Our Reach

StopRhinoPoaching.com is actively involved in the fight against rhino poaching with a national footprint for strategic funding of security initiatives and ranger support on the frontlines.

We support significant rhino populations in selected reserves (national, provincial and private) as well as regional security and investigations activities within established security hubs where arrests are likely to be affected.

Our Focus Areas

For over a decade now, South Africa’s rhinos have been in crisis, and we’re doing everything we can to help by channeling support to selected key reserves and rhino protection projects. While there are numerous organisations addressing various focus areas, we concentrate on the very basics – keeping rhinos alive and buying them time. We’re committed for the long haul, and its going to take all of us to win this.

Helping rhino reserves to enhance their efficiency and optimise their security capabilities – both proactively and reactively – ensures that rhino lives are saved. A fundamental component of rhino security lies with the rangers themselves, the thin green line who stand between a rhino and a poacher. Making sure that rangers are well trained, properly equipped and motivated goes a long way to ensuring herd safety on a reserve.

Rhino Dogs

Perhaps our most feelgood project to date and one that captures the hearts of the public, the use of K9’s in the fight against poaching has been a huge success story. A well-trained dog alongside a well-trained ranger makes a formidable team. We have had the privilege of deploying trained K9’s to many reserves across the country, and each of these dogs has their own unique story which makes our involvement all the more special.

 

Typically, dogs are used to support anti-poaching efforts in the following ways:

 

Tracking dogs, used to track human scent.

Biting dogs, which are used to help apprehend suspects when absolutely necessary. Depending on the breed of dog, a tracking dog might be taught apprehension skills as well.

Detection dogs, which are used to sniff out endangered species such as rhino horn, ivory, pangolin scales and abalone. Ammunitions detection dogs sniff out weapons and bullets. When it comes to detection, we have tried to include both endangered species and ammunitions scent imprinting into one dog to further enhance capacity at reserves.

“All-rounder dogs” are dogs that have shown an excellent aptitude for both tracking and detection – and bite work if the breed is right. Although not within the realm of “traditional training” where dogs are trained for one function only, we have pushed the boundaries to have versatility in anti-poaching work.

Equipment

Equipment for rangers is often overlooked as it’s easy to dismiss the value that basic kit plays until you experience it firsthand.

Something as simple as a new backpack not only ensures that a ranger can carry his provisions but also gives that ranger a sense of pride and belonging.

Over the years we have seen just how vital basic items are to operations and have invested funding into tactical torches, mobile handsets, GPS’s, digital cameras, camera traps, roadblock equipment, laptops and tablets, forensics tools, tracking units etc as well as larger solutions like tactical trailers and aircraft.

Advanced Technologies

Advanced technologies only act as a force-multiplier when applied within a concept of operations and standard operating procedures have been well thought out.

These are high end investments, many of which require end-user licences and as such, we only supply items like thermal vision units, night vision units and other technologies into reserves that have the operational skills to fully utilize them.

Our most significant single investment so far has been a mobile radar unit, radar being the only technology at present that can detect, locate and track suspects, giving valuable operational intelligence to ranger teams to intercept.

Field Ranger Training

StopRhinoPoaching.com has funded a wide range of training and skills development initiatives to help prepare rangers and reserve managers for the challenges they face to protect rhino.

We have been privileged to get to know hundreds of rangers responsible for keeping our rhinos safe - a journey that has been a rewarding and humbling experience.

Some of these courses include Advanced Field Ranger Training, Close Quarter Combat Training and Man Tracker Training.

Tactical First Aid Training

Rangers involved in anti-poaching are not only up against armed and aggressive poachers, but also face untold danger from dangerous game.

Training courses, which are run by ER24, focus on battlefield first aid and ‘stopping the bleed.” Rangers are given specialized tactical first aid kits which include latest technology tourniquets and hemostatic agents to stop severe bleeding.

Through this project, rangers’ lives have been saved.

