South Africa says protection efforts in its biggest wildlife park have reduced rhino poaching there, though warns that poaching syndicates may be moving operations to parks elsewhere in the country.

Edna Molewa, South Africa's environment minister, said Sunday that the carcasses of 458 poached rhinos were found in Kruger National Park between January and the end of August, down about 18 percent from the same period last year.

The African News Agency quotes Molewa as saying that poaching groups may be responding to pressure in Kruger park by killing more rhinos in other areas, although rhino poaching nationwide is still down from last year.

She says poachers killed 36 elephants this year in Kruger, an increase in an area that had been mostly unaffected by the Africa-wide slaughter of elephants.