Johannesburg – Rhino poaching in South Africa is on the decline while elephant poaching has shown an increase in 2016, Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa has announced.In the period of January until August 31, a total of 458 poached rhino carcasses were found in the Kruger National Park, compared to 557 in the same period last year. This is a decline of 17.8%."We are pleased to announce yet again, as we did in January and May, that poaching is on the decline in the Kruger National Park – the area hardest hit," Molewa said.Nationally, 702 rhino were poached since the beginning of 2016 whereas between January and July 2015, a total of 796 rhino were poached.According to the review, poaching rates (the number of carcasses as a percentage of the number of live rhinos estimated the previous September for each year) decreased by 15.5% compared to 2015's 9.6%.These figures come amidst a 27.87% increase in the number of illegal incursions into the Kruger National Park – a worrying 2 115 from January to August this year.The number of rhino poached has, however, increased in KwaZulu-Natal, Free State and the Northern Cape, but the total number still adds up to a national decline.Although rhino poaching shows a decline, 36 elephants have been poached in the Kruger National Park since January. A total of 414 alleged poachers have been arrested in South Africa since January. Of these, 177 were made in Kruger and 237 in the rest of the country. A total of 94 firearms have been seized inside the park.