The International Rhino Foundation

Imagine a world where rhinos thrive in the wild.

aka Rhino Foundation   |   Fort Worth, TX   |


To ensure the survival of rhinos through strategic partnerships, targeted protection, and scientifically sound interventions.

Ruling year info


Executive Director

Nina Fascione

Main address

201 Main Street, Suite 2600

Fort Worth, TX 76102 USA

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Formerly known as

International Black Rhino Foundation



NTEE code info

Protection of Endangered Species (D31)

Wildlife Preservation/Protection (D30)

Protection of Endangered Species (D31)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

The International Rhino Foundation strives to ensure that all five imperiled rhino species survive in nature. Each of the species faces different problems. In Africa, black and white rhinos are under severe poaching pressure; in India, while poaching pressure is present, the loss of suitable habitat to rapid conversion by the burgeoning human population is one of the biggest threats. And for Javan and Sumatran rhinos in Indonesia, the species' last stronghold, poaching is a threat but moreso, small population effects such as the inability to meet up with mates because of habitat fragmentation, habitat loss, and lack of political will are the major threats. Javan and Sumatran are easily the most threatened large mammals on Earth - with 63 and fewer than 100 individuals remaining, respectively. The challenges facing rhinos have never been greater. The IRF never shies away from a problem, maintaining a long-term, hard-working presence in some of the most difficult places on Earth.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Zimbabwe Lowveld Rhino Program

The International Rhino Foundation works with our local partner, the Lowveld Rhino Trust (LRT), to protect and increase the population of Critically Endangered black rhinos in Zimbabwe's Lowveld conservancies. These conservancies are home to 90% of Zimbabwe's black rhino population. Protecting this critical rhino population also safeguards numerous other threatened species and creates opportunities for local communities to increase their income through jobs in protected area management, protection and ecotourism.

Population(s) Served

With our local implementing partner, Yayasan Badak Indonesia (YABI), the International Rhino Foundation uses a multi-faceted approach to Sumatran rhino conservation, including protecting rhinos and other mega-fauna and their habitat through our Rhino Protection Units (RPUs), research on the Sumatran rhino and captive breeding of the species at the Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary in WKNP, habitat restoration, and outreach to local communities, including education and alternative income programs.

Population(s) Served

Ujung Kulon National Park (UKNP) is Indonesia’s first UNESCO World Heritage Site, the largest remaining tract of lowland tropical forest on the island of Java, and home to the world’s last surviving population of the Critically Endangered Javan rhino. IRF and our local partner, YABI, run a comprehensive program aimed at monitoring, protecting and ultimately increasing the population of Javan rhinos. YABI operates five terrestrial and two marine Rhino Protection Units in UKNP. There have been no recorded instances of rhino poaching over the past 20 years and the population is slowly increasing. The greatest threat to Javan rhinos is that the entire population exists in a single site, making it susceptible to small population effects and catastrophic events, like disease outbreaks, earthquakes, tsunamis, and volcanic eruptions.

Population(s) Served

IRF’s goal for the greater one-horned conservation program is to reduce rhino poaching and increase the population of vulnerable greater one-horned rhinos in Assam, India. Assam province is home to more than 85% of the world’s population of greater one-horned rhinos. Protecting this critical rhino population also safeguards numerous other threatened species and will create opportunities for local communities to increase their income through jobs in protected area management, protection, and ecotourism. IRF funds greater one-horned rhino translocations through the Indian Rhino Vision 2020 (IRV2020) program, operates an Intelligence and Law Enforcement program to reduce poaching and illegal wildlife trade, and provides security support for national parks with rhino populations.

Population(s) Served

To combat an unprecedented poaching crisis in southern Africa, IRF is raising awareness about the poaching epidemic and providing funding and support for a variety of urgently needed anti-poaching interventions across the region. IRF supports legal training relevant to anti-poaching activities, the introduction of mobile surveillance technology, resource management education, and K9 and aerial support units through partnerships with local organizations.

