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Due Date 11 September 2020


  1. This assignment is my/our own work. We have NOT copied any part of it from any other student’s work, neither from our own work in any other subject/unit, whether at Holmes Institute or any other Educational Institution.
  2. I/we have cited all sources from which data, ideas, diagrams, facts, or words (whether quoted directly or paraphrased) were taken.
  3. This assignment was prepared specifically for this unit only and has not, nor will be used for any other unit.
  4. The reference list is accurate and in Harvard referencing style and a true statement of the sources I/we have personally read and used.
Student name/s Student number [must be correct] Which section(s) did each person work on
GMC2756 4,5,6,9
FT3122 1,2,3,9
GKE2026 7,8,9


1. Introduction 1

2. Research Problem and questions 1

3. Rhino poaching in South Africa and Routine Activity theory. 2

4. Evaluation of Extent of the Rhino-Poaching Problem in South Africa 3

5. Strategies that are Currently Implemented for the Prevention of Rhino Poaching 4

6. Strategies that can be developed for better preventions of Rhino poaching in future 6

7. Current and future development for effective monitoring and regulation of Rhino poaching in South Africa 7

8. Conclusion 8

9. References 9

10. Append 11

Literature Review on Rhino poaching in South Africa

  1. Introduction

The purpose of this research is to discover and classify the rhino-poaching problem in South Africa. Through the search on related works of literature, the researcher step by step gets to understand the problem transparently. Many research questions that were given and elicited different point of views about the rhino poaching and the horn trade in South Africa. Especially, the legal commercial trade of rhino horn with two arguments that support and against the trade (Harvey, 2017). In spite of the benefits of tourism sector that brough to the country economic, the spectacularly high crime rate also affected the nation then (Herbig and Warchol, 2011). Through the research, there are many theories that are found to provide researcher some explanation of the cause of rhino poaching crime. Routine Activity theory which will be addressed and classified; some strategies of the prevention of rhino-poaching also will be discuss in this paper.

  1. Research Problem and questions

Through the research, it is believed that South Africa has an exclusive history of conservation with rhino poaching in order to bring its species back from the rear of extinction. Needless to say, that South African rhino population has been an objective point for poachers to attend to some purpose in Asia since 1900s such as traditional medicinal (Milliken and Shaw, 2012). Despite the effort on protecting this wildlife animal, the amount of rhino being killed increase intensely. According to Rhino of South Africa (2020), the Black Rhinos population down from 16,000 to around 4,000 rhinos today and from 18,000 White Rhinos diminish to only 200 since 1970. Although the rhino poaching trade has operated continuously, there is a declination of the dead rhino in between 2018 and 2019 period. With 769 rhinos in 2018 to 594 rhinos in 2019 (Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries report back on rhino poaching in South Africa in 2019, 2020).

  • Why people poach rhino in South Africa?

This research question aims to identify the major causes of poaching that the research paper is looking forward to find out. It also a guide for researcher into a deep knowledge and information about this problem to develop some sort of solutions.

  • What is the degree of the Rhino poaching in South Africa?

This research question pursues to examine and classify the problem through gathering statistics of rhinos which were killed; in what way they are killed; what are the purposes of killing rhino and how much it worth for a rhino’s horn.

  • What have been done in order to preclude Rhino poaching in South Africa?

This research question supports the researcher to classify the techniques and methods that have been used and adapted in South Africa to fight the rhino hunt war.

  • Should the trade in rhino horn be legalised?

This research question is generated based on the case for selling rhino horn which has different in the arguments. One is supporting the private rhino owner, according to South Africa’s constitution that allow to buy and sell as one pleases because it is consider rhino as commercial good. In another hand, second view on this situation that from the cultivated herd, horn will be cut to flood the market for buyer without the high cost as well as avoiding poaching.

  1. Rhino poaching in South Africa and Routine Activity theory.

Rhino poaching in South Africa is a sensitive subject for some people. The more searching time spend the more remarkable information get to know. Accordingly, Routine Activity which is a theory that are found through the research on related subject. Routine Activity which develop by Cohen and Felson is an arena that describes the criminal activity includes both victim and offender and be realized only if three of the factors are: potential offender, a suitable target, and the absence of a capable guardians; these three elements must be involved together and could increase or decrease likelihood that crime occurs (Purpura, 2013).

