Science drives everything that we do at the International Rhino Foundation.  For almost 20 years, we have issued  competitive Requests for Research Proposals, applied and basic, that will assist in our ability to manage rhino populations.  The IRF is the only source of research funding devoted exclusively to rhinos. In 2018, 13 scientists and seven student submitted proposals, which were then extensively reviewed by well-respected scientists in the pertinent disciplines.  We are delighted to announce that we awarded $262,326 in rhino research grant awards to ten projects in January. Funding for this research, is largely due to the generosity of Lee and Ramona Bass, as well a generous bequest from the late Mark Hopkins Schell.

The grant awardees are:

  • Research project to investigate the applicability of SigFox low-power wide-area radio frequency networks for rhino monitoring and security, Zimbabwe, Zambia
    Hugo van der Westhuizen, Ed Sayer, Raoul du Toit
  • The development of an integrated ‘real-time’ rhinoceros monitoring and surveillance system in the Munyawana Conservancy, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, 
    Craig Sholto-Douglas, Simon Naylor, Winston Pretorius, Senzo Qwabe, Nicholas Mtshali, Charli De Vos, Richard Steyn
  • Establishing the pharmacokinetic profiles of commonly used non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) in the Black Rhinoceros (Diceros bicornis), Australia
    Benn Bryant, Merran Govendir
  • Impact of dietary phytate supplementation on iron and phosphorus utilization in Black Rhinoceros, USA
    Laura Cersosimo, Kathleen Sullivan
  • Pharmacological management of stress and its pathophysiological consequences during transport of free-ranging rhinoceros, South Africa
    Leith Meyer, Peter Buss, Markus Hofmyer, Emma Hooijberg, Friederike Pohlin
  • Influence of Ex Situ Management on Gut Microbiota of the Southern Black Rhinoceros, USA
    Budhan S. Pukazhenthi, Keith A. Crandall, Timothy Cleland, Yue Li
  • Appraisal of Sumatran Rhino captures and translocations 1984-1994, Spain
    Kees Rookmaaker

 

Four student proposals were also awarded:

  • The behavioural ecology of reproduction and demography in White Rhinoceros (Ceratotherium simum) United Kingdom
    Sarah Scott, Caroline Bettridge, Bradley Cain, Selvino de Kort
  • Assessing the conservation value of Ex Situ Populations of the Critically Endangered Eastern Black Rhino, United Kingdom
    Franziska Elsner-Gearing, Catherine Walton, Susanne Shultz, Mark Pilgrim, Petra Kretzschmar
  • Using conservation physiology to improve the Population Management of Eastern Black Rhinos, United Kingdom
    Nicholas Harvey, Susanne Schultz
  • Pharmacokinetics of Phenylbutazone in Southern White Rhinoceros (Ceratotherium simum simum), USA
    Emma Houck, Katie Delk 

Our thanks to all of the researchers who submitted proposals, and congratulations to the new grantees!