A Texan sings out against rhino trophy hunting. Written and performed by Dave Wilcoxson ...copyright 2014...David is a prolific songwriter and performer with his wife formed the band The Penguins...They pe...
HOEDSPRUIT, SOUTH AFRICA — 2013 was a very bad year for South African rhinos with almost 1,000 animals killed for their horns. That death toll is 50 percent higher than in 2012 - despite a more concerted international fight against poaching and an international trade ban that has been in place for decades.
Final official figures are as yet not in, for 2013. The last numbers released 19 December 2013 stood at 946.A tally of 13 poached rhino (unofficial figure ) starts 2014 off….. Guest Blog by Brian Sandberg : The RHINO MATRIX for 2014 !
A “matrix” is often considered a “space for development”. It derives from the Latin word “mater” meaning mother, and considered to mean something not unlike a womb.
As we kick off 2014, let’s explore some key rhino poaching analytics:
1.SA has an estimated rhino population of around 22 000 – black and white;
2. Average growth in populations measured in a research done a few years ago showed annual growths of just over 6%;
3. Thus, 2014 should see about 1300+ new rhino calves born in the wild;
4. Poaching grew (approximately) by 33% from 2010 to 2011, and by another 50% from 2011 to 2012;
5. This 50% growth was then repeated in the bloody record numbers of almost 1000 brutal deaths in 2013;
6. If this trend continues in 2014, then SA will pass the “tipping point” of negative population growth this year with a projected death toll of 1500, and so begin a downward spiral to the extinction of this iconic species.
Solutions to fight this bloody scourge are multi-pronged, but new research shows that public awareness campaigns on the threats to rhino and possible extinction are not reaching the wider population.
Some very recent facts to substantiate this are:
1. In the final year of high school national examinations for 2013, about 300 000 learners wrote their final matric exams in a subject called Life Sciences;
2. Its syllabus included a section dealing with biodiversity, human and wildlife populations and conflicts, resource partitioning, survivorship, food supplies and rhino poaching;
3. The average national mark for these 300 000 learners in this biodiversity section was a measly 38.3%;
4. Over 100 000 learners who live in provinces that host more than 80% of our nation’s rhinos achieved an average of LESS than 40% in this section’s questions in the 2013 final exams;
5. The Department of Education’s Diagnostic Report highlighted several fault lines in the 2013 exams results and proposed some remedies for teachers going forward, specifically in terms of 2 key problems identifying gaps in the learners knowledge:
a. Most learners did not know the difference between “culling” and “poaching”; and
b. Most learners could NOT explain the consequences of the rhino becoming extinct, such as there being a loss in wider natural biodiversity, etc.
If these young people actually study such information and show an appalling lack of knowledge in examinations, then one can imagine the wider civic ignorance.
Thus, 2014 action plans MUST include far more knowledge building than simply an awareness to “Save the Rhino” and “Stop Poaching”.
This is made even more pressing when one considers another 300 000 matriculants will write Life Sciences this year and yet another 100 000 in rhino-range provinces could get less than 40% when this should NEVER happen.
As part of our anti-extinction RHINO MATRIX for 2014, we MUST focus more on our youth, who are vital conduits to empowering their wider families and communities with better knowledge.
Wildlife Margrit's insight:
Experts don't all agree when we'll reach that tipping point.
That crucial time when rhino deaths exceed births.
When that count down to extinction becomes really real.
Brian Sandberg shares his take on this... and its not good.
NAMIBIAN websites are under threat from hackers disgruntled with government's decision to allow an American safari club to kill rhinos in the country.
The Ministry of Environment and Tourism announced at the end of last year that they had obtained a five-year approval from Cabinet to sell five black rhinos yearly for trophy hunting. Among the targeted websites by an international group called Anonymous is The Namibian newspaper's which has been mistakenly linked to the government.
The group Anonymous has carried out a series of well-publicised stunts where they attacked governments, religious, and multinational companies' websites in the past....
ohannesburg — The number of South African rhinos killed by poachers rose nearly 50 percent this year to almost 1,000.
