Swaziland: Big Game Parks

Programme details

Staff 

Mick Reilly

Location 

Swaziland

Species

Black rhino (Diceros bicornis minor) and white rhino (Ceratotherium simum simum)

Habitat

The three wildlife reserves managed by Big Game Parks are:
Mkhaya Game Reserve: 10,000 hectares. Acacia-dominated thornveld in the south and broadleaf granite derived sandveld in the north on sandstone and dolerite soils
Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary: 4,560 hectares including grassland plains and wetland and mountains on granite based soils
Hlane Royal National Park: 22,000 hectares of Swazi bushveld dominated by ancient hardwood vegetation on sandstone and basalt soils

Activities supported by Save the Rhino 

Occasional grants for equipment

Why support this programme

The wildlife reserves run by Big Game Parks are the only place that you can find wild rhinos in Swaziland. The proximity of these rhinos to Kruger National Park, zululand and the nearby border with Mozambique means that Swaziland’s rhinos are situated dangerously close to the current hotspot for global rhino poaching. The area faces an increasing risk from poachers, meaning that cost to keep the BGP wildlife reserves secure is escalating more and more. By supporting this programme you will help to protect the rhinos and other local wildlife from the very real threat of poaching.

Funding need

In response to the dynamic nature of the poaching syndicates changing tactics and increased need for security, BGP finds herself challenged to provide the correct and sufficient Anti-Poaching equipment, vehicles, technology, investigative resources etc. In addition to this BGP runs an active informer network. Resulting from successful anti-poaching operations, BGP also has to put a lot of effort into the prosecution of suspects and following the court cases through the courts.

Over and above the growing security needs for the rhino populations, BGP also has to meet all the expenses for their biological management and the administration of the protected areas as well as BGP’s National duties.

Within the broader categories, more specific areas for funding may be identified.

Comments from the programme

With the exponential increase in the intensity of rhino poaching which is occurring in South Africa, especially the Kruger National Park, Northern Kwa-zulu Natal and Mpumalanga, and with the lack of wildlife law enforcement in neighbouring Mozambique where the largest conduits for poached rhino horns exist, BGP finds herself under intense threat. In deed Swaziland went for 20 years without a rhino being poached until 2 rhinos were poached in 2011 and a 3rd in 2014.