Effective field protection has been critical to success over the last decade. Experience indicates that to achieve success, it is necessary to concentrate law enforcement at or above minimum threshold levels. Apart from having a sufficient manpower density on the ground, field rangers need to be well trained, equipped and effectively deployed. In some reserves, additional specialist anti-poaching units operate in addition to standard field ranger patrols.
While pro-active and reactive anti-poaching patrols can reduce the level of poaching and chances of catching rhino poachers, experience has shown that the setting up and running of informer networks can prove particularly useful and cost-effective. Effort and training is also required to ensure the effective investigation, successful prosecution and sentencing of those guilty of rhino crimes. Ultimately, rhino crimes are perpetrated because of the illegal demand for rhino horn, and so efforts are being made to reduce the illegal demand where possible. Another important aspect of law enforcement is the management, monitoring and protection of legal rhino horn stockpiles.
IUCN SSC AfRSG