What's Happening to Africa's Rhino?
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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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50 rhino slain in KZN this year alone

50 rhino slain in KZN this year alone | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it
While it does not boast the largest provincial rhino population in South Africa, KwaZulu-Natal holds special significance for conservation of this species thanks to the dedication of then Natal Parks Board staff in preventing local extinction in the early 1960s.

 

A spate of poaching incidents over recent weeks has seen the province lose 50 rhino to date this year, a fact Mavuso Msimang is sure to be aware of in his task as national rhino issue manager.

 

The former SANParks chief executive, who was Home Affairs director general and chief executive of the Sita (State Information Technology Agency), was called out of retirement six months ago by Water and Environment Affairs Minister Edna Molewa....

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South African Hunters say SA government has failed the Rhino

MEDIA RELEASE by the South African Hunters and Game Conservation Association
DATE: 8 October 2012
For immediate release

 

Conservation body says government has failed SA public and our rhinos

 

The Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) has failed South Africa, its people, and its rhinos miserably, when it missed the 4 October deadline to submit recommendations to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna (Cites)to protect rhinos against further killings by poachers.

 

The South African Hunting and Game Conservation Association (SAHGCA) says the excuses given by Minister of Environmental Affairs Edna Molewa last weekend was just a cover-up for the Government’s and her department’s ineptness to deal decisively with the gruesomeness of rhino poaching and the continued loss of human life. SAHGCA believes that legalising the rhino trade is the only sustainable solution to curb rhino poaching.

 

“We believe the Minister and her department are hiding behind the Rhino Issue Management (RIM) programme, whose report on the rhino dialogue process is expected by the end of October,’ says Dr Herman Els, manager for conservation at SAHGCA.

 

The DEA waited nearly two years before acting seriously on some of the promises made at the Rhino Summit held in October 2010. If they had appointed the highly respected and competent Mr Mavuso Msimang immediately after the 2010 Summit,the RIM programme would have been done and dusted and the Department would have had “well-considered recommendations” to submit to CITES in time for the 2013 deliberations.

 

SAHGCA strongly disagrees with WWF CEO, Mornay du Plessis that the demand for rhino horn by the Vietnamese was more easily ‘terminated withoutresorting to trade’. “Such a statement makes no sense and is highly illogical. If this were true, why are there still syndicates operating in this trade despite all the purported actions of CITES and the anti-trade lobby?” Els asked. The track record, with which Du Plessis associates himself and WWF-SA, shows the killing of more than 800,000 elephant and 63,000 black rhino in sub-Saharan Africa over the past 40years. If this is the record of non-trade, what are these easy steps outside of trade that will stop the killing of these high profile animals? Why didDu Plessis and WWF-SA not fight for the implementation of those solutions to stop the rhino slaughter?

 

SAHGCA supports a statement by Pelham Jones, Chairman of the Private Rhino Owners Association of South Africa, at the recent Rhino Dialogues that the actions of the anti trade lobby were actively aiding and abetting the poaching syndicates. By ensuring there is no legal trade, criminals will continue to exploit and profit by stripping South Africa’snational reserves. Jones said the anti-trade lobby had zero regard for animal welfare or International Conservation.

 

DEA reportedly said it might consider a submission on trade to CITES in 2016.”By then it might be too late to save the rhino. This short-sighted decision comes with a huge price tag.”In its submission on 3 September to Rhino Issue Manager, Mavuso Msimang, the Association said it would cost an additional R7.5 billion in protection of these animals, if the ban on rhino horn trade were not lifted. For how long can South Africans continue to carry the cost burden of protecting rhino for the rest of mankind?” Els asked.

 

“We also stand to lose more than 1300 rhino over the next three years, not to mention the projected loss of more than 260 human lives, due to poachers being shot. It seems DEA has no urgency in managing these projected negative figures. According to calculations by Rowan Martin (an expert in behavioural ecology and conservation at UCT and formerly from the Zimbabwean Wildlife Services), the entire wild population of white rhinoceros could be lost by 2021.The loss, which takes into account the annual increments to the population through breeding and the annual losses from poaching, equals US$ 6 billion (R48 billion).

