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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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Law Enforcement Learns New Ways to Outwit Wildlife Traffickers

Law Enforcement Learns New Ways to Outwit Wildlife Traffickers | Wildlife Trafficking: Who Does it? Allows it? | Scoop.it

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http://iipdigital.usembassy.gov/st/english/inbrief/2012/10/20121003137027.html#axzz28TXW8rub ;

 

Illegal wildlife trade is a multibillion-dollar criminal enterprise that has a devastating impact on endangered animal populations.

 

According to the World Wildlife Fund, an estimated 23 metric tons of illegal ivory were seized in 2011. That represents the slaughter of 2,500 elephants. Rhino poaching averaged nearly one per day in 2010 in South Africa alone. Poaching threatens the estimated 3,200 tigers that remain in the wild.


The International Law Enforcement Academy (ILEA) is helping law enforcement to fight back. More than 30 law enforcement officers from Asia, Africa and the United States recently gathered at the ILEA in Bangkok to share new information and technology for better cross-border investigations into poaching gangs, wildlife traffickers and black-market dealers.


The ILEA in Bangkok, one of five around the world, is administered by the U.S. Department of State in cooperation with the government of Thailand. Its mission is to provide high-quality training to law enforcement and foster strong partnerships among countries in the fight against crime.

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Wildlife Trade News - Maritime Police foil bid to smuggle Philippine Forest Turtles out of Palawan

Wildlife Trade News - Maritime Police foil bid to smuggle Philippine Forest Turtles out of Palawan | Wildlife Trafficking: Who Does it? Allows it? | Scoop.it
27 Philippine Forest Turtles were recovered on Palawan, thanks to action by the Regional Maritime ...

 

Palawan, Philippines, October 2012—Regional Maritime Police have rescued 27 Philippine Forest Turtles stuffed in a bag and abandoned on a pier on Palawan, just two months after another smuggler was jailed for trafficking in this Critically Endangered species.

 

Acting on a tip off, two officers of the Philippine National Police Regional Maritime Unit 4B searched and recovered an abandoned bag at Liminancong Pier, on northwest Palawan last week....

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2 NV brothers guilty of poaching pregnant deer

2 NV brothers guilty of poaching pregnant deer Nevada Department of Wildlife Game Warden Rob Buonamici says the mule deer was pregnant with twins when Gonzalo Cossio and Jesus Cossio-Pitones illegally shot the animal near Holbrook Junction in March.
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Sec. Clinton Plans to Include Wildlife Trafficking on East Asia Summit Agenda :: ANNAMITICUS

Sec. Clinton Plans to Include Wildlife Trafficking on East Asia Summit Agenda :: ANNAMITICUS | Wildlife Trafficking: Who Does it? Allows it? | Scoop.it
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton plans to "elevate" the issue of wildlife trafficking at the upcoming East Asia Summit (EAS) in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
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Leonardo DiCaprio Kicks Off IFAW's Animal Action Week

TORONTO, ONTARIO, Oct 01, 2012 (MARKETWIRE via COMTEX) -- Actor and activist Leonardo DiCaprio joined IFAW (International Fund for Animal Welfare - www.ifaw.org ) today in calling for the world community to step up efforts to save elephants from poaching and the illegal ivory trade, which have escalated dramatically in recent years

 

"In 2011 an unprecedented 24.3 tons of ivory was seized by government authorities worldwide, the largest amount recorded since the 1989 ivory ban. Tragically this trend is continuing in 2012," said DiCaprio, an IFAW Honorary Board member. "Widespread poaching is being recorded throughout Africa, even in areas in southern Africa that were previously considered safe for elephants."...

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SMART: A SPATIAL MONITORING AND REPORTING TOOL

SMART: A SPATIAL MONITORING AND REPORTING TOOL | Wildlife Trafficking: Who Does it? Allows it? | Scoop.it

VIDEO: CONSERVATION PROBLEM
Wild tigers are in a critical state with less than 3,500 individuals remaining, of which only around 1,000 are thought to be breeding females. Breeding populations are scattered across a number of small areas and are at risk of further decline due to unsustainable hunting of the prey base and direct poaching to satisfy an illegal market for skins, bones and other body parts.

 

Current conservation strategy must adapt fast to change the status quo and improve enforcement effectiveness in protecting and recovering these breeding populations. Monitoring tools, supported by robust capacity-building initiatives, and designed to help law enforcement agencies empower their staff, boost motivation, increase efficiency, improve effectiveness and promote transparency are a central part of this strategy.

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Wildlife-Trafficking Bust Highlights: More than 8,700 animals seized

Wildlife-Trafficking Bust Highlights: More than 8,700 animals seized | Wildlife Trafficking: Who Does it? Allows it? | Scoop.it
Wildlife-Trafficking Bust Highlights Problems in Caged Bird Trade by Abby McBride Environmental crime officials cracked down on wildlife trafficking between Latin America and Europe this summer,...

