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RHINOS ALIVE ! South African Hunters and Game Conservation Association Dr Herman Els: Manager; Conservation Co-ordination (SAHGCA) (06-05-2011) A pro-active.

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Presentation on theme: "RHINOS ALIVE ! South African Hunters and Game Conservation Association Dr Herman Els: Manager; Conservation Co-ordination (SAHGCA) (06-05-2011) A pro-active."— Presentation transcript:

1 RHINOS ALIVE ! South African Hunters and Game Conservation Association Dr Herman Els: Manager; Conservation Co-ordination (SAHGCA) ( ) A pro-active approach to Rhino Conservation

2 Source: Du Toit, JG;

3 Source: Du Toit, JG; >138 on Score Card 2011 Score Card

4 SAHGCA’s Approach: SAHGCA is of the opinion that the only realistic manner in which to pro-actively save our Rhinos from the high incidence of slaughter caused through poaching, SAHGCA’s Approach: SAHGCA is of the opinion that the only realistic manner in which to pro-actively save our Rhinos from the high incidence of slaughter caused through poaching, is to legalise the trade in the animals’ horn through credible and accountable means in order to create an additional thrust in support of existing anti- Rhino poaching initiatives, so as to maintain the conservation status of these animals in our country.

5 Rhino Legally Hunted vs Rhino Poached (2005 – 2010) Legally hunted PoachedPoached Source: Du Toit, JG; 2011 Confirmation that the illegal trade has surpassed legal hunting

6 We have only 2 alternatives

7 …we can continue to see these horrid scenes… …first alternative…

8 …once upon a time…...then we shall be able to tell our grandchildren...

9 ...we can continue showing these magnificent animals to our grandchildren... …preferred alternative…

10 …we of the SA Hunters and Game Conservation Association prefer to keep our Rhinos Alive !

11 In advocating a legal trade in Rhino horn, there are three facts that need to be highlighted.

12 (1)Fact: Rhino conservation is very much a South African success story; (1)Fact: Rhino conservation is very much a South African success story; (2)Fact: Asian medicinal values grew over 5,000 years and is a reality not wished away; (3)Fact: Currently only smugglers and criminals benefit from the trade in Rhino horn.

13 Rhino conservation is very much a South African story

14 Source: Du Toit, JG; 2011 The Rhino Conservation Story

15 Source: Du Toit, JG; 2011 The Rhino Conservation Story animals protected in Hluhluwe and Umfolozi Game Reserves in Zululand

16 Source: Du Toit, JG; 2011 The Rhino Conservation Story increase in population to ± 1,650 animals

17 Source: Du Toit, JG; 2011 The Rhino Conservation Story 1961 first animals transferred to Kruger National Park

18 Source: Du Toit, JG; 2011 The Rhino Conservation Story 1986 Natal Parks Board place first animals on private auction

19 Source: Du Toit, JG; 2011 The Rhino Conservation Story The opening of the trade in Rhino created a take-off in the population growth of these animals.

20 Source: Du Toit, JG; 2011 The Rhino Conservation Story...projections are that we could see a Rhino population of 40,000 animals in the next 10 years in this country...

21 Rhinos in Private Ownership - RSA Grew from 80 in 1986 Source: Louis van Schalkwyk in Du Toit, JG; ,000 animals 4,000 animals More than all rhino in the rest of the world

22 Source: Du Toit, JG; = 15,000 White Rhino in world RSA government = 10,455 (69.7%) RSA game ranches = 3,315 (22.1%) African countries = 1,020 (6.8%) Rest of world = 210 (1.4%) RSA government = 10,455 (69.7%) RSA game ranches = 3,315 (22.1%) African countries = 1,020 (6.8%) Rest of world = 210 (1.4%) In 2005, 91.8% of the world’s White Rhino were in South Africa

23 2007: RSA = 16,255 (93.0%) Rest of the world = 1,225 (7.0%) 2007: RSA = 16,255 (93.0%) Rest of the world = 1,225 (7.0%) RSA Game Ranchers = 4,000 (Kenya = 350 & Tanzania <100) …surely there needs to be some international recognition of these facts…

24 The Asian Medicinal Value System

25 1971 – 2004 (33 years) 1,148 hunted legally ± 36 / annum) 2005 – 2008 (4 years) 338 hunted legally ± 85 animals / annum)..of which 269 (80%) were hunted by mostly Vietnamese “hunters” Adequate proof that in this period at least 196 Rhinos were hunted solely for their horn. Source: Du Toit, JG; 2011

26 Source: Du Toit, JG; 2009 Foreign Hunters to South Africa (2004 – 2008) Average of 12 hunts per annum

27 Source: Du Toit, JG; 2009 Rhinos Exported (2005 – 2007)

28 The reality is thus clear – the market exists and will not go away just because we think we can change a 5,000 year old Asian value system The reality is thus clear – the market exists and will not go away just because we think we can change a 5,000 year old Asian value system by merely indicating that in our superior Euro-American understanding of the causality of disease and its cures, Rhino horn does not contain any medicinal properties.