 

SAHGCA believes that if rhino horn trade were to be legalised soon after March 2013, the financial model would look vastly different. “Calculation with a population simulation model between 2013 and 2020 shows that legal trade would reduce the number of rhinoceroses poached - a situation that would not only ensure the survival of our rhino population, but also that they would survive in substantial numbers (i.e. >20,000 animals). The financial saving to the nation from this single act, is calculated atUS$ 2.3billion (= R18billion). The expected sale of rhino horn between 2013 and 2020 should be added to this calculation and would add an additional >US$ 700million (= R5.6 billion).”

 

Els says there is no longer doubt that government reneges on their responsibility to conserve the nation’s wildlife assets. “In spite of what they want the public to believe, protecting rhinos is not a government priority. How long will this looting of scarce resources continue? “The brutal killing of every single South African rhino for its horn as well as the deaths of poachers rests solely on the conscience of the Minister of Environmental Affairs, her officials, and anti trade activists,” says SAHGCA.

 

”The responsibility of protecting our wildlife has been dumped on civil society.Lions and elephants are also under severe threat from poachers.It is time for the real conservations in government to stand up and start making decisions that benefit South Africa’s wildlife. We can do research on rhino protection mechanisms until the cows come home, but at some point we have to accept the realities,” Els says.

 

THE END

Issued by the South African Hunters and Game Conservation Association (SAHGCA)

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VIDEO: Ilze du Plooy - "Fight as One"

World Rhino Day, 22 September 2012. Help to break the illegal rhino horn trading chain. Entire rhino populations' breeding potential is suffering collateral ...
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Chinese Superstar Champions End to Wildlife Trafficking

Chinese Superstar Champions End to Wildlife Trafficking | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it

Translations availalbe.

http://iipdigital.usembassy.gov/st/english/inbrief/2012/10/20121003137042.html#axzz28TXW8rub ;

 

Former basketball player Yao Ming is using his superstar status to rally public support for saving endangered species.


As an ambassador for WildAid, an international nongovernmental organization dedicated to ending wildlife trafficking, Yao made his first visit to Africa in August to film a documentary on the economic importance of wildlife tourism and how this is threatened by poaching.


In his blog describing his experiences, Yao, a Chinese citizen, noted how rhino populations are being decimated for their horns, which, contrary to folklore, have no medicinal properties.


During his stop in South Africa he wrote: “It’s clear that South Africans feel the same way about their rhinos as we Chinese do about our pandas. They are a source of inspiration and great national pride as we brought them back from what looked like inevitable extinction.”


The United States government has a long-standing commitment to combating illegal trade in threatened and endangered species. In 2005, it created a partnership called the Coalition Against Wildlife Trafficking that includes the World Wildlife Fund, Conservation International, the Wildlife Conservation Society and WildAid. WildAid is headquartered in the United States and has offices in China, India, Canada, Ecuador's Galapagos Islands and England.

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SA Taking it Seriously: Latest Rhino Crisis Update from DEA

THE DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL AFFAIRS UPDATES ON THE WORK OF THE RHINO ISSUE MANAGER AND THE WAY FORWARD

 

04 October 2012

 

The Department of Environmental Affairs wishes to update South Africans on the work of the Rhino Issue Manager appointed by the Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs, Minister Edna Molewa.

 

The Rhino Issue Manager was appointed in May this year with the responsibility of conducting research and convening a series of stakeholder dialogues with all interested parties to facilitate wide-ranging and expert input into policy thinking. In the course of the work of the RIM, a total of 12 stakeholder meetings have been held in Gauteng, Durban and Cape Town, with presentations being conducted in Bloemfontein and Cape Town.

 

Participants in the RIM dialogues included, among others, government departments, national and provincial, state agencies, safety and security agencies,parks authorities, economists, resource economists, and technology suppliers. Virtually all elements of civil society participated in the RIM dialogues including NGO’s, interested individuals, farmers, hunters, local communities, private rhino owners, conservation bodies, scientific and academic communities and social media based organisations (international and local). The media were invited to and attended each of the RIM dialogues and were provided with a dedicated media briefing in August.

