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What's Happening to Africa's Rhino?
So many stories! Here's a quick look at the good, bad, ugly and encouraging RHINO NEWS
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Agencies join forces against rhino poaching

Agencies join forces against rhino poaching | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it
Three KwaZulu-Natal conservation agencies have joined forces in the fight against rhino poaching, KZN Ezemvelo Wildlife says.
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Teresa Bonelli's comment, November 10, 2012 1:57 PM
EL RINOCERONTE DEBE SER SALVADO ,,QUIENES TRAFICAN Y COMERCIAN CON EL CUERNO DE RINOCERONTE DEBEN SER CONSIDERADOS ASESINOS DEL PLANETA VIVO ,,TODOS LOS ANIMALES HAN SIDO PUESTOS POR LA MANO DE DIOS EN SUS HABITATS Y NINGUN HUMANO DEBE IR EN CONTRA DE LA LEY DIVINA ,CARCEL A LOS QUE COMETEN DELITOS CONTRA LAS VIDAS SILVESTRES ,TODOS LOS GOBIERNOS EN EL MUNDO DEBEN FABORECER A LA CONSERVACION ANIMAL..
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Infographic: Rhino Poaching Stats - Oct 2012

Infographic: Rhino Poaching Stats - Oct 2012 | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it

The latest rhino poaching statistics.

A total of 488 rhinos have been lost to illegal killings since the beginning of this year. The total number of arrests in connection with rhino poaching now stands at 214.

The Kruger National Park has lost 296 rhinos to poaching. The provinces hardest hit by rhino poaching include Limpopo, KwaZulu-Natal and the North West, which collectively account for the loss of 158 rhinos.

 

186 of the arrested individuals are at the level of poacher, 10 are receivers and 18 are couriers.

 

Members of the public are urged to report incidents of rhino poaching or any tip-offs that could lead to arrests and prevention of illegal killings to 0800 205 005

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Rhino poaching: Ezemvolo calls for reinforcement

Rhino poaching: Ezemvolo calls for reinforcement | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it

Durban - The KwaZulu-Natal nature conservation services (Ezemvelo) wants to enlist the help of the defence force to put a stop to rhino poaching in the province, Beeld reported on Monday.

 

Spokesman Musa Mntambo said Ezemvelo was caught off-guard earlier this year by a spike in rhino poaching.

 

By the middle of October 2012, 55 rhino had been poached, compared to 34 in 2011 and 38 in 2010.

 

After the Kruger Park's loss of 272 rhinos for the year, KwaZulu-Natal has the highest poaching figures.

 

An internal Ezemvelo inquiry into the discovery of seven rhino carcasses at the Hluhluwe-iMfolozi reserve on September 22, recommended that specialist units be deployed to allow a wider area to be patrolled.

 

Mntambo said Ezemvolo's anti-poaching unit had only 60 members to guard all the reserves in the province, and that around 200 were needed to provide one member per 1000 hectares.

 

A field guide and a member of the anti-poaching unit were fired after the internal inquiry.- Sapa

 

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Police raid home of hunter with links to rhino poaching

Police raid home of hunter with links to rhino poaching | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it

Members of the police’s dog unit raided the luxurious house of controversial professional hunter and game farmer Hugo Ras in Magalieskruin in the early hours of Saturday morning following information received during the week.

 

Police spokesperson Capt Paul Ramaloka yesterday confirmed the raid, but declined to give further details other than that the operation was unrelated to the Hawks’ ongoing investigations into rhino poaching syndicates.

Ras, 37, the former owner of Ras Safaris, was arrested in his plush Magalieskruin house in Pretoria in August last year when several members of the police, the Hawks and SARS took part in a raid.

An illegal firearm and scheduled veterinary drugs were confiscated during the raid.

Ras, who has several previous convictions related to nature conservation transgressions, was subsequently released on R5000 bail.

The police task team found five crates laden with the scheduled veterinary drugs in his house during the raid.

