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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Rhino SMS Hotline: 32211

Rhino SMS Hotline: 32211 | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it

Provided by WAR

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Ten Strategies to Save the Rhino: Which will REALLY work? | Nikela

Ten Strategies to Save the Rhino: Which will REALLY work? | Nikela | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it

10 Strategies to Save the Rhino:

 

1) Educate the end users in Asia

2)De-horn the rhino

3)Rhino horn treatment

4)Legalize the trading of rhino horn

5)Rhino trophy hunting

6)Better equipped and more anti-poaching rangers

7)Special Ops trained law enforcement

8)More effective Courts

9)High Tech and innovative systems and equipment

10)Address the poverty issue

 

Which one do you think will REALLY work?

 

http://www.nikela.org/blog/ten-strategies-to-save-the-rhino-which-will-really-work ;

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Lyn du Plessis's comment, June 5, 2012 4:22 AM
To educate is a long term solution. I would:
1) Stop all Rhino hunting.
2) Rhino horn treatment c/w dna
3) Better equipped and more anti-poaching rangers
4) Special ops trained law enforcement
5) MUCH more effective courts and longer sentences etc.
6) High-Tech equipment.

This will build a wall of protection around our Rhino. Thereafter, we can talk about education. We are dealing with ancient cultures who now have money too - it won't be easy to convince them that Rhino horn has no benefit - I believe it is purely a status symbol for them, as with Tiger and Lion bones and anything else that they grind up or eat!. We have always had poverty, not saying that it is good or right, but NEVER before have our Rhino be slaughtered at such a rate. We must protect and conserve them - the Government must step up and show their strength in protecting one of our iconic Big 5's.
Wildlife Margrit's comment, June 5, 2012 7:41 AM
thank you so much for your input morlyn.lyn
May I copy your comment to the original blog post?
Lyn du Plessis's comment, June 5, 2012 11:11 AM
Yes Wildlife Margrit you may post it xxx
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R40 Million Worth Of Rhino Horn Seized In Huge Sting ...

R40 Million Worth Of Rhino Horn Seized In Huge Sting ... | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it
More than R40 million worth of rhino horn, as well as elephant tusks and leopard skins were seized in two operations in Gauteng last week. Both operations are linked to a 40-year-old KwaZulu-Natal man, who was arrested, ...
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SUCCESS: Petition Letter to Stop Trade in Rhino Horn Reaches CITES

SUCCESS: Petition Letter to Stop Trade in Rhino Horn Reaches CITES | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it

Update #3

Schweizerische Post has confirmed that the CITES Secretariat has signed for the registered letter containing the signed petition to call an emergency meeting to end horn trade.
We thank you very much. There is more to do.
Please go to http://www.cites.org/cms/index.php/lang-en/component/cp/ and keep the contact details of the Management Authority and Scientific Authority of your country at hand.

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Mozambique: Rhino Horns and Abalone Seized At Maputo Airport

Maputo — Mozambican customs officers at Maputo International Airport on Wednesday arrested a Vietnamese national in possession of seven rhino horns.

 

According to the daily newspaper "O Pais", Doan Minh was arrested in the departure lounge as he prepared to board a Kenya Airways flight. He claimed that the illegal cargo belonged to his general manager.

 

His baggage, which contained seven rhino horns and three ivory bracelets, managed to avoid detection during security checks at the airport but was seized just prior being loaded onto the plane....

 

http://allafrica.com/stories/201206010183.html ;

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South Africa: Department to Hold Talks With Rhino Owners

Pretoria — The Department of Environmental Affairs says it will hold a roundtable discussion with all rhino owners in the country.

This, according to the department, is part of the efforts to find a solution to curb rhino poaching.

Addressing the media at the department's First National Rhino Conservation Dialogue Workshop held in Midrand, Environmental Affairs Deputy Director-General, Fundisile Mketeni, said rhino poaching had reached an unacceptable level.

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Mozambique customs arrest rhino horn smuggler

Mozambique customs arrest rhino horn smuggler | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it
Mozambican police have arrested a Vietnamese man at the main airport in Maputo as he tried to smuggle rhino horns out of the country, a spokesman said Thursday.
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227 rhinos slaughtered in SA and 148 people arrested

SA has lost 227 rhinos to illegal hunting activities since the beginning of the year, says the Department of Environmental Affairs.

 

Environmental spokesman Albi Modise said yesterday that 148 people had been arrested in connection with illegal rhino horns.

 

The latest statistics indicate that Kruger National Park has lost 137 rhinos, which accounts for more than half the total rhino killings that have taken place this year.

 

Limpopo has suffered 31 rhino killings and North West Province and KwaZulu-Natal have each lost 23 rhinos.

