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The following is from the NOTES ON THE MANAGEMENT OF RHINOS IN ZIMBABWE, administered by the Ministry of Environment and Tourism Department of National Parks and Wildlife Management of Zimbabwe. April 1997. (Matipano G.S.; Towindo S.S; du Toit F.R; Alibhai S. and Jewell Z.)

MAINTENANCE OF VIABLE RHINO POPULATIONS ON STATE LAND

The continued loss of rhinos in the Zambezi Valley led to the realization that rhinos in the wild could not be protected from poaching with the patrolling manpower available to the Department of National Parks and Wild Life Management (DNPWLM), and the concept of Intensive Protection Zones (IPZs) was therefore developed. Certain areas of state land that had reasonable numbers of rhino were designated as IPZs, where game scout numbers would be increased to the level where effective protection could be given (about 1 man/20 sq km). These manpower levels could only be achieved by transfer of scouts from other areas. Within IPZs, efforts are made to monitor rhinos closely, and radiotracking projects have been undertaken to facilitate this.

Since rhinos outside IPZs could not be afforded adequate protection from poaching, the strategy called for capture of any rhinos on State Land outside IPZs and their translocation into IPZs and areas of private land where adequate protection could be given.

Increased support for antipoaching was given when the Zimbabwean Government launched "Operation Safeguard Heritage" in November 1993, which set up a national antipoaching campaign involving all units of the security forces, as well as DNPWLM. Members of the national army and police are now used to boost DNPWLM patrols whenever possible.

Four IPZs have now been established and contain a total of over 110 of Zimbabwe's black rhinos.

Matusadona National Park is one such IPZ, and armed scouts patrol the Park constantly. They are proud to be able to tell us that rhino poaching is currently not a problem in Matusadona National Park! Thanks, guys, for your great dedication and ongoing efforts!!

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