By Amelia Meyer
Rhinoceroses are naturally found in Asia and Africa. Today, Africa (and particularly South Africa) has a number of parks and reserves in which these giants can be found roaming the landscape in quiet, powerful elegance. These reserves are important for a number of reasons. Firstly, they provide some degree of protection to the animals, which are under constant threat from poachers.
They have guards and rangers whose job it is to care for the welfare of all of the fauna and flora of the park. The more threatened the animals, the more effort and value is invested into protecting the rhinos. Secondly, these parks and reserves promote tourism, which injects funds into conservation as well as into the local communities. Funding is always a necessary part of raising awareness and ensuring conservation.
Some of the better-known reserves around the world include:
Hluhluwe-Umfolozi Game Reserve KwaZulu Natal, South Africa
Having been established in 1895, this is one of the world’s most acclaimed parks and is the oldest on the African continent. It covers an impressive 960 square kilometres, or almost 600 square miles. Hluhluwe-Umfolozi currently has the largest population of White Rhinos in the world, and is also home to the Big 5 (elephant, Black Rhino, buffalo, lion and leopard). In addition, there are hundreds of other plant- and animal species that give this reserve its natural appeal and abundance. It is governed by Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife. In order to cater to its tourist market, there is a road network within the park that exceeds 300 kilometres.
For more information, please view: http://www.game-reserve.com
Mokolodi Nature Reserve Gaborone, Botswana
This beautiful reserve covers about 50 square kilometres, or 31 square miles. It is situated just outside of Gaborone, the capital city and epicentre of Botswana, in Southern Africa. This reserve was established by the Mokolodi Wildlife Foundation in 1994 and is designed to protect natural resources as well as to provide a programme of education to young and old regarding their responsibility towards the environment. Every year, more than 35 000 people visit this reserve.
For more information, please view: http://www.mokolodi.com/
Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary Way Kambas, Indonesia
Of all of the five remaining rhino species in the world, the Sumatran Rhino is the most threatened. Habitat loss and poaching remain its biggest threats. In response, the Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary is a facility that enables this precious species to live and breed within a protected environment with the hopes of boosting its population numbers. This sanctuary was established in 1984 on the recommendation of the World Conservation Union’s Asian Rhino Specialist Group. This population management initiative is, unfortunately, essential if there are to be any Sumatran Rhinos left in the years to come. The area dedicated to propagation, research and education is only 0.9 square kilometres in area. The reserve is home to five Sumatran Rhinos. The area that these animals inhabit is far larger than the research area and they are able to enjoy areas of natural rain forest. By dedicating this time, area and money to research, those in Indonesia hope to understand these animals better and be able to conserve a small breeding population.
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