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Wildlife Trafficking: Who Does it? Allows it?
Following the Animal Poaching Trail in Africa and the World
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Saving the African Elephant

Saving the African Elephant | Wildlife Trafficking: Who Does it? Allows it? | Scoop.it
2011 marked the worst year for elephant poaching and illegal ivory trading since the height of the trade in the 1980s, according to the UK-based Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA).

 

The reason for this sudden upsurge in illegal ivory trading, and by extension the poaching of elephants? East Asian markets that are sympathetic to ivory trading.

 

Particularly in China, where the market is thriving, laws concerning ivory trade still exist only to regulate trade. In other words, ivory trading is still permissible by law....

 

For wildlife enthusiasts and nature lovers, the elimination of poaching is a logical and necessary part of preserving these majestic, endangered animals. But others, not motivated by the same causes, may need more incentives to take action against poaching. Tom Cardamone, managing director of Global Financial Integrity, provided such an incentive at the Congressional hearing....

 

Most countries that have anti-poaching laws only collect small fines and require even smaller prison terms as punitive measures. But the monetary value of trading ivory is very high, comparable to narcotics trading....

 

While a congressional hearing spotlighting ivory trading and poaching may seem like a step in the right direction, the sad fact is that the burden to protect wildlife largely remains on countries in which there are no naturally occurring herds of elephants (or other ivory-wielding animals, such as rhinos).

 

The people that truly need to take charge of the movement are, unfortunately, the people who are complicit in the illegal trade. For now, it remains to be seen what legislation will come out of Congress to help the effort ━

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Africa in Transition » Guest Post: Poaching Threatens Central African Security

Africa in Transition » Guest Post: Poaching Threatens Central African Security | Wildlife Trafficking: Who Does it? Allows it? | Scoop.it
Despite some progress on improving security in Central Africa, the continuing smuggling of weapons and the movement of refugees and internally displaced persons continue to threaten the integrity of countries across the region. Less noted, but no less important, is the role that wildlife poaching plays in this perilous circumstance.

Richard Carroll cogently points out that “poaching is not just a conservation crisis any more. Long linked to drugs and arms smuggling around the world, it now also now poses a growing threat to the stability of governments in Africa—one that requires a both regional and international response.”

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Tell Nepalese rangers you care, send a postcard today!

Tell Nepalese rangers you care, send a postcard today! | Wildlife Trafficking: Who Does it? Allows it? | Scoop.it
Tell Nepalese rangers you care, send a postcard today!

 

When it comes to fighting poaching, Nepal's park rangers mean business. Working with communities, the army, police and other key institutions, they have made 2011 a Zero Poaching year as not a single rhino was poached in Nepal during the year – the first time in 29 years. In Chitwan National Park, the strong ranger commitments, community-based programmes and coordinated efforts of enforcement agencies, have also led to Zero Poaching of tigers in the same year....

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The Militarization of Africa's Animal Poachers

The Militarization of Africa's Animal Poachers | Wildlife Trafficking: Who Does it? Allows it? | Scoop.it
Criminals have long hunted African wildlife, but now they may be linking up with warlords or worse.

 

WildlifeMargrit:

Because of the seriousness and importance of this article it is included in its entirety.

 

Despite some progress on improving security in Central Africa, the continuing smuggling of weapons and the movement of refugees and internally displaced persons continue to threaten the integrity of countries across the region. Less noted, but no less important, is the role that wildlife poaching plays in this perilous circumstance.

 

Driven by growing demand from China and Asia, the illegal trade in ivory, rhino horn, tiger bone and other endangered species is skyrocketing. In Asia, seizures of tiger parts have quadrupled over the past decade - a figure that reflects increasing trade as much or more than it does improved law enforcement. Richard Carroll, vice president of Africa programs at World Wildlife Federation in the United States (WWF-US) notes "last year was the worst year for rhino poaching in more than a quarter of a century. And this year looks like it may shatter that dismal record."

