The BDR Project is divided into multiple breeding camps, each about 500ha in size, and housing its own sub-population of rhino. Each camp has a dedicated Camp Master, as well as a Relief Camp Master to cover the period when the Main Camp Master is on leave. The Camp Masters know every rhino in their respective camps intimately, and can identify each rhino from its unique ear notching and habits. It is their duty to observe and report daily on their respective rhino, and they happily walk tens of kilometers in this endeavor.
Each camp is subdivided into 2 sections to allow for rotational grazing to occur. Every spring, just after the first rains of the season, the team close the middle gates and keep the rhinos confined to one section of the camp for approximately 3 months. This allows the grass in the ‘rested’ half of the camp to go to seed. When all the seed has been shed, the gates are reopened, and for the remaining 9 months the rhinos graze in the full expanse of their camp. During the winter months, additional supplementary feed is made available for the rhino, to ensure their nutritional requirements are addressed, and to maintain good health through the dry season. Each camp has several water sources for the rhino, both from natural springs as well as earth-filled dams. Mud baths are provided in all the camps which the rhinos use regularly, especially when it is hot.
The natural vegetation in the camps is continually monitored by employing the services of a qualified and experienced Ecologist who conducts fixed point veld (field) condition assessments annually in each of the camps. These survey results are integrated into the overall BDR Ecological Management Strategy. BDR further provide for the nutritional requirements of their rhino through extensive and ongoing veld improvement projects, and indigenous trees are routinely planted in the camps to help re-establish the natural ecosystem of the land. With the added help of a Nutritionist and a full time Wildlife Veterinarian, BDR keep their rhinos in excellent condition.
BDR is also spear heading valuable research into rhino, working in close conjunction with both national and international research institutes, to learn more about this iconic species, and they share this knowledge to help other rhino populations.