 

Environmental crime officials cracked down on wildlife trafficking between Latin America and Europe this summer, seizing more than 8,700 contraband animals in an Interpol bust dubbed Operation Cage. Authorities arrested nearly 4,000 people during raids on coastal ports, airports, post offices, markets, pet stores, and taxidermists in 32 countries. The sting focused on South and Central American birds, but it also uncovered illegally traded mammals, reptiles, fish, and insects—along with guns, ammunition, trapping equipment, and animal products such as elephant ivory....

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Hundreds of antlers seized in big-game trafficking bust southeast of Edmonton

Hundreds of antlers seized in big-game trafficking bust southeast of Edmonton | Wildlife Trafficking: Who Does it? Allows it? | Scoop.it
An east-central Alberta man and his business are facing charges after a four-month undercover investigation into illegal big-game trafficking led to the discovery of 500 sets of deer antlers and other antlers from moose, elk and caribou.
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Taking aim: Game Commission now has the tools to fight back against poachers

Taking aim: Game Commission now has the tools to fight back against poachers | Wildlife Trafficking: Who Does it? Allows it? | Scoop.it

Two years after a new, stiffer poaching law took effect, it is showing an impact as a deterrent and as a better way of punishing people who needlessly kill our state’s wild animals.


The latest case in point is the arrest of individuals from Cumberland County with illegally selling bear gallbladders, bear paws and a porcupine. The poached animal parts are in demand because they can sell for thousands of dollars in some countries.

 

Before the law was put into place, those charged in the case would have faced a summary offense, much like a traffic ticket, and a $500 fine for each of the gallbladders...

 

But because of the new law, they face jail time and fines of $3,000 for each gallbladder....

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Africa’s religious leaders hope to save wildlife from an escalating poaching crisis

Africa’s religious leaders hope to save wildlife from an escalating poaching crisis | Wildlife Trafficking: Who Does it? Allows it? | Scoop.it
NAIROBI, Kenya — Standing before a pile of charred elephant ivory as dusk covered the surrounding savannah, Christian, Muslim and Hindu religious leaders grasped hands and prayed. Let religion, they asked, help “God’s creatures” to survive.
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Berg & Bush mountain bike race supports World Rhino Day

The FedGroup Berg & Bush mountain bike race through KwaZulu-Natal is joining forces with Spioenkop Game Reserve to protect its 28 white rhino in celebration of World Rhino Day on Saturday.
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Tacoma man pleads not guilty to selling illegal wild animal meat

A 45-year-old Tacoma man has pleaded not guilty to charges that he illegally sold wild animal meat to undercover federal agents.
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After 60 years African big cat Cheetah to be reintroduced in India

Cheetah, fastest land animal that extinct from India, might be visible soon in the country again....

 

The, Cheetah is the only carnivore that was extinct in independent India. It's been almost 60 years since its extinction was reported.

 

WII and WTI took up challenges for reintroduction of Cheetah in the country in March 2011. In a comprehensive study that will end in March 2013; both parties jointly surveyed several landscapes for its reintroduction....

 

Cheetah reintroduction also suffered opposition as National Board for Wildlife (NBWL) didn't approved the project claiming that the specie is exotic and might face environmental impacts post reintroduction.

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New Anti-Snare Collar Saves Wild African Painted Dogs in South Africa

A new anti-snare collar designed by conservation volunteer group Wildlife ACT has saved the lives of three endangered African Painted dogs in South Africa.
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Poaching threatens Africa elephants and tourism

Poaching threatens Africa elephants and tourism | Wildlife Trafficking: Who Does it? Allows it? | Scoop.it

TANZANIA (eTN) - Making a visit in Tanzanian wildlife parks, elephants make one out of five attractions tourists would like to watch, as a herd of jumbos stride elegantly with their calves between them...

 

 The growing demand for ivory in China and other Far Eastern countries has been identified to decimate African jumbos with negative impacts on tourism development on this continent counted to be the number one tourist destination in this century.

 

China and Vietnam are the two South Asian states accused of pushing for illegal ivory trade with corrupt elements and lawless countries in Africa, doomed with poverty and wars....

