A century ago, more than half a million black rhinos roamed southern Africa.
Today, only 5,000 of these remarkable animals remain — and a dire new threat is emerging.
Now the government of South Africa — home to 80 percent of the world’s rhinos — is considering an outrageous plan to legalize the international trade in rhino horn. This greed-driven scheme could wind up increasing demand for rhino horn, driving the unthinkable extermination of these magnificent animals.
NRDC is mobilizing swiftly to ratchet up international pressure on South Africa, and we need dedicated NRDC activists like you to make their voices heard.
Surging demand for rhino horn from newly prosperous Asian countries is driving a frenzy of rhino poaching. And culled rhino horn can fetch anywhere between $60,000 and $100,000 per kilo on the black market — more than cocaine, heroin and gold combined.
Meanwhile, South Africa is hosting this year’s all-important meeting of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) in September, putting that nation in an unusually strong position to push through such a disastrous proposal.
Who’s behind this wrongheaded anti-wildlife plan? A wealthy cadre of South African landowners who claim that selling legally harvested rhino horn would reduce demand and stop the illegal rhino slaughter. But there isn’t a shred of evidence supporting them.
If the trade is legalized, these speculators stand to make millions. So you can bet they’re doing everything in their power to overturn the ban. If we’re to end the brutal and destructive trade in rhino horn, we need to build a massive groundswell of international opposition strong enough to take on these powerful landowners — and the South African government — to derail their dangerous plan before the CITES conference in September.