The Malilangwe Reserve is home to one of the highest rhino population densities on the continent
Rhino conservation is at the helm of Malilangwe’s journey to re-establishing the natural state of the Reserve. The Malilangwe Trust is responsible for one of the world’s most successful, critically endangered black rhino programs.
The reintroduction population has grown by 532% in 21 years for black rhino and 729% for the white rhino.
This is achieved by restoring and maintaining a flourishing habitat, instigating a strategic security program, ensuring the genetic diversity of the population, and providing new genetics for other protected areas. Every rhino is critically important to the survival of its species.
The anti-poaching scouts’ role is twofold: security and rhino monitoring. Each day whilst on patrol, the scouts monitor and document individual rhino locations, home ranges, habitat variances, and significant events, which is compiled into an extensive database containing over 20 years of detailed records. This underpins the rigorous scientific approach for ongoing long-term conservation management of the rhino populations. Biannually, the Wildlife team undertakes Rhino Operations which involves extensive preplanning logistics, air, and ground support.
Young calves, still at the foot with their mums, between the ages of 13-17 months are located for processing. This includes DNA sampling, body measurements, microchipping, and ear notching for permanent individual identification. The positioning of the notches on the ear translates into a functional numbering system which allows our scouts and Wildlife Ecologists to identify and monitor individuals throughout their lifetimes.
The Malilangwe Reserve is home to one of the highest rhino population densities on the continent. Every conservation area that manages these incredible and iconic species learns and understands they add additional layers of complexities to manage and resource but one that is truly worthwhile to ensure their future survival.