Primarily due to the rise in demand in Asia, where rhino horn is held to have medicinal powers. Another aspect is that these poachers are more frequently criminal gangs using GPS devices, night vision equipment and soldiers to track the rhinos, rather than individuals or a couple of people with a home made snare.
There is also some great information here:http://greenanswers.com/news/218638/rhino-poaching-rise
Rhinos are poached for their horns, which are seen as some in Asia to have aphrodisiac and medicinal properties. Rhino poaching has increased from 10 a year to over 200 a year in the past couple of years. This is largely due to poachers having access to more high-tech equipment, making poaching easier. Poaching rackets are more well-organized these days then ever, and they have access to special equipment like helicopters to track and kill rhinos.
Check out this article recently published on GreenAnswers about the proliferation of rhino poaching:
Eventually, it has to stop because honestly they are going to poach them until they go extinct and then they’ll be nothing to poach.
It’s sad because our governments aren’t getting as involved as they should, so it’s up to the private sector to clean up the mess. Several game reserves have employed tactical sharpshooters to monitor herds and take more direct action against poachers. Luckily I cannot provide a citation for this.
We try our best. It’s a pity that rhino poaching has become such a high-tech battle – Asia has the better tools. All we have to rely on is our better knowledge of the bush and the animals.
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