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Project information

Saving Zimbabwe’s endangered black rhinos

To create long-term land security for people and wildlife. This means communities aren’t competing for resources with rhinos but instead benefit from living alongside them. As their livelihoods are protected, they too will have a stake in protecting black rhinos and other wildlife.

January 2017 - December 2017

Charity information: Save the Rhino International

Save the Rhino International logo
  • Need


    The habitat managed by the Lowveld Rhino Trust is home to one of Africa’s most important black rhino populations. But since 2008, poaching on the continent has increased by 9,000%, fuelled by demand for rhino horn from South East Asia, including China and Vietnam. Organised crime syndicates are responsible for escalating poaching. Communities are often desperate for increased security, and many rangers are heavily armed to defend themselves against poachers; facing the threat of armed contact.


    Communities will manage land sustainably – preventing habitat loss, overgrazing, and competition with wild animals through a comprehensive education programme aimed at all sections of the community. This will increase land security – as people and animals come into less competition over natural resources – and help to reduce local conflict and unplanned farming created by the national Land Reform Policy in 2000.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Community Awareness Programme in local primary schools


    » Educating future household heads on the benefits of wildlife conservation across dozens of local schools.

    What success will look like

    The number of schools which take part and pupils reached.

    Aim 2

    Recruiting wildlife guardians


    » At least 20 Wildlife Guardians will be trained to educate their own communities on conservation.

    What success will look like

    At least 20 Wildlife Guardians will be trained to educate their own communities on conservation issues. A minimum of 50% will be female.

    Aim 3

    Improved agriculture and livestock techniques


    » Training will help local farmers to have higher yield crops and fewer livestock losses, and implement best practice.

    What success will look like

    Improved income opportunities for local people, and increased food security.

    Aim 4

    100% of rhinos monitored


    » Ear notching will identify individual rhinos, and teams will quickly respond to potential poaching, illnesses or problems.

    What success will look like

    All rhinos are individually identified on a regular basis.

    Aim 5

    Rhino births outweigh deaths


    » The well-managed rhino population grows at a fast rate and expands its current range.

    What success will look like

    A rhino population growth rate of 5%.

  • Impact


    Successful rhino monitoring and management: identifying individual rhinos and keeping them in good health, to help them successfully breed.

    Anti-poaching: equipping and supporting rangers to protect rhinos. As the rhino population is secured, the number of births can outweigh the number killed by poachers.

    Reducing local conflict and tensions over land and its use: This means everyone can benefit from natural resources, and livestock can exist side by side with wildlife/


    The biggest risk we face is that poaching will continue to increase – and potentially outweigh the number of rhino calf births. Lowveld has a track record of achieving one of the fastest growing black rhino populations in Africa. Our key priority is to secure and grow viable populations of rhino. The experience of the team in managing rhinos and developing community education programmes is paramount to overcome this obstacle – as well as the training and support for rangers.


    Regular, targeted e-newsletter communications for C8000 supporters. Appeal updates will also be included in our annual supporter magazine, The Horn; available online or in print, social media and website via news articles and blogs.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £24,000

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      Amount Heading Description
      £4,000 Awareness programme Workshops, school programmes for local people.
      £5,000 Emergency vet care Treating emergency illnesses or poaching attempts
      £5,000 Rhino rangers Monitoring rhino numbers
      £5,000 Rhino management Tranquilising for ear notching and tracking devices. Dehorning for security.
      £5,000 Informers fund Supporting anti poaching work through informer networks.
  • Background


    LRT drives conservation activities in the Lowveld region of Zimbabwe, with a focus on the semi-arid Save Valley and Bubye Valley, where local communities, their livestock and wild animals are increasingly competing for natural resources as the national land reforms of 2000 has intensified land disputes and misuse. A dire economic situation caused grinding poverty and high unemployment. The population of 31,000 is predominantly dependent on remittances from abroad and farming.


    Funds will directly help the rhino population by supporting rangers, employed from the local community, who are working on the frontline of illegal poaching. This covers the cost of vital equipment – like boots. Funds will support a community education programme which will inspire a new generation of conservationists and educate communities living alongside rhinos. 50% female wildlife guardians – boosting female opportunity.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    Save the Rhino International was established in 1994 with the aim of raising funds and awareness for high performing rhino conservation activities, on the ground, so that field staff could focus on their most important work – protecting rhinos. The Lowveld Rhino Trust is a key partner in Zimbabwe. As rhino populations decline across the country due to the new poaching crisis, the Lowveld Trust is the only conservancy with the prospect of growing the country’s population.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Raoul Du Toit, Director

    Raoul has worked diligently to support rhino conservation in Zimbabwe since 1986. In 2011, Raoul won the Goldman Environmental Award (Africa

    Natasha Anderson (LRT Rhino Monitoring Coordinator

    Manages the education programme and rhino monitoring run by the trust. In 2015 she became a member of the IUCN African Rhino Specialist Group.