Rhino poaching in South Africa slightly declined last year as increased patrols in national parks deterred hunters seeking horns, authorities said Monday (Feb. 06).
However, poaching hotspots have migrated to other areas of the country.
Forestry, fisheries and environment minister Barbara Creecy attributed the decline to "the relentless war waged by" anti-poaching machinery as well as a comprehensive dehorning programme".
Overall, 448 rhinoceros were killed across the country. Three fewer than in 2021, the environment department announced.
124 rhinos were killed in the Kruger National Park, the only national park to report rhino poachings.
228 were killed in provincial parks in the KwaZulu-Natal province, and 16 in privately owned reserves.
In total, across the country, private rhino owners lost 86 mamals.
Minister Creecy urged provincial authorities in KwaZulu-Natal to follow the state's model 'before it is too late'.
A total of 132 arrests were made in 2022 for rhino poaching.
South Africa is home to nearly 80 percent of the world's rhinos, making it a hotspot for poaching driven by demand from Asia.