Black and White Rhino Conservation
Conservation Force has white and black rhino projects in Namibia, RSA, Zimbabwe, and Mozambique. The President of Conservation Force drafted the Rhino-Tiger Conservation Act of the USA. The Force funded the final efforts to save the western black rhino in Cameroon before its extinction and most recently spearheaded the import enhancement permitting of black rhino from Namibia and DSC conservation auction for essential black rhino management budget revenue.
See the video below for Conservation Force President John J. Jackson's debate on the merits of the Dallas Safari Club rhino permit auction with Jeffrey Flocken of IFAW on CNN's Piers Morgan show.
Habitat for Rhino is a private Rhino conservation project in Namibia started by the Hurt family in 2014. The main purpose of this project, as the name indicates. is to provide safe habitat for Rhinos on private land.
White Rhinos are an endangered species, with an estimated 20,000 animals left in the whole world, and they are under heavy threat by poaching. We try to do our part to the survival of the species by providing habitat and protection for them, two of the most critical key factors to their survival with human population growth and encroachment. We have an armed two-man anti-poaching team operating on foot, tracking the Rhinos and our borders every day.
Whilst during good rainy seasons, the Rhino rely solely on wild grazing, the hundred-year-drought that has affected Namibia in recent years has made supplement feeding necessary, which comes at a high cost. We are incredibly grateful for the support from donors and Conservation Force, without whom we wouldn't be able to afford the upkeep of the Rhinos.
We started out with 5 White Rhinos in 2014: Big Daddy (*1998), Outjo and Maerua (*2012), Moringa (‘Big Mama’, *2002) and her son Mannix (*2013). Over the past years, we have had five baby Rhinos born within the conservancy, which is a great success.
An update for 2022. Keeping Rhinos alive for the future.
Dear Good friend and supporter of our ongoing rhino conservation efforts. We hope this finds you and family well. We have been out of touch about the rhinos at Gamsberg for some time, as we have been busy making up for lost time caused by the COVID Crisis.
This is to wish you a very Happy World Rhino month, and we will be celebrating WORLD RHINO DAY on THURSDAY THE 22nd OF SEPTEMBER.
To identify with World Rhino Month, we would like to share some of our achievements - and how, (if you are so inclined), you can partner in the hugely important conservation of rhino at Gamsberg. Our project may be small, but nevertheless, it is significant. GAMSBERG and Mt BARRY are lands that are 100 percent devoted to wildlife conservation. The rhinos have free range over a territory of some 20,000 acres dedicated to “Habitat for Rhino “. This makes daily monitoring of these wild animals challenging - but we are more than up to this challenge, which is conducted with diligence and dedication, daily.
We are proud of our success. My wife Pauline initially thought about this project in 2014. She is now locally known as the ‘Pied Piper ‘because of her love for all wild animals and birds - and how they are attracted to her in an incredibly distinct way. We have had seven rhino babies born and thriving at Gamsberg, which is most gratifying. None of this would have been possible without the generous support we have received. Rhino conservation, indeed, all conservation of wild lands and wild animals, is expensive. Costs include full time anti-poaching personnel, transportation, and accommodation, plus Insurances for the rhinos and back up services. The maintenance of a perimeter electric fence to prevent the rhinos from straying onto adjoining land holdings. Added to this, is the costly expense of feed that must be imported from South Africa in times of low rain fall causing drought conditions. (Thankfully, we have had good rains this past season, so the rhinos are enjoying the veld grass, are fat, and happy - our concern now is grass fires which we hope to avoid. Some parts of the country are already suffering from fire borne devastation. As a precaution, we have had to make costly fire breaks throughout the rhino’s domain).
Here is a summary of our Southern White Rhino numbers. From an initial five animals relocated at GAMSBERG and Mt BARRY in April 2014, there are now twelve of these magnificent highly endangered beasts freely ranging over this vast wilderness habitat.
BIG DADDY - the Alpha Male. He has a reputation for belligerence!
MORINGA - the oldest and largest female and mother to: -
MANNIX - her first son, who accompanied his mother to GAMSBERG as a calf aged three years in 2014.
KIRBY - her second son born on the 4th of June 2015.
SPARTACUS - her third son born on 11th June 2018.
TIA - a girl born on 20th July 2021.
OUTJO - a female and mother of
BODACIOUS - her first son, born on the 4th of June 2017.
MESZAROS - her second son born on the 23rd of July 2021.
MAERUA - a female and mother of
CAPRICORN - her first son who sadly died after getting caught in a rocky crevasse, born on the fifteen the September 2017 and died on the 27th of December 2017.
GENERAL T - her second son, born on 29th May 2019.
MISS RIGBY - A girl born on the 12th of July 2022.
The anti-poaching personnel track up each rhino daily, and report back. This process can involve searching for them up to twenty kilometers on foot. The Askaris are dedicated and tough men who have a high-risk job. Poachers, being highly dangerous and ruthless criminals, do not hesitate to instigate armed conflict. The security personal not only afford protection to the rhino and other wildlife, but also to our fourteen staff and ourselves. We all depend on wildlife for our wellbeing, way of life and employment. This security is also important to the surrounding community.
Unfortunately, there is a current upsurge in rhino poaching and we are considering having to increase our field unit anti-poaching units from two askaris to four - and to having an extra permanent guard positioned at the road entrance to Gamsberg - to bring our rhino Askaris up to five members.
After consideration we have decided that we need to add surveillance cameras to monitor road entry to GAMSBERG, so we can more effectively track unknown vehicular movement.
