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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Is Tanzania doing it right? Electric fence and armed guards

Is Tanzania doing it right? Electric fence and armed guards | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it
Rhino poaching has seen a resurgence in recent years due to an increase of demand for their horns in Asian markets. But all across Africa, local community members are working to create sanctuaries and lessen the risk of extinction.

 

If it weren't for a few dedicated communities in isolated locales -- like the Mkomazi Game Reserve in Tanzania, not far from the Indian Ocean -- one of Africa's most unique assets could be at risk of disappearing forever.

 

Mkomazi covers more than 1,200 square miles in northeastern Tanzania. Within those borders is a 21-square-mile enclosure, circled by electric fences and guarded by armed Tanzanians.

 

And inside that fence are 15 rhinoceroses, with more on the way if all goes according to plan.

 

Tony Fitzjohn, who runs the sanctuary along with his wife, Lucy, is in charge of maintaining population growth and protecting these animals from the poachers that have been increasingly aggressive in recent years.

 

"Do whatever you can, whatever it takes, whatever it costs," Fitzjohn said to the Telegraph. "Otherwise we lose another species, and it happens to be a fairly big one, and a fairly old one... You have your flagship species for a reason. Take the elephants and the rhinos out of the eco system and you'll be left with a few billion gazelles running round -- and suddenly this huge great wonder of the world will be destroyed in front of us."....

 

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Rhino Queem's comment, September 13, 2012 11:13 AM
If it works, it works. And it may come down to that on a wide scale. Not that it is ideal...
Wildlife Margrit's comment, September 13, 2012 7:29 PM
Agreed! Not ideal Rhino Queem, but may be a solution to keep the poachers out and the wildlife safe.
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Rhino Horn Poaching Fuelled by 'Respectable' Speculators Betting on Species Extinction

Rhino Horn Poaching Fuelled by 'Respectable' Speculators Betting on Species Extinction | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it
Future of rhino in balance with illegal poaching booming as syndicates 'speculate on animal's demise by stockpiling horn'.

 

What is fuelling demand in China and Vietnam are powerful beliefs in the healing properties of rhino horn with no basis in medical fact, according to the Environmental Intelligence Agency (EIA).

 

Consumers believe powdered rhino horn boosts sexual performance, can cure cancer and can be used as a versatile cure-all for sick children where more conventional treatments have failed

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Its soaring value is turning it into a trade commodity in its own right. A report by Traffic, the wildlife trade monitoring network, even found rhino horn being used as a deposit for a luxury car....

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Accessing the Rhino Issue as an Independent Filmmaker – Reina-Marie Loader

Accessing the Rhino Issue as an Independent Filmmaker – Reina-Marie Loader | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it

As an independent filmmaker, I have so far found it close to impossible to be granted access to key locations and personalities. I judge this largely to be a result of the fact that rhino poaching has become such a sensitive and embarrassing issue for the South African government. Access is more readily granted to the ‘big guns’ like UNTV who produced a short video in the Kruger National Park in association with CITES specifically for the 2012 Rio +20 Conference. But this did not and does not necessarily provide answers....

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Big blow for KZN poachers as 10 Chiefs support SMS campaign

Big blow for KZN poachers as 10 Chiefs support SMS campaign | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it

KwaZulu-Natal - The fight against rhino poaching has been given a boost after the 10 chiefs (amakhosi) living around the Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park in northern KwaZulu-Natal – where dozens of rhinos have been killed in recent years – committed themselves and their communities to ending the slaughter.

 

The commitment of the chiefs, which goes hand-in-hand with a billboard and SMS campaign as well as an awareness programme, is being hailed as “unprecedented” as it gets the 120 000 people living around the park actively involved in fighting poaching.

 

It comes after Dr Bandile Mkhize, CEO of Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife, recently held a meeting with the 10 chiefs at the park’s Centenary Centre where they agreed to support a fresh campaign to end poaching.

 

“I am overwhelmed by this incredible show of unity from our traditional leaders. Really, to see such enthusiasm humbles me, especially their huge concern at this ongoing poaching of our rhinos,” Mkhize said.

 

“To those who care to listen, we are all going to do everything within our power to crack down on these people who think they can invade our protected areas and destroy our natural heritage.”...

