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HomeNewsConservation and anti-poaching efforts intensify in the war on rhino poaching

Conservation and anti-poaching efforts intensify in the war on rhino poaching

Conservation and anti-poaching efforts intensify in the war on rhino poaching

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Cape Town – Rhino poaching continues to be a major concern in South Africa this World Rhino Day, which is celebrated today with awareness being drawn to the threatened species, the dangers it faces and ongoing conservation efforts being implemented to save the species.

Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment (DFFE) spokesperson Albi Modise said: “Over the last year, conservation and anti-poaching efforts have intensified countrywide as a joint effort is made by collaborative initiatives of state-owned conservation areas, government and private landowners to reduce the poaching of rhino in South Africa.

“More targeted deployment of resources is being implemented by the roll-out of the more situational awareness platform into the integrated wildlife zones.”

He said the aim was to strengthen their capability, not only at a tactical level to prevent and combat poaching, but also their ability to disrupt the activities along the value chain with a focus on integrated, intelligence-led investigations, inclusive of the financial aspects.

In August, Environment Minister Barbara Creecy revealed that more than 250 rhinos were poached in the first six months of the year. This was considerably more than those poached in the same period in the previous year, as the demand for rhino horn remained a constant threat to the country’s rhino populations as crime syndicates continued to operate within country borders.

“Recent trends in rhino poaching show a move away from the Kruger Park to private reserves and KwaZulu-Natal, where the majority of rhinos have been killed this year,” Creecy said.

Kruger National Park spokesperson Ike Phaahla said the current threats to the species remained mainly poaching, and to a lesser extent, disease and natural mortality.

“In Kruger we are busy with the current census, but last year we did not experience great loss and the birth rate had not increased after the devastation suffered between 2008 to 2017. The losses are still high, but the Kruger National Park has stabilised with intensive security measures that we have invested in and now poachers are targeting other provinces,” Phaahla said.

Shamwari Private Game Reserve CEO Joe Cloete believes that saving Africa’s rhinos requires a multidimensional strategy, with private game reserves and national parks co-operating and anti-poaching efforts working in tandem with education campaigns.

This was done in Kruger; however, he believes that this approach needs to be further developed and expanded for its roll-out to other regions.

kristin.engel@inl.co.za

Cape Argus

Original Article

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