Page 1

The secret life of rhinos Autumn 2013

SR3146_TheHornAut13v2.indb 33

15/10/2013 21:52


5 Kenya  The perfect team 6 Kenya  Borana’s wait is finally over 7 Thorny Issues  Rhino horn trade in the UK 8 Kenya  The search for a snared rhino bull 9 News in brief 10 Events in brief

PEET

11 Tanzania  How do rhinos adapt to new surroundings?

Trevor Cotrell-Newton PR

4 Kenya  A rhino’s best friend is...a dog!

Contents

Steve & Ann Toon

Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park

3 Looking beyond the statistics Events schedule

12 South Africa  How do horses help rhino conservation? 13 Rhi-know you can do it! 16 Namibia  Namibia’s remarkable rhinos 18 Namibia  Black rhino, charcoal & satellites

Steve & Ann Toon

Phil Perry

14 Swaziland  Support for Swaziland’s wildlife

19 Prudential RideLondon 100 Cycling Fever Fundraising highlights 20 Zimbabwe  Who are you calling antisocial? 21 Zimbabwe  Rhinos, rocks & rangers 23 One man, One rhino: the ultimate challenge 24 Indonesia  Last chance to save the Sumatran rhino 26 Indonesia  Breeding Sumatran rhinos 27 Indonesia  Javan rhinos love taking selfies!

Dirk Swart

Guillaume Bonn

NLCP

22 Viet Nam  Why do people consume rhino horn?

BAsel Zoo

28 Run little rhino, run! 29 Thank you to our coporate sponsors     ‘Tis the season to be rhino 30

  Rhino fundraising stars

SRI

SR3146_TheHornAut13v2.indb 2

Guillaume Bonn

31 Thank You!

15/10/2013 21:48


Looking beyond

the statistics Too often these days, our work is punctuated by the latest set of statistics from South Africa: 100 rhinos killed so far this year, 200, 300… The most recent alert, on 3 October, told of 725 rhinos poached. That figure was ‘leavened’, if you like, by the number of arrests, and a comparison of how these year’s figures compare to last year’s. (Unfavourably.) It’s horribly easy to think of rhinos in terms of numbers. Cathy Dean | Director

S

o that was partly why, in this issue of The Horn, we decided to focus on rhino behaviour and on rhinos’ relationships with other animals. I admit, this is partly a brief bit of escapism from the grim realities of the newswires, but it’s also intended to remind ourselves, and our supporters, of the rhinos themselves, as individuals, not just statistics.

The theme was also inspired by the BBC’s stunning natural history series, Africa, us all of rhinos themselves presented by Sir David Attenborough, which was as individuals, shown in the UK in the first not just statistics months of 2013 and has now been screened in other parts of the world. The series was book-ended by two wonderfully revealing rhino appearances. In the first episode, footage of black rhinos around a waterhole, somewhere in the Kalahari, showed them socialising, with an extraordinary array of vocalisations and snorts. The series ended with footage of Sir David, on his knees, interacting with a young, blind rhino calf called Nicky at Lewa Wildlife Conservancy. The sight of our revered presenter, a ‘national treasure’ in Britain, squeaking away with a baby rhino brought tears to the producer’s eyes, and to many of those watching.

Steve & Ann Toon

This issue is intended to remind

from supporters, mainly: ‘Are black rhinos really as sociable as that?’ (Yes, at night) and ‘What happened to Nicky?’ (Unfortunately a veterinary investigation revealed that no operation would give him his vision). It seemed that this beautifully shot footage, of rhinos being rhinos, had captivated the imaginations of thousands of viewers. So we thought that in this issue we would focus on the rhinos, to hear about individuals from the rhino programme field managers who are tasked with monitoring and protecting them, and from zoo curators and veterinarians, as well as about the other animals who are routinely used to support rhino conservation efforts. You’ll read about the Javan rhinos who seem to like taking selfies, about rhinos’ reaction to bushfires, about orphaned rhinos’ friendships, about the painful determination of one snared bull to stay hidden from the very people who could save him, and others. And hopefully, amid the sea of ghastly statistics, we’ll all remember why they’re worth saving.

Immediately after the screenings of these episodes, our Facebook page was filled with comments and questions

Events schedule ING New York City Marathon Save the Rhino Heroes Dinner ‘Treasured’: Save the Rhino online auction Douglas Adams Memorial Lecture: ‘The Science of Harry Potter & the Mathematics of The Simpsons’ Roger Highfield, Simon Singh Virgin Money London Marathon Rhino Mayday Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100 World Rhino Day Rhino Climb Kilimanjaro UK challenges

Sunday 3 November 2013 Wednesday 6 November 2013 January to February 2014 Tuesday 11 March 2014

Sunday 13 April 2014 May 2014 Sunday 10 August 2014 Monday 22 September 2014 Dates to suit 2014 and 2015 Dates throughout the year

For more information about any of these events, please visit www.savetherhino.org/events or email laura@savetherhino.org or call +44 (0)20 7357 7474

3

SR3146_TheHornAut13v2.indb 3

15/10/2013 21:48


Kenya

SRI

, A rhino s best friend is...a dog!

D

Ol Jogi is a 60,000-acre private wildlife conservation area in Laikipia, Kenya, home to a wide variety of wildlife including Southern white and Eastern black rhinos, elephants, 22 species of ungulates, five species of large carnivores, three species of primates and 310 avian species. But it’s for the rhinos that we have had to evolve our security to such a high degree, and all other wildlife is protected by default. Jamie Gaymer | Warden, Ol Jogi

espite our security force being technologically advanced (including thermal-imaging equipment, night-vision, aircraft, automatic weapons and intelligence software), our dogs comprise an intricate and critical part of our security ‘toolbox’ here at Ol Jogi. We first imported Bloodhound tracker dogs from the US in 1989 to track people. They were such a success that we have since donated trained dogs to eight other conservation organisations in Kenya; the only prerequisite is that the recipient organisation has the capacity to look after and train the dogs, and that they will be used exclusively for conservation. When not working, we train with our dogs seven days a week: they will be made to follow hot trails (less than 48 hours), cold trails (48 hours to one week), different scent media in a multitude of different scenarios, and finally for line-ups (where they will identify a person from a line-up based on scent alone). We can retain scent indefinitely and use the dogs to identify suspects at a later date. The dogs are used at Ol Jogi and also in the neighbouring communities. Every year they contribute to the arrest of criminals, the recovery of illegal firearms, the recovery

of stolen goods and ultimately crime in our district has significantly reduced. Our rhinos, though they don’t know it, are indebted to these dogs! More recently, in 2012, we acquired Belgian Malinois ‘attack dogs’. They are accompanied by Kenya Police Reservist rangers and used to patrol and ambush different locations at night. The same rules of engagement apply to these dogs as those imposed on our men who carry firearms; deploying the dogs on a suspect will likely result in serious injury, at the very least. They are a formidable weapon and a huge deterrent to would-be poachers. We have advertised widely that we are in possession of these dogs and poachers have therefore been warned! At Ol Jogi, we feel very strongly that dogs are an invaluable asset to rhino conservation. They are a proactive conservation tool by virtue of being a tremendous deterrent to poachers, but they also get the job done when required.

Grants Ol Jogi is a member of the Association of Private Land Rhino Sanctuaries, a Kenyan private sector organisation. SRI supports various APLRS initiatives, including the black rhino Emergency Fund (total grant £4,564, including £1,350 from Nature Picture Library and Bluegreen Pictures), the Intelligence and Informers’ reward fund, and a Scene-of-the-crime training course, due to take place in November 2013 (£6,110 from Chester Zoo Act for Wildlife and $7,000 from our Operation Stop Poaching Now appeal).

4

SR3146_TheHornAut13v2.indb 4

15/10/2013 21:48


The perfect team Our furry, 4-legged, loyal companions are often seen as man’s best friend, and dogs are now proving an invaluable asset for those working to protect rhinos. Katherine Ellis | Office and Communications Manager

T

he combination of a trained handler and their dog are well known as a powerful weapon against crime and are increasingly being used in the war against rhino poaching. With the handler’s superior knowledge of crime and alert mind, along with the dog’s powerful nose, incredible sense of hearing, and excellent eyesight, agility and power, the dog-handler duo make an impressive partnering.

Dogs can be used for several different purposes: Dogs can help speed up the hot-pursuit process and locate possible poachers by following their scent in the bush. Dogs can also be trained to help apprehend suspects

■■ Human-scent tracking 

A dog can be taught to protect and defend his handler and those around him. Dogs can also be a major deterrent, especially the breeds that are known to bite. Dogs may also provide an early warning to their handler if they sense danger, which could include armed poachers or other dangerous wildlife

■■ Protection 

Poachers often stash their weapons, especially if there is a chance of being arrested. Dogs may help in locating these weapons, which could prove vital to linking the poachers to an incident

■■ Detection of arms and ammunition 

This is useful when horns could have been stashed for a later pick-up, or to detect horns during road blocks or at security check points including airports

■■ Rhino horn detection 

Dog training exercise (top to bottom)

The main working breeds used include German Shepherds, Belgian Malinois, Labrador Retrievers, Border Collies, Beagles, Springer Spaniels and Bloodhounds. Cross-breeds may also be used depending on their individual traits. When sourcing a new dog, selection criteria include intelligence, self-motivation, trainability, confidence, friendliness, athleticism and either high ball-drive or high food-drive (meaning a dog who is highly motivated by a ball or food as a reward).

Rangers work closely with Belgian Malinois ‘attack’ dogs during training exercises. The dogs pictured are from Ol Jogi and are used to patrol and ambush different locations at night. Attack dogs are trained to bite a poacher’s arm and hold on, preventing him from using a weapon.

When it comes to detecting contraband, there really is no other detection device as efficient and accurate as a well-managed, quality handler-and-dog team. Additional benefits are that dogs cannot be bribed and they do not lie. However, dogs are not a ‘quick fix’— they require large amounts of time, and funding is needed to set up a facility, and to train the dogs and handlers. In addition, dogs are an all-year-round commitment; they have special needs, including kennelling, veterinary care, feeding, exercise and stimulation, training and transport.

Dogs are by no means perfect; however they can be an effective part of a multi-pronged approach to fighting against rhino poaching and the illegal trafficking of wildlife.

Thanks With thanks to Kirsty Brebner from The Endangered Wildlife Trust for her input to this article.

All images Jamie Gaymer, Ol Jogi unless noted

Crucial to the working success of a dog is the handler, who should be selected for their passion, knowledge of animal husbandry, ability to work long and unusual hours and who can cope physically with the demands of the job. It takes years of experience to make a good dog handler and the training of the dog-and-handler team never stops.

5

SR3146_TheHornAut13v2.indb 5

15/10/2013 21:48


Update

Kenya

... Update ... Update ... Update ... Update ... Update ... Update ...

Borana’s wait is finally over In previous issues of The Horn, Borana has reported on its anticipation and tireless preparations to receive rhinos on its land. We are delighted to report that on 26 August 2013, the first resident black rhino on Borana Conservancy for over 50 years barrelled out of his crate and stormed off to acquaint himself with his new home. Sam Taylor | Chief Conservation Officer, Borana Conservancy

This was the culmination of 15 years of planning and preparation towards a collaborative rhino programme between Borana and the already highly successful rhino conservation efforts on Lewa Wildlife Conservancy. The process had been long and complicated; every facet of Borana’s infrastructure and security was scrutinised to ensure we were completely prepared for the daunting task of protecting this critically endangered species. While the onslaught of rhino poaching in recent years has been well documented, the need for habitat is every bit as pertinent. Kenya’s black rhino population This was the culmination of remains roughly stable, with poaching 15 years of planning between

Borana and and Lewa Wildlife Conservancy losses negated by the births. This balance is changing though, as those conservancies that hold out against this poaching epidemic edge evernearer to reaching their carrying capacity. The birthrates would start to decline as intra-species competition escalated in over-crowded habitat and, with that, the poaching losses would start to take precedence over the births, and numbers quickly slide towards the extinction of the species in Kenya. Eleven carefully selected candidates came from Lewa, and a further 10 from Lake Nakuru National Park, another haven for rhino under pressure. After Songa made his reluctant and belligerent arrival, the releases came thick and fast. The Lewa candidates arrived constantly throughout the week, each de-horned and a telemetry transmitter placed in the stump of the posterior horn. The Nakuru animals arrived late at night, similarly de-horned and tagged; their journey somewhat longer.

