Rhino conservation in a time of crisis

For vulnerable wildlife and communities, a steep drop in tourism means an uncertain future

September 28, 2020
A white rhino walking across savanna grassland
International tourism has been halted by the coronavirus pandemic. [Credit: Treefarm | CC BY-NC 2.0]

The coronavirus pandemic has disrupted economies across the globe. With international travel on hiatus, the toll on tourism has been immense. So where does that leave the communities — and animals — that depend on money from travelers?

In this episode of Distanced, we explore what the drastic drop in tourism in southern Africa means for economies, vulnerable wildlife, and communities dependent on international tourism. We speak with experts to answer the big question: Has poaching increased as local economies suffer? And we look to the future by exploring how the industry plans to cope and how conservation challenges may evolve as the coronavirus pandemic continues.

Combining interviews with experts from several organizations centered on the conservation of vulnerable African animals, this episode paints a vivid picture of the challenges of conservation in a time of crisis. Experts include: Nina Fascione from the International Rhino Foundation; Jon Taylor from Save the Rhino, and Neil Midlane, a Manager at ecotourism company Wilderness Safaris.

This story was reported by Corryn Wetzel and edited and produced by Curtis Segarra.

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