A new initiative to strengthen the protection of rhinos

The South African government, conservation organizations and local communities have decided to pool their efforts under the "Wildlife Zones" initiative to strengthen the protection of rhinos from poachers.

The noose is tightening around poachers in South Africa. After adopting various solutions to protect national parks, the South African government has decided to join forces with nature conservation organizations to strengthen the protection of rhinos, a species of large mammal that the whole world is celebrating on September 22nd, 2020.

The new plan of the South African authorities will be implemented through the “Wildlife Zones” initiative. Its aim is to bring together nationally proven anti-poaching strategies and technologies to collectively protect South Africa’s black and white rhinos. The country is home to the world’s largest rhino population, 80% according to the International Rhino Foundation.

Positive signals

By concentrating the world’s largest rhino population, South Africa has also become the epicentre of rhino poaching. While the poaching record was observed in 2014 with 1,215 individuals slaughtered for their horns, the situation has improved in recent years. In 2018, 769 rhinos were poached in South Africa and 594 in 2019 according to the government.

These animals are slaughtered for their horns. This fibrous outgrowth is mainly composed of keratin, the same substance that makes up our nails. Rhino horn is sold in Southeast Asia, especially on the black market in China and Japan where it is used in traditional medicine. The “Wildlife Zones” initiative launched on September 22nd, 2020 by the South African Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries is intended to strengthen the gains made in the fight against poaching of rhinos.

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Source: Afrik21