SANParks and Kruger partners work to minimise impact of rhino poaching


South African National Parks (SANParks) and conservation partners in the Greater Kruger Region are collaboratively implementing a range of interventions as part of an integrated wildlife management approach to counter rhino poaching.

As part of several initiatives, certain entities have embarked on strategic dehorning of selected rhinos in the Greater Kruger Protected Area landscape, SANParks said on Friday.

The Kruger National Park (KNP) will implement a range of integrated management actions to minimise the impact of rhino poaching on the population numbers, including the selective dehorning of rhino cows in certain areas in the southern park. This management tool goes hand-in-hand with strengthening security measures, information sharing on incursions and intelligence as well as continuous collaboration with law enforcement agencies.

The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), is being briefed extensively on the current situation in order to deliver stiff sentences to those found in possession of ammunition, high calibre rifles and trespassing in a protected area with the intention to commit crime.

It has been established that the loss of a cow has multiple effects since it also includes the loss of a dependant calf and future calves. The multiple effects are part of various factors that affect population growth of white rhinos apart from the immediate disruptive effect of poaching. The cows are extremely important for the overall population performance and need to be protected by introducing stiffer sentences in incidents where they have been poached for their horn and a calf is left destitute, SANParks said.