YWPF to assist Fauna & Flora International in Kenyan black rhino protection

Yorkshire Wildlife Park Foundation is delighted to announce that a grant application from Fauna & Flora International has been approved by our Trustees.

YWPF will be supporting the international conservation charity over the next three years with the aim to enhance the recovery and conservation of wildlife within the Sera Wildlife Conservancy in Kenya.

The charity’s main focus is to protect Kenya’s black rhino population growth, which is under threat from poaching and habitat destruction.

Across Kenya, the protection of black rhino continues to be challenging as demand for its horn remains high and adequate habitat dwindles, but Sera Wildlife Conservancy (SWC) offers hope for this highly vulnerable species through the success of the Sera Rhino Sanctuary (SRS) established in 2015.

The critically endangered black rhino species has declined dramatically since 1970 when there was a recorded world population of 65,000 rhinos. By 2003 this number had plummeted to just 3,600. Thanks to charities such as/similar to SWC and their conservation efforts this number has increased to 5,250.

The long-term goal of the proposed project is to support Sera Wildlife Conservancy in effectively managing habitat with the aim of growing the black rhino population by 5% annually. This would mean increasing population numbers from the current 14 individuals in the Sera Rhino Sanctuary to 35 individuals within the next 15-20 years.

Ultimately, the whole SWC is anticipated to hold a continentally important population of up to 128 black rhino individuals in total. This project will also further secure Kenya’s national population – otherwise known as a ‘metapopulation’ – and support the country’s national strategy for the species.

Through this project, Fauna & Flora International will strengthen anti-poaching patrols, they will continue developing and supporting community engagement; they will improve research and data collection of habitat and species, and build resilience to ensure SWC can withstand future environmental changes – particularly those caused by climate change.

Other wildlife across SWC, including the African elephant, wild dog and giraffe will also directly benefit from the project actions through improved management and capacity across the conservancy. SWC covers a diverse landscape and is a critical refuge for these species as well as highly threatened populations of elephant and black rhino.

Fauna & Flora International have put in place a number of activities and objectives to accomplish over the coming years in an effort to increase wildlife population numbers:

  1. To optimise population growth and inform adaptive, climate-resilient management through research and monitoring
  2. To develop strategic plans focused on sanctuary management, resilience and adaptation planning
  3. To strengthen anti-poaching and security patrols by filling in identified human and technical gaps

This community-led Conservancy will gain sustained income from tourism due to the thriving wildlife, which will have a positive effect on the surrounding villages. The charity’s actions consider both human needs and animal needs, in order to create a sustainable plan for the Conservancy’s future.

If you’d like to support Yorkshire Wildlife Park Foundation and our forthcoming activities alongside Fauna & Flora International, click the link below to donate and help protect Kenyan black rhinos.

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