabling environment whereby the men feel a personal responsibility for the wildlife in their charge. Taking pride and enjoying in one’s work means being allowed to have an opinion, and the ability to express your ideas. For this, face-time with senior management is essential and lessens the risk of an individual becoming disenchanted and working against us. Taking time to have informal discussions with the rangers in the field can go a long way to lifting their self-esteem.

>NEW< Buy or renew membership at >NEW<


SAVE THE RHINO! Membership of Save the Rhino is the perfect way to support rhino conservation. Join as a member yourself or purchase gift memberships for the rhino fans in your life. Funds raised through memberships are hugely important to Save the Rhino, and we are very grateful to all our members.

Of course there will probably always be bad apples amongst a team and there is no avoiding that. However with the majority engaged and motivated, it is hoped that these individuals will be unearthed soon enough. Ultimately, however, we need to provide the means and positive environment for the rangers to protect the rhino. This all comes down to welfare. Over the years Borana has been aided by Save the Rhino to develop the welfare of its rangers. Providing the best kit and equipment means they can perform their arduous job of tracking, monitoring and protecting rhino in comfort and safety. Ranger training has been integral to the development of skillsets that help improve lives both at work and at home, and instill a sense of pride in their position.

We have three membership schemes:

Protect  £3 per month Save the Rhino T-shirt (colours vary) rhino pin-badge and car sticker ■■Monthly e-zines full of rhino news and info on how you can get involved ■■Subscription to The Horn, our magazine ■■A


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Dou In ce gla Do leb sA ra ug dam las tion Ad sM o am f the em s life ori al Le an du ctu niv re ers eo f


Evolve  £10 per month


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Includes all the benefits of Protect membership PLUS free entry to one Save the Rhino event per year

Our rangers are our greatest asset, but also a means for poachers to infiltrate. We must understand and address their needs, and in doing so, not only will we have a more motivated and effective anti-poaching unit, but the chances of being betrayed to a poaching gang is lessened. This will save lives. Both the rhinos’ and — ultimately — the rangers’.









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£2 per month, for ages 3 to 16




As a RhinoSaver, you will receive ■■Personalised ALL IMAGES SRI UNLESS NOTED

Since November 2014, we have sent Borana grants totaling £108,804, including $38,168 from the Anna Merz Rhino Trust, $58,708 from USFWS, and many other miscellaneous donations and our core funds.

The Thir teenth Douglas Adams Memoria l Lecture In celeb ration the life and of universe of Doug las Adam s


Recently, Save the Rhino has facilitated grants to upgrade housing and accommodation, so that the rangers can get much needed respite from the rigors of the bush in their down time. Borana has provided all its employees with flying doctors cover, and taken a lead role in the creation of the ‘Running for Rangers’ initiative, which, with support of SRI aims to raise money for rangers’ welfare in terms of kit, equipment and insurance cover.


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As a Protect member, you will receive

RhinoSaver certificate ■■Silver rhino pin-badge ■■A Save the Rhino embroidered badge ■■Membership pack full of fun rhino facts and pictures ■■Cuddly rhino toy

Overseas members very welcome! Our members come from all over

02/04/2015 10:00

CarStickers.indd 3

the world. You can now pay in GBP, Euros or US dollars on our website, by card or PayPal.

CarStickers.indd 4 02/04/2015 10:00

For membership queries contact Grace, email or call +44 (0)20 7357 7474 *All gifts included in the welcome packs are subject to availability. Save the Rhino reserves the right to substitute alternative gifts of an equivalent nature and value and/or refuse entry to events. See our website for more details.



>STOP PRESS< >STOP PRESS< A rhino calf named Bahati was killed by a snare in September 2015 >STOP PRESS<

The most exciting rhino space in Africa? Kenya’s Chyulu Hills is simply that — an area inhabited by rhino. It doesn’t fall into the category of a Rhino Sanctuary, nor is it an IPZ (Intensive Protection Zone) – yet.... It is a loosely defined space of about 65,000 acres, including part of the Chyulu Hills National Park and the Maasai-owned communal land bordering it. Craig Miller | Head of Security and Field Coordinator  Jeremy Goss | Conservation Scientist, Big Life Foundation


he free-ranging nature of the local rhino population brings challenges, but with no fences to restrict population size and a high carrying capacity, this is a place with exciting potential as a black rhino stronghold.


The presence of rhino on both National Park and community land has necessitated and led to an extraordinary level of cooperation between Big Life Foundation and the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS). Combining resources and working in tandem, has led to an unprecedented number of rangers protecting the area

Right: Camera traps are important for monitoring the shy rhinos of the Chyulu Hills.


Main: Big Life Foundation and Kenya Wildlife Service rangers work together to protect the area’s wildlife

in a more effective manner. Despite several serious poaching attempts, no rhino were killed in the year leading up to the writing of this article in August 2015. At a time when mistrust often dominates the relationship between government bodies and NGOs, this partnership is a significant achievement. However, given the current low rhino population, it would take decades to reach anywhere near the population carrying capacity, even with an almost impossible zero mortality rate. Inbound translocations will be necessary to supplement the population and, to do this in Kenya, Intensive Protection Zone (IPZ) status is required, meaning that high standards of protection and monitoring must be met. In the Chyulu Hills there is still work to do, but progress has been made on all fronts including infrastructure, security and monitoring. The eastern boundary of the area is densely populated

by humans, and with no hope of any recoverable habitat this area must simply be fenced. The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust has stepped in to provide support and funding to achieve this important step, and work on the fence is underway. Additional water points are planned so that rhinos do not need to venture away from the protected zone at any times of the year. Population monitoring is critical and has hugely improved in recent years, thanks to support for better equipment and training of personnel. The Chyulu Hills’ rhinos are incredibly shy and live in almost impenetrable bush, which is likely why they have persisted up to now. Live sightings are rare and most of what we know is through camera-trap monitoring, which has provided insight into individuals’ movements and habits. Without this form of remote monitoring we would still have no idea of total population size, and no chance of identifying individuals, both of which have now been done. Through 2013 and 2014, live sightings of rhino occurred at a rate of less than once a month, camera trap captured on average two to three times a month and spoor recorded roughly five to six times a month. Thanks to improved monitoring and understanding of the individual rhinos’ habits, in 2015 there were more live sightings in a single month than 2013 and 2014 combined. The number of times rhino are recorded by camera traps has increased roughly five-fold, while spoor is recorded almost daily. This greater knowledge has led to far more effective deployment of resources for protecting rhinos and, together with the other advances, Big Life Foundation is working with KWS to achieve IPZ status for this area as soon as possible. Famous hunter-turned-conservationist J. A. Hunter said in the 20th century about the Chyulu Hills that there ‘is a rhino behind almost every bush’, and we hope that this will one day once again be true. Big Life Foundation is grateful for Save the Rhino’s support of our exciting efforts to revive this important population.

Grants Since November 2014, we have sent grants totalling £56,798 to Big Life Foundation, including $19,118 from the Anna Merz Rhino Trust, $50,000 from USFWS and £7,500 from the Ernest Kleinwort Charitable Trust, together with miscellaneous donations and our own core funds.


Kenya Pioneering translocations and a boost for ranger accommodation This past year has been a very exciting time for rhino conservation at Lewa. The Conservancy once again played a pivotal role in securing the black rhino’s future in Kenya by facilitating a historic translocation that has now seen the species reintroduced to a native habitat in northern Kenya from where it has long been absent. Lewa Wildlife Conservancy


The black rhino (Diceros bicornis michaeli), Kenya’s native rhino species, once roamed the country, and further across the continent, in hundreds of thousands at the turn of the century. In 1960, it is estimated that Kenya had 20,000 individuals, The provision of the new amenities but a dramatic upsurge has greatly improved the morale in poaching reduced this of the team. Everybody is happy population to a mere with the new standards of living 300. Today, conservation we enjoy, and it makes us motivated efforts across the country to continue working for Lewa have seen the population and protecting rhino increase gradually, but another challenge besides Francis Kobia | Lewa field ranger poaching now threatens the rhino in Kenya — the lack of suitable and secure habitats to host an increasing population.

Rhino conservation is a costly and risky affair that few are willing to engage in


‘Protecting rhino is more than just erecting a fence around a habitat. It involves setting up complex infrastructure, hiring and regularly training anti-poaching teams and patrol units, the use of technology, the establishment of intelligence networks and more. All these activities are expensive while still being very risky ‑ and would be a strain to most without the necessary resources. We are grateful for the funding that enabled Lewa and the Northern Rangelands Trust to move rhino to Sera Community Conservancy and as a result establish the first black rhino sanctuary at Samburu in over 25 years’ says Geoffrey Chege, Lewa’s Chief Conservation Officer. This effort is hailed as a game-changer in Kenya’s conservation efforts, as it will be the first time that a community is responsible for the protection and nurturing of a rhino population.

A motivated ranger force is key


Left: Funds from the Anna Merz Trust have funded the upgrade of two ranger camps on Lewa

he support from donors across the globe, including funding from the Anna Merz (our co-founder) Rhino Trust, injected the finances to turn this brave venture into reality.

Lewa has only achieved great success in its work thanks to the tremendous dedication of its people, including the rangers who work tirelessly in the field to safeguard rhino. To further motivate this force, Lewa has begun to upgrade housing facilities for its rangers. The Conservancy was finally able to improve the living standards of the ground teams when it received sufficient support from partners, including the Anna Merz RhinoTrust. The Trust directly funded the upgrade of two camps on Lewa — Fumbi and Mlima Kali. These camps now have three bedrooms each and a shared kitchen. Each bedroom is equipped with an inbuilt locker box and bed. Each camp also has a new 5,000-litre tank on their platforms. The camps have been equipped with new lavatories, and all have been guttered to enable the harvesting of water and promote sustainable water use. Lewa is grateful for this support that continues to help the Conservancy achieve great milestones as well as keep its staff motivated.

Grants Thanks to the Anna Merz Rhino Trust, we were able to send $31,520 to Lewa to pay for the construction of two 3-man guardhouses.



A participant on the scene-of-the-crime course indicates a ‘find’ during a search practice



OF KENYA S RHINOS The Kenyan Association of Private Land Rhino Sanctuaries (APLRS) is a members group of private and community wildlife conservancies, collaborating to protect Kenya’s rhinos. Jamie Gaymer | Wildlife and Security Manager, Ol Jogi

r the APLRS. 2015 has been a busy year fo .. hts. Here are a few of our highlig # A technical team, in ##Late 2014 — early 2015# ented, visited all rhino which the APLRS was repres with the view to analyse conservation areas in Kenya and Management the status of The Conservation Kenya (2012 — 16). in Strategy for the Black Rhino withdrew to ##February 2015##  The team structure a paper for consolidate their findings and -term strategy review. further deliberation at the mid no Steering Committee Once the Kenyan National Rhi the document, a had scrutinised and approved s were invited to a consortium of rhino stakeholder presented. Further workshop where the paper was luation ensued and the deliberation, analysis and eva a representative ‘wayNational Rhino office now has y implementation for forward’ with regard to strateg the remaining strategy term.



Participants learn new skills at a scene-ofthe-crimetraining course

Funds raised from the Rhino Dog Squad appeal will benefit the canine units at four APLRS Sanctuaries

tin has been directly at Ol Pejeta Conservancy. Mar in Kenya since 2000, involved in rhino conservation April 2011. Martin is and Chair of the APLRS from WWF-Kenya Rhino now working as manager of the like to Programme. The APLRS would t as men mit thank Martin for his com ard forw Association Chair and we look the to working closely with him in of role the ed ept future. I humbly acc Chair of the APLRS. er, SRI’s Communications Manag ing film Katherine Ellis and two nder volunteers Steven McGee-Calle r APLRS and Tom Rowland visited fou SRI’s sanctuaries in preparation for is raising ch whi eal, Rhino Dog Squad App ts. uni ine funds for the APLRS’s can

##February 2015## After hosted in the UK by ##June 2015##  I was kindly an d hel we g, nin plan much husband Kenneth ’s Director Cathy Dean and her SRI ef-th ne-o sce no advanced rhi alf of the APLRS at the Donaldson. I presented on beh crime training course with Association workshop International Rhino Keepers’ Rod Potter and Wayne Evans h Save the Rhino’s in Chester. This coincided wit from ya Ken to ng elli trav platform for exposing ino Mayday’ and was a great ‘Rh the t duc con to ica South Afr erated by the use of the importance and value gen training. Trusted individuals well as dogs in rhino conservation, as as are RS APL s iou var from ad appeal. were carefully selected launching the Rhino Dog Squ KWS were also invited. the hin wit up gro ct sele a and vancies, present to various ##Ongoing##  APLRS conser We also had the opportunity to district, an important particularly those in Laikipia members of the local judiciary; t will likely lead to have continued to employ the sensitisation opportunity tha ther erstanding working services of 51 Degrees to fur a more collaborative and und t the was also fitting their competitive edge agains relationship going forward. It , invited to nominate poachers. Commander’s cadres that in 2015, the APLRS was ning have continued trai dic me eand f-th ional scene-o refresher courses, representatives to attend a reg tive armed teams hout the year with the respec A Indexing System) oug DN thr ino (Rh DIS RhO and e crim ial training has paid the KWS. honing their skills. This essent workshop, organised through ht be considered a significant dividends and mig ting mee RS APL 5 201 t firs uced Kenyan rhino ##March 2015##  Our contributing factor to the red per As . AGM our by date. was held on 5 March followed poaching statistics in 2015 to ts and sea ir the ed ign res s rer bea ce protocol, offi rly completed the significance was that This year the APLRS has nea elections ensued. Of particular of our Association’s himself for re-election as amendments and registration Martin Mulama did not offer t we had been ef Conservation Officer constitution. We recognised tha Chair and later resigned as Chi

SRI filmed the canine units at four of the APLRS Sanctuaries, to fundraise for the Rhino Dog Squad appeal


operating by regulations imposed upon Association establishment in 1989 and some issues were inevitably obsolete. In order that we continue to operate as a professional entity as well as to give our supporters confidence, the APLRS realised that certain amendments were necessary. We have also recently consolidated our bank accounts for ease of reference, operation and accountability. Our two primary accounts within the APLRS are the Intelligence Fund and the Emergency Fund. The Intelligence Fund compensates members for intelligence-based operational successes, according to some prerequisite parameters. This recognises the considerable sums being spent on proactive intelligence gathering in order to prevent poaching. However there have been few claims and, as a result, we have used some of the Intelligence Fund to compensate for a deficit in the Emergency Fund, which aims to compensate members 50% of costs associated with rhino emergency interventions needed to treat rhino injuries. These situations are often unbudgeted due to their unpredictable nature and put significant additional economic burden on sanctuaries. We are indebted to SRI amongst others for their tremendous support in this regard. ##Late 2015##  The APLRS intends to recruit a secretariat/administrator position. This is a mandatory requirement of the National Rhino Strategy and itself, aims to facilitate implementation of the Strategy. The APLRS is a voluntary Association comprising representatives who already have significant responsibilities within their respective conservancies. This position is again supported by SRI and Chester Zoo, and we hope that it will have a significant impact. The APLRS is a nationally recognised Association working in close collaboration with the KWS. We are represented at Conservancy, County and National Level and have important roles to play from operational, strategic and policy making perspectives. Without the continued assistance of our supporters, the APLRS would have a considerably Grants higher mountain to climb and Since November 2014 , we have we thank m ade grants totalling £ all of those who have 33,619 to the APLRS, includin made contributions g £6,110 to our cause. from Chester Zoo, £ 4,

610 from our Operation Stop Po ac hing Now appeal and other misc ellanous donations and core fu nds.

Hope & sadness at

Ol Jogi Ol Jogi had a very positive start to 2015 with a black rhino born on 21 January. It was devastating therefore, when a month later, the same calf died of natural causes. Jamie Gaymer | Wildlife & Security Manager, Ol Jogi


rama at Ol Jogi was not far away. On 12 March one of our young white rhinos had her first calf but our euphoria was short-lived in a dramatic turn of events. On 13 March the dreaded call came in that the carcasses of two young white rhinos had been identified by monitoring rangers. Standard operating procedures were enacted whilst newly acquired scene-ofthe-crime skills were put to the test in collaboration with the Kenya Wildlife Service and the Kenya Police Criminal Investigation Department.

