On March 3, the Himalayan country of Nepal celebrated 365 days without a single case of rhino, elephant or tiger poaching. This is the second time that the country marked such a milestone after 2011.
“Nepal’s year of zero poaching is an example of what can be achieved when an entire nation makes stopping wildlife crime a priority in order to protect its natural heritage,” said Shubash Lohani, Deputy Director for WWF’s Eastern Himalaya Ecoregion program.
According to the BBC, about 37 rhinos were killed by poachers in Nepal in 2002, triggering grave concern worldwide. Their population dropped from an estimated 612 in 2000 to less than 375 in 2005.
Numbers have increased to more than 500 in the last eight years, since the series of anti-poaching measures were put in place by authorities.
The success represents integrated and sustained efforts, including intensive patrolling by rangers and the Nepal Army within protected areas; support from local community-based anti-poaching units; and enforcement agencies like the Central Investigation Bureau of Nepal Police pooling information and resources, all in an effort to reduce wildlife crime.