South Africa reported that January’s rhino death toll hit 57. Kruger National Park is a key locus, with 42 rhinos, or 10% of the total killed in that park for 2012, killed there in this single month.
SANParks attributes the increased poaching to the recent floods in the Kruger National Park, thick vegetation, two weeks of a full moon, and aggressive incursions from Mozambique. SANParks Chief Executive Officer, Dr David Mabunda, said despite increased incursions from Mozambique, in particularly the Limpopo Transfrontier Park region in the north of Kruger National Park, anti-poaching operations were starting to yield results.”We bled in December, but as of January 1 there has been a change in strategy from a conservation management system to greater law enforcement, and this is working. Our operations are more militaristic. The number of poachers arrested has increased inside and outside the Park.” Despite the floods that have left large parts of the KNP inaccessible to vehicles and rangers on foot, and totally destroyed the camp at Shingwedzi, the area was still being patrolled with the assistance of helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft.
For more, see SANParks.