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Black rhino conservation in Zimbabwe

Where: southern Africa
 
Continue Zoo Atlanta's efforts to support this critical conservation project.

Zoo Atlanta works with organizations in Zimbabwe to identify and monitor black rhino populations and curb poaching. The conservancies we support cover more than one million acres that currently harbor the bulk of Zimbabwe’s black rhino population.

Who:
Zoo Atlanta and partners: Lowveld Rhino Trust and International Rhino Foundation.

Why:
Black rhino populations have declined by nearly 98 percent since 1960; by 1995, numbers had bottomed out at just 2,410, largely as a result of poaching. Numbers had increased to 4,880 by the end of 2010, but today’s populations are still 90 percent lower than they were just three generations ago. 
 
Wild black rhino populations can be found in nine African nations: Botswana, Kenya, Malawi, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe holds the fourth largest national population of black rhinos and has demonstrated the capacity to successfully manage this species despite the increased threat of poaching. The International Rhino Foundation works in partnership with the Lowveld Rhino Trust to implement black rhino conservation programs in Zimbabwe. 
 
The Lowveld Rhino Trust’s conservation efforts have resulted in an increase in the region’s black rhino population from  4 percent of the national total in 1990 to more than 90 percent at the end of 2012, thanks to systematic monitoring efforts, strategic translocations, anti-poaching patrols, informer programs, legal actions against poachers and other related activities. In 2012, the Lowveld Rhino Trust moved 15 black rhinos from areas of high poaching pressure to more secure habitats, and monitoring units recorded 38 births, including the 100th black rhino birth noted by the Bubye Valley Conservancy since protection efforts began there more than a decade ago.