By 1988, Mkomazi was in steep decline. It represented a classic example of degradation. Heavy poaching had wiped out its black rhino and elephant populations. Overgrazing, deliberate burning and illegal hunting had also taken their toll. At one time, it was even feared that the reserve might be de-gazetted and released for subsistence agriculture.
The Tanzanian Government then re-examined the status of Mkomazi Game Reserve, with a view to ensuring the complete rehabilitation of this vast area and the reintroduction of its endangered species, and the reserve was awarded National Priority Project status. The Government invited Tony Fitzjohn to to work with them on a program of habitat restoration and the reintroduction of endangered species. In 1989, the Mkomazi Project was born.
The George Adamson Wildlife Preservation Trusts have been the Tanzanian Government's main partner in this unique and important endeavour. Since 1988, the majority of the resources of the Trusts have been devoted to the project, including infrastructure and rehabilitation of the park, a black rhino captive breeding sanctuary, African (Painted) wild dog captive breeding and release programme, and community development projects including a technical training centre for local young people in a remote area of little employment potential.
The CCG Trust has been proud to be a supporter since 2015 alongside major donors and royal patrons.