Covid-19 Support Rhino Rangers, Namibia
2020 - Rhino Rangers Namibia - Donation of US$ 20,000

The collective efforts to protect Africa’s last truly wild population of black rhino in Namibia paid off. There was no rhino lost to poaching in 2019.

We have now gone 30 months (26 August 2017 - 25 February 2020) with ZERO poaching which is fantastic news. We are proud to support the Rhino Rangers and the Rhino Pride Campaing again in 2020 by donating US$ 15,000. We were able to transfer an additional US$ 5,000 in July 2020 as part of our Covid-19 support program. We would like to thank everyone who participated in our fundraising campaign!

Conservancy Rhino Ranger Incentive Program Overview
In 2011, in the face of an escalating poaching threat, local community leaders and game guards saw the need to improve their capacity to protect the rhino on their lands and better fulfill their obligations as ‘Rhino Custodians’. A small group of dedicated field conservationists together with support from the Ministry of Environment and Tourism formed an informal working group that sought to provide targeted support to these Communal Rhino Custodians. The first initiative was to design and implement a programme to strengthen and expand the capacity for Communal Rhino Custodians to monitor the rhino on their lands.

The program was called Rhino Ranger Incentive Programme.

This program utilizes specialists from dedicated field based organizations, namely Save the Rhino Trust, Integrated Rural Development and Nature Conservation, Namibia Nature Foundation and Minnesota Zoo, to train a new generation of “rhino rangers”, highly talented groups of local people, chosen by and accountable to their communities to conduct rhino monitoring and, more recently, lead rhino tracking tourism activities and provide local outreach. The program provides an enhanced training curriculum, state of the art rhino monitoring and field patrol equipment, performance based cash bonuses and non monetary awards that enable and incentivize rhino ranger teams to complete quality patrols. Once rhino ranger teams acquire the basic skills needed to effectively monitor the rhino on their land and pending necessary approvals, training in rhino tourism will help guide the development of community led rhino tourism activities that would improve rhino security by generating the critical finances needed to sustain rhino monitoring and enhancing the value that people place on keeping rhino alive.

At the heart of this approach is the belief that a future for Africa’s wild rhino will only be secured when poaching is simply not tolerated by the local people, when rhino become more valuable alive than dead, and where innovative solutions grown from the grassroots are supported through authentic partnerships between Local Communities, Government , NGOs and Private Sector.

We deeply thank our main donors & partners, who’s gifts directly support the Conservancy Rhino Rangers: USAID, US INL, Houston Zoo, North Carolina Zoo, Minnesota Zoo Foundation, Great Plains Zoo, Phoenix Zoo, SwissAfrican Foundation, Conservation Travel Foundation, Nature Friend Safaris, Christian Dietrich Foundation, Nakara and Namdeb.
More success stories related to this project
2021 - Rhino Rangers Namibia - donation of USD 15,000

2020 was like no other. While the drought in Namibia continued unabated, COVID-19 also struck, as we all know, causing a global collapse in tourism and at the same time a significant loss of funding for conservation. Nevertheless, 2020 was also the year when Namibia’s Rhino Rangers really rose to the challenge, excelled and set another record patrol year.
2019 - Rhino Rangers Namibia - Donation of US$ 15,000

The collective efforts to protect Africa’s last truly wild population of black rhino in Namibia paid off. Overall, 2018 can be seen as yet another milestone year with the most important achievement - for the first time since the poaching began in 2012 – a full 12 months with ZERO poaching!
2018 - Rhino Rangers Namibia - Donation US$ 15,000

This amount is equivalent to the annual salary of Boas Hambo, the Ranger Field Coordinator of the Save the Rhino Trust.
2017 - Save the Rhino Trust with new vehicle - Donation of US$ 10,000

The SwissAfrican Foundation joined forces with the Wilderness Trust to cover the cost of a new vehicle for the Save the Rhino Trust in Namibia.
Our partner
Jeff Muntifering - Save the Rhino Trust
Our local partner is the Save the Rhino Trust (SRT). This organisation has been working to protect rhinos in north-western Namibia for over thirty years, and it is largely thanks to their dedication that stocks have stabilised and recovered. The Save the Rhino Trust works closely with local communities, the Ministry of Environment (MET) and other non-governmental organisations (NGOs). Approximately 75% of SRT’s efforts are allocated to field patrolling and monitoring. Everything depends on this work: without accurate information about the rhino population’s performance trends, SRT cannot make decisions about regional tourism, Ecological Carrying Capacity, make recommendations to MET about the target animals to be translocated etc. Monitoring the rhinos continues to be the prime activity. Its long existence reflects an exceptional relationship of mutual trust between its partners, a highly successful commitment to the rhino, and a deep-rooted understanding of sustainable tourism in the region for the benefit of the animal world.

The organisation’s most important task is to monitor and observe the rhino. This scientific work offers essential insight into the rhino's way of life and forms the basis for the sustainable development of tourism and inclusion of the local community.

Born and raised in Minnesota (USA), Dr. Jeff Muntifering has spent the last 15 years of his professional career designing and delivering applied research, training and community-based programs to advance conservation practice while living and working out of remote field stations around the world. Currently, his time is primarily spent between Namibia and China where his work with local communities, government and private sector tourism takes a multi-disciplinary approach to improve conservation efforts for two critically endangered species, the Black Rhino and Przewalski’s Horse.

In Namibia, Jeff has worked with Save the Rhino Trust, a highly respected local Namibian organization, since 2003. His applied research on rhino biology, ecology, eco-tourism and incentive-based, community-led approaches to rhino conservation over the past 15 years has helped inform a variety of innovative management policies including community-based monitoring programs, eco-tourism protocols and re-introduction strategies. He also co-founded and currently coordinates the Conservancy Rhino Ranger Incentive Program, a highly successful community-based rhino conservation program that has been showcased in multiple global case studies. Jeff has also spent significant time in China since 2001 where he works closely with the State Forestry Administration and Beijing Forestry University on high profile projects including South China tiger and Przewalski’s horse recovery efforts. Here he hopes to utilize his Namibia experience to advance science-based management, community-based monitoring and eco-tourism approaches in a Chinese context.

He has also conducted field research in Alaska, Canada, Minnesota, Ecuador, Honduras and South Africa primarily targeting large carnivore conservation and restoration. He has published more than a dozen scientific articles, book chapters, and has provided numerous presentations to both academic and general audiences.

He lives and works primarily out of a remote field camp in north-west Namibia known as World’s End with his wife Basilia and their 2 children.
CV Dr. Jeff Muntifering