Routine activity theory supports to explain the rhino poaching crime, with potential offender relates to anyone with an inclination to commit crime, as rhino poaching is considered as a direct-contact crime because the poachers as offenders show their violence and brutality. A suitable target which include four qualities are value, inertia, visibility, and access. As it is known that rhino has a high symbolic value with horn is the particular for the offenders. Inertia which refers to the target’s size or weight which is the rhino horns. According to Buyers of Rhino Horn (2020), an average weight of Africa rhino horn is between 1.5 kg to 4.0 kg so they are effortlessly to covered and transported. Visibility refers to the extent that the rhino can be seen and easy to recognise by poachers. In this case, once poachers know and understand the rhino habitat then the presence of motivated offender are high and likely of crime also high. Access which refers to how the offender could have access to the target. Rhino can be accessed with virtual facility in its natural habitat, that lead to the appropriate cover of committing the crime (Herbig and Warchol, 2011). Guardians in this rhino poaching case could be anyone from government to local citizens that might be absent in the reality or in observation who put effort to protect the target as rhino in particular from murder (Charlton, 2017). The Routine activity was used by Herbig and Wardcho in order to examine and consider rhino poaching, in so doing the theory contributed to identifying the reasons of the incessantly violated by poachers even though there are methods of protection in this animal (Reuter and Bisschop, 2016). In general, routine activity theory does not explain the problem but it is a platform that could support to generate and develop an accurate framework for researchers.

  1. Evaluation of Extent of the Rhino-Poaching Problem in South Africa

This paper does not concentrate on wildlife crime in general, but it is solely focused on South African rhino conservation. Currently, only two studies have looked at the issue of rhino poaching in South Africa. Firstly, the report from the TRAFFIC and secondly the report provided by the Environmental Affairs Department (DEA) South Africa. The first report is from the TRAFFIC. As per the statement of Milliken and Shaw (2012), TRAFFIC studies on rhino wildfire issues and illicit trading in rhino horns are perhaps the most extensive to date. The study provides details on the activities and developments contributing to a spike in rhino horn trade from South Africa to Vietnam. However, the study focuses on the basic supply and demand chain, where supply in South Africa and Vietnam is the need. The report acknowledges there are other key players in the rhino horn trade in Africa and Asia. The study seeks to contribute greatly to identifying the key causes that underlie the rhino problem on both the country of origin and the end-use markets.

This interpretation of the study could, in turn, lead to policies, initiatives and steps to avoid further extinction of famous rhino-species in Africa. As per the report of Milliken and Shaw (2012), around 83 per cent of African rhinos and almost three-quarters of all wild rhinos worldwide were conserved by South Africa in 2011. South Africa has long advocated the protection of habitats through the fair utilisation of natural resources and is one of the world’s most genetically rich countries. South Africa is proud of the natural resource protection and environmental use it enshrines in its constitution, which calls for a stable, green country whose people live in harmony with the natural world and whose enduring gains are the protection and fair use of their biodiversity.

As per the statement of Milliken and Shaw (2012), for the South Africa portion of the study, the writers obtained a range of historical details and evidence through a variety of meetings and personal interviews with key individuals at Bloemfontein, Johannesburg, Cape Town, Polokwane, Nelspruit, Pretoria and Skukuza national and regional environmental wilderness departments. This study also included a detailed analysis of literature that provided rhino survival, and rhino wildfire published papers and internet posts in South Africa. According to the statement of Engelbrecht (2020), Information and estimates on the status of Black and White Rhinos in South Africa, as well as branching and anti-poaching operations and the union’s drug and illegal trafficking, were issued by the DEA, South African National parks and the regional wildlife agencies. These are some of the Evaluation of the extent of the rhino-poaching problems in South Africa.

