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Meer dan 800 Afrikaanse neushoorns gedood in laatste drie jaar

25 mrt 2011

De laatste drie jaar zijn meer dan 800 Afrikaanse neushoorns gedood. Met
hun illegale jacht bedreigt een groeiende groep georganiseerde stropers
het voorzichtige herstel van deze dieren, aldus IUCN-specialist Richard

Op dit moment lopen er in Afrika 4.840 zwarte en 20.150 witte neushoorns
rond. De soorten zijn zich langzaam aan het herstellen. Toch is meer
samenwerking tussen onderzoekers en de autoriteiten nodig om stroperij
terug te dringen.

Vooral in Zuid-Afrika, Zimbabwe en Kenia hebben steeds meer jagers het
op de hoorns van de dieren gemunt. Alleen al in Zuid-Afrika stierven
vorig jaar 333 neushoorns. Meer informatie over de stroperij staat
hieronder in het Engels.

Africa’s Rhinos face worst poaching crisis in decades

Gland, Switzerland, Friday 25 March 2011 (IUCN)

– Well-equipped,
sophisticated organized crime syndicates have killed more than 800
African rhinos in the past three years - just for their horns. With the
most serious poaching upsurge in South Africa, Zimbabwe and Kenya,
Africa’s top rhino experts recently met in South Africa to assess the
status of rhinos across the continent and to identify strategies to
combat the poaching crisis.

Although good biological management and anti-poaching efforts have led
to modest population gains for both species of African rhino, we are
still very concerned about the increasing involvement of organized
criminal poaching networks, and that, unless the rapid escalation in
poaching in recent years can be halted, continental rhino numbers could
once again start to decline/,” says

Dr. Richard Emslie, scientific
officer for the IUCN Species Survival Commission’s (SSC) African Rhino
Specialist Group (AfRSG).

South Africa alone lost 333 rhinos last year and so far this year has
lost more than 70. Most rhino horns leaving Africa are destined for
Southeast Asian medicinal markets that are believed to be driving the
poaching epidemic. In particular, Vietnamese nationals have been
repeatedly implicated in rhino crimes in South Africa.

Black Rhinos (/Diceros bicornis/) currently number 4,840 (up from 4,240
in 2007), whilst White Rhinos (/Ceratotherium simum/) are more numerous,
with a population of 20,150 (up from 17,500 in 2007). Population numbers
are increasing, however, with the rise in poaching, there is still cause
for concern due to inadequate funding to combat well-resourced organized

Rhino experts urged greater cooperation between wildlife investigators,
police and prosecutors; magistrates and judges to be more sensitive to
rhino issues; and assistance in developing new tools and technologies to
detect and intercept rhino poachers and horn traffickers. While the
number of arrests has increased there is an urgent need for improved
conviction rates and increased penalties for rhino-related crimes in
some countries.

The AfRSG commended recent initiatives to combat poaching. These include
the establishment of a National Wildlife Crime Reaction Unit in South
Africa, increasing protection throughout the rhinos’ range, DNA
fingerprinting of rhino horn, regional information sharing and engaging
with the authorities in Vietnam. In addition, wildlife agencies are
working closely with private and community rhino custodians, as well as
support organizations, to protect rhinos.

“In South Africa, a large number of rhinos live on private land. Rhino
management, including control of rhino horn stockpiles and security,
needs to be improved and coordinated among rhino holders/,” says

Stuart, chair of the IUCN Species Survival Commission.

/“This is
essential if we are going to face the poaching crisis head on.”/

In some countries, White Rhinos are still hunted as trophies. The group
noted that some professional hunters have demonstrated questionable and
unethical behaviour, adding that improved management of the allocation
and monitoring of hunting permit applications, especially in some South
African provinces, needs urgent attention.

The US Fish & Wildlife Service’s Rhino & Tiger Conservation Fund, WWF’s
African Rhino Programme, International Rhino Foundation, Save the Rhino
International and South African National Parks sponsored this meeting of
the IUCN Species Survival Commission (SSC) African Rhino Specialist
Group (AfRSG), biologists and wildlife managers, as well as government
representatives from Kenya, Malawi, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland,
Zambia and Zimbabwe.

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