Rhinos are in crisis. For every species, every population, each individual counts. Every birth, every loss, every orphaned rhino saved counts. At the International Rhino Foundation (IRF), we, and our partners focus our efforts on rhinos but we also know that every community, every ranger, every advocate counts. We strive to protect not just rhinos but where they live – every habitat, every invasive plant removed, every new tree planted counts. We can’t save rhinos alone – every supporter, everyone on Team Rhino counts.
Your support helps us meet the challenges facing rhinos each day. Challenges such as the illegal trade in rhino horn that has exploded in the past fifteen years, driving unprecedented levels of poaching and sending rhino populations into crisis. Last spring, as the global pandemic caused country-wide shutdowns and crippled world travel, that threat grew more severe.
Rhino reserves and the local communities surrounding them were hit with huge economic losses as travel and tourism ground to a halt and governments reduced their conservation budgets. Many local reserves lost 70-90% of their conservation funding, jeopardizing their ability to keep critical intelligence and law enforcement operations in place. It will likely take them years to recover.
We worried that this financial calamity would lead to huge losses for rhino populations. Rhino poaching is conducted by highly-organized, well-funded criminal syndicates that are able to quickly exploit security gaps and weaknesses, including those caused by current financial constraints.
But thanks to the support, advocacy and passion of donors like you, rhinos and the many other species that share their habitats have continued to thrive during the pandemic. You have helped us adapt, innovate and expand our conservation programs, ensuring secure habitats for wildlife and income for local communities. And we’re already seeing the results of your support:
- Security clusters consisting of more than 20 rhino reserves in South Africa (all new International Rhino Foundation (IRF) partners) installed real-time security cameras and license plate recognition cameras, resulting in the apprehension of 22 poachers to date.
- Sixty farming families joined an innovative new reforestation program in Sumatra, Indonesia. They have grown and planted 21,000 seedlings in Way Kambas National Park to create new habitat for Sumatran rhinos, tigers and elephants. More than 45 different species have already been recorded at the reforestation site!
- Mobile radar units with high-tech surveillance capabilities that can be moved to poaching or incursion hotspots have been installed in the intensive protection zone of Kruger National Park, home to the world’s largest rhino population.
- IRF began working with a local organization in Nepal, the National Trust for Nature Conservation, to remove invasive species and restore rhino habitat in Chitwan National Park, home to the second largest population of greater one-horned rhinos in the world. We’re hiring local workers to rehabilitate 375 acres of grasslands.
Now, as we look forward to a new year, we will continue to innovate and expand – protecting more key rhino populations, providing more technology and training for rangers, rehabilitating more rhino habitat, and aiding more communities living in rhino ranges. Will you help?
We need to raise $550,000 by the end of this year to keep rhino populations secure and growing. Your gift will help us expand our rhino conservation programs to 12 countries, partnering with local communities in the deserts of Namibia, the grasslands of Nepal and the jungles of Indonesia. You will provide innovative legal training and purchase cutting-edge security systems for rangers and reserves in South Africa, reintroduce greater one-horned rhinos to India’s Laokhowa and Burachapori Wildlife Sanctuaries, and map and investigate wildlife crime in Sumatra, Indonesia.
And best of all, a generous, long-time IRF donor has agreed to match every gift you make, dollar for dollar, from today until December 31st. For the rest of this year, your gift will go twice as far and make double the impact for rhinos and the communities living with them.
Every dollar you donate will protect rhinos. And with every rhino you protect, you’ll also conserve countless other species, restore forests and grasslands that serve as critical carbon sinks and provide job opportunities for local people.
Every action, every donation counts for rhinos, because every rhino counts.
From all of us at IRF, thank you for your support!