Rhino poaching worldwide is on the rise, according to a new report by TRAFFIC and IUCN.
The trade is being driven by Asian demand for horns and is made worse by increasingly sophisticated poachers, who now are using veterinary drugs, poison, cross bows and high caliber weapons to kill rhinos, the report states.
Since 2006 the majority (95 percent) of the poaching in Africa has occurred in Zimbabwe and South Africa, according to new data. “These two nations collectively form the epicentre of an unrelenting poaching crisis in southern Africa,” said Tom Milliken of TRAFFIC.
The report, which was submitted to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) ahead of its 15th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (CoP15) in March, documents a decline in law enforcement effectiveness and an increase in poaching intensity in Africa. The situation is most serious in Zimbabwe where rhino numbers are now declining and the conviction rate for rhino crimes in Zimbabwe is only three percent. Despite the introduction of a number of new measures, poaching and illicit horn trade in South Africa has also increased.