Simon Pope, Director of Campaigns and Communications for the World Society for the Protection of Animals, questions why the UK government is so far behind other global powers when it comes to tackling the illegal wildlife trade.
As part of the United States' efforts to combat the illegal trade in wildlife and promote conservation, 13 parks and wildlife ministry officials, field agents and nongovernmental organization leaders from across Africa will visit the United States April 22-May 10. Wildlife trafficking continues to push some protected and endangered species to the brink of extinction. The U.S. Government is committed to tackling the problem of wildlife trafficking as a first tier foreign policy issue.
The Wildlife Conservation exchange - arranged under the U.S. Department of State's International Visitor Leadership Program - will launch at the Meridian International Center in Washington, DC, on the evening of April 23. Under Secretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy, and the Environment Robert D. Hormats will provide keynote remarks at the event, followed by a panel discussion with the distinguished participants.
During their visit, the participants will explore the role of the U.S. government in creating and administering policy and implementing practices in wildlife conservation and management. Site visits include the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and the U.S. Park Service, as well as many nongovernmental organizations, in Washington, DC; Miami, FL; Portland and Ashland, OR; and Bozeman, MT.
The United States and its partners are committed to taking meaningful steps to strengthen global efforts to combat illegal trade in wildlife and marine products by promoting public education, capacity building, global cooperation, and increased enforcement.
Poaching for ivory kills more than 25,000 elephants annually and has reached levels only seen before the 1989 international trade ban. In 2012, 668 rhinos were killed in South Africa alone. These are precipitous increases from just a few years ago and, if not stemmed, could lead to the extinction of African rhinos and elephants in our lifetime.
A survey conducted in November of 2012 in Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou by the Chinese research company, HorizonKey, found that:
-- More than half of the nearly 1,000 participants (over 50%) do not think elephant poaching is common;
-- 34%, or one in three respondents, believe ivory is obtained from natural elephant mortality;
-- Only 33% of all participants believe elephants are poached for their tusks; and
-- 94% of residents agree the "Chinese government should impose a ban on the ivory trade."
Although the international trade in ivory is banned, a one-off sale in 2008 perpetuated a legal market for ivory in China and Japan. Reports show widespread abuse of the system to launder illegal ivory in China, and seizure and intelligence reports indicate China is the world's largest market for ivory.
Meanwhile, a similar survey conducted by HorzionKey in the same three major Chinese cities on rhino horn perceptions found that:
-- 66% of all participants, that is two out of every three respondents, are not aware that rhino horn comes from poached rhinos;
-- Nearly 50% believed rhino horn can be legally purchased from official stores; and
-- 95% of residents agree the "Chinese government should take stricter action to prevent use of rhino horns."
Traditional Chinese Medicine officially removed rhino horn from the pharmacopeia in China in 1993. These surveys, however, discovered that consumers are now buying rhino horn due to belief in its aphrodisiac properties and fever reducing capabilities. Rhino horn is also being used as a perceived investment and as an ornament or carving....
Two poachers have been arrested by police in Marmanet Forest in Laikipia by the Kenya Wildlife Service. The two women suspects were arrested when they tried to sell ivory worth Sh200,000 to KWS officers who were posing as customers.
The suspects were selling two tusks weighing 12 kg at a cost of Sh30,000 per kilogramme. Rumuruti game warden in-charge Eric Aduda said they found out about the ivory syndicate and laid an ambush.
He said the two were locked up at Rumuruti Police Station waiting to be arraigned in court. Aduda decried the rising cases of poaching in the forest and warned criminals that KWS officers would take stern action against them.
He said they had deployed officers in all areas where the vice is frequently perpetrated. Aduda said they have lost several elephants due to poaching.
Resource related crimes, such as the wildlife trade, illegal logging, and electrical waste produce over $23 billion in illicit proceeds, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) saidin its Transnational Organized Crime Threat Assessment for East Asia and the Pacific...
Organised crime gangs dealing in counterfeit goods and medicines, human trafficking, drugs, and the illicit wildlife trade earn nearly $90 billion annually in East Asia and the Pacific, a UN report showed Tuesday.
Specially trained wildlife detector dogs, named Viper, Butter, Lancer and Locket, have just completed training alongside handlers and will soon begin working at important U.S. import sites including UPS’ global air hub in Louisville, Ky. Other cities where the dogs will conduct searches include Miami, Los Angeles and Chicago. The program is an effort to address the increasing trade in body parts of protected species. San Jose Mercury News (Calif.) (free registration)/The Associated Press (4/9)
LOUISVILLE, Ky.—The U.S. government wants to try to do something about a growing trade in items such as elephant ivory and rhinoceros horn and is enlisting the help of another animal to accomplish that.
The first class of wildlife detector dogs and their handlers have finished training to search for protected species and will soon be stationed at key ports of entry around the country, including Louisville, Miami, Los Angeles and Chicago. The four retrievers are Viper, Butter, Lancer and Locket.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service official Ed Grace says some species are being dangerously threatened by rapid growth in global trade.
Louisville is among the locations being targeted because the city is home to UPS’ worldwide air hub. Fish and Wildlife says the dogs may visit facilities elsewhere as well.
NAIROBI, April 14 — Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) rangers have killed four suspected poachers while others escaped with injuries in Isiolo, eastern region.
KWS Corporate Affairs Manager Paul Udoto said on Sunday the suspected poachers were gunned down in a shootout at Ngare Ndare forest within Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, a renowned and dedicated rhino sanctuary late on Friday.
“The rangers were on patrol when they encountered the gang of five men within the sanctuary. The suspects had been ordered to surrender but they opened fire at the rangers,” Udoto said in Nairobi.
He said a shootout ensued leaving four members of the gang dead, noting that their accomplice escaped with injuries. “KWS rangers were not hurt in the early evening shoot out,” said Udoto...
China has urged the Philippines to "guarantee the safety and legitimate rights" of fishermen who have been taken into custody for poaching after their vessel ran aground on the protected Tubbataha Reef -- the latest incident in often tense...
Pratik Patel gazed glumly as the herder's scrawny brown dogs moved between piles of bones to eat the rotting elephant flesh. He pointed to the nearby road and wondered aloud: How could poachers kill an elephant just five kilometres from Tanzania's main safari highway?
Conservationists have long warned of the existential danger that poachers pose to Africa's elephants. And it's in Tanzania, home of the Serengeti game reserve and one of the world's two largest elephant populations, that the scale of the killings and the involvement of government employees may be the most chilling.
The three elephant corpses seen by an Associated Press reporter eight weeks ago lay in a game park just a few miles from a busy junction outside Arusha, a city of 500,000 people....
Over a thousand critically endangered Madagascar tortoises have been seized during trafficking attempts in the first three months of 2013, prompting a coalition of NGOs to call for urgent action from Malagasy authorities.
Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) officers at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport have seized thirty three kilogrammes of ivory ornaments worth over six million shillings from a Vietnamese national who was transiting through Kenya to Bangkok, Thailand. Thirty nine year old Nguyen Viet Truong who was traveling aboard a Kenya Airways flight KQ542 from Cotonou, Benin was arrested after a check by KRA Customs Surveillance and Targeting team noticed suspicious cargo in his two suitcases...
Four Waikato men accused of poaching deer police say are worth about $100,000 from Bay of Plenty farms last year have been remanded on bail without plea.
Matamata brothers Storm Panapa, 17, Maunganui Charlie Panapa, 24, along with Bradley Duncan McKenzie, 19, and Scott Stephen Darroch, 18, appeared in Tauranga Registrar’s Court today jointly charged with thefts of animals...
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