Massive decline in rhino poaching during hard lockdown
About 166 animals rhinos were killed for their horns across the country since the beginning of the year, the Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries announced on Friday.
During the first six months of 2019, a total of 316 animals were poached.
Minister Barbara Creecy believes that the government's various anti-rhino poaching interventions are now paying off.
However, environmental activist Bonné de Bod says the decline is clearly due to the Covid-19 lockdown which limited the movement of people.
De Bod, a documentary filmmaker who produced the award-winning wildlife documentary 'Stroop', says there was a dramatic drop in poaching from April, shortly after the hard lockdown was implemented.
She says that the strict regulations in the initial stages of the lockdown made it impossible for poachers and syndicates to operate.
The first three months [of 2020] have had 72% of all the rhino killings this year.Bonné de Bod, conservationist and documentary filmmaker
This is of course due to the lockdown, it's plain to see in the monthly breakdown [of figues].Bonné de Bod, conservationist and documentary filmmaker
De Bod warns that the rhino poaching figures may increase in the coming months as the government relaxes lockdown regulations.
I do suspect that we will see a dramatic increase in poaching with the lockdown being eased.Bonné de Bod, conservationist and documentary filmmaker
Minister Creecy said this morning that no rhinos were killed in the intensive protection zone in Kruger for the first time in almost 10 years.Bonné de Bod, conservationist and documentary filmmaker
She's also concerned that the reduction in rhino poaching could suggest that the country's rhino populations are also decreasing.
Without an updated rhino census, the filmmaker says it's difficult to tell how much poachers have impacted rhino populations.
A rhino census is an official count or survey of the live rhinos left in the Kruger National Park and other areas.
I'm always worried that our rhino poaching reductions are actually indicating a reduction in living numbers, quite simply because there are fewer rhinos left to poach.Bonné de Bod, conservationist and documentary filmmaker
Our recent declines haven't always been a good indication because it sort of gives a false impression that we are winning the war.Bonné de Bod, conservationist and documentary filmmaker
Poaching gang incursions have been increasing every year, our Kruger census results have not been released for a number of years and that is very worrying because when those census results are released, we will see how dramatically poaching has affected our rhino population in Kruger.Bonné de Bod, conservationist and documentary filmmaker
Listen to the update on Lunch with Pippa Hudson:
Incumbent Grant Twigg is being challenged for the position of DA metro chair by current Cape Town mayor Dan Plato.Read More
Golden Arrow Bus Service says plans are underway to revive its dedicated bus enforcement unit to catch a suspected syndicate that's robbing commuters.Read More
Debbie Schafer has told the parastatal she does not want a repeat of last year when blackout plagued the matric exams.Read More
The City of Cape Town will lift water restrictions and move to a lower tariff from next month.Read More
A food truck market is facing closure for failing to comply with a City of Cape Town by-law, which prohibits trading on the site.Read More
Adele Kirsten of Gun Free South Africa says the former SAPS commander needed a firearms dealer and a businessman to help him.Read More
With a team of supporters behind him, Jean-Michel Victor summited Lions Head 13 times in 24 hours earlier this week.Read More
Body corporates and property management firms have until 30 June 2021 to ensure that their record-keeping systems are in line with the new privacy laws in the Popi Act.Read More
Current Miss South Africa Sasha-Lee Laurel Olivier chats to Jeremy van Vyk about using her platform for good and staying humble.Read More
The minutes of a 2017 Baboon Technical Team meeting reveal iCWild's Justin O’Riain argued all male baboons will be 'raiders.'Read More