Poaching threatens to wipe out African rhinos

Wildlife News

12:00 AM CDT on Friday, March 19, 2010
Robyn Dixon, Los Angeles Times

LIMPOPO PROVINCE, South Africa – A sharp upsurge in rhino poaching by organized-crime gangs has devastated Zimbabwe's rhino population and threatens to wipe out South Africa's critically endangered black rhinos within a decade.

South African rancher Pelham Jones, who leads a rhino owners' group organized to combat poaching, warns that the more common white rhino won't be far behind unless something is done.

A report last year by the World Wildlife Fund, the International Union for Conservation of Nature and the wildlife-trade monitoring network Traffic said poaching had reached a 15-year high, pushing the animals close to extinction. About 1,500 rhino horns were traded illegally in the past three years, despite a long-standing ban on international trade.

Last year, 122 rhinos were killed in South Africa. Jones predicted that at the current poaching rate, 180 to 200 will be killed this year. A provisional 2009 estimate shows only 800 rhinos remaining in Zimbabwe and 18,553 white and 1,570 black rhinos in South Africa, according to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, which maintains the ban on the trade of rhino horns.



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Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, March 19 2010 @ 01:22 PM EDT What cute eagles.

 I love whatching the eagles!

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