Rhino custodians named Conservationists of the Year - News - Gondwana Collection

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Rhino custodians named Conservationists of the Year

Avatar of koney koney - 07. January 2020 - Environment

Namibia is home to the black rhino subspecies Diceros bicornis bicornis. The few of these that are found in South Africa were either sold to private individuals there or exchanged for rare animal species in South African parks. No black rhino of the South Central (Diceros bicornis Minor) or Eastern (Diceros bicornis Michaeli) subspecies have ever been introduced to Namibia.

Dirk Heinrich

25 years ago Namibia’s Black Rhino Custodianship programme was launched with the intention to increase the number of black rhinos by ensuring better protection against diseases, natural disasters and poachers. Furthermore, the programme aims to achieve a wider distribution and the reintroduction of the black rhino to its historical habitats in Namibia by 2030. Diceros bicornis bicornis is the black rhino subspecies that occurs in Namibia.

The Namibia Professional Hunting Association (NAPHA) has presented its 2019 Conservationist of the Year Award to the 35 participants in the custodianship programme for their selfless dedication to the cause. The custodians, many of them NAPHA members, are 25 commercial farmers and private companies as well as ten communal conservancies.

Rhino custodians derive no direct benefit from the rhinos in their care. The rhinos are state property, they may not be sold or hunted. They may be used for purposes of tourism (photo safaris), but custodians are very reluctant to do so. Because of the poaching scourge they prefer to keep the location of their rhinos under wraps. Rather than reaping financial gains, the custodians incur considerable costs. They are responsible for the safety of the black rhinos entrusted to them and in times of drought they also have to pay for their fodder and water supply.

For more information about the Black Rhino Custodianship programme, please have a look on Namibia Outdoor.

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