Poaching numbers drop

27 July 2021 | Crime

ELLANIE SMIT

WINDHOEK

This year to date only four elephants have been poached in comparison to the 12 elephants that were poached last year.

In 2014, when poaching started to increase in Namibia, 78 elephants were killed, peaking at 101 poached elephants in 2016.

Since then, there has been a decline in the number of poached elephants with 50 poaching cases reported in 2017, 27 in 2018 and 13 in 2019.

According to statistics provided by the environment ministry, the four poaching cases for this year occurred in the in the Nyae Nyae Conservancy and in the Ondjou Conservancy in the Otjozondjupa Region, in the Buffalo Core Area, Omega 1, and Mahango Core Area in the Kavango East Region.

No arrests have been made.

Rhinos

Meanwhile, nine rhinos have been poached so far this year, of which three were black rhinos and six were white rhinos.

Statistics from the ministry indicate that the three black rhinos were all poached in Etosha National Park and the six white rhinos were privately owned.

In 2014 rhino poaching numbers stood at 56, increasing to 97 in 2015 and then dropping slightly to 66 in 2016 and 55 in 2017.

It then sharply increased again to 81 in 2018, dropping to 54 in 2019 and last year 32 rhinos were poached.

Deterrent

Spokesperson of the ministry Romeo Muyunda said the decline in poaching was is attributed to increased law enforcement activities against wildlife crimes through their collaboration with law enforcement agencies.

“Our intelligence has also led to more arrests of perpetrators before the actual poaching. The arrests also serve as a deterrence.”

He said there is currently good cooperation with members of the public who continue to inform them and lead them to potential or actual poaching cases.

“Overall, the country is standing together against poaching. There is still more to be done to get the numbers to zero and to maintain such low figures considering the fact that poachers will be challenged to find innovative ways to counter our efforts.

“We however endeavour and pledge to stay ahead of the poaching syndicates by anticipating their next moves. Poachers and those intending to, should be warned that Namibia has taken a stand against poaching, and they will be rooted out to face the full wrath of law.”