6

The Nakuru animals appeared to settle quicker. Perhaps the tranquillity of a moon-lit release allowed for a more sedate entry into their new home. Many moved into an area of good browse and water that night and have moved no further. The Lewa animals were more inquisitive, covering large distances before finally deciding where to settle down. We were concerned that many of these animals would try to rush back to Lewa and scouts were stationed on the boundaries in 12-hour shifts, but this did not happen and so far there has been very little pressure on the peripheries. As I write, all the animals have been found by the scouts who are buzzing with excitement. The hilly terrain on Borana allows for excellent use of telemetry, and the night security can be deployed efficiently as a result of this. Reassuringly, the rhino appear to have quickly settled down into their areas and already seem to have decided on their home. The range of emotions at seeing these incredible animals finally on Borana is difficult to describe. Far left: Water is used to keep the sedated rhinos cool Excitement, certainly. Below: Songa, the first black rhino translocated from Trepidation Lewa to Borana at the daunting challenge facing us to protect them. Wonder at seeing our familiar surroundings suddenly added to by these magnificent animals. But the most over-riding emotion is relief, and that is what this operation has been about. Relief for submissive male rhinos who now had an equal opportunity to express their fecundity, relief for the over-burdened sanctuaries in Kenya, and relief for the planners of the Borana-Lewa programme who could now see their efforts after many long years of planning finally come into fruition.

Grants Our very grateful thanks to USFWS RTCF, which awarded $25,383 to the costs of helicopter and fixedwing hire for the animals coming from Lake Nakuru National Park and telemetry equipment. Save the Rhino contributed $4,116 from our own core funds to the translocations.

All images Guillaume Bonn

I

t wasn’t the smoothest of releases, and the appropriately-named ‘Songa’ (‘move’ in Kiswahili) disappeared into a dense thicket, huffing and puffing with the indignity of his eviction from Lewa. Borana was now the world’s newest rhino sanctuary.

  >>Stop Press >> Congratulations to Borana Conservancy for winning the Eco-Warrior Award for Private Conservancy of the Year 2013 >>Stop Press >>

SR3146_TheHornAut13v2.indb 6

15/10/2013 21:49


Thorny Issues

e ...

Rhino horn trade in the UK Over recent years, I have discovered a worrying loophole in the illegal trading of rhino horn. As an outsider to the animal conservation scene, I had recognised a pattern of trade that seemed to be obscure to the majority of wildlife conservationists.

by the European Commission, much to the dismay of many UK auctioneers. The good news is the noticeable decline in the advertising and trading in rhino horn artefacts in the UK.

Around 2009, I started noticing the regularity with which rhino horn artefacts were being advertised in our weekly trade journal. These were predominantly appearing in provincial UK salerooms, were evidently neither rare nor old, with often extremely crude carving. The astronomical prices of rhino horn reaching tens of thousands of pounds at auction were front-page news.

I and others in the antiques trade believe that the UK had become the de facto clearing house for the illegal trade in rhino horn. The antique status conferred by an auction legitimises these objects, which would then be bought by wealthy Asians as trophies or subsequently ground down for ’medicinal’ use.

The problem, as I saw it, was an unregulated UK auction business. Anybody can legally conduct an auction. Several provincial UK auction houses openly tout for business and indeed celebrate the inclusion of rhino horn libation cups and other endangered animal artefacts. The loophole is the quick run up time for a provincial We believe that a total rhino auction: it is a matter of weeks from the item horn trade ban in the UK would being brought in, to the send out a message time the hammer falls. Until CITES (Convention to Europe and beyond on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) certificates were required in 2010, an auctioneer could accept the rhino horn without question, sell the object to anyone in the room, by phone or internet. Once paid for, the horn could leave the premises immediately. Up until May 2013, the law stated that rhino horn artefacts such as libation cups could be sold if they were acquired pre-1947, part of a family relocation or a ‘worked’ item derogation that is, part of an artefact of ‘artistic merit’ or for a bona-fide research project.

Clockwise from top: Mounted rhino horn ‘trophy’; antique libation cups and antique rhino feet; crudely worked ‘cup’

When deciding whether a rhino horn artefact is ‘pre-1947’, aside from carbon dating, this is merely the opinion of the auctioneer. There is only one, now scarce, reference book on the subject of rhinoceros horn artefacts. Carbon dating is costly and time consuming, therefore, an auctioneer will merely state their ‘opinion’ on the authentication of the piece, which can be very inaccurate. Being ‘part of a family relocation’ is certainly a loophole that has been used by poachers according to Caroline Rigg of Wildlife Licensing. Since May 2013, an important breakthrough has occurred. DEFRA (the UK’s Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) has announced much stricter laws regarding the sale of ‘worked’ items containing wild animal parts, including rhino horn. Many items now require a certificate issued

Internet buying allows these items to be bought anonymously, with the vendor’s and buyer’s identity known only to the auctioneer. I believe that a total rhino horn trade ban in the UK would send out a moral message, to Europe and beyond, that we must not collude in this activity. Trading in second-hand rhino horn artefacts simply fuels the insatiable demand for rhino horn in Asia. In 2012, Sotheby’s and Christie’s announced they would not allow the sales of rhino horn throughout their salerooms worldwide; however other UK salerooms have been slow to follow suit. Another concern is that several UK salerooms are opening offices in Hong Kong and China, potentially providing another loophole and opportunity for ‘laundering’ poached rhino.

All other images Karen Rennie

W

hen I worked at Sotheby’s in the early 1980s, hardly any ‘worked’ pieces of rhino horn appeared at auction. This was before any regulations were in place regarding the sale of such items. They were catalogued as ‘extremely rare’.

SRI

Karen Rennie | Antiques dealer

77

ess >>

SR3146_TheHornAut13v2.indb 7

15/10/2013 21:49


Kenya

The spirited search

for a snared rhino bull One Monday morning in March this year, my colleague Anthony was going through camera trap photos and was left agape. On his screen was a photo of a rhino with a wire snare round its neck. A closer look showed that he was a bull.

ater photos showed the same rhino, visiting the water hole, with the wire snare digging deeper into his neck. A frenzy of activity soon kicked off as units of Big Life ranger teams, along with Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) rangers set out into the lava-strewn thicket that covers most of the Eastern black rhinos’ range.

The teams had one goal in mind: find the rhino bull and then call in the vet to dart the animal and remove the wire. The bull was so strong that he had snapped the wire snare from the tree, but was left with a piece trailing from his neck. And every time he walked, he would step on the wire The teams had one goal: and it would dig deeper into his find the rhino and call the vet neck. In addition to dart the animal to the teams in the bush, several and remove the wire

sentries were posted to an Observation Post to try to sight the rhino. As the days passed, with rangers going out in dawn-to-dusk searches, it became very clear that this would not be an easy task. The excitement began to wear off in the first week, and bouts of frustration would really bite after unsuccessful day-long searches. What started off as an exciting walk turned into a trudge, only now and then punctuated by moments of excitement, when the ranger teams thought they had found the rhino bull, only for it to be another rhino. Among the Maasai, the rhino is famed for pace, fury, strong sense of smell and aggression. When a rhino charges, it moves in a bee line, and does not return to a point after passing it. After nearly 10 days of non-stop searching, the rangers found scratch marks of the wire cable. This confirmed beyond doubt that these were his tracks, which boosted the rangers’ morale. After an hour of searching, one of the trackers stopped and pointed at some dark, rounded protrusion in the bushes. There was a hush as the vet and rangers crept forward on their bellies, inching slowly towards the rhino. Then, when the vet was just about to take aim with the dart gun,

a sudden change of wind alerted the rhino and he exploded away. The search was back to the beginning. Over the next few days, heavy rainfall washed away many leads, making tracking even more difficult. Sometimes, after a few hours of searching, the impenetrable bush stopped the rangers dead in their tracks; grit and determination see them go on. It took the combined efforts of groundbased ranger search teams, as well as aerial support of a chopper and the Super Cub to eventually find and dart the rhino. By this time, the once-rounded rhino bull, was emaciated, weak and on his last legs.

The wire cable had cut down to the bones of his neck, severing tendons and filled, by this stage, with deep infection and maggots. There was nothing anyone could have done to save him; at least his death saved us the decision of having to put him down.

Top: The snared rhino caught on camera trap Far left: The dedicated search team Centre, right: The tragic end to the rhino’s life as he was found with his neck severed

Grants

All images Big Life Foundation

L

Samar Ntalamia | Programmes Manager, Big Life Foundation

We are grateful to the following donors for recent grants for Big Life Foundation: USFWS RTCF ($89,829); Chester Zoo’s Act for Wildlife (£15,000), the Ernest Kleinwort Charitable Trust (£5,000); Treasure Trust (£2,000); Amnéville Zoo (€10,000) and Rhino’s energy International GmbH (€2,000). We also gave $16,119 from our core funds. These grants are helping cover ongoing rhino monitoring and protection costs, as well the creation of a second waterhole, deeper inside the Chyulu Hills National Park.

8

SR3146_TheHornAut13v2.indb 8

15/10/2013 21:49


Renaud Fulconis

News Events: in brief

Stalemate in Assam Over the last few months there have been major problems occuring in and around Manas National Park, the location of inbound rhino translocations in recent years. Civil unrest and a deteriorating security situation in the park has led to an increase in poaching and the unfortunate withdrawal of WWFIndia staff from the Park to due safety concerns. Sadly five rhinos have been killed in Manas so far this year. We have set aside $7,500 in emergency funding, which we can send over as soon as the Manas team has worked out how best to deal with the situation.

graphy Karl Andre Terblanche Photo

A new CEO for Save the Rhino Trust We are delighted to welcome Marcia Fargnoli, (left) the newly appointed CEO of Save the Rhino Trust in Namibia, one of our longest-standing beneficiaries. Marcia, who lives in Swakopmund, holds a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Environmental Studies, as well as a Juris Doctor (Environmental and International Law Certificates) and a Masters of Arts in Desert Studies. She has great, relevant experience of running an NGO, working with government and other agencies, fundraising and a strong commitment to conservation.

$10,000 grant for

Sumatran rhinos

with Lolesha Luangwa

in North Luangwa

Lolesha Luangwa, the environ­ mental education programme we support in Zambia, has made stunning progress this year.

NLCP

USFWS RTCF made a grant for the fifth year running, while Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund has made its third grant in four years. Together with funding from FZS and from Save the Rhino, these grants have not only covered the ongoing operating costs, but have paid for the purchase of a secondhand overland truck (above), to be converted into a bus capable of taking schoolchildren and their teachers into North Luangwa National Park, so that they can see wildlife (safely) at first hand. In addition to this financial support, ZSL has provided an unimaginable level of support, mentoring and training for Lolesha Luangwa’s Officer and Assistant, and delivered two workshops for teachers, to introduce them to the new curriculum developed in late 2012. We’ll be reporting on this in much more detail in the next issue of The Horn. Our grateful thanks to all of Lolesha Luangwa’s donors.

Staff changes at

Congratulations

Earlier this year, we were lucky to host a Vodafone World of Difference finalist, Meera Shah, for two months. Meera worked on developing a corporate fundraising strategy, and we arranged to keep her on for a few months more, as it was obvious how helpful her work was becoming.

Sectionov Inov, or Inov as we know him, (right) has been working in rhino conservation in Indonesia for over 10 years. He has a BSc from the Agriculture University of Bogor Indonesia and has been the International Rhino Foundation’s Indonesian Liaison since 2006.

