The race to account for the movement and safety of the endangered black rhinos in Kenya whose national population currently stands at approximately 680 in Kenya’s wild is on. The latest stride being the revamping of the implantation of microchips onto the rhinos, a process that began in 2013 in the iconic Maasai Mara Game Reserve. (Kenya implanting microchips in every rhino to fight poaching.)
“WWF very much appreciates collaborative efforts with the Kenyan government and Narok County in promoting technology to combat poaching. The efforts of rhino rangers at the frontline are highly commendable and reported zero poaching incidents in some locations where this technology has been deployed is most inspiring.”
Tanya Steele, newly appointed WWF-UK CEO in January 2017 during her maiden visit to Kenya as she presided over the handing over of rhino tracking equipment to the Mara rhino team.
Since the inception of the project, WWF-Kenya in collaboration with the Kenya Wildlife Service has managed to fix microchips onto more than 50% of the rhino population in the Maasai Mara. WWF-UK remains a key partner in conservation of black rhinos in Kenya. This work begun in 1961, when WWF launched an international effort to save wildlife, rescuing black rhinos—among many other species from the brink of extinction. The Black Rhino, Diceros bicornis has suffered a catastrophic 98% decline across Kenya, whose population plummeted from 20,000 in 1970 to about 350 in 1983. The decline was occasioned by escalating poaching driven by an insatiable demand for rhino horn in the Middle East and Asia.
So far, according to WWF-Kenya Conservation director, Dr. Jared Bosire, the joint efforts with KWS to microchip black rhinos, has boosted black rhino protection in the country.
“Technology is one of the critical pillars in combating poaching from securing incontrovertible evidence for effective prosecution to real time alerts to apprehend would be poachers.’’
Great technology and outstanding local knowledge; the only way we can protect rhino. Proud @WWF_Kenya rebuilding black rhino in the Mara