Posts Tagged With: freshly pressed

Are Americans Grasping the Plight of the Rhino?

In a recent poll by the Center for Biological Diversity:

61 percent of Americans said they are concerned about the rate that wildlife are disappearing.

2 out of 3 Americans believe Congress should strengthen, or not make any changes to the Endangered Species Act.

Half of those polled think the country is doing too little to protect imperiled plants and animals, and that too many species are being pushed to the brink of extinction.

Much of this recent attitude has to be credited to President Obama’s executive order to combat wildlife trafficking.

Timeline in Rhino & Elephant Crisis Awareness in the US

  • May 2013- Miss USA, South African born Nana Meriwether, advocates for the plight of the rhino.
  • Jul 2013- President Obama announced the Executive Order to combat wildlife trafficking
  • Sept 2013-March for Elephants released the Elephant in Times Square billboard, educating thousands of Americans on the poaching crisis.
  • Sept 2013- Animal Planet’s Battleground Rhino Wars aired in the US, introducing many to the rhino poaching crisis for the first time.
  • Sept 2013- US Fish and Wildlife Service listed the Southern White Rhino as threatened.
  • Mar 2014- US philanthropist Howard Buffet gave a generous 24 million donation to fight rhino poaching in Kruger National Park.
  • Jun 2014- New York passes historic ban on elephant ivory and rhino horn sales (with 80% of New Yorkers in favor of the ban)
by: Ryan Huertas

by: Ryan Huertas

Of course the US still has a way to go, but for a country who at one point was the second largest ivory market to enact a ban in its most populated state, it’s certainly nothing to scoff at. This victory will set the precedence for the rest of the nation.

Additionally, if the latest backlash against well-known hunters Melissa Bachman, Corey Knowlton, and Kendall Jones is any indication, momentum is leading toward a ban against trophy imports as well.

Please take a moment to thank the President and ask him to stand strong against those who oppose the ivory ban. President Obama: Keep Fighting Poaching

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Categories: Good News, Rhino Ramblings | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Endelea Kupigana for Rhinos

There is always an overwhelming amount of “doom and gloom” in the war on rhino poaching. The numerous articles about the corruption, the short or non-existent jail time for poachers, shootouts between rangers and poachers, and of course the dreaded death toll; watching it climb, holding your breath when you turn on the computer, praying it somehow hasn’t gone up; it can bring a soul to the depth of despair.

It is the reality. It is life and death, day in and day out for our rhinos. It is not going to get better tomorrow or next week. But the hope is it WILL get better.

rhino by alfred

 

Some of you occasionally comment about feeling discouraged, and ask how you can help. My answer is: “Don’t give up. The rhinos need us.”

It may seem bleak at times, it’s a hard battle to be a part of, but without you, me and the countless conservation groups, veterinary staff, ranches, rangers, and advocates, where would they be? The poachers and politicians would have decimated them long ago.

The motto of Fight for Rhinos is “Endelea Kupigana“. It is Swahili for “Keep Fighting”.

I will never give up on them, but I can’t do this without all of you.

Here is how you can help-

Support Rhinos & Rangers: the campaign

Very shortly, Fight for Rhinos will be selling t-shirts. The profit will benefit the Fight for Rhinos/ Helping Rhinos field projects. (see: How We Help)

In addition, we want to help lift the morale of our rangers in Kenya Wildlife Services. (The amount of frustration we feel is a fraction of what they face on the ground-they LIVE it!) For every 5 shirts sold, we will send one to the KWS rangers. We’d like to send as many as we can!

The campaign will only be available for 3 short weeks.

Please keep your eye out for our release. Helping rhinos, rangers, and getting a cool shirt-you can’t lose!

rhino and baby help us

 

 

Categories: Rhino Ramblings | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

As The Body Count Builds, So Does the Bullshit

CITES is currently meeting again. Discussions on the fate of our rhinos are taking place as you’re reading this.