 

Six rhinos were illegally hunted in Mpumalanga.

Modise said of the 148 people arrested, 131 were poachers, 10 were receivers or couriers of illegal rhino horn, six more were couriers or buyers and one person was an exporter....

 

http://www.iol.co.za/the-star/227-rhinos-slaughtered-in-sa-and-148-people-arrested-1.1306574 ;

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Rhinos in Crisis - and Why the Market Won't Save Them

Rhinos in Crisis - and Why the Market Won't Save Them | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it

"...despite the pro-trade hype, none of these trade mechanisms has succeeded in protecting endangered species..."

 

Some private rhino owners are calling for the international trade ban... to be lifted so that the stockpiles of horn from rhinos who have died or been dehorned can be sold off....

 

The idea that legalising trade in an endangered species can help to reduce poaching and protect the animals isn't new, and it can sound persuasive until you examine the evidence.


For example, bears have been "farmed" for decades for their bile in parts of Asia. As many as 10,000 currently exist in appalling conditions on Asian bear bile farms. However, this hasn't stopped bear farmers capturing wild bears to replenish stocks, nor has it reduced demand for the bile and gall bladders from wild bears as far afield as North America.

 

"Wild" bile products are considered 'cleaner' and more potent than their farmed equivalent.

 

On the ivory front, CITES has sanctioned two 'one-off sales' of ivory from southern African stockpiles to China and Japan in recent years on the assumption that it will help control or reduce elephant poaching, but it hasn't worked. Seizures of illegal ivory have risen markedly since the last legal 'one-off sale' took place in 2008, with at least 30 tonnes seized in 2011 alone, representing around 3,000 dead elephants. This is probably only 10% to 20% of the total illegal trade. Elephant massacres continue, with hundreds killed in parts of Central and West Africa earlier this year, threatening the survival of whole elephant populations.

 

Tigers have fared no better. China has a scheme for registering, labelling and selling the skins from tigers who have died on tiger farms. In spite of a domestic and international ban on the trade in tiger parts, particularly bones, China still allows tiger farmers to breed tigers and store the carcases of those who have died. Meanwhile, wild tigers remain on the brink of extinction with as few as 3,000 remaining in the wild whilst three times that number are estimated to be languishing on Chinese tiger farms.

 

 http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/mark-jones/rhinos-in-crisis_b_1549894.html?just_reloaded=1 

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Tourism meets Conservation

Thompsons Africa recently raised their hands to partner with Wildlands in support of their work around rhino conservation.

 

On the 11th of May Thompsons hosted a Pre-Indaba cocktail event for all their partners, clients and some of their staff.

 

The event, at Circus Circus on the beach front, was well attended and Rhino themed, in line with their “rhino” focused stand at Indaba, one of the largest tourism marketing events in Africa, which ran from the 12-15 May...

 

http://rhinoclub.wordpress.com/2012/05/28/tourism-meets-conservation/ ;

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KZN hard-hit with rhino poaching | IOL.co.za

KZN hard-hit with rhino poaching | IOL.co.za | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it
Since the beginning of the year, 220 rhinos have been poached in South Africa, with KwaZulu-Natal being one of the hardest-hit provinces.

 

This is according to the Department of Environmental Affairs, which said the Kruger National Park, Limpopo, North West and KZN had the highest number of poached rhinos – accounting for 207 killings since January.

 

Only five months into 2012 and the number of rhinos poached country-wide is already almost half last year’s total of 448.

 

In KZN alone, 23 rhinos have been poached in the past five months, compared with 34 in 2011 and 38 in 2010.

 

Limpopo leads with 31 poached rhinos so far this year, compared with 74 last year, and 52 in 2010....

 

http://www.iol.co.za/news/crime-courts/kzn-hard-hit-with-rhino-poaching-1.1305831 ;

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Panners invade rhino sanctuary

KWEKWE Zimbabwes largest black rhino sanctuary, the Midlands Black Rhino Conservancy, faces imminent collapse following an invasion by illegal gold panners.

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Global fight for rhino stepped up

Global fight for rhino stepped up | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it
Independent OnlineGlobal fight for rhino stepped upIndependent Online“The demand we are seeing now is linked with increased demand in Asia, particularly among wealthy elites and business people in Vietnam, where (rhino horn) carries prestige as a ...
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235 Rhino Poached for their Horn in South Africa this Year!