Save the Rhino to Inov

We decided to create the full-time post of Corporate Relationships Manager and, as Meera headed off to Edinburgh to do a Masters, offered a permanent post to our seventh Michael Hearn Intern, Josephine Gibson. We’re thrilled that Josephine is staying with us.

SRI

We would like to thank the Taiwan Forestry Bureau very much indeed for its two grants totalling $10,000 to help cover ongoing costs at the Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary. Save the Rhino’s Director went to the Taipei Representative Office in the UK in May 2013 to collect the first of these (below).

Driving forward

We also recruited our eighth Michael Hearn Intern, Rory Harding, whose post has been generously sponsored by an individual donor.

IRF

His particular speciality is ecological competition between Javan rhinos and banteng, and he plans to start research on the eradication of the invasive species, Arenga palm. Inov recently became a father for the second time – congratulations Inov!

9

SR3146_TheHornAut13v2.indb 9

15/10/2013 21:49


Events in brief

Woburn also got crafty selling ‘sew your own rhinos’, raising a fantastic £1,305.37

This year’s Douglas Adams Memorial Lecture on Tuesday 11 March 2014 at the Royal Geographical Society in London is ‘The Science of Harry Potter and the Mathematics of The Simpsons’ to be given by Roger Highfield and Simon Singh. Tickets are on sale via our website for only £15 each and funds raised from the evening will be split between Roger Highfield Save the Rhino and the Environmental Investigation Agency.

With the help of SRI 15 enthusiastic volunteers, we took our famous rhino costumes to the streets of central London for an awareness walk, visiting the London embassies and High Commissions of the countries with wild rhinos.

Woburn Safari Park

Keepers at Woburn Safari Park cycled 51 miles on an exercise bike (the length of all the world’s remaining wild white rhinos nose to tail)

Christmas carol concert

What do you treasure? This is the question we will be asking 50 artists and celebrities to answer, as part of our next online auction. Each artist will design a canvas using the theme of ‘Treasured’ as their inspiration, which we will then auction online in early 2014. Keep an eye on our website for announcements about the auction date, and if you know any well-known artists who might be willing to donate a canvas to Save the Rhino, please get in touch by emailing laura@savetherhino.org

The choir of EC4 Music is supporting Save the Rhino at its annual Christmas carol concert at 7pm on 18 December 2013, St Sepulchrewithout-Newgate, Holborn. The choir is one of the leading amateur music groups in London, perfoming at the Guildhall, the Barbican and the Royal Festival Hall to sell-out audiences raising money for charity. Tickets £10. Purchase by emailing ec4music@gmail.com

Colchester Zoo held a fundraising and awareness stall near their rhino enclosure, as well as offering opportunities to meet with the Zoo’s rhinos raising a great £433.15 Thank you to Woburn Safari Park, Colchester Zoo, Knowsley Safari Park, West Midland Safari Park, Wilhema Zoo, Zoo de la Boissière du doré and Steffi Galt for hosting fundraising and awareness events for Save the Rhino this World Rhino Day.

Rhino Mayday he best yet? T

This year was arguably our best ever Rhino Mayday event, with a brilliant range of talks on all sorts of rhino-related subjects. We were kindly hosted by the Grant Museum of Zoology for the second year in a row. Thanks to this year’s speakers: Michael Dyer, Joanne Scofield, Kate Oliver, Paul Bamford, Abigail Day, Karen Rennie, John Payne and John Ironmonger.

SRI

Simon Singh

in fiction

On Sunday 22 September 2013, Save the Rhino joined thousands of others across the world to celebrate World Rhino Day. The aim of the day is to raise awareness for all five rhino species and highlight the threats facing wild rhino populations.

Colchester Zoo

Discover science

SRI

Knowsley Safari Park created a nail bar encouraging the public to donate their nail clippings to raise awareness on the myths surrounding rhino horn, raising a fabulous £404

SRI

evening of heroics

Knowsley SP

Join us for an Tickets are on sale now for our next annual dinner on Wednesday 6 November 2013. We will be inviting a selection of speakers to give their take on our theme of ‘heroes’, in under 7 minutes each. It’s the perfect opportunity to find out more about Save the Rhino, and help us to raise funds for the field programmes we support – with the bonus of being a thoroughly entertaining evening! Tickets are on sale through our website now for £100 each (or £1,000 for a table of 10); you can also email laura@savertherhino.org for more information or a booking form.

Woburn Safari Park

Celebrating World Rhino Day 2013

10

SR3146_TheHornAut13v2.indb 10

15/10/2013 21:49


Tanzania How do rhinos adapt

to new surroundings? The Mkomazi Rhino Sanctuary is a sort of mini-United Nations of rhinos. There are translocated rhinos from South Africa, Czech Republic, England and Germany, as well as home-bred Tanzanian ones. Lucy Fitzjohn | George Adamson Wildlife Preservation Trust

T Right: The local community gathers to learn about conservation at Mkomazi

Charlie has adapted well to Mkomazi, but is as aggressive as ever, even hospitalising one of her trackers, Evans. He is probably one of the best rhino trackers in Tanzania and is well used to her. Charlie is used to Evans too, since each rhino has to be sighted every day. However, one morning Evans came round a corner very quietly and startled her with her young calf. She got a shock, rushed

in Czech, and her ears were twitching back and forth, listening to the familiar sounds. When Deborah gave birth, she walked the calf fairly close to the vehicle so that we could see, then turned her back on us and disappeared into the acacia woodland. The Port Lympne Wild Animal Park rhinos from England are flourishing in Mkomazi and their individual characteristics are coming to the fore. Monduli, the bull, met one of the bulls from the Dvur Kralove translocation through the fences that separate them and although they displayed a bit of aggression towards each other, one backed off so it was nothing serious. Then there is Jabu, a young male from Dvur Kralove Zoo, who will soon be paired with a female. At the moment his main companion is a lunatic male buffalo, an orphan given to us some years ago. The two of them make an unlikely couple with the buffalo acting as an additional security guard!

All images GAWPT

Main: A lunatic orphaned buffalo provides extra security against poachers!

he rhinos that arrived from South Africa were all wild-caught and in some cases ferocious. In fact, vet Dr Peter Morkel thought that one female (Charlie) was one of the most aggressive he had ever handled.

past him flicking him with her horn as she went and he ended up in hospital for over a month with a punctured lung. The other adult resident rhinos are all impressively fearsome, charging any vehicle with great speed and agility. The zoo-bred rhinos have all adapted well to life in Mkomazi. Their voracious appetite for the Mkomazi browse was evident from the day they arrived. Deborah and Jamie (from the Dvur Kralove Zoo in the Czech Republic) and their calf are rarely seen, seeking the security of the bush very early on with only their trackers reguarly seeing them. Even the smallest sound of a footstep sends them rushing off in the opposite direction. That said, Deborah still has positive human memories; when Dr Dana Holeckova of Dvur Kralove Zoo came to visit after the rhinos had been here for a year, she talked to Deborah

The Mkomazi Rhino Sanctuary is closed to all tourism, leaving the rhinos to breed with as little interference as possible. The trackers are well used to each of their characteristics and when schoolchildren visit as part of our environmental education programme, Rafiki wa Faru, they are keen to hear stories from the trackers about each of the different rhino personalities. Perhaps some of these students will be part of a new generation to help protect these rhinos in the future.

Grants Many thanks to USFWS RTCF, which awarded $43,975 for a digital radio system for Mkomazi Rhino Sanctuary. Save the Rhino is giving $12,489 from core funds towards the same project.

11

SR3146_TheHornAut13v2.indb 11

15/10/2013 21:49


South Africa

How do horses help rhino conservation? My wife Bronwen and I had listened to the reverberating call of a patrolling lion since earlier that evening. Later that night, when I heard a commotion coming from the far end of the Nqumeni Outpost, I knew it could only be one thing… Dennis Kelly | Section Ranger, Nqumeni Outpost, Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park

Horses have been used in Zululand for a very long time and, as in many other instances around the world, are the unsung heroes of many proud stories in South Africa. Horses featured heavily in both the Anglo-Zulu War and South African Wars, and subsequently became an integral part of early conservation efforts in Zululand. Nick Steele, who was based at the very remote Gome Outpost in the 1960s, relied on horses to patrol the vast area without roads under his control. He also used horses to travel to and from Mpila, the iMfolozi logistical base where Dr Ian Player was stationed. Perhaps the horses’ most famous conservation role was during Operation Rhino, when white rhino, whose numbers in Hluhluwe and iMfolozi had been growing well since proclamation in 1897, were captured to repopulate areas from which they had long since disappeared. Rangers mounted on horses followed darted rhino and these small mounted units became an integral part of a very successful operation that saved Africa’s Southern white rhino population. Horses were later used in pioneering the mass capture of antelope in HiP, where extremely skilled horsemen including Jan Oelofse and Nick Steele chased animals such as zebra and wildebeest into capture bomas. The horses’ role in these types of operation has now been taken over by helicopters.

Generally, people walking through the bush are fairly conspicuous to wildlife. We may think that we are following all the rules by remaining as neutral as possible and taking note of the wind direction, but we still stick out like sore thumbs. Horses blend in and animals respond differently when a person is on horseback; our outline is broken up and our scent masked by the horses. Game such as buffalo and white rhino can be approached without them so much as lifting their heads (although there are exceptions). Some black rhino can be very intolerant and several patrols have returned in tatters after bumping into a grumpy black rhino, with the rider only just managing to hold on as the horse beelines back to the outpost. The mere smell of lions is enough to stop an experienced bush horse in its tracks and no amount of pulling and tugging will get it to continue, with the only option being a large detour around the suspicious patch of bushes. This can be hugely frustrating, but why question an animal with better senses than our own? I am sure many incidents have been avoided due to a ‘stubborn’ horse that has sensed something into which we would have otherwise blundered.

Recent grants We sent €3,250 from a €7,500 grant from Safaripark Beekse Bergen for stable maintenance, securing the electrical fence, buying feed, medical supplies and riding tack. USFWS RTCF awarded $21,534 for aerial surveillance (a new Bathawk has just been delivered to replace the Bantam microlight that crashed in January). Colchester Zoo’s Action for the Wild has given £4,930 for antipoaching kit. And SRI has awarded $2,430 from our core funds for equipment including a metal detector and rifle mount.

Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park

I

rushed across and found Corporal Simon Nyawo and the Horse Groom at the stables talking excitedly. According to them, a lioness had tried to get into the stable area but had been thwarted by the electric fence that separated the horses from the surrounding bush. Three months earlier, a horse had been killed and eaten by lions when it wandered off in search of food. I was relieved that we had not lost another. Nqumeni Section, which is one of five management sections in the HluhluweiMfolozi Park (HiP), has five horses. They are used during patrols, both for law enforcement and rhino monitoring.

12

SR3146_TheHornAut13v2.indb 12

15/10/2013 21:49


, Rhi-know you can do it! £109,000 raised and counting! How this year’s marathon team beat our fundraising record

The Virgin London Marathon is one of our favourite annual events. On 21 April 2013 we had 51 runners at the Greenwich Park start line. Some were nervous, others excited and the atmosphere was buzzing. Josephine Gibson | Former Michael Hearn Intern (now Corporate Relations Manager)

Our rhinos were cheered along the route by huge crowds on a lovely sunny but cool day, and we were excited to greet them at the finish in

Shelly

St James’s Park. The marathon was a real family affair, with team members including brothers, partners and a father and daughter. This made it even more special when family and friends came to join our post-race picnic. We welcomed in team members from as far afield as Canada, Australia, South Africa, Singapore and the USA. A big thank you to the team and volunteers. Everyone worked hard to support Save the Rhino and we would like to share the stories of three of our fantastic fundraisers: Shelly, Justin and Nicholas.

Justin

Shelly was touched by the plight of the rhino following a visit to her conservation hero, Lawrence Anthony, in South Africa for an article she was writing.

Long-term supporter and repeat runner, Justin Wateridge, the MD of Steppes Travel, was determined beat his 2006 time running as a rhino.

After an up-close experience with baby rhinos Nthombi and Thabo playing in the mud, and the passing of Lawrence Anthony, Shelly was keen to run the London Marathon with her partner Giorgio.

