September 6, 2001
An 18-month rhino monitoring programme in the Ndumo Game Reserve
in northern Zululand, South Africa adjacent to the Mozambique border,
has revealed that the reserve has 22 black rhino and 42 white rhino.
This is a significant population of these endangered mammals.
The monitoring programme was conducted by ecologist Kirsten Bond,
who was contracted by the Wildlands Trust under the auspices of
KZN Wildlife. The Wildlands Trust obtained sponsorship for the study
from the US Fish and Wildlife Foundation to the value of US$10 400.
Wildlands Trust CEO Dr Andrew Venter is quoted as saying the following:
"There were two reasons for this study. Firstly we wanted to
find out how many rhino there were in the reserve and develop a
rhino-monitoring program for future use. We need to continue to
improve our knowledge and understanding of both black and white
rhino. And secondly we are monitoring the rhino population as part
of our greater scheme of incorporating Ndumo into a Big Five 'superpark'
comprising Ndumo, Tembe Elephant Park, the Usuthu Gorge, the Mbangweni
Corridor and eventually as far as Lake St Lucia."
According to the news agency, Bond's research will join the existing
information about rhino in the province, and will form the groundwork
for a possible further rhino research project in Mkuze Game Reserve.
The Wildlands Trust is an independent fund-raising and project
management organisation concerned with conservation-based community
development in Kwa-Zulu Natal.
For further information, contact Wildlands CEO Andrew Venter.