We decided to compile information about various conservation topics that may be of interest to some of our visitors.
Is there something you would like to know? Ask Karrie.
Karrie spent a year living in Southern Africa studying, volunteering, guiding, researching, traveling, and making art about critters that live in the bush. Send your questions. Connect
Rhino have incredibly poor eyesight and to add to it, they are also colorblind. Their little eyes are positioned on the sides of their heads so the do not have binocular vision. They rely primarily on their senses of smell and hearing. For a poacher to remain undetected they only need to enter the reserve on a windy day and remain downwind from the rhino. The sound of the wind will cover any noise and their sent will be blown away from the rhino.
National Geographic puts rhino vision to the test in this short video. Watch >
Rhinos did not evolve with the fear of predation. They are the second largest land mammal, second to the elephant which is a herbivore as well. On occasion, a rhino will get in a tussle with a musty male elephant but that is an incredibly rare event.
Rhino movement patterns are predictable. They typically stay within 3 miles of a water source, travel along familar routes, and have small home territories. (Males are territorial. Their defended area is between 0.3 to 4 square miles. Females are not territorial and their core ranges are 3 to 9 square miles.)
White rhino habitat is open savanna making the rhino easy to spot from a distance.
Rhino are relatively sedentary. They eat frequently and snooze in between the snacks.
A big threat is fragmentation. Not only does this limit the area for the rhino to be it prevents freedom of movement. Isolation and lack of the population intermingling has restricted the mixing of the gene pool.
Due to the cost of security and safety concerns, many private rhino owners have chosen to no longer keep rhino, further limiting their coverage.
Unfortunately, there is also a lack of political will to implement and enforce strict anti-poaching laws.
The poacher kills for the financial value of the horn.
The consumer buys the horn for various reasons. It is believed that the horn has medicinal qualities varying from a cure for cancer to hangover relief. None of these are true. If they were we would all chew our fingernails and eat our hair. The rhino horn is only keratin.
The horn traditional was carved to make daggers and ornamental cups.
Today, it is stockpiled as an investment. As the rhino population dwindles the supply becomes more finite.
And sadly, rhino horn is seen as a status symbol and is often given as gifts,
The San Diego Zoo’s podcast Amazing Wildlife just aired an episode on Black Rhino. Listen here>>
This will be a section of the site that will continue to grow. We will be adding information as questions are posed and tidbits of trivia are found.
The video footage was shot by and generously provided by Paul Mills to help raise awareness and to help ProjectThorn fundraise for anti-poaching projects..Please consider subscribing to Paul’s YouTube Channel