Uganda's rhino population has more than doubled in recent years, renewing hope the endangered animal will be able to roam free....
Poached to total extinction 30 years ago, wild rhinos have not been seen in Uganda since 1983.
But Uganda's Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary, which aims to reintroduce rhinos into the wild, is hopeful of remedying the situation.
From an initial core breeding herd of six adult rhinos in 2006, the sanctuary has witnessed nine births and is now home to 15 rhinos. The latest addition, a female calf named Lunar, was born last week....
It would be impossible for South Africa to supply the demand of the Asians markets – 60 000 horns a year for China alone – if it were to legally dispose of its stockpile and harvest the horns of living rhino.
AN East London schoolboy has turned his love of rhinos into a board game to try and save the critically endangered species from extinction.
Inspired by Thandi, the Sunshine Coast rhino who somehow survived after her horn was hacked off by poachers, Riley Devan, 10, created the unique game as a way to raise funds to protect Eastern Cape rhino from poachers.
A grand jury has indicted two Bay Area with illegally selling endangered black rhinoceros horns at a Las Vegas hotel, which used to belong to an elderly man who wanted to get rid of them before moving...
The Kenyan government has formed a special anti-poaching unit to stop the killing of rhinos in Nakuru County, where six rhinos have been killed since the beginning of 2014, Kenya's Daily Nation reported Wednesday (April 9th).
The team is comprised of officers from the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) and various branches of the police, said Nakuru County Commissioner Mohammed Birik.
"We want to deal ruthlessly with the poachers and that is why we have picked the best of our officers from each of the agencies," he said....
PRETORIA - Legalising the rhino horn trade would legitimise criminal activity, according to wildlife experts attending the Risk Assessment of Rhino Horn Trade conference in Pretoria.
The latest statistics show that more than 250 rhino have been poached in South Africa since the beginning of the year.
Experts say legalising the trade would be impossible to control, and could hasten the animal’s demise.
"Effectively what you're doing is legitimising the criminal acts and the criminals will be the same people who are the traders in illegal trade. So it seems, just because you're struggling to enforce a system and you feel that you can't, that to then make it legal," said Environmental Investigation Agency's Mary Rice.
Rhino horn sells for hundreds of thousands of rand on the black market....
Pretoria — South African and Mozambique will next week sign a Memorandum of Understanding in the field of Biodiversity, Conservation and Management, which will help in the fight against rhino poaching.
The MoU, which will be signed by Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs, Edna Molewa, and the Mozambican Minister of Tourism, Carvalho Muária, in Skukuza in the Kruger National Park, follows extensive negotiations, and less than a year since their last bilateral meeting...
We are constantly informed about the reality of rhinoceros poaching cruelty in South Africa. Since the beginning of 2014 alone, about 172 rhinos have been poached with Kruger National Park being the most targeted.
The rhino horn which is made up of keratin, the same minerals and proteins found in our nails, is believed to possess pharmacological properties, is used as an aphrodisiac or is kept just for status. After all the trauma and pain of having their horns hacked and in most cases left to die bleeding, the rhino horns are sold illegally for about R536,119 per kilogram to be used for strange customs.
Suggested solution for the rhino extinction crisis:
Over the years conservationists have marched, hosted campaigns and educated the masses about the danger of rhino poaching that will automatically lead to the extinction of the world’s second largest mammal.
The South African Government’s solution for the rhino poaching crisis is to legalise and regulate rhino horn trade through CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species) which has prohibited international rhino horn trade since 1997. The government hopes that by legalising trade and dehorning, less rhinos will be killed and the market value for rhino horns will decrease....
Wildlife Margrit's insight:
The line up of speakers for this conference is fantastic.
Wish I could be there ... however, look forward to reading the reports.
If rhinos are driven to extinction in the wild, Africa's landscapes and ecosystems would be very different, reports Rachel Nuwer. The activities of this mega-herbivore diversify plant life and create prime grazing spots for other animals.
Wildlife Margrit's insight:
We stand to lose a great deal if we don't win the war against rhino poaching...
