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Hall-Martin, A.; Knight, M.H., 1994. Conservation and management of black rhinoceros in South African national parks: pp. 11-19, figs. 1-2, tables 1-2

In: Penzhorn, B.L. et al. Proceedings of a symposium on rhinos as game ranch animals. Onderstepoort, Republic of South Africa, 9-10 September 1994: pp. i-iv, 1-242

Location: Africa - Southern Africa - South Africa
Subject: Distribution - Records
Species: Black Rhino

Original text on this topic:
Two black rhino subspecies, the south-western ecotype D. b. bicornis and the southern ecotype D. b. minor, historically occurred in South Africa. (Fig. 1). The former subspecies was exterminated from the country by 1853, only to survive in relatively small isolated populations in Namibia where through the efforts of conservation authorities and non-government organisations the subspecies has been saved. The southern ecotype was similarly shot out throughout most of its range in South Africa, except for in the Hluhluwe-Umfolozi and Mkuzi areas of Zululand, where the work of earlier game authorities, later taken on by the Natal Parks Board, saved these small remaining populations. It is predominantly from these areas that the national parks have received their founder populations of black rhino.
The 16 national parks under the jurisdiction of the NPB cover a total area of about 32 879 km? (Table 1). Six of these parks are presently stocked with black rhinos, with the possibility of another four being made available in the future. These together would amount to ca 20760 km? of potential black rhino conservation land in the national parks system (Table 1) and account for about 80% of the total area available to black rhino in the country, with the Kruger National Park contributing the single largest component (76%).
Following the policy of only introducing each subspecies into their former historical ranges, the national parks are zoned to conserve both of these ecotypes. Kruger and Marakele National Parks are identified within the D. b. minor range, while Augrabies, Vaalbos, Karoo, Addo, Zuurberg, Mountain Zebra, and West Coast National Parks lie in the former range of D. b. bicornis (Fig. 1; Table 1). At present Kruger and Marakele National Parks only account for <25% of the entire D. b. minor population in South Africa, with the majority of animals residing in Natal game reserves. On the other-hand, the entire D. b. bicornis population in the country is restricted to national parks.
The repatriation of D. b. bicornis populations into two arid South African national parks (Augrabies and Vaalbos) in 1985 and 1987, respectively, was the initial phase of a plan by the NPB to repatriate the correct ecotype to its former range in South Africa (Fig. 1 & 2). The urgency of this was boosted by the possible increase in poaching pressure that may come to bear on the Namibian populations as a result of the crash of Zimbabwean rhino populations. Furthermore, with the bulk (95%) of the ca 550 D. b. bicornis in Namibia being restricted to two areas, it was argued that more secure populations, preferably in sanctuaries or small manageable areas, needed to be established outside Namibia yet in the ecotype's former distribution. Further justification for this comes from the fact that no D. b. bicornis are held in captivity and there are no plans to incorporate them into the international captive breeding programme.

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