South Africa’s Department of Environment, Forestry, and Fisheries revealed this week that the number of rhinos poached has fallen for the fifth consecutive year. According to the department, 594 rhinos were poached last year. That’s still a painful number to read, but it does represent a sizable fall in the number of rhino deaths from poaching considering 2014’s peak of 1,215 rhinos killed by hunters.
South Africa’s minister of Environment Barabara Creecy was quite content with the continued success. Creecy explained that part of the decline was the result of different government efforts to crack down on illegal wildlife poaching, more broad use of anti-poaching technologies and better tracking of endangered species.
Greater protectionist policies have also seen the rhino population in Africa steadily increase. From 2004 to 2019, the reported population has increased from 2,500 to 5,500 rhinos.