user: pass:

Planton, H., 1999. Rhinoceros noir du Nord Ouest de l'Afrique (Diceros bicornis longipes): le compte a rebours continue. Pachyderm 27: 86-100, figs. 1-6, photo 1-8, table 1

Location: Africa - Western Africa - Cameroon
Subject: Distribution - Poaching
Species: Black Rhino

Original text on this topic:
In the 1980's, regular acts of poaching made some people very apprehensive. However these acts remained relatively few, were often punished, and the majority of rhinos are in the region of Bouba Ndjida, where the Lamido (traditional chief) reputedly erercises an efficient protection. During the past 10 years, about 3 animals per year have disappeared, known either from the sale of horns within the country, or the absence of indications of its presence in a home range. Very few cadavers are found in the field and always long after the death of the animal. Although the absolute number is low, it is catastrophic if one considers that it represents about 20% of the population. One relatively positive point which has been mentioned earlier (by Pfeffer) and confirmed since 1990, is that the poaching does not seem to be specifically oriented towards the rhinoceros and that the trade in the horn is less organised. The recent immigration of a chinese colony on the outskirts of the rhino range is still the only exception to this. In most other known situations, the poacher killed the rhino because he happened to see it and hoping to get a profit. One very negative point is that employees of the fauna departments, of law or police, are often directly implicated with the poaching or react poorly to it. Pfeffer accepts the possibility that some sports hunters have killed rhino simply for pleasure. Other sources report similar cases, sometimes for financial gain. Alers (unpublished) mentions the direct implication of rangers in rhino poaching cases and the great reluctance of those in charge to provide information. Older reporters mention the disappearance of horns even from the Ecole de Fauna in Garua. In 1993, poachers arrested under dangerous circumstances were released within hours by the officials, and a ranger implicated is still employed. Early 1996 a ranger killed the last rhinoceros in the south of the Parc de la B?nou?: although implicated by villagers and colleagues, he remains in his post without punishment. In August 1996, a female rhino with a radio transmitter was killed with active cooperation of a ranger. The faunal authorities refused even to book the complaints of villagers and collegues, and the poachers and their accomplices, all identified, were never taken to task. The retrieval of the horns in the house of a police inspector was refused, and would never have taken place without the personal intervention of the minister in charge. In the end the poachers were arrested and all quickly released. The process which followed decided the following punishments: the poacher, who changed identity and disappeared, was convicted to 3 years in prison or 10 million CFA (ca. $ 16.000); the seller and the middleman, also disappeared, got 6 months in prison and surveillance for 3 years. The inspector of police had the same terms, plus a fine of $300. The inspector appealed and complained about being cheated about the merchandise. The seller lost and in tour had to repay the amount paid for the horn to the inspector. The administration appealed again and suspended all rhino related activities: the whole case took 1 ? years.
All this shows that a change in political will could turn around the fate of the rhinos.

[ Home ][ Literature ][ Rhino Images ][ Rhino Forums ][ Rhino Species ][ Links ][ About V2.0]