Black rhino numbers are on the rise in Kenya after years of decline from poaching and habitat loss.
According to officials, the country’s black rhino population has increased 20 percent, from 428 animals in 2003, to 539 animals at the end of 2005…
“This shows a healthy increase that surpassed our targets,” said Dr Taye Teferi, a Conservation Programme Director with the World Wildlife Fund, based in Nairobi. “Considering the intense poaching pressure and the demand for rhino horn, this is no mean achievement.”
The population growth is attributed to improved rhino protection, particularly through managing existing populations and ensuring that their habitats are suitable for foraging and reproducing.
WWF, through its black rhino project, is working with the Kenya Wildlife Service to increase Kenya’s black rhino population to 1,000 by 2020 through the expansion of existing rhino sanctuaries and through the establishment of new protected areas that can accommodate future population growth.
“With increased improvement in wildlife management and monitoring, the black rhino population can continue to show a healthy growth rate for many years to come,” added Dr Teferi. (WWF)