30 white rhinos land in Rwanda
30 White rhinos land in Rwanda
In what has been called the “largest single rhino translocation ever,” 30 Southern white rhinos have been flown from South Africa to Rwanda in the latest effort to preserve this ancient species.
Roughly 2,000 miles away from their birth-place in Phinda, South Africa, the rhinos have been moved to their new home in Akagera National Park. Founded in 1934, Akagera is situated on Rwanda’s eastern border with Tanzania. It includes savannah, montane, and swamp habitats which allow for a wide variety of mammal species, from the “Big 5” to 11 antelope species, and the extremely rare Shoebill.
White rhinos are considered “near-threatened” on the IUCN Red List, and the enormous value of their horns on the black market makes them extremely vulnerable to poaching. Keeping the Akagera rhinos safe will require the combination of cutting-edge technology and abundant, highly-trained manpower. Each of the 30 rhinos has been fitted with a satellite tracking transmitter. Other protection measures include the use of helicopter surveillance, ground crews, a canine anti-poaching unit, and a specialist veterinarian.
Rwanda’s outstanding track record of protecting another endangered species – the mountain gorilla – provides optimism that the rhinos will thrive in their new home.The translocation provides a great opportunity for Rwanda to advance their already-impressive contribution towards African wildlife conservation, and is a significant step in the right direction for a future with rhinos.
The translocation was undertaken by the Rwanda Development Board in conjunction with African Parks (a non-governmental organization focused on conservation) andBeyond, and was funded by the Howard G. Buffett Foundation.
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