Since this tragedy, we have experienced births from an additional four black rhino and three white rhino. It is due reward for all the tireless hard work that our men on the ground endeavour to do. This year I’ve attended an advanced rhino scene-of-thecrime course, a rhino DNA course, two National Rhino Strategy Review workshops and also travelled to the UK to present on behalf of the APLRS. The Ol Jogi Kenya Police Reservist team has undergone commander’s cadre training and medic courses with 51 Degrees. The safety and wellbeing of our men is paramount. We have received tremendous and heart-warming support from many individuals and institutions. The ‘Running for Rangers’ team have donated a large amount to procure uniforms for Ol Jogi security. An anonymous conservationist philanthropist also donated a considerable sum to alleviate our security vehicle running expenses. SRI have continued to be a pillar of support and have directly or indirectly, through the APLRS, supported several core projects from which Ol Jogi benefits.

Grants Since November 2014, we have sent grants totalling £65,265 to Ol Jogi, thanks to an anonymous donor.


Zambia Life as a teacher and Lolesha Luangwa mentor If somebody had told me on my birthday last August that the following year I’d be living in the middle of a remote National Park in Zambia, I’d barely have believed them. Aine Higgins | Lolesha Luangwa mentor and teacher, North Luangwa Conservation Programme

Of all the teaching jobs I’ve had, this is certainly the most diverse. My days consist of teaching Ed and Claire’s children in the morning, and spending afternoons working on North Luangwa’s Conservation Education Programme, Lolesha Luangwa, or meeting with the Education officers to mentor them and help plan lessons. Above: School children participate in a learning activity as part of the Lolesha Luangwa programme Main: The ‘Horn of Sorrow’ theatre play performed as part of the annual conservation celebration day


I’ve had the opportunity to observe the education officers Sylvester and Michael deliver the curriculum to schools surrounding the Park, staying with them in their local village, and watching the recent conservation day celebrations in two villages. These are some of my best and most memorable experiences yet. This year we did something completely different for conservation day, taking on a theatre group to perform the thought-provoking ‘Horn of Sorrow’. It was a simple but highly effective show, performed with props like wooden rhino horns, a steering wheel and drums. After watching the show and listening to what locals had to say, we knew our message of conservation and its importance was delivered. Since I arrived in February, we have been working in conjunction with ZSL, Save the Rhino, and SRI patron and designer Alex Rhind, on plans for a new education centre, funded by the Mohamed Bin Zayed Species Conservation Fund and the de Brye Charitable Trust. Our vision is to create a space for children that allows them to see and feel the magic and beauty of the world they live in. The interior of the centre, the North Luangwa ecosystem, will be a self-exploratory exhibition space but will double up as an interactive space for teaching lessons about conservation, the water cycle, food chains, wildlife and more. The idea is to have the four corners of the room represent the different aspects of our ecosystem, the village, water, plants and trees and animals. In the middle is the Park — the link between these areas. We also hope to use a 3D rhino as the narrator and teaching aid, taking the children on a footprint-led journey around the room.

Outside the education centre, we would like the black rhino to take centre stage with a life-size cut-out. Currently, Sylvester, Michael and I are making some minor adjustments to the programme. We are always looking to improve with self-reflective evaluations, feedback from teachers and my observations proving valuable. The schools’ responses are overall very positive; the children are eager learners and we feel the right message is now being delivered to them. We are working on making the lessons more interactive this year, through the use of colourful resources, games, group work and discussions. There has been extensive building since March and we will soon have beautiful newly constructed dorms, toilets, showers, kitchen and dining area for the teachers and children for their Park visits. Our next step is to look at the Park visits, how they are planned and run, what lessons we are teaching and how we can make them better. Before the end of the year I plan to give the Education Officers training on basic computing and lesson planning. So far, I have worked with them on creating and editing PowerPoint. I feel their confidence and performance has hugely improved over my seven months here and I really look forward to seeing more changes and progress over the next year.

Grants Since November 2014, Save the Rhino has sent £31,819 for Lolesha Luangwa, including $19,550 from Disney Conservation Fund, $26,350 from USFWS, and other miscellanous donations and our own core funds.



literally have to pinch myself these days as I look outside my house and see lions, have close encounters with elephants, see impala from my classroom window, and remind myself this is my life and not a television documentary that I’m wishing I was part of. I am here and relishing every moment.

THE DILEMMA OF THE HORNED In the Junes of 2003, 2006, 2008 and 2010, events took place in North Luangwa National Park that will forever be imprinted on the minds of those involved. Although years separated these June dates, what happened was the culmination of decades of dedication and lifetimes of lost sleep. Claire Lewis | Project Ecologist  Jake da Motta  North Luangwa Conservation Programme

The deep exhalations of moist, warm horselike air on my hand as I count immobilised breaths of this rhino, Kango, his hairy ears and prehensile lip, smooth toenails and precious horns are stark reminders that everything we do is because of this animal, and those that arrived back in North Luangwa in all those Junes.

Kango has so far behaved impeccably, being darted in a nice open area where he chose to lie down heavily sedated in order for us to give him the short bumpy ride to rhino Hilton It has been my great privilege to be part of this positive blip on the ECG trace of rhino survival — a trace that is in constant danger of flat-lining. There is rarely any good news about rhinos. Habitat loss and poaching are taking an ever greater toll on all five species worldwide, and as their dwindling populations become increasingly fragmented, so the gene pool of each species shrinks to a puddle from which evaporation into extinction through disease, climate change or local politics is only a dry season away. Reduced to critical status by the activities of man, the existence of the rhinoceros now depends entirely on the benevolence of its nemesis. Back on the sledge, I am awed by the quiet professionalism of the rhino immobilisation team. Every year we gather together the biggest and best in rhino conservation in North Luangwa. With logistics dovetailing across the continent it is a marathon feat to have, for one week only, a helicopter, a fixed-wing Husky aircraft, two vets,

a monitoring coordinator and my husband, Ed (who has learnt to do drilling and radio transmitters implants) to immobilise the North Luangwa rhinos to refit them with micro-chips, transmitters and ear notches for identification. I’m usually back at base organising food and laundry, but today I get to be involved, as we are moving Kango to a boma to give him some respite from a dominant adversary and a few weeks of protein-rich feeding to get his condition up. Kango has so far behaved impeccably, being darted in a nice open area where he chose to lie down heavily sedated in order for us to give him the short bumpy ride to rhino Hilton. He is too precious to allow natural selection and fate to have their way.

Moving Kango Top two images: Rhinos are immobilised to be ear-notched and re-fitted with micro-chips and transmitters Right and below: The process of moving black rhino Kango from a pallet into a boma

Over the course of the last few days, each rhino has had a radio transmitter implanted in one of its horns, a female was found with a new week-old calf and several others confirmed to be pregnant; carrying inside them priceless, microscopic cargos of DNA to bolster the genetic survival of the species. It is not inconceivable that we can reverse the damage man has done and haul rhinos from the brink of extinction. Keeping rhinos alive depends on the continued efforts made through dozens of projects worldwide like the NLCP, staffed by nearfanatical conservationists, funded by deep-pocketed donors and backed up by tenacious law-enforcers. Oh…and by the simple expedient of persuading the certain peoples of South-east Asia to rather ‘take a couple of aspirins and call us back in a hundred years or so.’ But in the meantime I can hope that my six-year-old will become a wildlife vet and there will still be rhinos for her to immobilise 20 years from now when she graduates. Not inconceivable, the odds are long, but let’s hope not.

Grants Since October 2014, Save the Rhino has sent £2,000 (plus the grants for Lolesha Luangwa) to the North Luangwa Conservation Programme for the purchase of VHF transmitters, thanks to the generous support of Peter Lawrence.



’m clinging precariously onto a sledge, not a snowy Christmas toboggan type — but a flatbed pallet with metal runners big enough to carry a ton of rhino as it lurches down the grassy airstrip. I’m trying to answer my six-yearold daughter’s questions, when tears prick my eyes as it dawns on me that her ambition of becoming a wildlife vet might be just a pipe dream, and she’d be better off with her other ambition of flying like Tinkerbell the fairy.


Finance Where the money went: 2014 –15 Each year, we keep detailed records of all the grants we make: where the money came from and how it was allocated. Then we analyse the grants to get totals by country, by rhino species, by field programme, by strategy and by activity. Cathy Dean | SRI Director Sumatran 2.6% Greater one-horned 0.9%

In total, we gave out £846,707 to rhino programmes, as well as £2,147 to the Environmental Investigation Agency, from the joint Douglas Adams Memorial Lecture. The following analysis relates only to rhino-related work

Javan 1.3% Black 47.2%

Miscellaneous 13.9% Black and white 34.0%

Species support 81% went specifically to African rhino programmes – black and white


5% went to Asian rhino programmes – Greater one-horned, Sumatran and Javan. Our partner the International Rhino Foundation (IRF) leads on programme management and fundraising for Asian rhinos, and we do what we can to help fundraise for them without targeting the same donors The remaining 14% went towards work in Vietnam to reduce demand for rhino horn

Activity support

Demand reduction Captive breeding Veterinary 13.8%

Anti-poaching and monitoring 65.8%

Capacity building 11.6%

14% went on demand reduction efforts in Vietnam

Activity Environmental education 6.2% Community conservation 2.4%

12% went on capacity building: sharing experience and skills between field programmes, such as scene-of-the-crime training 6% went on environmental education programmes using black rhinos as the focal species. We support Rafiki wa Faru in Tanzania’s Mkomazi National Park and Lolesha Luangwa in North Luangwa National Park in Zambia 2% went on community conservation programmes (though many of our grants involve local communities in terms of employment, education, training and capacity building) and captive breeding efforts for Sumatran rhinos

Country support


68% of our grants went to the ‘Big 4’ African rhino range states: Kenya, Zimbabwe, Namibia and S Africa which have the biggest populations of black and white rhinos. Zimbabwe’s rhinos receive substantial support from the IRF and its donors; while South African rhinos have many donors supporting them, e.g. Peace Parks Foundation, Howard G. Buffett, WWF-South Africa etc


The majority of our grants went on rhino protection and monitoring (66%). It is vital to protect the big rhino populations while longer-term behaviour change campaigns, international cooperation, intelligence gathering operations etc. take effect

Viet Nam 13.8% India 0.9% Africa misc 2.2% Swaziland 1.1%

South Africa 9.3%

We gave substantial grants to field programmes in Tanzania and Zambia (5% each). Although these programmes have smaller rhino populations, they have the ecological carrying capacity to hold much more 14% of our funding went to Vietnam for behaviour change campaign work with TRAFFIC-Vietnam and Education for Nature Vietnam

Kenya 29.4%

Indonesia 2.7%


Tanzania 5.3% Zambia 5.3% Namibia 23.7%

Zimbabwe 6.1%



Events   >NEWS< Congratulations to the 2015 Virgin Money London Marathon team whose 58 runners raised an incredible £111,796, the biggest total ever for Save the Rhino >NEWS<

Millions captivated by

magnificent annual rhino migration! A safari holiday to London must surely be on every traveller’s bucket list. But few travellers have the privilege of being able to view at first hand the awe-inspiring sight of the extraordinary annual rhino migration. Nigel Abbott | Father of Kerrigan Abbott, 2015 rhino runner


he migration is essentially the movement of thousands of animals (well 16 actually) across the gravel river terraces of the River Thames in search of food and water as the spring rains die away and the summer drought begins.


This great movement of animals, known as the ‘spring marathon’, heads from the vast plains of Greenwich in a north-westerly direction towards the famous London Parks Game Reserve. After the passage of the annual rains, by mid-April the area has dried out and starts to become desolate again, so the massive crash of animals are forced to move northwards towards St James Park Lake.

depending on the fitness of the animals and their overall condition. They finally head to one of the most magnificent watering holes in the world — passing close to where the Queen Rhino is known to have her lair. Many are known to take hours and hours on this extraordinary movement; some even taking over seven hours to complete the journey! Finally, after passing many dangers on their way, they arrive at their new home where they have food and water in abundance. They cast off their outer shells and through a process known as metamorphosis become human. Well, almost!



‘Thank you very much SRI staff and volunteers! It was one of the best days of my life ever!’ Sitta Marattanachai

The exact route of the migration doesn’t change from year to year — but the timing and speed of the migration differs enormously N






Thinking of running for Save the Rhino in 2016? Costumes are not obligatory! Contact or call us on +44 (0)20 7357 7474



‘What a great day! and the I was so happy with my time and support from friends, family ped keep me random supporters... SRI hel , and made me informed, pushed me though a worthy cause.’ proud to be running for such David May





Events World Rhino Day 2015


We were overwhelmed with the level of support from individuals, zoos and companies worldwide, who fundraised and spread the word to raise awareness for the world’s five rhino species. With the help of some amazing volunteers, Save the Rhino took our rhino costumes to London Bridge and London Waterloo stations for a fundraising bucket collection, raising a fantastic £1,400 for rhino conservation. Sam Taylor, Chief Conservation Manager for Borana Conservancy, Kenya, took to Facebook for a live Q&A with supporters.

Immortality & Douglas Adams On 3 March 2015, 700 people congregated at the Royal Geographical Sociey for the 13th Douglas Adams Memorial Lecture. them, who pass them along, are living too. And that’s immortality.’ The 14th Douglas Adams Memorial Lecture takes place on Thursday 10 March 2016 at the Royal Geographic Society. Visit events to find out more, or contact

A big thank you to Steppes Travel who kindly sponsored our drinks reception at our Sundowner Dinner in November 2015

Rhino Mayday In a break from tradition, this year’s Rhino Mayday was held in June to coincide with the biannual International Rhino Keeper Association’s Workshop, this time hosted by Chester Zoo. With a packed room of zoo keepers and rhino supporters, nine expert speakers gave presentations covering a wide range of hot topics in the rhino conservation world. As well as UK & European speakers, we were joined by Jamie Gaymer, Wildlife and Security Manager at Ol Jogi in Kenya, and Rod Potter, Wildlife Investigator at Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife, South Africa. Thanks to all speakers and attendees.


Be 1 in 1,000 and Walk4Wildlife. Raise funds for rhinos, by yourself or with a team of three friends, and take part in this epic journey walking from Land’s End to John O’Groats. There’s a leg of the trip with your name on it! Find out more at or email

2016 events for your diary Thursday 10 March

14th Douglas Adams Memorial Lecture

Saturday 2 April – Sunday 21 May

Walk for Wildlife

Sunday 24 April

Virgin Money London Marathon 2016

Sunday 31 July

Prudential Ride London-Surrey 100 2016

Thursday 22 September

World Rhino Day

Friday 7 October

Save the Rhino dinner in Hong Kong



An exciting new journey for UK rhino lovers.



Thanks to all those who got involved in our #Nailit4Rhinos campaign, highlighting that rhino horn is made from keratin, the same substance found in human hair and hails. Your creativity was incredible. We’d also like to say a huge thank you to See.Saw, which provided probono support in gaining publicity for our #Nailit4Rhinos campaign, and to Barry M Cosmetics for also supporting this World Rhino Day.




The lecture was given by best-selling author and screenwriter Neil Gaiman, who wove together a blend of fables, history and humour with personal anecdotes of his friendship and work with Douglas. He concluded by saying, ‘Our stories care for us, they make us human, and if they live forever the people who created them, who retell


On 22 September, rhino fans from around the world celebrated the sixth annual World Rhino Day!