Earlier this year two veterinarians – one of them the world-renowned game veterinarian and former head of the Kruger Park’s game capturing unit, Dr Douw Grobler – were also arrested and charged with Ras of contravening the Medicines and Related Substances Control Act.

Initially, eight men were arrested between August and November last year. Charges against five were withdrawn in April, sparking outrage from animal rights activists.

The group allegedly supplied a rhino poaching syndicate with tranquillisers. The M99 drug, also called etorphine, was used to dart rhinos to enable the removal of their horns.

While the police didn’t want to elaborate on the latest raid on Ras’s property, The New Age has learnt from reliable sources close to the investigation that the material confiscated during the raid will be sent for forensic tests to ascertain any links to another criminal investigation.

Ras is due back in court in Pretoria North on Monday, November 5.

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Rhino Crisis Round Up: Death Toll Soars to 467 in South Africa & More

Rhino Crisis Round Up: Death Toll Soars to 467 in South Africa & More | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it



The massacre of South Africa's rhinos continues at a horrifying pace, with 467 killed this year as of October 22nd, according to the Department of Environmental Affairs.

Gareth Morgan, Shadow Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs, is questioning the decision to withdraw “a dedicated group of police personnel” and a “dedicated helicopter used in anti-poaching operations” from Kruger National Park, where 281 of the 467 rhinos were slaughtered.
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Read more at http://planetsave.com/2012/10/26/rhino-crisis-round-up-death-toll-soars-to-467-in-s-africa-more/#eRKdh0HCJSVoTB4i.99
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Man Tries to Save Rhinos with Toenail Clippings

Man Tries to Save Rhinos with Toenail Clippings | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it
A man who cares about rhinos has begun to mail his toenail clippings to South Africa's Chinese embassy.

 

Feeling that he has exhausted his other options, a South African man who cares about rhinos has begun to mail his toenail clippings to the Chinese Embassy in Pretoria. Mark Wilby's seemingly bizarre decision is perhaps no stranger than the practice that he hopes to call attention to: the killing of rhinos for their horns, which are thought, without scientific basis, to have medicinal value in certain Asian countries.

 

Rhino horns are composed almost entirely of keratin, a protein also found in human hair, fingernails and toenails. Wilby's thinking goes that any reputed health benefits of rhino horns would be available for free to anyone with a nail-chewing habit, or anyone who happened to possess many parcels of toenails....

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Where is the Rhino Money Going?

ASK ENDANGERED WILDLIFE TRUST WHAT THEY HAVE DONE WITH THE
R 844 148.91 RAISED AND PAID OVER BY RHINO FORCE TO DATE ?????

 

In terms of RHINO FORCE 's sponsorship agreement with the ENDANGERED WILDLIFE TRUST, RHINO FORCE are entitled to know how much of, and to what use, The ENDANGERED WILDLIFE TRUST have applied the sum of R 844 148.91, generated by the sales of R30 RHINO FORCE bracelets.

 

RHINO F ORCE has requested such information from the ENDANGERED WILDLIFE TRUST, but it has not been forthcoming.

 

Furthermore, as an interim measure, RHINO FORCE proposed that further amounts raised from the sale of RHINO FORCE bracelets, be paid into The ENDANGERED WILDLIFE TRUST's own attorney's trust account until they (ENDANGERED WILDLIFE TRUST) have responded on the issue of transparency.

 

The ENDANGERED WILDLIFE TRUST accepted this proposal, but to date have not been forthcoming with any information as to where the money goes.

 

We assure all supporters of the RHINO FORCE initiative that all further profits due from the sale of RHINO FORCE bracelets bearing the ENDANGERED WILDLIFE TRUST logo, will be paid into the ENDANGERED WILDLIFE TRUST's attorneys trust account.

 

The supporters of the RHINO FORCE initiative are entitled to demand transparency from the ENDANGERED WILDLIFE TRUST.

