Research in Liwonde
„Rhinos cannot fight back against the force that
is driving them towards extinction. Should we care?”
The critically endangered BR (Diceros bicornis) has been killed in phenomenal numbers since the late 19th century. Its horn has been on the wish list of colonial hunters and in recent decades it has come into the focus of poaching syndicates generating levels of killing and illicit trade never seen before.
The founder of AFRICA Geographic, Peter Borchert said: „There is no ‘silver bullet’ that will save the animals. But we are humbled by the commitment and fortitude of people all over the world – often with vehemently expressed opposing views – who want only one thing: the survival of rhinos in the wild. To all of you: thank you and do not give up. Set aside moral judgements of each other, focus on the facts and the common purpose, and find a sustainable global solution.”
Krisztián Gyöngyi (MSc) is a wildlife ecologist running the Conservation Ecology of Black Rhinoceros PhD Research Project at Malawi’s prime protected area, Liwonde National Park (LNP). He is also the full-time Rhino Monitor of African Parks Malawi, in which role he coordinates the daily monitoring programme for park management. On a daily basis, Krisz works with rhino trackers in order to enhance security and also better understand the ecology of this highly important population. With his wife Orsi, they have been based at J&B Research Station of Mvuu Camp since 2012. Having been involved in African conservation (e.g. in Zimbabwe, South Africa, Uganda and Malawi) as well as in the arenas of tropical ecology and rehabilitation of endangered species (i.e. Peru, Tanzania), Krisz has also established his academic grounding in conservation biology and applied ecology by graduating at highly rated BSc and MSc courses at two UK universities. Serving as the basis for his Master thesis, Krisz had conducted a habitat capacity study on the black rhino in Majete Wildlife Reserve in 2011. By having elevated the project on the Liwonde rhino to the level of a full-blown PhD study, Krisz will continue instigating the importance of evidence-based, applied research in black rhino management. Key results will feed into rhino sanctuary management measures in LNP and inform the National Black Rhino Strategy of Malawi. These efforts aim at building a healthy and genetically viable black rhino stock in LNP, augmenting the overall rhino population of Malawi and furthering regional meta-population objectives (e.g. WWF Black Rhino Range Expansion Programme) in the long term.
You can read more about the conservation status of black rhino here:
© Krisztián Gyöngyi I
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