Population(s) Served

Where we work


Mr. Raoul du Toit, IRF African Rhino Coordinator 2011

Goldman Environmental Prize

#42511 2017

Combined Federal Campaign

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of reintroduced populations

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Greater One-horned Conservation Program

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Number of IUCN Red List species with habitats in areas affected by operations

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Context - describing the issue we work on

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

IRF aims to ensure that the world's five rhino species will survive through conservation and research. IRF protects particularly threatened rhino populations and their habitats in the wild, while also supporting management and applied research that can help improve the chances for rhinos' long-term survival. IRF's current major programs include: (1) Indonesia: 25 Rhino Protection Units patrolling and protecting critically endangered Sumatran rhinos in Way Kambas and Bukit Barisan Selatan National Parks (Sumatran rhino), and Javan rhinos in Ujung Kulon National Parks; co-managing and funding the Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary (a propagation and research center where two calves have been born since 2012), and the Javan Rhino Study and Conservation Area (aimed at expanding the useable habitat in Ujung Kulon National Park); (2) India: Indian Rhino Vision 2020, aimed at increasing the population of greater one-horned rhinos in the Indian State of Assam to 3,000 by 2020; (3) Zimbabwe: Lowveld Rhino Conservation Program focusing on protecting and managing the fourth largest population of black rhino in Africa; (4) Southern Africa: Operation Stop Poaching Now, supporting security and anti-poaching efforts in key areas in southern Africa. IRF also supports scientific research, providing grants for work that is directly applicable to management, propagation, and conservation of rhino species in nature and in breeding centers; (5) providing funding for important scientific research that will improve our ability to manage and understand wild populations of rhino, thus securing their future.

(1) Indonesia: operation of 4-man rhino protection units in Way Kambas (9 teams), Bukit Barisan Selatan (11 teams) and Ujung Kulon (5 teams) National Parks; providing grant funding to rhino organizations in northern Sumatra to operate anti-poaching units in Gunung Leuser National Park; co-managing and funding the only captive breeding center for Sumatran rhinos as part of a meta-population management strategy for the species; public education; training farmers in local communities in sustainable agriculture. (2) India - as a partner in Indian Rhino Vision 2020, we are restoring Indian rhino populations in two parks where they were extirpated during civil conflict in the early 2000s. A population of ~38 rhinos has been re-established in Manas National Park through translocations from other parks. (3) Zimbabwe - Our partner and grantee, the Lowveld Rhino Trust (LRT) provides hands-on rhino protection and management in Save and Bubye Valley Conservancies, and management support in Malilangwe Conservancy. The LRT tracks individual animals to ensure that the rhino population is secure and growing. Activities also include snare or bullet wound treatment, placing tracking transmitters, de-horning to discourage poaching, and ear notching, which allows for individual rhino identification. The LRT also rescues orphans whose mothers have been killed by poachers; calves are hand-reared and returned to the wild.. To decrease poaching pressure, the LRT has created a community incentive program to encourage local communities to actively participate in rhino protection. Communities surrounding the Bubye and Save Valley Conservancies receive benefits linked to the rate of rhino population growth. In 2016, the LRT constructed a pre-fabricated community hall for the Mlelezi community. As part of its “Rhinos for Schools" program, LRT worked with 54 primary schools around Bubye Valley and 91 schools around Save Valley, delivering over175,000 exercise books and 2,500 science textbooks, and hosting talks, film shows, and rhino quiz competitions. (4) OPERATION: Stop Poaching Now. Driven by demand from growing markets in Vietnam and China, the poaching crisis in Africa is growing. Well-equipped, highly-organized, and dangerous poaching networks killed at least 1,160 African rhinos in 2016. Since 2010, IRF has provided grant funding for targeted projects to mitigate rhino poaching in the highest-priority locations in southern Africa. These interventions include equipping and training rangers for rhino protection, equipping reserves with secure digital communication systems, working to strengthen relationships with local communities by hiring community members as guards, and trying to stem demand for rhino horn in consumer countries. (5) Research funding. The IRF regularly puts out a request for proposals for scientific studies to answer key questions to improve our ability to manage wild and captive rhino populations. Since 2007, we have provided ~$700,000 in funds.

