According to the latest figures from the South Africa Department of Environmental Affairs, over 790 rhinos have been lost to poaching so far this year (as at 25 October). This is on average 2.6 rhinos per day and means over 100 rhinos have been killed within the past month. This figure sadly surpasses the total killings for the whole of 2012, when 668 rhinos were illegally poached. 60% of the rhino killings took place in Kruger National Park which has lost 476 rhinos this year.
This means since 2007, there has been a shocking 5000% increase in rhino poaching in South Africa. If poaching continues at current rates, rhino deaths will soon reach a tipping point where rhino deaths will exceed births and the species will go into decline. If poaching continues to accelerate at current rates, rhinos could go extinct by 2026.
South Africa to sign MoU with Laos The South African Government has announced that it will shortly be signing a MoU with Laos in a bid to protect and conserve rhino populations. According to a press release from the South African Department of Environmental Affairs the MoU will be accompanied by an Implementation Plan with actions to eradicate wildlife crimes through government-to-government and security initiatives, educate the public and raise awareness.
South Africa already has an MoU signed with Vietnam to curb rhino poaching, and has also has an MoU in action with Mozambique which is due to be signed early next year. The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) has set a deadline of early 2014 for both of these countries to report on concrete legislative and other security measures taken to curb rhino poaching. More....