 

With an estimated global value of at least $8 billion annually, the trade in endangered species has long been linked to organized, transnational crime. However, as demand escalates and prices rise, the poaching that supplies the trade has become militarized in ways that pose a serious security threat to weak governments, particularly in Central Africa. This was dramatically illustrated earlier this year when one hundred Sudanese raiders stormed across the border from neighboring Chad and methodically slaughtered as many as three hundred elephants for their ivory in Cameroon's Bouda N'Djida national park. The Sudanese raiders were believed to be Janjaweed militiamen who, armed with automatic weapons and grenade launchers, were more than a match for unarmed park guards.

 

Increasingly, militias, insurgents and even terrorist groups are using the easy money from wildlife crime to buy arms and fund insurgencies that claim lives, hurt economies, and sow instability in states that lack the military capacity to respond. According to a CRS report to Congress in 2008, elephant and rhino poachers in Somalia have been indirectly linked to terrorism through a local warlord who is believed to have given sanctuary to the al-Qaeda operatives responsible for the bombing of a Kenya hotel in 2002 and an earlier attack on the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi in 1998.

 

Richard Carroll cogently points out that "poaching is not just a conservation crisis any more. Long linked to drugs and arms smuggling around the world, it now also now poses a growing threat to the stability of governments in Africa--one that requires a both regional and international response."

 

This article originally appeared at CFR.org, an Atlantic partner site.

http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2012/07/the-militarization-of-africas-animal-poachers/260534/ ;

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Wildlife trafficking 'at all-time high'

Wildlife trafficking 'at all-time high' | Wildlife Trafficking: Who Does it? Allows it? | Scoop.it

With growing demand fuelled by rising affluence and the rise of online trade, and enforcement agencies failing to keep up with smugglers, trafficking levels are at an all-time high....

 

"Singapore consumers can play their part by not eating exotic or illegal meat in restaurants overseas, and not buying medicines and souvenirs with wildlife parts," said Dr Shepherd.

 

"They should not keep wildlife as pets and, if they come across wildlife being illegally sold by dealers, they should resist "rescuing" the animals by buying them."

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Vietnam's Tiger Farms Are Trafficking Hubs

Conservationists allege Vietnam's tiger farms are fronts for illegal trade in poached wildlife...

 

Nineteen tigers prowl outdoor cages the size of dormitory rooms, nibbling frayed wire fences and roaring at a caretaker who taunts them with his sandal.

 

It looks like a zoo, but it's closed to the public. The facility breeds tigers, but has never supplied a conservation program with any animals nor sold any to zoos.

 

Conservationists allege that Vietnam's 11 registered tiger farms, including this one, are fronts for a thriving illegal market in tiger parts, highly prized for purported — if unproven — medicinal qualities.

 

Nonsense, says manager Luong Thien Dan. He says the farm in southern Binh Duong province was created simply because its management has a "soft spot" for the big cats, and that it's funded privately by a beer company....

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Almost 4,000 bird dealers busted by INTERPOL

Almost 4,000 bird dealers busted by INTERPOL | Wildlife Trafficking: Who Does it? Allows it? | Scoop.it

Interpol environmental crimes division has announced that almost 4,000 dealers in wild birds have been caught from Operation Cage – a three-month intensive investigation between May and June focusing on the trade in endangered birds. Wildlife and law enforcement officers across 32 different countries took part in the investigations.

 

While Operation Cage focused primarily on birds the action also uncovered trading routes of other wildlife and products such as ivory. As well as the arrests of almost 4,000 traders the law enforcement officers also seized nearly 8,700 birds, mammals, insects, reptiles and other animals. Also seized were hunting and trapping equipment together with firearms and ammunition.

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Tiger tourism takes a hit in India wildlife parks

Tiger tourism takes a hit in India wildlife parks | Wildlife Trafficking: Who Does it? Allows it? | Scoop.it
India's top court rules against tourism in 'core' areas of tiger reserves across the country.
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Poached deer found dead on playground

A poached deer was found on the morning of July 17 in the KiddieLand section at the Anderson River Park by a citizen...,

Later, a young girl found a bloody arrow which was located 40 feet away from where the dead animal was originally found.

