Raoul du Toit
Full name: Raoul du Toit
Project and location: Raoul is the Director of the Lowveld Rhino Trust in Zimbabwe and has worked to support rhino conservation since 1986. He won the Sir Peter Scott Award in 2009, and later the Goldman Environmental Award in 2011.
Born and raised in Zimbabwe, Raoul is the renowned Programme Coordinator of the International Rhino Foundation, and has been dedicated to the protection of both black and white rhino species conservation for over twenty years.
Holding two degrees in both Environmental Studies and Zoology, Raoul's passion for the protection of endangered species has been a life-long commitment. In 1990 he launched the Lowveld Rhino Trust, which focuses on the monitoring of rhino species within two specific valleys of the Lowveld area, located in wildlife conservancies. These areas are converted cattle ranches that cover a vast amount of ground, and are home to both black and white rhinos (See link for more details on this project).
As the director of the conservation and breeding programmes of the Lowveld Rhino Trust, Raoul takes a hands-on approach as director of the programme, conducting measures such such as: the monitoring of rhinos in the area, tagging, identification of individual rhinos, de-horning, medical rhino emergencies and the rehabilitation of orphaned rhino calves, which will eventually be released into the wild.
Raoul's efforts are not solely concentrated on the physical elements of conservation. He also works to maintain a working balance between the usage of land within the area as both conservation and other developments.
Achievements and Awards
Thanks to the prestigious efforts of Raoul and members of the Lowveld Trust, the population of rhinos (particularly black rhinos) in the Lowveld project has largely stabilised over the last decade, since the poaching disaster of the 1990s.
In recognition of his esteemed and valued efforts, Raoul was awarded the Sir Peter Scott Award in 2009, and the Goldman Environmental Prize in 2011.
The progress of the work of the Lowveld Rhino Trust is fantastic. To find out more about supporting projects such as Raoul's, follow this link.