South Africa is making progress in the fight against rhino poaching with figures showing a steady decline for the fourth consecutive year.
During 2019, 594 rhinos were poached in South Africa, down from 769 rhino killed during the previous year.
The Department of Environment, Forestry, and Fisheries noted this progress as the country joins the international community in commemorating World Wildlife Day 2020, which is being celebrated under the theme: “Sustaining all life on Earth”.
“The decline in the number of rhino poached is an indication that the initiatives being implemented by the government and with the support of partners, are working, but we cannot rest on our laurels.
“Plans to combat wildlife crime are constantly being updated and adapted to meet the incessant and ever-present threat. We are also making greater use of innovative ideas and new technologies as the government in order to address the relentless onslaught against our natural resources and ecosystems,” Environment, Forestry, and Fisheries Minister Barbara Creecy said in a statement on Tuesday.
Entities such as the South African National Parks (SANParks), South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI), Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), iSimanagaliso, and provincial conservation agencies work together to ensure that the plant and animal life is preserved and conserved for current and future generations.
“We do this with the understanding that threats to wildlife have multiple and undesirable ecological, economic and social effects,” Creecy said.
The Minister said South Africa is making a concerted effort to combat wildlife crime, particularly poaching of iconic species and associated illicit trade affecting diverse species including iconic species of rhino, elephant, lion, pangolin, cycads and many other species of mammals, plants, reptiles, amphibians.
“Our country, supported by its people, partners and in cooperation with other countries, will continue with these efforts in an integrated manner until this war is won,” the department said.
(With Inputs from South African Government Press Release)
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