By Doughty Chibeya
In today's conservation management, research is a very important component of every organisation. In the dynamic nature of the natural environment, research helps you monitor ecological processes, management impacts and progress and adapts your management style according to the prevailing trend.
It also helps managers understand the natural environment better and hence make informed managerial decisions.
Alan Rabinowitz said: "It is a miracle that rhinos still walk the face of the earth. No other group of animals has been so highly priced for so long, yet managed to survive human onslaught".
Of the dozens of species of rhino that once roamed the earth, only five now exist. According to International Rhino Foundation, there are two species left in Africa, i.e. Ceratotherium simum simum (white rhino) and Diceros bircornis (black rhino).
Poaching has been there for years but it became a punishable offence in the late middle ages. During the 1700s, humans turned to poaching for survival. Rhinos were hunted because they were a dietary favourite.
Poaching in East African countries worsened due to high demand for the horn from Yemeni markets around the 1970s. The increase led to the introduction of the 1977 CITES ban which aimed at regulating trade in endangered wildlife.
The black rhino was put in Appendix I of CITES. Poaching stabilised in 1994 by 90 per cent of the population leading to the survival of rhinos in Zimbabwe, South Africa and Namibia. From the year 2000 to date rampant commercial poaching is increasing, especially in countries like South Africa and Zimbabwe. More....