Protecting rhinos from poachers within a 960km² Park is no easy feat. This means that aerial surveillance activities are crucial to supplement ground ranger patrols in order to counter the rising poaching threat.
Save the Rhino helps fund the ongoing running costs of the Bat Hawk aircraft, which is used by Section Ranger Dirk to carry out surveillance flights across Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park. We now need your support to allow the surveillance activities to continue into 2015 to Help a Ranger Save a Rhino.
Watch Dirk take to the skies in the Bat Hawk during a rhino monitoring flight, as he describes the importance of the plane.
The ongoing running of the Bat Hawk is reliant on external funding, and donations are essential to keep the plane in the air to protect rhinos from poachers.
Why is the Bat Hawk so important?
The Bat Hawk plane is an essential component of the anti-poaching strategy; it enables Dirk to get a spatial view of the Park while flying around, and is a strong deterrent to potential poachers. While flying, Dirk is able to communicate with rangers on the ground to aid their foot patrols.
The plane is a small, light aircraft and is very useful because it can fly low and slow. It is ideal for black rhino monitoring, because it can get close enough to take individual photos of the black rhino. It is also used to assist game-capture teams who translocate rhinos to new areas.
Help keep rhinos on the ground and planes off the ground
With the ever-increasing threat of poaching in South Africa, aerial surveillance is a crucial component in the war against rhino poachers. Donations are urgently needed to ensure the ongoing operation of the plane. According to Dirk:
“We need funding for fuel running costs, funding for the maintenance of the plane, and other equipment such as cabinets and safes in the plane hangar.”
*UK donors: Donate £5 by text, simply text HARR14 £5 to 70070 to support our Help a Ranger, Save a Rhino appeal*
Photo credits: Save the Rhino International
£20 could fund fuel
Just £20 could help fund an hour of fuel and running costs for the Bat Hawk aircraft to keep the rangers in the sky providing essential rhino protection.
£110 could buy binoculars
Rangers need these to monitor rhinos, and to spot poachers trespassing in the Park. Replacing damaged binoculars means the rangers can keep watch on the ground and from the air to prevent poaching attacks.
NEW – Christmas gift donations
Send some festive rhino cheer this year and let your recipient know that their gift has helped support our Help a Ranger, Save a Rhino appeal. Visit our website > to find out how you can receive a personalised gift donation card.
Save the Rhino International, Unit 5 Coach House Mews, 217 Long Lane, London, SE1 4PR, United Kingdom
ATCNews : Prof. Dr. Wolfgang H. Thome is the publisher of ATCNews, Eastern Africa’s leading aviation, tourism and conservation news blog of its kind. Wolfgang has over 45 years of experience in the tourism, aviation and conservation fields in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda, covering all aspects of safari operations, hotel operations and air operations. Since 1992 he resides in Uganda, previously living for 17 years in Kenya.