The IRF has a 25-year track record of managing and funding critical rhino conservation programs in Africa and Asia. Since 1991, we have protected and conserved rhinos in areas where they are most in need of attention and where
conservation resources will have the greatest impact. We do this by maintaining a hard-working presence in rhino range countries, and by partnering with like-minded organizations to meet our mutual goals. Our small, US-based staff
works hard to make sure that every donation counts, with more than 92 percent of contributions going directly to field programs in 2016. In addition to fiscal responsibility, IRF's core values - hard work, optimism, partnership,
and passion - are at the heart of everything we do. IRF's Board of Directors includes noted rhino experts from around the globe, and its staff is well-respected and serves a leadership role in rhino conservation internationally. The organization's Executive Director is a member of the IUCN African and Asian Rhino Specialist Groups and serves as the IUCN Red List Authority for the latter; IRF's Asian Rhino Coordinator chairs the Asian Rhino Specialist Group and our Indonesia Coordinator is a member; IRF's senior staff in Zimbabwe are key players in the African Rhino Specialist Group and the Southern African Development Community, which includes a leadership role in developing and implementing not only Zimbabwe's National Rhino Strategy but also the SADC Rhino Management Plan.

There has been a myriad of challenges over the past 25 years, and the International Rhino Foundation has a prov track record on two continents. We've established new greater-one horned rhino population in Manas National
Park in India, as well as a new black rhino population in Botswana's Okavango Delta. We saw the demise of the last wild population of Northern white rhino in Garamba National Park in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where despite investments of millions of dollars, we had to pull out when the volatile political situation made it unsafe for our staff to work there. Sadly, the northern
white rhino subspecies is now down to <3 animals, and is functionally extinct. We firmly believe in maximizing options and minimizing future regrets for all rhinos. We need to tackle the challenges using multi-faceted approaches, including basics like 'boots on the ground' protection along with 'high tech' science. There is no easy answer – and, we can never let what transpired with the northern white rhino happen again. We've made tremendous strides in Indonesia, where IRF-funded Rhino Protection Units continue to safeguard the last populations of Sumatran rhino. in 2016, we celebrated the birth of the second calf at the Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary. Beginning in 2007, we began consolidating the US and Sumatran population in Indonesia, which has paid off with the birth of these calves. While two births can't save the species, its two more critically endangered Sumatran rhinos added to the <100 left on Earth. The Javan rhino population appears to have stabilized at around 60 animals. We've created roughly 100 new hectares of rhino-friendly habitat in the Javan Rhino Study and Conservation Area that previously was unusable, and purchased camera traps that allow us to document the use of that area and the rest of the park by Javan rhinos. We now have the best data for this species that has ever been in hand. In Africa, Zimbabwe's Lowveld has moved from holding 4 percent of the country's black rhinos in the early 1980s to holding 90 percent today. In addition to providing long-term core support to the Lowveld Rhino Trust, OPERATION: Stop Poaching Now has distributed more than $750,000 to fund anti-poaching activities in areas holding significant rhino populations in southern Africa since 2011. Every dollar we raise allows us to do more to support the brave men and women on the front lines of the poaching wars. Despite challenges, rhinos are better off in the areas where the IRF works than they would be without our presence. Over our 25 years, one message rings clear. We can't do it alone. Working with like-minded, fiercely-committed people and organizations to meet the challenges can't be overemphasized. As we look ahead, our success will come because of our firm commitment - and that of our partners and donors - to do what it takes, based on sound science and management principles, to ensure these magnificent species endure for future generations.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    Paper surveys, Focus groups or interviews (by phone or in person), Community meetings/Town halls,

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals,

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    The people we serve, Our staff, Our board, Our funders, Our community partners,

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?


The International Rhino Foundation

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The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.


Connect with nonprofit leaders


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Connect with nonprofit leaders


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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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The International Rhino Foundation

Board of directors
as of 03/09/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Mr. John Lukas

Jacksonville Zoo

John Lukas

White Oak Conservation Center

Rick Barongi

Houston Zoo

Lee Bass

El Coyote Ranch

Terri Roth

Cincinnati Zoo

Evan Blumer

OsoMono LTD

Adam Eyres

Fossil Rim Wildlife Center

Michael Fouraker

Fort Worth Zoo

Peter Hall

Hunter Hall Investment Management Limited

Mandi Schook

Disney's Animals, Science and Environment

Cameron Kerr

Taronga Conservation Society Australia

Diane Ledder

Diane A. Ledder Charitable Trust

Olivier Pagan

Zoo Basel

Lewis Greene

Columbus Zoo

Randy Rieches

San Diego Safari Park

April Salter


Rick Schwartz

Nashville Zoo

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 3/9/2022

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.


The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

No data

Gender identity

No data


No data

Sexual orientation

No data


No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 06/30/2021

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.