Across their range, black rhinos are under severe and sustained threat from illegal hunting for their horns. Assessed as Critically Endangered by the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, the species is of enormous local value to the people of Kenya, and to the global community.
Through training and the provision of vital equipment, this project aims to boost the ability of Kenya's Borana Conservancy to detect and deter poachers. If well protected and managed, black rhino populations could increase by between 5-10% per year. In Kenya, the aim is to grow the national population from 600 to 800 by 2017, with a long-term goal of 2,000 animals.
This project is helping to enhance rhino protection and monitoring at Borana Conservancy by:
A) Providing training from security and intelligence specialists in anti-poaching methods for 30 rangers at Borana. This training will include tactics, field techniques, intelligence gathering, law enforcement and first aid.
B) Providing digital VHF radio equipment for anti-poaching rangers and rhino monitors to ensure that teams can communicate effectively across the whole conservancy and in surrounding areas.
C) Procuring and installing road maintenance equipment, to allow easier monitoring and faster responses to poaching threats.
Eliminating poaching threats will allow Borana's black rhino population to increase at up to 10% a year. The aim is to create an internationally important and secure population that will help secure the future of the black rhino in Kenya and East Africa more widely.
The project plans to help Borana Conservancy significantly increase its rhino population and ultimately to achieve Key-1 status (a population of over 100 rhinos, deemed to be of continental importance). To achieve this, the project aims to:
Eliminate rhino poaching losses
Grow the black rhino population by more than 5% per year
Build partnerships with local communities and create incentives for people to support rhino protection
With Borana Conservancy located within an area that has been identified as important for rhino conservation, the efforts being made here and in neighbouring conservancies such as Lewa could play a major role in securing the black rhino's future.