black rhino calf born at phinda

WWF - Black rhino range expansion project

Increasing numbers and boosting population growth

The Black Rhino Range Expansion Project (BRREP) was started in 2003 to counter the dramatic decrease in numbers of black rhino, which led to their near extinction in the 1990s...

The Black Rhino Range Expansion Project is a partnership between the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife, Eastern Cape Parks and Tourism Board. It is supported by the Ford Wildlife Foundation.

&Beyond Phinda was selected to take part in this initiative by the WWF due to our proven successes in conservation and community work, which meant that the experience and platforms were in place to support the project. The first black rhino calf was conceived and born at &Beyond Phinda in 2007. The mother was introduced to the reserve in 2004 and was the first animal translocated as part of this project to give birth to a calf in her new home.

The first black rhino calf was conceived and born at &Beyond Phinda in 2007. The mother was introduced to the reserve in 2004 and was the first animal translocated as part of this project to give birth to a calf in her new home. Each year since then has seen new black rhino calves born on the reserve.

In the 1960s there were an estimated 65 000 black rhino across Africa. The massive destruction caused by poachers across the continent meant that, by the early 1990s, there were just over 2 000 animals remaining. The aim of the program is to increase the numbers and boost the population growth rate of the critically endangered black rhino. This is achieved by creating partnerships with landowners who have the appropriate habitat to create new rhino populations.

Why range expansion?

  • 10 new black rhino populations have been created in South Africa.
  • More than 160 black rhino have been translocated.
  • More than 70 calves have been born in reserves that received animals as part of the project.
  • The BRREP has served as a flagship project for creating larger blocks of land for conservation purposes.