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Watch now: Is Ecotourism the Key to Conservation in Africa? | Global Voices | PBS Video

Watch Milking the Rhino on WORLD - September 9, 2012 (check local listings)...
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Rhino Under "House Arrest"!

Rhino Under "House Arrest"! | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it

This is what its come to!

Rhino in the Ol Pejeta Conservancy under 24 hour armed guard protection.

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Two jailed for rhino head theft

Two jailed for rhino head theft | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it
Two men are jailed after admitting stealing a rhinoceros head from a Surrey museum.

 

Jamie Channon, 34, of Melba Gardens and Tony Moore, 30, of Ottowa Road, both in Tilbury, Essex pleaded guilty to conspiracy to burgle.

 

The pair were identified after the theft from Haslemere Educational Museum in May 2011 featured on BBC1's Crimewatch last September.

 

Channon was jailed for three years and Moore for two at Guildford Crown Court.

 

The men forced an entry into the museum, setting the alarms off, in the burglary in May 2011...

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Sleuthing for endangered black rhinos

Sleuthing for endangered black rhinos | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it

Cape Town - Black rhinos once ranged as far north as Sudan and as far south as Cape Agulhas. According to Clive Walker in his excellent book The Rhino Keepers, at the turn of the 19th century there “were probably several hundred thousand living throughout their range”.

 

But then colonial hunters arrived and shot most of them. More recently, increasing demand for rhino horn as traditional medicine in China and Vietnam has wrought tragedy on rhino species everywhere.

 

Today, there are fewer than 5 000 black rhinos in the African wild. More than 95 percent of these are conserved in just four African countries: SA, Namibia, Zimbabwe and Kenya. One of their last strongholds is in the dense thickets of the Eastern Cape interior (precise location deliberately undisclosed)....

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London wine tasting raises money for World Rhino Day

London wine tasting raises money for World Rhino Day | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it
Join Save the Rhino at the Rhino Wine Tasting in London on Saturday 22 September.
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VIDEO/PHOTOS: Yao Ming's wild, heartbreaking African adventure

VIDEO/PHOTOS: Yao Ming's wild, heartbreaking African adventure | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it
Former NBA star is working with WildAid to shed light on the poaching crisis impacting elephant and rhino populations.
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Under Secretary Hormats on U.S. Efforts to Combat Illegal Wildlife Trafficking

U.S. Under Secretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy, and the Environment Robert D. Hormats discusses the U.S.
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Hookers, Vietnamese gangsters blamed for boom in poached rhino

Conservationists place the blame for the spike in rhino poaching squarely at the feet of Vietnamese gangsters.

 

TAIPEI, Taiwan, and HANOI, Vietnam — What's a Vietnamese gangster to do when the last indigenous rhino has been shot?

 

With no more product to fuel a lucrative rhino-horn market — driven by cash-rich partygoers, who mix it with booze, and terminal cancer patients banking on a miracle cure — they'd have to venture further afield.

 

First stop, according to UK-based wildlife monitor TRAFFIC, is South Africa, where they'd encounter rhinos on state-licensed safaris.

 

When South African authorities became suspicious of a surge in Vietnamese ‘pseudo-hunters,’ gangsters changed gears by sending other Asian nationalities — including Thai hookers — to get the job done.

 

“When regulations limited the number of hunters, one of the gangs started using sex workers for additional names to put on permits.

 

But of course they didn’t know how to shoot, so there were cases when the professionals taking them out would actually do the shooting for them,” TRAFFIC spokesman Richard Thomas told GlobalPost....

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184 aasvoëls vrek by net 1 vergiftigte dier

184 aasvoëls vrek by net 1 vergiftigte dier | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it

Wildstropers in Zimbabwe het minstens 184 aasvoëls op een slag vergiftig in ’n poging om hul spoor te verbloem.

 

Poachers resorting to poisoning vultures so they don't lead rangers and others to dead carcasses of rhino and elephant!

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KWS | Suspects on rhino horn, ammo charges out on Sh0.5 million bond each

KWS | Suspects on rhino horn, ammo charges out on Sh0.5 million bond each | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it
Six suspects charged for being in possession of a 7.5 kilogram rhino horn and 21 rounds of ammunitions have been released on a cash bail of Sh0.5 million each by a Nakuru court on Friday (September 7, 2012).
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Mark Knopfler Pleads For Saving the Rhino

Mark Knopfler Pleads For Saving the Rhino | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it

Mark Knopfler, whose new album Privateering was recently released in the U.K., is involved in the saving of African rhinoceros whose horns have become a highly prized item on the black market. The poaching of these majestic animals have made their number dwindle to a crisis level in Africa because of the horn's use in Chinese medicine and for knife handles.