Left: Andrew, Phil & James with their medals at the finish

  >NEWS< All our 38 Rhino Riders finished the ride, raising over £24,000 for Rhino conservation >NEWS<

RideLondon 2015 2015 is the third year of the Olympic-legacy RideLondonSurrey 100 and it did not disappoint. Our cyclists were part of a wave of 25,000 cyclists on the day, pedalling their way from the Queen Elizabeth Park in Stratford, through London and out to the suburbs of leafy Surrey, then circling back into the city centre ending their journey with the iconic backdrop of Buckingham palace and the Mall. And all with no traffic lights to worry about. Meanwhile, bathed in sun, SRI staff set up camp beneath an oak tree in London’s Green Park. With a freshly made picnic, ice-cold beer and a welcoming rug, the team were ready to celebrate with cyclists as they crossed the finish line. Above: Supporter Becky wore a fantastic handmade rhino helmet during the ride  Right: A group of riders celebrate at the finish

Right: Steven and Laura with their impressive customised rhino bike

Wanted! Pedal–powered Rh ino lovers

Join Team Rhin o for 2016 RideLondon -S urrey 100


Our riders enjoyed a well-deserved picnic at the finish in London’s Green Park


31 July 2016 Online at www.savet Email emma@saveth Call Emma on +44 (0)20 7357



Tanzania Continual adaptation to the rising poaching threat Two more rhinos have been born this year and we are slowly gaining ground on reaching a viable population for the Mkomazi Rhino Sanctuary. It is still the only rhino sanctuary in Tanzania and we are delighted to be advising the Tanzania National Parks Authority (TANAPA) on its plans to create a smaller rhino sanctuary in Mkomazi National Park to boost tourist visits.


s always, security dominates our daily lives and our priority remains to continually improve security and adapt to the increasing poaching threat. Save the Rhino has played a major part in helping us upgrade security efforts, supporting the full spectrum from boots on the ground to environmental education and everything in-between. Over the past year we have worked with Save the Rhino to raise funds for a Toyota Landcruiser double-cab pickup, a new security outpost, running costs for ‘Rafiki wa Faru’ and the enormous task of Sanctuary fence repair and replacement.

Top right: The new Landcruiser and the Rafiki wa Faru environmental education bus Main: Two Malinois dogs are the latest recruits to join the Mkomazi Security team

We were in critical need of a dedicated and multi-purpose vehicle to assist all aspects of the Sanctuary’s operations. This includes: ■■ security patrols ■■ dropping-off and collection of security guards and tracking teams ■■ deploying fence maintenance and patrol teams, ■■ reacting to emergencies ■■ supplying teams camped externally to the Sanctuary on specific duties ■■ and the movement of the new tracker dogs and their keepers Over many years, it has been challenging to juggle all the older vehicles, (some of them date back to the 1970s) to keep them working. The new Toyota, funded by USFWS, is therefore an incredible boost to operations. Sanctuary security was also boosted this year with the arrival of two Dutch Malinois tracker dogs. They are being trained by Daryll

Pleasants of White Paw Training in deterrent work, tracking and anti-poaching. A special camp was established for the dogs and their four keepers. Daryll and Donna Pleasants raised the funds for fantastic specialist equipment for the dogs and keepers and Daryll returned recently to undertake the second stage of training. These dogs are now mobilised and invaluable to the security operations, and there will be more training ahead. A vehicle is being modified with a transport cage and benches for the keepers. The cage is fully meshed to lessen the impact of tsetse flies whilst in transit. TANAPA is very supportive of this project and has offered support on many levels, including veterinary and ranger assistance. We are in the process of constructing a security outpost in the section that holds the Port Lympne female rhinos along with the Dvur Kralove Zoo breeding pair plus their two calves. The security outpost will be in a strategic area so that the tracking team and guards have a view over a large part of this section. It has been an enormous privilege to see these zoo-bred rhinos fairly close together, breeding, settled and back in the wild. We employ traditional protection methods for the rhinos but we have also sought to change attitudes in the local communities with the delivery of a black-rhino-focused environmental education programme, ‘Rafiki wa Faru’. Since its launch in 2008 we have brought in approximately 6,000 students for a tightly constructed, well-orchestrated and memorable day in Mkomazi. Save the Rhino has been with us from the very early days when the Mkomazi Rhino Sanctuary was just a hand-drawn map. Our job is to ensure that things get better, not worse, in spite of all the odds facing us. All we can do is work and keep our eyes and ears open and try not, ever, to relax our guard or our systems. We are incredibly grateful to Cathy Dean and her team for such tremendous support with these endeavours over all these years.

Grants Since October 2014, Save the Rhino has sent grants totaling £74,314 to Mkomazi, including $84,044 from USFWS for the new Toyota Landcruiser, $16,385 from USFWS for Rafiki wa Faru, and the rest from our own core funds towards these two projects and the construction of a new security outpost.



Lucy Fitzjohn | Mkomazi Rhino Sanctuary, GAWPT

Zimbabwe Positive trends in the Matopos National Park The past two years have been busy in the Matopos National Park (MNP). 2014 was a red-letter year, as no rhinos were poached and there was a bumper crop of calves. Such successes are thanks to the dedication of Park management and rangers and the support provided by local and international stakeholders. Nicky Pegg PhD | Senior Researcher, Dambari Wildlife Trust



ambari Wildlife Trust continues to offer regular support to MNP, by assisting with equipment procurement, providing training, and running monitoring and research projects.

Equipment A grant received from Chessington Conservation Fund in 2014 enabled us to purchase binoculars and cameras for MNP. Seven high-power digital cameras and 10 pairs of 10x42 binoculars were handed over in November 2014 to a delighted group of rangers. By March this year, the Area Managers commented on the improvement in sighting records, particularly black rhino, as a direct result of more patrols having powerful binoculars.

Training Of critical importance to the successful management of rhino populations is the quality of data provided to management by personnel on the ground. The ability to accurately age, sex and identify individuals helps to keep track of population performance. Assessing rhinos’ body condition alerts management to potential environmental and social issues that may affect population growth. In the past, rhino monitoring training courses were run irregularly for rangers by supporting NGOs. We felt it would be preferable to develop staff within the Park’s corps itself, which has the dual advantage of developing the skills set within the Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (ZPWMA) and having people on the ground that can teach their colleagues on an ad hoc basis at little cost. Six MNP staff, comprising scientific services, substation seniors and rangers that performed well in a 2012 foundation course, attended a ‘training of trainers’ course in June. During a week’s intensive training, participants learned about: ■■rhino biology, ■■how to age, sex and identify individual rhinos, ■■how to use equipment (binoculars, digital cameras and GPS), ■■how to record field data using standard datasheets, and the importance of data quality and quality control. Most importantly, their ability to teach the material was examined. Following written and practical examinations, two people became full trainers and two others attained assistant trainer status. Equipped with knowledge, teaching materials and a massive dose of enthusiasm, they returned to their stations to pass on what they had learnt.

Support for this course and for the course materials was provided by Chessington Conservation Fund, Zoom Torino and Marwell Wildlife.

Monitoring We have been running a camera-trap monitoring project continuously since June 2011, with support from Save African Rhino Foundation. This project augments information collected by rangers. With 18 cameras currently deployed, we get regular verifiable records of animals in the Park.

Research For some years, there have been concerns about the safety of rhinos in a section of the Park that is not adequately fenced. Such fears are not unfounded, as a young bull was poached there in May 2015. To better understand what draws animals out of the safety of the Park, ZPWMA and DWT entered into a partnership with Marwell Wildlife and the University of Southampton. In the early dry season, two students reading for a Master of Research in Wildlife Conservation investigated how fire, human activities, and vegetation structure, amongst other factors, affects the distribution of large grazers. Results will be available later in 2015 and should help us to identify further research questions. Along with our local and international partners, DWT will continue to dedicate time and resources to the conservation of the Matopos rhinos.

Above: ‘Training of trainers’ course Main: Subadult rhino captured on a camera trap set up for MNP’s monitoring programme

Grants Since November 2014, Save the Rhino has sent grants totalling £1,000 to Dambari Wildlife Trust, including €1,000 from Zoom Torino.



Harmonising land use in Save Valley Conservancy Save Valley Conservancy (SVC) in south-eastern Zimbabwe was created in 1992 when landholders converted from cattle ranching to wildlife operations, a model better suited to SVC’s semi-arid conditions. Cattle and internal fences were removed, wildlife reintroduced, habitat restoration efforts undertaken, and an electric perimeter fence constructed.


t is now part of an important wildlife complex including Bubye Valley Conservancy, Malilangwe Conservancy and Gonarezhou National Park, all within the Greater Limpopo Transfrontier Conservation Area. SVC hosts one of Africa’s nine large (>100) black rhino populations (22% of Zimbabwe’s black rhinos), together with all five large predators, elephants, buffalo and other species. However, SVC faces many ongoing problems. Turmoil resulting from Zimbabwe’s ‘Fast Track Land Reform Policy’ of 2000 has given rise to ongoing ‘tragedy of the commons’ problems in SVC: unplanned settlement and intracommunity friction; destruction A new model is urgently needed of fencing, resulting in humanin SVC to safeguard its wildlife wildlife/predator-livestock resources, to diversify livelihoods conflict, carcass poisoning of local people, and to reduce and transmission of diseases friction over land-use between wildlife and livestock; and poaching for bushmeat and high-value wildlife products e.g. rhino horn.

Main: Giving out rhino-themed school inputs to children in Save Valley Conservancy as part of the local community conservation programme


Zimbabwe is under specific CITES oversight for rhino. Opportunities for SVC’s shareholders and local communities to generate income from sustainable use of its natural resources have therefore been reduced; households currently rely on unsustainable natural resource use along with income from relatives working elsewhere (mainly in South Africa). Holistic resource protection beyond basic law enforcement is poorly understood. The involvement of communities, especially women, in natural resource management is low. A new model is urgently needed in SVC to safeguard its wildlife resources, to diversify livelihoods of local people, and to reduce friction over land-use. We are therefore working with partners to develop a community project that, if funded, will tackle the identified problems through five key areas that will:

■■support the development

of local institutions for effective natural resource governance and enhanced livelihoods ■■build awareness of

environmental issues ■■stabilize the deteriorating

resource base through improved management of wildlife and habitats (e.g. fire-management) ■■support the development of livestock management

practices, food production systems (e.g. small-scale gardens) and other income-generating activities (e.g. mopane worm collecting) that complement wildlife-based land use ■■and help mitigate human-wildlife/livestock-predator

conflict (e.g. predator-proof bomas) Community consultations/empowerment will be carried out via workshops and training sessions. Pilot/demonstration sites will be established and exchange visits facilitated to see these at work. Community representatives, acting as ‘Wildlife Guardians’, will be trained and equipped to work on natural resource management issues and on outreach and communication to communities. Many of these roles and activities will be targeted at, and be culturally suitable for, women from the local community. Where relevant, models from successful techniques such as those used by the Northern Rangelands Trust and Save The Elephants in Kenya will be introduced and tested in the SVC context. The African Wildlife Conservation Fund’s Lowveld Wild Dog Project, initiated in SVC in 1996, will advise on humanwildlife conflict mitigation activities. We hope to be able to report back on the implementation of this exciting project in a year’s time.


Raoul du Toit | Director, Lowveld Rhino Trust

A lucky escape from a very unlucky circumstance The rhino monitoring undertaken by the Lowveld Rhino Trust (LRT) relies predominantly on the age-old skill of spoor tracking. Fortunately this skill is still strong in Zimbabwe and is invaluable in both monitoring and protecting rhinos. Natasha Anderson | Rhino Monitoring Coordinator, Lowveld Rhino Trust

Unfortunately for Constance Mpotegwa, a rhino monitor with LRT for over ten years, the upwind patrol’s scent was carried onto the sleeping rhino he was quietly observing. Instantly alarmed, she was up and fully alert and running from the perceived threat — straight into Constance. Fortunately years of experience informed his response and instead of trying to run at such close quarters, which would have most likely resulted in a serious goring, he lay down flat and the cow ran over him, stepping on his chest and resulting in only a fractured collar bone. A lucky escape from a very unlucky circumstance. Unfortunately, good rhino-tracking skills are not only held by monitors and anti-poaching rangers. Rhino poachers continue to pick away at these populations in an ongoing war of evolving tactics with anti-poaching units closing down one point of weakness only to have the poaching gangs identify an alternate attack. Combined, Bubye and Save Valley Conservancies have lost a detected total of 17 black and six white rhinos in 2015. Though the losses are significant for these populations, they are maintaining overall population growth due to the excellent breeding performance. Under the current circumstances of high poaching threat, maintaining an accurate as possible picture of these important Key 1-rated rhino populations is vital. To help achieve this, LRT undertakes annual rhino management operations to ear-notch calves before they leave their mothers so their identity can be accurately known. So far

In addition to these routine management operations LRT also responds to emergency situations such as the capture of orphaned rhinos and treatment of injuries caused by snares, bullets or fighting between rhinos.

Above: Squirt suckling while Mabuya receives her eye-drops Below: Squirt and his new best mate Sabi (left)

Grants Since November 2014, Save the Rhino has sent a total of £23,651 to the Lowveld Rhino Trust, including £8,000 from Knowsley Safari Park and €6,000 from Dublin Zoo (another €5,000 about to go) as well as other miscellanous donations and core funds.

MABUYA & SQUIRT Two rhinos that have required support recently are Mabuya and her calf Squirt. Mabuya was found wandering blind with penetrating wounds to the head, likely the result of a poaching attempt.


The fact that thousands of rhino sightings are achieved by these men without incident is testament to their skills both in tracking and safely observing these magnificent but potentially very dangerous animals. Occasionally though, circumstances do contrive against them. It is remarkable how in an area of over 3,000km2 two patrols tracking two different rhinos can end up in the exact same thicket.

in 2015, 41 calves have been notched and there are 50 additional calves still too young to be notched but identifiable through their association with their mothers. These rhino management operations also provide an opportunity to conduct a sort of snapshot ‘audit’ of these populations by using fixed-wing and helicopter aircraft to spot and identify rhinos seen over these operation periods. Over 21 operational days in 2015, 352 rhino sightings were made from the aircraft, with 219 different individuals confirmed.



onitoring patrols deploy daily to locate the target rhino spoor — be it a particular cow and calf combination or a single animal. The spoor is followed till the rhino is seen and its identity confirmed. Systematically, the entire population is confirmed with positive photo identifications.

She was captured and her wounds treated — including twice-daily eye-drops over many months. While held in the bomas for treatm ent she gave birth; sadly Squirt developed serious diarrhoea so he was removed for treatment and is now being hand-raised with a poaching orphan calle d Sabi. Mabuya’s wounds healed well but she did not regain vision despite lengthy treatment. She has now been free-ranging for over three mont hs and has worked out where the reliable wate r sources are, moving around her new home -range encouragingly well. Above: A rhino ranger monitoring a black rhino



Hanging rhinos in Namibia In order to protect rhinos living in remote areas from the increasing threat of poaching, conservation scientists have taken new risks that are deemed essential to save the species. Robin W. Radcliffe, DVM, DACZM | Adjunct Assistant Professor of Wildlife and Conservation Medicine, Cornell University ne such risk that has yet to be characterised is the effects of hanging anaesthetised rhinos upside down during helicopter transport. This new method of moving rhinos has gained wide popularity across Africa despite the lack of understanding about the physiologic effect of this process on rhinoceros breathing and health. With the generous support of the Namibian Ministry of Environment and Tourism (MET) and its partners, including SRI and the Jiji Foundation, our group has begun exploring the physiologic effects of suspending rhinos in dorsal recumbency (positioning a rhino on its back).

The team measured the effects of hanging rhinos in dorsal recumbency -hanging posture (left) compared standard rhino position (below)

There is no physiological data assessing the effects of suspension in dorsal recumbency on which to base an estimate of risk to the suspended rhinoceros. But observations in horses in similar positions suggest that this posture is likely to impair heart and lung function even more than transportation in lateral recumbency (positioning a rhino on its side) on an airborne platform.


A pa rtner ship in sc ience

Main: Flying rhinos have become a familiar conservation sight - but what are the effects on the rhino?

