Protection efforts for rhinoceros populations
The South African government’s decision is in line with commitments made at the 15th Conference of Parties of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), where all rhino range states agreed to focus increased efforts on law enforcement, better border trade controls, prevention of illegal hunting, early detection of illegal offenders, enhancement of existing international, regional and national law enforcement mechanisms, and where necessary, through creation of new mechanisms in order to curtail illegal trade in rhinoceros horn.
WWF supports the establishment of an interim national wildlife reaction unit to complement the work of the Green Scorpions as a direct response to the alarming poaching crisis affecting South Africa and the region as a whole. The National Wildlife Reaction Unit especially needs to combat poaching and illegal trade operated by organized crime syndicates within South Africa. WWF understands the need for stronger and more appropriate measures to be put in place to counteract this highly sophisticated organized crime.