Rhinos in Tanzania
Five eastern black rhinos (Diceros bicornis michaeli), a critically endangered species, recently were returned to the Serengeti National Park as part of an ambitious initiative to boost the viability of Tanzania’s rhino population. The 32 black rhinos destined for Serengeti National Park are descendants of animals that were taken from Kenya to South Africa in the 1960s. Originally kept in the national parks’ estate, they were sold into private hands in the mid-1990s. Meanwhile, in Tanzania, illegal poaching of rhinos decimated the native wild black rhinos.
During the next two years, a total of 32 eastern black rhinos will be returned as part of the Serengeti Rhino Repatriation Project, more than doubling the number of rhinos in the Serengeti.
The black rhino population of this reserve once numbered ~3,000 individuals but was reduced to near extinction by a multi-country poaching episode in the late 1970s and early 1980s.
Black rhinos were thought to be extinct in the Selous – then in 1990, rhino tracks were detected. Following this discovery, the first priority was to find out how many black rhinos were left, their status, and to monitor them and develop protection. The Selous Rhino Trust, which now undertakes this work, has been very successful so far and has established that viable populations of black rhinos do indeed exist in the Selous. The aims of the Selous Rhino Project, run by the Selous Rhino Trust and in partnership with the Tanzania Wildlife Department, are to seek, survey and monitor rhinos in the Selous to find out minimum numbers, distribution and status and to improve and contribute to assuring their long term security.
Five of the world’s most critically endangered animals spent their first day in a new home over the weekend after the start of the “most ambitious” international relocation of large mammals ever undertaken.
Working in a classic African savannah landscape, your activities will focus on gathering data on the distribution of wildlife and rhinos. You will also measure the composition and condition of the vegetation that competing large herbivores eat, namely rhinos, elephants and giraffes. Some trekking over uneven terrain on the equator can be demanding, but well rewarded by abundant wildlife, including lions, leopards, zebras, buffalo, impala, baboons, hippos, and many other species, including 232 kinds of birds. One day will be spent with the neighboring communities and seeing firsthand how benefits from wildlife conservation have been used to improve livelihoods of people bordering the Ol Pejeta Conservancy. An adjacent chimpanzee reserve is worth a visit in your recreational time.