Can anything save endangered rhino populations?

A startling 90% of Africa’s rhinos live in South Africa, where a new report comissioned by the government finds that anti-poaching efforts have largely failed. Last year, 668 rhinos were killed. So far this year, more than 500 have been poached.

Mavuso Msimang, the country’s resident rhino expert, paints a grim picture for the rhino’s future:

"The data suggest that the banning of legal open trade in rhino horn has not resulted in reduced demand for the horn and has thus not helped the objective of saving the rhino from imminent extinction. Escalation in the slaughter of rhino is proof of this. Consumers simply do not believe that rhino horn has no medicinal value."

So what can be done? The rhino horn trade is banned by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, and the South African let loose its own stockpile of horns obtained by rhinos that passed away from natural causes in hopes of sending the price of horns in a freefall.

But that’s not to say that loosening restrictions on the rhino trade will work either, as Msimang’s critics point to South Africa’s rampant corruption as a cause for concern.

Read more over at World Now.

Photos: Stephane de Sakutin / AFP/Getty Images, Los Angeles Times

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    Begin a campaign that suggests rhino horns cause men to loose their sexual stamina.
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    This was so awful to hear time and time again when we were there.
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