After months of hard training, Justin finished the race as 2013’s fastest rhino, in less than five hours, much to the dismay of fellow runner, ITV Royal Correspondent Tim Ewart, who wrote about being beaten by a rhino. The cheers Justin received as he ran, including ‘Rhiknow you can do it’ were clearly spot on! Justin used creative techniques such as promising a puppy for his children if his supporters helped him reach £5,000.

In her first week Shelly raised more than £2,500 but she didn’t stop there. From fashion sales to enthusiastic asks to friends, families and colleagues, she worked hard to fundraise as much as she could. With the support of Giorgio, who collected £600 in donations when he signed up to run in a rhino costume, Shelly raised almost £9,000.

Justin’s fundraising total came to £5,152 and his family welcomed a new furry friend after the race.

Nicholas After running marathons in Kenya, Nicholas was eager to visit England for the first time and run the London Marathon to raise awareness for rhino conservation.

All images Joshua Dunlop

At the start line, we helped our 15 costume runners into their rhino suits and made some last-minute adjustments for their 26.2 mile run. Our runners were able to have a quick catch up, after having got to know each other during our rhino team evening and via our Facebook group, and after a couple of photos they were off.

Nicholas is personally involved in rhino conservation as the lead horse-riding guide at Borana Conservancy in Kenya, which Save the Rhino supports. Nicholas gained fantastic support from Borana’s guests, and has raised over £11,000 for Save the Rhino!

Interested in joining our Virgin Money London Marathon 2014 team? Watch our marathon video to see our amazing London Marathon day: www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ek6yUG9Qy8c  Email rory@savetherhino.org for more information

13

SR3146_TheHornAut13v2.indb 13

15/10/2013 21:49


Swaziland

Swaziland and its wildlife The landlocked Kingdom of Swaziland sits to the north east of South Africa, sharing threequarters of its borders with the country. Cross the borders to the east, and you will reach Mozambique. Today it is home to both black and white rhino. But history has not always been kind to wildlife in the country. Laura Adams | Events Manager

Despite unprecedented levels of poaching, Swaziland has

Today Swaziland has six proclaimed protected areas for wildlife. Big Game Parks

only lost two rhinos to poaching since 1992

looks after three reserves. Although privately owned, money generated goes back into developing the spaces for wildlife and conservation management. Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary located in the Ezulwini Valley was the first Big Game Park to be established, and is Swaziland’s oldest protected area. Big Game Parks also manages Hlane Royal National Park, comprising 22,000 hectares of bushveld and the smaller Mkhaya Game Reserve. Both Hlane and Mkhaya provide a home to lion, elephant, rhino, hippo, giraffe, as well as different species of antelope such as nyala, impala and eland, many of which are also found at Mlilwane. Wildlife in Swaziland has always been highly valued amongst royalty due to its place in royal rituals and its symbolic association to the King and Queen. In recent times, pressure was exerted on all species by settlers for the ever-expanding need for development and agricultural land. In the 1950s, giant herds of wildebeest were exterminated. Seen as pests and reserves of disease, they were poisoned and killed by machine guns. Species were systematically exterminated and most became locally extinct.

The history of the three Big Game Parks is one of determination and dedication to protect the country’s wildlife. In the 1960s, Ted Reilly, the pioneer of wildlife conservation in Swaziland, set up Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary by converting land he inherited that was once farmed and mined, donating it to a non-profit making trust. Over time, a huge variety of species were brought to live in the Sanctuary, including the first rhinos reintroduced to the park from Zululand (before later being moved to the other reserves that contain better grazing for rhino). With the support of the King, more land was made available for wildlife and Big Game Parks was entrusted with the management of the Hlane Royal National Park. The family also bought and converted the land that is now Mkhaya Game Reserve from commercial cattle-ranching operations. Today, wildlife numbers including re-introduced white and black rhino continue to grow. But there are challenges ahead. Poaching is a daily threat to staff and wildlife, with rangers risking their lives every day. The control of invasive species and human land encroachment also remain a threat. Despite many challenges over the past 50 years, Big Game Parks has grown into a real conservation success story, providing local employment, education, tourism facilities, and a sanctuary for wildlife. Despite the odds, Swaziland has an enviable rhino conserva­ tion record. The country lost 80% of the rhino population to poaching in 1988—92, but the rampant slaughter was brought to a sudden stop with well-publicised law enforcement actions, the introduction of preventative anti-poaching legislation and unwavering support from the Head of State. Today, in the face of unprecedented levels of rhino poaching in neighbouring South Africa and with rhinos having recently gone extinct in Mozambique for the third time, Swaziland has lost only two rhinos to poaching since 1992. Both of these were poached in 2011 by the same South African gang. While there will undoubtedly be further poaching attempts, it appears that zero-tolerance lawenforcement, strong political will and dedicated field staff give Swaziland’s rhinos a good chance of surviving the current poaching tsunami.

All images SRI

T

he human story in Swaziland stretches back to our very first ancestors. Over the centuries, the land has seen waves of different settlers; the first San hunters, then Bantu migrants from central Africa. The Afrikaners and British soon took a keen interest and over the years other migrants, such as the Shangaan and Portuguese, have settled here. The country was under British rule in the ninteenth and twentieth centuries, and remained a protectorate until 1968. Since the late 1800s Swaziland has been ruled independently by a King. King Mswati III has ruled since 1986 alongside his mother, the Queen Mother or Indlovukazi, governing one of the most peaceful countries of the region.

Thanks We would like to thank Sporting Rifle magazine for its grant of £4,755 to Big Game Parks, which has been used to pay for bicycles for the patrol teams and for ceramic plates for bullet-proof vests.

14

SR3146_TheHornAut13v2.indb 14

15/10/2013 21:50


Laura’s visit to Swaziland In September 2013, Save the Rhino sent me to Swaziland to spend two weeks working with the team at Big Game Parks. My partner paid his own way to come with me, and used his design, IT and website skills to develop BGP’s digital and online work. This was my first visit to a field programme since my travel to Namibia, to work with Save the Rhino Trust, as part of my Michael Hearn Internship back in May 2010. We visited Big Game Parks for two weeks. During this time we worked on administration tasks and marketing, whilst learning more about the Parks’ conservation activities. Rhino poaching has grown to incredibly high levels in nearby Kruger NP. Swaziland has successfully fought against the surge of rhino poaching in recent years. The skulls of poached rhinos from previous decades are a reminder of the constant threat. (Top left) Big Game Parks employs rangers who are active 24 hours a day. A recent grant from Save the Rhino and Sporting Rifle bought bulletproof vests and new bicycles for the rangers to use out on patrol. (Top right) During our second week game capture was taking place at Hlane Royal National Park. There are currently too many wildebeest living in the Park and it is important to keep a balance of all species. (Right) Tourism plays an important role as income goes towards protecting the rhinos and other wildlife of the parks. We stayed at all three of BGP’s wildlife reserves, including Mlilwane camp. (Right)

15

SR3146_TheHornAut13v2.indb 15

15/10/2013 21:50


Namibia

,

Namibia s remarkable rhinos Inka

As we drove through the vast Namibian desert, we searched for fresh spoor (tracks) of rhinos passing through the area. I scanned the horizon, hoping to witness my first desert-adapted black rhino with Save the Rhino Trust (SRT).

Age: 11 years The trackers

Inka have monitored Inka ever since Age: 11 years she was born.

The Thetrackers trackershave monitored named her after the Inka ever since she (SRT’s was born. daughter of Bernd Director The trackers named her after the of Special Operations and daughter Bernd (SRT’s Director of Services).of Inka is very secretive Special Services). and notOperations often seen and by the trackers Inka is veryAccording secretive and not often on patrol. to Bernd seen byvery the trackers on patrol. ‘she is careful where she According Bernd is very like walks andto tends to ‘she disappear careful where and tends a ghost’. Inka she hadwalks her first calf toindisappear likewho a ghost’. Inka had 2009, a male was named her first calf in 2009,daughter. a male who was Ikarus by Bernd’s named Ikarus by Bernd’s daughter.

Don’t Worry Age: 23 years

Josephine Gibson | Former Michael Hearn Intern (now Corporate Relations Manager)

A

s we climbed up the steep terrain on a mountainside under the blazing sun, I appreciated just how tough the work is for a tracker; the rhinos are agile and the trackers have to work closely together to search for clues of any rhinos passing through the area and scan the scenery in case any rhinos are hidden.

Suddenly, out of the bushes emerged Mike; just one of the desertadapted black rhino found in the 25,000km2 of tough desert environment in the Kunene and Erongo regions of Namibia. He is a true survivor, living on communal land with no formal conservation status. SRT, with the support of the Ministry of Environment and Tourism (MET), other organisations and community groups, work tirelessly to protect and monitor this unique rhino population. I spent a month working with SRT this year, and took part in scene-ofthe-crime training with SRT’s trackers and Community Game Guards, observed a North West Wildlife Security Workgroup meeting and digitised maps of the area to help with SRT’s research into human-induced disturbance on the rhinos. I also collected research for our ‘Operation Wild & Free’ appeal which is raising much-needed funds for SRT.

A firm favourite of the SRT staff, Don’t Worry is friendly and loved by tourists at Desert Rhino Camp who catch sightings of him. Don’t Worry has been the focus of research into humaninduced disturbance on rhinos that has helped develop a black rhino viewing protocol for organisations and tourists to view rhinos responsibly.

Allowing rhinos to roam The behaviour of the desert-adapted black rhino drives SRT’s work, as they seek to protect and increase the world’s largest free-roaming black rhino population. During the day, as rhinos rest for around six to eight hours, the trackers work hard to actively monitor the rhinos with patrols by foot, vehicle or mounted patrol. Donkeys, mules and camel are hardy species that aid SRT in patrolling in areas inaccessible to vehicles; 35% of the rhino’s roaming range in the region can’t be accessed by vehicles. These patrols also act as a deterrent against poaching, in conjunction with other stakeholders such as the MET and Protected Resource Unit.

16

SR3146_TheHornAut13v2.indb 16

Steve & Ann Toon

The trackers are careful to view the rhinos without disturbance, giving them time to check the rhino’s ears and and horns to identify which

15/10/2013 21:50


Steve & Ann Toon

Kangombe

individual it is, and examine its overall condition. SRT staff also check on the condition of pregnant cows and their calves. Cows become very protective of their calves and if the mother is disturbed she will flee, running for miles. Such a distance is difficult for a young calf to cover, and they may be left behind or become dehydrated.

SRT’s camel-based tracking team usually find Kangombe, an old dominant bull, every month or so and he was most recently seen in June. Over the years, Kangombe has been sighted with many female rhinos and calves, so he is likely to have fathered several offspring in the region!

Spotting the secretive rhinos SRT works hard to track all the rhinos, even secretive ones like Inka, by using technology such as aerial surveillance and stealth cameras. Stealth cameras are hidden in hard-to-reach spots, such as by waterholes. The stealth cameras help SRT respond to the challenges of covering vast distances to monitor all the rhinos, who have home ranges of up to 600 km2. The footage also provides sightings of other endangered species.

Steve & Ann Toon

Age: Approximately 37 years

Ben Age: Approximately 37 years As the dominant bull in his area, Ben has been known to fight with Don’t Worry. He is also father to many calves. He’s a favourite of the tourists and two children have been named after him!

Thanks Josephine would like to thank Sue, Jeff, Alta, Bernd, Simson, Sebulon and everyone at SRT for hosting her and making her visit so enjoyable.

Mike SRI • All other images SRT unless noted

A big thank you to USFWS RTCF for its grant of $68,100 for ongoing rhino monitoring costs and to Save Our Species for the final instalment of its $100,000 grant. Thanks also to all our Operation Wild & Free donors, including Woburn Safari Park (c. £7,000), Zoo Bassin d’Arachon (€1,000) and rhino’s energy GmbH (c. €1,000).

