The good news is that the Rhinos Without Borders project has met and exceeded our original goal to establish a substantial new wild population of rhinos in Botswana’s wilderness areas, with a current total of over 130 animals. Included in this tally are a significant number of calves: breeding is the ultimate litmus test of a successfully translocated population.
Unfortunately, recent months have seen an increase in poaching incidents in Botswana. The reaction from all wildlife conservation stakeholders has been strong and active measures are being taken to thwart future similar incidents.
Rhinos Without Borders has always put the best interests of the rhinos at the forefront of its decision making. After significant risk analysis, the project leadership is unanimous in its decision to pause relocations into Botswana and instead focus all efforts on the security and monitoring of our translocated rhinos and their offspring.
This concentration of all our resources on the monitoring and protection of these rhinos and their calves is in essence an investment in the legacy of the project: the critical next generation of wild rhinos.
Rhinos Without Borders is exceptionally grateful for the support received from our donors, our community of international conservationists, the Botswana government, and every on-the-ground organisation that has played a role in this powerful initiative.
It is this collaborative support that has defined the project to date, and that will be integral to the success of this new chapter.