235 Rhino Poached for their Horn in South Africa this Year! | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it

2012 RHINO POACHING STATS - 235
Provided by OSCAP
www.facebook.com/groups/oscap/

 

 


(235) 06 June 2012 : 1 White Gravelotte, Limpopo (was a dehorned rhino)
(234) 05 June 2012 : 1 White Rhino Mahlangeni, KNP
(233) 03 June 2012 : 1 White Rhino Sabie Sands shot 2 day old carcass
(232) 01 June 2012 : 1 White Rhino Mahlangeni, KNP
(231) 01 June 2012 : 2 White Rhino Imfolozi, KNP
(229) 29 May 2012 : 1 White adult bull Assen, NW Province
(228) 29 May 2012 : 1 White Sub adult Cow Sabi Sands
(227) 28 May 2012 : DEA Stats update (1)
(226) 26 May 2012 : 2 Black Rhino North West Province - 1 White Rhino injured (not yet found)
(224) 25 May 2012 : 2 Rhino Satara area, KNP
(222) 23 May 2012 : 1 White Rhino cow (horns recovered) Borakalolo Game Reserve
(221) 22 May 2012 : 1 Rhino Skukuza,KNP
(220) 21 May 2012 : DEA UPDATE
(218) 17 May 2012 : 1 Rhino KNP
(217) 15 May 2012 : 1 Pregnant cow- Barberspan Nature Reserve, Delarayville, NW
(216) 08 May 2012 : 2 Rhino HH Game Reserve (Mr Chennels) - KZN
(214) 10 May 2012 : 1 Cow and calf dehorned Crocodile Bridge area KNP
(212) 08 May 2012 : 1 Rhino KNP area unknow
(211) 09 May 2012 : 1 Rhino Gravelotte area
(210) 07 May 2012 : DEA UPDATE (8 KNP, Limpopo 2, North West 2)
(206) 05 May 2012 : 1 White Rhino dehorned & 1 other killed - Rankins Pass area Limpopo
(204) 04 May 2012 : NWCRU update 204
(199) 30 April 2012 : DEA Stats update
(188) 28 April 2012 : 1 White Rhino Carcass - Skukuza area, KNP
(187) 27 April 2012 : 1 Black Rhino (2yrs old) - Pilansberg Game Reserve North West
(186) 25 April 2012 : 1 Rhino Sabi Sands - KNP
(185) 25 April 2012 : 1 Rhino Lower Sabi 1 Skukuza
(183) 22 April 2012 : 2 White Rhino cows shot and dehorned Gravelot area.
(181) 19 April 2012 : DEA UPDATE KNP 111 (8), LIMPOPO 25(2)
(174) 16 April 2012 : 1 Black Rhino Thanda Game Reserve, Hluhluwe, KZN
(173) 15 April 2012 : 2 Rhino carcasses found between Malelane and Biyamit KNP few days old
(171) 13 April 2012 : DEA UPDATE
(168) 12 April 2012 : 1 Rhino shot (2 days ago) found yesterday Koster, NW Province
(167) 11 April 2012 : UPDATE NWCRU
(165) 10 April 2012 : 1 Rhino Pretoriuskop are KNP
(164) 10 April 2012 : 1 Rhino - Gravelot area
(163) 10 April 2012 : 1 Rhino - Gravelot area (dehorned rhino poached)
(162) 08 April 2012 : 1 Rhino - Pilansberg area (2 day old carcass
(161) 08 April 2012 : 1 Rhino Cow - calf survived Rankiins Pass area, Modimole, Limpopo
(160) 04 April 2012 : 1 Rhino Malelane area
(159) 04 April 2012 : UPDATE
(150) 29 March 2012 : DEA STATS UPDATE
(138) 25 March 2012 : 1 Rhino shot dead near Phalaborwa in KNP
(137) 25 March 2012 : 1 Rhino - Themba died 23 days after being poached at Kariega
(136) 20 March 2012 : 1 Rhino Gravelote area, Limpopo
(135)19 March 2012 : DEA STATS UPDATE
(121)15 March 2012 : 1 Rhino, Nietverdien, NW - shot and dehorned.
(120)13 March 2012 : 1 Rhino Waneen, Kzn
(119)12 March 2012 : 3 Rhino - near Hluhluwe in KZN (+1 calf injured)
(116)11 March 2012 : 7 rhino Southern Region of KNP
(109)10 March 2012 : 1 Rhino Crocodile River area, KNP
