1,350 rhinos poached in Africa in 2015
The discovery of 34 poached rhino carcasses in Namibia has led the International Union for the Conservation of Nature to push up its estimated total of rhinos poached in 2015.
The spike brings the continental number to nearly 1,350 rhino poached last year, making 2015 the darkest year on record for the species. The organisation said the numbers were under review and would be published shortly.
Dr Richard Emslie, scientific officer for the African Rhino Specialist Group at the organisation, said the number of old carcasses discovered had increased, suggesting poaching had not dropped off but had spread to other areas.
This suggests a tactical manoeuvre by crime syndicates to find softer targets than South Africa, where anti-poaching teams have been beefed up, he said.
"I am not at liberty to release the numbers now. I can say there has been a slight overall increase."
Namibia lost one rhino to poaching in 2009, one in 2010 and one in 2011. Two were killed in 2012, four in 2013 and 25 in 2014.
In January Namibia's Environment Minister Pohamba Shifeta, announced that 80 rhinos had been poached there last year. That number could change with the discovery of the 34 additional carcasses.