Rhino conservation is alive and well in Kenya. The birth of the 100th black rhino on Ol Pejeta Conservancy makes them the only black rhino sanctuary in East Africa and one of only eight sanctuaries throughout Africa to have reached this amazing milestone. Rhinos are facing the worst poaching crisis in decades but with concerted conservation efforts their population can increase and the species saved.
The population of black rhino in Africa plummeted from an estimated 65,000 to around 10,000 in the early 1980s. By 2001, the total African population was estimated at 3,100. In Kenya alone, the population dropped from 20,000 to less than 300 due to illegal killing for rhino horn. This represents a loss of 4.5 rhinos a day for 10 years.
At present, there are an estimated 620 black rhino in Kenya, and 100 of them live on the Ol Pejeta Conservancy. Kenya is the stronghold of the last remaining population of eastern sub-species (Diceros bicornis michaeli), holding 88% of the world’s remaining population. In response to the drastic reduction in rhino numbers through poaching, Kenya decided to set up specially protected and fenced sanctuaries for rhino conservation. The creation of these sanctuaries was designed to maximize breeding potential, using surplus animals to re-stock any new areas. Ol Pejeta is one such sanctuary.
Ol Pejeta is located in the Laikipia region of Kenya, near Mount Kenya and Nanyuki. http://www.olpejetaconservancy.org/about