 

http://www.eturbonews.com/31557/poaching-threatens-africa-elephants-and-tourism ;

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allAfrica.com: Namibia: Plight of Illegally Traded Birds Highlighted At Windhoek Show

THE African Grey parrot is at risk of going extinct because of the scourge of illegal trapping and trading of the species, the Avicultural Association of Namibia (AAN) has warned. AAN, a self-policing voluntary group of bird breeders, is exhibiting at the Windhoek Agricultural and Industrial Show this week to enlighten people about the dangers of illegal bird trade and is assisted by the Namibia Animal Rehabilitation Research and Education Centre (Narrec) in its campaign to raise public awareness.
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Elephant Guards Murdered in Chad

Elephant Guards Murdered in Chad | Wildlife Trafficking: Who Does it? Allows it? | Scoop.it
Zakaria Ibrahim, Brahim Khamis, Daoud Aldjouma, Djibrine Adoum Goudja, and Idriss Adoum—all dead, gunned down during dawn prayers. Where? North of Zakouma National Park in Chad, central Africa. When? September 3, 2012.
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Organized Crime Trade Worth over US$30 Billion Responsible for up to 90% of Tropical Deforestation - UNEP

Organized Crime Trade Worth over US$30 Billion Responsible for up to 90% of Tropical Deforestation - UNEP | Wildlife Trafficking: Who Does it? Allows it? | Scoop.it
Report Spotlights Almost 30 Ways of Procuring and Laundering Illegal Timber Compromising Security, Climate Mitigation and Sustainable Development Efforts...

 

Rome, 27 September 2012 - Between 50 to 90 per cent of logging in key tropical countries of the Amazon basin, Central Africa and South East Asia is being carried out by organized crime threatening efforts to combat climate change, deforestation, conserve wildlife and eradicate poverty.

 

Globally, illegal logging now accounts for between 15 and 30 per cent of the overall trade, according to a new report from the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and INTERPOL....

 

Much of the laundering is made possible by large flows of investment funds based in the EU, US and Asia into companies involved in the crime, including in establishing plantation operations with the sole purpose of laundering illegally cut timber.

 

In many cases, corrupt officials, local military and police emerge with revenues up to ten times that available through available legal pursuits. This seriously undermines much needed investments in sustainable forest operations and alternative livelihood incentives....

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Four leopards a week being killed in India for skin

Four leopards a week being killed in India for skin | Wildlife Trafficking: Who Does it? Allows it? | Scoop.it

At least 2,300 leopards were killed and then their body parts trafficked between 2001 and 2010, the study estimates....

 

While India has struggled to protect its declining tiger population, its leopards have been getting even less protection, or attention for that matter. A study released Friday recognized that flaw, estimating that at least four leopards are being killed each week, double the official reports, with their skins then smuggled to parts of Asia.


"Even though reports of illegal trade in leopard body parts are disturbingly frequent, the level of threat to leopards in the country has previously been unrecognized, and has fallen into our collective 'blind spot'," study co-author Rashid Raza, the India coordinator for the TRAFFIC wildlife trade monitoring network...

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UN recognizes wildlife crime as threat to rule of law

UN recognizes wildlife crime as threat to rule of law | Wildlife Trafficking: Who Does it? Allows it? | Scoop.it
World leaders gathering in New York for the global body’s 67th annual meeting highlighted wildlife trafficking along with other severe threats to the rule of law such as corruption and drug running.
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Alleged organ traffickers held in Cameroon

Yaounde, Cameroon - Cameroon has arrested five nationals suspected of trafficking in human and animal organs, a local wildlife organisation told AFP on Monday.

 

“Three youths were arrested on Saturday morning in (the southern town of) Djoum after hiding human organs and elephant parts in a bag on their motor bike,” Eric Kaba Tah, spokesperson for The Last Great Ape Organisation Cameroon (Laga), told AFP.

 

“Among the human remains there was a skull with hair,” he added.

The trio, who were arrested while travelling in the south of the country, gave the names of two accomplices when interrogated by the police, and these two suspects were arrested on Sunday with help from Laga, the group said.

 

The investigation, which is still in its early stages, has already shown that the human organs and the elephant parts were to be handed over to “somebody very important in Yaounde”, the country's capital.

 

“Trafficking in animal species is always linked to other organised crimes but this is the first time that we see a link to human organ trafficking,” said Laga director Ofir Drori.

 

Mixing elephant meat and human body parts was “shocking”, he added.

 

In Central Africa, body parts are sometimes used in ceremonies where they are supposed to give special powers and bring success to their new owner.

 

They often come from dug-up bodies after funerals, but they are also known to come from people killed for such ceremonies.

 

Laga is the first wildlife law enforcement non-governmental organisation in Africa and works in close co-operation with governments, according to its website. - Sapa-AFP

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Endangered Gorillas Struggle To Survive Amid Growing Threats

Endangered Gorillas Struggle To Survive Amid Growing Threats | Wildlife Trafficking: Who Does it? Allows it? | Scoop.it
KINSHASA, Congo -- The plight of two infant gorillas, rescued after being kidnapped from their wild families, highlights the dangers confronting the endangered Grauer's gorillas that have become victims of ongoing violence and a new rebellion in eastern Congo.

