Effective Poaching Patrols in the Serengeti National Park

April 5, 2013

Effective poaching patrols in the Serengeti National Park, Tanzania have been increased from 60 (or less per year) to 10 to 20 patrols a day. There is evidence that the population of animals has increased, which is a positive sign that poaching has decreased.

A ‘catch-per-unit-of-effort’ technique is used. This has been used for many years when estimating the fish abundance and setting limits on fishing. This calculation involves dividing the number of poachers arrested by the number of patrols per day, thus giving a value of the amount of poaching. The results show that the increased patrols have decreased the number of poachers.

The poachers use buffalo, elephant and rhinoceros for bush meat and trophy trading. Specifically rhino horns are used as ornamental pieces and for the supposed healing properties. The horns luster improves with age and is used for curved daggers, ceremonial cups, buttons, belt buckles, hair pins and paperweights. Education is needed on why purchasing rhino horn is illegal.

Medicinally, in Chinese traditional medicine, the horn is ground into a fine powder and dissolved in boiling water and used to treat typhoid, food poisoning, headaches and various other ailments. Fortunately science is proving that the use of the horn does not have medicinal ‘healing powers’ by researching the properties found in horns. It is up to us as individuals to ensure that more valuable information is shared throughout the world, one person at a time, to stop this atrocious act of poaching.

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