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 Post subject: Re: Poaching
Unread postPosted: Mon Apr 08, 2013 1:24 pm 
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threedogs wrote:
General Jooste stated that a poacher/tourist interaction is virtually imminent as poachers are going deeper into the park away from the borders.

KNP is only one poacher/tourist engagement away from its' tourism income disappearing the same way as the rhino! :evil:


:big_eyes: Correct 3 dogs!

If SANParks has financial problems now, wait 3 months after the first tourist fatality from poaching.

NOW is the time for the government to step in and send the army in. It would be valuable combat training, and useful rather than interfering in a remote country's issues.

The government also needs to declare whatever on Mozambique to permit hot pursuit in the absence of its will or ability to uphold the rule of law there.

The future of Kruger and its employees and the surrounding community that benefits from it , not just the rhino, are at stake here.

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 Post subject: Re: Poaching
Unread postPosted: Mon Apr 08, 2013 1:34 pm 
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We need to get resources to our borders urgently. Send a thousand troops to Kruger, they are available.
Bush walks could now have poachers listed as possible dangerous encounters. It will take one incident between tourists and poachers to ruin any amount of positive spinning about the situation.
Tourist vehicles follow predictable routes. On foot we may be asking for trouble if we do not drive poachers out of Kruger. These activities should be reviewed in poaching hot spots.

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 Post subject: Re: Poaching
Unread postPosted: Mon Apr 08, 2013 1:56 pm 
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Bush Baptist wrote:
threedogs wrote:
General Jooste stated that a poacher/tourist interaction is virtually imminent as poachers are going deeper into the park away from the borders.

KNP is only one poacher/tourist engagement away from its' tourism income disappearing the same way as the rhino! :evil:


:big_eyes: Correct 3 dogs!

If SANParks has financial problems now, wait 3 months after the first tourist fatality from poaching.



Excellent Point BB

forestgump wrote:
We need to get resources to our borders urgently. Send a thousand troops to Kruger, they are available.
Bush walks could now have poachers listed as possible dangerous encounters. It will take one incident between tourists and poachers to ruin any amount of positive spinning about the situation.
Tourist vehicles follow predictable routes. On foot we may be asking for trouble if we do not drive poachers out of Kruger. These activities should be reviewed in poaching hot spots.


Well said forestgump

There is no fence to speak off and I keep saying high barrier to entry, here is a real life example

Quote:
To preserve biodiversity, we need discipline and rigid protection. One example of this is the island of Santo Domingo. A clear line can be seen running down the border that divides Haiti from the Dominican Republic. On the Haiti side, no trees, no life, just utter environmental ruin. On the Dominican side, some rich natural forests still survive. Why? Because right from the start, the Dominicans adopted a zero tolerance approach to Haitian poachers and woodcutters. The army was deployed to shoot trespassers on sight.


Chris Mercer quoted above

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 Post subject: Re: Poaching
Unread postPosted: Mon Apr 08, 2013 2:02 pm 
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And I can vouch for that - I've been there and seen it myself. :wink:

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 Post subject: Re: Poaching
Unread postPosted: Mon Apr 08, 2013 3:19 pm 
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Looks like the general has a firm grasp on what he needs to fight this war on the front line.

So how can we as the forum mobilize to help?

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 Post subject: Re: Poaching
Unread postPosted: Mon Apr 08, 2013 3:31 pm 
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Hopefully this morning's broadcast will have created a groundswell of opinion.

But sadly, the majority of SA's population has other priorities that the government purports to address. But there cannot be a higher priority for the minister under whom this falls, and how do we ensure this is top of the ministerial batting order.

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 Post subject: Re: Poaching
Unread postPosted: Tue Apr 09, 2013 12:33 am 
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Bush Baptist wrote:
Hopefully this morning's broadcast will have created a groundswell of opinion.


Like the groundswell here? Hopefully not, because apart from a few of us doggedly carrying on I don't see much groundswell of opinion.

I cannot express the level of disappointment and even despair that I feel by the lack of engagement by fellow forumites on the poaching issue.

I want more than anything now for all of us to find a way to stand together and as Stark put it 'mobilise' ourselves into a voice that the government will hear.

Sanparks are, I believe, doing what they can with what they have. There are a couple of areas I would like to see greatly improved but on the whole this is a battle they are fighting under resourced.

This is the SANParks forum so come on mites PLEASE have your say and help build the momentum towards securing a better future for YOUR rhino!

If not now, then when? If not here, then where?

