'More willing poachers than rhino'

2013-06-13 10:00
(File, AFP)

(File, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Cape Town – Rhino poaching is close to resulting in more deaths than calves being born, Braam Malherbe, extreme conservationist and 50/50 television presenter, said.

"In 2008 an average of 19 to 20 rhino were poached annually. In 2009 122 rhino were poached, in 2010 the figure increased to 333, in 2011 448 rhino were poached and in 2012 668 rhino were poached," Malherbe told News24.

"From 2010 to 2012 the figures doubled. This year as at the end of May more than 350 rhino were killed. Out of the 350 rhino killed nationally 242 were killed in the Kruger Park. And of the 668 and 448 rhino killed nationally, between 2011 and 2012, an average of 72% of the rhino killed were in the KNP."

According to him the KNP accounts approximately for 48% of the national total rhino population. He said most of the poaching is also taking place in the eastern boundary between Mozambique which is about 400km long and is largely unprotected.

"There are more willing poachers than there are rhino. The elements driving the rhino killings are highly organised crime syndicates who will stop at nothing to fuel the trade."

The number of people arrested countrywide on rhino poaching-related charges was currently at 121. Fifty-six of them were arrested in the KNP.

He said rangers must be rewarded and deserve to be acknowledged for arresting poachers.

"I feel strongly that our rangers, who risk death in a confrontation with armed poachers, should be financially incentivised. A field ranger is not highly paid. To expect him to risk his life to save a rhino when he has a family to feed is a big ask. Most are dedicated but some are open to temptation to collude with the enemy. Simple GPS co-ordinates from a cellphone, giving the location of a rhino to a poacher, may secure a significant sum of money for a struggling family."

Rhino horn trade

Michael Eustace, an environmental economist and asset manager, said the ban in trade in rhino horn has been a dismal failure, pushing the trade underground where it has thrived.

"Southern Africa could supply the market with 676 horns a year from natural deaths alone. There are also legal stockpiles of over 5 000 horns. Southern Africa could easily supply the market with 940 horns a year and increase this by 40 horns a year from natural deaths, provided poaching was controlled.

"In addition, private farmers in South Africa could provide the equivalent of 1 000 horns or 4 000kg a year by cropping their horns. The horn re-grows at the rate of 0,8kg a year. In theory, Southern Africa could provide the market with 1 940 horns a year, or more than twice the current demand."

Malherbe said not enough people have successfully been prosecuted for poaching as "the process from the crime scene to an arrest to an actual conviction takes way too long".

He said the parks do get tip-offs from the public about suspected poaching activities but more people need to do so. The National Wildlife Crime Reaction Unit number people can call if they know of any poaching activities is 0800 205 005.

"There is no such thing as a single solution to end rhino poaching, we will have to gather an arsenal of tools to form a successful strategy. We need a fundamental paradigm shift in our current failed rhino conservation strategy and a far more collaborative approach in seeking solutions.

"We must make informed decisions, remove sentiment and take decisive action in helping win the rhino wars," Malherbe said.

 
– Follow Chantelle on Twitter.

Read more on:    rhino poaching
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
7 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
 

'Zuma's legacy will be judged by Nkandla'

The legacy of President Jacob Zuma is contingent on how he deals with the issue of upgrades to his Nkandla homestead, says Cape Town Archbishop Thabo Makgoba.

 
 

Latest elections multimedia

Why Jack Parow wants you to vote on 7 May
The ad the SABC doesn't want to air
Elections 2014 in one cartoon
This year's election posters
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Thursday Sir Lowry's Pass - 05:35 AM
    Road name: Old Sir Lowrys Pass Road
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Bezweni Road
  • Thursday Cape Town - 05:35 AM
    Road name: Buitengracht Street
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Waterkant Street
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Get many eggs in one basket!

Gaming bundles: 2 Super Hits games for R99, 3 Disney games for R99 and more + exclusive accessory bundles only available on kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Up to 25% off electronics

Buy top electronics and save up to 25%. Such as kalahari.com’s 1# selling product the gobii eReader, Patriot X Porter flash drive, Asus Nexus 7” 3G tablet, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Lenovo G580 Notebook and many more. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off appliances & homeware

Save up to 30% on appliances and homeware this Easter! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

BlackBerry Curve 3G 9300

Keep it together Text. Email. Social. With all the different ways to...

From R1399.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Self-indulgence may be strong today. You may want to enjoy yourself to the fullest and share it with those that make you feel...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.