Poachers are the number one threat to Africa’s rhinos.
The Hluhluwe iMofolozi Reserve located in Kwa Zulu Natal was founded specifically to protect the world’s remaining populations of rhinos. It had remarkable conservation successes and white rhino populations were even increasing. However, even in the most protected parks, determined poachers will still find a way in.
When the provincial park experienced a surge in poaching in 2012, African Wildlife Foundation stepped in to equip and train the park’s rangers. With support from the Flora Family Foundation, AWF equipped rangers with all-terrain vehicles, metal detectors, digital cameras, tents, Maglite torches, and camera traps to better detect and fight poachers.
With proper tools and training, rangers are able to use DNA technology to link carcasses to confiscated horns. AWF also supports the Great Fish River Nature Reserve by equipping rangers with vital equipment and supplies, improving their capacity to protect the reserve’s critical rhino population.
As a result of improved anti-poaching patrols, South Africa saw a 26 percent decrease in rhino poaching between 2018 and 2017.