Magazine article Geographical

It's Cheaper to Go Wild with Rhinos

Magazine article Geographical

It's Cheaper to Go Wild with Rhinos

Article excerpt

Protecting the black rhino in the wild costs less than preserving the endangered animals in captivity, an African Wildlife Foundation-sponsored study has found. Poaching has resulted in a 95 per cent decline in the world's black rhino population over the last three decades to fewer than 2,600 in 1997. The only surviving populations live in protected areas, sanctuaries established in the wild or captive breeding programmes, typically in zoos and open paddocks.

The study was conducted by Dominic Currie, an MA student at the Durrell Institute of Conservation and Biology at the University of Kent. Currie compared costs and the outcomes at seven sites including: protected areas -- a large conservation area designated in its entirety for rhino protection (South Africa's Kruger National Park), and a smaller, clearly identified zone within a larger area (Kenya's Tsavo East National Park); sanctuaries -- small, intensely managed, high-security `breeding banks' that release rhinos into protected larger areas (the AWF-supported Ngulia Rhino Sanctuary in Tsavo West National Park, South Africa's Addo Elephant National Park and the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy in Laikipia, Kenya); and captivity sites (the White Oak Captive Breeding Center in Florida and Cincinnati Zoo). …

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