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Karoo: Black Rhino

Addo, Camdeboo, Karoo, Mountain Zebra

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Bush Baptist
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Karoo: Black Rhino

Unread postby Bush Baptist » Sat Jun 07, 2008 3:45 am

Anyone seen the blackie(s) in Karoo recently, and how many are there?
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Unread postby Peter Betts » Sat Jun 07, 2008 7:28 am

I know they had a couple as friends saw 2 last year going up the pass. I then watched a Ranger team from Addo earlier this year, from my vantage point at Domkrag...go past and through a gate in the fence into the adjoining area (Kleinvak?????) and waited. They had a truck with crate on...I thought one of the lions was out at first but the chopper soon appeared over the bush a km away and flew in circles....soon a lovely Blackie appeared and trotted across the plain and collapsed...He was crated and brought back to the bomas. I asked them what was happenning...."going to Karoo" so there you are BB we have 3 now anybody want to improve/increase that no :shock:
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Unread postby Addo Elephant » Wed Jun 11, 2008 1:45 pm

Hi BB,

There are four black rhino in Karoo NP, two of which were introduced in 2005 from Tswalu and the other two in 2007 from Namibia (unfortunately, Peter Betts has his facts wrong again).

More black rhino will be introduced in the future.
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Unread postby Stoffel » Sun Jun 15, 2008 5:16 pm

We saw the fresh spoor of two rhino (together), as well as dung heaps near the kloof where the Doringhoek River exits the "amphi-theatre". The spoor was found in the same area on numerous occasions, but they eluded us.

On one occasion we travelled the new circular route in an anti-clockwise direction and decided to go as far as where the Doornhoek farmstead used to be. We made a U-turn and headed back for camp. We met up with our "neighbours" in the camp (approaching from the front) and told them to keep their eyes open for the rhino. I told them we made a U-turn as the road through the "amphi-theatre" is more scenic and provides more game sightings.

We were informed by them that night that they saw a single black rhino next to the road which I described to them as a rather dull part of the circular route. I'm still seeking for a black rhino sighting in Karoo.
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Re: Black rhino in Karoo NP

Unread postby Munchkin » Tue Oct 28, 2008 1:26 pm

:dance: :dance: :dance: Thank you Addo for the 3 new Blackies for Karoo NP - hopefully this will increase our chances of seeing at least one on our next visit to Karoo (and MZNP) which we are planning for early-ish next year.

( :doh: though never got to see one at Addo either )

BTW - do they all have names? Thandi and ? ?.

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Re: Black rhino in Karoo NP

Unread postby Addo Elephant » Wed Oct 29, 2008 8:53 am

Munchkin wrote:BTW - do they all have names? Thandi and ? ?.


Thandi, Mia and Sukulu. Black rhino are given names to aid us in identifying them in the field for research and monitoring purposes. The names are linked to the ear notches in their ears and sometimes notches on their feet too (for tracking by spoor on the ground). Its easier to remember names than to remember numbers or codes.
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Re: Black rhino in Karoo NP

Unread postby Stoffel » Wed Oct 29, 2008 9:05 am

I recall that the "original" black rhinos in Addo were removed because it was the wrong sub-species introduced in the park. Thus I take it that the 3 rhino being moved to Karoo now is of the same sub-species as the ones presently in Karoo? I wonder if it is also the same sub-species as the ones in MZNP? It will be interesting to know which parks host which sub-species.
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Re: Black rhino in Karoo NP

Unread postby Addo Elephant » Wed Oct 29, 2008 9:31 am

Yes, Stoffel, Addo was originally stocked with michaeli subspecies - the East African subspecies - because these were the only black rhino available at a time when the numbers of the species were critically low (early 1960s).

In later years it was decided to translocate all the michaelis out of Addo and stock the Park with the bicornis subspecies which would naturally have occurred here. This is the same subspecies that occurs in Namibia, Mountain Zebra NP, Karoo NP and Mokala NP. SANParks manages the bicornis populations in these national parks as a whole, transferring rhinos between them and bringing in rhinos from Namibia to ensure that the genetic variation in the populations remain healthy and therefore resistant to extinction.

The other subspecies which occurs in SA is the minor subspecies which is found in Kruger NP, KwaZulu Natal and up north. There was a fourth subspecies of black rhino, the longipes subspecies which occurred in central Africa but as far as I know, this subspecies is no longer around.
Megan Taplin
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