Black rhino in Namibia

WildTrack has been working for more than 25 years to help protect black rhino, with the governments of Zimbabwe and Namibia. Our publications on black rhino conservation are here.

Working with local trackers, Namibia

In the summer of 2018 we undertook pilot studies in three highly sensitive areas of Namibia to trial FIT for protecting Namibia’s black rhino.  Working closely with indigenous expert trackers, including hosting a workshop to train local indigenous ecologists from around Namibia, we were able to collect excellent data. The workshop was a two-way learning process, with expert trackers sharing their skills in decoding ground data, and external scientists sharing theirs in software management. 

We are unable to disclose details of numbers or distribution as these data are classified. However, we can say that the pilots were a great success – we collected excellent data and published our findings.

Jewell ZC, Alibhai S, Law PR, Uiseb K, Lee S. 2020Monitoring rhinoceroses in Namibia’s private custodianship propertiesPeerJ 8:e9670 https://doi.org/10.7717/peerj.9670

WildTrack’s footprint identification technique can identify individual rhino, their sex and age-class using measurements taken from anatomical points (‘landmark points’) on the footprint.  An additional, and traditional approach used by expert trackers in the field,  can be to identify patterns on the footprint.  Below are three different footprints from one rhino, and three from a different rhino.  The heel patterns are unique to each individual.

WildTrack black rhino FIT training workshop, Namibia

Rhino 1

Rhino 2

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