Wildlife authorities in Mozambique have acknowledged failure to contain poachers despite slapping fines amounting to US$880,000 and arresting 14 suspected poachers in the first five months of this year, the local media reported on Sunday.State-run Radio Mozambique quoted Antony Alexander, project manager of the Limpopo National Park in southern Mozambique, as saying the problem is that the poachers fail to pay the fines.
“This is an incredibly time consuming and expensive procedure, involving lawyers and trips to Maputo because only five percent of the fines have so far been paid out of more than US$3 million imposed,” Alexander said.
Alexander stressed that the fines system is a good one when it works.
Half the funds are spent on conservation work, with the remainder given to the field rangers as incentive payments. However, he pointed out that the refusal to pay fines could be a disincentive when the rangers see no return for their work.
To combat the continuing damage caused by poaching, the park is considering new measures that include the introduction of a dog unit.
Limpopo National Park covers over 1.1 million hectares and was set up as part of the Greater Limpopo Transfrontier Park, which also includes the Kruger National Park in South Africa and the Gonarezhou Park in Zimbabwe.