The Washington Post has published an excellent article on the different measures and equipment being used to combat rhino poaching in South Africa, but also noting that poachers are also learning and that the number of rhinos poached has increased again this year. Click here to read the article. Smart phones, drones, predictive mathematical modelling, negative advertising, dyes and nausea inducing chemicals is all in part of it. Even legalization of trade is an alternative under consideration. Even so, as cvheerden has pointed out, this week’s news reported the “Last rhinos in Mozambique killed by poachers” including Mozambique game rangers in the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park which is the park shared with South Africa and Zimbabwe. Kruger Park is South Africa’s portion of the Transfrontier Park. Further information about Mozambique and Limpopo Park poaching is available here.
There is a meeting this week in Bangkok Thailand of the Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) with 2000 delegates from 178 countries. South Africa is hosting and participating in 3 side events which will focus on rhinos. Click here for more information. Because of criminal syndicate involvement, South Africa is characterizing the present poaching situation as a national security risk. Will 2000 people attending a conference actually accomplish anything to protect rhinos, or are they there because they always wanted to see Bangkok?
Oct. 28 to Nov. 1 found the tour group flying to Durban on the Indian Ocean, then driving to KwaZulu-Natal, Swaziland and then back into South Africa to Kruger National Park. Game drives were enjoyed at Hluhluwe and Kruger Parks. Kathy’s Smilebox slide and video show includes her front seat video of a spectacular elephant crossing in Kruger Park. A copy of the video was requested by the safari guide and has also been published on Youtube. Kathy shares her pictures and videos of drum and dance performances, crafts, food, scenery and many many animals.
Rhinos. Will rhinos be gone from Kruger Park by 2020?. This IOL News Jan. 6 article by Simon Bloch and Ivor Powell reviews a journal publication by Dr Sam Ferreira, large mammal ecologist for SANParks at Kruger National Park. From previous posts you know that I am aware of the rhino poaching problem in southern Africa, more than 600 last year. Poaching rates have increased, 48% higher in Kruger Park in 2012 than 2011. The Western Black Rhinocerus subspecies, officially declared in 2011 to be extinct. The last known specimen of the Asian rhinocerus, killed in Viet Nam in 2010. Only 4 rhinos may still survive in the Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe, alleged to be collateral damage from Chinese mining concessions and the influx of Asian immigrants in that country. Read about the poaching links to “The Crocodile” Emmerson Mnangagwa also referred to as “The Butcher of Matabeleland”. The architect of Zimbabwe’s state security and creator of Zimbabwe’s Central Intelligence Office – possible in line for president after Robert Mugabe. I stumbled across this article accidentally when I was looking for an update about pollution related Kruger Park crocodile deaths in 2010 and 2011 and thinking of anthrax killing off hippos – posts for another day. I post this here, hoping that the article will not be lost in the tsunami of daily news and that the data will not remain buried in scientific journals.