(108)08 March 2012 : 8 rhino's: 3 Malelane, 3 Biyamiti and 2 at Tshokwane
(100)06 March 2012 : 1 Black Rhino Pilansberg NP- shot approx 5 days ago & not dehorned
(99) 06 March 2012 : 1 Rhino Ohrigstad (pregnant cow)
(98) 06 March 2012 : 1 Rhino (Matjulu area near Berg-en-dal, KNP)
(97) 06 March 2012 : 2 Rhino Crocodile River Bridge area
(95) 05 March 2012 : 1 Black Rhino - 3 day old carcass Bakubung Bush Lodge, Pilansberg
(94) 05 March 2012 : 1 Rhino(pregnant cow) Origstad - shot horns not removed
(93) 05 March 2012 : 1 Rhino carcass found in Matjulu area near Berg-en-dal, KNP
(92) 02 March 2012 : 3 rhino's KNP N'Wanetsi area
(89) 02 March 2012 : 2 white rhino carcasses found 1 week old Vryburg North West
(87) 01 March 2012 : 2 rhino's Malalane at John Hume's game reserve
(85) 01 March 2012 : 1 Rhino - Waneen, Kzn
(84) 29 February 2012 : 1 Rhino Kariega, (2 dehorned but still alive)
(83) 28 February 2012 : 2 Rhino found Mopani area near Letaba KNP
(81) 28 FEbruary 2012 : 3 Rhino found near Pretoriuskop, KNP
(78) 28 February 2012 : 2 Rhino found near Pretoriuskop, KNP
(76) 25 February 2012 : 1 Rhino carcas found near Crocodile Bridge area, KNP
(75) 23 February 2012 : 1 White Rhino, Assen, NW
(74) 22 February 2012 : 5 Rhino carcasses - KNP (some of the carcasses are at least 1 month)
(69) 20 February 2012 : 1 Rhino Thanda Game Reserve, KZN
(68) 19 February 2012 : 2 Rhino Mpofini lodge Vryheid
(66) 17 February 2012 : 1 Rhino KNP - awaiting confirmation of location
(65) 17 Feburary 2012 : 1 White Rhino Borakolalo Game Reserve (had to be put down)
(64) 15 February 2012 : 1 White rhino (1 month old carcass), Pilanesberg,NP
(63) 15 February 2012 : 2 carcass found Manyeleti, KNP
(61) 14 February 2012 : 8 carcasses found KNP
(53) 13 February 2012 : 2 Rhino Chicks Game Lodge Hluhluwe
(51) 12 February 2012 : 1 Madikwe White Rhino Bull both horns taken
(50) 10 February 2012 : 1 Madikwe white bull
(49) 09 February 2012 : 3 Letsitele, Limpopo - Pregnant mother and calf(unborn baby added below
(47) 08 February 2012 : 1 Ndumo
(46) 08 February 2012 : 2 iMfolozi
(44) 07 February 2012 : 1 White Rhino Bull - Hoedspruit - private reserve
(43) 06 February 2012 : 1 Rhino bull Thabazimbi-Rooiberg area
(42) 06 February 2012 : 1 Carcass found KNP (poached Sat probably) - North of Letaba
(41) 06 February 2012 : 1 Madikwe - Black Rhino
(40) 26 January 2012 : 2 Limpopo Province - Waterberg area
(38) 26 January 2012 : 2 North West Province (to be confirmed)
(36) 19 January 2012 : 1 Hluhluwe iMfolozi found recently date unknown
(35) 16 January 2012 : 3 White Rhino Rooiberg area
(32) 16 January 2012 : 1 Mossel Bay, Kobus Crous - Farm Bergsig
(31) 15 January 2012 : 2 Madikwe 1 carcass found, Ndumo 2 month old carcass
(29) 13 January 2012 : 4 KNP - Pretoriuskop area
(25) 11 January 2012 : 5 Rhino Private Reserve near Stofberg
(20) 11 January 2012 : 3 Rhino - KNP
(17) 09 January 2012 : 2 White Rhino at Ndumo and 1 Black Rhino at Mkhusi
(14) 09/10 January 2012 : 9 KNP (4 near Pretoriuskop, 2 near Lower-Sabie and 2 near Crocodile Bridge + 1 other area to be confirmed)
(5) 04 January 2012 : 4 KNP Satara area
(1) 04 January 2012 : 1 Rhino Gravellotte area, Limpopo

