With the precipitous decline of black rhinos across Africa in the 1970s, government wildlife agencies and conservation organizations increasingly turned to private landowners, non-profit organizations and indigenous communities to protect the few remaining animals. In Kenya, the number of black rhinos dropped from an estimated 20,000 to fewer than 300 animals, and the only way to prevent their complete extinction was to create high security sanctuaries.
In 1983, David and Delia Craig set aside 5,000 acres of their ranch as the Ngare Sergoi Rhino Sanctuary; Anna Merz, a conservationist and philanthropist, threw in her savings; and together they recruited game-trackers, bush pilots, veterinarians and others to round-up and protect Kenya’s rhinos. For the next few years, they tracked, captured and relocated every remaining wild rhino in northern Kenya to the refuge for breeding and safekeeping. The programme was so successful that within a decade more space was needed, leading the Craigs to dedicate their entire ranch to conservation and form the non-profit Lewa Wildlife Conservancy in 1995.
Today, Lewa employs more than 300 people and encompasses 40,000 acres now owned by the Conservancy, an additional 8,000 acres owned by others and 14,000 acres of national forest. The reserve supports over 400 species of birds and more than 70 different mammals. It’s rhino population has grown steadily, not only restoring local numbers but enabling black rhino reintroduction in regions where they long had been absent. Lewa is also a founding member of the Ol Pejeta Conservancy, a 90,000-acre reserve that protects the largest single population of black rhinos in Kenya and the Northern Rangelands Trust,an umbrella organization that supports community conservation in northern Kenya.
Tio find out more about what this great organization is doing just click on this link…Lewa Wildlife Conservancy