Kenya launches plan to boost black rhino population

The black rhino is classified as critically endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and listed under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) in Appendix 1, which contains species that are threatened with extinction.

According to the ministry, the number of black rhinos in the country has increased from less than 400 in 1989 to an estimated 966 now, almost halfway to the long-term vision of 2,000 black rhinos by 2037.

Malonza said the plan outlines a number of innovative mechanisms to raise funds for rhino conservation from domestic, regional and international sources as government funding is insufficient.

Malonza revealed that in order to eliminate poaching, the plan will prioritize the use of individual ID-based rhino monitoring to provide early warning of possible missing or poached animals.

Silvia Museiya, principal secretary in the ministry, said the plan will also provide a roadmap for restocking rhino sanctuaries that are below their carrying capacity.

"Such efforts will address the increased rhino mortalities due to territorial fights and suppressed growth rates due to constrained space," she added.