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Thandi: look at me now!

Thandi: look at me now! | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it
Photo via Ed Huydic
Thandi recovering well from poaching attack
Sadly her companion Themba was not so lucky
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KZN man in huge rhino bust - Independent Online

KZN man in huge rhino bust - Independent Online | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it
KZN man in huge rhino bustIndependent OnlineThe arrests came in the wake of two more rhino killings in KZN last week.
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Save our rhino

Save our rhino | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it
Photo by Ed Huydic
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AWF: Continued Poaching in South Africa Increases Concern Over Future of the Rhino

AWF: Continued Poaching in South Africa Increases Concern Over Future of the Rhino | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa – After a devastating 2011 during which it lost 448 rhinos to poaching, South Africa again appears en route to a year of unprecedented rhino poaching levels. According to a government summary released by the South African Department of Environmental Affairs on May 7, it’s estimated that 210 rhinos have been poached since the beginning of the year. Nearly two rhinos are now poached per day.

 

“If poaching continues at this rate, we could see the extinction of rhinos within our lifetime,” said Patrick Bergin, CEO of the African Wildlife Foundation (AWF). “It’s imperative that the necessary steps are taken before this irreplaceable global resource is annihilated from the earth.”...

 

http://www.awf.org/content/headline/detail/4593 ;

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Two Rhinos Killed in Gwayi Conservancy - The Zimbabwean

Two Rhinos Killed in Gwayi Conservancy - The Zimbabwean | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it
The ZimbabweanTwo Rhinos Killed in Gwayi ConservancyThe ZimbabweanTwo rhinos, a mother and a four month old calf were on Saturday last week killed by poachers in Gwayi conservancy in Matabeleland North.
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Rhino Horn off the Menu - Forever!

FOLLOW UP LETTER to TREVOR SALMON, CITES RHINO WORKING GROUP

 

Dear Mr. Salmon,

 

PROPOSAL WITH REGARD TO CERATOTHERIUM SIMUM SIMUM

 

Further to our previous communications I would like to provide you with feedback on a petition that will be handed over to the Secretary-General of CITES in Geneva within the next few days. We are proud to announce that 11,469 signatures were collected in response to an appeal to CITES to organise an emergency meeting with a single agenda point: Put all possible measures in place to stop the out-of control poaching of rhinos.

 

http://www.causes.com/causes/658114-speak-for-me-please-my-horn-is-not-medicine/actions/1644204  

 

I have carefully considered your reply of the 30th April 2012 and the advice therein.

 

FIRSTLY, when I first wrote to you on the 14th April 2012, I was under the impression that the species Southern White Rhinoceros (Ceratotherium simum simum) is included under Appendix II of the CITES Appendices.

 

I have subsequently found out that at Cop9 in 1994 the proposal from SOUTH AFRICA was accepted with restrictions as per annotation 503:

 

Ceratotherium simum simum *(population of South Africa, for the trade in live animals to appropriate and acceptable destinations and hunting trophies only)

[An asterisk (*) placed against the name of a subspecies, species or higher taxon indicates that one or more geographically separate populations, subspecies or species of that subspecies, species or taxon are included in Appendix I and are excluded from Appendix II.]

 

At CoP10 a further proposal was made, again ONLY by South Africa to amend annotation 503: “to allow the trade in parts and derivatives, but with a zero export quota, of Ceratotherium simum simum [South Africa]” This proposal was defeated on two occasions, with a stronger defeat in the secret ballot and those opposing the proposal emphasized that adequate trade controls were not in place and that the proposed annotation might undermine efforts to reduce rhinoceros horn consumption in consumer countries.

 

Switzerland then proposed another annotation which was accepted: “All other specimens shall be deemed to be specimens of species included in Appendix I and the trade in them shall be regulated accordingly.” In light of this, it is clear that the specimens outside of South Africa and Swaziland are still deemed to be on Appendix I.

 

THEREFORE I DRAW THE CONCLUSION THAT THE SOUTHERN WHITE RHINOS SENT TO CHINA ARE NOW INCLUDED IN THE POPULATION OF CHINA AND FALL UNDER APPENDIX I AND ENJOY THE PROTECTION AFFORDED THAT CLASSIFICATION .

 

I previously assumed that Ceratotherium simum simum had been down listed to Appendix II whereas ONLY THE POPULATIONS OF SOUTH AFRICA and SWAZILAND had. An easy mistake to make, seeing as most of the world population of this species is to be found in those 2 countries. I apologise for that confusion.

 

This is why I requested that the Southern White rhino be moved “back” to Appendix I – whereas in fact it is already there with two exceptions:

 

SOUTH AFRICA and SWAZILAND (with restrictions that are not easily enforced).

 

SECONDLY, I wish to discuss reasons why another proposal must be made at CoP16 in March 2013.

 

PROPOSAL A:

THAT ANNOTATION 503 BE REVISED AS FOLLOWS:

 

· THAT TRADE IN LIVE ANIMALS BE SUSPENDED:

 

1. UNTIL POACHING LEVELS ARE BROUGHT BACK TO PRE-1994 LEVELS FOR SOUTH AFRICA AND SWAZILAND

 

2. UNTIL SOUTH AFRICA AND SWAZILAND ARE FULLY COMPLIANT TO LEGISLATION AND REGULATIONS PERTAINING TO PROTECTION OF THE SPECIES.

