At the foothills of Mount Kenya lies one of the oldest conservancies in Kenya’s Laikipia region: Ol Jogi. The 58,000 acre reserve is a stronghold for the Critically Endangered Eastern black rhino. The team at Ol Jogi’s work round-the-clock to keep their rhinos safe.
For more than 30 years, Ol Jogi was a safe haven for rhinos, with no rhinos lost to poaching from 1980 to 2012. But as poaching crisis escalated in the mid-2000s, Ol Jogi suffered a number of attacks. This difficult time led to a change in security measures at the reserve; increased foot and aerial patrols, a dedicated canine unit and improved tools and equipment to monitor and protect the reserve’s rhinos.
Today the task of protecting rhinos remains a formidable challenge; it is essential that rangers are well-supported and ready to respond to emergencies. Thanks to donations from our partners and supporters, we’ve been able to make a real impact for Ol Jogi’s rhinos in the past year:
- Specialist equipment to track night-time activity is now essential for any anti-poaching team. Much of the Conservancy’s existing night-vision equipment was no longer working correctly. With new and improved thermal-imaging equipment, the rangers’ ability to survey and patrol land at night has significantly improved, which is paramount to being able to protect Ol Jogi’s rhinos and other wildlife from the threat of poaching
- Ol Jogi’s canine unit is a distinguished and formidable force that has become crucial to rhino protection efforts. In 2018, we ensured that Ol Jogi’s kennels were renovated, installing new fencing and improving drainage around the facility. The refurbished kennels now provide a more hygienic and efficient base for the canine unit, and as a result of the upgrades, the dogs are healthier and less veterinary trips are needed!
- The ranger houses at Ol Jogi have been around for some-time and in desperate need of repair. Many were in fact structurally damaged and under further inspection were completely uninhabitable. With your support, we helped build new insulated homes, adding comfort for rangers after long patrols, while efficiently collecting rainwater from their rooves. After a trial period of these initial buildings, we’re hopeful that more of these houses can be built for all of Ol Jogi’s rangers
- In 2018 all rangers were also given new uniforms, ensuring that they are fully equipped and comfortable to carry out their essential patrols and monitor rhinos safely. In hot and sometimes harsh conditions, these new uniforms have helped to increase rangers’ moral, motivation and pride in their work
“Whilst equipment can greatly enhance our ability to proactively and reactively address conservation issues, we ultimately rely on human resources for the provision of services. Equipment, be it technological or physical, acts as a support layer to improve safety and efficiency for the men and women who are engaged in protecting wildlife on the ground.” Jamie Gaymer, Wildlife and Security Manager, Ol Jogi Conservancy
Ol Jogi is maintaining its reputation for strong anti-poaching measures. With daily patrols and surveys, Ol Jogi is maintaining its reputation in detecting and deterring potential poachers, setting an example for successful rhino conservation in Kenya.
Thank you so much to everyone that has donated and helped achieve so much for Ol Jogi! A special thank you to Berlin Zoo and Tierpark Berlin, Yorkshire Wildlife Park Foundation, Hannover Zoo and Tallinn Zoo for their dedication towards Ol Jogi’s rangers and rhinos.
With your support, we can keep improving the equipment for rangers so that they can protect rhinos better than ever before. Make a difference today.