Wildlife Trafficking: Who Does it? Allows it?
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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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Troops Deployed to Fight Elephant Poachers From Sudan

Troops Deployed to Fight Elephant Poachers From Sudan | Wildlife Trafficking: Who Does it? Allows it? | Scoop.it
Central African countries agreed to mobilize as many as 1,000 soldiers and law-enforcement officials to combat a group of 300 elephant poachers from Sudan, the World Wildlife Fund said.
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Conservationists get SMART with poachers

Conservationists get SMART with poachers | Wildlife Trafficking: Who Does it? Allows it? | Scoop.it

A community of conservation organizations announced today a free software tool for wildlife managers specifically designed to stop poaching.

 

Spatial Monitoring And Reporting Tool (SMART 1.0) is a ground-breaking and innovative management tool designed to assist rangers on the ground to stop poachers in their tracks and curb the illegal trade of wildlife. SMART isn't owned by any one individual or organization; it's free and available to the whole conservation community.

 

SMART is a new set of community-owned open-source software tools that measure, evaluate, and improve the effectiveness of wildlife law enforcement patrols and site-based conservation activities. Its combination of software, training materials, and implementation standards provides protected area authorities and community groups with the ability to empower staff, boost motivation, increase efficiency, and promote credible and transparent monitoring of the effectiveness of anti-poaching efforts....

Wildlife Margrit's insight:

Let's hope this gives the good guys and edge over the bad guys.

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Missouri Citizens Help Nab Poachers

Chalk another one up for the strong conservation ethic of Missouri citizens.

Proof of what many of the state’s residents already know — that Missourians care about conserving forests, fish and wildlife — was made evident again last week when news broke about arrests made in connection with a paddlefish poaching operation out of Warsaw.

 

The operation, which garnered news coverage from New Jersey to Miami, resulted in eight people being issued federal wildlife-related charges and more than 100 suspects from Missouri and eight other states being issued citations and/or arrest warrants for state and federal crimes related to paddlefish poaching....

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My angst over China's role in the endangered wildlife trade

My angst over China's role in the endangered wildlife trade | Wildlife Trafficking: Who Does it? Allows it? | Scoop.it

China must turn its back on the trade in endangered wildlife like tigers, elephants, chimpanzees and sharks, says IFAW's Grace Gabriel...

 

The recent meeting of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna (CITES) seriously challenged my mental tolerance. 

To be honest, I had long expected the international community to blame China for the runaway trade in ivory, which has been disastrous for Africa’s elephants. But what I really didn’t expect was that the criticisms levied at China were far, far more vehement than this: tigers, rhinoceros, chimpanzees, Saiga antelopes, sharks, tortoises,  pangolins… any endangered species you can think of, all trade in that their survival was linked to demand from Chinese people....

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86 elephants killed in Chad poaching massacre

86 elephants killed in Chad poaching massacre | Wildlife Trafficking: Who Does it? Allows it? | Scoop.it
Armed ivory poachers are reported to have killed 86 elephants in less than a week, including pregnant females and calves
Wildlife Margrit's insight:

Horriblle news!

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CITES: Global wildlife trade conference closes with firm resolve

Bangkok, Thailand, 14th March 2013—Two weeks of inter-governmental negotiations on regulation of trade in wild animals and plants concluded today with some giant steps forward for global efforts to stamp out illegal wildlife trade and ensure sustainability of future trade in a range of valuable species....

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CITES: Thai policeman honored for fighting wildlife trafficking

CITES: Thai policeman honored for fighting wildlife trafficking | Wildlife Trafficking: Who Does it? Allows it? | Scoop.it

Corruption is one reason that criminals who traffic in wildlife and endangered species are able to evade arrest, destroy the environment and rake in billions of dollars every year. But one Thai police officer earned international recognition last week for his honesty, effectiveness and dedication in battling trafficking. Police Major General Kiattipong Khaosamang, deputy commander of the Natural Resources and Environmental Crime Suppression Division since 2007, was one of the winners of the 2013 Clark R. Bavin Wildlife Law Enforcement Award given by the forensics unit of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species. In 2012, Gen. Kiattipong shut down a warehouse in Ayutthaya from which an estimated 1.2 million tons of animal carcasses were being shipped to black markets in Thailand and abroad and arrested members of that trafficking gang. It was just one of several successful raids and arrests of traffickers led by Gen. Kiattipong in recent years. 

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CITES’ Ivory Trade Policy is on Drugs

By Brian Christy

 

By far the most dangerous threat now facing the African elephant is not poachers or Chinese ivory carvers, it is CITES rulemaking.  CITES is indispensible to the protection of wildife around the world, but for elephants the high dollar values, insignicant enforcement, and government corruption make the ivory trade unlike nearly any other animal product traded in the world.