From 7—24 April 2015, our team captured a number of black and white rhinos in Waterberg National Park for management procedures. We took advantage of the unusually good vehicular access on the Waterberg plateau, which allowed us to bring a crane to many capture sites. Using the crane we could make measurements on rhinos safely suspended just above the ground, but in a posture that was the same as if they were being hoisted under a helicopter. Twelve black rhinos were randomly selected to evaluate the effects of ‘hanging’ on the cardiovascular and respiratory systems. Each rhino was carefully weighed and measured so that the physiologic and biologic variables of breathing could be compared in rhinos of varying body size. Weight measurements will also be correlated to spine length and girth length to enable the development of a weightestimation formula that can be used to judge body mass using body measurements when a scale is not available. The subject rhinos were assigned to one of two treatment groups: 1) lateral posture and 2) hanging posture (suspended by their feet from a crane). Each rhino received both treatments (lateral and hanging) and the sequence of the treatments was randomised to prevent error from time in each position.




While the data is currently being analysed, we were delighted to learn that the physiological effects of hanging rhinos in dorsal recumbency (suspended under a crane) appear to be no worse than positioning them on their side in lateral recumbency. Overall, the results of this work will inform veterinarians working with rhinos in the field and help minimise capture-related morbidity and mortality in these large endangered ungulates. The MET group is a professional and skilled team that takes seriously their mission to protect and conserve the rhinoceroses and other wildlife in Namibia. This work represents a unique partnership between government, non-profit organisations and Cornell University

Those involved in the research include: Mark Jago, Pete Morkel, Pierre du Preez, Piet Beytell, Cheri Morkel, Michele Miller, Maria Julia Felippe, Robin D. Gleed and Robin W. Radcliffe

Grants Since November 2014, we have sent grants totalling £133,834 to the Ministry of Environment and Tourism, including major grants from USFWS, including the purchase of a new rhino recovery vehicle for use in capture operations.

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Namibia RISING TO THE CHALLENGE OF , PROTECTING NAMIBIA S RHINOS When the poaching crisis hit Namibia in 2014, staff at Save the Rhino Trust (SRT) faced immense challenges to protect the desert-adapted black rhino of the Kunene region.


s part of Save the Rhino’s Michael Hearn Internship, I spent a month working with SRT in May 2015 and found out how the Trust has adapted to this latest threat. The black rhino of northwest Namibia are very special animals. Perfectly adapted to their desert-savannah home, they are able to subsist on desert plants that are poisonous to other animals, and can go days without drinking water. They also represent the largest rhino population in the world to survive on unfenced, unprotected land. Since 1982, SRT has closely monitored the population, implementing a hugely successful programme that employs local people as rangers.

SRT’s rhino monitoring programme enjoyed three decades of success and, under its stewardship, Simson Uri-Khob, CEO the rhino population of the Kunene region recovered from the brink of extinction to become one of Africa’s most significant black rhino populations. However, the Kunene’s rhinos were not immune from the poaching crisis that began in South Africa in 2008, subsequently spreading to neighbouring countries. In December 2012, a mother a calf were shot in the Kunene — the first poaching incident in the region since 1994 and a tragic harbinger of what was to come.

Every penny counts, so we can have as many as possible boots on the ground with a full stomach. Therefore I humbly request more donations for our teams, to be able to protect our rhinos.

What followed was a very difficult period for the Trust. As CEO Simson Uri-Khob explains, ‘The heavy poaching started in 2014. The poachers knew where the rhinos were because they live there in the concessions, and they monitor the movements of our staff. When our staff had off days, the poachers would go in and do the dirty job, because they knew where to find them.’ As the crisis worsened, 24 animals were killed in the area in 2014 alone. ‘It really affected me because we had been successful for so many years and suddenly this poaching came up and people just plundered the animals.’ SRT was faced with an ultimatum: adapt or die.


Recognising that the existing programme was not working, SRT decided to overhaul operations and shift the Trust’s focus to cover proactive anti-poaching measures as well as the ongoing monitoring programme — essentially doubling the scope of their work. The Trust also expanded collaboration with other stakeholders, ensuring that every patrol be accompanied by an armed guard supplied by the Namibian Police. This reorganisation was a huge operation, putting considerable strain on staff and meaning major changes for SRT’s trackers in the field. In February 2015, former vet and SRT Trustee Dr Axel Hartman was brought on in to fill the new role of Chief Operations Officer and oversee many of the changes necessary to tackle the poaching crisis. ‘I manage all aspects of operations: the day to day running, managing and deployment of patrol teams, analysis of patrol data, and streamlining logistics: sort of a co-ordinating function to support the CEO.’ Dr Hartmann has even moved to the SRT field base in the Kunene, where a tent is now his permanent base. From here, he is able to take an active role in overseeing field operations and pitching in elsewhere, which might sometimes mean putting on his vet hat to treat rhinos. Having recognised that the predictability of previous patrols was a factor in poaching patterns in the area, SRT also overhauled the location and duration of their patrol programme. The previous three tracker bases have been reduced to one, to help with coordination of patrols and ensure maximum coverage of the area. Tracker teams now spend up to 20 days at a time in the field, with newlyimplemented bonuses rewarding teams for walking extra miles in a day. SRT tracker Ngaujake Kututa explained the realities now facing the field teams: ‘Before, we were just monitoring, it was just about rhinos. But now we are also looking for poachers. It is very dangerous because, you know, poachers are people like you. They can also hide, they can also shoot you. It is very difficult.’ As well as the threat from poachers, the anti-poaching teams face a host of other perils. ‘There are dangerous animals there. Sometimes when you sleep in the tent, lions are coming around the tent in the night, trying to open it.’


Aron White | Michael Hearn Intern

Above: Aron with some of the SRT Rhino Rangers, who work to protect the desert-adapted black rhino

The massive scale of SRT’s reorganisation has impacted upon every member of the team, from the trackers in the field to the office staff. Lorraine Tjazuko is SRT’s Fundraising and Administration Manager, responsible for applying and reporting to donors. ‘There has definitely been an increase in expenditure which we had to explain to all the donors. We are still working on strategic plans and implementation, so getting a definite budget is obviously very tricky. We are implementing as we go, so we don’t know the expenditure forecast. That makes the fundraising more complicated than it used to be.’ Main: SRT Rhino Rangers are adapting to the rising poaching threat facing Namibia’s rhinos

The success of SRT’s reorganised patrol programme has been striking. The implementation of the anti-poaching programme was followed by 173 days with no poaching incidents. However in June 2015, a mother and calf were poached in the Kunene. SRT patrols picked up the incident very quickly, and their swift response led to the arrests of five suspects.


These major changes to SRT operations have led to a range of additional expenses for the Trust. As Dr Hartmann explains, ‘Equipment costs have gone up, with global positioning devices, radio communications, more rations and uniforms needed due to the increased number of patrols. Salaries had to be increased drastically in view of possible rewards offered by syndicates for insider info and increased personal risk. The guys had to be rewarded for their total commitment; they had to double up their effort or more, which they did.’

Morale among SRT staff is now at an all-time high, and CEO Simson Uri-Khob is confident that their success will continue. ‘Things are getting easier. Staff are more confident in what they’re doing, there is more involvement with big NGOs, and the team spirit is very strong.’ As tracker Ngaujake puts it, ‘They are the Namibian diamond. We can save these animals.’ The challenges posed by the current poaching crisis illustrate how important it is for a field programme to be able to react quickly and effectively to changes in their environment. Lengthy application processes and complex reporting requirements for many large donors mean that such flexibility is incredibly difficult in practice. Save the Rhino’s support of SRT over the past year has therefore been crucial. And this is thanks to donors like you.

Grants Since November 2014, we have sent £131,002 to Save the Rhino Trust, including grants of $25,019 from the Glen and Bobbie Ceiley Foundation, €4,000 from Krefeld Zoo, $2,000 from Walt Brown, £26,469 from the Desert Heart party, $33,551 from the Anna Merz Rhino Trust, $90,637 from USFWS, and many other miscellanous donations and our own core funds.


South Africa MOTIVATION THROUGH THE BASICS The uMkhuze Section of the iSimangaliso Wetland Park World Heritage Site has never been an easy park to run. uMkhuze has a long history of bush-meat poaching, mostly through the use of wire/cable noose snares and traditional hunting with dogs. Eduard J. Goosen | Conservation Manager, uMkhuze Game Reserve he field rangers of uMkhuze that have faced this constant onslaught of wildlife crime are battle-hardened and recognised as one of the most diligent and hard-working law enforcement teams. However, with 17 rhinos lost by August 2015, the old hands here will easily state that 2015 has been a hard year; if not the hardest to date.


In response to the sudden increase of rhino poaching at uMkhuze, law enforcement officials have responded with an Funding proposals at uMkhuze offensive have revolved around the strategy by improvement of services and the taking the living and working conditions of fight to the our field rangers poachers. In conjunction with an awareness campaign that aims to raise the issue of rhino poaching and conservation to local Above: Rangers communities surrounding the Park, we on a training haven’t lost a rhino in the last two months. patrol However we realise that this might just be a temporary lull; the quiet before the Main: Field storm. Our dedicated staff literally work rangers from around the clock in adverse conditions to Gwambani in secure our wildlife as well as the integrity front of the new ablutions of the Park. With a total law enforcement complement of 59 field rangers, ensuring effective rhino protection is about managing people. After all, we are protecting rhinos for people. I have a very wise friend who says ‘People respond to incentives, all the rest is commentary’. This is a philosophy that I embrace entirely. As

such funding proposals at uMkhuze have revolved around the improvement of services and the living and working conditions of our field rangers to ensure they are properly motivated to face their daily strive. A hot decent meal with a warm shower is as pivotal as the much-needed purchases of decent torches, backpacks, binoculars and other equipment. It is no secret that government grants are insufficient to effectively run our protected areas, however it is critical that the funds received are used as effectively and efficiently as possible. The generous donations received from Sporting Rifle, US Fish and Wildlife Service and Save the Rhino over the last two years have been holistically applied to address a range of issues. With current ongoing implementation, the 12 outlying picket camps that have no access to services such as electricity and running water are currently being supplied with solar geysers to provide hot showers, solar power systems, and boreholes to ensure a sustainable supply of potable water for domestic use. Whilst this may sound elementary, the positive spin-offs of these projects considerably improve management efficiency, as substantial savings are made on remote water delivery and supply of liquid petroleum gas. Subsequently field ranger operations are supplied with basic services that previously were very expensive, problematic and erratic. This has undoubtedly improved field rangers’ morale and motivation. Additionally a number of rhinos have been notched to assist with population monitoring, a critical requirement of any protection system along with the eminent appointment of a contract rhino monitor. There are also plans to renovate the old environmental camp that is used for educational and awareness programmes. This camp is probably the most critical tool in the fight against rhino poaching and will be used to afford poor neighbouring communities access to the Park. The future of rhinos and biodiversity conservation is largely reliant on such support and generous donations. I have the privilege of being part of a highly dedicated and motivated team of conservationists that daily places their lives on the line and we would like to extend our heartfelt appreciation.



Grants Since November 14, Save the Rhino has sent a total of £35,163 to uMkhuze, including $49,546 from USFWS.


. . . APPEAL UPDATE . . . APPEAL UPDATE . . . APPEAL UPDATE . . . APPEAL UPDATE . . . APPEAL The need to maintain and upgrade equipment for field rangers on the front-line in the war against rhino poaching is ongoing. Last year Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park (HiP) received a boost in this effort with funds raised from Save the Rhino’s Help a Ranger, Save a Rhino appeal. Dirk Swart | Section Ranger, Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park

rucksacks sleeping bags

Approximately £45,000 was raised from the appeal, which covered the procurement of many items. There are about 100 field rangers in HiP. Equipment received by field rangers included chest webbing, water bottles, first-aid kits, torches, pepper spray, headlamps, extra sets of canvas patrol boots, day packs, rain suits, bush jackets and individual cleaning kits for their firearms. Over 20 specialised bullet-proof vests were received, as well as camping equipment including many tents, sleeping bags and overnight packs for field rangers.

£45,000 raised!


Funding further assisted with the upgrading of the two-way radio communication setup, an important security tool. Logistical items received included new tyres for law enforcement vehicles, the maintenance of motorbikes, a vehicle canopy for law enforcement purposes and water reticulation equipment. Funding continued to subsidise the horse establishment, namely with extra feed during the drought and some additional horse riding tack equipment.

first-aid kits & boots

Funding from United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) allowed the continued running of the Bat Hawk aircraft used to monitor the Park for law enforcement and biological functions. However, in March, and for the second time in two years, the engine failed in this aircraft, despite meticulous servicing, forcing me to crash-land once again.

thank you!


torches & headlamps

Luckily this time I was more prepared and managed to walk away though the plane was extensively damaged. A new light-sport aircraft was requested and the Savannah SLSA was chosen as a replacement with a more reliable engine type. Thanks to the generous fundraising efforts from SRI and the combined insurance and internal



n September 2014 I was invited to give a presentation in Budapest at the annual EAZA (European Association of Zoo and Aquaria) conference on the rhino poaching scourge in South Africa with particular emphasis on HiP. A number of these zoos still either have white rhino or the offspring of rhino from HluhluweiMfolozi Park, translocated during Operation Rhino in 1960s and 70s during the time of the legendary conservationist the late Dr Ian Player.

funding contribution from Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife, the process of obtaining this replacement aircraft is happening. Further funds granted by SRI from the Anna Merz Trust are covering the training of Section Ranger Ian Pollard to obtain his Private Pilot Licence, so that he may too monitor the Reserve from the air. (Read more overleaf.) This funding will also cover the running costs of the new aircraft into the next financial year. Further USFWS funding for general maintenance has been received and is being actively utilised to make the living conditions of our field ranger staff better. Rhino poaching is not in decline; however our ability to tackle the crisis is improving as well as our ability to adapt to the situation. A few years back, it was uncommon for field rangers to camp away from their picket camp, now camping is an accepted norm. And because rangers are better equipped, they are better prepared to face the situation. HiP has lost just over a dozen rhino to poaching so far during 2015; it is a continuous battle. Liaison between the police services and the private sector has drastically improved. South Africa has acknowledged rhino poaching as a high priority crime and we need the continued actions of neighbouring countries to show they too take rhino poaching seriously.

Grants Since November 2014, Save the Rhino has sent a total of £97,523 to HiP, including £2,507 from Knuthenborg Safari Park, $35,480 from the Anna Merz Rhino Trust, £1,000 each from Holmes Wood Consultancy and Saffery Champness, £5,309 from Colchester Zoo and $50,000 from USFWS.


Top: Ian Pollard surveys the wilderness area of iMfolozi Reserve

Main: The Bat Hawk microlight has provided aerial surveillance in Hluhluwe-iMfolozi for many years


IAN POLLARD Section Ranger iMfolozi Game Reserve



South Africa

Please can you introduce yourself to our readers? My name is Ian Pollard. I am a Section Ranger in iMfolozi Game Reserve where I am responsible for the Conservation Management and Law Enforcement Integrity of Makhamisa Section. I started my conservation career in 2002 as student volunteer, and slowly but surely moved my way up through the ranks. I have been based here for 21/2 years.

Can you tell us about your Private Pilot’s Licence (PPL) that Save the Rhino has contributed to? The training is pretty tough. I am still at the early stages, having only flown for six hours so far, but must admit it is a lot more difficult than I expected. I have to complete a minimum of 45 hours of flying and write eight exams. Generally one takes about 48–50 hours to complete the training. The flying is the easier part as the exams are quite difficult and are focused on the theoretical side of flying. I am a hands-on bush guy, so I prefer the flying! The goal is to finish my PPL by the end of October to mid-November, after which I will need to undertake conversion training to fly our soon-to-be acquired Savannah, which is a Light Sport Aircraft (LSA). This should only take a day or two.

How does it feel to fly a plane? I am still in the early stages, so it is quite a challenge wrapping your head around all the different procedures, radio techniques and actual flying controls. But the feeling is like nothing you can describe. It is amazing, every time I finish a training flight; I sit quietly in the plane for a little while just taking it all in.

