IUCN African Rhino Specialist Group

The African Rhino Specialist Group (AfRSG) is one of the 100+ Specialist Groups in the Species Survival Commission of IUCN – The World Conservation Union. Its mission is to promote the development and long term maintenance of viable populations of the various sub-species of African rhinos in the wild. Membership consists of official country representatives from the main African rhino range states and other specialists.

The AfRSG develops recommended best practices for rhino conservation activities and has produced an Action Plan for the conservation of African rhino species. AfRSG members have also assisted conservation agencies in Botswana, Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe develop national or organizational rhino conservation plans, strategies and policies. The Group has also developed a system for priority rating both populations and potential projects to help donors spend their money effectively.

The AfRSG meets every two years to share knowledge and information, collect and update rhino population numbers at a continental level and discuss specific rhino conservation issues.

Important rhino conservation documents produced by the AfRSG can be downloaded below.

Status, Conservation and Trade

CITES Eighteenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties, Colombo (Sri Lanka), 23 May – 3 June 2019 – Report of the Standing Committee and the Secretariat

Joint Rhino Report for the Sixteenth Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna Conference of the Parties (2013)

International Union for the Conservation of Nature formal resolution on the conservation of rhinoceros species in Africa and Asia (2012)

Statement from the African Rhino Specialist Group Secretariat Concerning the Avaaz Petition (2012)

Summary of rhino related discussions and outcomes at CITES CoP15  (2010)

Report on the status and trends in rhinos and trade issues worldwide for 14th CITES Conference of the Parties (2007)

Rhino Translocations

Guidelines for the In Situ and Translocation of African and Asian Rhinoceros (2009)

Translocating black rhinos: current techniques for capture, transport, boma care, release and post-release monitoring


Pachyderm, the journal of the African Elephant, African Rhino and Asian Rhino Specialist Groups of IUCN’s Species Survival Commission (ongoing)

African Rhino Action Plans

African Rhino Range States’ African Rhino Conservation Plan (2016)

African Rhino Action Plan (1999)

SADC Regional Program

for Implementing SADC Rhino Conservation Strategies

Black Rhino Biological Management

Contact Information for the African Rhino Specialist Group

Dr. Michael H. Knight

Chairman, IUCN SSC African Rhino Specialist Group

c/o Conservation Services South African National Parks
PO Box 76693 NMMU 6031
Port Elizabeth South Africa
email: m.knight@nmmu.ac.za
Tel: +27-41-508 5411
Fax: +27-41-508 5415

Dr. Richard Emslie
Scientific Officer
Box 1212 Hilton
South Africa 3245