  1. Strategies that are Currently Implemented for the Prevention of Rhino Poaching

The study indicates that the amount of rhino poaching in South Africa has risen dramatically since 2007. In the study, Rhino wildfire is also reported during the year. According to the viewpoint of Bryson, (2016), The study finds that Kruger Natal Park, the Limpopo region, the Kwa-Zulu natural reserve, the North West Region and the Mpumalanga reserve are among the most endangered areas of rhinos wiped in South Africa. As per the viewpoint of Lubbeet al., (2019), the methods used to destroy rhinos were obviously modified. These modern methods indicate that different groups of individuals behind the killing of rhinos are suggesting and that organised crime trade unions are involved. According to the statement of Engelbrecht (2020), these results vary from other empirical studies on the role of organised crime in wildlife violence. It was discovered that in Africa historically poachers were mostly attracted to rural populations living in protected areas.

Based on the viewpoint of Büscher, (2016) nowadays, however, poachers are typically professional, trained by working with the police, or as a game hunter, both with expert expertise in monitoring and shooting. This, too, calls for highly specialised skills and tools that the average poacher never has to find. This study established five divisions of the trade unions working in and outside South Africa through the National Wildlife Crime Response Unit (NWCRU). Illegal trade in rhino horns takes place via the chains that originate locally in South Africa to a foreign end-user consumer, generally in Vietnam. The scope of the research is very detailed, and long-only the key conclusions of this paper have been discussed for this reason. In a nut, wildfire is a big issue in South Africa, and the rhino population in South Africa could decline if little is done to stop it. The study has found that those working in the wildlife industry had turned away from opportunistic wildlife employees to becoming united labour unions. As per the statement of Anneke and Masubelele (2016), the report also detailed suggestions made by the government of South Africa to eliminate rhinos braking. There are some of the current strategies that are developed by the authorities which focus on the plan development and introduction of a stable integrated electronic permit system for all activities associated with endangered species.

These also relate to other databases for live rhino and horn stocks and improve the opportunity to handle rhino crime as a non-negotiable high-profile national priority, resolve capability and resource constraints on state, regional and site protection bodies. According to the viewpoint of Bryson, (2016), these current preventive frameworks also abide by the surety of efficient control and supervision of sport shooting of rhino carbon. These current preventive schemes also strengthen supervision of wildlife professionals and Continue to assign prosecutions for the rhino trafficking through particular authorities in each province. As per the viewpoint of Lubbeet al., (2019) lastly, the current preventive measures also include an analytical and legal approach for the rhino poachers. Tightening of the law enforcement in both ports of entry and departure from the South African continent is highly required. These are some of the strategies that are currently implemented for the prevention of Rhino Poaching.

  1. Strategies that can be developed for better preventions of Rhino poaching in future

According to De Beer (2016), the poaching of rhino has been a significant subject among global conservationists. South Africa has almost 82% of the Rhino population in the continent. Rhino poaching has increased excessively in the past few years, which has emphasised on the matter. Conservationists are trying to estimate and control the extent of poaching. The level of poaching of the rhino has escalated from 2007 to 2012. In 2007 the average loss of rhino per day was 0.17 which is a total 62 rhino per day, whereas in 2012 the average number of loss increased to the level of 2.04 per day which makes almost a total of 745 rhinos per day. These statistics clearly show the level of increase in rhino poaching in South Africa. This increase in rhino poaching has raised significant concerns among the environmentalist about the possibilities of long-term existence of the species. South Africa is in the most vulnerable state by the effect of rhino poaching (Montesh, 2013). Some of the strategies have been developed to curb rhino poaching effectively. These strategies have been developed from several sources across the spectrum of the subject.

Development of NWCRU

Development of a temporary “National Wildlife Crime Reaction Unit (NWCRU)” to assure fast and strategic action to respond to the wildlife crisis is a great way to assure the security of the wildlife. The Department of Environmental Affairs should focus on converting the interim department into a permanent structure to increase the effectiveness of the department. As per Montesh (2013), the structure needs to be supported by the “South African National Parks (SANParks)”, “South African Police Services (SAPS)”, “National Prosecuting Authority” and “Provincial conservation agencies”. The decisions about the interim staff selection and other critical decisions regarding the operations must be discussed between every stakeholder. The department will analyse all previously collected information and create a strong database to make effective decisions on the basis of those data. The evidence will help the authgo0rtity to establish proper strategies to conduct effective operations. The support from the outer departments will assist NWCRU to take effective steps regarding rhino poaching.

