The Great Land Share Project
There's a new challenge facing the rhino population
In addition to poaching for their horns, rhinos in Zimbabwe's Lowveld are now under threat due to a shortage of land - meaning people from local communities have to share conservation land with wildlife.
The Great Land Share Project has been created to help educate and support these local communities to live and prosper alongside rhinos, helping both humans and animals to thrive side by side.
Why it's happening
El Nino has brought the worst drought to southern Africa in 35 years, causing significant food insecurity in the region. In addition, changing land use in Zimbabwe has given rise to problems in previously safeguarded areas for wildlife.
The subsequent unplanned human settlements across the Lowveld region of Zimbabwe have brought human-wildlife-predator-livestock conflict, with reports of predators attacking livestock and elephants trampling crops. Poaching for bush meat and rhino horn is increasing, and transmission of disease between wildlife and livestock is also a growing concern.
The black rhino
Rhino poaching has reached boiling point, with 2016 seeing an increase in poaching for sixth year in a row. In Zimbabwe alone, it is reported at least 50 rhinos were poached in 2015, more than double the previous year - partly due to humans moving in on conservation areas such as Save Valley in the Lowveld.
Rhino calves normally live with their mothers for up to four years. The Lowveld Rhino Trust is seeing an increasing number orphaned from poaching.
A major cause for concern is that the Lowveld region of Zimbabwe is home to the black rhino, now a Critically Endangered species. With the encroachment of humans onto their land now unavailable, we must act urgently to make sure that the two species can live side by side safely for one another's benefit.
A new settlement in Save Valley. Many people don't know the benefits conservation can bring to their communities - and livelihoods.
The Great Land Share Project and your help
The Great Land Share Project is an innovative pilot project with the potential to transform the local economy and safeguard wild spaces - for people and rhinos - for generations to come.
When you donate, you can help sponsor a Wildlife Guardian to help educate and support people living near rhinos in the Lowveld - helping them to understand the benefits of conservation, and supporting them to generate sustainable incomes.
Where your donation will go:
£250 can train a Wildlife Guardian to educate and support people living near rhinos in the Lowveld.
£60 can pay a Junior Rhino Monitor's salary for a week.
£25 can pay for a local school to receive 125 exercise books for their students - wildlife guardians of the future
£15 can pay for 18 drums of helicopter fuel for rhino monitoring by air
£5 can pay for a manual to teach farmers about fire management and livestock protection.
The Great Land Share Project is supported by the UK Government's Darwin Initiative
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