Age: 23 years Mike was one of the founding rhinos in the Southern range and was named after the late Michael Hearn, who worked at Save the Rhino Trust, and in whose memory the internship programme was established.

Operation Wild & Free

appeal. You can even ‘friend’ one of the rhinos by donating £50 to receive a personalised certificate. To donate, visit www.savetherhino.org/ operationwildandfree

SR3146_TheHornAut13v2.indb 17

Steve & Ann Toon

Help support the work of SRT by donating to our

17

15/10/2013 21:50


Namibia

Black rhino, charcoal & satellites So what do black rhino, charcoal and satellites have in common? I will start in Namibia’s Etosha National Park (ENP) in 2009, where above-average rainfall meant lush vegetation, mud-holes filled with water and fat, happy rhinos. Pierre Du Preez | Chief Conservation Scientist: Wildlife Research, Rhino Co-ordinator, Namibian Ministry of Environmental and Tourism

T

he rains continued through 2010 and even into the 2011 rainy season. Every year, more and more plant material built up and Park management did not realise they were sitting on a time bomb.

Adjacent to ENP, farmers produce charcoal, mostly for barbeques. In late 2011, a spark from a charcoal kiln ignited a field outside the Park. With the high fuel load from the dead plant material, there was no stopping the fire, which jumped the fire break on the Park’s southern boundary and roared out of control.

The Park management had never been confronted by a fire of this magnitude and they made the fatal decision to stop the fire. As the fire was burning towards a fire It was important to test the break they decided to start

new fire policy and determine the animals’ reaction to a ‘natural burn’ a backburn that would hopefully extinguish the field fire. With flames leaping up in the air, the two fires met and — after a brief battle — both lost and died. Happy faces all around but then it dawned: rhino, giraffe, kudu, lion, elephant and numerous smaller species had tried to run away from the first fire and became trapped. Confused by the smoke and the flames, with nowhere to escape to, 30 rhino lost their lives.

All images MET

After several discussions, a decision was taken for future fire management: ENP would use spot ignition to ignite fires earlier in the cold-dry period, to ensure a mosaic effect with burnt and un-burnt patches. This would result in significantly reduced fuel loads and, even with an accidental fire, the effects would not be as severe as the 2011 fiasco. A year before the fire, MET’s Wildlife Research, in partnership with African Wildlife Tracking, had started developing a satellite bracelet for rhinos. We decided to deploy one bracelet on a pregnant female and another on a mature bull in the area where the experimental burn would take place in 2012. It was important to test the new fire policy and determine the animals’ reaction to a ‘natural burn’.

One late afternoon, when temperatures and winds were declining, the fire-expert team from Etosha Ecological Institute (EEI) put a match to the grass on the Ekuma plains. The fire started moving west in front of a light easterly wind. Four hours later and approximately five kilometres away, the pregnant female detected the smoke in the light breeze and immediately took evasive action. She first moved north over a small saltpan and reached ENP’s northern boundary. She then moved along the Park’s (unfenced) boundary, first west and then south, keeping the saltpans between her and the fire the entire time. By this point, the fire had passed her position and she moved in behind the fire front. Further south-west of the ignition point, the bull also detected the approaching fire. He moved immediately to the edge of a pan, kept in area with a low plant biomass and once the fire passed his position, he also entered the burnt area. A week after the fire, one of EEI’s rangers, Johannes Kapner, was tasked with finding the two animals. The bull, with his face blackened by soot, was found happily munching away in the Far left: A black rhino and her calf Centre: A rhino fitted with a satellite bracelet and VHF tag Left and below: The devastating fire damage

burnt area. The female was located elsewhere; she also had a black face but was very content. Her new-born calf which must have arrived soon after the fire was standing next to her. Satellite bracelets have helped study the rhino’s behaviour towards fire. This has led to the new method of mosaic burning being used during ENP’s future fire regimes, contributing to the safety of the Park’s wildlife.

Grants Thanks to USFWS RTCF for grants of $98,513 for 2012–13 Etosha rhino operations and $86,860 for 2013 operations in the Kunene Region, Hardap Game Reserve and Waterberg Plateau Park. Opel Zoo gave €4,000, for an infra-red camera. SRI gave £9,647 for equipment used at annual rhino ops.

18

SR3146_TheHornAut13v2.indb 18

15/10/2013 21:51


Fundraising

highlights

Cycling

fever

As ever, we have been astounded by the commitment of our wonderful supporters who take on challenges big and small to raise money for rhinos! A huge and heartfelt thank you to everyone who has raised money for Save the Rhino over the past few months. Here are a few highlights from the year so far – no matter how much you raise, we can’t do it without you.

Sunday 4 August 2013 saw the first-ever Prudential RideLondonSurrey 100 sportive take place in London. The 100-mile challenge was part of a whole weekend of cycling festivities hoping to inspire a new generation of cyclists, and to celebrate the cycling fever that has been sweeping the UK ever since Bradley Wiggins won the Tour de France in 2012, Chris Froome in 2013 and Team GB took their multiple Olympic Gold medals.

Bernie Duffy (right) raised £675 by cycling the River Elbe from Cuxhaven to Prague – over 1,200 km in 15 days Diane Mitchell took part in the 3 Cities Cycle Bernie Duffy challenge from Amsterdam to Brussels, raising £1,500

Laura Adams | Events Manager

I

t couldn’t have been a more perfect day as the sun beamed down on London: not too hot for the thousands of cyclists taking part, but warm enough to encourage many more thousands of spectators out onto the streets to watch it all go by and cheer on the riders.

Ian McQuade raised over £3,750 cycling from London to Paris, in aid of Save the Rhino, Cancer Research and the Ninth Harpenden Scout Group As we go to print, Phil Hobson (left) has raised over £1,300 for his Arch to Arc challenge: 87 miles Phil Hobson running relay legs from London to Dover, a 21-mile relay swim to Calais, and 180-mile cycle race to Paris

The 100-mile route stretched from central London out to the Surrey hills, following closely the route chosen for the 2012 London Olympic road race. Twenty-one cyclists took on the challenge for Save the Rhino and we were very pleased to meet nearly everyone at the finish in Green Park, where we had set up camp with a welldeserved post-ride picnic for the team. Together our cyclists have raised over £11,000 (with more sponsorship money still coming in!) and we were incredibly proud of the passion they showed for rhinos and rhino conservation — not to mention their very handy skills on a bike. Many of the team completed the ride in under 5:30!

Richard Keyser raised £815 for Save the Rhino Trust as part of a team who cycled 350km across the hot, desert landscape of Damaraland in North-western Namibia. Simon Panos also completed the challenge, raising £380

Want to cycle for Save the Rhino in 2014?

Inspired? All images SRI

Save the Rhino has places for Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100 in 2014. Please email Laura laura@savetherhino.org.uk for more information on cycling for us.

Please email our Events Manager, Laura Adams, laura@savetherhino.org

19

SR3146_TheHornAut13v2.indb 19

15/10/2013 21:51


Zimbabwe Who are you calling antisocial? Almost any text on black rhinos will say they are solitary, antisocial, ill-tempered beasts. While some individuals live up to the ill-tempered claim, the rest is quite misleading and most people who have worked with black rhinos long-term know they are more social than portrayed. Young animals particularly benefit from companionship, as our experience with poaching orphans has taught us. Natasha Anderson | Rhino Monitoring Coordinator, Lowveld Rhino Trust

T

welve-month-old Bebrave was found fending a pride of lions off his poached mother’s body in August 2011. The body of his 3-year-old sister, Benice, was also found. The poachers had opened fire on them as a group, killing Benice at the scene and wounding the mother Beknown, who died hours later.

Left: BB playing with Sparkle the Eland Centre: BB and LP playing in the bush

Fortunately Bebrave suffered no gunshot injuries and only a few minor scratches from the lions. He was captured for hand-raising because

Right: LP showing her attitude

All images Lowveld Rhino trust

Main: BB with his beloved tyre

black rhinos suckle and need protection from predators till they are nearer two. Bebrave settled remarkably quickly into captive life and never missed a chance to greet anyone visiting his enclosure. He was given a large tractor tyre to play with, which he slept with, would roll around in it and throw it in his wallow. The tyre offered some relief from the loneliness and boredom of being held in a pen by himself. Not long after Bebrave was orphaned, an eland calf suffered the same fate

and was also captured for hand-raising. Fortunately the eland, called Sparkle, grew quickly in body size and was soon large enough to pen with the young rhino as a companion. Bebrave (BB for short) and Sparkle spent their days sleeping, browsing and enjoyed playfully pitching their growing strength against each other. In February 2012, another victim of poaching came our way. A little 7-month-old female black rhino was found running with a young adult cow known as Liveshow. Instantly the rhino monitors knew there was a problem, because Liveshow was not yet five years old and the calf running with her had to be her little sister, Long Playing (LP). The body of their poached mother, CD, was found a few days later. LP came with an entirely different attitude to BB. She seemed to know that humans had played a significant role in her predicament and was not forgiving anything, even with copious bottles of milk consumed over many months. LP was annoyed by anyone even venturing near her enclosure and gave a swift pounding to anyone foolish enough to venture in – even if it was to rescue her from a snake. Having successfully released seven black rhinos into the wild previously, we knew it was best if we raised the two rhinos together. Even though BB was twice the size of LP, they were gradually introduced to each other and finally the gate between their pens was opened. Unfortunately, LP seemed to hold some grudge against other rhinos too and she proceeded to beat BB until he withdrew to the far corner in dismay. Overnight, BB’s friendly disposition won out and BB and LP were then rarely seen apart. Sparkle took the demotion in his stride and accepted that BB had a new best friend. BB, LP and Sparkle have all been released back into the bush where they belong. BB and LP are still living together and are anticipated to do so for many years, if the previously released orphans are any guide. The last released group are still together and they are now over five years old.

Grants The Beit Trust has given £43,000 for a new digital radio system in Bubye Valley, one of the Lowveld Conservancies. We gave £4,000 from our Operation Stop Poaching Now appeal for a task force to review failed prosecutions in Zimbabwe and to print more manuals into crime scene investigations and prosecutions. Dublin Zoo has given another €5,000 to the LRT. Thanks to all!

20

SR3146_TheHornAut13v2.indb 20

15/10/2013 21:51


Zimbabwe

Rhinos, rocks & rangers

The challenges & benefits of monitoring rhinos in hilly terrain The Matobo Hills terrain is majestic: granite ridges tens of metres high run in a northwest to south-east direction, creating a series of semi-parallel valleys separated by dwalas (unbroken ‘whalebacks’) and kopjes (comprising large boulders and vegetated hills). The valleys are clothed with woodland close to the hills’ bases and open woodland, grassland or seasonal wetlands further afield. High runoff from the hills result in relatively good surface water; springs and pools along small perennial rivers sustain rhinos and other wildlife through the dry months. Nicky Pegg PhD | Senior Researcher, Dambari Wildlife Trust

T

his strongly three-dimensional habitat both facilitates and challenges rhino monitoring. On the plus side, numerous rocky outcrops enable the establishment of observation points from where rangers can survey large sections of the landscape for rhinos and unauthorised persons with the aid of binoculars. There are also restricted routes linking valleys, so animals are forced to use a limited number of paths to traverse their ranges. This, coupled with the habitual nature of rhino behaviour, allows management to plan camera-trap placement to optimise photo captures of individuals.

Matobo black rhinos are no less irascible than any others, and they’re three-quarters of camera-trap notoriously difficult to approach closely. Not only photos are taken do the animals stick to the between dusk & dawn more densely vegetated hill bases, but they’re known to sleep in caves and gullies. (And who wants to corner a rhino?) They are also strongly nocturnal: three-quarters of camera-trap photos are taken between dusk and dawn. Just because they sleep by day doesn’t mean they can be sneaked up on, either. It is claimed that rhinos can detect the scent of humans from as far away as a kilometre, and the wind eddies that develop when the predominant south-easterly wind hits the ridges certainly don’t help the rangers! Using radio telemetry isn’t simple either, as the hills cause the radio signal to ‘bounce’ and getting a clear indication of where the animal is takes a lot of skill and experience.

