South Africa is one of the last countries to have a significant population of rhinos left in the wild. But rhino poaching continues to escalate – with 1,004 rhinos killed within the country's borders in 2013 alone (according to the Republic of South Africa's Department of Environmental Affairs).
Today's poachers use high-caliber weapons and getaway vehicles or helicopters, and are backed by well-organized international criminal networks. Countering this requires a multitude of trained and equipped people.
Nongovernmental organizations and the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF) grantees Space for Elephants Foundation and Wildlands Conservation Trust – in a collaboration with its roots in CEPF's investment in the Maputaland-Pondoland-Albany biodiversity hotspot – have joined forces on rhino protection in South Africa and teamed up with the privately owned Thanda Game Reserve, Ezemvelo Kwa-Zulu Natal Wildlife (the provincial conservation authority), and private donors to collectively fund and implement the installation of GPS tracking devices in the horns of white rhinos.