 

· THAT THE HUNTING OF CERATOTHERIUM SIMUM SIMUM BE SUBJECT TO CERTIFICATION BY THE SCIENTIFIC AUTHORITY OF THE IMPORTING COUNTRY THAT THE IMPORT IS NOT DETRIMENTAL TO THE SURVIVAL OF THE SPECIES AND WILL NOT BE USED FOR COMMERCIAL PURPOSES.

 

PROPOSAL B:

THAT ALL PARTIES COLLECT ALL AND ANY RHINO HORN STOCKPILES IN THEIR COUNTRIES AND BURN THEM TO DESTRUCTION.

 

Taking the following into consideration:

 

1. When South Africa first proposed the downlisting of Ceratotherium simum simum they failed to inform the Secretariat of the political agenda in the country, i.e. since 1989 they were in secret meetings with the ANC party to facilitate the handing over of the governance of the country which has had huge implications for the National Parks Boards and wildlife as will be explained later.

 

2. Part of the agenda was to sell off high value wild animals such as rhino so that private individuals (mostly farmers) could for the first time obtain these and conduct the business of wildlife farming – a relatively new industry. “During 1965 there were four fenced game ranches in former north-western Transvaal. Forty years later there are 5061 registered.” (du Toit) Similarly the Commercial hunting industry experienced rapid growth. “The Wildlife industry in South Africa… has proven to be very difficult to regulate.” (du Toit)

 

3. In their proposal at CoP9, South Africa set out the reasons why the status of the Southern White Rhino should be downlisted. They declared a healthy and growing population under effective management and living in the perfect habitat. They claimed that the rhinos could withstand the exploitation that trade would bring and that trade would not lead to reduction in controls in other species. None of these claims are valid today, 20 years on. In fact, since the sale of rhino to private owners the authorities and scientists have lost all control over the recording of population figures, except to say that the numbers don’t add up and this proves that horn is moving illegally from farmers to the Far East. (e.g. the Groenewald Gang arrested in 2010)

 

4. With regard to illegal trade, in 1994 they noted that legislation on penalties for poaching had been made stricter and the anti-poaching efforts allowed both black & white rhino populations to flourish (although just north of the border a different scenario played out in Zimbabwe where 65,000 black rhino had fallen to 2,500.) It is difficult to understand why this warning bell was ignored.

 

5. The proposers felt confident enough to promote privatization schemes and trophy hunting, even claiming that trade “will not result in an increased level of undesirable or illegal exploitation of the southern white rhinoceros, in fact the reverse is expected.” This has also proved to be wrong. Rhino species populations are decreasing and even going extinct due to unprecedented increases in poaching. e.g. the Western Black Rhino.

 

6. They were so bold as to discuss “Potential Controlled Utilization” such as darting safaris; the sale of horn, toenails and skin; slaughter for products (!) and ranching for horn. In 1994 rhino horn was used for Yemenite dagger making and TCM medicine. The proposers of this industry were surely aware then that rhino horn has no valid medicinal value. This has now been scientifically proven. A rumour of a cancer cure that was spread in Vietnam goes unfounded and exists only to open up new markets. As I have mentioned before – this is tantamount to fraud.

The majority of these products would be derived from natural mortalities OR live animals (using inhumane capture methods, darting with M-99, a practice rejected by animal welfare NGO’s)

 

7. Mention is made of supporting underprivileged communities in the vicinity of the parks. This has never been realized in any recognizable form. Usually the local communities are fobbed off with a rhino that they can sell for hunting or free handouts.

 

8. The same can be said for calls to educate the citizens of South Africa and the Far East, who are the traditional buyers of rhino horn. Lip service has been paid to this aspect, leading to further delays while species go extinct.

 

9. In their summary, the proposers were emphatic in their belief that the population of southern white rhinos was not endangered, but they conceded that it was certainly threatened. Despite having discussed the benefits of trade at length, they denied any wish to trade rhinoceros horn in any shape or form, although they wanted to trade the hides. AT THE VERY NEXT CoP THEY PROPOSED TRADE IN HORN! [CoP10 in 1997 proposed an annotation ° 503 to allow the trade in parts and derivatives but with a zero export quota (South Africa). It was rejected. ]

 

10. AT CoP9 The Secretariat REJECTED SOUTH AFRICA’S PROPOSAL AS IT STOOD AND RECOMMENDED : It should be accepted if the population in Appendix II is annotated as follows: "For the exclusive purpose of allowing trade in live animals.

 

All other specimens shall be deemed to be specimens of species included in Appendix I and trade in them shall be regulated accordingly."("accordingly" could be replaced by "in accordance with the provisions of Article III or VII of the Convention".). Doc. 9.47 Annex 3.