As poachers kill, and rangers fight, CITES is talking. While the slaughter continues, CITES is handing out certificates.

CITES certificates for explemplary enforcement

Nepal, China, Kenya and the Lusaka Agreement Task Force recognized for exemplary enforcement efforts.

Looking at the CITES agenda, some of the recommendations on the rhino are as follows:

*Mozambique should develop a national rhino horn action plan, with timeframes and milestones, and submit this to the Secreteriat by 8th August 2014.

*Mozambique is requested to submit a comprehensive report on progress in the implementation of its national rhino action plan, and on any other action taken… to be submitted to the Secretariat by 31st January 2015.

*Viet Nam is requested to provide a further comprehensive report on actions taken…including, in particular, by providing an update on the implementation of the Prime Minister’s Directive On strengthening the direction and implementation of measures for controlling and protecting endangered, rare and precious wild animals, and a detailed update on update on arrests, seizures, prosecutions and penalties for offences related to illegal rhinoceros horn possession and trade in Viet Nam…to be submitted to the Secretariat by 31st January 2015.

And what happens if they don’t receive these reports? Or if the reports are showing these countries are failing? Non-compliance will be met with….what?

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

558 rhinos have been killed this year (OSCAP)

It is time to enact sanctions against the offending parties. Our wildlife deserves better than “talk”. It is time for action, swift and decisive action. There isn’t time for anything else.

Please sign: Lobby CITES to list the SA Southern White Rhino in Appendix one

CITES-Don’t legalize the sale of rhino horns worldwide

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Categories: Rhino Ramblings | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

If Rhinos Go Extinct

To every thing there is a yin and yang, a balance. The web of all species is intricately connected, each relies on the others.

When we let a species go extinct, we upset the balance. So if we fail the rhino, what will happen to the rest of the savanna?

Rhinos are mega-herbivores, the lawn maintenance crew of the savanna. Their job to the ecosystem is to carve out paths for other creatures (eating), make water holes (digging), and to help germinate plants (defecating).

rhinos eating grass

It may seem simplistic, but they are the only sizable creatures in this habitat to do it. The other mega-herbivores, elephants affect different parts of the savanna, as they eat from a different menu, browsing on taller bushes and trees.

Rhinos eat an average of 23.6 kg during the course of each day. The dung piles they share can be 5 metres wide and 1 metre deep. That’s a sizable amount of trimming and fertilizing!

Research (by Scandinavian and South African researchers in the Journal of Ecology) indicates areas with higher rhino population had 20 times more grazing areas. These areas supply food not just for rhinos, but for zebra, gazelle and antelope.

No rhinos = less grazable area = less herbivores (i.e. antelope) = less predators (i.e. lions)

If we fail the rhino, what will happen to the people?

Eco-tourism relies heavily on tourists wanting to see the Big 5: the lion, elephant, rhino, cape buffalo, and leopard.

kenya tourism

 

Obviously without the rhino, it’s down to 4. But if the savanna suffers without grazable area, ultimately so do the lion and leopard, since their lunch will be terribly diminished by the lack of herbivores.

So will people pay to come see a barren landscape with a few scattered elephant and buffalo?

The World Travel and Tourism Council estimates 3.8 million jobs could be created by the tourism industry in Sub-Saharan Africa over the next 10 years. They go on to say that eco-tourism can only be sustainable IF the natural assets are protected from degradation.

Tour operators, tour drivers, cooks, housekeepers, souvenir vendors, wait staff, hotel staff, taxi drivers, restaurants, store employees…they could all be out of a job without tourism.

No rhino = no big five = no tourists = no tourism jobs = poorer economy

                                                  ________________________________

If we fail the rhino, we let terrorists, politicians, poachers, trophy-hunters, and most of all apathy win;  making it that much harder for the next endangered species. If we fail the rhino, we ultimately fail ourselves.

rhino reflection

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Categories: Rhino Ramblings | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

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