Poaching - The Problem
Poaching has been on the increase over the past 6 years since 2008.
In 2007, 13 Rhino's poached, jumping in 2008 to 83 (538% increase)
There has been a vast increase each year.
2014 to date 376
2951 Rhino have been poached in under 6 years, almost an average of 491 per annum.
Poaching syndicates are directly linked to Rhino, Elephant, Lion, Giraffe, Kudu and Perlemoen poaching.
In turn this is directly related to drug trafficking, money laundering, human trafficking and prostitution
as these crimes are all run by crime syndicates linked with the end user syndicates.
If subsistence poaching on reserves is not stopped, this will lead to other forms of poaching.
Poaching of Rhino and other endangered species is the money spinner.
Illegal drug use and prostitution is rife in virtually every city and small town.
In turn this impacts on poaching on Reserves or Parks in the nearby vicinity.
Poaching is also the means used to obtain "currency to obtain drugs and ingredients for drug manufacturing.
Therefore local drug addicts and drug merchants are involved in various ways in poaching operations.
Reserves along coastal regions are as vulnerable as reserves along our borders of Mozambique and Zimbabwe.
As Perlemoen numbers are depleting, poachers will find other means to feed their habits by alternative
means of poaching.
Known risks exist from Reserve owners/staff, Vets, Professional Hunter's and Govt. Officials
(Police, SAN Park Rangers etc.) and they too will target other Reserves for their greed.
All poachers do intelligence gathering, either by visiting reserves as tourists, bribing existing staff
(especially if they are underpaid and disgruntled). They will always target the easy prey
where there is little or no resistance to their attack.
It's like any other crime, if you don't have the burglar bars up, they will hit you first and if your burglar bars
are not impenetrable, they will breach it next.
Anti-Poaching Units are usually set up by Reserve Owners mostly after poaching incidents take place
as a knee jerk reaction at a time when they are in an emotional state.
Reserve owners employ candidates that have merely served within the Police Service, Military
or a previously employed trail guide with little or no effective knowledge related to the field
required for Anti-Poaching operations.
Anti-Poaching Rangers require specialized skills, not merely Police or Military but both.
Additionally numerous other skills not necessarily acquired in these services are necessary.
Anti-Poaching is warfare, methods used for poaching are a form of Guerilla warfare.
It needs to be countered by effective Military Combat Tactics, i.e. patrols, observation posts
ambush/counter ambush, tracking, communications, intelligence gathering,
battle handling and weapons skills. For this you need a "Soldier".
However because we operate in a civilian society we have all the legal requirements to consider
Generally soldiers are not trained in. Preliminary investigations, arrests, search and seizure,
use of force, weapons skills, crime scene management, evidence handling and the numerous
other legal requirements that need to be considered, including court proceedings. This is Police work.
Without the Policing element you will never have a successful conviction.
One runs the risk of facing criminal and civil liability for the individual APR and the reserve
that he/she acts on behalf of. The existing statistics for successful convictions fall under 7% presently
and have been under 5% in previous years.
Members of an Anti-Poaching Unit need to be properly selected, vetted and trained
in the multifaceted field of Anti-Poaching Tactics.