 

As described in this National Geographic blog post, we used narcotics as a surrogate in designing and implementing our Blood Ivory story investigation.

 

Once you see the ivory trade through the prism of illegal drugs, you can understand the absurdity of the way ivory is regulated by CITES, and the danger of proposals now on the table.

 

The world would never leave policing of the narcotics trade to botanists even though cocaine and heroin is a plant product, but we do leave wildlife trafficking to biologists (and economists), and that is a big part of the problem. CITES Secretary General John Scanlon is absolutely correct that we need to employ the same approach to wildlife crime that we do to drug trafficking.  That should not be news, but it is.

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Sanctuary saves anteaters maimed by poachers

Sanctuary saves anteaters maimed by poachers | Wildlife Trafficking: Who Does it? Allows it? | Scoop.it
The pangolin is under threat of being hunted to extinction by poachers in Southeast Asia's illegal wildlife trade, who hunt it for its meat and its scales. A new center in Cambodia is doing all it can to save the animal.
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CITES - Wildlife trade meeting endorses DNA testing of seized ivory

CITES - Wildlife trade meeting endorses DNA testing of seized ivory | Wildlife Trafficking: Who Does it? Allows it? | Scoop.it

Protection for elephants, rhinos, sharks and trees extended in Bangkok...

 

Tom Milliken, who works for the wildlife-trade monitoring group TRAFFIC, which is headquartered in Cambridge, UK and has been heavily involved in the debates about elephant poaching, said, “I think this is one of the best COPs I’ve been to, and I’ve been to 14 of them"...

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VIDEO: Cambodia moves to combat wildlife trafficking

Trafficking wildlife is an international, multibillion-dollar business and Southeast Asia has one of the biggest markets for illegal game, pushing many speci...
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EX-SEAL TAKES ON NEW ENEMY: POACHERS

In his 20 years as a Navy SEAL, Rob Roy participated in missions that took him all over the globe....

 

After Roy traveled to South Africa as part of Animal Planet’s “Battleground: Rhino Wars” reality TV show, however, the San Diegan came back with something new. When Roy joined a group of fellow SEAL veterans (and one Green Beret) to help protect rhinos from deadly poachers, he left with a mission, but he came back with a calling....

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In East Africa: Empty Skies - Wildlife Conservation Society

In East Africa: Empty Skies - Wildlife Conservation Society | Wildlife Trafficking: Who Does it? Allows it? | Scoop.it

Steve Zack:

I am back in East Africa for the first extended time since completing my graduate research 30 years ago. It's a hugely exciting time to be working with our staff in shaping larger conservation efforts with vultures, flamingos, and African Grey Parrots. Between office and field visits, I witnessed for the first time the most dinosaurian of all living birds: the improbable Shoebill stork.

In my first years in Kenya, it was pointed out how you couldn't look up in the sky and not see birds of prey. I scanned the skies often in those days, never failing to verify that observation. There were augur buzzards, Bateleurs, African fishing eagles, etc., and lots of vultures of several species. Tropical America may have the most species of birds, but savannah East Africa has the most conspicuous diversity of birds in the world. The skies held part of that diversity, yet it is there that I observe the greatest change in the decades since I was last here...

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Cairo International Airport’s Role in the Illegal Wildlife Trade

In previous years, the buyers of ivory in Egypt were from Spain, Italy and the United States. In 2013, the dynamics of the market shifted to Asia, where buyers from China now account for over 50 percent of the illegal ivory sales in Egypt.

 

Cairo is a major wildlife trafficking center due to its geographic location between Africa and Europe. Great apes are smuggled to Cairo and then sent to the Gulf Region, China and Europe in order to meet the  demand. In September 2012, authorities seized 17 endangered falcons at Cairo International Airport, and then seized a live cobra a man was carrying in his carry-on luggage the next month....

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Africa's devastating elephant-poaching problem

Africa's devastating elephant-poaching problem | Wildlife Trafficking: Who Does it? Allows it? | Scoop.it

In Chad, 86 elephants become the latest casualties in a growing illegal ivory trade...

 

"Even if the conditions were right, which they are not, it would take more than 20 years for this population to recover," said Celine Sissler-Bienvenu from the International Fund for Animal Welfare. The most recent incident in Chad is just the latest in a growing, troubling epidemic. 

 

How big of a problem is it?
Several elephants are killed every hour of every day, says a new report from the U.N. Poachers are the main culprits: "Illicit ivory trade activity and the weight of ivory behind this trade has more than doubled since 2007, and is over three times greater than it was in 1998." The report also warns that elephants might disappear completely from Central and West Africa if better protections aren't implemented.

