Environmentalism Chapter 22 – Understating Poaching
The poaching crisis in Africa and Asia is out of control and there seems to be no stopping these brutal and heavily armed sophisticated poachers as yet. Africa is again seeing the brunt of all poaching that includes both the Elephant and the Rhinoceros to Pangolin with Lion bones being used more than ever to produce fake Asian medicine bone wine.
The numbers of the one horned Rhinoceros and Asian Elephant and Pygmy Elephant (rare to poach) are incredibly low too which would indicate why there are such low poaching “incidents” however when a poaching incident occurs it’s now in large numbers taking out large numbers.
Arrests are climbing “to a certain degree” and within January 2013 there were many animal parts seizures internationally both in Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam, Hong Kong and Singapore of Rhinoceros horn, Elephant ivory to other animal parts and living specimens too from snakes seized in Thailand of just over two thousand living snakes (February 2013 – Chinese new year) as of course it is the year of the “snake” as advertised all over Asia so in theory the snake will be brutalised to great lengths this year for fake potions, medicines and bush meat to satisfy Asian demand which is incredibly high with no signs of a decrease as yet in some animal parts.
However there has been a decrease in Rhinoceros horn on the market in Vietnam and China which I have explained further on within this news and media documentary.
There is no hiding the fact though that poaching is erratically out of control in Africa with last year’s poaching statistics standing at an eye watering six hundred and twenty two brutally slain Rhinoceros for counterfeit Asian pharmaceuticals for the month of December 19th 2012 as stated by the Department of Environmental Affairs minister Rt Hon Albi Modise and Rt Hon Minister Bomo Edna Molewa.
The total end poaching statistics for December end of 2012 stood at six hundred and sixty-eight poached Rhinoceros for South Africa shocking Africa and many conservationists around the globe. http://wessa.org.za/get-involved/rhino-initiative/current-rhino-poaching-stats.htm
The current number of Rhinoceros in South Africa alone that we can only go on from our previous correspondence with the Department of Environmental Affairs (Dec 2012) is totalled at 18,800 however this number in detailed correspondence in many email’s to us from Rt Hon Albi Modise states that number is from the “2010 census count” and is not the true figure for 2012-2013 with many propagandists placing the Rhinoceros populations in South Africa at a non-factual 22,000 – 22.200 which it completely untrue with no supporting evidence to back this evidence up.
Based on poaching statists and the population counts for 2010 then adding to that the “gestation” length of birth coupled with the female cow only giving birth to one Rhinoceros with gestation at 450 days then we have estimated the total number of Rhinoceros (which is not a factual precise number) at 15,300 and dropping rapidly now at two to three a day every day being poached. We also took into account the number of hunting permits that was handed to hunters (hunting within Africa) to hunt “Rhinoceros” standing at one every year.
15,300 is as we have calculated non-factual due to not being able to “fulfil a detailed census count” however based on reams of evidence this is the closest number based on scientific data, hunting permit records, gestation, and the number of poaching incidents to the “population” count of 2010 too that we have located which is now frighteningly worrying. Should there be no serious plan of action implemented on all sides and not just including the South African government then regrettably we will one of our famous big five.
Within India Assam, Kaziranga that holds roughly 2,200 Indian one horned Rhinoceros the poaching figures for December end 2012 was eighteen with many arrests and poachers shot dead on site. For February 2013 India sadly see’s nine one horned Rhinoceros poached dead to date for February 16th 2013 as communicated to us by the forestry and ecotourism ministry of Assam, India.
Elephant poaching statistics for the entire continent of Africa, and India including Indonesia and Malaysia are sketchy as the authorities are reluctant to release factual data with regards to the world’s largest land mammal that’s roamed the continents for millions of years.
What we have managed to locate is an estimated 25,000 elephants that were slaughtered in 2011 with most of these being hit in Kenya, Cameroon and Zimbabwe. For 2012 the “estimated figures are” that have yet to be released by all official governmental environmental agencies stands at 27,600 again that is increasing and very alarming and is estimated by many non-governmental organisations and non-profits. The actual true extent down to the nearest number will never be known for Africa or India due to the sheer size in continents and dead non-accounted for.
Within India the total number of Elephants slain is again sketchy as (The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora does not want to place within the public domain information with regards to the poaching of these magnificent gentle giants to a certain level.
