GLAND, Switzerland, Dec. 2 (UPI) — A report by two Switzerland-headquartered conservation groups says worldwide rhinoceros poaching is increasing, especially in Asia and Africa.
The report by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and the World Wildlife Fund says the poaching is being driven by Asian demand for horns and is made worse by increasingly sophisticated poachers, who are using veterinary drugs, poison, cross bows and high caliber weapons to kill rhinos.
The organizations said since 2006, 95 percent of the poaching in Africa has occurred in Zimbabwe and South Africa, new data indicates.
“These two nations collectively form the epicenter of an unrelenting poaching crisis in southern Africa,” said Tom Milliken of TRAFFIC, a wildlife trade monitoring network established by the two conservation groups to ensure trade in wild plants and animals is not a threat to the conservation of nature.
The report also raises concerns regarding the low and declining numbers as well as the uncertain status of some of the Sumatran and Javan rhino populations in Malaysia, Indonesia and Vietnam.
However, the conservationists note in some areas populations of rhinos are increasing. “Where there is political will, dedicated conservation programs and good law enforcement, rhino numbers have increased in both Africa and Asia,” they said.
The report is available at http://www.cites.org/common/cop/15/doc/E15-45-01A.pdf.
Copyright 2009 by United Press International