The recent arrests of six suspected poachers on a vast wildlife reserve in Mozambique are seen by conservationists as rare good news in a country long seen as lacking the will and resources to stem the slaughter of elephants and other species under threat.

The poaching ring had been operating in the Niassa National Reserve, which is twice the size of South Africa's flagship Kruger National Park, where the rhino population has been hit hard by poachers, many of whom cross over from Mozambique.

The Sept. 7 detentions in the southern African nation followed nearly a year of investigative work, illustrating the challenges of policing rugged areas where armed poachers hike on expeditions that often last two weeks and sometimes kill elephants with single shots targeting vital organs.