Rhino mother and young: photo (c) EIA
Environmental Investigation Agency.–“EIA has produced an interactive map of the illegal trade in rhino horn, the latest in a series of visualisations of illegal wildlife trade.
“Poaching is the main threat to the survival of rhinos today, driven by demand for their horns. The plight of rhinos in Africa hangs in the balance as poaching has escalated hugely over the past decade – poaching in South Africa increased by over 9,000 per cent in just seven years, from 13 rhinos in 2007 to 1,215 in 2014.
“Demand for rhino horn comes primarily from Vietnam and China, where it is ground up for use as a hangover cure, party drug or in traditional medicine (despite having no medicinal value), used as a material for carving cups and trinkets or is displayed whole as a status symbol. Continue reading: Map exposes the scale and nature of rhino horn trade – EIA International
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“Rampant corruption, low employment and high poverty are the unfortunate circumstances surrounding South Africa, the primary home of Earth’s last rhinos. Add to that a high Asian demand for their horns, and it equates to the perfect storm for their demise.
“South Africa has lost approximately 1600 black and white rhinos in 2015 (unconfirmed by the government at this point). With poaching spreading like a plague, the death toll has risen dramatically each year, with this year topping all previous ones.
“In a world where an animal’s horn is worth more than cocaine or gold, the solution to their survival is not an easy one. The answer is a multi-faceted effort of anti-poaching strategies to combat the “here and now”, legal change to make the consequence more dire than the greed, and education and awareness to secure the future.” fightforrhinos.com
GR: This is a good review of a dire situation. Recommended.