Thank You for This Opportunity!

The Black Mambas Anti-Poaching Unit is poised for greatness. The all-women team have created a unique model that needs to be expanded elsewhere. Hugely successful in both their peaceful protection operations and engaging education programmes, they are ready to expand, but first they need proof! With your help, we are now able to assist them by documenting and summarizing their positive influence and create an informed case study to leverage the potential of the Black Mambas across Africa. 

During a fundraising campaign that just ended today, the awesome supporters of Helping Rhinos generously made this research and evaluation project possible! Social scientists from Helping Rhinos and our collaborators are now able to assist them by documenting and summarizing their positive influence socially in their communities, in shifting perceptions of poaching, by improving education among the children in their communities, and in documenting the anti-poaching successes. These data will be used to create an informed case study to leverage the potential of the Black Mambas to create new teams across Africa.

Challenge

In the last 40 years, populations of rhino have declined by a staggering 90%. South Africa, home to approximately 80% of the world's remaining wild rhinos with around 20,000 rhino in total, is at the center of the rhino crisis. Black rhino, in particular, are of concern as there most of the remaining are in South Africa and predominantly in the Greater Kruger Landscape, which includes the Balule Nature Reserve and the surrounding communities in which the Black Mamba Program works.

The Solution of the Black Mambas

The Black Mambas Anti-Poaching Unit have reduced overall poaching, snaring, and poisoning activities of all large mammal species by 93% since their founding 3 years ago by daily patrolling dozens of kilometers of roads in Balule. They have been able to significantly slow rhino poaching by over 50% since their founding. The Black Mambas also create pro-rhino behavioral change in their communities and empower girls and women as conservationists and community influencers.

Long-Term Impact

Our research and evaluation program, one that we will start in January with collaborators from Rhino Mercy as well as a private social science consultant and researchers from a local university in South Africa, will quantify Black Mamba Program impact for the first time, identify the essential components for replication, create a case study that should allow the program to spread, and begin exploring sites for possible Program expansion. We have had interest to this end in South Africa, nearby Zimbabwe and Botswana, and from our current collaborators in Kenya. We estimate that each new site we help create will directly benefit at least 200 people, and another 1000 indirectly.

We have had interest to this end in South Africa, nearby Zimbabwe and Botswana, and from our current collaborators in Kenya however, possible sites and land managers want data on the actual impact of the Black Mamba program. We estimate that each new site we facilitate through this project will directly benefit at least 200 people, and another 1000 indirectly.

So, thanks again to all of you for making this amazing opportunity possible! In addition to dealing with the day to day challenges of countering rhino poaching, with this project, we are investing in large-scale change which will continue to exert its positive influence for many years!