Looking Forward: IRF’s Vision, Mission, and Core Values

More than 30 years ago, intense, organized poaching was decimating Zimbabwe’s black rhino population at an alarming rate. In response, a group of concerned individuals and institutions got together to take immediate action and talk long-term need for rhino protection. Those meetings started in 1989 and by 1991, the International Black Rhino Foundation was incorporated in Texas. Fortunately, these quick and concentrated efforts had an immediate impact and helped to stabilize the black rhino population before it was too late.

In 1993, recognizing that all five rhino species were facing an escalating crisis, the International Black Rhino Foundation expanded its mission and became the International Rhino Foundation (IRF). IRF has supported and managed rhino conservation projects in Africa and Asia for almost 30 years, with our mission statement evolving along the way. Last year, IRF adopted the following updated Vision, Mission, and Core Values – which are at the heart of everything we do.


A world where rhinos thrive in the wild.


To ensure the survival of rhinos through strategic partnerships, targeted protection, and scientifically sound interventions.



We foster honest, ethical, and trusting relationships with partners, staff, the public, and board members.


We partner with individuals and organizations who share our commitment to saving rhinos.


We resourcefully and innovatively apply expertise and funds in a changing landscape for rhino conservation.


We make decisions based on science, political realities, and available resources.


We are dedicated to making long-term tactical investments in key partners to conserve rhinos.

Our history shapes our future. We pride ourselves on applying past lessons-learned and the knowledge of our partners and colleagues to ensure the survival of the world’s rhinos, in 2020 and far beyond.

To learn more about IRF’s work, please visit our programs page:


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