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Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Joining forces to beat the rhino poachers.

In the face of South Africa's escalating rhino poaching problem, conservation agencies have joined forces to fast-track urgently needed anti-poaching initiatives.

Fifteen separate conservation organisations are signing up to create Project Rhino, allowing for the co-ordination of conservation efforts to eliminate poaching in KwaZulu-Natal.

The members of Project Rhino also recognise that the work in conserving and protecting rhinos from poaching is symbolic of the threat faced by all wildlife and that the poaching of rhino is indicative of the larger environmental crisis that South Africa is facing.

This initiative has been endorsed by Dr Ian Player, one of the world's foremost conservationists, founder of the Wilderness Foundation and co-founder of the Magqubu Ntombela Trust, and widely credited with saving the white rhino from extinction in the 1960s.

Project Rhino also sees highly credible and long standing organisations speaking unanimously, as a way to ensure that the public and government are consistently informed of where their support is going.

The agreement between the founders is due to be signed at the beginning of next month.

The founding members of Project Rhino are: Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife, Wildlands Conservation Trust (WCT), Wildlife ACT, Wilderness Foundation, Thanda Private Game Reserve, African Conservation Trust (ACT), Phinda Private Game Reserve (& Beyond), Zululand Rhino Reserve, Zululand Wildlife Security Initiative, Game Rangers Association of Africa (GRAA), WWF Black Rhino Range Expansion Project, Wildlife & Environment Society of SA (WESSA), Space for Elephants Foundation (SEF), Magqubu Ntombela Foundation and the Thanda Foundation.

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