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SOS Rhino : In the News : Archived News : August 2001 : Proposed AWF project will support black rhino surveillance

Proposed AWF project will support black rhino surveillance

By Peter Morrison
August 27, 2001

The black rhino is critically endangered, primarily due to poaching and inadequate protection in the field. The largest population of the eastern black rhino is found in Kenya and the second largest at the Ngorongoro Conservation Area (NCA) in Tanzania. The NCA rhino population is now down to only 15, after experiencing recent declines for reasons other than poaching - namely, some of the NCA rhinos are ranging outside the crater, calling for strengthened monitoring and protection efforts to cover these new areas.

The African Wildlife Foundation (AWF) plans to assist this need by providing support to strengthen the staff and infrastructure needed to make rhino surveillance effective throughout their range inside and outside the crater. AWF will also assist in devising a management plan towards conserving eastern black rhino, at the NCA. Other goals intended for this project include, gaining a better understanding of how the rhinos at the NCA are using their range in and outside the Ngorongoro crater. Also, supporting the exchange of experiences and lessons learned in the monitoring and protection of black rhino with relevant rhino staff.

Currently, monitoring efforts for rhino are concentrated in the crater but rarely outside where some individuals are ranging. The greatest declines in rhino numbers since the 1980s have occurred in vast areas where large numbers of rhino used to roam but where funding and manpower were insufficient to support adequate patrolling. AWF hopes to ensure the long-term conservation of a viable rhino population in the Ngrorongoro Conservation Area.

Peter Morrison
Specialised Wildlife Information



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