For 2012 in India that holds a very low population of Asian Elephants standing at 20,000 poaching statistics are roughly to date for February 16th 2013 sixty one poached, however in Odisha just outside of India the number of deaths stands at two hundred and ninety five. Odisha is situated here http://goo.gl/maps/Qrv60
The Asian Elephant is now at extremely decreased population levels concerning ourselves International Animal Rescue Foundation ©, World Wildlife Fund, The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, TRAFFIC the wildlife trade monitoring network, and The International Union for the Conservation of Nature plus many more conservation networks.
The critically endangered Pygmy Elephant is also in danger to, the Pygmy that “had” a population of 1,500 at the start of January 2013 now stands at 1,430 with most slaughtered not for “ivory” but because they are pests within and around the buffer zones of palm oil and pulp and paper plantations within mainly Malaysia and Indonesia.
Before January 2013 it was estimated that 11 critically endangered Pygmy Elephants had been deliberately slaughtered by poisons just to keep them away from the palm and paper plantation’s with another 8 found on January 26th 2013 and 5 more on February 4th 2013 there is unfortunately speculation that more may lay dead from poisoning just to satisfy greed from over obsessive consumerism outside of Asia for palm oil, wood and paper products.
The Asian Elephant is continuously slaughtered now in the most graphic and nauseas manners we’ve ever seen of such a splendid mammal, almost identical to that of the barbaric fur trade they are slaughtered by electrocution a new and torturous method of murder for ivory.
To kill an animal in such a disgraceful manner like this, knowing that it will burn alive from the inside out slowly and withering in agony then poachers and syndicates are dropping to all-time lows in side India and Africa which now must work together to end this sickening and repulsive bloody destruction of our critically endangered, endangered and vulnerable fauna and flora just for myths and counterfeit Asian pharmaceuticals within the Asian alternative medicine market.
Recent surveys have proved for 2012 that the Alternative Medicine Market or TCM/TIM is now using more African animal parts than ever before. Traditional Chinese Medicine and Traditional Indian Medicine that are both popular alternative medicine practices internationally using approximately 1,000 plant and 36 animal species to date based on recent 2012-13 TCM/TIM surveys conducted by International Animal Rescue Foundation ©, this is also including the tiger, rhinoceros, black bear, musk deer, and sea horse the tiger, rhinoceros, and sea horse are endangered or moving to endangerment.
As many know or don’t know Rhinoceros horn is used in fake Asian medicine to treat fever, convulsions, and delirium (Rhinoceros horn does not and never has cured any disease). Its popularity has been a major factor in the reduction of the rhinoceros population in Africa and Asia.
According to the World Wildlife Fund, only about 3,100 black Rhinoceros in Africa and 2,800 of all three Asian species (Sumatran, Javan, and Indian) in Asia are still survive. Black, Sumatran, and Javan Rhinoceros are designated as critically endangered on the 2007 World Conservation Union Red List of Threatened Species. The Javan numbers at 30 left in the Asian wild (2013)
The Indian endangered one horn Rhinoceros, and the African White Rhinoceros variety are now nearing possible endangerment to extinction of which we could see the Indian species gone in 1-2 years maximum unless actions are taken to flow the demand with the White Rhinoceros banished in 3-4 years.
Despite protective laws, poaching continues still motivated by the Asian market for Rhinoceros horn. Captive-breeding is now the only hope for some species until protection can be provided in the wild sadly this is not the always the answer and breeding does not and has proven to be ineffective in increasing birth rates however does higher “mortality” to a considerable level, it regrettably is not the answer though.
Within India In an attempt to stay one step ahead of the local authorities, poachers in the Ganjam district of Odisha, India, are configuring power lines into homemade, electrocution tripwires, which they are using to kill elephants. 91 deaths that have occurred of the Asian Elephant have occurred from “some form of Electrocution” it’s the most silent way and easiest way in order to take an Elephant down so Assam Anti-Poaching teams have quoted to us (2013) which they are now launching in-depth investigations into the number of deaths so far this year.
Wildlife officers have suggested several remedies, including building taller, more insulated power lines, to help ensure the elephants’ safety. Others suggest cutting off power to areas with large elephant populations during strategic migratory periods. With poaching “known” though in these areas energy officers and anti-poaching rangers are in bitter battles on “who is to blame” (the poacher or the energy officials) “I think we all know who is to blame.
Zimbabwe holds a rough total of 700 Rhinoceros with 19 lost in 2011 from illegal poaching with great fears that the current poaching epidemic has now spread in to neighbouring states concerning many conservationists. Reported on 14th January 2013 Zimbabwe saw a copious hit on its Rhinoceros population on New Year’s Day with a total of four white Rhinoceros slaughtered with a remaining eight Rhinoceros horns recovered and spent ammunition cartridges. 2010 saw 23 Rhinoceros poached. Poaching is now considered rife in Zimbabwe’s game reserves, fuelled by cross-border syndicates from Mozambique, Zambia and South Africa.
