Archive for the ‘rhino horn’ 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

 

 

British Photographer wins Award drawing attention to “South Africa’s Rhino War”   Leave a comment

From:  SA people News

December 15, 2014 By

British photographer Richard Humphries, who recently won an award for his graphic photographic portrait of “South Africa’s Rhino War”, describes the poaching scenes he witnessed in the Kruger National Park as nothing less than a “full-on war”.

Rhino Poaching in South Africa

Photo: Richard Humphries

Richard has a history with South Africa, having lived in the country, with his wife Jill, for three years from 2009 to 2012 (and they “LOVE it”), but when he visited earlier this year, from their new base in Malaysia, he was shocked by what he came across.

Richard told SAPeople that he returned “for a visit with the intention to explore the Rhino story while I was there.

“Nothing could have prepared me for what I saw. I can only describe it as a full-on war – a war between the anti-poaching teams, and well-armed, well-funded, criminal syndicate gangs.”

Rhino Poaching in South Africa

Photo: Richard Humphries

He cites Limpopo and Mpumalanga province as representing the front line of this Rhino War, with the small town of Hoedspruit – where he was based with Protrack anti-poaching unit – as being the “Forward Operating Base” for anti-poaching teams, thanks to its proximity to the Kruger.

Rhino Poaching in South Africa

Photo: Richard Humphries

In his entry, which won him the Neutral Density Photo Award for Special Photographer of the Year, Richard explains that “Anti-Poaching teams provide security for the game parks within the Kruger area by using highly trained units to patrol large game areas,” but he adds that “despite being well trained, heavily armed, and connected to a deep intelligence network, the Anti-Poaching units often find themselves one step being the criminal gangs.”

Rhino Poaching in South Africa

Photo: Richard Humphries

Richard’s award-winning photos were all taken in January and February this year in the Kruger Park area…and reveal some of the true horror of the poaching that is driving a species to extinction.

In “South Africa’s Rhino War”, Richard points out that:

  • The Tragic Numbers
    A record 1,004 rhinos were killed in South Africa in 2013, up from 668 in 2012, a 50 per cent increase in just one year. If this trend continues in 2014 we will reach the tipping point for Rhinos by the end of the year. By the end of 2014 we will start to be in the negative in terms of deaths and poaching outstripping birth, and the population will start to decline very quickly.
  • The Endangered Lists
    According to the 2013 IUCN Red List the Southern White Rhino is near threatened and the Black Rhino is critically endangered.
  • The Insatiable Demand
    A seemingly insatiable demand for Rhino horn from the medicine markets of Vietnam and China is feeding this madness. Driven by a common belief in Asia that ground-up rhino horns can cure cancer and other ills, the trade has been embraced by ruthless criminal syndicates that normally traffic drugs and guns, but have now branched into the underground animal parts business because it is seen as a low risk, high profit enterprise.
  • The Value
    Rhino horn is now worth more than gold and cocaine on the black market.

As Richard writes, “rhino poaching is fast becoming an epidemic, and one of the most pressing conservation issues in the world today.”

Let’s hope that more international figures like Richard bring attention to this crisis in our land, and on our planet, and that we can turn the tide and save the Rhino. We need all the help we can get…

View more of Richard Humphries’ award-winning “South Africa’s Rhino War” photographs here. 

 

Zambian rhino puts spotlight on poaching crisis   Leave a comment

From: Easiertravel

4th November 2014

Rangers save Inongwe from Snare

Zambia’s Mosi-Oa-Tunya National Park now has its own celebrity rhino, Inongwe a rising star on Acacia Africa’s Twitter and Facebook pages. Chosen as mascot for the safari specialist’s anti-poaching campaign, Inongwe operates under the hashtag #SaveInongwe. Building awareness for the plight of rhinos online is nothing new, but the tour operator is also highlighting the positive steps being put in place on the ground. A major factor behind the decision to work with the Zambian park: no rhinos have been poached since 2007 and they remain under 24-hour armed guard. Even more exciting news Inongwe is due to deliver a second calf in early 2015 – a significant event as rhinos only give birth once every two to four years.

Arno Delport, Sales & Marketing Manager at Acacia Africa comments “To date most campaigns have focused on the negatives and while we are building awareness of the facts we feel there is a need to include locations where rangers are effectively helping to combat rhino poaching. A force for good, we’re encouraging other parks and reserves, NGOs and cause related organisations across Africa to share their news using the #SaveInongwe hashtag. Our tours attract travellers from several continents including Europe, North America, Australasia and Asia, and many safari goers choose to talk about their experience and share their photos online. By coming together on Twitter and Facebook we can make a real difference, and hopefully the campaign will inspire more people to visit Africa and donate to worthy initiatives.”

The poaching crisis has escalated over recent years and rhinos are facing the very real threat of extinction by 2026. Driven by demand from countries including China and Vietnam, rhino horn is valued for its supposed medicinal properties, but mere myth it is actually composed of keratin the same material found in hair and nails.

As part of the initiative Acacia Africa named one of their 20 strong fleet after Inongwe and several of their upcoming overland camping expeditions are to be focused on rhino conservation. The following departures will include a Bad Hair Party on 09 December and the chance to win a rhino walking safari in the Mosi-Oa-Tunya National Park – adventurers from all five tours meeting up in Livingstone.

24-day South East Adventure departing 16 November. From £1,295pp (no single supplement) + local payment from £576pp.

31-day South East Adventure departing 16 November. From £1,645pp (no single supplement) + local payment from £757pp.

22-day Zanzibar, Victoria Falls & Kruger departing 25 November. From £1,125pp (no single supplement) + local payment from £407pp.

19-day Desert Tracker departing 22 November. From £850pp (no single supplement) + local payment from £472pp.

7-day African Insight (northbound) departing 04 December. From £435pp (no single supplement) + local payment from £169pp.

On the back of the itineraries, the Africa specialist is also giving everyone the opportunity to participate in the “Bad Hair Day Challenge.” Rhino supporters should upload their Bad Hair Day selfie to Facebook or Twitter using the #SaveInongwe hashtag, and either nominate or donate to their favouirite rhino charity.

All travellers passing through Livingstone on Acacia Africa’s overland tours will have the opportunity to meet Inongwe on an optional rhino walk, the tour operator’s camping expeditions starting from just seven days.

For more information, visit acacia-africa.com.

Male White rhino at Mosi-oa-Tunya national par...

Male White rhino at Mosi-oa-Tunya national park, Livingstone, Zambia. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Cameroon Seizes 200 Elephant Tusks Bound for Asia   2 comments

English: Male forest elephant at the Langoué B...

English: Male forest elephant at the Langoué Bai (forest clearing), Ivindo National Park, Gabon. This male came to the clearing to drink mineral-rich water, obtained from pits dug by elephants at specific locations within the clearing. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Three African Bush Elephants in Serengeti. Fra...

Three African Bush Elephants in Serengeti. Français : Trois Éléphants de savane d’Afrique (Loxodonta africana). Photo prise dans le Serengeti, en Tanzanie. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Elephants around an acacia (?) tree in Waza Pa...

Elephants around an acacia (?) tree in Waza Park, Extreme North Province, Cameroon. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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