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Title: Ownership and poaching of rhinos on private land in South Africa
Author: Chapman, Laura
ISNI:       0000 0004 8510 7949
Awarding Body: University of York
Current Institution: University of York
Date of Award: 2019
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South Africa contains almost 75% of Africa’s rhino population, and around one-third of these rhinos are held on private land. This thesis focuses on the conservation contribution and challenges faced by private rhino owners. The work utilises historical surveys, a questionnaire of rhino owners and managers, and stakeholder interviews to assess the conservation value of private ownership of rhinos. Mainstream and social media reports of poaching events were combined with landowner reports to provide a database of poaching incidences. The questionnaires also provided information regarding the use and effectiveness of anti-poaching strategies employed by private rhino owners. Results indicate that private landowners have contributed significantly to the increase in numbers of rhinos in South Africa. Private rhino owners perceive that they make a valuable contribution to conservation, but this view is not always shared by wider stakeholders. Many challenges were identified by private owners, notably the continuing increase in security expenditure due to poaching. A wide range of anti-poaching strategies is employed by private rhino owners, with varying levels of success. Rhinos were more likely to be poached at night, under the light of a full moon, but there was no evidence of selective poaching with respect to species, sex or age. Private land located near to large urban areas, international airports and state or provincial parks holding rhinos was found to be most at risk of poaching, but the strength of these associations varied across the country. Rhinos were also found to be more at risk in areas of high unemployment and low engagement in formal education with Kwa-Zulu-Natal. There were no other associations found with any socio-economic factors. It is imperative that more detailed information relating to poaching of rhinos is recorded and released by the South African Government to assist with rhino conservation. Strategic deployment of anti-poaching strategies in areas known to be poaching hotspots may serve to reduce the impact of rhino poaching across the country, as may increased collaboration of private rhino owners with other stakeholders.
Supervisor: White, Piran Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available