London gun and rifle maker Rigby is making a special edition of their revered. 350 Rigby Magnum, limited to 12 Rifles, of which a most generous proportion of the sale procedure will go to benefit ‘Habitat for Rhino.’ One rifle being built for each rhino at Gamsberg. Rigby are foremost in promoting hunter / conservationist ethics and want to align themselves with our conservation efforts. The choice of the .350 Magnum is that this was the first Rigby rifle I used as an eighteen-year-old and because it is a most suitable caliber for hunting of plains game. I must underline that no rhino will ever be hunted at Gamsberg. We conserve rhino to give back for a lifetime of safari. More on this later, but Rigby hope to have one of these special rifles on display at the Dallas Safari Convention in January 2023.
Protecting the rhino and other wildlife currently uses about half the income we receive from our safaris. Put another way, without support our income is not sufficient for the conservation of these iconic animals. All donor funding received goes directly into the stewardship of the rhino and other wildlife at GAMSBERG and Mt BARRY. The overheads are met by Robin Hurt Safaris CC. Any donations are gifts that will be used where support is most urgently needed. Any gift to Habitat for Rhino is an investment in the future wellbeing of rhino for future generations to enjoy.
With your support, we will be able to continue to protect these noble beasts to the best of our ability.
Thank you for taking time to read this report.
With warmest regards from all of us at GAMSBERG and Mt BARRY.
Pauline, Dan, and Jana join me in sending our best wishes.
Habitat for Rhino,
A conservation project of Robin Hurt Safaris CC, Namibia.
For those who wish to support our conservation goals, donations should please be sent to our partners in rhino conservation, namely Conservation Force in the USA, who have 501 C 3 status to give you tax benefit. You should please state the donation is to be earmarked for ‘Habitat for Rhino Namibia ‘. For non-Americans, donations can be sent direct to Namibia. We can supply details if requested.
We are most grateful for any support. Thank you.
Details are as below.
Chrissie and John Jackson - Conservation Force
3240 S. 1 -10 Service Road W, Suite 200
Metairie, Louisiana 70001-6911
TEL: +1 504 837 1233 or +1 504 837 1145 or +1 504 722 6648
ADDENDUM: RHINO POACHING STATISTICS FOR 2022.
Namibia - 48 in the first 8 months of this year. Namibia’s conservation track record is second to none. This country has the largest free roaming Black rhinos in Africa and a substantial White rhino population. Population figures are not released for obvious reasons . Poaching has escalated in recent months.
Republic of South Africa - 259 in the first 6 months of this year.
Simply shocking. But South Africa remains with the largest White rhino population at about 18,000. The country also has about two thousand Black Rhino.
These figures are based on actual known poached rhinos, including both Black and White species. It does not consider those that remain undiscovered. It would not be unreasonable to expect the totals to be 10 to 15 percent higher. This poaching for horn to feed the illicit demand in some parts of Asia is not sustainable, and if it continues at the present rate means rhino will become significantly more endangered in the next years - and could lead to extinction in some locations. Unfortunately, it is the largest rhino populations that attract the most poaching.
The world population of all five main species of rhino (Javan, Sumatran, Great Indian, Black and two closely related subspecies of White) numbered around 70,000 in 1970. The total world estimate in 2022 is approximately 27,000.
In Africa specifically: There are only two surviving members of the Northern White Rhino, both females, both in captivity. When I first ventured into South Sudan in 1973, I found numerous Northern White Rhino at Lake Nyubor - on one occasion twelve together! When I left Sudan in 1984 there were no rhino left at Lake Nyubor - they had all been poached! In such a brief time! Today the Northern White Rhino is extinct throughout its former domain of Northwest Uganda, Northeast Zaire, and Southwest Sudan - all killed by the hand of man.
Let us not let this happen in today’s remaining rhino realms.
As another more recent example: In South Africa’s Kruger Park, the decline in rhino numbers has been shocking. The cause being poaching that is hard to control with its long border with Mozambique. There are 2607 White Rhinos and 202 Black Rhinos left today from 10,621 Whites and 415 Black people in 2013. A population decline of 75 % in 9 years!
Most of us rhino conservationists that host rhino on our lands cannot see the end to the demand in rhino horn. In fact, with declining rhino numbers caused by poaching estimated at up to 1000 animals a year throughout the 11 African countries with rhino populations, the future to put it mildly, looks grim. The solution must be the legal harvesting of horn that would put poachers and intermediaries out of business. Rhino horn can be harvested five times in a rhino’s life. It is a harmless and painless exercise; the horn being made up of keratin which is like a human fingernail. Right now, a rhino is more valuable dead (illegal poaching and trade) than alive on private and government lands. The problem is that CITES will not accept horn harvesting as a means of saving rhino, so the decline continues!
Dehorning is only partially effective as a deterrent to poaching, as poachers will kill a rhino for the left-over stump which alone can be worth up to US $ 100,000-. The current price of rhino horn in countries such as Vietnam is four times the price of gold per ounce. So, it is not difficult to see where the problem lies.
The Next Generation Conservation Trust Namibia
The Next Generation Conservation Trust Namibia is one of the most ambitious efforts in the war on rhino and elephant poaching in Namibia. Funded and driven by the Namibian business community, this not-for-profit trust has as its sole aim to put large swatches of Namibia under constant aerial surveillance. Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) are deployed in problem areas and either stay in the vicinity of protected animals to detect poachers in the area, or patrol conservancies, private breeding programs and reserves to detect potential poachers - day and night. Your support is needed in this ambitious effort to conserve our animals for the next generation. Read More..