Les Carlisle: Group Conservation Manager
What makes this translocation so important?
The rhino translocation project that I mentioned in September is now in full swing, thanks to help from our generous South African sponsors, Motorite Administrators and RHINO FORCE. All funds have now been raised to increasing the number of rhino in Botswana’s Okavango Delta by means of the donation of six white rhino for translocation by &Beyond Phinda Private Game Reserve.
For those of you who are wondering why simply moving rhino from one place to another warrants such a great deal of fuss and excitement, the answer is simple. Quite plainly, translocation is the main reason why we still have rhino today. The power of translocation accounts for how, in very little over a hundred years, the 20 to 50 white rhino living in what is now the Hluhluwe Game Reserve were able to grow to 17 500 individuals and account for over 400 separate populations in nine African countries.
This kind of success provides powerful evidence for the importance of translocation. By splitting up the populations and relocating them to suitable habitats throughout Africa, the number of white rhino in the world has grown more than ten times as rapidly as it would have if no translocation had taken place and the rhino had simply been left to grow in their original population. Not only does moving the animals provide additional security by spreading them throughout a larger area but it also helps maintain rapid population growth rates. In addition, translocation prevents populations in fenced game reserves from becoming higher than the environment can comfortably support without impacting on natural vegetation.
All this is what we are hoping for with our rhino translocation project, supported by our two donors, Motorite – www.motorite.co.za and RHINO FORCE.
A leader in providing warranty, maintenance and service plans to the motor industry, share our ethos of caring for our environment and their sponsorship is playing an important role in ensuring the conservation of our natural heritage.
Many of you will be familiar with the beaded bracelets sold by our other sponsor, RHINO FORCE. Their mission is to enable conservation through funds raised by the sale of these bracelets, profits from which go to our social development partner, Africa Foundation. All money raised in this way goes towards projects solely focused on saving Africa’s rhino populations. Guests to our lodges can buy one of the RHINO FORCE bracelets in our Safari Shops, where they can also find a specially designed collector’s edition T-shirt celebrating our rhino translocation project. I hope to spot you wearing one soon!
Visit the RHINO FORCE website to support the project or purchase online at www.rhinoforce.co.za
Bracelets are sold in several retailers in South Africa and internationally through an e-commerce site.