WWF-Black Rhino Range Expansion Project

A flagship project dedicated to conserving the critically endangered black rhino.

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 1990’s. The 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.

Project strategy

The essence of this project is to increase the numbers of black rhino by expanding the land available for their conservation to create new breeding populations.

Partnerships are facilitated by WWF with landowners  who have suitable protected black rhino habitat, and work with private and community landholders as well as state conservation agencies to identify large blocks of land on which to establish new black rhino populations. The Black Rhino Range Expansion Project (BRREP) team then coordinates the translocation of groups of up to 20 or more black rhino to these sites.

First land

&Beyond Phinda Private Game Reserve was the first private reserve to receive black rhino as part of this historic project when 15 rhino were introduced to the reserve in 2004. &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 calf was conceived and born on the reserve in 2005. Each year since then has seen new calves born, with over 30 conceived on Phinda since the start of this project. 2020 was a very successful breeding year, with a 10.7% growth rate.

A highlight of 2020 was the securing of funds via the International Rhino Foundation (IRF) to continue dedicated black rhino monitoring throughout the COVID-19 lockdown.

 

One of the &Beyond females translocated to Liwonde in Malawi in 2019 to boost this population, has been seen with a bull which bodes well for this new source population.

At a glance…

 

2003

The year BRREP was launched

15

Black rhino released onto the first partner site of &Beyond Phinda in 2004

12

New black rhino populations established since 2004

2004

The year the first black rhino population moved to a BRREP site

250 000

Hectares form part of BRREP Project

90+

Calves born on project sites

201

Black rhino moved since 2004

20%

Increase in black rhino population in KwaZulu-Natal since 2003

6

Calves born on BRREP sites in first seven months of 2016

17

Rhinos, including a female from &Beyond Phinda, translocated to Liwonde National Park to boost local population in 2019

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