Restoring Rhino Ecosystems and Promoting Biodiversity
Rhinos, as ecosystem engineers, play a crucial role in preserving entire ecosystems and promoting biodiversity. To successfully rewild the rhino orphans and other wildlife under our care, these animals undergo a phased rewilding program and are released into healthy, protected ecosystems after rehabilitation. Care for Wild's dedicated Rhino Monitors diligently observe behaviour and movements, collecting valuable data on rhino behaviour, wildlife activity, and sanctuary ecology This comprehensive approach prioritizes the well-being of both the rhinos and the ecosystem they inhabit, recognizing the interconnectedness and mutual dependence between these magnificent creatures and the diverse web of life around them.
Care for Wild has already released numerous rhinos, aiming to establish viable breeding populations. In 2022, a significant milestone was achieved with the birth of the world's first rhino calf to parents both orphaned from poaching. The calf's natural conception and delivery validated the success of the rescue, rehabilitation, and release model. However, sustaining viable breeding populations in the long term relies on sufficient space and critical resources. By expanding protected areas, Care for Wild actively contributes to rewilding natural landscapes and ecosystems.
Care for Wild's protected area has expanded to 1,500 hectares within the Barberton Nature Reserve complex, recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The organization is currently in Phase 3 of our expansion plans, incorporating the Mountainlands Nature Reserve to add 18,000 hectares of protected land. Future expansion could include parts of the Songimvelo Nature Reserve, potentially reaching a total range of 157,000 hectares. These efforts not only ensure rhino survival but also contribute to the rewilding of ecosystems, the preservation of endangered species, the promotion of ecological resilience and the support of diverse flora and fauna.