EAZA Ex Situ Programme (EEP)

White rhinoceros

(Ceratotherium simum)

 Lars Versteege
Institution:   Safaripark Beekse Bergen

EAZA Member Area

Beekse bergen

IUCN Red List status

IUCN Red List NT


Programme roles

Direct Conservation icon  Insurance
Currently the EEP population is not recommended as an insurance population as there are an individuals in range countries with private holders. However, due to an increase in poaching and the consequential increase in costs of protecting the rhinos, there is a risk that private owners lose incentive and interest. The EAZA population can therefore still function as an insurance population in the future, especially when global management is developed further. To determine the actual value of the EAZA population, genetic research is needed to establish relatedness in situ and ex situ.

 Conservation education
in range countries it remains essential to deliver education on the value of nature as well as consumer behaviour. EAZA Members are encouraged by the TAG and EEP to assist and send educators to specific education/awareness raising projects through the established partner Save the Rhino.
Indirect Conservation icon  Fundraising
The TAG and EEP will help raise funds for projects from established partners (International Rhino Foundation and Save the Rhino or IUCN SGs identified activities) focusing on in situ research, security and capacity building.

Individuals from the EAZA Population should be in the RhODIS (Rhino DNA Index System) database. Profiling rhinoceros horns contributes to determining poaching sources and networks, finetuning identification methods used as well as add to the safety of EAZA population.

 Conservation education
Within the EAZA region visitors are offered information about the effects of poaching and wildlife trafficking. The EAZA white rhinoceros’ population also functions as an example of how a species can come back from the brink of extinction and how zoos and visitors support this in different ways.

The EEP can support requests for support in the form of knowledge or expertise on small population management. These requests should be made through the channels of the IUCN SGs when it concerns private holders

 Research (reproduction)
The EEP can support specific requests for research on assisted. reproduction or hormone assessment to benefit the conservation of other rhinoceros’ species (e.g. Sumatran rhinoceros).

Programme partners

Save the rhino International Rhino Foundation IUCN SSC Rhino group




Programme numbers

In January 2024, the White rhinoceros EEP had 359 animals in 89 institutions.

Programme highlights

  • Save The Rhino has a fact sheet about the white rhino

Best Practice Guidelines