JUL 24, 2017 5:49 AM PDT

South Africa Observes a Small Dip in Rhino Poaching

WRITTEN BY: Anthony Bouchard

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
MAR 25, 2021
Microbiology
Good Microbes Can Help Plants Withstand Heat
MAR 25, 2021
Good Microbes Can Help Plants Withstand Heat
Bacteria live everywhere, and we're starting to understand how they affect the biology of animals and plants. This comes ...
MAY 22, 2021
Plants & Animals
This Lizard Blows Bubbles to Breathe Underwater
MAY 22, 2021
This Lizard Blows Bubbles to Breathe Underwater
Scientists say it's the biological version of the rebreathers than human divers use to conserve and recycle their oxygen ...
MAY 29, 2021
Space & Astronomy
Climate Models Overestimate Role of Greenhouse Gases in Global Warming, Says New Study
MAY 29, 2021
Climate Models Overestimate Role of Greenhouse Gases in Global Warming, Says New Study
Researchers have that there was four times more soot in the pre-industrial Southern Hemisphere's atmosphere than pre ...
JUN 13, 2021
Cell & Molecular Biology
The DNA Content of a Cell Helps Control Its Size
JUN 13, 2021
The DNA Content of a Cell Helps Control Its Size
Cells have to maintain the right size; bacterial and eukaryotic cells tend to have a characteristic size, but that may a ...
JUL 08, 2021
Earth & The Environment
New System Predicts Future Cod Supplies for Next 10 Years
JUL 08, 2021
New System Predicts Future Cod Supplies for Next 10 Years
Cod stocks in the North Sea and the Barents Sea may be predicted ten years in advance for the first time, thanks to a ne ...
JUL 20, 2021
Plants & Animals
Feral Pigs Are Releasing More Carbon Than One Million Cars
JUL 20, 2021
Feral Pigs Are Releasing More Carbon Than One Million Cars
Feral pigs are considered to be a destructive, menacing invasive species in several parts of the world including the sou ...
Loading Comments...