451 rhinos poached in 2021 | News

A total of 451 rhinos were poached in South Africa between January and December 2021, the South African government confirmed in a statement released on Tuesday, February 8, 2022. This is a 13% increase in rhino numbers. killed by poachers in the country during 2020, when local and international travel restrictions are believed to have played a significant role in decreasing poaching. Despite the depressing increase in poaching cases last year, there were at least fewer poached rhinos in South Africa last year than in 2019.

Cathy Dean, CEO of Save the Rhino International, says:

“In 2020, we were grateful that the pandemic had, at least, brought some good news for conservation. But these latest figures confirmed our fears that the effects were short-lived. South Africa’s rhino population has dropped dramatically in recent years. And now poachers are moving into new areas that have been hit hard by Covid-19.

Many rhino reserves have barely weathered the pandemic so far, with income from tourism, their main source of support, cut off almost entirely. Rhino security is expensive. Private reserves and national parks struggle to have sufficient funds for day-to-day maintenance. Many simply won’t be able to protect their rhinos much longer if they can’t get more funding. We are extremely worried.

Here are the key points from the government statement:

  • Poaching has decreased significantly in Kruger National Park, which is thought to be due to increased anti-poaching activities in the park, including dehorning. However, the Kruger rhino population has also declined significantly in recent years.
  • While Kruger has seen a decrease in rhino poaching and there have been no cases of rhino poaching in other national parks, poachers have moved to new areas and now appear to be targeting larger private reserves. small. Increases have been seen in six of the country’s nine provinces, with many more rhinos poached in Limpopo, Mpumalanga and the Free State (see table below for full breakdown)
  • There were 189 arrests linked to rhino poaching activities in 2021. Of these, 77 took place in Kruger National Park. There have been 61 successful convictions of rhinoceros horn poachers and/or traffickers, some of whom received sentences of over 35 years

As rhinos continue to be targeted, local, national and international collaboration must be at the heart of future action. We are pleased to see the statement from the South African government shared its intention to work closely with others to protect rhinos across the country. Only with an integrated and connected approach can we reverse the poaching trend and begin to see South Africa’s rhino population increase.

Provinces and national parks
2017
2018
2019
2020
2021
% change (2020-21)
Kruger National Park
504 421 327 245 209 -15%
Marrakesh National Park
0 1 1 2 0 -100%
Gauteng
4 2 5 2 2 0%
Limpopo
79 40 45 18 38 111%
Mpumalanga
49 51 34 13 39 200%
North West
96 65 32 19 32 68%
eastern cape
12 19 2 0 0 0%
free state
38 16 11 1 24 2300%
North Cape
24 12 4 1 1 0%
Kwa-Zulu Natal
222 142 133 93 102 ten%
western cape
0 0 0 0 4 40%
Total
1028
769
594
394
447
13%

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