29 In the mega city of Seoul with its 10 million inhabitants, there are: In the mega city of Seoul with its 10 million inhabitants, there are: Source: Du Toit, JG; colleges; - 20 hospitals; - 4,700 clinics; - 7,000 practitioners; - 2,352 pharmacies - 11 colleges; - 20 hospitals; - 4,700 clinics; - 7,000 practitioners; - 2,352 pharmacies...solely dedicated to the healing powers of medicines derived from natural products…

30 Therefore we can state that the present international regulatory environment concerning the ban on the trade in Rhino horn is responsible for inflating the price of the product in the illegal international market, and that this directly encourages poaching leading to the future decimation and possible extinction of our wild Rhino population.

31 Conservation Benefits From Legal Trade

32 …on game ranches Rhino are proven to produce 2kg of horn every two years without having negative effects on behaviour or on reproduction… Rhino and Ostrich are the only animals of which their “product” can be harvested regularly without killing the animal Source: Du Toit, JG; 2011

33 ...in addition, approximately 400 horns can be harvested annually due to natural death of these animals... Michael Eustace: African Indaba Vol. 9(1) Feb 2011 Michael Eustace: African Indaba Vol. 9(1) Feb 2011

34 ...on average that projects to ± 800 horns from natural deaths which could generate ± R600 million / annum for Rhino conservation... R150,000 / kg)...projection of 40,000 Rhinos in 10 years from now…...in 2010 the horns of 333 average 4kg / Rhino probably generated ± R532.8 million for criminals and R0-00 for Rhino conservation… R400,000 / kg) Michael Eustace: African Indaba Vol. 9(1) Feb 2011 Michael Eustace: African Indaba Vol. 9(1) Feb 2011

35 …if its true that SANParks alone has > 5,000 Rhino horns in their vaults which cannot be sold due to a persistent CITES ban on international trade in Rhino horn, then the conservative calculation of lost revenue for Rhino conservation in this country, comes to R2,25 billion. 5,000 x 3kg = R150,000 / kg

36 There has to be an alternative to the current ridged non-trade measures which are in place, and which thrust can be managed in conjunction with existing South African initiatives to curb this curse of seeming unstoppable Rhino poaching.

37 However, it is also clear that we shall first have to get our own house in order before embarking on this understandably quite difficult journey For SA Hunters the key to achieving any form of success in our endeavour, lies in the traceability of all Rhino horn to it’s origin.

38 Traceability can be achieved by assisting the Rhino DNA Information System (RhODIS) facility put in place and maintained by the Veterinary Genetics Laboratory (VGL) of the Veterinary Faculty of the University of Pretoria at Onderstepoort.

39 We shall firstly have to ascertain that there is a system in place by way of which we can log the DNA profile of each Rhino in this country on RhODIS. In this, the VGL has already taken significant and outstanding initiative and has already put the first steps of the process into place. Obviously the whole process will take time, but it must be done.

40 There are three reasons why the maintenance of the RhODIS facility is important: (a)To serve as burden of proof in court cases (b)To serve as genetic reference against inbreeding. (c)To serve as proof that we can manage the utilisation of the product of our Rhinos, and the trade therein in a responsible and accountable manner because we can trace each horn to its origin.

41 Obviously such an endeavour as suggested by the functioning of the RhODIS facility, needs funding in order for it to remain the key to the process of legalising the international trade in Rhino horn. That is why the whole of our current initiative with our Rhinos Alive campaign is focussed on putting processes in place through which we endeavour to generate income streams to assist the VGL in the very important work the laboratory already performs.

42 Thereafter we will have to change gear a few more times before we can begin to travel the road we have set ourselves upon. This is the “first gear” of the process we understand we have to manage in order to achieve our objective.

43 We shall have to, inter alia: (a)Set-up a think tank of authorities to determine the way forward as well as the different processes that will have to be put into place; (b) Negotiate the principle with relevant government departments and all other stakeholders; (c) Ascertain that we understand the market and its demands (real volume and product needed); (d) Investigate the possibility of establishing a similar type of controlling mechanism for the international trade in Rhino horn as was initiated by De Beers for the international diamond trade;

44 Be assured of the fact that SA Hunters is committed to this endeavour and that we shall stay the course. After all, we want to keep our Rhinos Alive !

45 Your contribution, of whatever nature, can make a difference. Visit or contact Dr Herman Els


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