African Parks, in partnership with the Akagera Management Company (AMC), the Rwanda Development Board (RDB) and with the generous support from the Howard G. Buffett Foundation, the Dutch Government and the People’s Postcode Lottery, moved a founder population of 18 Eastern black rhinos to Akagera National Park in Rwanda to repopulate the park. The move marked the historic return of this threatened species to Rwanda. Akagera National Park, at 1,112 km2, is the largest protected wetland in Central Africa and the only protected savannah environment in Rwanda. A population of over 50 Eastern black rhinos once thrived in this park in the late 1970’s, but their numbers declined due to years of wide-scale poaching. The last confirmed sighting of an Eastern black rhino in Akagera was documented in 2007. As the park falls within the historical geographic range of the Eastern black rhino a founder population of this subspecies was selected for reintroduction to Akagera.
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