The microchips will enable the tracking of all rhinoceroses. In addition, it will become possible to link any horn confiscated to a specific animal – which is especially important to legal cases. The chip will provide crucial evidence, often lacking until now.
The chips and the scanners are provided by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) in order to combat poaching practices. The WWF is employing these new technologies to break the chain of illegal rhinoceros horn trade. Poachers have been making use of increasingly ingenious methods; in Africa and Azia, poaching is big business. High demand for products and poor enforcement of the law in these parts of the world play into the hands of organised crime. This ‘wildlife crime’ is worth 6 to 8 billion euros each year. In Kenya, WWF works with the Kenyan Wildlife Service to combat protected animal species poaching and trade.