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 Post subject: Rhino hunters become the hunted in Nepal - a success story
Unread postPosted: Tue Apr 09, 2013 3:41 am 
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http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-22030392

Some good news for a change. :)

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 Post subject: Re: Rhino hunters become the hunted in Nepal - a success sto
Unread postPosted: Tue Apr 09, 2013 7:24 am 
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Hi Threedogs,

Thanks for the good news. For me, the most interesting part is the below:

"The involvement of villagers living around the park in the conservation effort has been mutually beneficial.

Kamal Jung Kunwar explained that they have received between 30-40% of tourism revenue from the park for development projects in their villages."

And another crucial bit:

'But at the same time law enforcement has had an impact on saving the rhinos.

Around 150 poachers and their collaborators have been convicted and jailed in the last few years. Sentences ranged from five to 15 years. The chief warden of the parks even has quasi-judicial powers."

Chris


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 Post subject: Re: Poaching
Unread postPosted: Tue Apr 09, 2013 8:52 am 
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This below from Africa Check:

Report that SA’s Kruger park could lose 1000 rhinos is alarmist

COMMENTS 1
The number of rhinos being poached each year in South Africa is rising worryingly. But the reports this weekend that Kruger National Park could lose 1,000 rhino in 2013 are alarmist. The facts show a much lower trend.

Researched by Julian Rademeyer


The story that South Africa’s “Kruger Park could lose 1,000 rhino in 2013”, spread quickly on Twitter and Facebook this past weekend.

It was posted on the website of Eyewitness News (EWN), a division of media company Primedia, which provides news reports and bulletins to a number of local radio stations in South Africa.

A separate report by South Africa’s state broadcaster, the SABC, referred to “conservative estimates” which purportedly “show that as many as a thousand rhino could be poached this year” in South Africa.

SABC did not state the source of the estimate. However, the EWN story quoted a Kruger National Park spokesman, William Mabasa, saying: “If you look at the trends, by the end of this year we would have lost 1,000 [rhino].”

How many have been poached so far?

If the EWN headline were true, it would mean that poaching in the Kruger National Park would have more than doubled since last year when 425 rhino were killed by poachers in the park.

In total South Africa lost 668 rhino in 2012 – the highest number recorded to date in the country’s growing poaching crisis.

However, the most recent poaching figures, released on 3 April 2013 by South Africa’s Department of Environmental Affairs, stated that 203 rhino had been poached since the beginning of this year; 145 of them in the Kruger National Park.

If current poaching levels in the Kruger remain constant at just over one a day, it would mean that the park could lose around 575 rhino by the end of the year.This is just over half the number suggested in the report.

South Africa as a whole is losing just over two rhinos a day, well below the number suggested by EWN for the Kruger National Park alone.

Kruger spokesman says up to 750 nationally

Contacted by Africa Check, the spokesman for the Kruger Park, Mabasa, denied saying that as many as a thousand rhino could be lost by the end of the year.

“No, that is completely wrong…We said 700 nationally could be lost…possibly up to 750,” he said.

Conclusion – the facts do not support the claim

While South Africa as a whole could indeed lose more rhino than expected by the Park spokesman, should there be a sharp upsurge in poaching, it seems highly unlikely – at the current rate – that the Kruger National Park would lose as many as thousand rhino by the end of the year.

The weekend report failed to take into account current poaching figures and trends.

Even if Mabasa was quoted correctly, the figure should have been more closely interrogated. He says he was not.

Edited by Peter Cunliffe-Jones

http://www.africacheck.org/reports/repo ... -alarmist/

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 Post subject: Re: Poaching
Unread postPosted: Tue Apr 09, 2013 9:57 am 
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I have read this forum section with great interest. I apologise from detracting from this information as posted above but I have one question to ask for clarity in my mind.

I just arrived back from Kruger national park where I went on safari. The viewings was utterly amazing. I also met an elderly couple in camp. On seeing their uniform we had a great conversation. They are honorary rangers , and have been for more than 20 years. This is the reason for my question.

The couple irrevocably stated their unhappiness with the new rules of obtaining voluntary work in Kruger that has been instituted last year close to the end of the year due to a honorary ranger that was arrested for poaching. In this section it has been stated that personnel is involved in poaching and accepted that you do get the proverbial rotten apple in every basket. Why is the honorary ranger spokesperson still denying these allegations??


