Ian Player, 87, a South African conservationist credited with bringing the white rhinoceros back from the threat of extinction and who was an early promoter of environmental awareness, including the idea of eco-tourism, died Nov. 30 at his home in the KwaZulu-Natal province of South Africa.
His death was announced by his brother, golfer Gary Player. The cause was a stroke, according to South African news accounts.
Ian Player was a park ranger in his native South Africa early in his career when he developed an attachment to the natural world and the white rhinoceros in particular.
When Mr. Player conducted an airborne survey of his South African game reserve in 1953, he counted 437 white rhinos. Thousands lived in central Africa at the time, but that population has been wiped out.
Mr. Player set about finding ways to increase the rhino's chances of survival. He led efforts to move groups of the animals to other locations, including South Africa's sprawling Kruger National Park, in order to increase the species' long-term chances.