"Rhinos too are a 'keystone' species
African rhinos, it turns out, also seem to be a keystone species. According to a recent study published by Scandinavian and South African researchers in the Journal of Ecology, rhinos maintain the diverse African grasslands on which countless other species depend...."
THE arrest of three Chinese men found in possession of rhino horns and the killing of two hand-reared white rhinos on a farm close to Windhoek - in a space of a week - has cast the spotlight on the increase in rhino poaching in Namibia. Marcia Fargnoli, the chief executive officer of the Save the Rhino Trust (SRT) in Namibia, yesterday said there is little doubt rhino poaching is on the rise in the country. “Indeed, illegal hunting of rhinos in Namibia has increased in the past two years,” she said. She added that there “is no reason to believe that international criminal syndicates would target neighbouring countries but not Namibia. Namibia is certainly on the radar of these syndicates.” - See more at: http://www.namibian.com.na/indexx.php?id=11388&page_type=story_detail&category_id=1#sthash.sUXB2wqf.dpuf
Something 50 million years in the making is on track to be wiped out in a matter of a few decades. The rhinoceros — essentially the world’s last dinosaur — is being relentlessly hunted and slaughtered for its horn.
Comprised of keratin, just like your hair and fingernails, rhino horn is worth double its weight in gold at latest estimates. The horn is being used for myriad ‘cures’ in traditional Asian medicine, from arthritis to cancer, despite being illegal and medically useless.
South Africa is home to the world’s largest remaining population of rhinos, but it is also where you’ll find the greatest amount of violence against the animals, with one being killed on average about every nine hours. The white rhino species is the most abundant at 20,000+ animals, but estimates put their tipping point — at which more animals are being killed than are being born in a given year — within the next year or two...
Wildlife Margrit's insight:
According to Gretchen Healey we can all do something to help stop the demand for rhino horn....
"How You Can Help
What’s the ethical traveler to do? First of all, go and see the rhinos. This may sound a bit clinical, but in countries where there is human wildlife conflict or where resources such as land and water are scarce, wildlife is only ‘valuable’ when it brings in some kind of revenue. Tourism is the best source for that revenue. Travelers can also choose to travel with an operator that either donates some of its revenues to reputable charities, or uses camps that promote conservation or research.
Next, stay abreast of what is happening with these animals, and consider regular charitable giving to an organization that supports research, protection and conservation....
Finally, and this is obvious, never ever purchase a product made from endangered species. If you aren’t sure what it’s made from, don’t buy it...."
JOHANNESBURG — A former police officer accused of being a rhino poaching kingpin appeared in the Middelburg Regional Court in Mpumalanga yesterday, the National Prosecuting Authority said. The case against Joseph Nyalunga was postponed to today as the defence had brought an application to transfer the case to another court in the Lowveld, which could possibly be in Nelspruit, spokesperson Nathi Mncube said.
“The court has to wait for the ruling of the regional court president,” he said.
Nyalunga was released on R30 000 bail....
Wildlife Margrit's insight:
Another 'good guy' turned 'bad'... sad!
Released on $3,000 bail? And he is accused of being a kingpin!
THREE Chinese men appeared in the Windhoek Magistrate’s Court yesterday in connection with the discovery of 14 rhino horns in luggage at the Hosea Kutako International Airport on Monday. The three men – Li Xiao Liang (30), Li Zhi Bing (53) and Pu Xu Nin (49) – are charged with counts of possession of controlled wildlife products and export of controlled wildlife products. They remain in police custody after their first court appearance before Magistrate Jermaine Muchali and have to return to court on 2 April.
The three men were arrested on Monday, after members of the Namibian Police’s Aviation Unit at Hosea Kutako International Airport had allegedly discovered 14 rhino horns and a leopard skin in their luggage....
Speech by the Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs, Mrs BEE Molewa, on the donation of R250 million to SANParks by the Howard G Buffet Foundation.
The Chairperson of SANParks Board, Mr Kuseni Dlamini, Dr David Mabunda, the Chief Executive of SANParks, Mr Howard G. Buffett of the Howard G Buffett Foundation, Mr Ben Kruger, CEO of Standard Bank South Africa, Representatives of the Embassy of the United States of America, Members of the SANParks Board, Distinguished guests, Ladies and Gentlemen...