Support for information technology to counter poaching of South Africa’s Rhinos

De Rewilding Foundation (RF) works together with others in safeguarding or restoring wilderness areas around the globe. Its focus is not only on big carnivores as keystone species, but also species which are key in preserving the wild nature of areas. In this case the rhinoceros in southern Africa, holding 74%  of the World’s population of black and white rhinos. In the last couple of years an exponential growth in poaching for ‘medicinal’ rhino horn sold on Asian markets is now pushing these animals to the brink of extinction. In 2008 83 rhinos were killed, in 2010 333, in 2012 668, in 2013 1004 and in 2014 1215 animals! Black and white rhinos in Kruger National Park (KNP) are hardest hit by poachers, mostly coming from Mozambique. The private reserves bordering on the west side of KNP have collaborated intensively the last two years under the name Game Reserves United (GRU) to defeat the poachers.

The black rhino is pushed to brink of extinction by relentless poaching (Photo: Koen Cuyten)

The primary objective of GRU is to effectuate common strategies and effectively share information on poaching activities between the reserves. The Rewilding Foundation is supporting the technical unit of GRU, called Activating Africa in developing information exchange technology to achieve the above goal and more effectively mobilize field personnel in countering poaching activity .

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Anti-poaching patrol by field personnel of GRU (courtesy of GRU)