Dambari wildlife Trust

Rhinos are strongly nocturnal:

By comparison, white rhinos are easier to monitor directly. They are less aggressive, tend to associate in groups more regularly than black rhinos (although there are indications that female black rhinos with similar-age calves may form temporary, loose associations), and their preferred habitat lies in the more open valleys. White rhinos prefer shorter grass, so although much of the Matobo National Park has tall ‘thatching’ grass, which can exceed 2m in height, the white rhinos are often

found in areas where the grass is kept short by other grazers such as zebra and blue wildebeest and in areas encroached by domestic cattle. However, close approach for the purposes of identifying individuals can still be complicated, primarily by the alarm systems of the bush: oxpeckers. The Matobo Hills house both yellow-billed and red-billed oxpeckers and is the only known site where hybrids of the two species occur. White rhinos frequently have a couple of sharp-eyed birds on board that take off in a panic if people approach. Many species benefit from rhinos being in the Park. Dung middens, in particular, don’t just act as territory markers for rhinos, they are gold mines for smaller animals that root through them for insects. Cameras set up near middens show them being visited by numerous species of birds, banded mongooses, jackals and civets. Dambari Wildlife Trust continues to partner with Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority and Save African Rhinos Foundation in managing camera traps in the Park and maintaining a photo database. This project is extremely valuable for monitoring the populations and for determining movement patterns and several aspects of behaviour such as social groupings, activity patterns, and so on.

21

SR3146_TheHornAut13v2.indb 21

15/10/2013 21:51


Viet Nam

Why do people

consume rhino horn? The demand for rhino horn in Viet Nam has been identified as a major driver of the rhino poaching crisis. Therefore, on my journey to Hanoi in Viet Nam to attend a meeting on rhino horn demand reduction and to visit Education for Nature Vietnam (ENV), I was filled with apprehension as to what I might find. Susie Offord | Deputy Director

Top: Practitioners prepare products to be used in Traditional Chinese Medicine Middle: ENV displays posters in Vietnamese TCM shops to raise awareness that rhino horn is illegal and using it is threatening the rhino’s survival Bottom: ENV’s wildlife crime team work with the authorities to combat the illegal wildlife trade

My first appointment was with Ms Dung, Operations Director at ENV, who is in charge of the awareness programme on the illegal wildlife trade. ENV has been working on reducing the demand for rhino horn since 2012, when SRI donated £12,500 to help fund one of ENV’s rhino horn awareness campaigns. Its work includes raising awareness about wildlife in the general public, managing a wildlife crime hotline, carrying out investigations and working with the Vietnamese authorities. ENV is one of only a small number of

Rhinos The Vietnamese are strongly usenocturnal:

three-quarters rhino horn to display of camera-trap wealth photos and affirm arestatus taken between dusk amongst peers& dawn local NonGovernment Organisations (NGOs) working on illegal wildlife trade and it faces a difficult task, but it has a strong following of young people in Viet Nam who are starting to care more about wildlife than previous generations. The next day I visited Hai Thuong Lan Ong Street, which is one of the main streets in Hanoi for Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) shops. Rhino horn was not openly being sold in any of these shops (there were, however, signs of bear bile which is also illegal). The TCM practitioners explained that customers mostly want treatment for their general good health, a bit like taking

vitamin tablets. People don’t generally come in and ask for a specific product; instead they describe their symptoms to the practitioner who will then diagnose what the customer needs. TCM doctors are well respected and customers choose which TCM shop to go to through recommendations, or they may already know and trust the shop; trust is important to their trade. Some of the practitioners admitted that they have been asked by customers for rhino horn but all denied ever selling it. On my last day I attended a demand reduction meeting organised by the TRAFFIC Greater Mekong Programme (the wildlife trade monitoring network). TRAFFIC has undertaken comprehensive consumer research into perceptions around the use of rhino horn in Viet Nam. The consumer research involved surveying 600 middleupper income adults in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. The meeting aimed to elucidate the results of the survey and then plan a targeted behaviourchange campaign to reduce the demand for rhino horn. Dr Jo Shaw,

from WWF-South Africa which funded the research, noted that ‘The survey results provided invaluable insights into the current situation in Viet Nam with regard to who is buying and using rhino horn and most importantly provided additional information on why’.

All images SRI

V

iet Nam has one of the fastestgrowing economies in the world and, with a population of 91.5 million, is now the world’s thirteenth-most populated country. The country has seen rapid urbanisation, an increase in new wealth and with it higher disposable income.

While many people in Viet Nam still believe in the health benefits of rhino horn and believe it has detoxifying properties,

22

SR3146_TheHornAut13v2.indb 22

15/10/2013 21:51


In June 2013, our fantastic rhino supporter Vinny O’Neill undertook a challenge that many thought was impossible: he would be the first person ever to run an ultra-marathon solo in rhino costume. Katherine Ellis | Office and Communications Manager

These findings are being used to help design TRAFFIC’s future behaviourchange campaign for demand reduction in Viet Nam. I believe this is one of the best ways that we can have a significant impact on the horrific rhino poaching figures we see today. I left Hanoi with a mixture of feelings. It is a fantastic city, full of interesting and friendly people; it is clearly doing well. However demand for illegal wildlife products is evidently increasing. Fortunately the young people of Viet Nam appear to want to protect wildlife, but many species don’t have enough time to wait for several generations before a culture fully changes. Over the next few years, Government commitment to tackle the illegal wildlife trade and the work of other organisations in consumer countries such as Viet Nam is going to play a major role in the survival of many species, especially rhinos.

All images SRI

Grants In October 2012, we gave a grant of £12,500 to ENV for a demand reduction campaign, and in summer 2013, we gave another $1,250 for an ENV press conference. As the project draws to a close, we will consider how best to continue our support for demand reduction in Vietnam and other rhino hornconsumer countries.

Vinny was a good bet for his challenge; he is currently the fastest marathon rhino costume runner, having completed the 2012 Virgin London marathon in 4:17:27. Without the costume, Vinny has a marathon personal best of 2:53:54. On the day, Vinny said he quickly gained amazing support. “At the beginning of the race I was joined by four African runners and they ran with me all the way. The group grew to eight as we went along and they stopped when I stopped and they ran when I ran.’

Vinny had just 12 hours to complete the course, when the organisers close the finish line. Throughout the morning, winds picked up and temperatures reached 30ºC, making the costume resemble a personal sauna. Vinny said, ‘It was so hot and I just kept on taking water. The start was hardest as it is all uphill but further into the race it flattens out and I was able to pick up the pace’. And of course the crowds gave enormous support, with chants of ‘Rhino man’. Demonstrating his super-human endurance, Vinny finished well under the cut-off time in 10:38:02. He came 4,045th out of a  field of approximately 14,000. www.comrades.com

Thanks & congratulations Our thanks and congratulations go to Vinny who raised over £3,000 through his Comrades challenge in support of Save the Rhino

H Africa

Vinny had entered South Africa’s legendary Comrades ultramarathon; an 87km course from Durban to Pietmaritzburg. He was also running on an ‘up’ year where the race is predominantly uphill.

ASICS So ut

Mothers may also buy rhino horn for emergencies if their child is ill; often in conjunction with using western medicines. Dr Doak added that it was concerning that the research showed ‘Many more people would like to buy horn than can afford to at present’.

The ultimate test of endurance

Cottrell

One of the main reasons people use rhino horn is to display wealth and affirm status amongst one’s peers. Dr Naomi Doak, Coordinator of the TRAFFIC Greater Mekong Programme who led the research, explained that ‘Rhino horn is very expensive and rare, which adds to its appeal’. The research identified one of the main rhino horn-user groups as wealthy men, over 40 who live in urban centres. They value their image and status, and do not show empathy for animals. Giving a gift of rhino horn is seen as a sign of respect and power and can often be done to ‘seal’ important business deals.

One man One rhino

All imag es Travis

the survey showed this is not the main motivator for consumption.

>>Stop Press >> Congratulations to Vinny, for being a well-deserved awardee of the CATHSSETA Spirit of Comrades Awards 2013, for running the race in rhino costume and raising funds for rhino conservation >>Stop Press >>

23

SR3146_TheHornAut13v2.indb 23

15/10/2013 21:51


Indonesia

Last chance to save

the Sumatran rhino In 1996, the Sumatran rhino was listed as Critically Endangered on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Since then, more than 75% of the population has been lost. Surveys in 2012 in Malaysia suggest that no more than a handful of rhino may remain in Sabah. Susie Ellis, PhD | Executive Director, International Rhino Foundation

Estimates suggest there are fewer than 100 Sumatran

baiji, Vietnamese subspecies of Javan rhino). Moderated by a facilitator, panel members gave short introductions about the challenges they had faced and lessons learned that might be applicable for the Sumatran rhino. During the rest of the meeting, participants self-managed 23 working sessions, in large and small breakout groups,

Far left and right: Participants at the SRCS discuss strategies to save the Sumatran rhino from extinction Centre: Rhino Protection Units in Indonesia are on the front-line to protect the species

All images SRI unless noted

T

his alarming news prompted discussions concerning the need for rapid, international and collaborative action, and most importantly, a departure from the ‘business as usual’ approach if the species is to have any hope of survival. A recent review of population data now suggests that it is quite possible that only around 100 Sumatran rhino now remain in the wild. Ten individuals are in managed breeding facilities in Indonesia, Malaysia, and the US. From 1–4 April 2013, united in a fear

rhinos remaining in the wild of losing the Sumatran rhino, yet with hope that a new, creative, and effective strategy could be developed and implemented in time to save it, 109 participants from various organizations and institutions working on Sumatran rhino and other endangered species gathered for the Sumatran Rhino Crisis Summit (SRCS) at the Singapore Zoo. The SRCS was hosted by Wildlife Reserves Singapore and generously sponsored by the Sime Darby Foundation, the Wildlife Conservation Society, and the World Wide Fund for Nature. In addition to Sumatran rhino experts, the meeting included biologists who have helped to recover other critically endangered species, such as the California condor, Hawaiian forest birds, saola, giant panda and African rhino species. It also included presentations by biologists who worked in cases that did not result in species recovery (for example, the

documenting the most important outcomes from each one. At the end of each session, each group shared their discussions, including promising solutions and ideas to the entire assembly. A Two-Year Emergency Plan was drafted to identify the most urgent actions, which will be followed by a five-year rolling strategic plan. In early October, the Indonesian government, in collaboration with the IUCN, will convene an Asian Rhino Range States meeting to call attention to the Asian rhino situation in India, Nepal, Bhutan, Indonesia and Malaysia. The meeting will take place just prior to the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Business Advisory Council meeting in Bali, which will focus on security and wildlife enforcement. We are hopeful that the Asian Rhino Range States meeting and the APEC meeting discussions will lay a foundation for a rhino-related presidential decree by Indonesia’s President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.