 

Over the past five months, the RIM has conducted some 400 one-on-one consultations with the entire spectrum of stakeholders, all of which will be considered and fed into the report of the RIM which is expected to be submitted on the 31st October this year. Minister Molewa would like to express her appreciation to all those who have given of their time to make input into the RIM process to date.

 

The report will reflect and synthesise all expert input, research, interests, viewpoints and opinions expressed during the RIM process and will make a series of recommendations to the Minister with respect to issues ranging from rhino conservation, to security and trade.

 

Once received, the RIM report will be presented to DEA, before being considered by the Minister. The findings and recommendations of the RIM report will be considered entirely at the discretion of the Minister. It is worth noting, however, that the RIM was an initiative of Minister Molewa, and signifies the importance with which the Department of Environmental Affairs and the South African government view rhino conservation and the seriousness with which it is tackling the scourge of rhino poaching.

 

It is worth noting that the government has increased patrols by Protected Area authorities, involved the security cluster in the anti-poaching campaign, including deploying the SANDF in the Kruger National Park, the Hawks have implemented fast-track investigations of anti-rhino/endangered species crimes, the NPA has imposed stiffer sentences without the option of a fine and SARS is on constant lookout for smugglers of CITES-banned species. There has also been seizure of poachers and criminals assets by the Asset Forfeiture Unit.

 

The South African government is determined to win the war against rhino poaching and calls on all South Africans to do their part to assist. Any incidents of rhino poaching or tip-offs that can prevent illegal killings, or lead to arrests can be reported to 0800 205 005.

 

For Media Enquiries

Albi Modise

083 490 2871

Issued by the Department of Environmental Affairs on the 04 October 2012

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Debate on rhino horn trade

Debate on rhino horn trade | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it
Submissions to the Conference on Trade in Endangered Species (Cites) on the thorny question of legalising trade in rhino horn close on Thursday and one local conservation organisation has again warned it’s the only way to save South Africa’s rhino.

 

“A well-managed, international trade in rhino horn is the only sustainable solution to curb rhino poaching,” Dr Herman Els, conservation manager of the SA Hunting and Game Conservation Association said.

 

“As long as armchair conservationists promote continuing bans on national and international rhino horn trade and wildlife agencies complicate any consideration of possible trading, poachers will continue to decimate our rhino population to meet the Asian demand for horn.”

 

Els is adamant the key to the survival of rhino in South Africa and on the African continent must come from Africans “and not international bodies trying to impose imperialistic and often paternalistic solutions”.

 

He has support from provincial conservation agency, Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife.

 

The organisation’s chief executive Dr Bandile Mkhize has long held that properly controlled sale of horn, initially from animals dead of natural causes, would be a powerful weapon in reducing poaching.

While wildlife agencies and NGOs are hesitant to make public the price of a rhino horn, it is estimated to be selling in the region of $45000 (about R380000) per kg.

 

Els believes attempts by national and international NGOs and conservation agencies to change behaviour patterns of poverty stricken populations in countries where unemployment is rife is wrong.

 

WildlifeMargrit:

Since when can "good" business begin to imagine trading fairly with "bad" business?

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Mr Fix-It takes on rhino plight

Mr Fix-It takes on rhino plight | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it

Johannesburg - South Africa’s “Mr Fix-It”, Mavuso Msimang, was enticed out of retirement to decide the fate of the country’s threatened rhino populations. And for him, “it’s not over till the fat lady sings”.

 

For the past five months, as the Department of Environmental Affairs’ rhino conservation issue manager, he has led often-fractured national dialogues that have delved into rhino stockpile management, population management and international engagement.

 

But as more than 400 rhino have been killed this year, it’s his verdict on whether SA should request the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (Cites) to overturn its global ban on rhino horn trade that is, perhaps, most anticipated....