 

Who is fueling the demand for ivory?
Mostly the "rapidly growing economies of Asia, particularly China and Thailand," says the U.N. In an op-ed in The New York Times, Samantha Strindberg and Fiona Maisels from the Wildlife Conservation Society lament the fact that ivory has become a luxury item:

 

In China and other countries in the Far East, there has been an astronomical rise in the demand for ivory trinkets that, no matter how exquisitely made, have no essential utility whatsoever. An elephant's tusks have become bling for consumers who have no idea or simply don't care that it was obtained by inflicting terror, horrendous pain and death on thinking, feeling, self-aware beings. [New York Times]

 

Al Jazeera reports that the price of ivory has surpassed $2,000 per kilogram on the Asian black market.

 

Why hasn't more been done to stop the poaching?
It's complicated. As Derek Mead at Motherboard puts it, "The trade has spiraled out of control, run by militant groups in Africa and organized crime in Asia, with little fear of serious crackdowns."

 

Political instability can make patrolling elephant habitats difficult. "Anti-poaching teams are often poorly equipped and the guards themselves are targeted," says Celeste Hicks at The Guardian. Between 2006 and 2009, 10 guards were killed in Chad's Zakouma National Park. The World Wildlife Federation's Bas Huijbregts tells Al Jazeera that the culprits in this case were likely the "same group of Sudanese poachers who killed over 300 elephants in northern Cameroon in February 2012."...

 

http://theweek.com/article/index/241741/africas-devastating-elephant-poaching-problem ;

 

Wildlife Margrit's insight:

This plight of the elephants in Chad is nothing short of genocide.

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Eating habits in south China driving endangered animals to extinction

Eating habits in south China driving endangered animals to extinction | Wildlife Trafficking: Who Does it? Allows it? | Scoop.it
Cantonese appetites are gobbling up endangered species including the pangolin, giant salamander, wild snakes and owls – facilitated by lax policing and a belief in medicinal benefits.
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21 elephant tusks seized from poachers in Kenya

21 elephant tusks seized from poachers in Kenya | Wildlife Trafficking: Who Does it? Allows it? | Scoop.it

Police in Mwingi seized 21 elephant tusks and eight bullets last week from poachers in Mwanzele Forest, Kenya...

 

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U.S. Dept of State: Engaging Public in Fight Against Wildlife Trafficking

U.S. Dept of State: Engaging Public in Fight Against Wildlife Trafficking | Wildlife Trafficking: Who Does it? Allows it? | Scoop.it

March has been a good month for wildlife. 

At its annual meeting, held in Bangkok, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) voted to place new trade limits on sharks, mantas, and turtles for the first time in nearly a decade. 

This is an important step in countering a fishing trade that claims the lives of 100 million sharks a year. There is also widespread fishing of mantas, in response to strong demand in Asia -- where many believe mantas' gill plates have invigorating medicinal qualities. Turtles have existed for 300 million years but are now in serious trouble around the world as they are frequently used as food and in traditional medicines in Asia, and their use in the pet trade...

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Poachers’ attorney busted by the Hawks

Cape Town - The lawyer who once represented suspects embroiled in one of the biggest poaching syndicates in the Cape has been busted by the Hawks.

 

Anthony Broadway was arrested this week by the elite team for charges relating to racketeering, money laundering, fraud and the FICA Act....

 

Broadway was granted bail of R250 000 and was requested to pay R100 000 on the spot and the remainder by March 28.

 

Broadway is expected to share the dock with alleged poaching kingpin Frank Barends on Friday at the Cape High Court alongside 25 others.

 

Barends and his co-accuseds are currently on trial where they face 534 charges, some which include illegal possession of abalone, racketeering and corruption all relating to activities in and around the Gansbaai area.

 

Among the suspects are a police officer, Barends’ wife Josephine and his bookkeeper Sarah Dunsdon.

 

Broadway previously represented Barends and some of the other accused who cops say are part of a massive syndicate.

 

Chinese national Ran Wei, who allegedly funded and ran the syndicate, is still missing....

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North Woods Law: Catching poachers through word of mouth

When it comes to protecting animals like moose, deer and coyote, our favorite game wardens rely on one of the most valuable resources in their arsenal: the public.
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Accused Vietnamese Wildlife Trade Authority Points Finger at China as Driving Rhino Horn Trade

Julian Rademeyer, author of Killing for Profit: Exposing the Illegal Rhino Horn Trade, has written an article for the Mail & Guardian about comments that Do Quang Tung, the head of Vietnam’s Cites Management Authority, made at the recent Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (Cites).

