Faced with a devastating exponential rise in illegal rhino poaching in South Africa, Rhinos Without Borders was formed in order to start moving these endangered animals away from the poaching hotspots to create an additional source population.
Rhino poaching is at an all-time high in Africa and is spreading at an alarming rate. The illegal trade in rhino horn has seen the number of these magnificent creatures poached throughout Africa rise significantly in recent years. Since 2008, a disturbing 8 493 rhinos have been poached in South Africa alone. This total onslaught has led to the decline of many populations. With a rhino killed every twelve hours, more of these African icons are now being lost to poachers every year, than are being born.
Rhinos Without Borders is a joint initiative between andBeyond and Great Plains Conservation, two leading conservation and tourism companies. The project aims to translocate rhino from high-risk poaching areas in South Africa and create other source populations in Botswana’s wilderness areas.
Where appropriate, the rhinos are transported by air as opposed to road, in order to shorten the journey and lessen the amount of stress placed on the animals. The budget to translocate just one rhino is USD 50 000, with 25% of this amount exclusively set aside for the security and monitoring of the rhino in their new home for a period of three years. The whole project, including ongoing and monitoring and security, requires a total budget of USD 5 million.
Botswana was carefully selected as the recipient country due to its ecological suitability and the government’s commitment to the long-term success of this newly established rhino population. With the population from the translocated rhino now exceeding our original target of 100, our focus is now on maintaining the security and monitoring of these animals.
Rhinos Without Borders’ experienced monitoring teams on the ground and in the air, work daily with the Botswana Government, the Department of Wildlife & National Parks (DWNP), the Botswana Defence Force (BDF), the Rhino Conservation Botswana (RCB) team and other rhino conservation stakeholders to monitor the translocated rhino. The good news is that the incredible co-operative conservation effort from all the partners behind this project, has already resulted in the birth of a significant number of calves – an absolutely phenomenal achievement.
Rhinos Without Borders will continue to seek support for the security and monitoring of these translocated rhinos. The more funding we manage to generate, the more effective our dedicated support teams will be.