The ZuluLand Anti-Poaching (ZAP) Wing provides fantastic support to the region, what additional support can the microlight give? ZAP Wing has been instrumental in our fight against rhino poaching. Personally, and maybe I am biased, but I think an air-wing is a must when trying to combat poaching in large areas such as HiP. The LSA plays an integral role in law enforcement and conservation management. Its ability to fly slow and low, gives us an eagle’s eye view over our Reserve. We use the LSA for a number of different law enforcement and management tasks. These include general integrity surveillance, the identification and location of known suspect’s homesteads and carcass recovery. Carcass recovery, sadly so, has become extremely important. The faster we get to scenes, the more forensic evidence can be gathered, which gives us a better chance of making an arrest and improving the chances of conviction. In addition, information from sources has identified the LSA as a real visual threat to poachers. They are very aware and even scared of its presence. I believe that if were ever to lose the plane for any reason, we would see a significant increase in day time poaching. It is also used extensively in the monitoring of our rhino populations and other rare species such as wild dog. In general, it is a phenomenal conservation tool.

Are there advantages of the microlight compared to helicopters? The most obvious is the cost. It is much cheaper to keep a LSA in the air, which means we can fly for longer and have an obvious presence for longer periods of time. The maintenance costs are lower and the training required is cheaper.

How does your family feel about you learning to fly? My wife is very supportive of my job, lifestyle and my goal of getting my PPL. I think she knew what she was getting into when she married me! She is obviously a little nervous about my PPL. I start practising stalling the plane next week, and when I told her this I think she got a bit anxious. The term ‘life insurance’ was mentioned. But she is well aware what my job entails. It isn’t a run-of-the-mill, office-type job. We are constantly in situations that a normal man on the street would consider unsafe, but we are trained to do what we do, so flying I suppose is just another one of these things.

What do you most enjoy about being a ranger? So many things; it is difficult to pinpoint one specific thing. I think foremost is being able to live where I live. It is a true privilege to live in a conservation area. The peace, quiet and big open spaces are something you cannot buy. Secondly, to protect something that is more important than me, and which will hopefully be here long after I am gone. That applies to every area I have worked in, but I think iMfolozi Game Reserve is especially exceptional. It is arguably the oldest game reserve in Africa and is the conservation home of white and black rhino. It is an honour and privilege to work here and a responsibility I take very seriously.

What is the toughest aspect of working in rhino conservation? Right now without a doubt, the rhino poaching epidemic we are currently living through in South Africa. Rhino poaching has taken over our lives as rangers. We live and breathe it. We have to be on high alert all day and all night, every day, every month, all-year round. It is difficult to sustain that level all the time. It takes a toll on you, on your family and on your friendships. And then when you sacrifice so much, there is nothing more infuriatingly frustrating than when we lose a rhino. It is soul destroying. Even more heart-breaking, is that it is just a complete and utter waste. There is no value to rhino horn. Full stop.

Collaborating for conservatıon We would like to thank all our corporate partners and donors who help us provide essential support to our African and Asian field programmes, making a valued difference to our work in rhino conservation. Josephine Gibson | Corporate Relations Manager Linking your company with Save the Rhino can have a positive impact on your business’s brand strategy. We can provide unique communication materials and our iconic logo can demonstrate your company’s commitment to conservation. Here are some examples of how others have helped — why not join them?

The Bead Coalition has kindly supported our work by donating 20% of the RRP from Rhino Force bracelets sold in Europe and on their website. Instead of handing out Christmas gifts to their clients, the folks at creative agency Valencia Kommunikation donated 10,000 Swiss Francs in their name. Animal Friends Pet Insurance generously donated £5,000 following their charity competition in aid of World Wildlife Day. Thank you to everyone who voted for us on Facebook to win second place. 23red, the integrated creative communications agency, provided pro bono support for our ‘Help a Ranger, Save a Rhino’ campaign and the team also fundraised in their office. rhino’s energy GmbH kindly donated €1,500 each quarter and fundraised as a team to support our ‘Help a Ranger, Save a Rhino’ appeal to buy ranger equipment in Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park in South Africa, and Education for Nature Vietnam. Victor Stationery continues to provide vital support to our work protecting rhinos with their co-branded Rhino Stationery range. Victor Stationery has donated an incredible £66,500 for Save the Rhino since 2006. There are lots of great ways to help protect rhinos at work, such as choosing to donate through Payroll Giving. This is a tax-efficient way of giving, as you’ll receive tax relief on the donations at the top rate of tax, meaning that your donation will cost you less. Contact to find out more about getting your company involved in supporting rhino conservation.



Swaziland’s Big Game Parks Swaziland’s rhino story continues to be a positive one, although we have inevitably faced a number of challenges. Poaching continues to be an underlying threat to any rhino, and Swaziland’s rhinos are no exception. Mick Reilly | Head of Conservation and Security, Big Game Parks (BGP) waziland’s close proximity to Mozambique’s capital; Maputo (the most active centre of criminal syndicates smuggling rhino horns), is a constant reminder that poaching could escalate at any moment. Two of South Africa’s hottest poaching areas (Kruger National Park and Zululand) both lie further from Maputo than Swaziland does.


In spite of this, we have only had three rhinos poached in the past 22 years. Apart from a good dose of luck, we feel that the zero-tolerance approach that Swaziland practises through her laws and enforcement agencies has helped to suppress the poaching. The two rhino poaching cases at Hlane Royal National Park in 2011 were both conclusively solved within a matter of days, while the case at Mkhaya Game Reserve in 2014 took nine months to solve, when the poaching group attempted another poaching trip directly out of Mozambique that ended in disaster for them! The level of support the Parks receive from the police, the Prosecution Department, and not least, from the Head of State himself, shows massive political will. This results in no effort being spared when a poaching threat has been identified and the resources deployed are truly impressive. With poaching rising all around Swaziland, Big Game Parks (BGP) has embarked on a training programme for its rangers as well as the associated law enforcement support structures.

Top three pictures: Rangers undergo law enforcement training, including learning medical and rifle skills. Below: BGP also held a dog handlers course for three new handlers

Earlier this year, BGP put 51 rangers and 10 police officers from the Operational Support Services Unit through firearms handling and basic ranger-training courses. This training was provided by the British-based Endangered Species Protection Agency (ESPA), and was well received by the Swazi Police and rangers.


The course was partly funded by Sporting Rifle through Save the Rhino. This training has given the participants the confidence and operational competency they need to confront armed poaching gangs successfully. We are currently busy with the second phase of the ESPA training, which will bring advanced prosecution skills for wildlife cases to a group of eight prosecutors from the Directorate of Public Prosecutions. Commensurate with this, extra training is being done with the rangers to capacitate some of them as instructors. BGP also recently held a dog handlers course (top right) where three new handlers were trained and two new track

and apprehension dogs introduced to the rhino security force, generously sponsored by The most important part of law enforcement lies in good intelligence. BGP actively seeks information from the public through an advertised reward offer for information that leads to arrests and successful prosecution — especially information which prevents poaching. BGP has partnered with the International Rhino Foundation on this project. With a highly motivated and committed team of rangers, BGP remains committed to ensure that Swaziland’s rhinos are given the best chance of survival. BGP is highly appreciative of all the individuals and organisations that continue to support our conservation work and special thanks is due to the readers and publishers of Sporting Rifle magazine for their support in upgrading ranger facilities and sponsoring ranger training.

Grants Since October 2014, Save the Rhino has sent Big Game Parks a total of £15,681. With thanks to Sporting Rifle Magazine and its readers who raised a fantastic £13,171 through their magazine auction to buy vital equipment for rangers in Hlane Royal National Park and Mkhaya Game Reserve of Big Game Parks, Swaziland.

Rhino Conservation Awards 2015 A highlight of this year was when the Ingwenyama of Swaziland, His Majesty King Mswati III (left), deservedly received the ‘Best Political and Judicial Support’ award at the Game Rangers Association of Africa’s Rhino Conservation Awards, held in Johannesburg in July 2015.


This award has helped to bring further focus to the rhino poaching problem we face in Swaziland, and having been awarded to the Head of State, has automatically brought a lot of support for rhino conservation.

RHINOS OUR SPECIALITY The African Rhino Specialist Group (AfRSG) is one of about 130 IUCN SSC* groups focused on particular taxa, in this case, white and black rhinos. Mike Knight | Chair, AfRSG


was appointed Chair in 2011, and carry out AfRSG duties in addition to my fulltime work for SANParks; I am supported by Vice Chair Dr Benson Okita, now working for Save the Elephants, and by Dr Richard Emslie, the AfRSG’s Scientific Officer. The AfRSG’s goal is to promote the recovery and long-term management of viable populations of the various subspecies of Africa’s rhinos in the wild. We work across all African rhino Range States: Botswana, Kenya, Malawi, (Mozambique), Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Some of our activities are known long in advance (such as CITES† Conferences of the Parties or Standing Committee meetings and AfRSG biennial meetings), while others are shorter notice (e.g. national rhino plans) or even shorter reactive emergency responses, particularly given the current rhino poaching crisis. Other aspects of our work include contributing reports for Pachyderm, the biannual journal of the African Elephant, African Rhino and Asian Rhino Specialist Groups. We receive very welcome support from Save the Rhino International, which has taken on the burden of managing grant applications and reporting to a number of donors; deals with all the meeting logistics: booking flights, internal transfers, accommodation and conference facilities, and taking care of dietary requirements and room allocations. The Endangered Wildlife Trust manages our bank account and all income receipts and payments. We also receive grants for our ongoing work and the AfRSG meetings

from a wide range of donors: African Wildlife Foundation, the UK’s Dept of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, International Rhino Foundation, Nino the Rhino, Peace Parks Foundation, Save the Rhino, WWF-African Rhino Programme and WWF-South Africa, and SANParks very kindly covers my time on AfRSG business. The AfRSG would not be as effective without the active participation of its members: between the 55 of us, we have centuries’ worth of experience! And while the formal, acronym-filled meetings are invaluable, it’s amazing what you can resolve over a beer or two round the campfire.

*International Union for the Conservation of Nature, Species Survival Commission Convention on the Illegal Trade in Endangered Species

Grants Save the Rhino has set aside $5,000 from its core funds for the AfRSG 2016 meeting and £6,400 for ongoing activities. USFWS gave $15,000 for ongoing activities. USFWS has awarded $44,653, our sister nonprofit SRI Inc. $5,000, Defra £15,000 and IRF $2,500 for the 2016 meeting. The Anna Merz Rhino Trust has donated $12,000, Nino the Rhino donated €3,393 and the International Elephant Foundation $5,000 for Pachyderm. Our grateful thanks to all of these donors. We could not function without this kind support.

AfRSG’s 10 objectives ■

To provide the CITES Secretariat and CITES Parties with the best information to make informed and balanced decisions To facilitate rhino conservation mechanisms through liaison To recommend best practice and capacity building of Range States and their rhino programmes To facilitate the spread of information on rhino-related issues amongst Range States and civil society through enhanced communication and awareness activities To cultivate and maintain a positive donor support base To assist donors in making informed and strategic decisions on project applications by others To assist in minimising illegal rhino-related activities by assisting investigation and prosecution efforts and enabling decision makers (judiciary) to make informed decisions To enhance rhino conservation through the development of rhino conservation plans, strategies and policies To manage all funds within budget and time constraints, and efficient project management. To deal with any miscellaneous rhinorelated issues or queries

AFRSG Chair, Mike Knight (left) and Scientific Officer, Richard Emslie (right) with a blind black rhino in Kenya


Rhino update

Rhino Conservation Awards

the rhino

The daily gory reports of rhino poaching incidents have tailed off as the media grows jaded, and South Africa’s Department of Environmental Affairs has stopped publishing fortnightly figures on poaching incidents and rhino-related arrests. It can be hard to step back and get an overall view of what’s happening with rhinos. In this article therefore, we aim to provide a quick summary of what’s happening in Africa and Asia. Cathy Dean | Director, SRI


Since 2012, the annual Rhino Conservation Awards have served to recognise the remarkable individuals and organisations that dedicate themselves to protecting Africa’s rhino populations.

The state of


Africa As the website explains: ‘The key to the success of protecting the rhino will lie in the dedication of all the people involved in the fight against rhino poaching in Africa. These people often do selfless and unrecognized work to save our natural heritage that is in danger of being lost forever. ‘Sometimes this happens in the face of physical danger, political opposition and financial constraints. These factors make the contribution of each role player even more worthy of recognition – hence the reason for these awards. ‘The primary objective of the awards is to give recognition to the winners, runners up and all nominees, and in doing so raise awareness of what is done in the war against rhino poaching thereby providing motivation to involved role players to keep fighting to ensure the rhino’s survival’.


African rhino numbers are collated every two to three years by the IUCN SSC African Rhino Specialist Group (AfRSG), held in advance of CITES’ Conference of the Parties. The last CoP was held in 2013, and therefore the most up-to-date rhino population numbers we have are correct as at 31 December 2012. Overall totals then Democratic Republic were 20,405 Southern white rhinos of Congo and 5,055 black rhinos. Southern white rhinos are currently classified by the IUCN Red List as Near Threatened, though that seems likely to change next time the subspecies is assessed; black rhinos are Critically Endangered. Angola

Until we have these data, it is not possible fully to assess the impact of the poaching crisis on overall rhino Uganda numbers.However, we do have a Kenya good estimate of the annual number of rhinos killed by poachers in each Rwanda country throughout sub-Saharan Africa up to the end of 2014. It is Burundi clear that South Africa, which has by far the largest rhino population, is the hardest hit (with 1,215 rhinos Tanzania poached during 2014), though Kenya is level-pegging in terms of the percentage of its rhino population that have been killed during the last two years.

From these poaching statistics, Malawi In view of the rhino poaching crisis,Zambia the AfRSG’s Scientific Officer has calculated that if poaching continues the AfRSG asks that country totals to accelerate at the same rate it no longer be published. Some Mozambique has done, then – depending on individual parks and reserves choose Madagascar the underlying birth rate – 2015 to publicise information about rhino Zimbabwe could be the tipping point: the year numbers in their own areas, perhaps in which poaching and natural in order to attract tourists; however mortalities overtake births, i.e. overall we prefer not to quote population Botswana rhino numbers will go into decline. sizes in Namibia specific locations. The next It is depressing to contemplate CITES CoP is in September-October the careful work of the last two 2016, and the next AfRSG meeting is decades in building up African rhino in February 2016. That meeting will Swaziland population numbers and distribution therefore collate rhino numbers as at being undone by the poaching crisis. 31 December 2015. South Africa


Conservation award

The picture for each of the three Asian rhino species differs.

for Save the Rhino’s Director

Its goal is to have a wild population of at least 3,000 Greater one-horned rhinos in the Indian state of Assam– spread over seven protected areas– by the year 2020; an ambitious rhino range and population expansion programme, that would translocate animals from Kaziranga and Pobitora Wildlife Reserve and restock areas that had lost all their rhinos during previous poaching crises. Substantial capacity building, infrastructure development and community engagement would be required in each new area.


Congratulations to Cathy Dean, Director of Save the Rhino International, who is among the recipients of this year’s Harry Messel Award for Conservation Leadership. Cathy is a member of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature Species Survival Commission (IUCN SSC) African Rhino Specialist Group (AFRSG). Pictured is Mike Knight (right), chair of the AFRSG accepting the award from Simon Stuart (left), SSC Chair, on her behalf. Professor Harry Messel was the former long-standing Chair of the SSC Crocodile Specialist Group. The award, established in 2004 in his name, recognizes exemplary service to the SSC, especially from individuals who have made a specific contribution to species conservation on the ground or through their leadership, as part of the work of an SSC Specialist Group or Task Force.

Perhaps the greatest risk facing them is a stochastic event such as disease or a tsunami, though with numbers so low, there is a risk of loss of genetic diversity.



