In 3 years, 2707 rhinos have been killed by poachers

Poaching and illegal trade in rhinos has declined in recent years, but remains a serious threat to their survival, AFP reported, citing the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

According to a report published by the Swiss-based organization, from 2018 to 2021, 2,707 rhinos on the African continent, 90% of them in South Africa, fell victim to poachers.

According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature, the rate of rhino poaching on this continent reached 2.3% in 2021, down from 3.9% in 2018. This rate has been steadily declining since a peak of 5, 3% in 2015.

“The overall decline in rhino poaching is encouraging, but it remains a significant threat to the survival of these iconic animals,” said Sam Ferreira, an Africa rhino specialist, quoted in an IUCN statement.

Statistically, 2020 represented an “unusual” year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, when closures and restrictions on trade and travel led to a decrease in poaching. However, the report points out that these restrictions have likely also impacted law enforcement by reducing surveillance of protected areas.

“While we cannot say with great confidence what impact Covid-19 restrictions have had on the rhino horn trade, 2020 has been an unusual year with low levels of reported illegal activity and reports of law enforcement and government forces.” underlined Sabri Zain of the international organization “Traffic” for the protection of animal rights, who also participated in the preparation of the report.

“Continuous and consistent monitoring of illicit trade is vital,” insists the expert.

In 2021, poaching increased again in some countries, such as South Africa, where 451 rhinos were killed compared to 394 in 2020. However, the figures are much lower than in 2015, when the country killed 1,175 rhinos. become poachers.

Overall, Africa’s rhino population is declining by about 1.6% per year, from about 23,562 individuals in 2018 to 22,137 by the end of 2021.

During the same period, the total number of white rhinos classified as vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature has declined on the African continent by nearly 12% to 15,942 animals, while rhino populations critically endangered species increased by just over 12%. percent (6,195 animals).

At the end of 2021, there were just over 4,000 one-horned rhinos (unicorns) in India and Nepal. In Indonesia, 76 Javan rhinos live in a national park and between 34 and 47 Sumatran rhinos live in the wild.

According to the report, the populations of one-horned rhino (India and Nepal) and Javan rhino (a national park in Indonesia) increased by 3.7% and 4.4% respectively per year between 2017 and 2021. While Over the same period, the number of rhinos in Sumatra (Indonesia) has been declining at an alarming rate of 13% per year.

The survival of the rhinoceros is on the agenda of the upcoming 19th meeting of the International Conference on Endangered Species (CITES), which will be organized in November in Panama.

Photo: iStock by Getty Images

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