It was stated in news feeds with regards to the four Rhinoceros that had been slaughtered in Zimbabwe that “mounting speculation that there is more than meets the eye in the suspected ‘poaching’ of the Rhinoceros on the Thetford Estate, which belongs to controversial businessman and known ZANU PF crony Mr John Bredenkamp”.
At the beginning of January it was reported in Kenya one of the worst nations with regards to out of control Elephant poaching that a family of 12 elephants were the most recent victims of a new epidemic of poaching sweeping Kenya, and Africa. It was the worst poaching hit in decades.
A gang stuck the Tsavo National Park in Kenya, one of the largest elephant sanctuaries in the world, slaughtering the animals, hacking off their tusks. The incident is the worst recorded ivory poaching incident in the history of the country.
According to the Kenyan Wildlife Service and International Fund for Animal Welfare, the trade in ivory, fuelled from Asian countries such as Japan and the rapidly prospering China, has increased to epidemic levels over the past few years.
Last year almost 34 tonnes of ivory was seized across East Africa, with 34 tons seized in 2012 with nearly 90% of all ivory seized had come from or had been transported through East Africa, and The number of animals that died for their tusks doubled in less than two years to approximately 360 in 2012.
In 2011 40 poachers where shot dead on site in Kenya by rangers, all of the poacher had heavy military or “hunting rifles” which is now fuelling speculation again that there is a hunting fraternity in Africa that is supplying these rifles, who these individuals are though are yet to be announced however we ourselves are investigating too with Africa being one of the worst nations in the world with regards to illegal poaching rising (and it’s going to keep rising unless more governments act and place a complete moratorium on hunting which we International Animal Rescue Foundation © are fighting in silence.
We know that hunters, rangers, police, to even the specialist Anti-Poaching Units are involved to “a degree” not all but some individuals are which has been proven time again. These members of the public and wildlife protection force are supposedly trusted individuals however with recent arrests in 2011 and 2012 it’s not looking good and is also effecting funding and “whom” to place trust in.
Some Charities are calling for a return to a full ban on the sale of ivory, and for authorities to address the involvement of international criminal gangs being involved in the trade.
Greater education for consumers might also help to stem demand, according to campaign group Dirty Ivory, a survey in China showed that almost 70% of the public thought ivory did not come from dead elephants, but that it fell out naturally, like teeth, by simply searching online one can view that ivory is freely available to purchase. Please view the links of which took our investigators on 3.6 minutes to search for and is widely available on the internet illegally.
Elephant slaughtered for it’s tusks in Tanzania – Just to make ivory (What a waste of such a precious life)
The South African government have again launched a new war on the poachers however it’s not working and what it appears to us is that “anyone and everyone” is being arrested apart from the perpetrators themselves.
Within SABC news column the Department of Environment and Affairs minister for South Africa quipped;
Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa says she’s confident that Sanparks may be on the verge of a turnaround with regard to the fight against rhino poaching.
Molewa says they now had a stronger team and a stronger force to help in the fight against rhino poaching. “Indeed there are people who have helped us to get new equipment which are able to help us deter those poachers from very far. There has been a contribution of helicopters by private sector and ordinary people.
“We now have a stronger team and a stronger force not just from Sanparks but from South Africans and the media” says Molewa. The Minister also thanked Lead SA, who she says has been at the fore front of the campaign.
Meanwhile, two more rhinos have been poached. The Hawks say the animals were killed and dehorned at Bulhoek farm near Brits in the North West, three or four days ago from the 10th February 2013. The rhino task team in the province is investigating.
Over 80 rhinos have been killed in South Africa since the beginning of the year (Jan 2012). Kruger National Park remains the hardest hit with 61 rhinos lost, to presumed foreign poachers. Kruger National Park is the worst hit park of them all.
We do not view this as very promising and with the latest shoot-out last Saturday and Sunday (Feb 2012) http://stfrancischronicle.com/2013/02/11/three-suspected-rhino-poachers-killed-in-shootout-with-rangers/ and with demand shooting through the roof then the war needs to be “moved into Asia” and not just in South Africa.
