More rhinos poached in 2014 than ever before

Authorities have arrested 344 people for poaching related crimes in 2014, one more than the 343 in 2013 and significantly more than the 165 in 2010.

The Department of Environmental Affairs says the arrests include those alleged to be poachers, couriers and members of criminal syndicates.

Total arrests for allegations of rhino poaching and related crimes SANParks

Nonetheless, the total number of rhino poached now stands at 1 020 for the year. A three fold increase from 2010 and a 145 fold increase since 2000 when just 7 rhinos were killed.

Total rhino killed to date (2010 - 2014) SANParks

The White Rhino population in Africa is estimated to be about 20 000 while Black Rhinos number about 5 000.

In a good year there should be an average of 26 rhinos born a week. In 2014, each week, poachers took the lives of 19.

If the poaching continues to rise at the rate it has over the last 4 years, from next year, more rhinos will die than will be born.

Thankfully the efforts by SANParks has slowed the rapid increase in the poaching rate, but the total number of rhino killed means the rhino population growth is now basically static.

Catching those that are poaching, and smashing the syndicates that are feeding the demand for horn in Asia, will help in the short term. The only real success, however, will come when those living in desperation around the parks can find an alternative means to generate an income to look after themselves and their families rather than making a living by poaching.


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