Thanks to the support of over 50,000 cardholders, we’ve raised R2.5 million for the MyPlanet Rhino Fund in the past 12 months, since World Rhino Day in 2015, and over R6.5 million since the fund was created. Thank you to everyone who has swiped their MySchool MyVillage MyPlanet cards for this cause!
The MyPlanet Rhino Fund (administered by the Endangered Wildlife Trust) puts rhino conservation in the spotlight, and has supported best practice and innovation since its creation in March 2011. The fund recognises that there is no single solution that can address the complexity of the illegal wildlife trade and avert the country’s rhino poaching crisis.
The MyPlanet Rhino Fund therefore disperses its funds to a variety of conservation organisations and government agencies that use a range of best practice and proven programmes and interventions to protect rhinos.
Braam Malherbe, MyPlanet Ambassador and Panel Member on the MyPlanet Rhino Fund says, “There are many well-run and credible organisations raising money for rhino conservation, but there are also a lot of scams preying on human emotions. We started the fund, represented by a broad range of interested an affected parties, to help ensure funding is going where it’s needed most. We are delighted that every year our support base keeps growing. It’s a brilliant effort on the part of South African consumers.”
Here are a number of organisations who are working to protect rhinos with the help of the MyPlanet Rhino Fund:
Care for Wild Rhino Sanctuary
Care for Wild Rhino Sanctuary operates from a farm set in the heartland of Mpumalanga, South Africa. Here a treatment and care centre has been built where orphaned rhinos are tended to until they can be rehabilitated back into the wild. Funding is helping to support security training for game scouts which will help to keep rhino orphans safe from poachers.
Endangered Wildlife Trust
Funding has been allocated towards training programmes for rangers and tracker dogs that tackle rhino poaching and achieve more poacher arrests.
See how tracker dogs are making a difference:
International Anti-Poaching Foundation
This year’s grant from the MyPlanet Rhino Fund has enabled the International Anti-Poaching Foundation (IAPF) to purchase a much-needed Landcruiser vehicle to be used for their rhino conservation programme and supports the daily anti-poaching operations. The IAPF has a structured approach to conservation, employing the relevant tactics and technology to defend wildlife from the ever increasing threat of poaching within protected areas. Anti-poaching however is only a portion of the conservation solution. To be a part of successful projects, the IAPF works alongside partners who specialise in community engagement and development, research and development, wildlife rescue and biodiversity management.
SANParks: Addo National Park and Kruger National Park
A new engine for the Bat Hawk aircraft gives SANParks ‘eyes in the skies’ for rhino monitoring and anti-poaching operations. Bat Hawk is a specially designed lightweight aircraft used for conservation and surveillance. It is used for patrolling the skies above South African game reserves, on the lookout for rhino poachers and injured rhinos. It’s a very important tool in the belt for those combatting poachers in the field. One of the biggest hurdles facing rhino conservation efforts in South Africa is the sheer size of the area that rhinos inhabit. Game reserves span hundreds of thousands of kilometres and rhinos have home ranges that can span hundreds of kilometres. Being able to take to the sky is hugely beneficial in covering all this territory.
See how equipment donations are making a difference:
Save Valley Conservancy Special Species Protection Unit
Save Valley Conservancy is part of the Greater Limpopo Transfrontier Conservation Area where they have formed a ‘Special Species Protection Unit’ to specifically focus on the species most impacted by poaching. The rhino tops the list. A special grant was allocated to the Save Valley Conservancy, to assist its anti-poaching units in protecting its critical black rhino population.
Southern African Wildlife College
The Southern African Wildlife College (SAWC) has become an acknowledged centre of specialisation in Conservation Education and Wildlife Management Training, not only in Southern Africa but internationally. The funding received from MyPlanet Rhino Fund will see that 137 people in 2015 and 120 people in 2016 are trained on a full 12-month national certificate programme. This intensive programme helps meet the need for the additional skills that address poaching and the shortage of qualified field rangers and guides in wildlife areas as well as creating valuable jobs.
Support has also been given to innovative SAWC ranger incentive initiative where the top-performing individuals across 22 ranger stations in the Kruger National Park will be acknowledged for service to rhinos that goes beyond the call of duty.