 

“We didn’t want to be stampeded into (the process) … the consultation was serious. If we come to the conclusion that there’s no need to apply for trade then that’s what we’d say....

 

 

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Zimbabwe: School Play to Save the Rhino

A PRIMARY school girl commenting on the plight of the rhino on South African television last week said: "We must conserve the rhino. If we don't, that means the Big Five is dead. Then we have the Big Four? What is that?" The girl was part of a school cast that performed the play "Rhino Wrath" to commemorate the World Rhino Day on September 22....

 

The schoolgirl's words may appear simple but are, as a matter of fact, complex and instructive in some important ways.

 

Firstly, humanity earns a deserved lesson of what will become of the world without the rhino; well, it will evolve into a rhinoless world, a world without the rhino. If illegal killings continue to flourish, as is the case today, the 29 000 rhino herd left worldwide will disappear eternally from the earth's surface, from your zoos and from your game reserves within the next two decades, conservationists say....

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World Rhino Day 2012 Backlash!

World Rhino Day 2012 Backlash! | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it
It’s almost as if the poachers, that includes all involved along the wildlife trafficking and illegal trade routes, are snubbing those protecting the rhino!
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World Rhino Day 2012 Round Up

World Rhino Day 2012 Round Up | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it
On September 22nd, the third annual World Rhino Day was celebrated, with over a dozen countries participating this year.

 

WildlifeMargrit:

A wonderful run down of celebrations and awareness campaigns

Many thanks to all who participated.

Oh my! Even our "The Rhino's Song" video got included.

http://youtu.be/2BHwaMEMXsg

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Giant inflatable rhino recovered in eastern MO

How do you hide a giant, inflatable rhinoceros? Apparently, by letting the air out.

 

A 25-foot, 12-foot-tall inflatable rhino valued at $3,500 was stolen over the weekend from outside a store along Interstate 70 in the eastern Missouri town of St. Peters. KSDK-TV reports ( http://on.ksdk.com/QgNu8h) the big mascot - named Rico - was found Thursday by workers at Lone Wolff Park, not far from the scene of the heist.

 

Rico had been deflated and left on a picnic table, folded up. A hole in one of the legs has been patched up, and the re-inflated rhino is back in place outside Michael's Flooring Outlet.

 

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Four Eastern Cape rhinos killed

Four Eastern Cape rhinos killed | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it
Four rhinos were killed for their horns at the Lalibela game reserve in the Eastern Cape on Wednesday, the private reserve said.

 

JOHANNESBURG - Marketing director Vernon Wait said a 28-year-old cow, an eight-year-old pregnant bull, another eight-year-old bull and a three-year-old male were killed and had their horns removed.

Wait said the rhinos were probably poisoned before their horns were removed.

 

He said the method used by the poachers was "very professional".

"Unlike usual incidents of poaching where the horns are hacked off with pangas or axes, in this case, the horns were "clinically" cut off... very professional."

 

The game reserve's Facebook page reported that there were no visible bullet wounds on any of the rhinos and it was likely that they were poisoned.

 

The Democratic Alliance in the province condemned the killings.

"The DA condemns the massacre of four rhinos at the Lalibela Game Reserve and insists that MEC Mcebisi Jonas takes it as a warning of things to come," said DA spokesman John Cupido.

He said only rhinos from privately owned game reserves had been poached this year in the province.

 

"So far none of the rhinos lost to poaching in the Eastern Cape this year have been on state reserves, but this lucky streak will not last," he said.

 

Cupido said if the Green Scorpions were not improved, there would be astronomical losses in game reserves, as poachers would start targeting state owned reserves too.

 

"The Green Scorpions are staffed with dedicated rangers, but is severely under-equipped... an immediate concern is the unit's lack of vehicles," said Cupido.

 

He said the DA would submit parliamentary questions to the MEC to find out how under-equipped the Green Scorpions were and how the MEC planned to increase security on game reserves.

 

The office of the MEC was not immediately available for comment.

Two weeks ago, the department of environmental affairs said 381 rhinos had been killed in 2012 alone.

