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Hall-Martin, A.; Knight, M.H., 1994. Conservation and management of black rhinoceros in South African national parks: pp. 11-19, figs. 1-2, tables 1-2

In: Penzhorn, B.L. et al. Proceedings of a symposium on rhinos as game ranch animals. Onderstepoort, Republic of South Africa, 9-10 September 1994: pp. i-iv, 1-242

Location: Africa - Southern Africa - South Africa
Subject: Distribution - Poaching
Species: African Rhino Species

Original text on this topic:
Although relatively few rhino (13 white rhino Ceratotherium simum simum and 1 black rhino) have been illegally hunted over the last two years within the KNP, the general prognosis is that the number of incidences is showing an upward trend (Greef pers comm.r,). This is expected to be fuelled by the cessation of hostilities and the free availability of automatic weapons in Mozambique. If the crash of the large Zimbabwean rhino population in their extensive conservation areas as a result of a concerted poaching onslaught is anything to go by, the KNP rhino population is in great danger. Even the presence of well-trained and relatively well-equipped anti-poaching units at a density of 1 man/50 km? did little to halt the decline of the Zimbabwean population. Although, the security staff density in the KNP is higher at about 1 man/27 km? (Table 2), it is still below the minimum of 1 man/l0-20 km? to be sufficient in deterring poaching. Maintaining such high levels of security in large areas such as Kruger is very expensive, and beyond what any other African range states have been able to afford, hence the loss of their large free-ranging rhino populations. But as to whether South Africa, even in the face of declining conservation budgets and a new political order, can maintain such high standards is debatable. It may be necessary to seek extra funds from outside organisations in the future. The option of continuing to protect rhino populations at such high total expense in an area as large as Kruger may seem a viable option at the moment, but with declining funds, so the intensity will either have to be down-graded as a whole, or concentrated into specific areas, which approaches the concept of small area protection. Although potentially more expensive (per km? ) than the large conservation area option, sanctuaries have worked well in saving the Kenyan rhino populations during the time of crisis. Thus, attention should be given to possibly implementing alternative proposals, such as establishing a number of IPZs or sanctuaries within KNP, as well as supplementing other parks and reserves. Although the development of sanctuaries is a short-term option with respect to population management and viability, it would grant important extra time to explore and develop local longer-term options based upon game utilization and awareness campaigns within surrounding communities, home to most of the poachers.

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