Bhutan China Greater Nepal one-horned rhinos, which are also known as Indian rhinos, are now found only in India and Nepal. As at 31 December 2012, there were Sumatran rhinos 3,333 animals distributed across three locations in Nepal (Chitwan National Sumatran rhinos number only Vietnam India Park, Bardia National Park andMyanmar around 100 animals, of which three Laosin captivity in Sabah Suklaphanta Wildlife Reserve) and are living in three states of India: Assam, West (Malaysia) on the island of Borneo. Bengal and Uttar Pradesh. Greater The remainder are in Sumatra, Thailand one-horned rhinos are classified by Indonesia, although camera trap the IUCN Red List as Vulnerable. images show that at least one animal survives in Kalimantan, the southern Cambodia The strongholds for Greater one(Indonesian) part of Borneo. horned rhinos are in Chitwan National Park and in Kaziranga The Sumatran populations are National Park in Assam. Since the distributed across three sites: Gunung beginning of the 20th century, Leuser, Bukit Barisan Selatan and Malaysia numbers have steadily grown in Way Kambas National Parks. Kaziranga; although the Park has also been enlarged over the years, it No Sumatran rhinos have been has exceeded its ecological carrying recorded as poached since 2006, capacity. In 2005, therefore, Indian but the main threats to the species Rhino Vision 2020 was launched, are habitat loss and population a partnership between the Assam fragmentation. They are classified as Forest Department, the Bodoland Critically Endangered. Indonesia Territorial Council, WWF, the International Rhino Foundation and Javan rhinos the US Fish and Wildlife Service. Javan rhinos have now been comprehensively surveyed and number between 58 and 61 animals; again, they are classified as Critically Endangered. They are all found in one location, in the western tip of Java (Indonesia), in Ujung Kulon National Park and the adjacent Gunung Honje area.


Greater one-horned rhinos

Cathy’s award is ‘In recognition of her passionate and committed leadership of Save the Rhino International, greatly benefitting rhinoceros conservation in Africa and Asia, and her long-term support of the SSC African Rhino Specialist Group.’



AN HEIR AND A SPARE? We are proud to announce that not-so-little Andatu (now weighing ~530 kg) is going to be a big brother! In January, male Andalas successfully mated with female Ratu, and, in May, we expect to have a second baby rhino at the Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary (SRS). Susie Ellis, PhD | Executive Director, International Rhino Foundation


his birth represents a continuation of the international love story between Cincinnati Zooborn Andalas, who was moved to the SRS from the United States in 2007, and Ratu, who wandered out of the Indonesian rainforest in 2005 and joined the SRS population in 2006.


Their male calf, Andatu, was born at the SRS in June 2012 — the first rhino born in a managed breeding facility in Asia in more than 140 years. The gender of the new calf is not yet known. Other big news is that Andalas’ ‘teenage’ brother Harapan, born in 2006, will soon leave Cincinnati to live at the SRS. Cincinnati Zoo-born brothers Andalas and Harapan are the only remaining descendants of their parents, both deceased. Harapan has been living the bachelor life for quite some time; experts agree that he will be better off living with others of his kind at the SRS. We are hopeful that Harapan will have the opportunity to learn to breed, and hopefully sire his own offspring in the near future. The Sumatran rhino is one of the most threatened mammals on the planet, and while one birth won’t save the species, it’s a step in the right direction. Sumatran rhinos now number fewer than 100, living in three populations in Indonesia; Bukit Barisan Selatan, Way Kambas, and Gunung Leuser National Parks. These populations are further divided into at least 10 fragmented groups, numbering anywhere from two to 35 individuals. The species has been declared extinct in Malaysia, where wild population numbers plummeted from 60—80 animals to zero over the past 10 years due to poaching and small population issues such as the Allee effect. DEDI CANDRA

Above: Rhino Protection Units in the field, including river patrols on the live-aboard Unicorn II


This past year, funded by the Disney Conservation Fund, the International Rhino Foundation and partners convened a series of strategic planning workshops in Indonesia, bringing together some of the best rhino experts from

around the globe to plot out a species recovery strategy for the next 10 years. Among others, key actions to save the Sumatran rhinos are: ■■ ■■




Intensify protection in the National Parks Create Intensive (‘no-go’) Protection Zones within the Parks Expand the SRS so that it can accommodate more animals and produce more calves Consolidate straggler animals either into the Intensive Protection Zones or, if examination shows that an animal (particularly females) has good reproductive potential, move them to the SRS Carry out extensive awareness campaigns targeting multiple audiences to call attention to the plight of the Sumatran rhino

While these recommendations are being implemented, Rhino Protection Units (RPUs) remain the backbone of protection for the species. The 13, IRF-funded RPUs protecting Sumatran rhinos in Bukit Barisan Selatan and Way Kambas National Parks routinely encounter illegal hunting, logging and fishing activities. Other illegal activities detected include live-trapping of birds for the pet trade; livestock grazing and the planting of agricultural crops; the collection of non-timber forest products; and setting fires to generate fresh vegetation and attract game species. In Way Kambas National Park, in addition to land patrols, thanks to Save the Rhino’s donation of a new live-aboard guard post, the Unicorn II, the teams are now able to patrol the rivers — an entry point for many illegal activities. We are deeply grateful for Save the Rhino’s ongoing support of these programmes, which are now, and will remain, the front line of protection for this critically endangered rhino species.

Grants Since October 2014, Save the Rhino has sent a total of £3,958 for Sumatran rhino conservation efforts, including €5,000 from Wilhelma Zoo Stuttgart.


Javan rhinos

Things are looking up Living on the brink of extinction, the critically endangered Javan rhino (Rhinoceros sondaicus) numbers 57– 61 individuals, and exists only in 76,300 ha in Indonesia’s Ujung Kulon National Park (UKNP). Susie Ellis, PhD | Executive Director, International Rhino Foundation


t is perhaps earth’s most threatened terrestrial mammal, and one of two Asian rhino species in serious trouble. Javan rhinos have been monitored and protected by the UKNP park authority, WWF Indonesia, and Yayasan Badak Indonesia (YABI or the Rhino Foundation of Indonesia) for the past three decades, with no recorded instances of poaching.

In addition to the poaching risk, the species’ single-site location is the greatest threat, making it susceptible to disease and/or natural disasters such as volcanic eruption and earthquakes.


There has been good news for Javan rhinos this past year. Previous population estimates suggested that between The Javan rhino is perhaps 38 and 44 earth’s most threatened terrestrial animals lived mammal, and one of two Asian in the Park. rhino species in serious trouble Using camera traps donated by the International Rhino Foundation and WWF so that full coverage of the Park could be achieved, UKNP camera trap experts documented between 58 and 61 rhinos. An independent team from the IUCN Asian Rhino Specialist Group verified these figures. For the past three years, YABI has employed >120 local people to remove Arenga palm in a 5,000-ha area in the eastern portion of the park called the Javan Rhino Study and Conservation Area (JRSCA). Arenga palm is an invasive species that chokes out rhino food plants. Working in the JRSCA area allows local people to benefit from the Park and to learn more about Javan rhino conservation efforts. Without the sun-blocking effect of Arenga,

rhino food plants can regenerate rather quickly. Even with only 78 ha now cleared, the JRSCA area already has attracted nine new rhinos, including a cow and her calf. The rest of the JRSCA project is nearly complete. An 8 km fence has been constructed at the border of the project to protect the rhinos from diseases carried by domestic cattle, which still wander into the Park to graze. The JRSCA is planned as the launching site for rhinos that will be moved to establish a second population in the species’ historic range. Assessments of potential promising habitats have just been completed and the report is being finalised. The challenges in UKNP are not unlike those facing many other protected areas — with limited resources and growing human populations, there inevitably will be conflict. The buffer zone around the Park is home to 4,693 people in two communities. Currently, 50—81% of the buffer zone population lives in poverty. 46% depend on forest resources to survive and 90% of those are farmers. For conservation to be successful, alternative livelihoods need to be developed and efforts made to synergise stakeholders as new income-generating activities are developed. And, it must be done in a way that decreases the pressures on the Park’s resources and also enhances the relationship between Park officials and local communities. Without good relationships, there is a risk of disturbance and potential rhino habitat degradation. Four, four-man Rhino Protection Units (RPUs) funded by the International Rhino Foundation (including contributions from Save the Rhino) and managed by YABI, are the backbone of protection for this species. RPUs comprise three local people hired after a rigorous selection process, and one park guard who has the authority to make arrests and carry a weapon. There are still significant illegal activities within the Park, including fishing, hunting / trapping and encroachment. There are four operational RPU teams in place; this coming year, we hope to add two more units so that the new cleared area can be adequately patrolled and illegal activities further decreased in the Park.

Above: A Javan rhino and her calf caught on a camera trap Main: Between 58 – 61 Javan rhinos are now estimated to survive



Thorny issues Can synthetic rhino horn

save the rhino? Could manufacturing synthetic rhino horn mean that fewer rhinos are poached? Or will it expand the market, complicate law-enforcement, and lead to more rhino killings? Cathy Dean | Director, SRI   Susie Ellis, PhD | Executive Director, International Rhino Foundation Whose idea is this? So far, three companies have announced their intentions to manufacture synthetic rhino horn: Rhinoceros Horn LLC said, ‘We’ve teamed up with the world’s leading developer of keratin products, Keraplast Technologies, and using Replicine™ Functional Keratin® have produced a keratin protein powder that is biologically identical to the keratin in rhino horn’

Above left: Buffalo horn is often sold as fake ‘rhino horn’

Visit our website to read and comment on more thorny issues including poisoning rhino horns rhino_info/thorny_issues


How will synthetic rhino horn be marketed? It’s not clear whether the companies have resolved their target market: those buying whole rhino horn, primarily to demonstrate their status or those believing in the socalled medicinal properties of rhino horn, which is bought in smaller pieces or as powder. It is unclear how the companies will market the medicinal properties of their ‘horns’. Pembient has said it will price its synthetic horn at a lower price than that of real horn sold by criminals.

How will synthetic horn be distinguished from rhino horn?


Top right: Real rhino horn from a de-horning procedure

Pembient’s first batch of powder was ‘primarily proteinbased and didn’t have genetic components of a rhino’ but the company has apparently since produced additional batches that ‘now include genetic components of a rhino itself.’ (Africa Geographic)

Pembient is primarily engineering rhino horn powder in its labs, but is working towards developing solid rhino horn substitutes. They claim to do this by duplicating the cells, proteins and deposits in a rhino horn so the synthetic version is genetically similar. Stop Poaching Through Synthetic Rhino Horn claimed ‘Through the extraction of DNA via genuine rhino horn, cells are to be grown and developed in labs’.

Will synthetic rhino horn be close to the real thing? Rhinoceros Horn LLC stated ‘Our product is biologically identical to rhino horn and composed of the same keratin. The only difference lies in the amino acids; in our product they are bioactive, meaning they can interact with the human body and give health benefits. Rhino horn has amino acids that are not bioactive’. Other than this, the two keratin protein powders are identical in composition, texture, smell, taste, etc.’ (Safaritalk)

None of the companies has (yet) addressed this. However, if they move to producing synthetic horns, there will be an obvious requirement to resolve this, not just for potential buyers but also for law enforcement agencies, in order to distinguish between illegal real horn and legal synthetic horn. The problem is particularly acute when horn is sold ground into powder.

Will the sale of synthetic rhino horn stop rhino poaching? More than 90% of ‘rhino horns’ in circulation are fake (mostly buffalo horn or wood), but poaching continues to rise annually. Selling synthetic horn does not reduce the demand for rhino horn or dispel the myths around rhino horn and could lead to more poaching because it increases demand for ‘the real thing’. The availability of legal synthetic horn could remove the stigma of buying illegal real horn. Wealthy users will likely use trusted sources to acquire wild rhino horns, further pushing up prices and demand. Marketing synthetic horn to the ‘intender’ consumer group could increase the number of people wishing to buy real rhino horn when they can afford it. ‘Wild’ rhino horn might be perceived as more desirable than ‘farmed’ or synthetic rhino horn, as seen with other wildlife products, e.g. tiger bone and ginseng. Synthetic horn could give credence to the notion that rhino horn has medicinal value. Save the Rhino, the International Rhino Foundation and many other conservation organisations are opposed to the development, marketing and sale of synthetic rhino horn, which is diverting funds and attention from the real problem: unsustainable levels of rhino poaching.

Article adapted from a joint statement by the International Rhino Foundation and Save the Rhino published June 2015.

Thorny issues THE USE OF DRONES IN RHINO CONSERVATION In recent years, various new technologies have emerged aimed at tackling wildlife crime. Drones, satellite imagery, predictive analysis, DNA analysis, hidden cameras, GPS equipment and apps have been used to predict, locate, track and catch suspected poachers. Cathy Dean | Director, SRI   Abigail Salmon | SRI volunteer Drones, in particular, have received increased press attention as a ‘silver bullet’ to end the current rhino poaching crisis. But how effective are they?

What are drones? Drones, also known as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are remotely piloted aircraft, controlled either autonomously on-board by computers or via remote control of a pilot on the ground. They are usually deployed for military operations, but also used in a growing number of civil applications. While drones employed by the military can fly long distances and carry heavy loads (e.g. missiles), drones for conservation purposes are much smaller and more limited. Typically, they measure 1—2 metres across, have a flight time of 30—60 minutes, a range of 30—50km, and can acquire photographs, video footage and produce maps of surveyed areas. They can be equipped with night-vision equipment or thermalimaging cameras, so can be used 24 hours per day.

Evaluating drones’ effectiveness for conservation As a tool for monitoring wildlife, drones have proved useful for monitoring some species. For example, they have been used for orangutan conservation in Indonesia as they can fly above the tree canopy — a task previously difficult and timeconsuming for rangers — to track and monitor populations by observing nests. Funding for drones Equipped drones are not cheap, with prices ranging from $50,000 to upwards of $250,000. However drones have been successful in attracting funding. In 2012, Google gave $5 million to WWF to purchase conservation drones to fly over parts of Africa and Asia to help monitor and catch wildlife poachers. Can drones be used to help combat rhino poaching? As a tool for anti-poaching, drones have a variety of capabilities. The Air Shepherd Initiative says it uses militarystyle computer analytics to identify poaching hot spots, and then sends silent drones with night-vision equipment to track

Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya partnered with AirWare to carry out testing to complement ranger teams. The trial was deemed successful but it was noted that ‘finding an airframe that was robust enough for the environment proved difficult’.

What are the problems with drones as rhino-protection tools? Concerns that conservation drones may be misused have led to bans in certain areas. In January 2015, the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority banned the use of drones, advising organisations that permission should be sought from the Ministry of Defence, while Namibia has banned the use of drones over all of the country’s national parks. There are technological limitations to drones’ usefulness; they have a limited battery life, range must be within lineof-sight of the operator, and malfunction can lead to an expensive crash. Equipment can make them heavy and gusty winds or hilly terrain can make them difficult to operate. Most importantly, drones may be unmanned but they still require skilled operators. If the operator has not received sufficient training, the capabilities will not be fully utilised. And in some cases, drone operators have allegedly been bribed to give out sensitive rhino location details to poachers.

What does Save the Rhino think about drones? When we’re considering how to allocate our funds, we always, always ask the rangers what the priorities are, rather than being led by companies manufacturing specific items of kit. While drones have a role in conservation, a single piece of technology will not solve the poaching crisis. It’s of paramount importance to have the basics in place first: wellequipped and highly trained rangers on the ground. To learn more about the different types and capabilities of drones, visit


Field programme managers watch a road test of a drone in Namibia

poachers. In partnership with the University of Maryland, they use algorithms to predict when and where poaching will take place. Rangers are then pre-deployed to intercept poachers.


India THE CHALLENGES , OF EXPANDING INDIA S RHINO POPULATION A true success story, the Greater one-horned (Indian rhino) has been brought back from fewer than 100 animals in the early 1900s. Today, more than 85% of the world’s Greater one-horned rhino population inhabits Kaziranga National Park in Assam, India. Susie Ellis, PhD | Executive Director, International Rhino Foundation


The need to spread India’s rhino population out in the vast areas still containing good habitat led to the development of the ambitious Indian Rhino Vision 2020 (IRV 2020) programme in 2006. IRV 2020 aims to increase Assam’s Greater one-horned rhinos to 3,000 animals spread out among seven protected areas by 2020. The programme is a partnership among the Government of Assam, the Bodo Territorial Council, WWF-India, the US Fish & Wildlife Service and the International Rhino Foundation (IRF). The protected areas to where rhinos will be moved include Manas National Park and the Burachapori Wildlife Sanctuary, areas in which rhinos once were common.

