Archive for the ‘critically endangered’ Tag

Will the Rhino survive?   3 comments

From:  Frank Versteegh

Dec. 23, 2014

Will the Rhino surive?

A slain black rhino mom and her orphan calf.

 

Will the Rhino survive us?

This weekend I spent a few days in the lowfeld near Phalaborwa.

As many other National parks in South Africa, the Kruger is also suffering from poaching.
Rhino poaching in specific.
When I entered the gate the rangers ask you two questions. Do you have alcohol? Do you have guns? They check the car booth but any criminal will be able to smuggle in fire arms. This way of checking for guns is definitely not effective.

I did not see a Rhino. During the 400 km’s through the Kruger National park I did not see one!
Only in the Kruger park in 2013 300 Rhinos have been shot for their horn.

IMG_6674 - Version 2

24/7 rangers guards near the Rhino’s Ntombi and Tabo in Thula Thula.

 

Poached.
Organized criminals use all means to kill this animal.  Often with help (information) from locals. And as some people say, the horns sometimes leave the country in diplomatic mail. Poaching Rhino’s is big business. The horn is more valuable per ounce than gold. China and Vietnam are the biggest markets for Rhino horn as they believe the horn is an afrodisiac.

Rangers do anything to protect these animals but it is WAR. A full scale war between organised criminals with helicopters and rangers who try to defend the Rhino with their lives.

In 2014 already 40 people have been killed in the war against poaching.

Rhino Relocation

Sedated rhino airlifted.

How to protect?

Some private game parks have 24/7 guards following the Rhino in order to try to prevent these creatures from going extinct.

Others inject the horn with poison in order to make it useless for the consumers in the far-east.

Some nature conservationists believe in re-location of the Rhino to remote areas where they are safe. Others think concentrating Rhinos is helping the poachers.

In some game reserves the Rhino horn is injected with a chip, so that the poached horn can be traced by satellites.

Rhino poster 2 _ draw horn

Save our Rhino campaign poster.

 

A marketing campaign in China and Vietnam is also considered by some organizations. However , huge budgets are needed for campaigns like that.
At the turn of the 19th century there were more than 1.000.000 (million) Rhino’s.
In 2007 1 Rhino was poached every month.
As you can see at the attached pics the numbers of poached Rhino went up year by year.
In 2013 89 (Eighty nine) Rhino’s were poached each month.
When poaching continues in this rate, in my life time, we will not be able to see this creature anymore.

We, humans kill one of the last dinosaurs. Is there any hope for the Rhino?

http://www.stoprhinopoaching.com/

Poaching

Poaching copy

Poachers arrests

Ten good reasons to save rhinos

  1. Rhinos are critically endangered
    At the turn of the 19th century, there were approximately one million rhinos. In 1970, there were around 70,000. Today, there are only around 28,000 rhinos surviving in the wild.Three of the five species of rhino are “Critically Endangered” as defined by theIUCN (World Conservation Union). A taxon is classified as critically endangered when the best available evidence indicates that it meets any of a range of pre-determined criteria. It is therefore considered to be facing an extremely high risk of extinction in the wild. The Southern subspecies of the white rhino is classified by theIUCN in the lesser category of being “Near Threatened”; and the Greater one-horned rhino is classified as “Vulnerable”; even this is considered to be facing a high risk of extinction in the wild.In 2014, some of us are lucky enough to be able to travel to Africa and Asia to see them in the wild. In 2024, when our children have grown up, will they still be able to see wild rhinos?
  2. Rhinos have been around for 40 million years
    Rhinos have been an important part of a wide range of ecosystems for millions of years; we must not let them join the dodo in extinction.
  3. Humans have caused the drastic decline in numbers
    Poachers kill rhinos for the price they can get for the horns (used for traditional Chinese medicine, for high-status gifts in Vietnam and for quack cures invented by criminal syndicates to drive up demand); land encroachment, illegal logging and pollution are destroying their habitat; and political conflicts adversely affect conservation programmes.
  4. Rhinos are an umbrella species
    When protecting and managing a rhino population, rangers and scientists take in account all the other species interacting with rhinos and those sharing the same habitat. When rhinos are protected, many other species are too; not only mammals but also birds, reptiles, fish and insects as well as plants.
  5. Rhinos are charismatic mega-herbivores!
    By focusing on a well-known animal such as a rhino (or, to use the jargon, a charismatic mega-herbivore), we can raise more money and consequently support more conservation programmes benefiting animal and plant species sharing their habitat.
  6. Rhinos attract visitors and tourists
    Rhinos are the second-biggest living land mammals after the elephants. Together with lion, giraffe, chimpanzee and polar bear, the rhino is one of the most popular species with zoo visitors. In the wild, rhinos attract tourists who bring money to national parks and local communities. They are one of the “Big Five”, along with lion, leopard, elephant and buffalo.
  7. In situ conservation programmes need our help
    Protecting and managing a rhino population is a real challenge that costs energy and money. Rhino-range countries need our financial support, and benefit from shared expertise and exchange of ideas.
  8. Money funds effective conservation programmes that save rhinos
    We know that conservation efforts save species. The Southern white rhino would not exist today if it were not for the work of a few determined people, who brought together the 200 or so individuals surviving, for a managed breeding and re-introduction programme. Today, there are some 20,405 (as at 31 Dec. 2012) Southern white rhinos.With more money, we can support more programmes, and not just save rhino populations, but increase numbers and develop populations. The Northern white rhino subspecies may just have become extinct, but it is not too late to save the rest.
  9. Many people don’t know that rhinos are critically endangered
    Not just that, but how many people know that rhinos also live in Asia? Or that two species have just one horn? Or that the horn is not used as an aphrodisiac? We have even heard some people say that they are carnivores!
    If people do not know about these amazing animals and the problems they are facing, how can we expect them to want to do something to help save rhinos?
  10. We all have an opportunity to get involved!
    You can help us raise awareness of the plight of the rhino! The more we do all together, the more people will learn about rhinos and the more field projects we will be able to support. There are lots of fundraising ideas scattered in the ‘Support us’ section, as well as ways to donate directly to Save the Rhino.

http://www.stoprhinopoaching.com/

IMG_6696 - Version 2

Ntombi and Tabo, two orphins in Thula Thula, now 5 years old.