 

It said the provinces which were hardest hit by rhino poaching included Limpopo, KwaZulu-Natal and the North West.

 

Police were investigating the poaching incident at the Lalibela game reserve.

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Nine rhino carcasses found in KZN

Nine rhino carcasses found in KZN | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it
Nine rhino carcasses have been found in northern KwaZulu-Natal today. The killings bring to 394 the number of rhino killed in the country since the beginning of the year, 46 of these in KwaZulu-Natal.

 

South Africa is home to the largest rhino population in the world and it's under heavy threat. Eight of the rhinos were found slaughtered in the Hluhluwe/Umfolozi and one at the Isimangaliso Game Parks.

 

All the animals were adults - one leaves behind a one-month-old calf. KwaZulu-Natal Ezemvelo Wildlife’s Bandile Mkhize says: "I’m in a state of shock. Never has it ever happened that eight rhinos are discovered in one weekend. This has been a rude awakening for us."

 

Mkhize adds: "We thought we were on top of this rhino poaching issue but, it looks like the poachers are a step ahead of us. We can never allow that situation to prevail."

 

Ezemvelo has appealed to all South Africans to assist in addressing the poaching problem. A march to raise awareness is planned in northern KwaZulu-Natal next month.

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Horn sounds for war on poachers - Edna Molewa

Horn sounds for war on poachers - Edna Molewa | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it

It won’t be easy, but SA can win the war against rhino poaching. That we are waging a war against rhino poachers is not in doubt.

 

The government has acted decisively to date. We have increased patrols by Protected Area authorities; involved the security cluster in the anti-poaching campaign, including deploying the SANDF in the Kruger National Park; the Hawks have implemented fast-track investigations of anti-rhino/endangered species crimes; the NPA has imposed stiffer sentences without the option of a fine; and Sars is on constant lookout for smugglers of Cites-banned species....

 

With specific reference to national and/or international trade, I would like to emphasise that trade in rhino horn has been banned in accordance with the UN Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (Cites).

 

To permit trade in rhino horn would require not only South African government approval but the affirmative vote of two-thirds of the state parties at the Cites Conference of Parties – the preparation process for such a move would require thoughtful and comprehensive preparation of all the materials and systems that Cites requires in order to consider an application.

 

Ironically perhaps, one cardinal point of agreement across all positions is that the rhino must be saved and conserved. Perversely, even poaching syndicates and consumers of rhino horn agree with this. By definition, an extinct rhino is the last thing consumers want. If this point is implicitly conceded by all, most others are contested. That the species is so highly valued (aesthetically and financially) serves to fuel the intensity of the debate and the hardness of positions.

Regrettably, at times, the rhino conservation debates in SA have become personalised, the attacks ad hominem with the values of dialogue and tolerance for which we are famed being trampled underfoot....

 

http://www.iol.co.za/the-star/horn-sounds-for-war-on-poachers-1.1397470#.UHQdJ03LSUK ;

 

 

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Why I love Africa, Wildlife and Especially the Rhino

Why I love Africa, Wildlife and Especially the Rhino | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it

Shooting endangered and threatened African wildlife, rhino, leopard, Wild Dog, with his camera is Andrew Cairncross’ passion.

 

Many thanks to Andrew for sharing his beautiful images with us for our World Rhino Month campaign.

 

Here is his story...[plus some more of his rhino images]

http://www.nikela.org/blog/why-i-love-africa-wildlife-and-especially-the-rhino ;

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eBook: Capitalism Gone Wrong aka Wildlife Trafficking

eBook: Capitalism Gone Wrong aka Wildlife Trafficking | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it

http://www.nikela.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/Capitalism-Gone-Wrong-aka-Wildlife-Trafficking-Anthony.pdf ;

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SA defers making a decision on trade in rhino horn

SA defers making a decision on trade in rhino horn | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it
South Africa wait for 2016 to make a submission, if it makes one at all, on rhino horn trade to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna...
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Getting in the Way of INTEL: When Those Who Think They Help, Don't | Nikela

Getting in the Way of INTEL: When Those Who Think They Help, Don't | Nikela | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it

Catching the wildlife traffickers, illegal traders to save endangered species, especially rhino, requires skill, finesse, technology and intelligence.