The Rhinoceros species could be preserved more if the government of South Africa simply;
- Place an immediate moratorium on hunting of which they quoted to us that this is not possible as hunting brings in more funding thus preserving conservation, plus in further correspondence “it would have to be proven that species in Africa where under threat”
- Cease the movements/sales of all Rhinoceros in South Africa to nations where Vietnamese hunting permits can still be used
- Improves tourism which brings in a considerable amount of income for conservation relief
- Quicker and harsher sentences for poachers and corrupt individuals
- Improving communications
- Brining all Anti-Poaching Units under governmental control and “funding them”
- Introducing a strategic Anti-Poaching command base with landing pads and runways
- Rooting out corruption with the use of polygraph technology invented in 1921
- Securing the main border channels
- More stringent checks on Asian construction workers
- Ceasing the sales of taxidermy to Asia which would impact on demand
- Tackling the air and freight ports
- Funding more security and newer high grade technology for reserves and farms
- Lowering tuition fees for those wanting to train as conservationists and/or ranger’s within South Africa
- Funding more ranger schools
- Tackling crime in “shanty town districts where poaching gangs are known by ourselves to hide”
- Education and awareness of tribal gangs and community relations
- Investigations into where donations are going to that are being ploughed in parks
- Release the R1 million that SANparks asked for in 2012 for equipment and ranger training (and purchase more equipment) International Animal Rescue Foundation © gave $10,000 with regards to the 2012 video advertisement for funds for this vital equipment and training however it’s being held back to hand to “anyone that can shop a poacher OR name a syndicate”.
- Setting a task force up to locate syndicates over the border
The above are just a handful of many tasks that the government can work towards to help in preserving our endangered fauna and flora, however they refuse and continue to support the likes of the hunting trade that is fronting the poaching trade and as much as many people “may disagree” the evidence is more than evident.
M99 (Entorphine) is still being used to take the Rhinoceros down, the Rhinoceros horn treatment is still not funded by the government, freight and airports are left untouched of which the DEA know damn well this is the main exit point for ivory and horn.
Non-profit Organisations, to non-governmental organisations and opportunists are working as rapidly and to the best of their ability to preserve and conserve however “funding is needed” and whilst funding is being pushed in to over 130+ African zoo’s where is the funding for the Rhinoceros protection? It’s slowly trickling in from the humble public in small quantities that’s going astray.
Pelham Jones makes very dull point here http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/africa/south-africa/120226/rhino-war-can-hunting-save-the-rhino of which he truly believes that “hunting animals is preserving them” however this is totally untrue, and should one look at the PHASA terms and conditions and their “voluntary donations” scheme then one will understand that “tourism brings in more money than that of hunting” as more people travel to AFRICA to shoot with a camera than they do with a rifle.
Pelham Jones quotes “that when hunters come for trophy hunting, they kill old, non-breeding animals. “We have no problem with this,” he said. “Unlike with humans, there are no retirement villages for animals.” (Utter nonsense) excuse me Mr Jones can you explain to me why there are breeding farms located all over South Africa?
Yes I understand that one then has to move new stock in but how is this actually preserving our wildlife? It’s exactly the same as purchasing a new car, you trade the old one in for half the price if that, and then you purchase a new model. In this case it is the animal, so next question is exactly how much of the so called remaining pocket funds goes back into conservation? Oh yes very little, and it’s proven time again.
Why is there breeding farms located here http://goo.gl/maps/qnSX5 that have links (and strong ones as we have checked to canned hunters?) I suppose that these breeding farm’s “coincidentally next to Wild Cats World and Daniels Cheetah Project don’t purchase new young then sell the surplus to canned hunters or to zoos too? Zoo’s in the Netherlands that coincidentally purchase animals which then travel BACK to Africa and are then shot dead.
(To those that are reading we were threatened by Danish mafia (apparently) in 2 emails if we carried on harassing this area of interest that we are disgusted and sickened about.
What tourism can bring for YOU but most importantly CONSERVING FAUNA AND FLORA
Tourism is regarded as a modern-day engine of growth and is one of the largest industries globally. In 2012, G20 heads of state recognised tourism as a driver of growth and development, as well as a sector that has the potential to spur global economic recovery. Just in 2009-2010 in Uganda (not related to this tourism shot up by 300%) That’s in a war torn zone.
South Africa has earmarked tourism as a key sector with excellent potential for growth: the government has increased tourism’s contribution, both direct and indirectly, to the economy from the 2009 baseline of R189, 4-billion (7.9% of GDP) to R499-billion by 2020 (National Department of Tourism, 2012). Tourism supports one in every 12 jobs in South Africa and heavily supports conservation (but we need more)
South Africa’s spectacular scenery, friendly people, world-class infrastructure make it one of the most desired destinations in the world. The sector was given a massive boost by the successful hosting of the World Cup in 2010, when the country received a record-breaking 8.1-million foreign visitors. Despite tough global economic conditions, tourism grew in 2011, with 8.3-million international tourists. The regional African tourist market is South Africa’s important tourist markets, contributing more than 73% of total tourist arrivals and more than R50-billion in revenue in 2011.
