The figures show that 594 rhino were poached in South Africa last year, down from 769 in 2018.
During the World Wildlife Day 2020 commemoration on Tuesday, environment, forestry and fisheries minister Barbara Creecy said the decline was an indication that initiatives being implemented by the government with the support of partners were working.
“But we cannot rest on our laurels,” Creecy added.
She said South Africa was making a concerted effort to combat wildlife crime, particularly the poaching of iconic species and associated illicit trade affecting rhino, elephant, lion, pangolin and cycads.
Plans to combat wildlife crime were constantly being updated and adapted to meet the incessant and ever-present threat.
“We are also making greater use of innovative ideas and new technologies as government in order to address the relentless onslaught against our natural resources and ecosystems,” Creecy said.
“We do this with the understanding that threats to wildlife have multiple and undesirable ecological, economic and social effects,” Creecy said.
“Our country, supported by its people, partners and in cooperation with other countries, will continue with these efforts in an integrated manner until this war is won.”
She said the country’s conservation organisations were working together to ensure that plant and animal life were preserved and conserved for current and future generations.
African News Agency (ANA)