Media Release: Black Rhino Conservation Receives a Boost With Translocation To Zambia
27 May 2008
Black rhino conservation received a boost today (Wednesday May 30, 2008) as five of these animals boarded an aircraft bound for Zambia, thanks to a relocation agreement between three African countries, Namibia, South Africa and Zambia.
“This translocation shows that we, as South African National Parks, are definitely committed to regional conservation and are certainly not xenophobic when it comes to creating more habitat for Africa’s endangered species,” said the Kruger National Park’s Managing Executive, Dr Bandile Mkhize.
The operation is as a result of an agreement reached last year (2007) between Zambian Wildlife Authority (ZAWA), the Namibian Ministry of Environment and Tourism, SANParks and Eastern Cape Parks which will see the distribution of the various black rhino subspecies (including Diceros bicornis bicornis and Diceros bicornis minor) increased across the southern African region.
In exchange for 12 examples of the rare desert or south western black rhino subspecies (Diceros bicornis bicornis) from Namibia, which went to SANParks- and Eastern Cape Parks-administered parks and reserves in the semi desert area of South Africa in 2007, five examples of black rhino (Diceros bicornis minor) are on their way to Zambia today. A further five rhinos from the Eastern Cape Parks will follow these rhinos next year (2009) and the remaining two black rhinos have been exchanged for four white rhinos and these will be delivered to Zambia later this year.
Namibia will receive plains game from Zambia in exchange for the 12 rhino that were delivered to South Africa last year.
Four of the animals that were translocated today come from Kruger and the remaining rhino from Marakele National Park. The rhinos, two bulls and three cows, will be settled in North Luangwa National Park in Zambia, with the support from the Frankfurt Zoological Society.
When this current translocation project is concluded, it will mean that 13 of the 20 rhino introduced to North Luangwa National Park from South Africa in Zambia were supplied by SANParks.
“In recent times, we have transferred various species of animals to both the Limpopo National Park and the Gorongoza National Park in Mozambique. This shows that the KNP is definitely committed to conservation projects in our entire region and not just South Africa,” Dr Mkhize concluded.
With all its game transfer operations, SANParks subscribes to the strict guidelines laid down by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) for these operations.
Raymond Travers, Media Relations Practitioner, Kruger National Park. Contact: Tel: 013 735 4116, cell: 082 908 2677 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
William Mabasa, HOD: Public Relations and Communication, Kruger National Park. Contact: Tel: 013 735 4363, cell: 082 807 3919 or email: email@example.com