Home > Conservation in South Africa


Coordinated by Bronwyn Laing, researcher, Project Rhino

Africa is facing a massive wildlife crisis. South Africa is one of the top five fastest growing tourism destinations in the world, in part because of its wildlife, and the Big Five in particular. Despite this, four of the Big Five are facing poaching at levels not seen before. Three rhinos are killed every day in South Africa and an elephant is lost to poachers every twenty minutes. This course will highlight the truth behind these figures and what is being done to stop the slaughter. Participants will gain a deeper understanding of the demand for these animals and the syndicates running the trade in animal parts.



1.  Lions: at the crossroads of commerce, conflict and conservation Dr G. Balme – Director, Panthera Leopard Programme

2.  Leopards: caught in a conservation blindspot Dr G. Balme – Director, Panthera Leopard Programme

3.  Rhinos and elephants: will conservation triage be the only option for their future in the wild? Dr J. Hanks – Independent environmental consultant

4.  Not for the faint-hearted: Operation Lock and the scourge of rhino poaching Dr J. Hanks – Independent environmental consultant

5.  Panel discussion Dr John Hanks, Prof John Donaldson, Dr Guy Balme and Dr Jo Shaw (Chair)


Recommended Reading

Balme, G., Slotow, R. & Hunter, L.T.B. 2009. Impact of conservation interventions on the dynamics and persistence of a persecuted leopard (Panthera pardus) population. Biological Conservation 142, 2681–2690

Balme, G., Lindsey, P.A., Swanepoel, L.H. & Hunter, L.T.B. 2014. Failure of Research to Address the Rangewide Conservation Needs of Large Carnivores: Leopards in South Africa as a Case Study.Conservation Letters, January/February, 7(1), 3–11​

Bonner, R. 1993. At the Hand of Man: Peril and Hope for Africa’s Wildlife. London: Simon & Schuster

Bottrill, M.C. et al. 2008. Is conservation triage just smart decision making? Trends in Ecology and Evolution 23:649-6

Hanks, J. 2015. Operation Lock and the War on Rhino Poaching. Cape Town: Zebra Press


Date: 19- 23 January                                                       
Time: 5.30pm
COURSE FEES Full:  R400.00   Staff: R200.00   Reduced: R100.00 
Note: Dr G. Balme will be delivering the first lecture, not Dr N. Midlane as indicated in the printed brochure.