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UWA busts four poachers in Lake Mburo National Park

UWA busts four poachers in Lake Mburo National Park | Wildlife Trafficking: Who Does it? Allows it? | Scoop.it
Uganda Wildlife Authority has arrested four men for reported illegal hunting and killing of animals in Lake Mburo national park in western Uganda.
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Asia fuels record elephant, rhino killings: WWF

Asia fuels record elephant, rhino killings: WWF | Wildlife Trafficking: Who Does it? Allows it? | Scoop.it
Releasing a report rating countries' efforts at stopping the trade in endangered species, WWF said elephant poaching was at crisis levels in central Africa while the survival of rhinos was under grave threat in South Africa.
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12 pangolin saved from wildlife trafficking syndicate

12 pangolin saved from wildlife trafficking syndicate | Wildlife Trafficking: Who Does it? Allows it? | Scoop.it
NONG KHAI, July 19 -- Thailand's Mekong Riverine Operation Unit rescued 12 endangered pangolins – commonly known as ant eaters – and arrested one wildlife smuggler, Thai authorities said Thursday.
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Stuffed Tigers, Leopards Seized in Trafficking Bust

Stuffed Tigers, Leopards Seized in Trafficking Bust | Wildlife Trafficking: Who Does it? Allows it? | Scoop.it
Police have vowed to expand their probe into a wildlife poaching and trade syndicate after arresting a Depok resident in possession of dozens of stuffed rare animals and pelts.
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To Combat Asia’s Illegal Wildlife Trade, More Enforcement Needed

To Combat Asia’s Illegal Wildlife Trade, More Enforcement Needed | Wildlife Trafficking: Who Does it? Allows it? | Scoop.it
The market for illegal wildlife products is rapidly increasing — but this group aims to stop this trend in its tracks.

 

Imagine a world without birdsong, without biodiversity and with only one life-form: we human beings. In fact, we would not survive in such a world, dependant as we are upon other species.

 

However, as the illegal wildlife trade continues to rob ecosystems of their rich biodiversity, this is the world we are spiralling toward. A world where 13–42 percent of Southeast Asia’s animal and plant species could be wiped out this century — half of which are found nowhere else on Earth. This is the world in which illegal wildlife trade exists...

 

ASEAN-WEN is a law enforcement network that coordinates the region’s response to illegal trade in protected species...

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CITES: UN treaty keeps idea alive of reversing ivory ban

CITES: UN treaty keeps idea alive of reversing ivory ban | Wildlife Trafficking: Who Does it? Allows it? | Scoop.it

Delegates overseeing a 175-nation endangered species treaty adopted measures Friday intended to curb smuggling of elephant ivory and rhino horn, including a new plan to eventually allow ivory to be legally traded again in global markets....

 

300 delegates in Geneva agreed by consensus to a series of measures and sanctions on trade in endangered species...

 

Much of the focus was on how to strengthen enforcement while also dampening consumer demand. Delegates agreed that effected nations must do more to control their markets and combat international ivory smuggling....

 

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Kristin Bauer Appeals For Donations To Fund Anti-Poaching Documentary

Kristin Bauer Appeals For Donations To Fund Anti-Poaching Documentary | Wildlife Trafficking: Who Does it? Allows it? | Scoop.it
True Blood star Kristin Bauer is aiming to raise $30,000 to fund a documentary on the horrors of elephant and rhino poaching in Africa.

 

The actress, who plays vampire bar owner Pam in the hit TV series, is producing a film called Out of Africa with her husband, South African musician Abri van Straten, and donations had reached $24,150 when WENN went to press.

 

The documentary is being made to highlight the dangers facing the animals as hunters attempt to obtain elephant tusks and rhino horns to sell on the black market.

 

In a statement on fundraising website KickStarter.com, Bauer writes, "I will be taking a camera crew to Kenya to ask Africans, the on the ground experts and heroes; what is happening, what the possible solutions are and, how can we help you? They are living this crisis and working very hard to stop it, they know what can be done - they just need a larger voice."

