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.
Specialised Wildlife Information