NEWS DESK POST with information sourced from Reuters
Rhino poaching in Namibia has reduced significantly, to 41 in 2019 compared to the 72 killed in 2018, says the Ministry of Environment and Tourism (MET).
Namibia has the second largest population of white rhinos in the world after South Africa and, according to NGO Save the Rhino, it holds one-third of the world’s remaining black rhinos.
Rhino poaching in Namibia has fluctuated over the years – from 95 in 2015 to to 60 in 2016, 36 in 2017 and 72 in 2018. These statistics are measured from January to December each year.
Despite the horn comprising mostly of keratin – a protein that makes up your hair and nails – the demand for rhino horn continues to be high in East Asia where it is considered a medicine for multiple ailments, and is also prized by business elites as trinkets because of its rarity.
While cracking down on rhino poaching, Namibia is also lobbying against the rules that govern the global trade in endangered species, after other countries rejected proposals to relax restrictions on legal hunting and exporting of its white rhinos. Namibia wants to allow more trophy hunting of rhinos and export of live animals, arguing that the funds it would raise would help it to protect the species, an argument rejected in August of this year by countries that are party to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). For further information about this topic read this opinion post by a conservation specialist justifying the hunting of black rhinos.