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  1. ITV Report

In numbers: Africa's poaching crisis

Rhinos and elephants continue to be targeted by poachers in Africa. Credit: ITV News

A look at some of the key facts and figures as African rhinos and elephants are continually slaughtered by poachers.

Elephants being killed faster than being born

Elephant numbers have dropped dramatically. Credit: ITV News
30-40k
number of elephants killed every year
96
elephants killed every day
15
one elephant is killed every 15 minutes

Human-elephant conflict

  • Land conflicts between humans and elephants are believed to be a huge long-term threat, as growing human population demands greater living space
  • Fragmented habitat and severe competition for land have caused human-elephant conflicts that have ended in loss of life for both people and animals

The rhino

African rhinos are frequently targeted in South Africa which has the largest population.
  • There are two species of African rhino, white and black, which are predominately found in just four countries - South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe and Kenya
20,000
African white rhino are approximately remaining
5,000
black African rhinos remain and are "critically endangered", according to the WWF

Why South Africa is a prime target for rhino poachers

Rangers surround a baby rhino. Credit: Stoop
  • South Africa has the largest population of rhinos in the world and currently conserves 79% of Africa’s rhinos, many of which can be found in its Kruger National Park
  • It has also experienced the vast majority of poaching on the continent since 2008
85%
of poaching of African rhinos has taken place in South Africa

Kruger National Park

Credit: ITV News
  • By the end of December 2015, the number of poached rhinos in South Africa was 1,175
  • This was a slight decrease compared to the previous year when the number stood at 1,215

Recorded number of rhinos poached in South Africa 2007-2015

A rescued baby rhino with axe wounds. Credit: ITV News
  • 2007 -13
  • 2008 -83
  • 2009 -122
  • 2010 -333
  • 2011 - 448
  • 2012 - 668
  • 2013 -1,004
  • 2014 -1,215
  • 2015 - 1,175
  • Source: Data from the South African Department of Environmental Affairs

Why is there such a demand?

Credit: ITV News
  • Rhino horns are a lucrative commodity on the black market where they can be sold for vast sums.
  • It is largely driven by demand in some Asian countries where powdered horn is used in medicine. It is also seen as a status symbol.
£42,000
per kilo ($60K) is the average price of rhino horn, according to an UCLA study
£14m
estimated value of illegal wildlife trading worldwide each year

The African rhino

African rhinos are frequently targeted in South Africa which has the largest population Credit: Stroop
  • There are two species of African rhino, white and black, which are predominately found in just four countries - South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe and Kenya.
20,000
African white rhino are approximately remaining
5,000
black African rhinos remain and are "critically endangered", according to the WWF

Why South Africa is a prime target for rhino poachers

  • South Africa has the largest population of rhinos in the world and currently conserves 79% of Africa’s rhinos, many of which can be found in its Kruger National Park.
  • It has also experienced the vast majority of poaching on the continent since 2008.
85%
of poaching of African rhinos has taken place in South Africa.
A rhino calf that survived an attack by poachers in which its mother was killed in South Africa. Credit: Stroop
3
Rhinos on average are being slaughtered on a daily basis for their horns.

Kruger National Park

A decapitated rhino (right) is found by rangers at Kruger National Park Credit: ITV News
  • By the end of December 2015, the number of poached rhinos in South Africa was 1,175.
  • This was a slight decrease compared to the previous year when the number stood at 1,215.
A rescued calf with axe wounds inflicted by poachers as they hacked the horn of its mother Credit: ITV News

Recorded number of rhinos poached in South Africa 2007-2015

  • 2007 -13
  • 2008 -83
  • 2009 -122
  • 2010 -333
  • 2011 - 448
  • 2012 - 668
  • 2013 -1,004
  • 2014 -1,215
  • 2015 - 1,175

Source: Data from the South African Department of Environmental Affairs

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