South Sudan

Alarming Poaching Threatens Entire South Sudan Wildlife

Wildlife officials are warning that South Sudan risks losing its wild animals in few years if the current level of poaching continues, there remedy Chimp Corps report.

The conservationists are worried that destruction of forests and continued poaching of wild animals especially endangered species like elephants and rhinos will lead to decline of the country’s wildlife.

Speaking during this year’s world Wildlife Day Celebration in Juba on Thursday, adiposity sale Gen. Philip Chol Majak Director General of South Sudan Wildlife Service said 2016 has been the worst year for the country’s wildlife as over 20 elephants have been reported killed in the past three months alone.

Chol says insecurity in most parts of South Sudan has increased poaching in the country’s six national game parks, warning that if the current trend continues, South Sudan risks losing its wildlife in the near future.

“This year (2016) has been a very terrible year for our wildlife. I think if it continues like this for two or more than five years, I’m sorry to say that we will lose all our wild animals in South Sudan if we continue with this speed,” said Chol.

The animal species affected are elephants and rhinos whose numbers have continued to drop miserably in the last few years.

For instance, the Wildlife Service notes that the number of elephants in South Sudan has significantly dropped from 4,500 in 2008 to less than a thousand according to estimates.

Wildlife officials also say Rhinos have not been spotted in the country since independence amid reports that they might be extinct.

On several Occasions, the Wildlife Service levied blames on armed groups in the country for masterminding poaching in protected areas like game parks.

Chol says the masses need to be educated about the benefits of protecting nature and available conservation laws.

“During the crisis, ivory trafficking and poaching is widespread across the country. This is due to limited wildlife laws enforcement agencies and lack of awareness of wildlife laws among the public and law enforcement agencies … Communities, Government, Private sector ,  international and regional partners need to be encouraged to respect wildlife laws,” Chol Stressed.

Paul Elkan, Country Director of Wildlife Conservation Society, urged government and stakeholders to quickly step up tough laws to protect south Sudan’s natural resources before they get wasted.

Elkan called on the country to rectify the convention on international trade in endangered species of wild fauna and flora (CITES) to ease the fight against poaching.

“We are urging the state governments, national government and community representatives to make natural resource governance transparent… the armed forces including SPLA –IO, Lords Resistant Army LRA, Cobra Faction and Civilians should  be immediately told to halt illegal poaching and wildlife trafficking and forms of Wildlife Violations and perpetrators punished,”  said Elkan.

According to the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), over 100,000 elephants were poached in Africa and some rhino populations facing extinction.

South Sudan has six national game parks, but majority of these protected areas are located in hot spots where law enforcement is often difficult leaving poachers to go unpunished.


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