Domestic tourism is also an important source of revenue and employment, contributing 52% of total tourism consumption. Cruise and rural tourism are focusing within growth areas.
A labour-intensive sector, with a supply chain that links across sectors, tourism is a priority sector in the government’s planning and policy frameworks – it is one of the six job drivers of the New Growth Path framework.
The National Tourism Sector Strategy, launched in 2011, aims to ensure the sector realises its full potential in terms of job creation, social inclusion, services exports and foreign exchange earnings, fostering a better understanding between peoples and cultures, and green transformation, and conservation.
South Africa is a popular destination for business travellers, who spend on average three times more than their leisure counterparts while crossing over significantly into leisure travel themselves, through tours before or after their business activities and through return trips in subsequent years.
With its first-world infrastructure, balmy climate and breath-taking scenery – not to mention acres of golf courses – South Africa is an ideal location for international congresses and conventions.
The country has well over 1 000 world-class conference and exhibition venues, ranging from intimate bush hideaways to large-scale, hi-tech convention centres. All of these offer a wealth of leisure activities, side-tours and events: from walking with elephants to first-hand experiences of African culture to luxury shopping and relaxation.
The country has set up the National Conventions Bureau to help it secure more international conferences, an excellent source of foreign tourists and revenue. The conference industry is in 37th place in the International Congress and Convention Association’s top-100 list of leading destinations in the world, released in 2012.
South Africa is home to diverse cultures, ranging from the Zulus who resisted European conquest to the nomadic San of the Karoo desert. Each culture has evolved its own distinctive art forms, music and traditional rituals, while the descendants of colonial settlers have evolved variations of their European roots.
South Africa’s history has been one of confrontation, but is now also known as one of reconciliation. World-class sites have been established to commemorate the country’s past and celebrate its new-found unity, while the number and quality of cultural villages, community and township tours has grown dramatically.
South Africa is home to eight World Heritage sites, places of “outstanding value to humanity”.
Four of South Africa’s eight Unesco World Heritage sites are cultural sites, while one is a mixed cultural/natural site. These are: Robben Island, the Cradle of Humankind, the Mapungubwe Cultural Landscape, the Richtersveld Cultural and Botanical Landscape, and the uKhahlamba Drakensberg Park.
South Africa’s diverse climates range from tropical in the south-east to desert in the central region. The scenery runs the gamut from spectacular mountain ranges to vast grass plains, from coastline to meandering rivers to desert dunes. The country’s wildlife is far more varied than just the celebrated “Big Five”, and is supported by an extraordinary biological diversity.
Three of South Africa’s eight Unesco World Heritage sites are natural sites, while one is a mixed cultural/natural site. These are the Cape Floral Region, the iSimangaliso Wetland Park, the Vredefort Dome, and the uKhahlamba Drakensberg Park.
South Africa is leading the way in one of the boldest cross-border initiatives currently unfolding in southern Africa, the development of transfrontier parks.
There are 19 national parks, including the world-famous 20 000km2 Kruger National Park. The country’s terrestrial protected areas stand at around 6.9%, according to a World Bank report published in 2012. Marine protected areas make up around 11%. The country’s private game lodges range in standard from middle to very upmarket, with ultra-luxury lodges catering almost exclusively to foreign tourists.
Being at the southern tip of a large continent, South Africa offers 3 000 kilometres of coastline along with breath-taking mountains – often side by side. The country’s diverse terrain, together with a climate suited to outdoor activities, make it an ideal hunting ground for adrenaline seekers.
South Africa offers world-class climbing, surfing, diving, hiking, horseback safaris, mountain biking, river rafting – and just about any other extreme activity you can name, all supported by dedicated operators.
World-class venues and supporting infrastructure, top international events, and South Africans’ passion for sport combine to make the country a huge draw card for sports fans.
More than 10% of foreign tourists come to South Africa to watch or participate in sport events, with spectators accounting for 60% to 80% of these arrivals.
There are numerous world-class sporting events on South Africa’s calendar every year, such as the Cape Argus Cycle Race and the 89km Comrades marathon. The country has proved that it can successfully pull off the really big events, which have included the 1995 Rugby World Cup, the 2003 Cricket World Cup, and the biggest of them all, the 2010 Fifa World Cup.