Increasing Govt. Support

According to Ferreira, Pfab and Knight, (2014), governmental and political support play a major role in these operations. Thus, ensuring thorough support from the authorities is very important. Mandating constant interruptions and commitments by the government and political parties will make the operations more focused. In order to engage the governmental authorities in the operations, a consistent briefing of the plans and upcoming strategies is necessary. Identification of probable contributors and participants from around the world is important. Relevant people and stakeholders related to the matter will help to execute these activities effectively. Stakeholder participation and commitment is essential to cultivate effective strategies for the long run (De Beer, 2016). It will enhance the effectiveness of the strategy implementation. Stakeholders will make sure that the connection between government and private authorities is maintained to form effective protocols, system, processes, information sharing etc. Combating poaching, illegal or unethical practices and related environmental crime issues can be addressed through an effective communication structure with the higher authorities.

  1. Current and future development for effective monitoring and regulation of Rhino poaching in South Africa

As per Ackers (2019), The increasing cases of rhino poaching in South Africa has initiated some major changes in the operational process and strategies to assure that the crime against rhinos are reduced and completely restrained. Some previous operational measures to control rhino poaching have been taken by the South African govt. The South African govt. has developed a national strategy for the Safety and Security of Rhinoceros. The strategy has been designed to restrict poaching threats. The strategy follows a specific direction which includes implementing a quick response team and eliminating current threats concerning rhino poaching and illegitimate trade of rhino horns. Securing financial support has also been a part of the strategy. Active participation of the committees, private landowners, wildlife enthusiasts, national and international stakeholders, local communities, manpower resources is also assured. Establishment of a separate department for law enforcement, cooperative actions and information management has been practised in this strategic design to make effective result out of the strategy.

The South African govt. has focused on the integrated information management system for rhino-oriented information to ensure rhino security. The govt. has also emphasised on the security measures to ensure proper safety of rhinos (Ferreira, Pfab and Knight, 2014). South Africa signed a memorandum of understanding with Vietnam in 2012 to address certain issues. In addition to these strategies, SA govt. has also develope4d some of the law enforcement agencies to fight the issue. These agencies are SAPS (DPCI), Deploy members of the South African National Defence Force at the KNP, National Joints Committee, Rhino and Elephant Security Group/INTERPOL Environmental Crime Working Group, SADC Rhino Management Group, Beef up security at ports of entry and exit, National and provincial nature conservation officials etc. These agencies will help the authorities to monitor the progress and take proper actions regarding the issues.

For the future development of the programme, the govt. And non-govt authorities have curetted some of the strategic design which will benefit the agenda of prevention of rhino poaching in South Africa. Govt. has been collecting data from several national and international sources to make a comprehensive database for an advanced understanding of the issues. Maintain a data structure will help to conduct technical studies on international projects to derive more core level information about the security and other probable ways to secure rhinos.

According to Martin, (2019), this information structure will help this authority to know about previously done actions and how they can enhance the efficiency of these programmes by implementing new strategic measures. Engaging with international organisations is a great initiative to increase awareness across the globe. Supporting the local agencies in their activities is another great way to help curb the issue. Supporting research and development on the subject is a beneficial way to collect more information and enhance the existing information ratio. Constant monitoring of the current demographic statistics and updating those regularly is important to assure proper data structure.

  1. Conclusion

In order to maintain the balance of the environment, the correct state of each and every species is necessary. It is important for mankind to make sure that the animals are not harmed by any human actions. The increased statistics of rhino poaching has become a pivotal concern for the conservationist as well as common human beings. It has become essential to monitor the constant growth of rhino hunting. There are reasons behind this unethical killing of the animal. Majorly poverty is the reason for increased rhino poaching activities in South Africa. Rhino horns are valuable. This is the prime reason that people are triggered to kill rhinos. The research has been executed to address a few major questions surrounding the primary topic.

