1. the act of conserving; prevention of injury, decay, waste, or loss; preservation: conservation of wildlife; conservation of human rights.
2. official supervision of rivers, forests, and other natural resources in order to preserve and protect them through prudent management.
3. a district, river, forest, etc., under such supervision.
4. the careful utilization of a natural resource in order to prevent depletion.
Save the Rhino supports rhino conservation by providing financial and technical support to a wide variety of projects. The activities of these projects can be broadly grouped into six areas: anti-poaching and monitoring, community conservation, environmental education, research, veterinary work and captive breeding. Follow the links below to learn more about each of these areas:
Anti-poaching and monitoring
To combat the threat of poachers, anti-poaching measures have been put into place in many of the areas that rhinos inhabit. Measures include: putting up fences, encouraging locals to be aware and pass on tips and leads to local authorities about potential poaching activities. Anti-poaching patrols are considered a very effective way to deter poachers, although the key to succeeding is that the individuals patrolling must be properly trained, equipped and deployed effectively.
Learn to be a rhino ranger
Rangers pay careful attention to how many rhinos are in specific areas and what age and sex they are. By monitoring in this way, it is easy to see any changes or if anyone has been poaching. Monitoring an area can also help prevent poaching because poachers are less likely to target a populstion they know is being watched. Click here to learn the skills you'll need to be an effective ranger and then practise your skills using the ID sheets on the left. Job done? Download your very own Rhino Ranger certificate here !
Pack your bag
Rhino rangers often go out on foot patrol for three or four days at a time. While on patrol, they are looking for rhinos, or their footprint or dung, and noting any sightings down on special record sheets, as well as the time and date and exact location. This helps them build up a picture of the rhinos’ distribution and numbers. Rhino rangers also look for illegal activities, such as poaching. What equipment do you think they need to carry with them in their rucksacks to help them do their job? Read What's in a rhino ranger's rucksack?
Community based conservation projects include ecotourism; creation of tree nurseries; production and selling of local craft work; hunting and collecting traditional medicine products; direct involvement in conservation work by becoming a scout, guide, manager of the region; and environmental educational programmes. The aim is that the local people protect and sustainably use their own land by becoming directly involved and responsible for it. Laikipia Wildlife Forum in Kenya, which is supported by Save the Rhino, is a great example of how successful community based conservation can be.
Save the Rhino supports three environmental education programmes: Laikipia Wildlife Forum - Environmental Education Programme (EEP) in Kenya; Mkomazi's Environmental Education Programme, Rafiki wa Faru (Friend of Rhinos) in Tanzania; and North Luangwa's Conservation Education Programme in Zambia. Both the Laikipia EEP and Rafiki wa Faru have special environmental education buses which school and community groups on game drives to see rhinos where they are taught environmental education. At North Luangwa environmental education lessons are given by a mobile Conservation Education Unit and Officer.
South African rhino conservation
Click here to read a guide on rhino conservation issues in South Africa, by the South African Department of Environmental Affairs. The guide includes descriptions of the different types of rhino species, the threats they face and what is being done to stop the current rhino poaching crisis.