Namibia has drastically cut down on the number of rhino poaching cases in the past year despite the country still battling the problem, Minister of Environment, Forestry and Tourism, Pohamba Shifeta told Parliament on Wednesday.
Shifeta said instances of poaching and human-wildlife conflict continue to be major challenges facing the ministry.
“46 rhinos were poached in 2019 compared to 78 in 2018, and 13 elephants were poached in 2019 compared to 27 in 2018. Increased successes in terms of arrests for wildlife species poaching and trafficking were also recorded with 363 individuals arrested and 174 wildlife crime cases registered in 2019, ” he said.
However, Shifeta said the human-wildlife conflict was exacerbated by the prevailing drought conditions for much of 2019 and the cumulative impact from previous consecutive droughts.
“Sadly seven people lost their lives to wildlife during 2019/20 while 37 people were reported injured. A total of 1,422 heads of livestock were reported to have been killed by predators. It is estimated that over 1,600 hectares of crop fields were destroyed by various wildlife species,” he said.