Black rhino range expansion project

A flagship conservation project at &Beyond Phinda Private Game Reserve

In the 1960’s, there were an estimated 65 000 black rhino across Africa. By the early 1990’s, just over 2 000 remained following the decimation of the population by poaching across the continent.

The Black Rhino Range Expansion Project (BRREP) was started in 2003 to counter this species-threatening decrease in their numbers. This project is a partnership between the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife and the Eastern Cape Parks and Tourism Board. It’s supported by the Ford Wildlife Foundation.

Aim of the BRREP

The aim of this flagship project is to increase the back rhino population numbers and escalate the growth rate by expanding the land available for their conservation, reducing the pressure on existing reserves, and providing new territory for breeding groups.

&Beyond Phinda selected

The WWF selected &Beyond Phinda as the first private reserve to take part in this historic initiative based on our proven successes in both conservation and community initiatives and our intensive security and monitoring capacity. These factors ensured that the necessary experience and infrastructure was in place to support a project of this sensitivity.

In 2004, 15 rhino were introduced to the Phinda reserve, with the first calf born to this group in 2005. Each year since then has seen new births, with 30 conceived on Phinda between 2004 and 2019.

BRREP programme highlights

  • 13 new black rhino populations have been created in South Africa
  • More than 200 black rhino have been translocated
  • Over 100 surviving calves have been born in the reserves selected for this project
  • Project sites cover more than 310 000 hectares (766 026 acres) in South Africa
  • Six of the 13 sites have community involvement


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