 

2007

 

 

Elephant poaching soars as Sumatran forests turn into plantations   2 comments

 

Elephant poaching soars as Sumatran forests turn into plantations.

Originally written for Mongabay-Indonesia by Zamzami; translated into English by Olivia Rondonuwu 
August 14, 2014
Read more at http://news.mongabay.com/2014/0814-zamzami-riau-elephants-poaching.html#7biEg4Xq4KJMg5F6.99

Reported kills for 2014 in Riau Province reached 22 by June, surpassing 2013 numbers by 63 percent

There has been a spike in elephant deaths in Sumatra this year, and conversion of rainforest to plantations is one of the main causes, according to the Indonesian Elephant Conservation Forum, or FKGI. The number of Sumatran elephants (Elephas maximus sumatranus) poached in the province of Riau so far this year is staggering, with 22 reported kills in the first six months of 2014 compared to 14 for the entirety of 2013. 

FKGI – a group comprised of several NGOs and individuals promoting conservation of elephants and their habitat — said conversion of natural forest to industrial forest such as timber plantations has split open the ecosystem and provides hunters easy access to elephant areas. 

Sumatran elephants in Bukit Barisan Selatan National Park. Photos by Rhett A. Butler.

Sumatran elephants in Bukit Barisan Selatan National Park. Photos by Rhett A. Butler.

The Sumatran elephant is protected by Indonesia’s Law No. 5/1990 on Sustainable Natural Resources and Ecosystem Conservation. Due to a rapidly diminishing population, in 2011 the IUCN changed the status of the subspecies from Vulnerable to Critically Endangered – just one rung above extinction. 

The ivory trade is thought to be the main motive of the recent spate of elephant deaths, with WWF Indonesia reporting most carcasses were devoid of tusks. Unlike African elephants that grow tusks regardless of sex, only male Asian elephants have tusks. 

The group said that 18 out of 22 elephant corpses were discovered near Riau Andalan Pulp & Paper’s (RAPP) concession area. The company is a subsidiary of APRIL, the pulp & paper division of the Royal Golden Eagle (RGE) Group, a conglomerate owned by Singapore-based businessman Sukanto Tanoto

“The corpse of the [last] elephant was found in an acacia plantation just 50 meters from the main logging road and not far from a RAPP security checkpoint,” FKGI head Krismanko Padang said in a press statement. 

Four other dead elephants were found in Hutani Sola, Balai Raja Elephant Training Center, which is the concession area of the firm Arara Abadi. 

Security posts set up by timber plantation companies have been loose and unable to inspect people passing through the checkpoints, FKGI added. 

“From the information we gather, hunters’ car often enter the plantation area but the security officers could not stop them,” Krismanko said. 

To address the situation, FKGI called for industrial forest companies such as RAPP to play a more active role in protecting elephants roaming their concession by showing more responsibility, as well as pursuing poaching cases and determining the perpetrators and the motives behind the killings.

Palm oil and wood fiber concessions have taken over the majority of Riau (province indicated by green line). Map courtesy of Global Forest Watch.

In the last decade, at least 142 elephants have been killed by poison or gunfire, but only a single case has been brought to court. That happened in 2005 in Mahato, Rokan Hulu district, and the perpetrator was sentenced to 12.5 years in jail for poaching, possessing a firearm and defying authorities. 

Elephant deaths have also occurred at Tesso Nilo, one of the last remaining lowland rainforests on Sumatra, which has been designated the Center for Elephant Conservation by the Forestry Ministry. The deaths occurred in the concession areas of Rimba Peranap Indah, Siak Raya Timber and Arara Abadi in the Tesso Nilo forest block. 

The head of Riau Natural Resources Conservation Agency (BKSDA) said investigation of elephant deaths is difficult. This is due to a lack of available funds and human resources, as well as the difficulty in finding witnesses, as the places where killings take place are often very remote. 

“We are not making excuses but the reality is our human resources and funds are very limited. There are still other problems we need to tackle such as forest fires, illegal logging and forest encroachment,” said Kemal Amas, head of BKSDA. 

According to Krismanko, attempts have been made to reach out to RAPP, with a request to RAPP management to convene and discuss the deaths. However, the request was denied by a company representative, who said they were unavailable due to the Islamic Eid holiday. 

“It goes to show that Sumatran elephant death is not a priority for RAPP,” Krismanko said. “So let RAPP’s image become bad in the eye of the people and consumers. Their commitment is questionable.” 

Sunarto, a species specialist from WWF, said plantation firms whose area is part of elephant range should be active in conserving elephants and be willing to allocate space for their movements. 

“The government should give incentives and appreciation to companies and people who helped save elephants,” Sunarto said. “The government must also enforce the law on those involved in damaging the habitat and even worse those who hunt and kill this highly intelligent and sociable animal.”

This article was originally published on Mongabay-Indonesia on July 18, 2014.

 

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