 

The original intention for allowing trade was described such by the Secretariat:

 

“exports are generally to zoos, safari parks and private land−owners setting up breeding groups. There are many potential importers who would use animals for exhibition, whose purpose of import would be clearly commercial. However, they would be able to import animals only if the species were transferred to Appendix II.

 

This intention has been abused. “South Africa: Rhinos and Lions Sold to ‘Hell Hole’ Zoo in BangladeshRhinos, lions, and other imperiled wildlife are being exported from South Africa to a Bangladeshi zoo with a dark and suspicious history.After purchasing at least 19 wild animals from a “safari park” in South Africa, government-run Dhaka Zoo apparently received its first shipment last week – pairs of white rhinos, white lions, striped hyenas, and a spotted hyena.” (New Age)

 

A proposal from the China Institute of Science and Technology Research, Beijing, entitled Proposal for Protection of the Rhinoceros and the Sustainable Use of Rhinoceros Horn – funded by the State Soft Sciences Project, Development for Traditional Chinese Medicine Research – contains troubling information indicating that China is already farming rhinos in order to use rhino horn in traditional Chinese medicine. (Source: http://www.rhinoconservation.org (http://s.tt/1aul1)

 

THIRDLY, I would like to point out how the statements made in the 1994 proposal are misleading.

 

1. Since 1994, when the Government of South Africa changed hands peacefully, there have been great changes in style of leadership. For example, the CEO of SANParks, the organization that controls the Kruger National Park made the following statements recently: “It will be an unforgivable mistake if we were to accept the sickening tendency by a handful of ‘old-school’ conservationists appointing themselves as agents of positive societal change…. We therefore agree with our Minister when she refers to national parks as “hubs of economic development in our society”. This shows a lack of respect for both conservation and wilderness areas AND GOES AGAINST GLOBAL NORMS OF CONSERVATION IDEALS.

 

2. After being granted the right to trade rhinos from CITES, the National Parks Boards began a program of selling high value wildlife e.g. rhinoceros to wildlife farmer/ranchers. This led to serious abuse of the animals and I have discussed this in previous e-mails. It has been expressed by many experts that the illegal trade in wildlife is escalating, and happening at a scale that poses immediate risk to many animals and indeed people too because it is conducted with international crime syndicates, and aligned to other types of crime (e.g. horn for weapons).

 

3. Many organisations, including the Minister of Environmental Affairs in SA have described the current poaching crisis as uncontrollable. This was admitted by the officer in charge of anti-poaching in the Kruger National Park earlier this year. Despite this, security remains lax at most of the private and government owned rhino facilities, and no effort is made to step it up using readily available surveillance systems. Game wardens have been arrested for poaching, as well as ex-policemen, which shows the involvement of the very authorities appointed to protect them.

 

4. As many as 75% of the rhino farmer / ranchers are non-compliant with the registering and micro-chipping of their animals and horn stockpiles. (du Toit) TRAFFIC has been reporting on these irregularities for years.

 

5. Promises made by the authorities have not been kept. Earlier this year the Minister of Environment promised to re-erect the fence between the Kruger National Park and Mozambique. Unfortunately most of the opportunistic type of poaching is conducted by Mozambique nationals, as has been proven from arrests. Crucial to the protection of rhino in South Africa is a secure Kruger National Park as this is where the majority live.

 

6. Despite the fact that South Africa has had success in the past with a healthy rhinoceros population, we cannot sustain such a level of off take as we have seen these past 3 years.

 

CONCLUSION:

Ever since CITES was first established the question of trade in rhinoceros horn has been raised over and over again and the issue of poaching remains a problem. Certain parties in South Africa, including Government parastatals insist on keeping the hope of trading horn alive. The International Community is not in agreement and attempts to compromise, for example by agreeing to the South African proposal in 1994, have only worsened the situation. Firm action must be taken immediately if the Southern White Rhino is to be spared the fate of other species, 2 of which went extinct in 2011 – one in a range and one in totality. The escalation of poaching and criminal activity is also driven by new found wealth & status in the Far East. This is going to increase, not lessen.

 

The last few thousand remaining rhinos on earth must receive the highest form of protection NOT increased exploitation. I could mention many other points of discussion but both the Secretariat and NGO’s such as TRAFFIC and IUCN are fully aware of the situation. Please be aware that many Rhino activists do as well and we will not let this matter be swept under the carpet again.

 

The media of the world has been alerted to this problem.

