WWF UK Blog  

Day 1 – Rhino protection: on the frontline


Every day this week we’ll be posting updates from Rotiken Dennis, a WWF supported rhino ranger working in the Mara region of Kenya. All of this is in the lead up to the Flight of the Rhino, a documentary about the daring plan to fly a whole population of rhinos to a new home. But first, to give you some background to the current crisis…

A rhino being hoisted by a helicopter, ready for transportation to a new, safer home. © WWF-Canon / Green Renaissance

As recently as the 1960s, it was estimated that over 100,000 black rhinos were still roaming Africa. The current poaching crisis, combined with inadequate field protection, has decimated these populations.

It’s horrifying.

In fact, black rhino numbers in Africa have crashed by more than 96% in just 30 years. The southern white rhino, rescued from near extinction a century ago, now faces grave danger once again.

Our work to protect rhinos started over 50 years ago. Early on, our work focused mainly on protected areas which historically held large rhino populations in vast tracts of undisturbed land. As demand for rhino horn led to increased incidents of poaching, we realised it wasn’t enough.

So in 1997, we adopted a more strategic and proactive approach to rhino conservation – the African Rhino Programme (ARP).

This continent-wide action programme works in cooperation with many partners, including government bodies, other conservation groups and NGOs, the private sector and local communities. If we work together, we can have a much bigger impact.



Find out more about this essential work, with today’s update from Kenya by Rotiken Denis – head of the Masai Mara Rhino Monitoring Team.

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