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Emslie, R.H., 2000. Sandwith's rhino identification training course for field rangers revised by the Africa Rhino Specialist Group. Pachyderm 29: 57

Location: Africa - Southern Africa - South Africa
Subject: Ecology - Census Methods
Species: Black Rhino

Original text on this topic:
A revised training course has been produced by Keryn Adcock and Richard Emslie. In revising the course, they consulted users of the original Sandwith ID training course and experts in adult environmental education and training methods to give feedback and suggest how the original course could be improved. The results are as follows:
* AFRSG should extensively revise the posters, manuals and videos.
* The training exercises should be made as participatory as possible.
* The terrain model should be scrapped.
The people who participated in the exercise recommended to the trainers how best to present the course. They suggested that the revised version be expanded to include information on the white rhino and the revised recommended rhino age-classification system. The standardized condition-scoring system was described in issue no. 26 of Pachyderm. The course has been made easier for trainers to conduct and for students to understand.
The African Rhino Specialist Group produced 25 revised training course sets, 23 of which have been distributed to the field in Kenya, Namibia, South Africa and Tanzania. Responses from the field to the revised course have been very positive.
The ID training course can lead to more game scouts and field rangers being able to collect quality ID data, which can be used to assess rhino population sizes, health and performance. With these data, betterinformed metapopulation management decisions can be made. Such a course also plays a major role in standardizing rhino monitoring (for example, age classes, condition scoring), making it possible to compare results across countries and parks, for the benefit of rhinos.
With the exception of the video presentations, the course can be conducted under a tree in the bush. Once trained, observers need only a pencil, field date recording forms and a pair of binoculars to work. The technology being used is appropriate, given declining budgets for conservation in the field in Africa.

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