24

SR3146_TheHornAut13v2.indb 24

15/10/2013 21:51


The Two-Year Emergency Plan The Two-Year Emergency Plan acknowledges the need for: n High-quality, standardised information on the sex, age, locations of individual

wild rhinos, both through immediate surveys and continuing monitoring n Management of all existing rhinos, whether wild or in managed breeding

programmes, as one population by the governments of Indonesia and Malaysia, which are committed to preventing the species’ extinction n Mechanisms to ensure decisive, high-energy conservation actions in range

states with further mechanisms for collaboration between ranges states and other institutions Other critical pieces of the Plan include aiming to manage the Sumatran rhino for an annual population growth rate of at least 3%. For Indonesia, which holds the only viable populations of Sumatran rhinos, general rhino conservation needs identified include: ■ Establishing a high-level task force of

senior Indonesian government decision makers supported by an advisory body of national and international experts on rhino population and habitat management, to make decisions on conservation management proposals in a timely manner and report each year to the President of Indonesia on the progress achieved in rhino conservation

Specific recommendations for Sumatran rhinos included: ■ Establishing Intensive Management

Zones (IMZ) in Bukit Barisan Selatan, Way Kambas and Gunung Leuser National Parks, and the larger Leuser Ecosystem; significantly increasing enforcement effort in these IMZs including considering fencing a portion of the IMZs to maintain rhino densities ■ Moving rhinos that are outside of IMZs

either into IMZs or into managed breeding facilities with a track record of success

■ Appointing a full-time government focal

point for rhino conservation within the Nature Conservation Division of the government of Indonesia ■ Allocating sufficient resources, including

adequate staff numbers, to the National Parks to enforce protection of remaining rhino populations in Bukit Barisan Selatan, Way Kambas and Gunung Leuser National Parks, and the wider Leuser Ecosystem (and in Ujung Kulon for Javan rhinos) ■ Monitoring all rhino

protection efforts using the SMART law enforcement monitoring database and sharing results with all stakeholders on a monthly basis ■ Ensuring regular, frequent and intensive

monitoring of all rhino populations in Indonesia, involving collaboration between all stakeholders, in order to detect population trends, and to inform future conservation and management decisions ■ Exploring the possibility of co-

management of Rhino Intensive Management Zones (IMZ) with the international community

sumatran rhino images Mark

Carwardine

Left and above: Rhinos at the Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary in Indonesia, which aims to bolster Sumatran rhino numbers through captive breeding

■ Forming a joint Sumatran Rhino

Coordination Unit (SRCU) that involves the Governments of Indonesia, Malaysia and holders of Sumatran rhinos in other countries to oversee the transfer of animals and reproductive cells between the captive Sumatran rhino populations within individual countries and internationally ■ Permitting the movement of animals

within and between IMZs and managed breeding facilities

25

SR3146_TheHornAut13v2.indb 25

15/10/2013 21:51


Indonesia

The challenges of breeding

Sumatran rhinos

The secretive, solitary lifestyle of the forest-dwelling Sumatran rhino and its associated behaviour, coupled with its unique reproductive physiology, makes this species by far the most difficult rhino to breed. Terri Roth | Vice-President of Conservation and Science and CREW Director, Cincinnati Zoo

I all images Cincinnati Zoo

n contrast to white rhinos that are compatible housed in social groups comprised of one bull and numerous cows and calves, or black rhinos that can be housed in pairs, the adult Sumatran rhino really does prefer to go it alone — so much so that it tends to be very aggressive when it encounters another rhino in its ‘territory’.

Therefore, pairing Sumatran rhinos for mating is particularly tricky and must be timed perfectly for when the females enter their very brief period of receptivity. Even then, there is no guarantee that some aggression will not occur, as the natural courtship behaviour can

be rather rough and often includes chasing, sparring and biting prior to actual mating. As if these challenges are not enough, oestrual behaviour in the Sumatran rhino can range from absolutely no overt behavioural signs of oestrus to flamboyant urine squirts, vocalisations and activity from either, both or neither of the pair. At Cincinnati Zoo, where three Sumatran rhino calves have been born, scientists working at the Zoo’s Center for Conservation and Research of Endangered Wildlife (CREW) have been able to overcome the many obstacles to breeding this species by incorporating good science. After years of studying hormone concentrations and performing thrice-weekly ultrasound examinations of the ovaries, the scientists made a key discovery — Sumatran rhinos are induced ovulators, meaning that the female only ovulates after being paired with a male during oestrus. If not paired with the male, she will not ovulate, and her reproductive cycle becomes

highly irregular, but when she does ovulate, her cycle is about 21 days. Of the four rhino species in captivity, the Sumatran species is the only induced ovulator. After discovering this phenomenon, the scientists soon learned exactly what size follicle is associated with oestrus in the female rhino. Since then, frequent ultrasound examinations have become a routine part of the breeding programme at Cincinnati Zoo and at the Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary (SRS) in Indonesia, which celebrated the birth of its first calf in June 2012. Although the breeding programmes at the Cincinnati Zoo and SRS follow similar protocols, there are subtle differences. At both, ultrasound exams are Far left: Terri, Dedi and Sumadi examining an conducted frequently to ultrasound at the follow the development and Sumatran Rhino growth of any new follicles Sanctuary developing on the ovaries. Centre & below: Daily exams are conducted Sumatran rhinos at Cincinnati Zoo when a dominant follicle approaches 20mm in diameter which is the size of a pre-ovulatory follicle in this rhino species. At the SRS, on the day that the follicle measures 20mm, the male and female rhinos are introduced to each other between bars, and are only put in the same enclosure if proper receptive behaviour is displayed. In contrast, Cincinnati Zoo staff has found rhino behaviour to be unreliable and the rhino pair are introduced when the follicle reaches 20mm regardless of their behaviour towards each other that morning. Although the rhinos in the Zoo also often chase each other and spar for some time, copulation usually occurs within two hours of introduction. The keepers are critically important because they are tasked with separating the rhinos if the interactions become too aggressive. Actual copulation can last 15–45 minutes; the rhinos are separated immediately afterwards and not reintroduced until the next cycle if the female does not become pregnant. Unfortunately, even when the introductions go well, the female often does not conceive. Cincinnati Zoo’s proven rhino pair produced just three successful pregnancies following a total of 31 attempted matings. Patience and perseverance are absolute necessities for those trying to breed Sumatran rhinos, but the reward is well worth it!

26

SR3146_TheHornAut13v2.indb 26

15/10/2013 21:51


Indonesia: Javan rhinos love taking selfies! That a population of no more than 50 Javan rhinos has managed to survive for more than a century – isolated on a tiny peninsula known as Ujung Kulon – is nothing short of amazing. The species is now considered one of rarest and most endangered of all the world’s mammals, but could very well come through this demographic bottleneck if current conservation efforts focused on its behavioural ecology succeed. Bill Konstant | Programme Officer, International Rhino Foundation

Sorhim

Javan rhinos once lived in close association with Sumatran rhinos on the neighbouring island of Sumatra, in parts of mainland Southeast Asia and into foothill habitats of the Himalayas. Wherever they were

The incredibly elusive Javan rhino will stroll directly in front of a well-placed

Main images and footprint Bill Konstant, IRF

camera-trap

time. Our Rhino Protection Units have reported just four direct sightings in the past year, and they average at least 15 days per month in the field. What’s so frustrating about not being able to encounter live Javan rhinos — despite the overwhelming evidence of their presence in terms of footprints, dung, urine, wallows and feeding signs — is that these incredibly elusive creatures will stroll directly in front of a well-placed camera-trap, apparently at any time of day or night, and allow themselves to be recorded electronically. That’s how we know that at least 35 individual Javan rhinos still inhabit Ujung Kulon, including males that are actively courting

found, Javan rhinos have always inhabited lowland forests, which inevitably put them in direct competition with humans for Asia’s prime real estate. Essentially, it’s always come down to forests versus agriculture expansion and logging. Javan rhinos are known to eat more than 300 species of native plants, but none of them trumps commodity crops such as rice, oil palm, coffee or cacao, or factors into the equation when forests are clear-cut for timber. That the Javan rhino’s diet is so eclectic, however, allows it to compete favourably with similar-sized threatened herbivores such as the Javan banteng or with domestic livestock such as water buffalo. The Javan rhino’s enormous bulk helps ensure its survival. Even when Javan tigers still roamed the forests of Ujung Kulon, there is no evidence that they preyed upon rhinos, and the much smaller Javan leopard probably would find it very difficult to take down even a young calf if mom was anywhere nearby. Humans are the only species that pose a serious threat to the world’s remaining Javan rhinos, which may forever be a target for poachers in search of rhino horn. Fortunately, Javan rhinos have very small horns for their size, with adult females essentially sporting no horn at all.

females, and calves still in the company of their moms.

Despite plentiful footprints, wallows and dung, (left) Javan rhinos are rarely seen. Most evidence comes from camera trap photos (below). Indonesian Ministry Of Forestry Ujung Kulon National Park AND WWF Indonesia

T

he Javan rhino is a mid-sized species, as rhinos go. It’s a bit more than half the size of the African white rhino or the Greater one-horned rhino. Javan rhinos are significantly larger than Africa’s black rhinos and dwarf the smallest of the living species, the Sumatran rhino.

‘Every picture tells a story’, as they say. So even though the world’s last Javan rhinos seem very capable of hiding in plain sight, the fact that they’re not camerashy gives conservationists a rare peek at an even rarer creature, and may provide information about its behaviour that could prevent its extinction.

Laying eyes on a Javan rhino is near impossible! Like all rhino species, their eyesight is believed to be incredibly poor, but superior senses of hearing and smell allow them to detect wouldbe pursuers. Many explorers and biologists have tried to observe wild Javan rhinos — to study or just to photo­graph them — but they’ve come up empty-handed almost every

27

SR3146_TheHornAut13v2.indb 27

15/10/2013 21:51


Run little rhino, run! The little rhino galloping round and round like a professional show horse is just having fun and playing with its mate. A wonderful sight and something visitors would probably not expect when visiting a Greater one-horned rhino (aka Indian rhino) exhibit in their nearby zoo. Friederike von Houwald | Chair, EAZA Rhino Taxon Advisory Group

A

dult Greater one-horned (GOH) rhinos are impressive animals. They can weigh over two tonnes, measure 1.8 metres in height and look like they would have difficulties speeding up in their bulky, armour-plated suit. But this look is just protection against possible predators. Deep down in their hearts, GOHs are fast runners and very agile; they can turn and reach high speeds in seconds and love to play. But in general, adult GOHs like to relax.

The zoos that are privileged to have GOHs must have

when sending young rhinos out to new zoos. Young rhinos love the company of other calves. They are extremely curious and like running together. Seeing two young rhinos play together is probably one of the most memorable sights; they push each other, play fight, and also lick and sleep next to each other when exhausted. The myth that GOHs are slow-moving, bulky and not particularly agile is not true when you meet them. For the keepers, working with these rhinos is a special challenge. Due to their curiosity, GOHs can easily be trained to understand many commands. They also love to be paid attention; they like to be rubbed, caressed and of course fed with little treats. It must be remembered GOHs in zoos remain wild rhinos; there are certain moments when a rhino can suddenly

Due to their curiosity, Greater one-horned rhinos can be trained to understand special knowledge of their needs. Contrary to African rhinos, the Asian GOH rhinos live along riversides, enjoy water and mud, and need soft ground to walk on. They have specialised feet, which do not do well on hard ground; a fact zoos had to learn. When keeping these special waterloving animals, zoos need to provide them with inside and outside pools, mud wallows and soft ground. In the wild, GOH bulls are solitary, so they are also kept solitarily in zoos. Females do not mind other females, and also do not mind staying alone with their calves. Young calves, especially bulls, start to become a nuisance for the mothers around the age of two to three, when they have to leave her and form loose bachelor groups. This is something zoos also do

Greater one-horned rhinos are incredibly curious and young calves love to play

behave totally differently. A lovely bull can suddenly change into a two-tonne train, full of power, unwilling to stop or to respond to commands he has been taught. Especially during mating time, GOH bulls can become very powerful. A bull next to a female in heat will do nearly everything he can to be next to her; doors will be hammered, walls climbed.

All images Basel Zoo

many commands

It is at this time when a keeper needs to have not only the experience, but also the courage to let them be together and stand back. They will chase each other, bite each other (GOH rhinos do not fight with their horns, but with their teeth) and suddenly they will rest together. This behaviour continues for hours. A lot of zoos are so scared of this behaviour that they hesitate to let them be together, but in the end, the rhinos know what to do. Mating often takes part at night and lasts for about an hour. Sixteen months later, a 60kg calf will be born and will soon start to explore its world of wonders. It will bring huge smiles to everyone who has the wonderful chance to observe such a cute creature.