As of December 19, poachers had killed 946 rhinos in South Africa this year. The South African department of environmental affairs says 668 were killed in 2012. A decade ago, in 2003, only 22 rhinos were poached...
With a network of accomplices in New Jersey, New York and Florida, federal authorities said Zhifei Li, 29, of Shangong, China, played a pivotal role in a lucrative industry.
A Chinese citizen who ran an antique business in his homeland pleaded guilty on Thursday to federal wildlife smuggling charges, admitting he shipped $4.6 million worth of rhinoceros horns and objects made from rhino horns and elephant ivory from the United States to China.
'Those who oppose the legalisation of trade in rhino horn as the panacea for the continent's rhino poaching crisis have long cautioned against the use of simplistic economic modelling as a basis to justify this stance,' Ian Michler, a specialist wilderness guide, writes in the Cape Times. 'Now, in the first of what is likely to be many more convincing critiques, a report that raises considerable doubt over the approaches used by pro-trade economists and consultants has been published,' he notes. 'Compiled by Economists at Large (EcoLarge) and released by the International Fund for Animal Welfare, the report sounds a clear and persuasive warning against pro-trade policies as a way of reducing poaching pressures on rhino,' says Michler. 'After reviewing a selection of literature on wildlife trade in general and the economics of trade in rhino horn in particular, the report highlights the risks involved in legalising the trade,' he explains, noting that it concludes that, 'economic logic does not suggest that a legal trade in rhino horn would necessarily reduce poaching of rhino in Africa. Under certain conditions this may occur, but there is little empirical evidence cited in these papers to suggest that these conditions are currently in place'. 'This report highlights the uncertainty and risk involved with the current economic modelling underpinning the legalisation lobby,' says Michler, concluding that: 'with the extinction of rhino at stake, it is difficult to see how the global regulatory authorities would be able to allow changes to the current no-trade policies'.
The South African government has released a new report documenting a record number of rhinoceros killings last year – evidence of a fast-growing poaching wave that threatens the very existence of an already rapidly disappearing animal.
Opinion: The auction of a permit to hunt an African black rhino for US$350,000 threatens the credibility of anti-wildlife trafficking efforts, says Fiona Gordon. - New Zealand Herald
Wildlife Margrit's insight:
Interesting perspective... "Whether you swig ground-up rhino horn or mount the rhino's entire head on a wall, both represent a show of wealth and status in different cultures. The question is which of these, if any, is more legitimate." Fiona Gordon
The controversial sale draws protests and even death threats.
The opportunity to hunt an endangered African black rhino in Namibia went to the highest bidder over the weekend. Wealthy U.S. and foreign hunters gathered at a Dallas convention center on Saturday, or joined by phone, to participate in the Dallas Safari Club’s auctioning off of a permit to kill a black rhino, something the club has maintained was done in the name of “conservation.”
According to multiple sources, including CNN, the permit sold for $350,000, although the club previously stated the permit could go for as much as $1 million. The hunter who bought the permit during the closed-door event was not named and could be from anywhere in the world.
According to The Associated Press, dozens of protestors showed up outside the convention center on Saturday to protest what became a controversial public sale, one that even involved death threats being sent to members of the Dallas Safari Club after the club announced last year it would be auctioning off a black rhino hunting permit. Saturday’s auction marked the first time a permit of this kind was sold outside of Namibia, which grants five permits a year to hunt a black rhino as part of the African country’s culling measures....
Wildlife Margrit's insight:
Now if the auction winner is truly a conservationist he/she will not follow thru with the hunt and simply donate the $350K to save the rhino.
This weekend the Dallas Safari Club (DSC) plans to auction off the chance to kill one of the world’s last black rhinos—and shockingly, the U.S. government may be okay with it despite the species’ protection under the U.S.
Endangered Species Act. According to DSC, which describes itself as both a pro-conservation and pro-hunting group, the proceeds of the January auction will go toward African conservation efforts, thereby creating a loophole that would allow the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to grant a permit to import the dead animal as a trophy. (See “Rhino Hunt Permit Auction Sets Off Conservation Debate.”)
