Storks and Rhino poaching

This week I have  introduced Storks  and Rhinos.

Southern Africa has a wonderful selection of storks some of which are Southern African residents such as the Openbill, Saddle-billed and Yellow-billed Storks,

and others are migrants such as the White Stork, Abdim,  Wooly-necked and Black Storks.

Spoonbil landing with full flaps next to the Chobe River.

Spoonbill landing with full flaps next to the Chobe River.

It is fascinating how different the storks are, some migrate some are resident, some congregate in flocks and some are usually only seen in pairs.

Some storks like open grassland and others prefer wetlands and riverine areas.

A close up of a male Saddle-billed Stork. Black eye and yellow-wattle under the chin.

A close up of a male Saddle-billed Stork. Black eye and yellow-wattle under the chin.

Some of the storks have spectacular colouring such as the Saddle-billed Stork. The male and female are clearly identifiable despite their overall similar colouring. We watched a pair of Saddle-billed Storks eat around six to seven reasonable sized bream one morning in one of the last remaining pools of water in one of the rivers in Mashatu game Reserve.

If you want to see huge flocks of storks, Chobe is a good place to start as you will see vast flocks of Openbill Storks usually in the late afternoons.

A Open-billed Stork drying itself on an island in the Chobe River.

A Open-billed Stork drying itself on an island in the Chobe River.

We only saw the Openbill Storks hunting for and feeding on shell-like clams. Storks seem to be much more active when feeding than Herons, which are unbelievably patient hunters.

Rhinos

I am not going to post any of my images of rhino so that no one can identify where the shots were taken – for the reasons described below!!!!!

32 rhinos have been poached so far in 2013

http://www.thenewage.co.za/79898-1007-53-32_rhinos_poached_in_2013

“The latest rhino poaching statistics show that 32 rhinos have been poached in SA since the beginning of 2013. This brings to 18 the number of rhino poached in the Kruger National Park for their horns. Six rhino were poached in North West and five in KwaZulu-Natal since the start of the year,” said the statistical release.

http://allafrica.com/stories/201301240543.html

South Africa: 32 Rhinos Poached This Year

24 January 2013

The Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism says at least 32 rhinos have been poached in South Africa since the beginning of the year. This, according to the department, brings to 18 the number of rhinos poached in the Kruger National Park for their horns. Six rhinos were poached in the North West and five in KwaZulu-Natal since the beginning of the year.

The Kruger National Park figures includes carcasses of rhinos killed in 2012, but were only discovered recently due to thick bush. Anti-poaching efforts have resulted in 13 arrests this year. Six of the arrests were made in the Kruger National Park during two successful operations, despite serious flooding, this past weekend.

On Friday special operations team members and rangers arrested two alleged poachers in the Pafuri region, confiscating 375 high calibre hunting rifle and poaching equipment. Four more poachers were arrested in the Tshokwane and Nwanedi areas. Two of the suspects, who had been chased with the help of air support, managed to flee to Mozambique. Three rhino horns, a firearm and poaching equipment were confiscated. During the follow-up investigation, two rhino carcasses were found with their horns removed.

The department said in 2010, 146 rhinos were killed at the Kruger National Park; 252 in 2011, and 424 in 2012. In Gauteng in 2010,15 rhinos were killed, nine in 2011, and last year only one rhino was killed. In Limpopo in 2010, 52 rhinos were killed, 74 in 2011, 59 in 2012 and two this year. In Mpumalanga in 2010, 17 rhinos were killed, 31 in 2011 and one in 2012.

In the North West in 2010, 57 rhinos were killed, 21 in 2011, 77 in 2012 and this year six. In the Eastern Cape, four rhinos were killed, 11 in 2011, seven in 2012, and no rhinos were killed this year. In the Free State in 2010, three rhinos were killed and four in 2011. In KwaZulu-Natal in 2010, 38 rhinos were killed, 34 in 2011, 66 in 2012 and five this year. In the Western Cape no rhinos were killed in 2010, six were killed 2011, two in 2012 and this year no rhinos were killed. In the Northern Cape in 2010, only one rhino was killed and thereafter no rhinos were killed to date.

How many rhino are left in the world

http://en.avaaz.org/762/how-many-rhinos-left

There are five different species of Rhinoceros:

White Rhinoceros: 20,000 (Near Threatened)

Black Rhinoceros: 4,880 (Critically Endangered)

Javan Rhinoceros: 50 (Critically Endangered)

Sumatran Rhinoceros: 200 (Critically Endangered)

Indian Rhinoceros: 2,913 (Vulnerable)

The reason for all this slaughter is based on a deep-rooted, ancient belief that is nothing more than myth. Rhino horn is composed of keratin – gelatinous hair – with no beneficial medical properties; just hundreds of years of reputation and rumour. Jessamy Calkin, The Telegraph

http://www.africa-wildlife-detective.com/rhino-poaching.html

Graphic images

If you want to be left in no doubt about the brutality involved in  rhino poaching just go to google images and enter ‘rhino poaching’ = you will be shocked and saddened by the disregard  we human locusts have for our fellow living creatures.

http://troubledbiologist.blogspot.com/2012/03/war-with-rhino-poachers.html

South Africa you are home to around 70% of the rhino left in the world. All your hard-won conservation gains in the 1990s and early 2000s have started to rapidly unravel. Look at your statistics!  Southern Africa soon you will have the big four – and in not to many years after that you will have the ‘big zero’. Are you going to let others rob you of your heritage and just take what they want ????????!!!!!!!!!!

The storks are a symbol of bringing life and the rhino is becoming a symbol of taking life!!!

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