Monday, 30 September 2013

Rhino poaching hits new levels in South Africa

Poaching increases as South Africa pushes legal rhino horn trade

September 2013. The latest figures from South Africa show that the total numbers of rhinos killed by poachers this year has already surpassed the total for the whole of last year, which was itself the worst ever year on record. 688 rhinos have been killed so far this year in South Africa alone, compared with 668 in the whole of 2012. The Kruger National Park is still by far the worst effected region, having lost 418 rhinos, but Limpopo and Mpumalanga Provinces have shown the largest increases.

At the current rate, we can expect another 270 rhinos to be killed in the rest of the year, implying that more than 950 rhinos will be killed in South Africa this year, though by some measures (see below) the poaching rate is actually increasing, so the total could edge near the 1000 mark.

18 rhinos per week being killed
The poaching of rhinos in South Africa has increased by more than three rhinos a week on average since Environmental Minister Edna Molewa called for a legal international trade in rhino horn, according to analysis by the non-profit Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA).

Poaching has increased since South Africa called for rhino horn sales
From January 1 to March 13, 2013, an average of 15.36 rhinos were poached each week in South Africa. On March 14, Minister Molewa revealed her support at the meeting of the member nations of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) in Bangkok, Thailand, for a legal international rhino horn trade. CITES has long banned such a trade.

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