Protection

At Rockwood we take an aggressive conservation stance. We do what we must, and what others can’t, to protect the natural environment from exploitation and degradation.

We utilise the latest thermal surveillance, security cameras and mobile camera traps which are monitored 24 hours a day from Rockwood’s Operation Centre. Security stations are manned round the clock by our highly-trained and well-equipped mounted rangers. Our rangers also monitor the health and behaviour of our rhino population.

Deco

Relocation

Relocation and repopulation are important to restoring biodiversity and the continued survival of any species – when considered and executed properly. But without the transfer of necessary skills and resources as well, relocation is often unsuccessful and sometimes disastrous.

Due to expanding agricultural development and rampant poaching rhino numbers are in decline everywhere. Only when poaching and industry have been successfully halted will Rockwood consider a relocation programme to reintroduce species to safe areas.

Repopulation

Our ultimate goal is to see rhino roam free where they once did. This means working in conjunction with organisations and groups to realise our dream of seeing a healthy wild population of rhino safe from human encroachments and illegal slaughter and trade.

Rehabilitation

Currently, Rockwood relies on a nearby partner to nurse young orphaned rhino calves that come to us until they’re able to join our population. In the future Rockwood will have on-site facilities to properly care for future generations of rhino.

Research

We support the free exchange of information and research. Sharing knowledge is the best approach to resolving the complex issues and challenges the environment and biodiversity face.

In collaboration with the University of the Free State, Rockwood is dedicated to identifying specific research projects and opportunities to further rhino species prosperity. Studies include:

GENETIC DIVERSITY
We almost lost rhinos back in the 1800s. Thankfully, the rhino population bounced back. Unfortunately, the relatively small genetic pool has led to a genetic bottleneck in areas causing potential inbreeding and vulnerability to diseases. DNA research and profiling is important to the future of the species.
THE IMPACT OF DEHORNING
While dehorning is the only successful method of deterring poachers, we don’t know the full impact regular dehorning has on the health of the animal. We hope to better understand the impact losing a horn has on the animal.
RHINO MILK NUTRITION
Often, poachers kill mother rhinos in front of their calf leaving them orphaned. Those lucky calves found in time are rescued and hand reared by human handlers. The benefits of rhino milk are not fully known and we’re looking at how to improve the health of these orphans and the species in general.
RHINO HABITAT RESEARCH
This research is crucial to understanding the links between different species which are not always obvious. You might not connect the Black Footed Wild Cat, the smallest species of wild cat in Africa, to the second largest herbivore in Africa. But, we already know rhinos are an umbrella species. They physically change the landscapes and maintain the balance that supports an entire ecosystem. Understanding these connections helps to put need for every species in context.