Above: Local villages around Manas and Burachapori received piglets as part of a community livelihoods project Main: Greater onehorned rhino



Top right: Constructing the boma fence at BurachaporiLaokhowa Wildlife Sanctuary

In Manas, violent civil conflict beginning in ~1989 caused massive damage to the Park’s infrastructure and resulted in the loss of its rhino population. However, we are well on the way to rebuilding the population: 18 animals were translocated to the Park between 2008 and 2011, under IRV 2020, and another eight animals were rescued from floods in Kaziranga, hand-reared, and released into Manas by the Wildlife Trust of India. The programme has had highs and lows over the past several years: eight of the IRV 2020 animals have been poached, but 11 calves also have been born, the most recent in July 2015. It is interesting to note that the recent mother gave birth to her first calf in April 2013 and the second calf now after almost 26 months. The father, one of the first animals moved to the Park,


aving most of the animals in one population puts it at risk from catastrophes such as floods or disease outbreaks, which could lead to a serious population decline. It is never wise to have ’all the eggs in one basket’ because a single disaster could wipe out a century of progress in a very short time.

was poached in November 2014. Sadly, all of the breeding-age males have been killed and there is now no breeding male in the Park’s 31 rhinos. The last three poaching events can be attributable to an insurgency movement in the area, over which IRV 2020 partners have no control. Until security issues are resolved, IRV 2020 partners are not investing further resources, except for a Save the Rhino—Chester Zoo-supported ‘community livelihoods’ project. Because of its decaying infrastructure and loss of species, the UNESCO World Heritage Commission placed Manas on the ‘In Danger list’ in 1992, just seven years after it gained World Heritage Site status. Its designation as a World Heritage Site was reinstated in 2011. The IRV 2020 rhino translocations, as well as tiger conservation projects in the area, greatly assisted this process; IRV 2020 provided a boost in terms of infrastructure development, manpower deployment (e.g. home guards and others), community support mobilisation and tourism growth in the Park. In November 2014, disheartened by the rhino poaching losses in Manas, IRV 2020 partners convened a population modelling workshop in Guwahati, Assam, to review progress with IRV 2020 translocations to-date and to discuss future rhino moves. The workshop, led by Dr. Phil Miller of the IUCN Conservation Breeding

the real numbers needed for the long-term success of the IRV 2020, taking into account the experience in Manas with poaching losses ■■Modelling predicted population growth rates and the

numbers of rhinos needed to make translocations a success ■■Discussing ways to ameliorate known threats as well as

unforeseen events The models created at the workshop suggest that the introduction of additional rhino into Manas National Park would likely not be necessary if poaching could be eliminated over the long-term. As this is unlikely in the near future, translocations would almost certainly be required to substantially increase the Manas rhino population over the next one to two decades. However, translocations can only be successful if poaching pressure is reduced to less than one animal poached every year — which may not be a realistic goal at this time. Until the current intensity of poaching is reduced to zero for several years, the IRV partners will not move more animals to the Park, as this would be an unwise placement of a precious resource. Burachapori, the next site for IRV 2020 translocations, also once held a significant population of rhinos. In 1955, 41 animals (25 males, 12 females, and one calf of unknown sex) were documented in the area. By the early 1980s, Burachapori was home to more than 70 rhinos. However, in 1983—84, poachers killed more than 40 rhinos within a matter of weeks. The rest of the surviving rhinos fled to safer protected areas nearby, such as Orang and Kaziranga National Parks. The habitat in Burachapori is still of good quality and can readily support a re-established rhino population, but as population models demonstrate, a new population cannot tolerate poaching. Using lessons learned in Manas, particularly about the importance of round-the-clock, proactive protection, the animals will be contained within a well-protected large (1.5km2) boma in Burachapori for at least 6—12 months before being released into the Park. The IRV 2020 partners plan to move the first six rhinos from Kaziranga later in 2015. Stay tuned!

Grants Since October 2014, Save the Rhino has sent £11,043 to IRV 2020, including $7,500 from SRI Inc. and £1,847 from Chester Zoo for community livelihoods around Manas and Burachapori, and €5,000 from Opel Zoo towards fence costs for Burachapori-Laokhowa Wildlife Sanctuary Complex.

Cathy Dean | Director, SRI I hugely enjoy my monthly skype catch-ups with Dr Jo Shaw of WWF-South Africa and Dr Susie Ellis of the International Rhino Foundation. Over the past few months, we’ve discussed many topics, including the practicalities of the next AfRSG meeting, grant reports and proposals for our respective donors, the UK’s government’s Illegal Wildlife Trade Challenge Fund and prospective projects for that, and a number of controversial rhino-related issues that have arisen. One of these, the proposed development of synthetic rhino horn, resulted in a joint statement by the IRF and Save the Rhino criticising the plans. We also work closely with zoos in the UK and Europe, who want help with channelling their support to rhino conservation efforts in Africa and Asia. With the enthusiastic support of Friederike von Houwald, based at Basel Zoo and Chair of the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria’s Rhino Taxon Advisory Group, we have recruited around 25 zoos that raise funds for rhino conservation each year. We’ve also recently started liaising with Kira Mileham, the IUCN’s Director Specialist Group Partnerships, who will be presenting on in- and ex-situ relationships at various upcoming international conservation meetings, using the African Rhino Specialist Group as the blueprint for successful partnerships. There are many other organisations with which we discuss our work, whether its news from a particular field programme or choosing which database to support our fundraising, for example, David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation, the Royal Foundation, Save African Rhino Foundation, Tusk Trust and the US Fish and Wildlife Service. We can be so much more effective if we unite for rhinos.


■■Discussing and determining

Save the Rhino has just six full-time and one part-time member of staff. Even with the help of our fabulous donors, volunteers and supporters, we can’t save the rhino all by ourselves. Instead, we have worked hard to build great relationships with other donor agencies.


Specialist Group focused on:



Unite for rhinos



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the limit

Run rhino run ASSAM RHINOS CC

Juliet Pierrot (below) took to the skies to show her support for rhinos, raising over £1,500. Juliet explains why: ‘I became aware of the rapid decline in rhino numbers, and the reality hit me that they will become extinct in my lifetime, let alone my future grandchildren’s, so I decided I needed to try to make a difference.’

Assam Rhinos

cricket club This year the London-based Assam Rhinos cricket club (above), chose to support Save the Rhino as their charity.

Jim’s top tip when fundraising for rhinos: ‘Don’t be shy in asking – it turns out there is more love for the rhino than you can possibly imagine and people desperately want you to do well’.


The team has been busy raising awareness for rhinos and fundraising at their matches and charity dinner. They are set to raise £1,000 by the end of the year.

Jim Higham (below) took on 13.1 miles in the infamous rhino costume, raising over £2,000.



A huge thank you to the incredible staff and visitors at Woburn Safari Park, who have supported our Rhino Dog Squad appeal this year by raising £8,000. Woburn have held several fundraising weekends with raffles, lucky-dips, arts and crafts, face-painting, info stands and more!

Trekking to the

Blair Drummond

Safari Park

roof of Africa

Fundraising Files

Kris says ‘As a “ranger” in the safari park I work daily to educate our visitors about how special, important and fragile nature is. Now I wanted to do something more than just talk about the importance of conservation. Climbing Kilimanjaro seemed an excellent way to meet a personal challenge and also to contribute to the survival of rhinos in the wild.’

ted straight Handy ‘How to’ guides — get star filled es away with our step-by-step guid w to run an with everything you need to kno even break event, organise a street party or d a world record! Downloa them from our website fundraise or contact for more info.


Thank you to Zoo Zlin for raising €2,590 for our Help a Ranger, Save a Rhino appeal, with a great exhibit showing our awareness film in front of their rhino enclosure, and collecting funds in a unique carved wooden donation box.

Dublin Zoo Dublin Zoo has been a fantastic supporter of Save the Rhino for many years. As well as donating every year to support the Lowveld Rhino Trust, they have also taken part in annual World Rhino Day celebrations, this year baking yummy cakes (top and above), hosting raffles, a silent auction, selling merchandise and more!

It’s Just Hair Thank you to the wonderful Alison Squance (right) who shaved her head to fundraise for rhinos.


Kris, Hans, Laura and Maartje (above) from Safaripark Beekse Bergen in the Netherlands climbed Mt Kilimanjaro in aid of Save the Rhino. They have raised an amazing £19,000 so far through zoo fundraising, donations and by selling Save the Rhino wristbands.

Thank you to everyone at Blair Drummond for their commitment to fundraising for rhino conservation. To celebrate World Rhino Day this year, they held a rhino raffle to win a beautiful rhino sculpture by Lesley McKenzie, with proceeds split between Save the Rhino and OSCAP (Outraged SA Citizens Against Poaching).


Christopher Howe ran the British London 10k Run raising a fantastic £2,900 for rhinos. His highlight was ‘the generosity the cause seemed to generate. It made me run faster.’ Christopher achieved a time of 46 minutes, putting him in the top 2% of 25,000 runners.


Woburn Safari Park

Alison’s highlight of the challenge was the event itself, at which she auctioned off the right to shave her head at Mkuze Cricket Club to friends and supporters. Alison raised over £4,000, which we have used to pay for a FLIR for South Africa’s HluhluweiMfolozi Park.



Off to a running start…


. . . UPDATE . . . UPDATE Viet Nam. . . UPDATE . . . UPDATE . . . UPDATE . . . UPDATE . . . UPDATE . . . UPDATE

, What s going on

with Viet Nam? Viet Nam is a key consumer country driving the demand for rhino horn, linked to its economic growth and increasing levels of disposable income creating a demand for wildlife products. Susie Offord | Deputy Director, SRI


In December 2012, the governments of South Africa and Viet Nam signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) aimed at promoting co-operation between the two countries in conserving and protecting biodiversity, law enforcement and compliance with CITES. Early in 2014, the Vietnamese Prime Minister issued a top-level Directive prioritising enforcement to combat poaching and trafficking of ivory and rhino horn. The same year, Viet Nam also signed the London Declaration requiring countries to treat ‘illegal wildlife trade’ as a serious crime and enforce strong legislation. The country also took part in the follow up conference in early 2015 in Kasane. However, the Vietnamese government has a long way to go; current laws are not strong deterrents for environmental crimes. There is a lack of clarity and guidance from the government on current wildlife laws, which has led to a delay in prosecutions. There is also a large knowledge gap of wildlife crime law by many in the judiciary and prosecution service. The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime has supported the Vietnamese government in the review and revision of the national Penal Code addressing wildlife crime. It is expected that the new Code will be passed in November 2015. In the meantime law enforcement officers must use the existing Code. Education for Nature Vietnam (ENV) explains that this lack of guidance means the police are often only able to log a criminal case (for further investigation) and are still awaiting advice from Central Government before pursuing them further.



nternational pressure has increasingly focused on Viet Nam to take strong measures to mitigate this problem. Viet Nam is a signatory to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) and has made a series of obligations to tackle the illegal trade in rhino horn. The Vietnamese government has indicated at international meetings and to the press that it is fully committed to clamping down on the trade in and consumption of rhino horn.

There have been media reports of law enforcement agencies making arrests and seizures; however it is difficult to quantify how many arrests and prosecutions have been made, and the level, i.e. are these kingpins or people lower down the chain? To understand the motivations of rhino horn consumers, a handful of consumer surveys were completed between 2013—15, organised by TRAFFIC and the Humane Society International (HSI). Each survey had a small sample size so the results are not conclusive, but are a useful guide when designing campaigns. Results suggest that only a small number of people in Viet Nam consume rhino horn, however many more would buy it if they could afford to. TRAFFIC’s consumer research identified elite, powerful businessmen as one of the key consumers of rhino horn, who use it as a status symbol to demonstrate their wealth. It is also used for non-traditional purposes such as a miracle cancer cure or a body detoxifier following excessive consumption of alcohol or rich food. There have been many demand reduction campaigns in Viet Nam, with different approaches and predominately led by the NGO community. There are two types of campaigns — general awareness campaigns and targeted behaviour-change campaigns — with varying messages reaching different people. Save the Rhino has partnered with ENV and TRAFFIC on campaigns since 2013. There are signs that demand reduction campaigns are having some success, but it will take a lot more to ultimately change the behaviour of rhino horn consumers. Behaviour change is incredibly difficult to measure, especially when small numbers of individuals are involved and it is an illegal activity. Viet Nam is due to host the Illegal Wildlife Trade Conference in 2016, with world leaders and the international press attending. This will be an opportunity for Viet Nam to demonstrate whether it is capable of and is committed to effectively tackling the problem of illegal wildlife trade.

. . . UPDATE . . . UPDATE . . . UPDATE . . . UPDATE . . . UPDATE . . . UPDATEViet . . . DATE . . . UPDATE . . Nam

One year’s progress of

the Chi campaign This year’s World Rhino Day, 22 September 2015, marked the one-year anniversary of TRAFFIC and SRI’s Chi Campaign in Viet Nam, but the story of this rhino horn demand reduction campaign goes back to 2013. Jill Capotosto | Communications Officer, TRAFFIC Viet Nam

Developed in collaboration with PSI/Vietnam by combining insights from the 2013 survey and local focus groups, the Chi Campaign invokes the Vietnamese concept of inner strength and the power of will (or ‘chi’) to promote the idea that success and respect The Vietnamese government has a come from within, not from a long way to go: current laws are not piece of horn. This campaign strong deterrents for environmental complements TRAFFIC’s work crimes with little enforcement with Viet Nam’s Ministry of Health addressing ‘functional’ motivators for using rhino horn, e.g. reducing fever or curing cancer. As part of the Chi campaign TRAFFIC organised a group awareness event with business leaders, including a cycling race

Since its launch on World Rhino Day 2014, the Chi Campaign has been rolled out in Viet Nam’s biggest cities through outdoor billboards, Chi-themed networking and lifestyle events, and, a forum for discussing and learning about Chi. To mark one year of Chi, a Chi-themed video featuring prominent figures in Viet Nam, including the internationally-renowned designer Khai Silk, LUALA CEO Do Ngoc Minh and composer and producer Huy Tuan, premiered at our World Rhino Day 2015 celebration. In its first month online, the video (on YouTube as CHÍ (Bản đầy đủ/ Full version) was viewed over 52,000 times. The signing of a three-year memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Viet Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI), the largest business association in the country, marked one of the biggest accomplishments of the Chi Campaign’s first year. Through this partnership, the Chi Campaign has reached businesses, and their wealthy urban male employees, across the country through specially designed materials and workshops that promote the integration of wildlife protection into corporate social responsibility (CSR) practices. Already the MoU has led to the training of 29 VCCI master trainers in social marketing and CSR, equipping them to bring the business community into the fight against the illegal trade and consumption of endangered species, especially rhinos. These trainers will integrate the Chi

message about CSR into at least 100 workshops through December 2015, creating a ripple effect that spreads Chi to enterprises and business leaders across the country. We’ve reached some of these business leaders directly through a Chi-themed bike ride event held in collaboration with VCCI’s Da Nang branch. Over 100 business leaders participated, spreading the Chi message as they rode through the city in their Chi t-shirts and helmets. TRAFFIC has also held a capacity building workshop for 26 high-level VCCI staff about the importance of wildlife and their role in protecting endangered species, especially rhinos, by sharing what they learned with their colleagues via official VCCI communication channels and informal faceto-face discussions. With year one of the Chi Campaign complete, TRAFFIC has set bigger and more refined goals for our second year. Guided by insights from our first baseline survey (completed in January 2015), future campaign efforts will continue to utilise channels established in year one while also developing more creative and innovative ways to influence rhino horn consumers. We will focus on strengthening partnerships to find Chi ambassadors and role models who will fully implement our CSR guidelines for wildlife protection. By consistently incorporating lessons learned, we will continue to improve the Chi Campaign while also building a structure to apply behaviour change principles to demand reduction work for other endangered species. With an effective strategy to tackle demand, we can complement efforts to combat supply and transport of endangered species. To celebrate World Rhino Day, and the one-year anniversary of the Chi Campaign, TRAFFIC built on SRI’s Nail it for Rhinos theme into a special reception for VIPs from embassies, conservation NGOs, the Vietnamese government, and our Chi target audience. By clipping their nails and signing TRAFFIC’s life-size rhino model, those attending helped spread the message that rhino horn is made of the same material as human nails, and that they refuse to use, gift or accept rhino horn.

