Director for Africa, African Wildlife Conservation Fund
Research: Request for support for increased capacity to protect an IUCN-listed "Key 1" population of black rhinoceros in Zimbabwe from an intense poaching threat
Species/Topic: Black rhinoceros
Abstract: Savé Valley Conservancy (SVC) holds one of the largest populations of critically endangered black rhinos in Zimbabwe. Black rhinos were reintroduced into SVC during the early 1990s from the Zambezi Valley during a period of intense poaching threat. Since then, through intensive protection, the SVC black rhino population increased in number to over 100 and is recognized by the IUCN as being of 'Key 1' status, critical for the species survival. However, recently this population has come under severe threat from poachers due to elevated demand for rhino horn in the Far East. In response to this threat, SVC established a dedicated rhino anti-poaching unit (APU), which has succeeded in limiting losses and preventing population decline. Funds are requested to support an intensive training program for anti-poaching scouts in the SVC, to increase the capacity of the APU, and enable SVC to better protect a rhino population of continental priority.