JUL 24, 2017 05:49 AM PDT

South Africa Observes a Small Dip in Rhino Poaching

Animal conservationists can celebrate a small win in the ongoing war against rhino poaching this week.

According to a report released by the South African government on Monday, 529 wild rhinos were killed by poachers between January and June of 2017, which is down by 13 when compared to the number of wild rhinos killed during the same time in 2016.

South Africa monitors rhino losses year after year since rhino horn is such a hot commodity in some neighboring Asian nations.

Image Credit: PersidisK/Pixabay

Worthy of note, Kruger National Park alone saw a 34% decline in illegal rhino killings. Since this region typically sees more of this activity than other areas, the news is exciting to animal conservation enthusiasts.

Poachers commonly slaughter the animals to profit from their valuable horns, which they sell in neighboring Asian countries to be used as an ingredient in traditional medicines. These medicines are said to treat cancer and a whole host of other ailments, but science has not yet confirmed the validity of such claims.

13 rhinos may not seem like a significant number when well over 500 of them come up in conversation, but the improvements are difficult to ignore when rhino populations are watched over so stringently.

"As we have always stated, these declining numbers do not mean we can proclaim victory. Nevertheless, the downward trend is being established, which is cause for cautious optimism," said Edna Molewa, the region’s environment minister.

Keep in mind that since this data is being reported in six-month increments, there are still six more months of 2017 to keep track off. The current model suggests that at least 500 more wild rhinos are at risk of being slaughtered before the end of this year.

South Africa is home to much of the world’s remaining rhinos. If poaching here continues at the current trends, then even the common rhino could one day face the same imminent fate of extinction as the elusive northern white rhino; only three of which remain in the entire world.

There is still much more work to be done if we are going to eliminate rhino poaching altogether. Neighboring countries, where the practice is still legal, will need to implement stricter laws on horn trade. Only then might poachers think twice about the consequences before killing these wild animals.

For now, all we can do is wait for governments to act while protecting the animals as much as we can in the wilderness where they reside.

Source: Phys.org

About the Author
  • Fascinated by scientific discoveries and media, Anthony found his way here at LabRoots, where he would be able to dabble in the two. Anthony is a technology junkie that has vast experience in computer systems and automobile mechanics, as opposite as those sound.
You May Also Like
NOV 27, 2018
Chemistry & Physics
NOV 27, 2018
Unraveling the Secret Behind the Strength of Spider Web
You don't need to watch a Spider-Man movie to notice how tough a spider web can be. Made of fiber-based spider silk, the seemingly fragile structure ca...
DEC 03, 2018
Plants & Animals
DEC 03, 2018
50 More Beached Pilot Whales Perish in New Zealand
New Zealand has become somewhat accustomed to dealing with beached marine mammals, but the sheer number of stranded whales that the regional Department of...
DEC 12, 2018
Earth & The Environment
DEC 12, 2018
Bioenergy crops are hurting global biodiversity
New research published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences suggests that bioenergy crop production may not be as eco-friendly as once th...
DEC 13, 2018
Chemistry & Physics
DEC 13, 2018
Biochemical Antifreezes: How Do They Work?
How do fish survive in the Arctic ocean where the temperature is under zero degree Celsius most of the year? They rely on a class of polypeptides called th...
DEC 21, 2018
Genetics & Genomics
DEC 21, 2018
Red Wolf DNA Discovered in Unusual Canines
Red wolves were thought to be extinct in the wild and were listed as such in 1980. Researchers have now found red wolf DNA in Texas canines...
JAN 01, 2019
Plants & Animals
JAN 01, 2019
Recent Tsunami in Indonesia Sparks Fear for the Critically-Endangered Javan Rhino
Indonesia’s Javan Rhino is one of the most elusive rhino species in the world. With just 63-67 of the animals still alive today, the International Un...
Loading Comments...