New Delhi: Fuelled by Asian demand for
rhino horns, the poaching of the endangered animal worldwide
is on the rise, according to a new report by a leading
international conservation organisation.
The trade is being driven by Asian demand for horns
and is made worse by increasingly sophisticated poachers who
now are using veterinary drugs, poison, cross bows and high
caliber weapons to kill rhinos, said the report by Traffic and
International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
Since 2006, a majority (95 per cent) of poaching cases
in Africa has occurred in Zimbabwe and South Africa, according
to the new data.
"These two nations collectively form the epicentre of
an unrelenting poaching crisis in southern Africa," said Tom
Milliken of Traffic, according to a statement here.
The report, which was submitted to the Convention on
International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and
Flora (CITES) ahead of its 15th meeting of the Conference of
the Parties (CoP15) in March, documents a decline in law
enforcement effectiveness and an increase in poaching
intensity in Africa.
The situation is most serious in Zimbabwe where rhino
numbers are declining and the conviction rate for rhino
poaching crimes is only three percent. Despite introduction of
a number of new measures, poaching and illicit horn trade in
South Africa has also increased.
"Concerted action at the highest level is needed to
stop this global crisis of rampant rhino poaching," said
Amanda Nickson, Director of the Species Programme at WWF