 

Should you require further information, please contact RHINO FORCE, at info@rhinoforce.co.za

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Lyn du Plessis's comment, October 25, 2012 8:09 AM
Personally I would prefer that RHINO FORCE open a separate account for monies collected from the sale of the bracelets. Once this problem has been sorted out then they could transfer the amount over!!!
Wildlife Margrit's comment, October 25, 2012 8:11 AM
Sounds good Lyn, maybe you want to suggest this to them
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Briton arrested over German rhino horn theft

German police said Tuesday that a British woman had been arrested in Spain on suspicion of taking part in what police termed an "unbelievably audacious" heist of rhino horns from a museum in Germany.


The 37-year-old, who was not named, was picked up on the Spanish island of Tenerife on a European arrest warrant and later handed over to authorities in Germany where she is now sitting in custody, police said.


She is suspected of being part of a gang that stole rhino horns worth 50,000 euros ($65,000) from a museum in Offenburg in southwestern Germany in February.


While two people distracted staff at the museum, another two climbed on the display case, removed a rhino head from a wall and smashed off the horns with hammers.


Rhinoceros horn is especially prized in Asia where many consider it to have aphrodisiac and disease-fighting properties.


Similar thefts have occurred throughout Europe, with some museums taking the unusual step of replacing their rhino horns with fake ones to deter robberies.


Rhino horns can fetch between 25,000 and 200,000 euros depending on their size.


Two British members of the gang were sentenced to three years and two and a half years in prison respectively, although their lawyers have appealed the sentence.


Another gang member was sentenced to four weeks in a juvenile detention centre for his part in the heist.

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2011 Rhino deaths eclipsed - Who's all behind the poaching?

18 October marked the day we eclipsed our 2011 record for rhino poaching. It also marked the day that Vietnam snubbed an anti-poaching agreement with SA....

 

South Africa is home to 70% of the world’s rhino population (and 90% of Africa’s population), turning it into a slaughterhouse for poachers from around the world. Very poor eyesight makes rhinos easy targets. 333 rhinos were butchered in 2010, 454 in 2011, and over 450 and counting in 2012.

 

Our National Parks have been turned into butchering grounds. Our museums are being robbed. Our zoos have been targeted next… All in search of the precious horn, which sells for as much as cocaine.

 

What drives this horrific industry? Money and sex....

 

Myths associated with rhino horn:
It cures cancer.
It rids you of HIV/ Aids
It frightens away demons.
It helps with impotency and libido...

 

The hunting industry is also rumoured in being involved in rhino poaching, working together with poaching syndicates in giving them access to guns, permits, aircrafts and vehicles...

 

South Africa has tried to combat poaching in various ways, but to little avail. An average of one to three rhinos are still killed daily....

 

http://www.news24.com/MyNews24/Save-our-rhinos-20121022 

 

 

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Record Poaching for Rhinos in South Africa

Record Poaching for Rhinos in South Africa | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it

It’s the kind of record that no conservationist wants to see broken.

On October 16, 2012 South African authorities confirmed that a record 455 rhinos have been lost to poaching this year. The number exceeds the 448 rhinos killed for their horns during all of 2011.

 

Rhino poaching rates have increased rapidly since 2007 as new markets for rhino horn have emerged in Asia, primarily in Vietnam.

 

Rhino horn has recently been falsely touted as a hangover cure and treatment for terminal illnesses according to a report by TRAFFIC, the wildlife trade monitoring network....

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WATCH: Man Skydives Naked To Protect Rhinos

WATCH: Man Skydives Naked To Protect Rhinos | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it
Steven Newman loves rhinos so much that he's willing to skydive in 10-degree weather -- naked -- to save them from poachers.
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USA Today: Rhino slaughter in South Africa hits record numbers

USA Today: Rhino slaughter in South Africa hits record numbers | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it
Officials said the number of rhinos killed in South Africa this year is already more than last year.

 

1:47PM EDT October 17. 2012 - JOHANNESBURG (AP) — South Africa's department of environmental affairs says 455 of the country's endangered rhinoceros have been illegally hunted and killed so far this year.

