Black rhino (Diceros bicornis), North Luangwa National Park, Zambia ©Will Burrard-Lucas
"Black rhinos were once plentiful in Zambia but in the 1970s and 1980s they were poached to extinction. A collaboration between Frankfurt Zoological Society (FZS) and the Zambian Wildlife Authority has now seen them reintroduced to North Luangwa National Park. I spent a couple of weeks working with FZS to track and photograph the rhinos. For this image, I set up a DSLR camera trap using a prototype version of the Camtraptions PIR Motion Sensor that I developed. It was around the time of a new moon so I set up the camera to record the spectacular starry sky. I left the camera in position for about a week in order to capture this shot."
LET'S TALK NUMBERS: Current numbers of black rhino populations are 90% lower than they were three generations ago, and only 5,055 are estimated to still roam the continent.
THREATS: Large-scale poaching for the international rhino horn trade has been the biggest threat to black rhino populations. Unfortunately the political instability of certain countries on the continent has also had a negative role to play in this, as it is easier for poachers to infiltrate areas where law and order has typically broken down. Habitat loss is an additional key factor responsible for the black rhino's demise, whether this be in the form of logging or human settlement.
IUCN RED LIST STATUS: Critically Endangered.
HOW TO HELP: Donate to the Rhino Art Project - a joint project between Project Rhino KZN and the Kingsley Holgate Foundation. This aims to educate children and inspire them to create artwork that will be used as worldwide call-to-action against rhino poaching. You could also help to protect the desert-adapted black rhino in Namibia by donating to Save the Rhino Trust.