World Rhino Day 2018: Is poaching declining?

Today is #WorldRhinoDay and rhinos have a special place in my heart after spending time with them in South Africa earlier this year.

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Therefore, I was thrilled to see the latest figures from the Department of Environmental Affairs, for the period 1 January to 31 August 2018, showed the total number of poaching incidents has declined significantly compared to the same period last year. According to this report, there has been a decrease in the number of rhino poached nationally with nearly all provinces also experiencing dramatic declines.

Between 1 January 2018 and 31 August 2018 508 rhino were poached, compared to 691 for the same period in 2017.

January – August 2017 January – August 2018
Kruger National Park 333 292
Gauteng 3 0
Limpopo 54 25
Mpumalanga 31 38
North West 56 50
Eastern Cape 4 13
Free State 28 4
Northern Cape 19 3
KwaZulu-Natal 163 83
Western Cape 0 0
 Total 691 508

Obviously, this number is still disgustingly high and there is a long way to go in the fight against rhino poaching and rhino horn trafficking.

However, it does appear that the integrated efforts of the government and organisations, such as WWF, Project Rhino and Wildlife Act, are beginning to make a difference to conserve this iconic species.

To read the full report, visit https://www.environment.gov.za/mediarelease/progressonimplementationofISMR

There are many ways you can help to save Rhinos but 3 simple ways you can support #WorldRhinoDay are:

1. The #RhinoPeakChallenge takes place this weekend to raise much-needed funds for both Rhinos and Vultures. Learn more: www.rhinopeakchallenge.co.za

2. Rapid action by wildlife veterinarians, pilots and conservation staff is crucial for saving the lives of our Rhinos. Unfortunately, it is very expensive! Wildlife ACT and partners have established an Emergency Response Fund. You can support this fund by making a small donation here: http://bit.ly/2arasPO

3. Since 2003, the Black Rhino Range Expansion Project has been working to grow populations of critically endangered Black Rhino. Watch a short documentary film about Wildlife ACT’s Black Rhino conservation work being done with WWF to help save this species from extinction, and please share the video: http://bit.ly/2MOigcf

It is only through a collective effort and global support, that gives Rhinos a fighting chance at survival!

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