Photo of White Rhino. An estimated remaining 6 black rhinos inhabit the Chyulu Hills region.
The black rhino is one of most endangered species on earth. With numbers falling from 850,000 in circa 1700, to 65,000 in 1970, to 2,410 in 1995. Of the roughly 600 black rhino currently residing in Kenya, the Chyulu Hills population of just 8 rhinos represents one of the last wild populations in Kenya (most rhino today are kept in fenced sanctuaries), and its survival is key if there is to be any hope for the future of this species in the wild. Big Life community rangers, together with the Kenya Wildlife Service, provide 24-hour security for the small but extremely important population of elusive black rhino.
Rangers track rhino movements and identify individuals using their tracks (recording with GPS) and a network of camera traps, the data from which provides critical research information for the sustainability of this endangered species as well as critical monitoring for security purposes.
Though we have lost a few rhinos to poachers over the years this valuable population is hanging on. This Chyulu Hills population has been identified, as part of the 'Conservation and Management Strategy for Black Rhino in Kenya', as a potential IPZ (Intensive Protection Zone), and will ultimately enable the introduction of additional black rhino to the area. However, more funding is required to fulfill IPZ requirements.
The rhino project would not have been possible without the support and generosity of Save the Rhino, Chester Zoo, Tusk Trust, US Fish and Wildlife and Anna Mertz.