New partnership between RCB and WildCRU set to reveal secrets of the Okavango Delta

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Camera trap images provide an unobtrusive glimpse into the secret lives of animals. This can sometimes lead to the discovery of unbelievable animal interactions, where only visual proof would convince us that such an encounter occurred.

These incredible pictures, taken one misty morning, show not one but two leopards, AND a critically endangered black rhino only metres apart. This rare sight of two such iconic species peacefully posing together is a perfect way to celebrate the collaboration between RCB and WildCRU’s Trans-Kalahari Predator Programme (TKPP) from the University of Oxford.

 Can you spot the curious leopard cub on the termite mound in the background?

Can you spot the curious leopard cub on the termite mound in the background?

The TKPP is conducting a three-year Okavango Delta Carnivore Survey, aimed at providing reliable estimates for large carnivore numbers in the Okavango Delta. RCB provided invaluable logistical and ground support for an unprecedented camera trap survey in the region to assist with this goal and help us to monitor the health of the black and white rhino populations in this dynamic wetland.

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TKPP and RCB combined forces on the ground as part of a 10-week survey involving more than 180 cameras covering 1,600 km2 of the Okavango Delta. The cameras recorded over 200,000 images of the wetland's incredible biodiversity. 

The pictures included both black and white rhino, which can be individually identified by their ear notches. This not only allows us to estimate the number of rhinos in the area, but also enables us to assess the health, age and breeding status of the rhinos in the pictures, assisting our monitoring efforts.

This partnership proves that two organisations with common conservation goals can work together to share information, help each other and contribute to shared successes. We look forward to continuing this collaboration in the future, as we all work towards the conservation of the incredible Okavango Delta ecosystem – for both carnivores and rhinos alike.

Learn more about WildCRU's Trans-Kalahari Predator Programme here: www.wildcru.org/research/tkpp Or follow them on www.facebook.com/TKKProgramme/ or www.twitter.com/wildcru_ox

2017 – another great year for rhinos

Dear friends,
2017 has been a year of mixed fortunes for rhinos. Though RCB is achieving more for rhino conservation in Botswana than we ever thought possible, elsewhere the number of rhinos being killed is still alarmingly high.

That’s why RCB’s work in Botswana is more important than ever. For the rhinos’ security, I can’t share the number of young born this year, but we’re proud that Botswana’s rhino numbers are increasing steadily. When other populations are in decline, every precious rhino calf is a cause for celebration – and a vital contribution to the world’s population. 

Read more about our rhino successes in 2017...

Men rewarded for reporting rhinos to RCB

Thanks to the honesty of three men working on a remote cattle outpost, two of Botswanas rare black rhinos are safely back where they belong. Map Ives went to thank them...

This week, Rhino Conservation Botswana’s director Map Ives and Regional Wildlife Officer Tim Blackbeard visited a remote cattle post in Makgadikgadi Pans to personally thank three men for helping to protect two black rhinos.

Help protect rhinos and win a luxury safari, courtesy of Safari Footprints

RCB's friends at Safari Footprints are raising money to translocate a family of rhinos from poaching hotspots in South Africa to safer and more secure environments here in Botswana, where they will be well protected by RCB and the Botswana government.

The cost of moving one rhino is USD $45,000. To help raise the funds, Safari Footprints is raffling two breathtaking luxury safaris valued at USD 50,000 and USD 75,000 respectively.

Find out more...

Black rhino wanderers are safely returned: Part 1

Earlier this month, two black rhinos had to be rescued by RCB when they went ‘walk about’ in a potentially dangerous area...

When the quick-thinking security team at a remote outpost in northeast Botswana call the Department of Wildlife and National Parks (DWNP) to say they have spotted a female black rhino and her large calf, Map Ives, RCB's director, sets about mobilising a team to bring these important animals back to safety – and fast!

RCB gets some hot new wheels!

Here at RCB in Maun, we’re very excited to have taken delivery of our new rhino monitoring vehicles. 

These sturdy trucks are specially adapted to cope with the unique challenges posed by the watery environment of the Okavango Delta – and fulfil their important mission: to keep Botswana’s rhinos safe.

So what makes these vehicles so special? Find out more here...