SOUTH AFRICAN GOVERNMENT IS AWARE THAT ONGOING SCOURGE OF RHINO POACHING IS LINKED TO WORLDWIDE ILLICIT WILDLIFE TRADE

MEDIA STATEMENT

20 November 2014

The South African government recognizes that the ongoing killing of the rhino for its horns is part of a multi-billion dollar worldwide illicit wildlife trade and that addressing the scourge is not simple. Government will continue to strengthen holistic and integrated interventions and explore new innovative options to ensure the long-term survival of the species.

Government is implementing integrated strategic management of rhinoceros in South Africa to address the ongoing scourge. This includes interventions aimed at disrupting crime syndicates. This has since seen the number of individuals arrested for poaching and related activities increase. A total of 344 alleged rhino poachers, couriers and poaching syndicate members have been arrested in South Africa since the start of 2014.

The record number of arrests this year follows an intensification of anti-poaching actions by SANParks and the police, as well as the SANDF and provincial conservation and security officials.

To date, a total of 1 020 rhino have been killed for their horn since 1 January 2014.  During 2013 1004 rhino were poached for their horns in South Africa. The largest number of rhino poached has been in the Kruger National Park, where 672 rhino have been poached so far this year.

A total of 110 rhino have been poached in Limpopo, 84 in KwaZulu-Natal, 70 in Mpumalanga, 58 in North West and 15 in the Eastern Cape.

The Department of Environmental Affairs recognises that combating rhino poaching requires an adaptable multi-faceted response.  Therefore, the integrated strategic management approach approved by Cabinet is being implemented in an effort to protect South Africa’s rhino.

The Minister of Environmental Affairs, Mrs Edna Molewa, said at a Rhino Conservation Side Event at the 6th World Parks Congress in Sydney, Australia, this week:  “Unfortunately the threat of poaching has continued to escalate while various multi-faceted interventions are being implemented by South Africa.  We are concerned that poaching is part of a multi-billion dollar worldwide illicit wildlife trade. Addressing the scourge is not simple.”

South Africa’s multi-disciplinary response includes the creation of an intensive protection zone within the Kruger National Park, the introduction and implementation of new technology, pro-active intelligence, improving national, regional and international collaboration, and translocating rhino to safe areas within South Africa, and in rhino range states.

** South Africans are urged to report incidents of poaching and tip-offs to the anonymous tip-off lines 0800 205 005, 08600 10111 or Crime-Line on 32211.

Rhinos poached

South Africa 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014
KNP (SANParks) 146 252 425 606 672
MNP (SANParks) 0 6 3 3 0
MAP (SANParks) 0 0 0 0 1
Gauteng 15 9 1 8 3
Limpopo 52 74 59 114 110
Mpumalanga 17 31 28 92 70
North West 57 21 77 87 58
Eastern Cape 4 11 7 5 15
Free State 3 4 0 4 4
KwaZulu-Natal 38 34 66 85 84
Western Cape 0 6 2 0 1
Northern Cape 1 0 0 0 2
TOTAL 333 448 668 1004 1020

Number of arrests

South Africa 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010
KNP (SANParks) 147 133 73 82 67
MNP (SANParks) 0 0 0 0 0
Gauteng 21 10 26 6 10
Mpumalanga 43 34 66 73 16
Eastern Cape 2 0 0 2 7
Limpopo 60 70 43 34 36
North West 14 26 32 21 2
Free State 0 7 6 0 0
KwaZulu-Natal 57 63 20 4 25
Western Cape 0 0 0 0 2
Northern Cape 0 0 1 0 0
TOTAL 344 343 267 232 165

For more information contact Albi Modise on 083 490 2871

 ISSUED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL AFFAIRS ON 20 NOVEMBER 2014