Region: Kunene Region, Namibia
Thanks to the intensive efforts of conservationists, the numbers of black rhino are increasing in many areas of Namibia, and reintroductions of rhino are taking place throughout southern Africa to increase the numbers of the rhino population within its historical range. For example, in 2006, two black rhino were reintroduced in the ±Khoadi //Khoas Conservancy in the area that borders on Torra and //Huab Conservancies. (See Kunene Black Rhino Translocation)
However, since black rhino had become locally extinct in these conservancies, for many years now people had not come into contact with this species. The Kunene Community Perceptions Project therefore seeks to assess local communities’ attitudes and perceptions towards and experiences with the reintroduced black rhino in the ±Khoadi //Khoas Conservancy and the communities living in nearby conservancies (Torra and //Huab Conservancy) bordering on ?Khoadi //Khoas Conservancy. By confronting this issue now, it is hoped that the long-term of this rare and endangered animal will be ensured.
- To study and assess the attitudes and perceptions of the residents of ±Khoadi //Khoas Conservancy towards the reintroduced rhino
- To compare research findings with that of a similar attitudes and perception survey that was conducted in May/June 2004 by Save the Rhino Trust (SRT)
- To identify intervention approaches for identified threats and opportunities with local communities and stakeholders
Methods to be used include questionnaires, where selected households will be interviewed and data recorded, focus group discussions and interviews with key people in the area, such as traditional leaders, conservation workers etc. It is hoped that the resulting research report on the experiences, attitudes and perception of local communities towards reintroduced rhinos will lead to a better understanding of people’s views on rhinos and how that might influence the success of the reintroduction programme.
Awareness raising workshops are also a feasible result arising from the report.