By Amanda Watson
Be glad you’re not a rhinoceros, because there’s probably a bullet out there with its name on it.
So far this year, 618 rhinos have been slaughtered for their horns and there seems to be no letting up despite the millions of rands being poured into anti-poaching coffers. And with no controlling body to regulate the plethora of organisations out there, nobody knows exactly how much is going into these organisations, or even where it is going.
“It is a significant amount and growing,” says wildlife economist and conservationist Michael ‘t Sas-Rolfes. “This also diverts substantial resources from other conservation priorities.”
Asked if consolidating conservation efforts would it make a difference, he replies that if the organisation was doing the right thing, then sure.
“But some large organisations end up doing the wrong thing. In any event, the world of conservation is filled with a range of egos and agendas that often make it difficult to agree on issues.”
South African National Parks believes that most “save the rhino” initiatives are not legitimate. “As a result, the Department of Environmental Affairs is investigating regulating these many fundraising initiatives,” says spokesman Rey Thakuli.
“All our fundraising is managed by SANParks Honorary Rangers, which is a group of volunteers committed to conservation who give their time to initiatives in our parks.” More....