Global conservation efforts have suffered during the COVID-19 outbreak. It’s sadly ironic, because avoiding habitat loss is a cost-effective way to prevent pandemics.
A rhinoceros after having had its horn removed.
Trading rhino horn has been legalised in a bid to undercut poachers and the black market.
Scientists have created embryos from the eggs of southern white rhino and sperm from their northern counterparts.
DAI KUROKAWA / EPA
Rhino resurrection is tempting, but if humans cannot save a species in nature, what future for animals that we manufacture?
White rhino’s in the Kruger National Park.
Poaching is changing focus by moving from the Kruger National Park to other provinces and reserves.
Legalising the trade of rhino horns has long been thought of as the solution to the poaching problem.
Policymakers need to proceed with caution when it comes to legalising rhino horn as it could be a high risk strategy.
The military is not tactically trained for community protection and crime fighting and South Africa should not deploy soldiers in urban communities.
Local communities across Africa need to be drawn into conservation decisions to fight wildlife crime.
Local and indigenous communities remain mostly excluded from real benefits, and conservation often comes at a huge cost to them.
Scouts should manage human-wildlife conflicts.
Military style anti-poaching is often criticised because it alienates communities living around protected areas. But these initiatives give them an incentive to protect the species.
Rhino horn will still be available for private sales in South Africa as long as permits are available.
The first online rhino auction in South Africa wasn’t a success. This has done very little to help rhinos. It may, in fact, encourage more poaching as demand has not slowed down.
South Africa lost over 1000 rhinos to poaching last year.
The rhino horn auction in South Africa is a serious setback in the fight against poaching and the survival of wild rhinos. The chances of the horns remaining in the country are next to zero.
British army conducts anti-poaching training in Nanyuki, Kenya.
Dai Kurokawa / EPA
Protecting rhinos and fighting terrorism are both noble causes, but there isn’t much evidence of a link between the two.
KwaZulu-Natal is home to smaller wildlife sanctuaries and private game reserves like Hluhluwe-iMfolozi where poaching has increased.
South Africa’s KwaZulu-Natal province is bearing the brunt of renewed rhino poaching efforts. This is a result of increased security and anti-poaching in the Kruger National Park.
Supakit Ekthananun / shutterstock
Organised crime always looks for new ways to make money. And zoo animals are an easy target.
Swaziland is home to 73 white rhino.
Swaziland hoped to be allowed to legally trade rhino horns but the idea was rejected by vote at the CITES conference.
Markets and militarisation as responses to wildlife threats are dangerous because they often fail.
Military responses to combat poaching are a problem. They marginalise communities where poachers come from and can have longer term implications.
CITES has become the premier multilateral arrangement to tackle illegal wildlife trafficking.
The focus of CITES is not solely on the protection of species. It also promotes controlled trade that is not detrimental to the sustainability of wild species.
Rhino poaching in South Africa’s Kruger National Park has decreased this year but it has increased in other regions.
Initiatives to curb rhino poaching in the Kruger National Park has shown improvement compared to last year. But poaching in other parks has increased.
White rhino on Lake Nakuru in Kenya.
Rhino horn trade is a hotly contested topic. Proponents believe it can aid conservation efforts. But those in opposition believe it will cause poaching to increase.
Dehorning is practised on many South African private reserves and is seen as a way of deterring poachers.
A few national parks and reserves want to dehorn rhinos and there is a lobby for a regulated and closely monitored legal trade in rhino horn. But this is met by opposition from many.