Last year, Namibia saw a continued decline in poaching of rhinos and elephants following increased patrols and increased fines, the government said on Thursday.
Environment Ministry spokesman Romeo Muyunda cited intensified intelligence activities by the government and cooperation between the government and the private sector. They said that 30 rhinos were poached last year compared to 50 in 2019 and 79 in 2018.
Only 11 elephants are poached by 2020 compared with 13 a year earlier.
“The cuts are due to a number of factors, one of which is due to increased patrols from our staff,” Muyunda said.
Efforts by the police, central intelligence, members of the state, civil society, and the private sector have helped turn the tide against poachers.
The southern country increased its fines for poaching to 25 million Namibian dollars ($ 1.66 million) from 200,000. It increased the prison sentence from 20 to 25 years.
According to the non-profit Save the Rhino Trust, Namibia is home to the second-largest number of white rhinos in the world after South Africa.
The country holds a third of the world’s remaining black rhinos and is also home to the only free-roaming black rhinos in the world, estimated at more than 200.
Rhino poaching has raged in southern Africa for decades, especially in South Africa and Botswana, leading to anti-poaching programs, including horn removal and tight control.
Africa’s rhino population has been in decline for decades to supply the demand for rhino horn. Although made from things similar to hair and nails, East Asia is prized as pharmaceutical products and jewelry.