 

Officials said the number killed this year is already more than the 448 rhinos killed all of last year.

 

Kruger National Park saw the most rhinos killed this year with 272, which is 20 more than were killed there last year, according to South African Press Association.

 

Department spokesman Albi Modise said Tuesday that 207 people had been arrested for illegal trading in rhino horn.

 

South Africa is home to some 20,000 rhinos, more than any other country.

 

Growing Asian demand for rhino horn, a purported remedy for various illnesses, is believed to be behind the poaching spike.

 

WildlifeMargrit:

According to OSCAP and other activists groups the numbers stand at 464!

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Social Responsibility Could Be Key To Deeper Connections With Chinese Consumers

Social Responsibility Could Be Key To Deeper Connections With Chinese Consumers | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it

October 15, 2012 - Jing Daily

As Chinese consumers become more savvy and diverse in their buying power, will there be an opportunity for luxury brands to create a deeper connection through social responsibility? There’s been a question of how brands will evolve and move past the bling stage, and my question is: what happens after they move past the post-bling stage?... http://www.jingdaily.com/social-responsibility-could-be-key-to-creating-deeper-connection-with-chinese-consumers/21502/


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Poachers kill 33 rhinos in two weeks in S. Africa

Poachers kill 33 rhinos in two weeks in S. Africa | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it

JOHANNESBURG — More than 30 rhinos have been killed in South Africa over the past two weeks, taking to 488 the toll of the pachyderms slaughtered this year to satisfy a booming Asian demand for their horns, the government said Tuesday.


"A total of 488 rhinos have been lost to illegal killings since the beginning of this year," said a government statement, up from 455 reported killed on October 16.


The 33 "were killed over the past two weeks," environmental affairs spokesman Albi Modise told AFP.


South Africa, home to the world's largest rhino population -- more than 18,000 white rhino and around 1,600 critically endangered black rhino -- has seen a dizzying spike in the pace of rhino killings.


The animals' distinctive horns are hacked off to be smuggled to the Asian black market where the fingernail-like substance is falsely believed to have powerful healing properties.


The horn is touted as a potent aphrodisiac and even a cure for cancer.


Authorities have so far arrested 214 suspects in connection with the killings.


Last year, a total of 448 rhinos were poached, up from 333 in 2010 and just 13 in 2007


Most of the rhinos are killed in the world-famous Kruger National Park and their horns turn up on the black market in Vietnam, China and other east Asian nations where they are literally worth their weight in gold.

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South Africa rhino poaching hits record high VIDEO

South Africa rhino poaching hits record high VIDEO | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it
More rhinoceros have been killed this year than any year before as Asian demand for horns fuels illicit trade.

 

JOHANNESBURG - Elise Daffue will never forget coming upon the young male rhinoceros dying in agony in the South African bush.

 

The young bull was struggling to breathe as it lay in the tall grass. It had been shot in the head. Maggots swarmed across its bloody snout where poachers had crudely hacked off its horn.

 

The animal's top lip was paralysed; it had tried to chew on grass but couldn't summon the strength.

 

The rescue team determined that the animal had been laying there for a week.

 

"It broke my heart and it broke my soul," said Daffue, the founder of stoprhinopoaching.com, who said that the plight of the animal inspired her to continue her mission. "Seeing that animal and seeing what he's been through and knowing we were helpless to help him. … Not a day goes by when his life doesn't touch my life."...

 

http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2012/10/2012102992814639989.html ;

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Molewa hopeful rhino-poaching agreement will be signed this year

Molewa hopeful rhino-poaching agreement will be signed this year | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it
Memorandum of understanding ‘has long been ready’ in South Africa, and minister hopes it will be signed on a working visit to China and Vietnam next month...
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Rhinos sent to game farmer for protection

Rhinos sent to game farmer for protection | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it

Pretoria - Rhinos belonging to game farmer Dawie Groenewald, one of the people implicated in a ring that allegedly killed rhinos and traded in their horns, will be sent to another game farm for safe keeping pending the finalisation of the criminal trial....

