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Cites and the rhino horn trade


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A presentation given by wildlife veterinarian and conservation scientist Mark Jones, to the Rhino Mayday meeting in London on 4th May 2011

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Cites and the rhino horn trade

  1. 1. CITES and the Rhino Horn Trade © SAPSMark JonesProgrammes Director, Care for the Wild InternationalCo-chair, Species Survival Network Rhino Working Group
  2. 2. Since 1984Charity dedicated to the conservation and welfare of wildlife around the worldProtect, Defend, RescueAnti-poaching/enforcement activities Kenya/India © DSWTElephant and Rhino rescue DSWT KenyaSince 1992International coalition of >80 NGOsPromotion, enhancement, and strict enforcement of CITESTo prevent over-exploitation of animals and plants due to international trade.
  3. 3. CITES and the Rhino Horn Trade• Severe poaching threat• Split CITES listings mixed messages laundering risk vulnerable populations• Legal sales unhelpful © DSWT
  4. 4. CITES and the Rhino Horn Trade• Rhino species – status and trends• Poaching and illegal trade• CITES listings and legal trade – Impact – Stockpile sales? – CITES regulations• Dehorning• Summary © DSWT
  5. 5. Rhino species - statusSpeciesSouthern White rhino Near threatened 93% South Africa(Ceratotherium simum spp. >20,000 (Mar 11) Namibia/Zimbabwe/KenyaCottoni) (increasing)Black rhino (Diceros bicornis) Critically endangered 36% South Africa ~4,800 (Mar 11) 35% Namibia (increasing) Kenya/Zimbabwe/TanzaniaGreater (Indian) one-horned Vulnerable 85% Indiarhino (Rhinoceros unicornis) ~2,800 (Sep 09) 15% Nepal (increasing)Sumatran rhino (Dicerorhinus Critically endangered 66% Indonesiasumatrensis) <300 (Sep 09) 33% Malaysia (decreasing)Javan rhino (Rhinoceros Critically endangered 90% Indonesiasondaicus) <50 (Sep 09) 10% Vietnam? (unknown)
  6. 6. Rhino species - trends ↑ 15% since 2007* © Henri Faure↑ 14% since 2007* © Nico Smit ↑ 23% since 2008 (Nepal)** *Source IUCN © Jeremy Richards **Source Nepal DNP
  7. 7. Rhino species - trends• But many populations in decline – Zimbabwe (>15% reduction since end 2007) – Kenya? – Swaziland? – Indian populations? – Sumatran/Javan populations• Poaching for horn = major cause• Continued poaching will threaten more populations
  8. 8. Poaching and illegal trade• Keratin (fingernails)• Traditional Asian medicine – Headaches, fevers, rheumatism, gout• Cancer (Vietnamese politician?)• US$60,000/kg* > Gold > street UK street cocaine *Source SA Broadcasting Corporation Jan 11
  9. 9. Trade routes
  10. 10. Poaching - Africa>800 rhinos poached in Africa in the past 3years*, 95% South Africa/Zimbabwe-250 million rand ($38 million) in 2010*-2011 - 138 rhinos poached. 82 suspects arrested, 14 killed** *Source: International Rhino Foundation **Source: 26/4/11
  11. 11. Poaching - Africa • Jan ‘06-Sep ’09 ~1500 horns entered Asian trade from Africa. Only about 1 in 10 recoveredSource: Milliken et al 2009
  12. 12. Poaching - Africa• Well resourced criminal gangs – UN Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice resolution – Vienna April 2011 – Helicopters/heavy calibre arms/veterinary drugs• Legislation, enforcement and penalties variable
  13. 13. Poaching - AsiaASIA• India – 37 from Kaziranga NP 2007- 2009 – India-Myanmar border• Nepal – 1999-2007 – 150+ poached – 28 rhinos killed in year to June 2010 Source: Milliken et al 2009
  14. 14. Asian rhinos Appendix 1 listed 1975African rhinos joined them 1977White rhinos in South Africa moved to Appendix 2 in1994, Swaziland 2004 “For the exclusive purpose of allowing international trade in live animals to appropriate and acceptable destinations and hunting trophies.”
  15. 15. Live rhino exports 2006-2009 193 235 © Henri Faure © Henri Faure 141 since 2000 Horn harvesting? Appropriate and acceptable destinations? Moratorium since 2009Source: Milliken et al 2009
  16. 16. Trophy exports 2006-2008 >1000 horns (>500 animals) 286 since 2006 No system of tracking in Vietnam Sale through traditional medicine outlets Lack of or abuse of documentsSource: Milliken et al 2009 Involvement of traffickers/officials
