If statistics are to be believed rhino poaching in South Africa is on the decline with the latest figures from the Department of Environmental Affairs showing the country lost 508 rhino in the first eight months of this year.
The corresponding figure for 2017 is 83 higher at 691.
Department spokesman Albi Modise said in a statement: “There has been a decrease in the number of rhino poached nationally with nearly all provinces experiencing dramatic declines”.
“Rhino poaching numbers in the Kruger National Park also continue to decline. In the period under review, a total of 292 rhino were poached compared to 332 in the same period last year.
“This decline comes despite a dramatic escalation in poacher activity inside the park, ranging from sightings, to poacher camps found, to incursions. A total of 1 873 incidents were recorded in the period under review. This is compared to 1 702 in 2017.
“It is also pleasing to note a decline in numbers of rhino poached in Kwa-Zulu/Natal during the period under review.
“In the same period in 2017, 163 rhino were poached, this year the number stands at 83. This is noteworthy and Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife, working in collaboration with the SA Police Service, is to be commended,” he said.
He pointed out elephant poaching was “regrettably” on the increase.
The Kruger National Park lost 58 of this Big Five species to poachers in the first eight months of the year.
In response to this specific risk areas have been identified and strategies to address the threat are being adapted and implemented Modise said.