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Anti-poaching think-tank formed - KwaZulu-Natal

Anti-poaching think-tank formed - KwaZulu-Natal | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it
KwaZulu-Natal - Three KwaZulu-Natal conservation agencies have joined forces to develop ideas to fight rhino poaching, KZN Ezemvelo Wildlife said on Friday.

 

“The poaching of our province's rhinos can only be stopped through a collaborative effort,” said Bandile Mkhize, Ezemvelo's chief executive officer.

 

“Our initial emphasis will be on addressing the issues identified through Ezemvelo's internal investigation of the recent poaching incidents at Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Park.”

 

The three agencies are Ezemvelo, the Wildlands Conservation Trust and the African Conservation Trust.

 

Last week, the department of environmental affairs said the number of rhinos killed in South Africa this year so far had reached 455.

 

This was more than the total figure for last year which stood at 448.

Of the 455 killed, 272 rhino were poached in the Kruger National Park.

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South Africa: Rhino Poaching - Why Are the SAPS Personnel Leaving the Kruger Park?

Despite the high incidence of rhino poaching in the Kruger National Park, which was reported this week as having already exceeding 280 rhinos, a dedicated group of police personnel will be withdrawn from the Kruger National Park by the end of October. The DA has been informed by a high ranking source in the SAPS that the decision will be formalised at a meeting of the National Joint Operational and Intelligence Structure (NATJOINTS) today.

 

Apparently top management in the SAPS did not make an application for funds in the adjustment budget, and are now without funding for these specialised anti-poaching operations. The DA is deeply concerned by the proposed redeployment of these police personnel, and calls on the National Police Commissioner Riah Piyega and Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa to urgently intervene to stop the redeployment.

 

The police officers affected by this decision range between eight and twenty in number. They are very experienced in conducting police work in a bush environment, and have been successful in assisting park rangers track and arrest poachers. Most importantly, this group of police officers has a dedicated helicopter used in anti-poaching operations that will also be removed from the Park.

 

One would think that in the R62.5bn budget that Parliament appropriated to the police that there would be funds available for the anti-poaching efforts in Kruger. It makes matters worse that the police, after six months into the financial year, are under spending their budget. If funds for specialised budgeted programmes are a problem then the relevant officials should have applied for a virement in the adjustment budget, which would involve the shifting of funds between identified activities in the budget.

 

Since the beginning of 2010 approximately 700 rhinos have been killed by poachers in the Kruger National Park. The rate of poaching is increasing despite increased enforcement efforts. Yesterday Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan made an extra R80m available for efforts to combat poaching in Kruger. This will among other things pay for the 150 additional rangers and the introduction of improved aerial surveillance technology. As of now 49 of the additional rangers are in the field, a further 50 will complete training in the coming days, and the final 50 will be in the field by the end of the financial year.

 

While some enforcement capabilities are thus improving, it is a blow that the specialised police personnel are being removed.

South Africa's top cops must ensure that the group of police officers deployed in Kruger remain in place at the end of the month. I will be publishing parliamentary questions to the Police Minister next week asking why additional funds were not requested and what steps he is taking to ensure a continued police presence in South Africa's premier conservation area.

 

Gareth Morgan, Shadow Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs

 

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Vietnamese spend $22 million on rhino hunting permits in South Africa

Vietnamese spend $22 million on rhino hunting permits in South Africa | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it

Vietnamese nationals spent up to US$22 million on rhino hunting licenses in South Africa between 2003 and April this year, when the country began refusing rhino hunting permits to all Vietnamese, according to statistics released a meeting in Ninh Binh Province....

 

According to statistics from international organizations, between 2007 and 2009, Vietnamese hunters ranked second, after only the Americans, in terms of the number of rhinos they hunted in South Africa.

 

Between July 2009 and April 2012, there were 185 Vietnamese among 384 foreigners who came to South Africa for rhino hunting.