Although Rhino poaching is banned, still illegal hunting is a huge issue that has worsened the situation. The research has focused on various issues such as the extent of rhino poaching in South Africa has been analysed, the preventive methods executed by the govt. has been discussed properly, some beneficial strategies have been evaluated, how government can initiate proper monitoring and regulatory methods in future and what strategies are being used by the govt., to prevent rhino poaching has also been discussed. These discussions will help the study to be appropriate and cohesive that will lead to a successful result at the end of the study.

  1. References

Ackers, B., 2019. Accounting for rhinos–the case of South African National Parks (SANParks). Social Responsibility Journal.

Annecke, W. and Masubelele, M., 2016. A review of the impact of militarisation: the case of rhino poaching in Kruger National Park, South Africa. Conservation and Society, 14(3), pp.195-204.


Büscher, B., 2016. ‘Rhino poaching is out of control!’Violence, race and the politics of hysteria in online conservation. Environment and Planning A, 48(5), pp.979-998.

Charlton, R. W 2017, Death and Destruction: Insight into the Rhino Poaching Epidemic in South Africa, Theses and Dissertations. 661

De Beer, W., 2016. The viability of legalising international trade in rhino horn and the possible effect on rhino poaching in South Africa (Doctoral dissertation, University of South Africa).

Engelbrecht, A., 2020. An Appraisal Theory Approach to News Reports on Rhino Poaching in South Africa. Language Matters, 51(1), pp.86-112. 2020, Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries report back on rhino poaching in South Africa in 2019, Department: Environment, Forestry and Fisheries REPBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA,retrieved 09 September 2020, <>

Ferreira, S.M., Pfab, M. and Knight, M., 2014. Management strategies to curb rhino poaching: Alternative options using a cost-benefit approach. South African Journal of Science, 110(5-6), pp.01-08.

Harvey, R 2017, Why Allowing The Sale Of Horn Stockpiles Is A Setback For Rhinos In The Wild, The Conversation, retrieved 09 September 2020, <>

Herbig, J & Warchol, G 2011, SOUTH AFRICAN CONSERVATION CRIME AND ROUTINE ACTIVITIES THEORY: A CAUSAL NEXUS?, retrieved 09 September 2020, <http://file:///C:/Users/annie/Downloads/South_African_Conservation_Crime_and_Rou.pdf>

Lubbe, B.A., Du Preez, E.A., Douglas, A. and Fairer-Wessels, F., 2019. The impact of rhino poaching on tourist experiences and future visitation to National Parks in South Africa. Current Issues in Tourism, 22(1), pp.8-15.

Martin, B., 2019. Survival or Extinction?. In Survival or Extinction? (pp. 541-567). Springer, Cham.

Milliken, T & Shaw, J 2012, The South Africa – Viet Nam Rhino Horn Trade Nexus: A Deadly Combination Of Institutional Lapses, Corrupt Wildlife Industry Professionals And Asian Crime Syndicates, TRAFFIC, Johannesburg, South Africa. 2020, Rhino Of South Africa, SIYABONA AFRICA, retrieved 09 September 2020,,about%2018%20000%20White%20Rhinos.

Poaching Facts 2020, Buyers Of Rhino Horn, Truths from the front-line, retrieved 09 September 2020, <>

Purpura, P., 2013. Security And Loss Prevention. 6th ed. Amsterdam: Elsevier.

Reuter, E & Bisschop, L 2016, Keeping the horn on the rhino, In G. Potter & A. Nurse (Eds.), Geography of Environmental Crime, London: Palgrave Macmillan, p. 149-186.

  1. Append
Who wrote the evaluation of extent of the research problem, strategies that have been done and new strategies for the prevention of rhino-poaching Who wrote introduction, research problem and research questions, routine activity theory and responsible for adjust and edit for last submission Who wrote current and future development for effective monitoring and regulation of research problem, conclusion of the paper and responsible for the assignment structure

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