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SOS Rhino : In the News: Press Releases : March 1, 2006
  SOS RHINO PROJECTS GAIN MOMENTUM: GRANTS AWARDED THROUGH EAZA RHINO CAMPAIGN 2005/2006
  March 1, 2006
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Chicago, IL -- SOS RHINO’s Community Outreach Program and Rhino Protection Unit projects are two of thirteen conservation projects selected for support by the European Zoo and Aquarium Association’s (EAZA) Rhino Campaign.

Each year EAZA coordinates a year-long fundraising and awareness campaign focusing on a particular taxa or conservation issue. Rhinos have been chosen as the subject of this campaign that runs through September 2006

With grants from the EAZA Rhino Campaign SOS Rhino will be able to purchase supplies and equipment to support two additional Rhino Protection Units which are urgently needed to complete the protection of the Sumatran rhino population in Tabin Wildlife Reserve. The Sumatran rhino is highly endangered due to poaching and human encroachment within their natural habitat.

SOS Rhino’s (SOSR) Rhino Protection Units (RPUs) directly engage local governments, villagers, local businesses and the oil palm plantations surrounding the Reserve in the effort to protect the forest. By securing the assistance of these stakeholders, the SOSR Protection Units more efficiently monitor and patrol the Reserve and cut off all potential entry or exit points utilized by perpetrators. Our units secure assistance by educating and employing the local villagers in alternative income sources.

SOS Rhino has been operating at Tabin Wildlife Reserve since November 2000 where we have established a Community Outreach Program that focuses on the areas of protection, education, research and awareness to promote sustainable conservation. SOS Rhino assists the Sabah Wildlife and Forestry Departments in preventing encroachment of the Reserve through active RPUs that both patrol the Reserve and secure the borders through outreach to the community.

The area has great potential as an adventure travel tourist destination and SOS Rhino has begun development of tourism through Volunteer Expeditions Program. Volunteer participation is an important component of the Community Outreach Program, as the volunteers help our field staff collect habitat data on Tabin Wildlife Reserve, build field camps, teach English to our field staff and villagers and are involved in local fundraising events.

SOS Rhino plans to create additional facilities. Specifically, the funds will pay for the construction of two more chalets for volunteer and visitor accommodation, bedding, mosquito nets, cooking and eating utensils and equipment, water tanks, generators, boats and boat engines.

For more information on SOS Rhino and how you can help, visit: www.sosrhino.org

For more information on EAZA Rhino Campaign, visit: http://www.rhinocampaign.net