 

Have you ever stopped to think if what you’re posting on the wall of your favourite Rhino Group or commenting on those of others helps or hinders the rhino’s cause? When we jump to conclusions and hammer on our keys in frustration are we doing good or no? Apparently it depends.

 

http://www.nikela.org/blog/getting-in-the-way-of-intel-when-those-who-think-they-help-dont ;

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Call for Suspension of Trade in Rhinos due to non-compliance

SIGN THE PETITION

http://www.causes.com/actions/1688826?recruiter_id=119119736&utm_campaign=invite&utm_medium=wall&utm_source=fb

 

Via Margot Stewart

 

GROSS NON-COMPLIANCE ON THE PART OF SOUTH AFRICA’S CITES MANAGEMENT BRINGS ABOUT A CALL FOR A SUSPENSION OF TRADE ON RHINOS


The authorities in South Africa that have responsibility for the issuing of CITES permits are guilty of committing GROSS errors in the issuing of export permits for rhino. The Dept. of Environmental Affairs has stated that this has been due to ignorance or “lack of training” but according to CITES it is the responsibility of the Management Authority of the exporting State to determine that records are kept accurately.


The population of White Rhinos of South Africa and Swaziland may be traded in live animals to appropriate and acceptable destinations and hunting trophies only. The CITES definition of an APPROPRIATE AND ACCEPTABLE DESTINATION states that mean that “only export, and not re-export, is permitted under its terms;”


AND YET MOST OF THE TIME RHINOS ARE EXPORTED TO ONE COUNTRY AND THEN RE-EXPORTED ON TO A THIRD OR FOURTH COUNTRY ETC. OFTEN OBSCURING THE FINAL DESTINATION.


The Management Authority in South Africa cannot plead ignorance. This matter was discussed at CoP11 at Kenya in April 2000 when the DEFINITION OF THE TERM ‘APPROPRIATE AND ACCEPTABLE DESTINATIONS’ was agreed upon.


http://www.cites.org/eng/cop/11/doc/26.pdf  ;

 

Since then even further irregularities have occurred.


WHY IS SOUTH AFRICA NOT BEING HELD ACCOUNTABLE FOR THIS?


WHO IS TURNING A BLIND EYE TO THESE PRACTICES AND WHY?


DO YOU AGREE THAT A “SUSPENSION OF TRADE” FOR THE WHITE RHINO IS NEEDED?


Please help us to stop these abuses - sign and share this petition and send it to your local CITES representative. (list of national contacts and contact information at http://www.cites.org/cms/index.php/lang-en/component/cp/

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Konica supporting WWF continues rhino poaching fight

Konica Minolta has been supporting the WWF’s efforts against rhino poaching since July 2011, and with the latest cheque for just under R400 000 handed to the conservation organisation last week, the company’s total contribution to the WWF’s anti-poaching initiatives has reached the R1 million mark.


The money is being used to support law enforcement and secure the rhino population while strengthening the capacity of DNA forensic analysis. The money will also go towards the production and distribution of DNA sampling kits, which will be used to build up an African Rhino Database to improve rhino management and traceability.

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Report any and all suspicious behavior!

Report any and all suspicious behavior! | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it

Here are some reporting options


Dept. of Environmental Affairs (DEA): Call toll free 0800 205 005


HAWKS: Email antipoaching@sanparks.org


Anti Poaching Intelligence Group Southern Africa: Call +27822691364 /Email antipoachintelligence@gmail.com


INTERPOL: Email environmentalcrime@interpol.int

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WWF-SA announces its new five-point plan

WWF-SA announces its new five-point plan | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it
WWF-South Africa has announced announced its new national programme to strengthen and support rhino conservation efforts in South Africa.

 

Our planned projects and interventions are based on a new five-point strategic framework to help protect and increase our rhino populations,” says Jo Shaw, WWF-SA’s Rhino Co-ordinator. “Within these five key areas, a range of inter-related activities have been identified with either immediate effects or working towards a long-term solution.”