 

Do denied allegations that Vietnam is the driving force behind the illegal rhino horn trade and “claimed that Vietnamese intelligence agencies had identified China as the destination for ’99% of the horn that goes through Vietnam’”. Rademeyer outlines the evidence that contradicts Do’s denials and looks at Vietnam’s history of not acting against rhino horn smuggling:

 

The head of Vietnam’s wildlife trade authority has angrily dismissed accusations that his country is the driving force behind the illicit trade in rhino horn, describing them as “bullshit”. He went on to blame China for the slaughter.

 

In a rare interview during the triennial conference of parties to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (Cites), Do Quang Tung, who is the acting head of Vietnam’s Cites Management Authority, lashed out at critics who have identified the country as a “rapacious” consumer of rhino horn...

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CITES are they really on the side of wildlife?

Pieter Kat of LionAid speaks out about CITES.

 

The CITES conference has a few more days to go, and there will be much more to discuss. After failing polar bears, rhinos, and elephants and extending unexpected extra protection to West African manatees (the CITES Secretariat recommended rejection) and many turtles already on the brink of extinction, the next week will see sharks and a few other species on the menu.

 

In a terrifying show of resolve, CITES slapped trade sanctions on Guinea. Long criticized for not having teeth, CITES now bared them at a small western African country for allegedly ignoring many requests to halt illegal trade in wildlife products – in this case of Great Apes. Hmmm. How about trade sanctions against Kenya, Tanzania, South Africa, Thailand, Philippines, China among others for long being involved in the illegal ivory trade?....

 

CITES permits are issued by “authorities” in individual nations, and as you will see below, strange practices remain evident....

 

Read on...http://www.lionaid.org/blog/category/cites ;

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28 Elephants Killed in Cameroon by AK-47-Wielding Poachers

28 Elephants Killed in Cameroon by AK-47-Wielding Poachers | Wildlife Trafficking: Who Does it? Allows it? | Scoop.it

28 elephants killed: Conservation groups said that 28 elephants were killed in two Cameroon parks recently....

 

Over the past decade, the African forest elephant population has dwindled by 62 percent due to ivory demand in Asia. The species is now on the path toward extinction, the WWF said.

 

“Elephants in these two protected areas in the Congo Basin are facing a threat to their existence,” Zacharie Nzooh, WWF Cameroon representative in the East Region, was quoted by Reuters as saying...

 

“The poachers used automatic weapons, such as AK-47s, reflecting the violent character of elephant poaching,” he said.

 

Ivory sells for hundreds of dollars per kilogram on the black market. The material is smuggled to Asia, where it is fashioned into jewelry and other items.

 

Earlier last year, gunmen on horseback from Sudan and Chad slaughtered around 200 elephants in Bouba Ndjida National Park in Cameroon.

 

But in late 2012, Cameroon deployed around 600 soldiers and helicopters to curb the growing threat of poaching....

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Really? How China helps Africa protect its dwindling wildlife from poachers

Really? How China helps Africa protect its dwindling wildlife from poachers | Wildlife Trafficking: Who Does it? Allows it? | Scoop.it

Recently, I held a meeting with the director of Kenya Wildlife Service, Mr William Kiprono...

 

First, China put the African elephant on the list of “first-class wildlife species under special state protection”. Smugglers are committed to jail terms up to life imprisonment.

 

Second, China manages legal ivory trade very strictly. The country is a licensed buyer of the legal ivory trade regime sanctioned by Cites.

 

The current 62 tons of non-poached ivory stockpile in China were purchased in 2008 at an international auction. The ivory products are earmarked with unified icons and a central data base was set up to check the flow.

 

Third, China has established an inter-departmental law enforcement mechanism involving forestry, Customs and public security agencies. This mechanism has effectively cracked down on many smuggling cases.

 

Fourth, China actively promotes international co-operation against poaching. With the support of the Chinese Wildlife Conservation Association, Chinese entrepreneurs donated $200,000 to the “African Elephant Conservation Fund.

“Operation Cobra” was executed by China jointly with the USA, South Africa and other organisations to fight the smuggling of endangered species in 22 African and Asian countries from January to February 2013.

 

A total of 6.5 tons of ivory, 26 rhino horns and other products were seized. China dispatched more than 10,000 law enforcement staff and seized more than 90 offenders. Through this action, China sent out a strong message that poachers will be severely punished for their crimes.

 

Fifth, China emphasises educating her citizens on wildlife conservation. Chinese visitors to Kenya automatically receive text messages from the Chinese Embassy in Kenya warning them not to engage in ivory products....

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