Rotarian Bev Moffatt had great pleasure in introducing the Guest Speaker Nicholas Duncan of SAVE African Rhino Foundation to the members and friends of the Rotary Club of Attadale last Monday evening. From 1968 To 1971 Nicholas was a Geography teacher at Sheffield in the UK. Between 1971 to 1973 he hitched Africa and Asia and in late 1973 he arrived in Perth. Between 1974 to 2001 Nicholas was the owner of a small direct sales company. In 1987 he read an article saying that Africa's black rhino numbers had decreased from 65,000 in 1972 down to only 3,500 in 1987, a 96% decrease! At the time Nicholas had a massive love of animals and was open to new challenges. Three days later he became co founder of SAVE African Rhino Foundation and has proudly been its President for the last 28 years.
As President of the Foundation Nicholas has orchestrated the raising and donations of over $8Million of equipment, kit and vital supplies into the field to Rhino Conservation. He shared with us his story of about 30 years campaigning to raise funds for rhino conservation initiatives in Zimbabwe.
During this time Nicholas has seen the black rhino numbers increase from 3,500 in 1987 to 5,100 in 2017 to which SAVE African Rhino Foundation has played a large contribution.
Funds are raised in four main ways: memberships, donations, safaris and an annual dinner/auction. The reason for keeping on going for all these years is the clear objective of preserving and conserving a species that has been around for more than 40 million years and hence, can't be allowed to disappear in the future. Nicholas explained the changes needed if poaching is to decrease and the ridiculously high prices paid for rhino horn. At the other end of the overall picture is the need for horn demand reduction campaigns in Vietnam and China.
Nicholas showed us lovely pictures of the rhino but also ones of poached and mutilated rhino laying on the banks of a river at Kruger National Park. More information is available on their website or follow on FB and for a small cost become a member and receive regular newsletters. Nicholas' presentation was extremely interesting, informative and passionate.