 

"Together is the only way elephants and rhino may make it and also the only way I will be able to make this documentary. In the last six months 2 (sic) species of rhino have gone extinct and more are on the brink. I don't think we can afford to wait to do something."
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Elephants slaughtered, orphan found in latest Africa poaching

Elephants slaughtered, orphan found in latest Africa poaching | Wildlife Trafficking: Who Does it? Allows it? | Scoop.it
The government of Chad said it was searching for poachers who slaughtered part of an elephant herd, while a conservation group said it had found an orphaned infant near the slaughter site.
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Hunting the hunter

In a remote patch of Uttarakhand, poaching is so rampant that leopard skins and rare animal parts are sold from tea stalls. Along with a team of wildlife activists, Sunday Times helps track and pin down a notorious poacher. Here's how it happened

 

At a tea stall on a hilly road in Uttarakhand, a little query like "What else do you have apart from tea?" gets a shocking answer.

 

"Leopard skins," says the stall owner, without batting an eyelid. The man has obviously mistaken us - this reporter and Sharma, an enforcement agent with the Wildlife Trust of India (WTI), an NGO in Delhi that works with the authorities to nab poachers and illegal traders - for people who buy skins and other body parts of wild animals....

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7 nations face sanctions over endangered species

7 nations face sanctions over endangered species | Wildlife Trafficking: Who Does it? Allows it? | Scoop.it
GENEVA (AP) — Seven nations may lose their ability to legally trade tens of thousands of wildlife species after U.N. conservation delegates agreed Thursday to penalize them for lacking tough regulations or failing to report on their wildlife trade.

 

The suspensions against the seven nations — Comoros, Guinea-Bissau, Paraguay, Nepal, Rwanda, Solomon Islands and Syria — were approved by consensus among the delegates and would take effect Oct. 1.
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Smuggling of protected wildlife takes centre state in Geneva

Smuggling of protected wildlife takes centre state in Geneva | Wildlife Trafficking: Who Does it? Allows it? | Scoop.it
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Young Gorillas Observed Destroying Poachers' Traps

Young Gorillas Observed Destroying Poachers' Traps | Wildlife Trafficking: Who Does it? Allows it? | Scoop.it
After decades of being a target for unlawful hunters, endangered gorillas have learned to outsmart them, and even youngsters are getting in on the act.
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Wildlife officials say Central Oregon poaching case illustrates threat to mule deer herds

Poaching much bigger problem than we thought

More animals are taken illegally than harvested legally in Oregon
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Three nations do least to halt trade in animal parts: WWF

Three nations do least to halt trade in animal parts: WWF | Wildlife Trafficking: Who Does it? Allows it? | Scoop.it
OSLO (Reuters) - Vietnam, Laos and Mozambique are the countries that do the least to crack down on an illegal trade in animal parts that is threatening the survival of elephants, rhinos and tigers, the...
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Improvement in level of enforcement bad for wildlife traffickers, good!

Improvement in level of enforcement bad for wildlife traffickers, good! | Wildlife Trafficking: Who Does it? Allows it? | Scoop.it
If the improved level of law enforcement demonstrated this month can be maintained, ivory smugglers, wildlife traffickers and pangolin poachers could be in for a tougher time than usual.

 

That would be a welcome development given the increasing threat these criminal networks pose to endangered animal, aquatic and plant species. Their activities constitute a multi-billion-baht industry that police have described as the second most lucrative illegal business after drug trafficking.

 

Unfortunately, Thailand has become a major transit hub for smugglers of exotic wildlife because of laws that are weak, penalties that lack any clout and enforcement that is sporadic....

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Tigers in Transit: From South Africa to Botswana and UAE :: ANNAMITICUS

Tigers in Transit: From South Africa to Botswana and UAE :: ANNAMITICUS | Wildlife Trafficking: Who Does it? Allows it? | Scoop.it
South Africa's captive-bred tigers seem to be making their way to surprising places.

 

Tigers bred in captivity can be exported with appropriate permits and Dr. Kat noted on his blog that this loophole is being exploited by breeders in South Africa.

South Africa absolves itself of any blame by invoking the right of private captive breeders to trade their products on the international market – but South Africa also facilitates this trade by supplying the necessary export permits.


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