PLEASE VISIT SOUTH AFRICA – SHOOT WITH YOUR CAMERA – PLEASE GIVE TO CONSERVATION
In 2012 we made a direct demand to President Jacob Zuma that should he not clean the poaching trade up then we would launch imminent and immediate boycotts of the South African tourism and trade industry. Please view the links
It was a wrong and uneducated move by me the founder/CEO of the International Animal Rescue Foundation of which I didn’t see the full potential of what tourism could bring into South Africa which has masses of “potential if the tourism trade acts with us and others”.
Tourism is big business in South Africa and in the European Union, Africa is plastered on every tourism outlet everywhere one travels, by working with the tourism industry, showing the trade that walks through the door of what is happening in the nation they wish to visit then “more sums of monetary gain” can be achieved and pushed directly into conservation to protect our Rhinoceros and Elephant, Lions to Pangolins and more.
International Animal Rescue Foundation © has been working intensively to help preserve the famous big five in Africa along with many other conservationists and individuals, we placed conservation teams on the ground with our own European Anti-Poaching Units that are kept low key as we believe that corruption in Africa involving the animal parts trade doesn’t just involve government, police, rangers, to farmers.
As explained we also believe that there are individuals working within Anti-Poaching Units that are tipping poaching gangs off with planned movements of Anti-Poaching personnel. We refuse to allow any African Anti-Poaching teams or Africans to work with us not because of discrimination but because we are highly concerned at the corruption of instate individuals and we do not wish to take chances. This we feel very unfair as it could introduce good working relations, and rapport.
There are also other major factors that are not being taken into consideration with regards to poaching and every time we mention these important factors to government and smaller non-profits and non-governmental agencies they are simply brushed aside. We are not going to allow those problems to be simply hammered down because of fear of upsetting people in other nations, or their own governments.
We explained to our team back in 2009 that we need to look at poaching in Africa within a more (broader setting), who else could be involved? Why have the numbers of poached Rhinoceros drastically increased from 7 in 2000, to 122 in 2009 than 2011 seeing just over 448 poached?
Elephant poaching statistics went skyrocketing from 2005-2006 being the start of the main Elephant poaching frenzy then decreasing in 2007 to a maximum number of 15,000 with 2008 being the lowest ever year recorded in Africa alone for Elephant poaching with numbers of poached Elephants under 10,000.
Then 2009 see’s under 37,000 thousand poached Elephants with the year 2010 practically shooting of the graphs with poaching statistics standing at just under 58,000 poached dead, 2011 and 2012 see’s the largest now moving into hundreds of thousands standing at 25,000+ with formal records still to come back to the IUCN and CITES.
The statistics of “poaching incidents” for both Rhinoceros and Elephants are almost identical, and yes we are fully aware that the Rhinoceros hasn’t been poached into the thousands as with the Elephant species but what we are trying to explain is the “years of increasing hits” on wildlife.
Let’s pull some facts and questions here and lay them on the table;
- Between the years of 2002 and 2009 the poaching “hits or incidents” and not (numbers of poached) on both the Rhinoceros and the Elephant have increased at the same time moving from a steady low then high to decreased poaching rates then sliding of the scale. Why did Africa see these rates at such fluctuating levels?
- There are more poaching incidents next to “war torn” or “poverty hit nations” (we know the KNP (Kruger National Park) holds the largest number of Rhinoceros and we are also aware that Kruger and Mozambique meet that are not secure or manned properly at the border posts with some poachers traveling through the Giriyondo gate via the getaway or just moving animal parts discreetly through the frontiers.
- There are more poaching incidents of Rhinoceros in the Kruger “which people believe is (only) because there is more numbers of Rhinoceros in the Kruger however this side of Africa (KNP) also borders extremely poor nations” where civil unrest and refugee camps are becoming increasingly larger.
- There are more Mozambique’s, Somalia’s, and Ethiopians arrested in “poaching incidents” than there are Asian poaching gangs with regards to the Rhinoceros and Elephant.
- Moving back to the poaching of Elephants the numbers stand at this in (percentage) for 2011. 1) The percentage of poached Elephants for 2011 in central Africa stood at 90% 2) The percentage of poached Elephants for 2011 in East Africa stood at 59% 3) The percentage of poached Elephants for 2011 in southern Africa stood at 51% 4) The percentage of poached Elephants for 2011 in Western Africa stood at 84%
ONLY YOU AND WE CAN STOP THIS – STOP IGNORING THE DAMAGE – START TAKING ACTION – WE NEED MORE ACTION IN THE FIELDS NOW – WE ARE LOSING THIS BLOODY WAR – PLEASE HELP US – PLEASE HELP THE AFRICAN BIODIVERSITY NOW!.
