BACK FROM THE BRINK
In 1971 there were around 120 black rhinos in the Maasai Mara, but by 1984 this number had dropped drastically to just 18 individuals. When the Mara Conservancy started in 2001 there was only one known rhino left in the Mara Triangle; an aggressive female, very wary of people and vehicles, and very difficult to spot.
The population had been decimated by poachers, but after only a few months of regular patrols and successful arrests, the area became safer and in 2002 a male rhino wandered into the Triangle and mated with the female.
Three successful matings and the addition of other rhinos that have wandered into the Triangle after their own habitats have became less favourable, has meant that our resident population now stands at eight individuals, with sometimes as many as ten rhinos in the Mara Triangle. Unfortunately this is not a reflection of the Maasai Mara population as a whole, which still remains between 35 – 40 individuals.
- Population Dynamics and Future Conservation of a Free-Ranging Black Rhinoceros; M.J. Walpole et al.; 2000
- An Apparent Decline in the Maasai Mara Black Rhino Population; M.J. Walpole & P. Bett; 1999
- Status of the Black Rhinoceros in the Maasai Mara National Reserve; Max Morgan-Davies; 1996
- Factors Affecting the Recovery of the Maasai Mara Rhino Population: Matt Walpole, Geoffrey Karanja, Noah Sitati & Nigel Leader-Williams; 2003
- Feeding and drinking habits of the black rhinoceros in Maasai Mara Game Reserve; J. G. Mukinya; 1977
- Density, Distribution, population structure and social organisation of the black rhinoceros in Maasai Mara Game Reserve; J.G. Mukinya; 1973