28

SR3146_TheHornAut13v2.indb 28

15/10/2013 21:52


Black and white cuddly rhinos   £6 each

Thank you to our corporate sponsors

We are growing our work with corporate partners through staff fundraising events, sales of products, sponsorship of events & donations of funds and services. Below we would like to thank a few of our top corporate partners. Josephine Gibson Corporate Relations Manager

One of our most popular products! Nose to tail approx 19cm. Complies with SCS specifications. Suitable for ages 3+

Tis the season

to be rhino With Christmas just around the corner, now is the time to fill up your stockings with Save the Rhino goodies. Rory Harding | Michael Hearn Intern

cer s Rwhw.sino ino.org avetherh

Adult T-shirts  £15 Colours: Black, Blue, Khaki (right) Sizes: S, M, L, and XL

w

Save the Rhino Shopper  £5

Kids’ T-shirts  £7.50

Davmark Calendars has become a household name in the design, publish and print of an exquisite range of calendars in various sizes and formats. Davmark will be donating money to Save the Rhino for every unit of calendars and diaries sold locally or abroad. www.davmark.co.za The Last Tuesday Society is ‘a “Pataphysical” organisation devoted to exploring and furthering the esoteric, literary and artistic aspects of life in London and beyond’. The Last Tuesday Society runs events including balls, parties and lectures, donating recent Animal Party profits to SRI. www.thelasttuesdaysociety.org

Alex Rhind | Design consultant Alex Rhind is a freelance graphic designer who’s been designing The Horn and most of our print communciations for many years. When not working with Save the Rhino, Alex works with a number of major businesses and design agencies, creating business communications ranging from holiday catalogues and e-mailers, to brochures and integrated campaigns. alex@alexrhind.co.uk

Colour: Safari† Sizes: Ages 3— 4, 5 —6, 7—8 Colour: Bottle green† Sizes: 9 — 11, 12— 13

Eco-friendly 100% Fairtrade washable cotton

Snowy Rhino Christmas cards  £4.50 pack of 10 Send rhino festive joy with Shelley Kettle’s fantastic snowy black rhino shot, taken at Port Lympne Wild Animal Park.

A Zimbabwean ten trillion dollar banknote  £5

SRI

Ann & Steve Toon  Ann and Steve Toon are wildlife photo-journalists with a specialist interest in African wildlife and conservation. The couple are currently promoting greater awareness of rhino issues and conservation through their Project African Rhino campaign. As great wildlife and rhino supporters, Ann and Steve have donated many valuable photos to SRI to help communicate the plight facing the rhino. www.africanrhino.org

Save the Rhino ranger’s cap  £12 Khaki only. One size fits all adults (adjustable). As sported by rangers in the field.

Join us for

NEW Adult fleece  £28 Colours: Black, Royal blue, Bottle green (right) Sizes: Unisex S, M, L, XL. Generously sized in a thick 380gsm 100% polyester microfleece to keep you warm

Christmas! We have membership schemes available from £1 per month for kids, and £3 or £10 per month for adults. New members receive fantastic rhino goodies to thank you for their support, plus existing members can now renew online. To place your order, visit www.savetherhino.org or contact rory@savetherhino.org or call 020 7357 7474

Sizing and details of garments may vary slightly from shown. Colours shown are matched as closely as printing process allows. †Bottle green and Safari colour not shown. Save the Rhino reserves the right to substitute alternative gifts of an equivalent nature and value. See our website for more details about payment options and terms and conditions.

SR3146_TheHornAut13v2.indb 29

MY NOSE IS

Rhino Car Stickers KILLING ME £1.50 each www.savetherhino.org

29 29

15/10/2013 21:52


Rhino fundraısing stars

You are never too young to get involved with fundraising for Save the Rhino, as our recent rhino supporters have shown!

Why not try? ■■Cake sale

■■Christmas party

■■Sponsored silence

■■Treasure hunt

■■Sponsored walk

■■Guess the

■■Running

challenge ■■Cycle race ■■Carol singing ■■Art sale ■■Swimathon ■■Animal quiz ■■Concert ■■School collections

sweets in a jar

■■Skipathon ■■Disco ■■Book sale ■■Battle of the

bands event

■■Magic show ■■Non-uniform day ■■Fête ■■Talent contest

Getting craft y for rhinos

Running for rhinos Siblings Faye and Kyle saw hing a TV report on rhino poac to and decided they wanted d ne sig help. So this May, they r up to the Great Mancheste Children’s run. nate Faye and Kyle are passio ised by collecting money about rhinos; they fundra to-door in their street. Their at school as well as dooran online Virgin Money parents also helped set up passed on to friends and Giving page, which they They both had a really family around the world. e day, with huge numbers exciting experience on rac In total they raised £723! of runners and supporters.

Rosie gets cycling for rhinos In early October, Rosie decided to help support rhinos by doing a sponsored cycle ride. Rosie cycled 3km around

Mareike (ag ed 8) from Ca nada, recently read that there are only around 40 Javan rhin os remaining in the wild, and she Brockwell Park and decided to d o something about it. has raised £100 so far. For two month s, she created works of art to sell a t a craft sale in July and h tables full of ad two her original d esigns. With h her younger elp from Thanks also to.... sister Rianna , she raised o dollars for Ja ve r $400 van rhino co n Lily and the Year 4 pupils at nservation a the word to o n d sp read ver 100 peop Austhorpe Primary School le. Mareike and who raised £110.22 through Rianna also help their Mo newspapers m d e liv e r a cake sale to over 100 ho mes every we and are don ek, ating every n Serena and Phoebe from penny toward s Dragon School Oxford, for the Javan rh inos, pitching Save the Rhino as the raising anoth er beneficiary charity for Year 7’s $200 so far fundraising activities, raising £400

30

SR3146_TheHornAut13v2.indb 30

hold You could at your an event outh school, y ven club, or e n idea, ily and ught of a with fam o th e ’v u e Rhino nce yo at Save th e n friends. O ri e th a hone ch with K o.org or p get in tou in rh e th e@save an adult katherin 4, or ask 7 4 7 7 5 3 77 +44 (0)20 r behalf us on you t  c ta n o to c

Sean Wyckoff who collected over $330 by forgoing birthday presents in turn of donations

n

Milena, Lila and Clara from South Hampstead High School who raised £38.05 through school fundraising

n

15/10/2013 21:52


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

Companies

Polly Adams, Sue Adams, Mark Alexander, Ceri Allman, Susan Arid, Jack Ashby, Clary Aspinall, Daisy Ball, Paul Bamford, Kim Barnard, Pamela Barry, Richard Barwell, Stephen Beesley, Michelle Benjamin, Pippa Bly, Hannaa Bobat, Lucy Boddam-Whetham, Sam Bond, David Boynette, Graeme Bradstock, Iona Brandt, Sarah Brimyard, Chris Brimyard, Matt Brooke, Becca Brown, Sean Buckles, Finn Burns, Matt Calvert, Claudine Cleaver, Michael Davey, Abigail Day, the De Klerk family, Kenneth Donaldson, Adam Douglass, Peter Downie, Bernie Duffy, Josh Dunlop, Michael Dyer, Alex Dyson, Karin Froebel Overton, Steffi Galt, Paul & Margaret Gibson, Doug & Celia Goodman, Tom Hale, Mathew Hartley, Steve Hawker, Stewart Hayward, Jim Hearn, Lyddy Hemmings, Nicola Hewitt, Tom Hiney, Kate Hiney, Phil & Pam Hobson, Patricia Holland, Katie Horn, Max Hoy, Rhiannon Hutton, Harriet Ibbett, John Ironmonger, Tom Kenyon Slaney, Laura Kethro, Richard Keyser, Emma Knott, Jason LaChappelle, Harriet Lambert, Peter Lawrence, Cath Lawson, the Lee family, Matthew Lewin, Marjory Linford, Warwick Lobban, Carla Lodewijks, Horst Lubnow, Christine MacGiffin, Lynne MacBean & Gavin Downie, Emma Madden, Tanya Mancini, Tom Mann, Ian McQuade, Freddie Menzies, Douglas Metcalfe, Thomas Meyer, Diane Mitchell, Steph Monteith, Shaithal Moodley, Martin Nelson, Emma-Lousie Nicholls, Sara Oakeley, Kate Oliver, Vinny O’Neill, Olivia O’Prey, Tekira Palmer, Simon Panos, Nancy Partington, Jo Paulson, John Payne, Rob Penn, Richie Perera, the Poelzer family, Luke Rawsthorn, Karen Rennie, Bruce Rigal, Max Risby, Camilla Rogers, Tom Rowland, Leo Saunders, Kathleen Schofield, Andre & Marcell Schoombee, Zac Schwarz, Joanne Scofield, Meera Shah, Katy Shoesmith, Ian Soanes, Andrew Strang, Mark Strong, Chris Sturgeon, Neil Taylor, Ben & Emma Thornton, Steve & Ann Toon, Olly Tovey, Alisa Travares, Richard Walker, Sam Webb, Ales Weiner, Sabrina Welsh-Morris, J Anthony West, Tabitha Wheatley, Steve Wooley, Mark Worsfold, Sean Wyckoff, Team Round the Horn

180 Amsterdam BV, Acacia Africa, Alex Rhind, ASICS, Black Rhino Capital LLP, CIMA, Davmark Calendars, Google, Microsoft, Nature Picture Library, Pitney Bowes, R M Capital, Red Hen Creative, Rhino Force, Rhino’s energy International GmbH, Sporting Rifle, Steve and Ann Toon Photography, The Colourhouse, The Last Tuesday Society, Trans-Africa Safari, Victor Stationery, Vodafone World of Difference

Charities, trusts and foundations and other Zoo D’Amnéville, Association Ecofaune Virement, Association of Veterinary Students, Austhorpe Primary School, Zoo de la Barben, Safaripark Beekse Bergen and Dierenrijk, The Beit Trust, Blair Drummond Safari Park, Chessington World of Adventure, Chester Zoo Act for Wildlife, Colchester Zoo Action for the Wild, Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund, Dragon School, Dublin Zoo (ZSI), EAZA, The Grant Museum, Helping Rhinos, IUCN Save Our Species, Ernest Kleinwort Charitable Trust, Knowsley Safari Park, The Linbury Trust, Opel Zoo-Kronberg, University of Oxford, Save the Rhino International Inc., Simon Gibson Charitable Trust, Taiwan Forestry Bureau, Zoo de Thoiry, Treasure Charitable Trust, US Fish and Wildlife Service, Wilhelma Zoo Stuttgart, Woburn Safari Park, WWF-South Africa, Zoological Society of London

And all those who wish to remain anonymous Alex Rhind |

Design consultant

31 31

SR3146_TheHornAut13v2.indb 31

15/10/2013 21:52


Staff Director: Cathy Dean Deputy Director: Susie Offord Events Manager: Laura Adams Office and Communications Manager: Katherine Ellis Finance Manager: Yvonne Walker Michael Hearn Intern: Josephine Gibson/Rory Harding Corporate Relations Manager: Josephine Gibson

SRI

Patrons Polly Adams Benedict Allen Clive Anderson Louise Aspinall Nick Baker Simon Barnes 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

Steve & Ann toon

Founder Patrons Douglas Adams Michael Werikhe

COVER Top: Phil Perry  Cover bottom: Steve & Ann Toon

NLCP

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

The Horn Design and layout: Alex Rhind Design | www.alexrhind.co.uk Printing: The Colourhouse Limited | www.thecolourhouse.com Thanks to Alan Anderson and Colourhouse, for their loyal and efficient support over the years

Founder Directors Johnny Roberts David Stirling

Save the Rhino International Connecting conservation and communities 16 Winchester Walk, London SE1 9AQ T: +44 (0)20 7357 7474 F: +44 (0)20 7357 9666 E: info@savetherhino.org W: www.savetherhino.org Save the Rhino International, Inc c/o Chapel & York Limited, 1000 N. West Street, Suite 1200, Wilmington, DE 19801 www.savetherhinoinc.com 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.

Made from 60% recycled paper Registered Charity No. 1035072

SR3146_TheHornAut13v2.indb 32

15/10/2013 21:52

The Horn Autumn 2013 - The Secret Life of Rhinos  

Rhino programme updates & articles from around the world. This edition focuses on the fascinating characteristics of rhinos, their behaviour...

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you