Ranger Wellness

Working under constant pressure, be it operationally in the bush or the continuous organisational and public pressure that comes with the territory, takes its toll. For many a ranger, this war has been relentless in every way possible. Gone are the days of doing routine conservation work, working as a ranger in a rhino reserve now requires the skills of a battle-honed soldier. Compounding the challenges faced in the field, family life is put on the back burner resulting in a breakdown of family relationships. Rangers and their families are isolated within communities that harbor poachers.

Rangers face death threats and their families are threatened. At the end of the day, what makes a ranger on patrol who comes across a poacher’s spoor a) decided to follow it knowing that at the end of a few hours of hot pursuit and physical exhaustion lies an armed poacher or b) decide to turn a blind eye and pretend he never saw anything? The answer to "a" is feeling appreciated, being recognised, being motivated. Rangers’ wellness is a focus area very close to our hearts and our involvement includes the provision of specialist psychological support to rangers, reserve leader groups as well as their families.

Basic Legal Training with Coert Jordaan

Fondly known as the “ranger’s lawyer”, Coert Jordaan initiated basic legal training in the Kruger National Park over a decade ago. Recognising the importance of this training and his experience as a criminal lawyer, we set about bringing this training to rangers around the country.

Rangers and security personnel across South Africa have had to fine tune their skills in order to successfully apprehend rhino poachers in their reserves. While much effort and attention has gone into the physical side of operations equipment, reaction support (e g control rooms, K9 and aerial platforms) ground tactics and the likes, the focus has always been on the physical “finishing” – the physical arrest and a suspect lying bound in handcuffs. This “finishing phase” though it just the start of a lengthy legal process, a process fraught with legal technicalities that if not meticulously adhered to results in the case being thrown out of court and suspect set free due to infringements on their legal rights Furthermore, rangers involved in shooting incidents during armed contacts must take life changing decisions in a split of a second This requires knowledge of the principles involved in this exceedingly difficult aspect of anti-poaching where their actions can have long lasting consequences on the rest of their lives.

 

Our goal with this project is to equip rangers and their managers with a solid foundation of basic legal knowledge relevant to their anti-poaching activities.

Management Training

Capacity building and upskilling managers is an important focus area especially as the poaching threat continues to evolve. With the limit in resources, it’s going to be increasingly important to help managers to finetune and streamline their skill sets across the diverse range of topics they need to excel in in order to manage effective security teams.

 

StopRhinoPoaching.com’s work in this field brings subject matter experts together to discuss best practices and lessons learned, while at the same time identifying relevant content training opportunities going into the future.

Supporting Investigations

StopRhinoPoaching.com is playing an enabling role in supporting government and private law enforcement teams.

We have provided equipment support to investigators around South Africa, ranging from laptops and cell phones through to crime analysis software and training.

WildCrime, powered by Cmore is a secure investigations platform developed by StopRhinoPoaching.com and the CSIR for use by wildlife crime investigators and selected stakeholders.

Knowledge Sharing

StopRhinoPoaching.com, and Logtra Solutions are actively initiating projects to incorporate field knowledge, best practices and lessons learned into guidelines for use by enforcement teams.

These documented guidelines are then shared with strategic stakeholders in the rhino protection environment in order to enhance operational efficiency. Click here to visit Logtra Solutions.

Stakeholder Relations

The survival of the rhino depends on trust and collaboration. Sadly though, relationships are peppered with politics and the rhino arena has attracted a highly complex group of stakeholders.


StopRhinoPoaching.com has, over the years, successfully gathered together a group of like-minded and proven individuals who's dedication to the rhino cause is to be highly commended. We regularly initiate workshops and think tanks with these individuals to promote information sharing, lessons learned, best practice and strategic planning.


This group reaches into Southern Africa.

Image2

Getting Involved

Learn More
Image2

Our Partners and Donors

Learn More
Image2

Donate

Learn More