Rwanda Welcomes 30 White Rhinos In Largest-Ever Single Translocation

Rwanda Welcomes 30 White Rhinos In Largest-Ever Single Translocation

Rhinos can’t fly. But 30 white rhinos took to the skies last week in a bid by conservationists to protect the species. After three years of organizing, the animals were moved from South Africa to Rwanda to create a new breeding stronghold.

The roughly 2,000-mile journey took the rhinos to their new home in Akagera National Park, where advocates hope the animals will be able to establish a new breeding stronghold and evade the rampant poaching that’s put their species in danger.

They were sourced from Phinda Private Game Reserve in South Africa and successfully translocated in Akagera National Park on November 29, with funding provided by the Howard G. Buffett Foundation.

RDB Acting Chief Tourism Officer, Ariella Kageruka said: “This is an opportunity for Rwanda to substantially advance its contribution to rhino conservation, with Akagera poised to become a globally important sanctuary for black and now white rhinoceros. This is timely for the conservation of these incredibly threatened species.

“We’re extremely proud of our conservation partnerships and our national parks, which are playing a pivotal role in meeting biodiversity targets and in driving sustainable, transformative, equitable socio-economic growth.”

This historic initiative aims to extend the white rhino range and create a secure new breeding stronghold in Rwanda , supporting population growth to ensure the long-term survival of the species in the wild as high-levels of poaching continue to exert unsustainable pressure on current populations. The translocation will also help to enhance Akagera’s contribution to Rwanda’s wildlife economy, ensuring that the conservation of their outstanding natural landscapes generates long-term benefits for local communities and all Rwandans.

A specialist veterinarian and others will monitor the group of ungulates daily as they settle into life at Akagera, where officials hope they will have a safari habitat.

White rhinos are threatened species with their numbers declining across existing strongholds, mostly due to poaching driven by demand for their horns. These majestic animals are classified as near threatened with numbers declining across existing strongholds, largely due to poaching driven by demand for their horns. White rhinos are classified as near threatened with numbers declining across existing strongholds, largely due to poaching driven by demand for their horns. The introduction of southern white rhinos to Akagera expands their range to offer more safe area for the species. The successful conservation management of Phinda in South Africa makes the reserve a valuable source for important new rhino subpopulations.

“We’re extremely proud of our conservation partnerships and our national parks, which are playing a pivotal role in meeting biodiversity targets and in driving sustainable, transformative, equitable socio-economic growth.”

“Our Foundation is pleased to continue to invest in Akagera’s remarkable transformation into a critical national park for Rwanda and an example of responsible conservation for the African continent and the world.

 

 

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