Rhinoceros in the wild will be extinct by 2020 if poachers continue to hunt them unabated at ever-rising numbers, wildlife experts warned at a recent summit in South Africa.
Benson Okita, senior researcher at the Kenya Wildlife Service, presented the warning at the conference "Risk Assessment of Rhino Horn Trade," held last week in Pretoria.
The number of rhino has fallen dramatically from historical levels, with roughly 27,950 rhinos remaining in the wild — down from 500,000 at the beginning of the 20th century — said Will Travers, chief executive of conservation group Born Free Foundation....
Johannesburg - South Africa risks huge embarrassment on home soil should it approach the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (Cites) in 2016 with a proposal to legalise the international trade in rhino horn.
This is according to Will Travers, of the Born Free Foundation, who said this week that the country was likely to receive very little support from other countries should it submit a proposal to trade in rhino horn at Cites’ 17th Conference of the Parties (COP17), to be held in Durban in 2016....
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...
U.S. undercover investigation nets an alleged rhino horn trafficker with ties to former Medellín drug cartel....
"This is Lu," the email began. "I got the giraffe from you."
That email, say U.S. Justice Department officials, written to a confidential informant regarding a taxidermied giraffe, would initiate an effort earlier this year by Lumsden W. Quan (aka "Lu"), 46, of San Francisco and his boss, Edward N. Levine, 63, of Mill Valley, California, to sell two horns of the endangered black rhinoceros to a federal agent for $55,000. The attempted sale took place at a hotel in Las Vegas on March 19, 2014. Both men were arrested....
Wildlife Margrit's insight:
Rhino horn deal by former drug dealer? In Las Vegas?
If we were still wondering if its the same "bad guys" involved...
And if we in the US think this is only going down in Asia...
When the Patriotic Alliance pointed out last week in my letter to President Jacob Zuma that more young boys, girls, men and women are being shot in coloured communities than the rhino, the response, predictably, from white readers was open outrage.
They shamelessly left messages in the comments sections of online papers openly affirming that the death of one rhino does, in fact, matter more than the deaths of 10 coloured youngsters.
And how dare I say that anything matters more than the conservation of the rhinos?...
Wildlife Margrit's insight:
Again.... it is not either or.
Plus, at the root of both problems lies crime syndicates... so if corruption and the trafficking networks can be curbed... so will the rhino poaching and the gang violence wouldn't you think?
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