South African Minister of Environment, Barbara Creecy, has proposed increasing the yearly number of black rhinos that can be hunted from five to a maximum of 10 animals. Will hunting rhinos help conserve them or is this a turn for the worst?

At the same time, she proposed allowing international trade in white rhino horn. The decision is open for public comment until the end of September.


The government is hoping that the hunting quota increase, and legalising rhino horn trade will help rhino populations by encouraging breeding by private rhino owners.

Thankfully, a permitting and monitoring system is in place for rhino hunts. Strict conditions for hunting black rhinos stipulate that only older, post-reproductive or ‘problem’ bulls are permitted.

black rhino protect

However, the decision to increase black rhino hunting quotas has sparked debate around whether doubling the quota is going to help protect the species?

Some argue adding a monetary value to rhinos through hunting quotas will encourage conservation efforts. Others say there is no need to issue more hunting permits for the endangered rhino since in past years the smaller five-rhino quota has not been met.


Of all the rhino species, black rhinos have been hit hardest by poaching. But in South Africa, their numbers have increased over the past years. Only 800 black rhinos existed in the country almost thirty years ago. By the end of 2017, there were over 2000. It seems current efforts to preserve this elusive rhino subspecies are paying off. At Rockwood, we focus on conserving the Southern White Rhino.

conserving the Southern White Rhino

This rhino species population has grown in South Africa from less than 50 animals in 1910 to more than 15 000 in 2017. Of that, 45% of both species live on private land. But white rhino populations are still at risk, due to the high demand for rhino horn. To this day, on average, one rhino is killed every eight hours in South Africa.

As a committed conservation facility, Rockwood has taken an aggressive approach to rhino conservation. By keeping abreast with the latest in scientific conservation methods and research, we focus our energy on doing our very best in preserving white rhinos.


On average one rhino is poached every 8 hours in Africa. Which is why we at Rockwood are doing everything we can to save the species from extinction. But looking after over 300 rhinos is no small feat. We need your help.


South Africa Boasts Decline In Rhino Poaching

South Africa’s recently released rhino poaching statistics confirm a drop in the country’s rhino poaching numbers. The numbers reveal a 26% decline from 769 rhinos poached in 2018, to 564 poached in 2019. As the fifth consecutive year to reflect a downward trend in poached rhinos, this is very good news for rhino conservation.

More »
white rhino

Science To Save The White Rhino

In a significant breakthrough for rhino conservation, scientists have successfully created three northern white rhino embryos. With the last remaining male northern white rhino dying in 2018 and only two critically endangered females left in the world, this is a massive step for the subspecies’ survival. Can the white rhino be saved?

More »

Volunteer Your Gap Year To Save The White Rhino

Using your gap year to volunteer for a cause in need is a sure way to find out who you really are. As Mahatma Gandhi said: “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” So, where do you want to lose yourself? With 1 million species now critically endangered, our wildlife needs all the help it can get.

More »

Wildlife Voluntourism Is The Ideal Opportunity

With over-population and climate change threatening almost all forms of life on Earth today, the list for needy causes is endless. Wildlife volunteering helps out conservations more than the eye can see. But how do you choose which one of the many conservation efforts in South Africa needs your time the most?

More »

Become A Philanthropist At Rockwood

Nature is declining globally at previously unimagined rates. One million species are careering toward extinction. How can you help end one of Africa’s most urgent wildlife crises? It doesn’t mean you have to donate financially. One of the best ways to contribute to real change in the world is to volunteer your time.

More »
rhino's face

How Many Rhinos Are Left?

The three rhino subspecies in Asia, two of which, the Javan and Sumatran rhino, are listed as critically endangered. Estimates put their numbers at fewer than a hundred. The world’s last male northern white rhino died on 20 March 2018. His female and daughter are still alive, but no further breeding is now possible.

More »