The Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife Black Rhino Range Expansion Project

Background

The black rhinoceros is critically endangered. There are only about 4,000 individuals left in the wild. Many of these live in reserves managed by Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife, the state conservation organization in the South African province of KwaZulu-Natal.
But their protected areas have finite borders and black rhino are already bumping up against the edges. This could lead to an overshoot of ecological carrying capacity, as well as a density-related decline in population growth rate.

Vision

The Black Rhino Range Expansion Project incorporates the vision of Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife which is:

To have a viable metapopulation totaling more than 1,000 Diceros bicornis minor throughout its former home range and supported through a shared commitment on private, community and state land in KwaZulu-Natal.

Achievements

The WWF/ Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife Black Rhino Range Expansion Project aims to increase land available for black rhino conservation. It does this by forming partnerships with different landowners and releasing new populations of black rhino on to their land. This way, the growth rate of the overall black rhino population is increased as fast as possible.

Since 2003:
Black rhino range in KwaZulu-Natal has increased by 30 percent(90 000 hectares)

Five partner sites have received founder populations of black rhino. One of these is a community-owned site, the first such to receive a significant black rhino population.

85 black rhino have been translocated to these sites and more than 25 calves have been born so far.

The Project proved that partnerships between landowners and formal conservation organisations make otherwise unattainable goals possible.
Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife logo / ©: Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife
Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife logo
© Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife

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