Identifying other areas of interest I have listed below.
- There has been 16 years of civil war in Mozambique that ended in 1992. Stated in 1975 after independence from Portugal it displaced millions, ruined homes and infrastructure, agriculture, and living, pushing people into poverty and crime with most people living on $1 a day to support themselves and family. Although in Mozambique the Civil war has since ended (to a degree) the country still sees for 2012 based on UNHCR statistics some 145,000 refugees, 245,000 asylum seekers, 55,000 internally displaced persons, with only “four thousand returnees”. The country also has a 20%+ unemployment rate.
- In 2002 a severe drought hit many central and southern parts of the Mozambique, including previously flood-stricken areas. Poverty remained widespread, with more than 50% of Mozambicans living on less than $1 a day. At this same time of year poaching increased of the Rhinoceros from 6 in 2001 to 25 in 2002 than 22 in 2003 with a decrease in poaching between the years of 2004-2007 with only 2006 seeing a fluctuation, the years of 2002 to 2005 is a typical “drought session” is this an indicating factor that we should all be looking for in the future to prepare oneself for possible poaching “incidents?
- In 2012 it was reported that Individuals in mixed-migration movements towards South Africa often use camps in Malawi, Mozambique and Zimbabwe as temporary stopovers, putting a strain on scarce humanitarian resources and creating tensions locally. This has led many governments in the region to restrict access to the asylum system by requiring travel documents at entry points and applying the “first safe country” principle, whereby entry is refused to asylum-seekers who have travelled through a safe country prior to their arrival.
- 2012 The UNHCR has now called on the Mozambique government to STOP asylum seekers from being deported of which will see more pressure placed on refugee camps, more crime, poverty and anti-social unrest. (Could this be another reason why poaching is increasing as of asylum into a poor nation?) Why would anyone decide on seeking asylum in Mozambique in such (small numbers that are not even totalling that of what Britain see’s and being under 200,000)
- In 1993 President Robert Mugabe born 21 February 1924 threatened to expel white landowners who objected to the 1992 Land Acquisition Act permitting the government to force them to give up their land for redistribution to black Zimbabweans.
- In 2000 President Robert Mugabe begins ordering white farmers to give up their land. Some 4,000 farmers lose their land and Zimbabwe’s agricultural output decreases sharply.
- In 2004 it accusations by Human Rights Watch state that starvation is being used as a tool for the regime’s support among Zimbabweans. Farm output has decreased sharply since Mugabe began his policy of land grabs.
- 4,500 white commercial farmers to surrender their lands without compensation to black settlers that had NO agricultural or botanical experience at all plunging the economy into doom with hypermarket shelves left bare and empty.
- In 2000 Up to 13 million people, close to half of them in Zimbabwe, starved over the six months as a result of drought and political mismanagement across six countries in the region. Between 2000 and 2008 203 Rhinoceros where poached (there is now 700 Rhinoceros left in Zimbabwe alone) Was the land reform partly responsible for poaching fluctuations too in South Africa coupled with droughts of 2000 in Mozambique?
- From 1999-2000 Zimbabweans unemployment rate stood at 52% and as drought took hold due to rapid climate change and lack of agricultural consumer goods as of inexperienced agriculturists this had a knock on effect with increased unemployment increasing, from 2001 unemployment shot up to 57% from 2005 unemployment stood at 73.4% then rising yet again in 2007 at a staggering 88% unemployed with 2009 at 95% for the years of 2011 to 2012 the unemployment rate is of the scale with most of those unemployed between the ages of 18-35 years of age. (Coincidentally those that are arrested for poaching are also in between this age group and are from Mozambique, or Zimbabwe. Between the years of 2007-2011 poaching skyrocketed (could this be another reason why poaching took off coupled with the animal parts trade in Traditional Chinese Medicine too?
- Zimbabwe has the “highest rate” of unemployment in the whole of Africa standing at 95% with Mozambique at 21% (are more poachers deriving from Zimbabwe where Asian syndicate gangs are taking advantage?) Namibia stands at 51.2% unemployed, Kenya and Swaziland stands at exactly 40% unemployed, South Africa 24.9% Ghana 11%
- As reported on May 8th 2012 Angola entered its pre-electoral phase, with civil unrest very likely to rise effecting Botswana although Botswana is a relatively peaceful nation compared to others it’s not of a major concern to ourselves with regards to poachers slipping over the borders or possible syndicates seeing these areas as poaching havens to pay poachers to do their dirty work whilst they stay relatively safe in neighbouring nations bordering South Africa.
