Current in Conservation
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No secrecy over rhinos There is increasing pressure on the Department of Environmental Affairs to release rhino poaching statistics more frequently. On 7 March 2015, DA deputy shadow minister for the environment, Terri Stander posted a petition on the global campaign-network, Avaaz, calling on all South Africans who support the right to know, to sign the petition, which she would personally deliver Molewa. The petition calls for the minister to publish rhino poaching incidents, arrests and conviction statistics on a weekly basis.
New! Committee of inquiry to deliberate possible trade in rhino horn
Gun laws to get tougher President Jacob Zuma has acknowledged calls for a review of gun control laws and reiterated the government’s intention to look into more stringent gun regulations. During his National Council of Provinces address, Zuma said the government was concerned about the increase in the number of guns and the level of violent crimes in South Africa.
Game a boost for industry The decision by South Africa's conservation bodies to turn game into an economic asset for private landowners, led to a huge increase in game numbers, says Dr George Hughes, former CEO of the then Natal Parks Board. Hughes was the guest speaker at the SA Hunters and Game Conservation Association's annual dinner. He also said the media never gave South Africa credit for creating the best game industry in the world.
Legalising the trade in rhino horn considered South Africa is slowing the rate of increase in rhino poaching and is considering advocating the legalising of rhino-horn trade to stop the killing of the animals, according to the Department of Environmental Affairs.
Authorities have six months to contain alien invasive plant (Sanbi) said government departments and municipalities had failed to develop plans to tackle invasive species or lacked the capacity to deal with the scourge, which threatened the survival of indigenous species and posed a threat to human health.
The Kloof Conservancy applied to the courts in December 2012 to compel the minister of water and environmental affairs to publish and apply the national list of invasive alien plants.
UP researcher finds ways to improve the well-being of wildlife Although wild animals have been captured and chemically immobilised for years (by using a form of anaesthesia induced by drugs in a dart), very little is known about the short- and long-term consequences of capture and the effects of immobilising drugs on wild animals. Dr Leith Meyer, Veterinary Sciences Pharmacology researcher at the University of Pretoria, is committed to finding solutions to improve the well-being of wild animals. The results of his research will help wildlife veterinarians and other conservation practitioners to ensure that the best methods of capture are practised and optimal immobilising drug cocktails and treatments are used.