 

I HEREBY REQUEST THAT YOU, OR ANOTHER PARTY BE APPROACHED TO PUT FORWARD MY PROPOSALS A & B AS ABOVE . THIS IS NOT A CHANGE OF STATUS PER SE, RATHER THE REVISING OF A BAD DECISION THAT HAS PROVEN TO BE A FAILURE IN IT’S IMPLEMENTATION. IT IS ALSO IMPORTANT THAT A PROPOSAL BE MADE TO DESTROY ALL EXISTING HORN PILES BY BURNING SO THAT A CLEAR MESSAGE CAN BE SENT TO THE CRIMINAL ELEMENT:

 

“RHINO HORN IS OFF THE MENU FOREVER!”

 

Margot Stewart

RHINO S.O.S. South Africa

http://www.facebook.com/groups/rhinosos ;

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Lyn du Plessis's comment, June 5, 2012 4:28 AM
Margot Stewart - Brilliant x
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Tanzania: 32 Suspended Over Rhino Killings

Tanzania: 32 Suspended Over Rhino Killings | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it
THE Ministry of Tourism and Natural Resources has suspended four top officials and 28 game rangers pending investigations following the killings of a rhino and her calf in Serengeti National Park. The poachers chopped off the animals' horns.

 

Addressing journalists on Tuesday, the Minister for Tourism and Natural Resources, Ambassador Khamis Kagasheki, who was visibly annoyed, said he believed there was collusion between poachers and the rangers in the crime.

 

The four top officials who have been suspended from duty with immediate effect are the Acting Director of Tanzania National Parks Authority (TANAPA), Mr Justine Hando, the Head of Intelligence at TANAPA, Mr Emily Kisamo, the Chief Park Warden in Serengeti, Mr Mtango Mtahiko and Faru Project Coordinator Mafuru Nyama.....

 

http://allafrica.com/stories/201205300759.html ;

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Farming endangered species to save them - extinction by another means?

Farming endangered species to save them - extinction by another means? | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it
When we talk of conserving an animal species what do we actually mean?

 

We are likely to have in mind a vision of a rhinoceros (or any other species, for that matter) being given the opportunity to pursue its natural way of life in its native environment, perhaps in a reserve or national park.

 

And why should we want to conserve species?.....

 

A consequence of domestication is the loss or gross modification of natural social and reproductive behaviours, and the web of trophic and mutualistic relationships of which the species was an evolved part does not accompany it into the domestic sphere.....

 

But what of rhinos?

 

Professor Van Hoven didn’t deal with the species individually, but by far the most abundant one is the Southern White Rhino, whose total population is little over 20,000, the great majority of them in South Africa. He argued, with justified conviction, that we’re rapidly and comprehensively losing the battle to conserve African rhinos....

 

 http://theconversation.edu.au/farming-endangered-species-to-save-them-extinction-by-another-means-7192

 

 

 

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Lyn du Plessis's comment, May 29, 2012 3:13 AM
When I was a little girl I remember my Mom told me a story of the Dodo and how it became extinct, as a child one doesn't truely appreciate just what extinction means. As an adult we are more than aware of what extinction means and what are we doing about it? What is Government doing about it? What is Cites doing about it etc - I feel as if we and all of the 'serious' conservation groups are just sitting around; waiting for 'The Last Rhino' - Do we realise that the last extinction of a big land mammal was the Mammoth? When we stand at the gates of heaven and St Peter asks 'So, what did you do with your life?' Will we have the correct answer?
Wildlife Margrit's comment, May 29, 2012 9:52 AM
Oh yes morlyn.lyn! It appears like the little guys are peddling as fast as they can to help the rhino while those in power seem not to be fully exercising their clout.
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Tanzania: MP Wants Investigation Into Killings of Two Rhinos

Tanzania: MP Wants Investigation Into Killings of Two Rhinos | What's Happening to Africa's Rhino? | Scoop.it
SERENGETI Member of Parliament Mr Kebwe Steven Kebwe wants the government to investigate the recent killing of two rhinos in Serengeti National Park.

 

Mr Kebwe said in Dar es Salaam on Saturday that the incident took place between last month and early this month. The two rhinos, Sarah and its calf were found dead and their horns hacked off at Moru area within the Park.

 

"It is surprising that these two rhinos were killed but the rangers on duty did not notice the incident until several days later.

 

This is quite unusual and government should investigate the matter," he said. Mr Kebwe said the government had installed special gadgets to protect the rhinos from poachers, adding that it was very unfortunate that the rhinos were killed.

 

"These devices set off an alarm whenever a human being gets into the radius of at least some 600 metres from the animals. I am upset this latest incident went unnoticed," he noted.The MP noted that in South Africa's Kruger National Park where over 70 per cent of the global population of rhino inhabits, an investigation has established that rangers are usually responsible for such poaching....

 

http://allafrica.com/stories/201205270216.html ;

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Rhino pair fetch record R560 000

A WHITE rhino cow and calf fetched a record price of R560 000 at Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife’s annual game auction.
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