Rhinos 'pushed to extinction'

2009-07-09 12:57

kalahari.com

Geneva - Poachers seeking horn for traditional medicines are driving once thriving populations of rhinos in Africa and Asia towards extinction, global nature protection groups said on Thursday.

In a report issued in Geneva, they said illegal slaughter of the already endangered animals is rising fast, with rates hitting a 15-year high amid stepped-up activities by Asian-based criminal gangs feeding the demand for horn.

"Illegal rhino horn trade to destinations in Asia is driving the killing, with growing evidence of involvement of Vietnamese, Chinese and Thai nationals in the illegal procurement and transport of the horn out of Africa," the report declared.

"Rhinos are in a desperate situation," said Susan Lieberman of the Swiss-based environmental body WWF-International, which issued the report together with the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

The report, presented to a meeting of the United Nations- sponsored Cites agency which works to prevent trade in endangered species, said South Africa and Zimbabwe were seeing a particular surge in poaching.

While between 2000 and 2005 a relatively low total of three rhinos were estimated to have been illegally killed each month in Africa out of a total population of some 18 000, 12 were now being slaughtered monthly in the two countries alone.

In India, 10 of the animals had been slaughtered for horn since January and at least 7 in Nepal, out of a total population for the two countries of just 2 400, the report said.

'Worst rhino poaching in years'

In many Asian countries, rhino horn has long been regarded as a vital ingredient in folk cures for many illnesses as well as for male sexual impotency, although medical specialists say it has no healing or potency powers.

Trade in any rhino parts is banned under the international Cites treaty, the Convention on Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora.

But the WWF's Lieberman said the upsurge marks "the worst rhino poaching for many years" and represents a deadly threat to the animals' survival around the world.

It was time for governments "to crack down on organised criminal elements responsible for this trade, and to vastly increase assistance to (rhino) range countries in their enforcement efforts," she added.

Steve Broad, who heads the Traffic network that works with WWF and IUCN in monitoring wildlife trade, said a lack of law enforcement and a low level of prosecutions of arrested poachers was making the situation worse.

"Increasingly daring attempts by poachers and thieves to obtain the horn is proving to be too much for rhinos, and some populations are seriously declining," he declared.

Read more on:    wwf  |  rhino poaching

SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

 

Inside News24

 
/News
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Tuesday Mitchells Plain - 19:35 PM
    Road name: M7 Vanguard Drive
    ROADWORKS - traffic restrictions between the R300 and Highlands Drive - expect delays
  • Tuesday Belhar - 17:58 PM
    Road name: Belhar Drive
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Alabama Drive
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Up to 60% off - clearance sale!

Save up to 60% on appliances, books, electronics, toys, movies and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Deal of the Week!

Get bestselling John Green novels now just R99 each! Hurry and get yours while stocks last. Shop here.

Mind blowing deals on beauty & fragrances

Save up to 30% off beauty and fragrances. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 50% off hair care products!

Save up to 50% on professional hair care products at kalahari.com. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

30% off academic books

Score a mind blowing 30% off academic books! 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

DStv Walka Handheld TV

The Walka Handheld TV is a slim, lightweight device with...

From R199.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Something may come up to alert you of your security needs. It may be that you need to create a better structure for your finances...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.