The Role of Translocation in Conserving Endangered Species
Since 1987, almost 5,000 kits were born in captivity and over 18000 ferrets were released in wild steppes of North America. Re-introduction efforts began in 1991 and to date; black footed ferrets have been introduced into prairie dog complexes. Significant research on management techniques has enhanced notably recovery efforts.
Since 1998 and for first time, since initiation of Black footed ferret recovery programme, there were more black footed ferrets in wild (approximately 400 adults and juveniles) than there were in captivity.
Current programme direction focuses on identifying and developing more effective and cost efficient breeding and re-introduction techniques and on preserving and managing habitat that can support large widely distributed prairie dog complexes of all prairie dog species.
Southern White Rhinoceros, Ceratotherium simum simum was fairly widespread throughout Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique and South Africa early in 19th century. By the turn of 20th century, they were reduced to two relict populations on Zimbabwe. Mozambique border and in Umfolozi Game Reserve in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.
The former became extinct, leaving small population of 20-25 rhinos in Umfolozi Game Reserve, which proclaimed in 1897, as the only ones left in world. Afforded protection increased numbers of Rhinoceros and population expanded into adjoining Hluhluwe Game Reserve.
By 1960, there were at least 700 animals. Within a year, it was necessary to translocate animals to other reserves within their former range. Natal Parks Board’s “Operation Rhino” was launched over the next 30 years and more than 4,500 white rhinos were moved out of Hluhluwe, Umfolozi Park and other reserves in KwaZulu-Natal. Many were donated to conservation authorities especially in Namibia. South Africa, Zimbabwe, Botswana and Mozambique.
By 2002, numbers of free ranging southern white rhinos in Africa had increased to over 11,500, distributed in 250 populations in 7 countries, of which about 11,000 were in South Africa. Southern White Rhino is now listed as Near Threatened on the IUCN Red List. A quarter of Africa’s southern White Rhino populations are privately owned and it is an important contributor to economic viability of wildlife industry.