South African government proposes new measures to reduce rhino poaching

October 8, 2014 admin Africa Wildlife FoundationAfrica's endangered animalsProtecting RhinosTunde Folawiyotunde folawiyo africatunde folawiyo executiveUncategorized

Tunde FolawiyoRhino poaching is a significant issue in South Africa, with over a thousand rhinos being killed by poachers annually in South Africa. So far in this year alone, 277 of these animals have been slaughtered, and this number is expected to rise over the coming months. For Tunde Folawiyo, and others who are concerned with the protection of Africa’s wildlife, these figures are undoubtedly worrying.

Approximately 50% of this year’s attacks occurred in Kruger National Park, despite the fact that there has been an increase in the number of troops guarding this area. The rhino horn is particularly valuable in Asian countries, where it is frequently purchased by those who believe it to have medicinal properties.

Carvalho Muaria, Mozambique’s Tourism Minister, and Edna Molewa, South Africa’s Minister for Environmental Affairs, recently signed a memorandum of understanding which they hope will curb the illegal hunting of this species. Muaria’s cooperation was particularly important, due to the fact that Mozambique shares its border with the aforementioned Kruger National Park.

But there is some scepticism regarding how effective this memorandum will be, as previous efforts to reduce rhino poaching have yielded minimal results. Although air and foot patrols have been deployed around the country, just 32 poachers have been arrested over the past five months, and authorities have not yet revealed whether or not they have gone ahead with prosecution in these cases.

Additionally, many people have opposed the government’s recent idea to sell rhino horn, in order to reduce poaching. While it sounds counterintuitive, the Department of Environmental Affairs argues that it is possible to ‘harvest’ the horns of rhinos in a sustainable manner, without actually killing the animal. They say that the profits made from selling this product can then be used to fund rhino conservation projects.

Edna Molewa has insisted that the government will not allow South Africa’s excellent reputation with regard to protecting rhinos to be damaged. However, a recent news report on this subject pointed out that the government proposed a similar idea back in 2000; conservation enthusiasts like Tunde Folawiyo might recall that shortly after the sale of ivory was legalised in South Africa, there was a sudden surge in the demand for this product in Asian countries. This demand resulted in a dramatic increase in illegal poaching, which in turn led to a serious decline in the African elephant population.

Africa’s Endangered WildlifeBlack rhinoceroscombatting rhino poachingillegal poachingpoachingpreventing African rhino poachingrhino poachingTunde Folawiyotunde folawiyo africatunde folawiyo biowildlife conservation

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