South Africa borders four other major African nations as explained above, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Botswana with Swaziland closest to Mozambique and Lesotho 30 degrees east. Leaving Botswana, Swaziland, Lesotho, and Namibia out of the equation the top ranking nations that have the most problems with petty crime, unemployment, social dysfunction, organised crime, and drought to very low income then these nations can be and are from what we are seeing being targeted by highly sophisticated Asian syndicate gangs.
The opportunist is also targeting our wildlife within South Africa and who can blame them when you see figures such as this above from mainly Mozambique and Zimbabwe regarding unemployment, civil unrest and drought.
The same more or less is on-going in Indonesia and Malaysia with regards to illegal logging of which poor families that are none the wiser are completely oblivious to what damage they are causing to our sensitive biodiversity.
Bringing these two together with the poor and the sophisticated heavily armed and trained poachers could this be a reason why the Rhinoceros and the Elephant is now being plunged into nearing extinction at such a rapid rate? And are the syndicates residing in Zimbabwe where they know there basically untouchable thus sending in trained poachers to take down South African wildlife. We all know that from time to time the poor man will take his fair share, however the poor can easily be manipulated and bribed and $1000 sounds a lot better than $1 A DAY!
Shoot out 26th November 2012 – with the other two poachers moving back across the border into Mozambique http://www.timeslive.co.za/scitech/2012/11/26/two-men-arrested-for-rhino-poaching
On the 7 March 2012 more Mozambicans were arrested for Rhinoceros poaching – Mozambican nationals, Timothy Ngcobe, 44, David Lazerus, 29, Carlito Masundu, 25, Santos Smit, 28, Chicco Khoza, 35, Sam Mashaba, 36, and Sello Zitha, 35 were later arrested over the weekend. – http://www.sanews.gov.za/south-africa/more-rhino-poachers-be-arrested-says-kruger
9th February 2013 – Shootout erupts with remaining poachers fleeing back over the border into Mozambique – http://blog.getaway.co.za/travel-news/suspected-poachers-killed-arrested-kruger/
24th January 2013 – The DEA reports on more arrests with “poachers fleeing over the border into Mozambique” feeling over the border http://www.politicsweb.co.za/politicsweb/view/politicsweb/en/page71654?oid=352926&sn=Detail&pid=71654
It was stated on the 6th March 2011 by the Department of Environmental Affairs
“South Africa and Mozambique have signed a historic agreement to drop fences between the two countries for biodiversity reasons in the Greater Limpopo Trans-frontier Park. Evidently, this has been exploited by criminal elements.
Working together with her Mozambican counterpart, Minister Molewa will address this concern. This bilateral with Mozambique will address among others how we should jointly strengthen and upgrade the security situation to arrest the scourge of rhino poaching. We also would want to share with our Mozambican counterparts our initiatives that allow collaboration between various security agencies to deal with poaching as a priority crime”. http://www.environment.gov.za/?q=content/rhino_poaching_cause_concern
What minister Molewa shouldn’t off done was drop the fence, the Minister has along with her Mozambique counterpart increased poaching figures dramatically, and yet still claims that she is cracking down on poaching. This is bloody absurd and the so called “criminal elements” are the Mozambicans, Zimbabwean’s themselves or are they?
One cannot just blame or point the finger though at Mozambique or Zimbabwe, we also have refugee camps that are in dilapidated and in repulsive conditions with little food, electricity black outs, social dysfunction, drought, lack of sanitation “if any at all”, to people living way below the bread line. What would you do if you had been forced out of your nation with three children in tow and had to live months if not years in cramped, stinking, and heat swamped conditions? These areas also need addressing and rapidly.
The Rhinoceros and the Elephant we are fully aware is being targeted for TCM and TIM as there is no use for these animal parts in other nations. However we MUST locate these syndicates and vaporise them for good. International Animal Rescue Foundation © believes that these syndicates are over the border and this is a prime interest area for us.
We must also remember that Rhinoceros and Elephant poaching is not just “Asian related”. The poor that are attacking our precious biodiversity are also being targeted by syndicates in a no win situation. We need to clean these areas up, and that is exactly what we are going to do based on accurate informer intelligence and co-operation from over border agencies.
Together working in unity we will crush these bastards that are slaughtering our natural and most beautiful biodiversity fauna and flora.
Please stay tuned for part II of Five detailing the Rhinoceros and Elephant crisis.
Thank you for reading.
Chief Executive Officer
Dr J C Dimetri & Directive team of staff International Animal Rescue Foundation
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