 

According to wildlife trade monitoring network Traffic, figures from the Convention on International trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) show there were 657 rhino horns legally imported from South Africa into Vietnam as hunting trophies between 2003 and 2010....

 

Vietnamese conservation experts say most of the rhino horns imported into Vietnam were then sold to China or Hong Kong...

 

http://www.thanhniennews.com/index/pages/20121019-vietnamese-spend-$22-million-to-obtain-rhino-hunting-permits-in-south-africa.aspx ;

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Rhino reward of R100 000 in KZN

Rhino reward of R100 000 in KZN | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it
Durban - A R100 000 reward has been offered by Ezemvelo KwaZulu-Natal Wildlife for the capture of the poachers who killed and dehorned a rhino in the iSimangaliso Wetland Park at the weekend.

 

In a statement released on Monday, the park’s chief executive Andrew Zaloumis said the carcass of the rhino was discovered in the Ozabeni section of the park in northern KwaZulu-Natal by a patrol.

 

"Both horns were very crudely removed. We are incensed by the senseless killing of this rhino," he said.

 

Tony Conway, the park’s Ezemvelo KwaZulu-Natal Wildlife co-ordinator, said a R100 000 reward was being offered to anyone who provided information leading to the poachers' arrest and conviction.

 

The latest rhino fatality brings to 57 the number of rhino killed by poachers in KwaZulu-Natal. Nationally, the figure stands at 456 rhino killed since the beginning of the year.

 

This is the sixth rhino poached in the park in the past 24 months.

A rhino was poached in the Western Shores section of iSimangaliso about seven days ago.

 

"Destroying endangered species is an ecological and economic crime. Not only are rhino part of our collective national heritage, [but] the presence of wildlife is a vital resource for the country and region," said Zaloumis.

 

"In a region marked by poverty, tourism and conservation are the biggest employers on which families’ survival and paying school fees depend."

- SAPA

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CONSERVATION E-BOOKS FREE FROM NIKELA WITH H.A.N.D.S.

CONSERVATION E-BOOKS FREE FROM NIKELA WITH H.A.N.D.S. | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it

CONSERVATION E-BOOKS FREE FROM NIKELA WITH H.A.N.D.S.

 

In our first joint venture, H.A.N.D.S. is partnering with Nikela, one of our favorite small NGOs, with South African roots and a passionate conservationist spirit. Nikela's mission is
"Protect Now and Educate for the Future" through special.

 

H.A.N.D.S. - HABITAT ACTION NETWORK DEFENSE & SUPPORT - is a collective of key activists in the field and around the world, collaborating to make a real difference in protecting and promoting habitats, species, and peoples.

 

Nikela brings FREE eBooks and eReports by those who make a difference for endangered and threatened species:

 

People like Chris Mercer, Dr. William Fowlds, Dr. Pieter Kat, Margot Stewart, and others who protect, advocate and make things happen for rhino, lions, primates, birds of prey and other endangered and threatened wildlife in Africa.

 

Some of this information is not found anywhere else and is provided at no cost to you in hopes that it will inspire and motivate you to get involved.

 

http://www.nikela.org/ebooks ;

 

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tanya van zyl's comment, October 22, 2012 2:33 PM
Thanks
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Cornered in Africa, poachers bleed Kaziranga - The Times of India

With stringent anti-poaching measures being taken in South Africa, there is a high demand for rhino horns from Kaziranga in southeast Asian countries, wildlife crime experts said.
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Vietnam snubs SA on key rhino poaching agreement

Vietnam snubs SA on key rhino poaching agreement | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it
Vietnam has failed to sign a law-enforcement and biodiversity agreement with South Africa aimed at curbing escalating levels of rhino poaching.
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Rhino slaughter in South Africa sets savage pace: 455 so far this year

Rhino slaughter in South Africa sets savage pace: 455 so far this year | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it
Poachers have killed 455 rhinos so far this year in South Africa -- more than half in a single national park -- topping last year’s mark of 448, South Africa announced this week.
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