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 Post subject: Re: Poaching
Unread postPosted: Tue Apr 09, 2013 1:15 pm 
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There has been a duty system being developed for at least two years if not longer. This started in the South where our Lowveld region took responsibility to organise duties. From there it has been rolled our across the entire park. This is necessary because the SHR movement has grown and there are many SHR members wanting to do duty. Each one doing his own thing or organising his own work would cause total chaos and frustrate staff members. This system is part of proper management of a responsible organisation and not because of poaching.

The official national policy was drafted as early as July 2012, went through the consultation processes and was officially implemented in November 2012. Now it is no longer an optional local system but a system every SHR member must adhere to.

The "elderly couple" had it wrong. :wink:

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 Post subject: Re: Poaching
Unread postPosted: Tue Apr 09, 2013 2:22 pm 
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There was an interview with a gentlemen from Kruger on RSG radio this morning (I think his surname is Greeff) He told the reporter that the poachers are now operating with military precision. They have guards armed with AK 47s and they even lay ambushes for the rangers. Saraf has reprimanded me for going political again but if we want to fight poaching effectively, then we must look at how the 'enemy' operates and how to effectively combat them. That is why I have drawn a parallel between the old border war and the present day poaching assault. The illegal immigrant that is walking in Kruger may be on the payroll of the poachers as a scout, the same as during the old days. This has nothing to do with politics, and all to do with tactics.

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 Post subject: Re: Poaching
Unread postPosted: Tue Apr 09, 2013 2:36 pm 
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It was Jack Greeff HC. An expert on counter insurgency. When Jack talks one can listen, he knows what he is talking about because he was in it.

Unfortunately there is an over consciousness here and many good intentions are misinterpreted as being political.

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 Post subject: Re: Poaching
Unread postPosted: Tue Apr 09, 2013 2:43 pm 
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In case you missed it, this is what happens:

It’s little wonder then that a host of villages within the provinces of Gaza and Maputo have become havens for poachers. (I heard on 702 this morning that there are 300000 people living on that side of the Park) Chimangue, Machamba, Makandazulo B and Mavodze all show the fruits of their successes, while Massingir is believed to be the centre for up to six syndicates. The poachers operate in teams of three – a tracker, a shooter and a horn carrier – and each crew is paid about US$4 500 per kilogram of horn.

Using the villages as bases, the teams make their way into KNP. The route they take depends on the latest information about the whereabouts of rhinos, which is typically relayed by sources from within SANParks or by other poaching gangs leaving the park. Villagers also report on recent rhino tracks, and are paid the equivalent of about US$1800 if their information leads to a successful hit. Currently, two of the better-used routes are the ‘Eight-mile walk’, which involves a tramp of this distance from the village of Cubo, and the Honaune route, which starts right alongside the fence.

If there are concentrations of rhinos in the western and southern sectors of KNP, teams may be driven into South Africa via the Ressano Garcia/Komatipoort border post. Depending on the circumstances, they enter the park legally or illegally, but most often return to Mozambique on foot to avoid being caught in possession of horn while in South Africa.

The team often ambush the rhinos, laying a trail of Portuguese bread rolls to the base of a tree in which the shooter is waiting.

Their weapons of choice are .458 or .375 rifles and, to avoid detection, these are usually kept out in the field or are handed from one team to the next when they change shifts. Another option is AK-47 rifles that, for a small fee, are ‘borrowed’ from Mozambican security personnel, particularly the Forga de Guarda Fronteira, or border police. The teams often ambush the rhinos, laying a trail of Portuguese bread rolls to the base of a tree in which the shooter is waiting.

Even if arrests are made, a whole new set of challenges presents itself: anyone, from anti-poaching rangers through police and prison officials to prosecutors, may be corruptible. The first move made by whoever is apprehended is to offer money, the amount depending on who has been caught and by whom. Poachers and horn carriers generally have between US$1500 and US$2 000 on them and they will offer this to ordinary police officers and rangers, whereas people who come from Maputo to collect the horn carry up to US$20 000 in case they are bust.

To put this into perspective, a game scout earns on average about US$170 per month, a senior scout about US$350 and a local prosecutor less than US$1 000. As a result, prosecution levels are almost zero; rifles handed in to police may be returned to poachers within days; vehicles belonging to officials are often used to ferry poachers; and if administrators are seen to be doing their job, they are often moved to other regions or positions. In essence, for a fee, it is possible to escape capture at every level. Most of the horn passes through Massingir, usually at night, as this is the quickest route to Maputo, and the transfer of bounty between syndicate members takes place almost immediately.

All this makes tackling the Mozambican poachers on their own turf a tough challenge, but one that governments and their security agencies on both sides of the border will have to face.

Here

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