August 13, 2013
However, the park's proximity to a metropolis of three million did not stop a poachers on Friday from brazenly shooting a white rhino (Ceratotherium simum), cutting off its horn, and making a clean getaway. The rhino was discovered later by tourists. This is the first rhino poaching incident in the park in six years.
In total, Kenya has lost 35 rhinos this year to poachers, already besting last year's toll of 29. South Africa, where the rhino crisis is at its worst, has lost over 550 rhinos so far this year.
Rhinos are being killed en masse for their horns, which are ground into powder for traditional Chinese medicine despite the fact that science has found no medicinal benefits to the concoction.
The Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) has recently announced it will set up an elite force to combat poaching problems, dubbed the Elite Inter-Agency Anti-Poaching Unit. However, some experts say that anti-poaching efforts, while hugely important, won't be enough: more must be done to tackle the demand side in East Asia and the weak penalties poachers and smugglers face.
Of the world's five rhino species, three are considered Critically Endangered by the IUCN Red List. White rhinos are the most populous in the world, but also due to this, the most commonly targeted by poachers.
White rhino in Kenya. Photo by: Rhett A. Butler.
|AUTHOR: Jeremy Hance joined Mongabay full-time in 2009. He currently serves as senior writer and editor. He has also authored a book.|
The Javan Rhino’s final stronghold
(07/29/2013) August 27, 1883. It’s been called 'the day the world exploded'. One hundred and thirty years ago this month, the volcanic island of Krakatau (Krakatoa) blew its top. The smoking mountain had given several days warning to the human inhabitants of Java and Sumatra, the closest large islands, but no one could have imagined the intensity of the eruption and the devastation that followed. Several cubic miles of rock and ash - more than half the island – rocketed skyward. The explosion released over 10,000 times the energy of the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima and was an order of magnitude more powerful than the eruption of Mount St. Helens. Tsunamis greater than 100 feet high roared over coastal habitats, inundating lowland forests and scouring them of wildlife.
Zoos call on governments to take urgent action against illegal wildlife trade (photos)
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Obama to take on elephant and rhino poaching in Africa
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New forensic method tells the difference between poached and legal ivory
(07/01/2013) Forensic-dating could end a major loophole in the current global ban on ivory, according to a new paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). Scientists have developed a method to determine the age of ivory, allowing traders to tell the difference between ivory taken before the ban in 1989, which is still legal, and recently-poached ivory.
Tigers, orangutans, rhinos: Sumatra's big mammals on the edge of extinction
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Kenya getting tough on poachers, set to increase fines and jail time
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Rhinos moved from South Africa to Botswana for safekeeping
(05/23/2013) A private safari company has moved six white rhinos (Ceratotherium simum) from their home in South Africa to Botswana in a bid to save them from an out-of-control poaching crisis in their native land. Currently, around two rhinos are killed everyday in South Africa for their horns, which are then smuggled to East Asia.
Prince Charles: take the war to the poachers
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Rhino populations in Sumatra, Borneo should be combined to save Sumatran rhino from extinction
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