February 28, 2012



The plight of the rhinoceroses has never been as pressing as right now. From 448 poached in 2011 to already more than one a day in 2012 (in South Africa), rhino conservation has become a top priority today. EcoTraining, for almost 20 years now a trainer of custodians for nature’s inhabitants, is making rhino conservation and adventure tourism meet with our first rhino conservation course.  

Our wilderness camp in the Makuleke concession in the northern Kruger National Park will from 1-7 April 2012 be the setting for the course, with Brian Kelly the instructor. In 2011 the company included a section on rhinos as part of our conservation and research program in South Africa and Botswana. 

The ear notching and DNA data collection was a huge success last year and will now form a separate training module, where we will follow up on these magnificent endangered animals. We need a deeper understanding about these animals, sometimes still surrounded by myth and legend, to start making a change.

The aim of the course is twofold – to provide an in-depth education suitable for rangers, tourists and academics on the two African rhinos and the conservation thereof; and then to establish and teach non-invasive methods for monitoring rhino populations.

The main method of instruction would be hands on participation in a rhino monitoring project. This would be supplemented by lectures. The goal of the monitoring project would be to establish identikits for all rhinos within a given research area. This would be accomplished by a variety of methods depending on the area, including camera traps analysis (setting and collecting data); tracking and trailing of rhinos (plaster casts of tracks); trailing on foot to establish movement patterns, habitat selection, water sources and territories; study on foot (behaviour and food/habitat selections) and dung analysis to determine food selection.

A wide variety of topics will be covered during the course, including rhinos of the world; biology of rhinos; rhino behaviour (black and white); poaching and anti-poaching; conservation issues; conservation research and methods; tracking and trailing; rhino habitats and ecosystems. Although heavy emphasis will be placed on the rhino, other aspects of savannah ecosystems will also be explored.

Head the call to action and become a wildlife warrior with the help of EcoTraining! Email enquiries@ecotraining.co.za for more information and book your place!

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