 

The primary threat to rhino conservation remains the demand for and illegal trade in rhino horn. For this reason, WWF recognises the need to address these issues at their origin. Shaw explains, “Rhino horn has long formed a component of traditional medicine in Asia, where it was historically prescribed to reduce fever. However, since 2008 the surge in the illegal killing of rhinos in South Africa is believed to be linked to changes in demand for rhino horn - this as new uses and markets have emerged, with Vietnam identified as a particular threat.”

 

In an effort to better understand who is buying rhino horn and why, detailed research in Vietnam is one of the organisation’s first priority projects. This information will play a leading role in developing tactics to shift the threat to rhinos from this new demand.

 

“In addition, breaking the illegal trade chain will require cooperation between South Africa and end-user markets such as Vietnam, as well as the transit countries en route. WWF-SA supports the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to enhance high-level law enforcement efforts between these countries and to promote joint operations,” says Shaw.

 

The criminal syndicates involved in the illegal rhino horn trade have become increasingly sophisticated. WWF-SA will provide backing to enhance tools available to those fighting rhino crimes, in particular, to proactively arrest poachers before they commit a wildlife crime, as well as target the so-called “kingpins” further up the illegal trade chain. Shaw adds, “The RhODIS Rhino DNA database has been identified as a key tool in protecting rhinos and the organisation will continue to support its further development.”

 

Rhino conservation plans also need to include local communities living near key rhino populations. It is therefore very important that they are afforded tangible benefits for their safeguarding efforts.

 

WWF-SA is developing new projects which will promote involvement of local communities in rhino conservation.

 

Finally, WWF-SA acknowledges that healthy, resilient rhino populations are the foundation of any successful rhino conservation strategy. The organisation will continue its efforts to help grow black rhino populations and support key donor populations, especially through the WWF Black Rhino Range Expansion Project (BRREP).

“Rhinos have ranged far and wide across Africa and formed a magnificent part of our cultural and natural heritage for thousands of years – we urge all South Africans to play a part in their protection at this pivotal point in their future,” concludes Shaw

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R600K raised as KZN rallies around rhinos

R600K raised as KZN rallies around rhinos | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it
KwaZulu-Natal - Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife chief executive Bandile Mkhize says investigations into the death of nine rhino found at the weekend will conclude on Friday with a final report scheduled for Monday when he will take action. “I will be guided by the report [on what to do next],” he said.

 

By Thursday East Coast Radio had raised more than R600 000 towards ensuring that air patrols over the iMfolozi and Hluhluwe game parks continue for the next three months.

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Another cop held for rhino poaching

Another cop held for rhino poaching | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it

The court ordered that Shakoane be held in police custody in Nelspruit. He will appear next Tuesday for a bail application.

 

ANOTHER police officer has been arrested for alleged involvement in rhino poaching in Mpumalanga.

Constable Thabang Gerald Shakoane’s, 34, arrest was on Tuesday in Kaapmuiden. He is a co-accused of (Big) Joe Nyalungu, a former warrant officer in the police.

Nyalungu allegedly bought rhino horn during a police sting and was soon arrested along with Timothy Ngcobe in Hazyview. It is alleged that Shakoane was also present during the transaction but took a different road and was not caught on that day.

Shakoane appeared briefly in the local Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday. He said he did not want to be held with the co-accused.

The court ordered that he be held in police custody in Nelspruit. He will appear next Tuesday for a bail application.

A Vietnamese woman, Anh Lan Nguyen, was also arrested.
Nyalungu allegedly sold the horns to her. She was released on R50 000 bail.

Nyalungu and his co-accused will appear in court in Middelburg again on October 10.

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NIKELA - The Rhino's Song: September 22 World Rhino Day 2012

Celebrate the RHINO with us this World Rhino Day, September 22, 2012. "The Rhino's Song" with it's beautiful footage of rhino (compliments of South African filmmaker Ryan Davy.

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