SA rhino poaching figures steadily decline

The Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries has released the number of rhinos poached in the period January 1, 2019 – June 31, 2019. Rhino poaching in South Africa has continued to decline. This year has seen a decrease of 68 rhino poaching incidents in comparison to the same time last year.

Image source: Unsplash

Rhino poaching has continued to decline which is in part due to the implementation of the Integrated Strategic Management of Rhinoceros Approach and the dedication of the men and women working day and night at grass roots level to save the species.

During the period of January to June 2019, the number of rhino poached countrywide was 318. This was a decrease compared to the same period in 2018, where 386 rhino were killed for their horns.

A total of 190 rhino have been poached in the Kruger National Park (KNP) for the period January to June 2019 despite the 1 202 incursions and poacher activities recorded in the Park in the first six months of this year.

Image: Department of Environmental Affairs

Despite success in driving down poaching in South Africa in recent years, rhino populations cannot keep pace with current poaching rates, and some are now in decline.

Organised crime groups are exploiting rural, economically marginalised communities, neighbouring rhino reserves – particularly those in Mozambique – and are undermining efforts at good governance and democracy, stimulating corruption and introducing other forms of serious crime in these areas.

As a result of this and as part of the implementation of the Rhino Conservation Lab, the Department continues to invest in partnerships with rural communities adjacent to National Parks.

In March 2019, for example, a soccer tournament was held with 450 learners from 24 schools in Phalaborwa. These learners are now empowered to promote rhino protection within their communities as part of the Rhino Ambassadors programme, which aims to raise awareness about rhino conservation.

Picture: Unsplash

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