As the rhino poaching pandemic continues, the options of dehorning White Rhino are becoming more and more prevalent as part of an integrated rhino management strategy that aims to reduce losses from poaching. Private landowners in particular are using this option together with attaching radio-tracking collars to the rhino’s. These tracking collars allow ranger teams to monitor the rhino’s position and movements.
The community owned Somkhanda Private Game Reserve in northern Zululand is managed by Wildlands Conservation Trust and they have recently dehorned their rhino and have improved protection through the formation of a specialized and highly effective anti-poaching unit. An additional team of twenty field rangers that were trained through the Green Jobs Funds have also been added to the current field ranger team. Here, Dr Mike Toft of Kifaru Wildlife Veterinary Services provides oxygen to a sedated White Rhino bull that is in the process of having its horn removed and having a radio tracking collar fitted to its hind leg. The oxygen aids the capture process.
This conservation photography project is carried out in partnership with the Game Rangers Association of Africa (GRAA) that provides support, networks and representation for game rangers across Africa. This conservation photography project will use rangers as the “lead characters” to highlight the issues faced by conservationists and showcase opportunities for improved support of rangers in the future. Positive and targeted messages will be communicated that emphasise the critical role that rangers play in African conservation in ensuring that the continent’s natural heritage is preserved for the benefit of future generations. Support Africa’s Rangers by supporting the GRAA.
Peter Chadwick is a Fellow of the International League of Conservation Photographers (iLCP) whose mission is to further environmental and cultural conservation through photography. The iLCP’s goal is to use the art of high-quality photography to encourage people to take action in support of tangible and meaningful conservation measures.
Visit African Conservation Photography for a full gallery of Ranger images.