Crisis Zimbabwe Update – April 29, 2009

From The Zimbabwe Times – April 29, 2009

Army moves in to protect endangered rhino
The Zimbabwe National Army has deployed troops at the country’s sanctuaries as it emerged that the Convention on International Trade on Endangered Species (CITES) is mulling a censure of Harare for allegedly allowing the loss of over 80 rhinos in less than 12 months. Read more

From The Herald – April 27, 2009

Rhino Poaching Puts Zim under Spotlight
Zimbabwe faces possible censure from the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) after losing at least 70 rhinos in the past 12 months to well co-ordinated local, regional and international poaching syndicates. It emerged last week that Zimbabwe has been placed on the agenda of the next CITES meeting to be held next year. CITES — to which Zimbabwe is a signatory — is an international wildlife protection body whose secretariat is based in Geneva, Switzerland. In an interview, Parks and Wildlife Management Authority director-general Dr Morris Mtsambiwa said the authority was worried by the resurgence of poaching targeting endangered species such as the rhino. “Rhino poaching has put Zimbabwe in the spotlight within the framework of CITES. We now have to answer serious questions at CITES.”

Dr Mtsambiwa said the Parks authority was exploring ways of curbing the poaching of rhinos by, for example, reviving intensive patrol zones that were successfully employed in the past to combat poaching of endangered species like rhinos. Efforts were also underway to recruit and train more rangers to beef up its staff to cope with the new challenges posed by poachers. Parks was also working with other stakeholders such as the police and private conservancies to come up with new strategies to combat poaching of endangered species. “We are also working with neighbouring countries like South Africa to try and contain the scourge of poaching and we have an arrangement where we are also seconding our rangers to private conservancies to combat poaching,” said Dr Mtsambiwa.

From SW Radio Africa – April 28, 2009

Elephants Flee Zimbabwe as Poaching Increases
Last week a heavily armed rhino poacher, identified as a former army officer, was shot and killed by rangers in southern Zimbabwe. The surge in rhino poaching has been blamed on “well co-ordinated local, regional and international syndicates” and has caught the attention of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), an international regulatory body. Read more.

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