Rhinos are believed to play an important role as “ecosystem engineers.” Help scientists to understand their impact on the environment to help conserve and manage rhinos in South Africa.

On the black markets in Southeast Asia, rhino horn is reported to be worth more than gold. As a result, widespread poaching has decimated rhino populations around the world, including in South Africa – home to three-quarters of the world’s rhino population. The situation is urgent: if poaching continues at its current rate, it is estimated that rhinos may become extinct within the next 20 years. But what would this mean for the ecosystems they support?

Help researchers to study the impact of rhinos on their environment and how it could be affected by their disappearance. This work will help researchers and policy makers to understand their functional role as an ecosystem service engineer, which may help to better protect these animals. You will also assess the impact of current management approaches to conserve rhinos and reduce risks to their populations. For example, how does de-horning impact rhinos’ behaviour and their relationship to other animals?

Monitor rhino daily either from a game viewer or on foot while observing many other species of South African wildlife – study rhino behaviour, record their positions, feeding habits, and assess their relationship to their environment. Through these activities, you will inform efforts to conserve and manage rhino populations in South Africa.

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Location

Northwest Province, South Africa

Cost

$4895

Includes all accommodation, meals, transfers, insurance and research activities

Duration

12 days

2020 Dates

  • 28 May
  • 22 August
  • 8 October
  • 5 November

Activity Level

Moderate

Lead Scientist

Dawn Scott