  17. 17. CITES listings and legal tradeSplit listing Mixed messaging Promotion of trade Laundering of illegal rhino horn Small rhino populations © DSWT in poorer range states suffer disproportionately
  18. 18. Resumption of legal trade• Recent calls for limited resumption of legal trade – Zimbabwe? • Other SADC countries – Stockpile sales – Downlisting of white and black rhino populations
  19. 19. Stockpiles• Total reported to CITES in 2009: Worldwide 28.7 tonnes Africa 23.5 tonnes Other* 5.2 tonnes *No data from Asian range states or many consumer states• Mostly from natural/management related mortalities• <10% from seizures• 92% held by States• 4.75 tonnes in private hands in South Africa? – Much undeclared
  20. 20. Resumption of legal trade• Unlikely to flood market• Opportunity to launder illegal horn – difficult to distinguish legal from illegal product – Stockpile management? Private stocks?• Ethics? – Legitimisation of product/trade, undermining demand reduction efforts – Baseless exploitation of cancer sufferers• Ivory precedent • Stimulation of poaching?
  21. 21. Rhino conservation and trade• Res.Conf. 3.11 (New Delhi 1981)• Res.Conf. 6.10 (Ottawa 1987)• Decision 10.45 (Harare 1997)• Decision 14.88 (The Hague 2007)• Res.Conf. 9.14 (Rev.CoP15) (Fort Lauderdale 1994)
  22. 22. Res.Conf.9.14 (Fort Lauderdale 1994)• Revised at CoP15 Doha 2010 (Kenya) – Recognition of increased poaching as a global issue – Emphasis on law enforcement alone has failed to remove the threat to rhinos – Diversity of opinion on how best to conserve rhinos• International cooperation• Demand reduction and role of “implicated states”
  23. 23. Improved legislation/cooperation• International Consortium on Combatting Wildlife Crime – March 2011 – Interpol Environmental Crime Programme – World Customs Organisation – CITES Rhino Enforcement Task Force• Transboundary collaboration• SA national Moratorium on rhino horn sales (Feb 2009)• SA National Wildlife Crime Reaction Unit (Feb 2010)• Stricter Domestic Measures to restrict trade in rhino horn products (UK Sept 2010)
  24. 24. Other measures• Suspension of trophy hunting?• Review of “appropriate and acceptable destinations” for live rhino sales?• Stockpile management/destruction?• Uplisting of white rhino populations to Appendix 1?
  25. 25. Dehorning/horn harvesting As a deterrent to poaching? To supply “non-lethal” horn into trade? © Gallo images via Getty images
  26. 26. Dehorning/horn harvesting• 1989 Namibia: few dehorned animals subsequently poached• 1991-1993 Zimbabwe: 78/136 dehorned white and 19/224 dehorned black rhinos subsequently killed by poachers © Gallo images via Getty images
  27. 27. Dehorning/horn harvesting• Deterrent? – Not at today’s prices – Recent targeting of black rhino, in Save Conservancy, Zimbabwe, that had been dehorned last year• Danger to rhinos – Need to dehorn frequently © Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force – Horns have uses!
  28. 28. Summary• Overall increase in rhino numbers since CoP14• Populations threatened by massive increase in poaching• CITES split listing unhelpful
  29. 29. Summary• Neither the dehorning of rhinos, nor the resumption of legal trade, are likely to solve the poaching problem• Solutions to rhino conservation lie in: • Increased protection in all implicated states through international and national legislation, improved enforcement, stiffer penalties • Demand reduction
  30. 30. Thank you!Susie Watts (co-chair), Humane Society InternationalMark Jones (co-chair), Care for the Wild InternationalIan Redmond, IndependentTeresa Telecky, Humane SocietyShelley Waterland, Born Free FoundationGabriel Fava, Born Free FoundationDebbie Banks, EIA InternationalMary Rice, EIA InternationalAlasdair Cameron, EIA InternationalAdam Roberts , Born Free USADJ Schubert, Animal Welfare InstituteAlice Stroud, Species Survival NetworkMelanie Shepherd, The David Shepherd Wildlife FoundationAsgar Pathan, Care for the Wild KenyaSue Downie, David Shepherd Wildlife FoundationLucky Mavrandonis, David Shepherd Wildlife FoundationBelinda Wright, Wildlife Protection Society of India © DSWTBibhab Kumar Talukdar, AaranyakWill Travers, Born Free FoundationAnn Michels, SSN