There have been numerous reports over the past several months about the increase in Rhino poaching in the country. It was further highlighted that Rhino poaching had reached a critical level in KwaZulu-Natal following the December period. Poaching has been steadily rising for months.
This is due to a number of factors including (amongst others), depressed local economies brought about by pandemic related lockdowns, a renewed focus on poaching as an attractive livelihood due to the reopening of global trade routes (and the illegal trade routes that run parallel to these) and a continued demand for Rhino horn.
Global tourism has been severely restricted, resulting in reduced tourism revenue for conservation bodies to carry out ongoing operations and anti-poaching efforts, all with high associated costs. It is crucial to understand that Rhino poaching has not slowed down and that Rhino conservation efforts on the ground continue unabated.
Rhino conservation efforts are multi-pronged, with reactive and proactive measures in place to address the immediate and long-term threats. In terms of long-term measures, Wildlife ACT along with several partners, continue to address the inclusion of local individuals who live alongside parks into conservation.
By building a strong line of communication between conservation authorities and local community structures, as well as improving the understanding of wildlife and biodiversity conservation, we aim to strengthen local inclusion and highlight opportunities and benefits.
One such initiative, carried out through our Community Conservation Programme, is our Wildlife ACTive Kids Camp programme. These camps provide an opportunity for local primary school children to stay inside parks, learning about conservation initiatives and wildlife and to connect with other networks through an experiential learning programme.
During December, in partnership with Project Rhino, we hosted our first two camps since the pandemic. We hope that 2022 sees many more groups of children taking part in these multi-day camps, inspiring future conservationists.
Please consider donating towards these Rhino conservation efforts which we believe are crucial for long-term success in addressing poaching. To support our Kids Camps visit https://www.givengain.com/cc/rhinoconservation/