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Statement regarding KZN rhinos

WWF is understandably concerned and well aware of the issues in KwaZulu-Natal and the Hluhluwe Imfolozi Game Reserve when it comes to rhino conservation.

In response to the increasing poaching threat, our support to rhino populations in the Hluhluwe Imfolozi Game Reserve and our other donor sites has increased significantly in recent years. A substantial portion of this funding goes to field ranger support specifically around improving field ranger capacity through targeted training courses and by improving the living conditions that rangers work under.

We also have a strong focus on building organisational resilience to corruption and are assisting Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife to strengthen institutional effectiveness through the development of an integrity management plan.

Our direct and constructive engagement with Ezemvelo with whom we are longstanding partners is evidenced by our efforts with the Black Rhino Range Expansion Project which has, as its primary objective, the long-term survival of black rhinos and building resilience into their population so they are better able to overcome the poaching pandemic.

Black rhino numbers are growing despite major poaching losses, and it is in everybody’s interests to maintain the momentum we have created over the last 20 years and to offer additional support on other aspects of rhino conservation. We are concerned about the increasing poaching rates, especially of white rhino, and in this regard, we will continue to participate in discussions about how WWF can play a role in arresting this decline.

White rhinos
© Martin Harvey

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