 

Knopfler posted an impassioned plea on his website Saturday asking for help in saving the rhino.

 

Read more: http://www.vintagevinylnews.com/2012/09/mark-knopfler-pleads-for-saving-rhino.html#ixzz26AXLEwEF ;

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VIDEO: Education and Bongi's Quest making a difference for rhino

A little boy from East London shows us the power of education. Want change? BE THE CHANGE! Bongi's Quest is an educational drive to educate our next generati...
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Weak Trade Data Shows China's Deepening Slowdown

Weak Trade Data Shows China's Deepening Slowdown | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it
Weak Chinese trade data on Monday underlined a deepening economic slowdown ahead of a sensitive upcoming leadership transition.

 

WildlifeMargrit:

Could this be good news for the rhino?

If the growth of the new wealthy slows down, will less 25-45 year old males and other stats seekers buy rhino horn?

 

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"Got your Rhino insurance?"

"With a 100% increase in the number of rhinos killed between March 2011 and March 2012, this is a very serious and deeply concerning issue."

 

"Without concerted, high level and even radical intervention to stop the poaching, South Africa's estimated 18 000 white rhino and 2500 black rhino will be extinct in a few short years, only to be seen in museums and books," says Bill Moyes of Aon South Africa's Commercial unit.

 

As far as ONE and Aon are concerned, there is only one place for a rhino horn, and that's attached to the rhino roaming our reserves and savannahs.

 

"We believe that a comprehensive insurance product for owners of rhino covering the animal for the risks posed by sedation during the actual procedure, as well as afterwards in the unfortunate event that the animal is still poached, is a worthy incentive to protect their hefty investment."

 

"The insurance cover for poaching is only available if the horn treatment and chipping is complete, and the DNA samples registered on the national database of rhino."

 

"This is crucial in aiding the legal community in securing prosecutions in cases where poached horns are recovered by being able to trace exactly which animal the horn belonged to."

 

"The microchips also serve as a means of identification. By law, any rhino that is immobilised for whatever reason now has to be micro-chipped," explains Peter Darroll, ONE.

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Rhino Crisis: Death Toll Soars to 373 in South Africa

Rhino Crisis: Death Toll Soars to 373 in South Africa | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it
At least 373 rhinos have been killed for their horns in South Africa during the first eight months of 2012, according to the country's Department of Environmental Affairs.

Of the total, 229 were massacred in the famed Kruger National Park.
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Are investors driving the illegal wildlife trade?

Are investors driving the illegal wildlife trade? | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it

A new survey of the illegal trade in wildlife across Asia has contradicted some commonly held beliefs. The survey was conducted by a consortium of wildlife and conservation NGO’s and media companies in preparation for a marketing campaign to reduce the trade.

 

The belief that the trade in endangered species is being kept alive by older tradionalist in Asia seems to be incorrect as the survey discovered that the younger generation is driving the increasing trade.

 

The most prolific purchasers of animal products are wealthy urban males aged between 25 and 45. These young men are not buying rhino horn, for example, as cures for cancer or fertility boosts but as status sysmbols and investments.

 

In China, for instance, it’s not the rural traditional heads of families that purchase endangered animals and parts for use in traditional or cultural practices. The most prolific purchasers of animal products are wealthy urban males aged between 25 and 45. These young men are not buying rhino horn, for example, as cures for cancer or fertility boosts but as status sysmbols and investments.

Consumer profiles collected during the survey across 15 Asian countries indicated that the quest for prestige and higher status is driving much of the current slaughter of elephants, tigers, pangolins, bears, and rhinos. Government interest in the issue in most countries remains very low, outside small and under-funded environmental agencies

The survey was released as a working party from the coalition met in Hanoi, Viet Nam. Non-governmental organizations from China, Vietnam, Thailand, and India gathered there with advertising and media specialists to share survey information relating to illegal consumption of rare and endangered species, such as tigers, elephants, rhinos, pangolins, and bears.

