Protecting the Population of Critically Endangered Black Rhino during a Global Pandemic

Timeframe: 2020 – 2021
Country/Region: Kenya
Partner: Zoological Society of London (ZSL)

Kenya is home to one of the largest populations of rhinos in Africa. This Critically Endangered black rhinoceros is considered one of the world’s most endangered mammals and is threatened by rampant poaching driven by a high demand for rhino horn in Asia.

ZSL has been working closely in partnership with the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) since 1989 to support protected area management, wildlife monitoring and law enforcement in Kenya. In 2014, ZSL established a field team based permanently inside Kenya’s Ngulia Rhino Sanctuary (NRS) supporting KWS to protect this population of black rhino.

However, this population is now at significant risk following the COVID-19 pandemic and there are signs of increased poaching threats exacerbated by the socio-economic impacts of the virus and loss of livelihoods in the surrounding communities.

Funding from Fondation Segré will allow KWS to continue their ongoing patrolling and monitoring of this population. A trained and dedicated team will conduct daily security patrols, reporting all evidence of illegal activity to enable rapid response and inform law enforcement investigations. This will lead to effective rhino protection and law enforcement in the NRS, keeping rhino poaching in check.