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Good and bad news on South African rhino poaching numbers

Neelam Rahim /

2-minute read
12 February 2023 / 16:45 CAT

Image: BBC News

Image: BBC News

The World Wide Fund for Nature has welcomed the release of the South African rhino poaching numbers for 2022. It says transparency and regular communication about rhino numbers and poaching are vital to understanding our rhinos’ threats and the best solutions to conserve them.

The most recent rhino population numbers for Africa to the end of 2021, as released by IUCN last year, showed that white rhino numbers have continued to decline at around 3.1% per year and numbered just below 16 000 animals. More positively, between 2018 and 2021, overall numbers of the Critically Endangered black rhino increased at a rate of 3% per annum to 6 200 animals, partly due to long-term efforts to actively expand their range and numbers across the continent.

Speaking to Radio Islam International, Dr Jo Shaw, Africa Rhino Lead at the WWF, said in recent years, a lot of the crime networks focus has been in Kruger National Park and had last year an overall decline of 40/ of the number of rhinos lost in Kruger National Park.

Concerning the involvement of transnational organised criminal networks in this, Dr Shaw says there has been a growing recognition that the real drivers of the problem are the people within these networks who are orchestrating and facilitating these crimes.

“It’s great to see South Africa and other countries responding to this not just as an environmental crime but as a form of serious organised crime,” she says.

Listen to the interview with Mufti Moosagie and Dr Jo Shaw on Radio Islam’s podcast.


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