What exactly does “Rhino Notching” mean?
Rhino notches are one of the easiest methods for rangers to use to identify a certain rhino in the wild.
Small notches are made in a unique pattern along the edges of a rhino’s ears so that they can be identified from a distance. This way, rangers on vehicles, or flying overhead in helicopters, can quickly spot and determine one rhino from another.
With the species under extreme threat from poaching, notching helps rangers and conservationists monitor each animal more closely. By recording each rhinos habits and patterns, they are far more likely to pick up when something is amiss.
The piece of ear tissue collected during notching is used as a DNA sample for forensic purposes and is a legal requirement when immobilizing rhino in SA.