By Amelia Meyer
Save The Rhino International is a charity organisation that began its fundraising efforts in 1992 in the United Kingdom, although only formally registered two years later. This organisation is run by the Charity Commission for England and Wales. Save The Rhino International is focused on the preservation and protection of critically endangered rhinos in their home continents of Africa and Asia.
To embark on these ambitious initiatives takes money and expertise, and requires extensive education of local communities. Save The Rhino International believes that, by teaching the local communities to care for their environment, protect the stability of the ecosystem and prevent poaching in as much as their personal capacities allow, the rhinoceroses of the area are given a far greater chance of increasing their numbers and recovering from near extinction. In order for the education initiatives to be successful, the local communities need to be convinced that they will also benefit from protecting their environment in the long term.
Much of the funding is also invested into monitoring the various programmes, evaluating their results and making the necessary adjustments.
In addition, it is imperative that marketing and public relations is done so that the people sharing their continent with these magnificent animals are informed and educated about the threats facing them and what this means for the ecosystem and, ultimately, the human inhabitants of the land.
The rhinos being assisted by Save The Rhino International may be in their natural habitats or in captivity. Therefore, the organisation needs to be able to adjust their approach, equipment and the people involved to provide the most effective service. For this reason, the charity does not conduct the physical part of the research and protection, but funds the initiatives of other organisations. Otherwise, it would just become an overload of needs for one body. Therefore, the funds that are raised by Save The Rhino International are invested into the following areas:
•Implementing anti-poaching patrols.
•Developing programmes for the community that enables them to manage the natural resources that they have available to them in a sustainable way.
•Teaching children and adults about protecting the environment and why it is important.
•Transporting rhinos to safer or larger habitats.
•Researching different threats.
•Researching medical alternatives that would render the horn too expensive or risky as a means of treatment in Chinese medicine.
•Implanting of microchips into the horns, removal of snares, treating of sick or injured rhinos, and other veterinary work.
Save The Rhino International has to stay as objective and practical as possible if it is to be successful in preserving the most viable rhino populations (that is, populations of more than 20 individual animals). In addition, this organisation has, as a priority, the need to balance the environmental protection with assisting the human populations to understand, assist in and benefit from these initiatives.
For those of the public wanting to assist Save The Rhino International in their efforts, there are a number of options. These include sponsorship, donations, memberships, the running of campaigns, leaving money to the organisation in your will, volunteer work, and so on. For more information, visit Save The Rhino International at www.savetherhino.org.