Black Rhinos find New Home on Community Land in
South Africa

The biggest threat to rhinos is the continuing demand for
its horn for use in traditional Asian medicines. The rhinos
are tranquilized so that radio transmitters can be inserted
into their horns for monitoring.

A group of black rhinos has been successfully released
into a community-owned game reserve in northern
KwaZulu-Natal, a move seen by environmentalists as a
boost to conserving the endangered species.

The release of 11 rhinos into the Somkhanda Game
Reserve is part of the Black Rhino Range Expansion
Project - a partnership between WWF and Ezemvelo KZN
Wildlife - to increase suitable land available for a viable
black rhino population. Once the most numerous rhino
species in the world, today, there are only an estimated
3,700 left in the wild.

Somkhanda Game Reserve is owned by the Gumbi
community, which claim the area as part of South Africa’s
post-apartheid land restitution process. Rather than
settling the land, community leaders decided to zone it for
economic sustainability, including wildlife conservation and
tourism activities.

This is very important for the long-term security of the
black rhino and other endangered species. Somkhanda
Game Reserve is the first community land to be involved
with the WWF-supported project. The first three were
privately held partner sites in KwaZulu-Natal Province.

                                                                                     November 2007
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