This is a guest post by Emily Mellgard, research associate for the Council on Foreign Relations Africa Studies program.
Demand for rhino horn increased exponentially over the past few years. The market is heavily concentrated in Asia, particularly Vietnam. Rhino poaching has leapt to keep pace with demand. South Africa’s rhinos are among the most affected. According to the Wildlife and Environment Society of South Africa (WESSA), in 2010, 2011, and 2012, the number of rhinos killed for their horns went from 333 to 448 to 668. So far in 2013, 216 rhinos have been poached in South Africa’s Kruger national park alone. That is more death the past five months than in the years 2000-2008 combined. The rhino population in Mozambique, which was wiped out by large game hunters a century ago and later reintroduced to the national parks, has again been eradicated; this time with the connivance of some of Mozambique’s own rangers. Read more »