With around 1,800 black rhinos remaining in Namibia (where the hunt is slated to take place) out of a worldwide population of only 5,055, the announcement has caused more than a few double-takes. Comedian Stephen Colbert nailed it when he ripped into the obvious irony of the “kill it to save it” argument on his show The Colbert Report in October when the scheme was announced....
The Dallas Safari Club says its controversial fundraiser is a conservation effort....
Fewer than 5,000 black rhinos are thought to exist in the wild, and in an effort to preserve the species, the Dallas Safari Club is offering a chance to kill one.
The Texas-based hunting organization is auctioning off a permit to hunt a rhinoceros in Nambia. It's a fundraiser intended to help save the larger population.
The idea may sound counter-intuitive, but Dallas Safari Club executive Ben Carter tells NPR's Jennifer Ludden that raising the funds to support the species is what many scientists and biologists believe is the best way to grow the population of black rhinos....
LILONGWE, Malawi, December 23, 2013 (ENS) - Wire snares and traps set by poachers have cost the Malawian Department of National Parks and Wildlife three of the Critically Endangered Black Rhinoceros that were re-introduced 20 years ago...
Justerini produced six calves during her 20 good years in Liwonde.
However, on July 15, 2013, the rhino monitoring team sighted Justerini in the sanctuary, and when they started to track her they found she was dragging a massive gin trap on her left rear leg. They lost her tracks and even after days of searching she still managed to evade any contact with the monitoring team.
Ironically, on October 15, which is Mothers Day in Malawi, the carcass of this rhino mother was found by a rhino monitoring patrol two kilometres from a waterhole inside Liwonde National Park.
She died from the results of the gin trap snare, a steel spring trap which severed off her foot. The death was most likely from loss of blood or thirst from her inability to get to water – a slow and very painful death estimated to have occurred around the end of July or early August 2013. The trap and her horns were found intact at her final resting place, said Palmer, a passionate wildlife conservationist, in an obituary to Justerini....
A British aristocrat who counted late Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher as a pal and hosted George Bush Sr. at his 17th century manor has thrown his unlikely support behind an illiterate Irish gypsy who admitted selling endangered black rhino horns in Queens.
Lord Vincent Constantine — who resides in a sprawling Cambridgeshire compound named Crosshall Manor — submitted a letter of snobbish endorsement for Michael Slattery Jr., a purported member of a shadow band of Irish gypsy crooks....
There are two ways to remove a rhinoceros’ horn. One is the way poachers do it – by shooting the rhino dead and hacking off its horn at the base. Then, there’s the way conservationists do it, a far more humane but complicated procedure. First, they catch and sedate the rhino. Next, they use a marker to draw a line a few centimeters above the base of the horn – just high enough to miss the delicate blood vessels in the rhino’s snout. Then, they saw off each horn at the line. Finally, they smooth the stumps and rub tar over them to keep them from drying out and cracking.
It may seem crazy to deliberately deprive the rhino of its most iconic feature, which the animal uses to spar with rivals, attract mates and defend its young from predators. But to many experts, this drastic action is crucial to deterring poachers, who kill the animals and sell their valuable horns for use in traditional medicines and crafts in places like China and Yemen. “Dehorning” has been adopted as an anti-poaching strategy in several African countries over the past few decades, but its efficacy is hotly debated....
The controversy surrounding dehorning makes its future uncertain. “I think there’s a limitation to how much you can do just by using a protectionist kind of situation,” Taylor said. This year, nearly 900 rhinos have been poached in South Africa alone, he said. Du Toit added that issues such as limited funding and the difference in poaching rates from country to country make it difficult to say if dehorning will be expanded as an anti-poaching tool. Both Taylor and Du Toit feel that the international community should consider other options, such as conducting economic analyses of the horn trade and taking steps to crack down on the global demand for rhino horns. If successful, such measures could reduce the need for methods like dehorning.
“I think it would be a sad time if people could not see rhinos intact,” Rachlow said. “As important as it may be to dehorn rhinos to keep them alive, it would be a really sad future, a really sad statement on our decisions as humans, if we have to dehorn rhinos in order to have them be able to survive.
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