Rhino Mayday 2013

01 May 2013
University College London / The Grant Museum of Zoology, Gower Street, London, WC1 6BT

Hosted by Save the Rhino and the Grant Museum of Zoology, Rhino Mayday is a for anyone with an an interest in wildlife conservation. Experts from different areas of conservation and rhino-related fields giving a talk on their specialist subject. The day will be from 10am to 5pm and will consist of presentations, followed by a panel discussion.

Speakers & talk topics


Abigail Day
Director, Safari Club International
CITES Update: CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species) is the international agreement between 178 countries governing trade in rhinos and many other species of plant and animals. New measures are considered every three years at a conference of the parties, the last one only a few weeks ago in March in Bangkok, Thailand. Rhinos were on the agenda particularly on account of concerns about the recent upsurge in poaching and illegal trade. Abigail was an NGO delegate and will give an update on the proposals relating specifically to rhinos, and hot topics going forward.

Cathy Dean
Director, Save the Rhino International

Michael Dyer
Managing Director, Borana Conservancy, Kenya

Nevin Hunter
Head of the UK National Wildlife Crime Unit
Nevin will give an update on the work of the National Wildlife Crime Unit, which coordinates the UK policing approach to all wildlife crime. This involves collating and disseminating intelligence to the Police and other law enforcement agencies in the UK and globally.

John Ironmonger
A Rhino Tourist in Indonesia: What experience awaits rhino lovers on a visit to Indonesia? Zoologists John and Sue Ironmonger decided to put this to the test with a determined effort, on a two week vacation to see either Sumatran or Javan rhinos. But with so few sightings ever recorded , their hopes were not high. They report on how persistence and a generous helping of luck bought them face to face (well, almost) with a Javan rhino and calf. Now they want to spread the message of the importance of tourism for the continued protection of the world’s rarest rhinos. 

Kate Oliver & Paul Bamford
Black rhinos were successfully reintroduced into Zambia’s North Luangwa National Park ten years ago, but the story hasn’t stopped there. Today rhinos are protected not only by patrols, but by a programme changing hearts and minds in the Park’s surrounding villages – Lolesha Luangwa (“Look After Luangwa”). Kate Oliver from ZSL, which mentors the programme, will talk us through the project’s many facets; from an Education Officer visiting every school, to Conservation Celebration Days and testing out this year’s brand new curriculum. Which leads us to the question: how do you measure changing feelings across 17,000km and innumerable languages?

John Payne
Borneo Rhino Alliance
Sumatran rhinoceros – is it time to give up?
The severely endangered status of the Sumatran rhinoceros has been known since the 1930s. How is it that the species has declined from over 1,000 in the 1950s, to several hundreds in the 1980s to probably less than 100 now? Alternatively, why is it not already extinct? Major reasons include : too many different opinions, inability of governments to make bold decisions, reproductive peculiarities of the species, and the Allee effect (coupled with wrong assumptions that poaching and habitat loss are to blame). It is now necessary to solve issues encompassing emotions, politics and reproductive technology, and to help NGOs and decision-makers grasp key concepts (such as Allee, embryos, and going for broke), so the prospects are not bright.

Karen Rennie
Karen's rhino trail - revealing the rhino horn conspiracy in the UK antiques trade: Karen Rennie, who has worked in two of the UK's leading auctionhouses, will reveal her perspective on the connection between this relatively unknown domain and the increase in poaching of rhino in the wild.

Jo Scofield
The Flight of the Rhino is a film made by the BBC as part of the Natural World series on BBC2. As the producer director of the film, Jo will talk about the ‘making of’, as well as showing some clips of the documentary. "Filming black rhinos in the wild is challenging and dangerous, so we had to enlist some local Zulu experts to help us rise to the challenge! Working closely with the research and capture teams in Imfolozi, it gave us a very personal insight in to how they are coping with the current poaching crisis in South Africa. It was the perfect place to tell the story of rhino conservation by relocation past and present" 

Panel debate

We will also have a panel debate to discuss some current 'hot topics' in rhino conservation. If you have any suggestions of topics you would like us to discuss on the day please email laura@savetherhino.org, or you can tweet us your suggestions @savetherhino. Please the hashtag #rhinomayday in your tweets.

How to register for the day

To be there on the day and hear our fantastic line up of rhino-related talks please book your place in one of the following ways.

Tickets cost £15 and include a coffee or tea. Lunch will be available to purchase from UCL.

Please note that speakers subject to change.