1 November 2013
Great Limpopo is home to approximately 60% of the world’s rhino population. This 37 572 km2 transfrontier park (roughly the size of the Netherlands), which has been called the world’s greatest animal kingdom, is home to the world’s largest population of white rhino and the second largest population of the critically endangered black rhino. Sadly, it has also recently become known as the frontline of the rhino poaching war, particularly across the international border between Mozambique and South Africa, where it has escalated to a level which not only threatens the survival of rhino populations, but also the continued viability of the transfrontier park.
- Ensure the reinstatement and implementation of a cross border joint operations protocol;
- Collaborate on the development of an effective management and protection force and setting up of a GLTP management committee and a joint operations committee;
- Ensure the strengthening of the judicial system for protected wildlife species, and especially elephant and rhino related crimes;
- Improve and strengthen the reward and incentive systems;
- Share information and joint reporting on protection issues;
- Develop an effective joint cross-border communication system;
Implement a monitoring and evaluation system to measure effectiveness;
Investigate all fencing options as a means of improving the protection of wildlife; and
- Support the development of legal wildlife-based economies as a means to diversify local community livelihoods options.
This includes appointing a highly rated and decorated retired army major general to oversee the overall anti-poaching operations in the park, the deployment of the South African National Defence Force in the park, training and deploying more rangers, offering major cash rewards for the successful conviction of a poaching syndicate mastermind and the successful arrest of a suspected poacher and a partnership with South Africa's Crime Line that allows members of the public to make anonymous SMS tip-offs 24/7.
Extensive aerial patrols support efforts on the ground, while rangers and sniffer dogs have been deployed at the park’s entrance gates.
From this the best six candidates will be selected for the final phase of a two-week patrol leader course. Three new vehicles, patrol and operational equipment and rifles are currently under procurement and will be mobilised in time for the deployment of the unit early in December. The 30-man unit will operate primarily in the western part of the park along the border with Kruger National Park to prevent poachers from crossing the border into Kruger. It is expected that this will make a significant contribution to the transfrontier park’s efforts to combat wildlife crime.
Please visit this page, should you like to support the efforts to combat wildlife crime.
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