Grants We are very grateful to the UK government’s Illegal Wildlife Trade Challenge Fund, which awarded c. £289,075 for this work. Save the Rhino has added £30,000 from our own core funds for the 26-monthlong project.



consumer study conducted that year laid the foundation for what would become the first campaign to use behaviour change principles and social marketing for species conservation. The survey identified one of the primary groups of rhino horn users as wealthy urban males aged between 35 — 55 who are driven by ‘emotional’ motivators — their beliefs that rhino horn shows status, detoxifies the body and cures hangovers.


. . UPDATEViet . . . UPDATE Nam. . . UPDATE . . . UPDATE . . . UPDATE . . . UPDATE . . . UPDATE . . . UPDATE

A snapshot of the war to save

rhinos from the frontlines of Viet Nam

Viet Nam is considered a major contributor to the current rhino crisis. A dozen Vietnamese citizens have been arrested in South Africa, Mozambique and elsewhere for their involvement in rhino horn trade. Doug Hendrie | Wildlife Crime and Investigations Unit Advisor, ENV


iet Nam is well known to be one of the major consumer markets for rhino horn. Since 2010, Education for Nature Vietnam (ENV) has documented 159 cases relating to selling, advertising, smuggling, and trading of rhino horn in Viet Nam. 75 of these cases involved advertising and selling horns, many on the internet, and most believed to be advertisements for fake products.

Photos show a wide range of awareness campaigns, produced by ENV, aimed at reducing the demand for rhino horn Partnerships include cinemas, elite gyms, car showrooms, luxury hotels and golf clubs


While ENV has engaged in reducing consumer demand for wildlife since 2000, rhino-specific demandreduction activities began in 2011 and have involved airing public service announcements on TV and radio, media campaigns, viral advertising and outreach activities targeting both consumers and the wider public. ENV’s consumertargeted campaigns include partnerships with luxury car makers, golf clubs, elite membership gyms, and luxury hotels. ENV has also worked with the Viet Nam Business Association (VCCI) to gauge the attitudes of CEOs, and surveyed more than 90 traditional medicine outlets to evaluate attitudes towards use of rhino horn. In 2013, ENV and the Rhinose Foundation brought a key National Assembly committee leader, a senior police commander, a national celebrity and a journalist from Viet Nam to South Africa. The aim was to expose the delegation to the situation in South Africa so they would promote the cause back home. Despite initial claims by the delegation that rhino horn consumption was not a major problem in Viet Nam, the mission transformed their attitudes, accepting that demand from Vietnamese


consumers, while not alone, was driving the killing of rhinos in South Africa. The message was clear; the war needs to be fought and won in both Africa and Asia. ENV returned to South Africa the following year with another Vietnamese delegation. ENV also focuses on strengthening law enforcement, working closely with its partners mapping Vietnamese-led criminal networks that operate well beyond Viet Nam’s borders. ENV’s Wildlife Crime Unit and investigations team spend the majority of their office hours working with the public and law enforcement authorities to address consumer crime. A typical case starts with a hotline phone call, email or facebook message. On 30 October 2014, ENV received a report from TRAFFIC about a man advertising rhino horn on the internet. After several days of negotiation, the seller agreed to meet ENV’s investigators. The seller was very cautious initially, however after further discussion, the tension eased and the lead investigator convinced the seller their offer was genuine, but she required her brother to verify the authenticity of the horn before purchase. Unlike most advertisements, which usually offer fake products such as buffalo horn, ENV’s follow up as well as the price asked suggested that the horn may be genuine. ENV brought Hanoi Environmental Police (EP) up to speed with the case, after which EP set up a buy, arresting two Hanoi men with a piece of rhino horn and a fake firearm, reportedly used to impress buyers if needed. Police raided the subject’s home recovering another piece of rhino horn and various tiger claws and canines. The rhino horn was later determined to be genuine, originating from a white rhino. Unfortunately most rhino horn cases in Viet Nam have never seen a day in court; thus ENV policy and legislation team have been working closely with the government to strengthen laws. ENV comprises 30 hard-working Vietnamese on the frontlines of the fight, doing their best to ensure the world’s rhinos do not follow the path of Viet Nam’s rhinos, lost forever in 2010 to greed and indifference in a rapidly developing world.

Grants Since November 2014, Save the Rhino has sent a total of £11,373 to ENV, including €2,500 from Association Ecofaune Virement, €5,600 from Ales Weiner, £5,000 from the James Gibson Charitable Trust and other miscellaneous donations and our own core funds.


Rhinos at school

Our young rhino supporters are a dedicated bunch of rhino stars, helping fundraise and raise awareness across the world for rhino conservation. Thank you to each and every one of you.

Claverham Community College whose pupils raised £76.12

Baking for rhinos

George Heriot’s School raised £479.04 by their S6 pupils end of term show ‘The Last Hurrah’

Friends Eve, Tess, Helen, Anoushka and Niamh (above) held a successful Save the Rhino stall in October, selling cakes and t-shirts to fundraise for rhinos rasing an amazing £369.23 for Save the Rhino!

Thank you to Mareike Poelzer who first supported Javan rhinos in 2013, and has continued her dedicated efforts to raise a further £576 to support critically endangered Javan rhinos

Help change the world

Sir Henry Floyd Grammar School raised £425 through a series of fundraising events


Helping Javan Rhinos

Natural Heroes Kids Thank you to the Natural Heroes Kids group in West Austin, Texas, who raise money for endangered animals. To raise funds for rhinos they hosted an Alien Invasion Haunted House (above) which raised $800 for Save the Rhino.

11 year-old Addy (bottom left) held a fundraiser at her home, with information about the plight of the rhinos, fun games such as pin the horn on the rhino, along with selling bracelets and photos that she took on her trip to South Africa. Addy raised over an incredible $900 to support rhino conservation. She says ‘Never stop believing that your efforts, no matter how small you think they might be, will have a direct impact in helping change the world and allow your children to see rhinos in the wild’.

This year we’ve had many great schools supporting Save the Rhino. From dress-down days to craft stalls our young supporters are rhino heroes. We’d like to say a big thank you to:

Year five pupils at Oakwood School (right) who led a Rhino Fundraising Day in January, with a bake sale, rhino raffle and nonuniform day, raising £522 The Piggott School fundraised £211.59 Reigate Priory Junior School raised £300 through their Project Enterprise

Raffle and bracelets

Happy Rhino Birthday Each year, Sean (above) asks friends to make a donation to Save the Rhino instead of bringing a present to his birthday party.

Kuan and Kaira from Australia (below) raised AUD $457 by selling small beaded rhino keyrings from South Africa and hosting a raffle at their school. They also designed posters and gave a school presentation to explain the rhino poaching crisis to their fellow pupils.

Even though he’s only been able to see rhinos at zoos, Sean knows conservation is super important. This year Sean raised £441 for his twelfth birthday.


Spot the difference

There are eight differ ences between pictur es A and B. Can you tel l what they are?


A *The Indian rhino is also known as Greater onehorned rhino

s c d t c e d n t n t u e c e p i g a e e e t t n a i o r a r h t m h o r n t i n i a Wordsearch wo n f rds r o d d e r t e l s h i i h u s d c rhino t g g r n horn p r h w calf y n a r a g h t poaching i u e n e h m s javan d i q r r africa a t g h w n o s sumatran g asia e h v i l a t a indian* u d g n o n n ranger r e i c n m black b o e n l m n endangered i g u d o o n i n g white conservation r v a t i e s n o c a d e t t e o r n e k a i a i v e e r s h r r f p s c l i t e f d a c a a e f i v f e a a n o u e a h f j u b c t r d m s l n h m r h c f v l re? the are b a l e many species of rhino


RHINO QUIZ 1  How en A three   B five   C sev

n countries 2  Which of these Africa s? no rhi d does not have wil bwe   C Ghana ba Zim B    A South Africa rhino have two horns? 3  How many species of A one   B three    C five is hairy? 4  Which rhino species no ite rhino   C black rhi wh B    no A Sumatran rhi rhino run? 5  How fast can a black B up to 26mph (41kph) A up to 20mph (32kph) C up to 34mph (55kph) ek? ‘rhinoceros’ mean in Gre 6  What does the word re atu cre t fas C se horn   A large animal   B no rhino species? 7  Which is the smallest C Black n   A Sumatran   B Java no horn made from? 8  What substance is rhi ratin A ivory   B bone   C ke rage rhino 9  How long does an ave ? pregnancy last for to 13 months   A 9 to 10 months   B12 s nth C15 to 16 mo

Could you be a Rhino H ero?

Could you b e a Rhino Her o? Visit our web site to learn a bout rhinos, disco ver fun activ ities and download ou r kids fundra ising guide www.saveth ids We also have leaflets, stic kers, balloons an d posters to he lp your event. Get in touch w ith katherine@ savetherhin to find out m ore.

nos also known as? 10  What is a group of rhi troop A pride   B crash    C , 9C, 10B 2C, 3B, 4A, 5C, 6B, 7A, 8C Answers  Rhino Quiz: 1B, answers online at www.s Picture and word search


OUR 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 year. We could not achieve all that we do, without the time, goodwill, and financial and pro-bono support of you all. Individuals Kerrigan Abbott, Julie Addison, Steve Auton, William Averdieck, David Baker, Lorenzo Baldo, Barry Ballard, Erin Bargate, Martha Barr, Susan Barrington, Edward Bishop, Rohan and Katherine Blacker, Phillipe Bosher, Howard Bourne, James Boyd, Sue Brace, Claire Branagh, Pavel Brandl, Iona Brandt, Henry Brockman, Doris Broyles, Suzi Bullough, Marianne Burbridge, Barry Butler, Tim Cartwright, Glenn Clifford, Terry Colligan, Kerry Conway, David Craigen, James Crosland-Mills, Paul Cuddeford, Dulcie Cullen, Naiomi Cullen, James, Kathryn & David Daplyn, Matt Darwin, Giles Davies, Juan Manuel Delfin, Talja Dempster, Kenneth Donaldson, Johan Du Plessis, Warren Duncan, David Edwards, Steven Elworthy, Frances Kate Ewer, Jack Fairhurst, Bernard Fisher, Amy Fitzmaurice, Will Frazer, Sarah Gaunt, Stuart Gillett, Doug Goodman, Victoria Goodwin, David Gray, Megan Greenwood, Marlene Groen, Julia Groves, Rory Harding, Jack Hargreaves, Neil, Katie & Rebecca Harnby, Sharon Harper, James Harrison, Lois Hastings, Kris Hekhuis, Bryan and Hannah Hemmings, Lyddy Hemmings, Amelia Henderson, Neil Herron, Jim Higham, Amy Hitchinson, Charlotte Holgate, Anthony Hollis, Martyn Holman, Tim Holmes, Tracey Housdon, Christopher Howe, Jonathan Hughes, Liam Humphries, David James, Richard Janes, Kevin Jones, Sushil Kanwar, Rebecca Kelsall, Tom Kenyon-Slaney, Peter Kettle, Adrian Kidd, Leanne Kitchin, Emma Knott, Lara Kruger, Chris Laas, Nick Laing, Peter Lawrence, Chin Ling, Sonia Lodge, James Lutaya, Kelly Lyon, Adam Maltby, Sitta Marattanachai, Andrew Martin, Steven Massey, Lucia Mastromauro, Richard Matthewman, David May, Craig McDonnell, Steven McGee-Callender, Elly McMeehan, Vic Mencner, Valerie Merrin, Christopher Milliken, Mark Morrans, Gareth Morris, Caroline Mulvin, Emily Muncey, Helen Murphy, Emma-Louise Nicholls, Bianca Nicholson, Lisa Norgren, Sara Oakeley, Alex O’Connor, Bridget O’keffe, Jay Partridge, Matthew Pentecost, Katya Pereira, Stig Petersen, Juliet Pierrot, Mareike Poelzer, Gregory Porter, Aaron Pottle, Andrew Presly, Laura Pugh, Alex Rabeau, Vijay Rajan, Erin Ranney, Liz Rayner, Victoria Rees, Keith Richardson, Sean Rivett, William Rome, Thomas Ropel Tom Rowland, Abi Salmon, Christi Saltonstall, Roy Sarkin, Philip Saxby, Geert Schep, Charlotte Schep, Roy Schofield, Bradley Schroder, Christopher Scott, Madeleine Scott, Hugo Sells, Kavish Shah, Rod Sheard, Alex Smith, Charlotte Somerville, Alison Squance, Malcolm Stathers, Jonathan Steel, George Stephenson, Dave & Fi Stirling, Amy Strode, Sarah Sumner, Hannah Thacker, Clemence Thomaes, James,

Bronwen & Ella Thrift , Matthew Tipper, Oliver Tovey, Abraham Truter, Carl Tundo, John Verkerk, Richard Walker, Tom Ward, Glenn Watson, Alistair Weaver, Andrew Whelan, Rosie While, Eleanor Wichman, Olivia Wilson-Holt, Mark Worsfold, Andrea Yancey

Companies 23red, Aardvark Safaris, Acacia Africa, Alex Rhind Design, Ancient Heritage, Animal Friends, Artillery, Baxter Hoare, Bead Coalition’s Rhino Force, Bytes Software Services, Capital Management & Investment Plc, Dial2Donate, Emerging Technology Support, LLC, Endurance Estates Ltd, Everyclick Ltd, Gaia HR Consulting, Google, Holmes Wood, ICAP Management Services, Kinetic Six Ltd, London Speaker Bureau, Mahlatini Luxury Travel, Media Tornado, Mountain Safaris, OAMC, Pascoe And Company, Pottsville Broadcasting Co., Inc., rhino’s energy international GmbH, Saffery Champness Chartered Accountants, Save, Twogether Creative Limited, See.Saw, Sporting Rifle, Steve and Ann Toon Photography

Charities, trusts and foundations, and other grant-making organisations Anna Merz Rhino Trust, Association Ecofaune Virement, Balmain Charitable Trust, Blair Drummond Safari & Adventure Park, Boras Djurpark AB, BP Amoco Foundation, Chester Zoo, Colchester Zoo, Cotswold Wildlife Park, De Brye Charitable Trust, Defra Illegal Wildlife Trade Challenge, Dierenpark Amersfoort, Disney Conservation Fund, Dublin Zoo (ZSI), Edwin Fox Foundation, Ernest Kleinwort Charitable Trust, Fauna & Flora International North West Group, Foundation Friends Safaripark Beekse Bergen, Glen And Bobbie Ceiley Foundation, International Elephant Foundation, International Rhino Foundation, Jacob and Frances O. Brown Family Fund, James Gibson Charitable Trust, Kantor Foundation, Knowsley Safari Park, Knuthenborg Safaripark, Mohamed bin Zayed Species Conservation Fund, Opel Zoo, Parc de Lunaret Zoo de Montpellier, Rhino Rescue Trust, Salzburg Zoo, Samuel Storey Family Charitable Trust, Silicon Valley Community Foundation, Simon Gibson Charitable Trust, Steppes Travel, Swire Charitable Trust, Taiwan Forestry Bureau, Taliaferro Family Fund, Treasure Charitable Trust, Twiga Trust, US Fish and Wildlife Service, Valencia Kommunikation, Victor Stationery, Woburn Safari Park, WWF-South Africa, Zoo de la Boissière du Doré, Zoo Krefeld, Zoological Society of East Anglia (Banham Zoo & Africa Alive), Zoological Society of London (ZSL), Zoologisch-Botanischer Garten Wilhelma (Stuttgart), Zoom Torino S.p.A.

47 47

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 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 Emma Baker Office and Communications Manager  Katherine Ellis Finance Manager Yvonne Walker Michael Hearn Intern Grace Dibden | Aron White

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 Rohan Blacker Henry Chaplin | Vice Chair Christina Franco Jim Hearn Tim Holmes George Stephenson | Chair David Stirling Sam Weinberg

Registered UK Charity No. 1035072

The Horn 2015 - Save the Rhino International  
The Horn 2015 - Save the Rhino International  

Rhino news, updates and articles from Save the Rhino International and our programme partners in Africa and Asia