 

The coalition agreed to coordinate educational efforts based on their shared surveys, with joint campaigns being designed in several countries. The Governments of Vietnam, China, Thailand and the USA are currently being courted as partners, while business leaders, celebrities and other opinion leaders who sincerely care about the issue are also being actively recruited.

Participating in the regional “Working Group on Demand Reduction” were: Education Nature for Vietnam (ENV), Conservation International-China, IFAW-China, WildAid-China, FREELAND-Thailand and India, Wildlife Alliance-Cambodia, JWT Advertising Firm, and AsiaWorks Television. Each organization brings certain strengths to the coalition, including connections to governments, celebrities, and marketing capacity.

 

The Working Group gathering was sponsored by the United States Agency for International Development “ARREST” Program (Asia’s Regional Response to Endangered Species Trafficking), which is coordinated by FREELAND.

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Customs seizes smuggled rhino horns

Customs seizes smuggled rhino horns | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it
Customs authorities in the Philippines seized a shipment of six rhinoceros horns Friday, authorities said, adding to growing concerns over the country's ports being used for illegal wildlife trafficking.
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Personal Blog: Yao's Journey to Africa

Personal Blog: Yao's Journey to Africa | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it

From my trip 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.

 

For South Africa, it’s also an important source of tourism revenue, which is now under threat.

 

Unfortunately, a very small number of people in Asia are still buying rhino horn, either as speculation or for what they may believe is a medicine or a tonic. The horns are made of keratin, the same type of protein that makes up our hair and fingernails.

 

Legitimate traditional medicine in China ended rhino horn use in 1993...

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Rhino crisis: SA, Vietnam to sign agreement

Rhino crisis: SA, Vietnam to sign agreement | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it

Cape Town - South Africa and Vietnam will sign a long-awaited agreement on biodiversity issues – including measures to reduce rhino poaching – during an international meeting in Hyderabad, India, next month.

 

Vietnam has been named the biggest driver of the rhino poaching epidemic and SA government officials have met their Vietnamese counterparts “numerous” times to compile the agreement.

 

Last August, Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa said the need to co-operate with Vietnam and Mozambique was a priority for countering poaching.

 

This week, her department announced that a “memorandum of understanding on co-operation in the field of biodiversity conservation and protection”, which included law enforcement issues and compliance with the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species and other relevant legislation, would be signed at a Convention on Biological Diversity meeting that starts in India on October 8.

 

The announcement of the signing comes as rhino poaching continues unabated, with the latest statistics showing at least 373 animals have been killed since the beginning of this year; 229 of them in the Kruger National Park.

 

According to pressure group Outraged SA Citizens Against Poaching, there are rumours that more rhinos not included in these figures might also have been poached.

 

The total number of arrests for rhino poaching this year is 199. - Cape Argus

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Rhino poaching case against former police postponed:Wednesday 5 September 2012

A rhino poaching case against former police officer, Joseph Nyalunga and his co-accused has been postponed by the Middelburg Magistrate's court in Mpumalanga.

 

Previous cases linked to Nyalunga and his co-accused have now been combined with the rhino poaching charges. The case now includes house breaking, robbery and dealing with rhino horns. Nyalunga and other seven men were arrested in Mkhuhlu and Hazyview earlier this year.

 

He was earlier arrested at the Middelburg Toll Plaza with other two suspects where they were allegedly found in possession of millions of rands.

 

During their arrest Nyalunga was found in possession of R60 000 cash and four rhino horns

 

All cases against Joseph Nyalunga have now been combined. He is now appearing with all his co-accused in both cases facing one case of racketeering.

 

During their arrest, Nyalunga was found in possession of R60 000 cash and four rhino horns. More than R5 million was then also discovered in one of his houses including automated money counter. During his arrest he was out on bail in the case of being found in possession of millions of rand in December last year. He was with other two suspects, one of them a woman from Vietnam.

 

Six of the suspects are from Mozambique: Daniel Mncuso, David Sigangue, Calisto Massoda, Zeka Santos, Checo Cossa, Sam Mashaba and Condrad Nkuna and one woman from Vietnam, Anh Nguyen. Their case has been postponed to October 10.

 

Three suspects are out on bail while others are kept in custody. 

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RHINO: Hanging by a thread - WWF

RHINO: Hanging by a thread - WWF | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it
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