Monday, November 25, 2013

Experts Warn that Poaching of Rhinos Nearly Surpasses Births

A sedated white rhinoceros at a ranch near Johannesburg

International experts have recently warned that the ongoing poaching of rhinos is nearly outpacing the number of births. The International Rhino Foundation (IRF) stated that South Africa is the core of the continuous bloodshed with a record of 827 black and white rhinos killed this year, compared to last year's record of 668. According to IRF executive director Susie Ellis, the levels of poaching threaten to destroy decades of conservation advancement and that it is crucial to take action. However, the IRF also stated that despite the ongoing poaching activities, birth rates of black rhinos continue to increase slowly. In addition, the white rhino population is also slowly on the rise. Nonetheless, the situation is almost certainly unsustainable on the long run. Representatives of the IRF met with international conservation leaders in the city of Tampa, Florida to discuss new tactics to put a stop to the crisis. Dr. Ellis stated that the ultimatum is "whether rhino countries like South Africa and consumer countries like China and Vietnam will enforce their laws and whether countries like Indonesia will take the bold actions to save Sumatran and Javan rhinos." In addition, the IRF also warned of increase in rhino poaching activities in northeast India. Furthermore, while specifying steps in the global effort to save rhinos, the organization confirmed some successes in Botswana, India, Indonesia, and Zimbabwe, and implored officials to heighten their efforts to save rhinos and their habitat.

This article is a clear and explicit indication that strong measurements needed to save the world's rhinos are crucial in this time of suffering and carnage attributed towards these majestic animals. While the numbers of black rhinos are currently at 5,000 and white rhinos number roughly 20,400 in Africa, the onslaught of poaching and growing demand for their horns remains inevitable despite the recent news indicating that the birth rates of these animals are steadily increasing. Indian rhinos, which number about 3,300, are also at tremendous risk of poaching in spite of the success stories of forest guards and wildlife officials sacrificing their lives to protect the animals. While Indonesia has also seen its share of success in protecting its local wildlife, the numbers of rhinos are critically low with as few as hundred Sumatran rhinos and around 44 Javan rhinos remaining in the wild. As a whole, both species are considered to be on the brink of extinction. Furthermore, there has not been any evidence (at least to my knowledge) of Sumatran and Javan rhino birth rates being on the rise, diminishing, or remaining stable. This is why it is extremely crucial to take drastic action regarding the protection of the world's rhinos by any means necessary or the threat of poaching and the illegal wildlife trade will gain upper-hand resulting in widespread loss of the world's rhino population, along with other endangered wildlife.

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