Charity Project




PROJECT: Endangered Animal Protection – Protecting Eswatini’s rhinos from poaching
Black rhino are IUCN-listed as Critically Endangered. The population has declined by an estimated 98% since 1960, reaching as low as 2,410 in 1995, mainly due to poaching. South Africa’s white rhino population dropped from 15,625 at the end of 2017 to 12,968 at the end of 2021. This decline represents the lowest number of white rhino in South Africa since pre-2005.

Eswatini has continentally important populations of both white and black rhino. Its neighbour South Africa is the primary source of illegally traded rhino horns. Eswatini’s other immediate neighbour Mozambique (16 rhino), is the primary transit country – from where rhino horns are exported to consumer markets in Vietnam, Laos PDR and China. Geographically, Eswatini is in the epicentre of Africa’s rhino poaching conflict.

ESPA has recently recruited – through a selection course, 33 new wildlife rangers in Eswatini. Our project will focus on training these individuals and the existing rangers to protect rhinos and other wildlife under their custodianship. Our training will ensure that Eswatini rhinos can remain protected from poachers who ruthlessly target them for their horns purely for profit. Our Tier-1 modular training will make a ranger force significantly more capable of reacting to hostile situations, gathering, and preserving evidence of poaching or other illegal activity, performing emergency first aid, and delivering effective counter-poaching solutions. As a result of our project, wildlife rangers will be able to travel further and faster, stay out on patrol longer, and spot and respond to activity at night efficiently and safely.

Credit: Big Game Parks