A decision to allow oil exploration in a national park there may put the gorillas at greater risk.

 

Virunga National Park said Monday that wildlife authorities rescued two baby gorillas in the space of a week this month....

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Ethiopia: Rescuing Endangered Wildlife Calls for Urgency

Ethiopia: Rescuing Endangered Wildlife Calls for Urgency | Wildlife Trafficking: Who Does it? Allows it? | Scoop.it
Ethiopia is a country endowed with precious, endemic wildlife, tremendous and marvelous natural resources, cascades, a range of tangible and intangible assets, among others.

 

Owing to its geographical variation, the country is being home to different types of fauna and flora. This means that Ethiopia is also rich in many unique plants and wild animals. Cognizant of the fact that the country does possess such a tremendous wildlife resource, it has become one of the members of the nations issued the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) since 1993....

 

James Isiche, Eastern Africa Regional Director for the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) in an exclusive interview with The Ethiopian Herald said that there have been numerous large seizures of illegal wildlife products originating from our borders.

 

Even they are transported from many parts of the continent to other areas. "Over the last one and half year, IFAW has noted that the criminal gangs involved in wildlife trafficking have become more brazen and have started using routes such as seaports and airports in Kenya and Tanzania that were no-go zones in the past,with the contraband mainly destined for Asia," he added.

He also said that law enforcement areas have a great contribution in the fight against these illegal poachers even if the operations are delicate and complicated. "They are increasingly becoming life threatening. And they can also be very frustrating.

 

Tragically, African countries operate either as sources of illegal wildlife and it's products or act as routes or conduits for the illegal trade. In some cases, they become both. The criminal gangs involved in this crime are well organized and use sophisticated smuggling methods....

 

"Yes, we have to work hard to facilitate conditions to move the community in harmony. Surprisingly, most of these poachers are from the local community. Sometimes they can supply the local community with money more than that of the federal institutions because they gain great deal of money through this illegal trade."...

 

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Dying for Ivory

Dying for Ivory | Wildlife Trafficking: Who Does it? Allows it? | Scoop.it
Demand for ivory is fueling a war in which elephants and poachers are being slaughtered in growing numbers.

 

The latest casualty figures in the ancient war of man versus beast in Africa are in, and they look bad for both sides.

 

At least 25,000 elephants may have been slaughtered in Africa in 2011 — more than in any year since reporting began in 2002 — according to Kenneth Burnham, the statistician for Monitoring the Illegal Killing of Elephants, an intergovernmental research agency.

Hundreds of humans have also died as a result of the elephant slaughter — not just from scattered maulings or tramplings, but from bullets fired by other humans fighting on the animals’ behalf....

 

...curbing the demand for ivory is, in the end, the only way to curb both elephant and human deaths.

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Nat Geo: What we're really up against in saving our planet's wildlife

Nat Geo: What we're really up against in saving our planet's wildlife | Wildlife Trafficking: Who Does it? Allows it? | Scoop.it
Thousands of elephants die each year so that their tusks can be carved into religious objects. Can the slaughter be stopped?

 

IN JANUARY 2012 A HUNDRED RAIDERS ON HORSEBACK CHARGED OUT OF CHAD INTO CAMEROON’S BOUBA NDJIDAH NATIONAL PARK, SLAUGHTERING HUNDREDS OF ELEPHANTS—entire families—in one of the worst concentrated killings since a global ivory trade ban was adopted in 1989....

 

THE PHILIPPINES CONNECTION
In an overfilled church Monsignor Cristobal Garcia, one of the best known ivory collectors in the Philippines, leads an unusual rite honoring the nation’s most important religious icon, the Santo Niño de Cebu (Holy Child of Cebu). The ceremony, which he conducts annually on Cebu...

 

THE CATHOLIC-MUSLIM UNDERGROUND
“Ivory, ivory, ivory,” says the saleswoman at the Savelli Gallery on St. Peter’s Square in Vatican City. “You didn’t expect so much. I can see it in your face.” The Vatican has recently demonstrated a commitment to confronting transnational criminal problems, signing agreements on drug trafficking, terrorism, and organized crime....

 

HOW TO SMUGGLE IVORY
I had no illusions of linking Monsignor Garcia to any illegal activity, but when I told him I wanted an ivory Santo Niño, the man surprised me. “You will have to smuggle it to get it into the U.S.”

“How?”

“Wrap it in old, stinky underwear and pour ketchup on it,” he said. “So it looks shitty with blood. This is how it is done.”....

 

THE ELEPHANT MONK
The ivory carvers in Phayuha Khiri and Surin are the most famous in Thailand and the targets of most investigations there into the illegal ivory trade. Phayuha Khiri is so dedicated to ivory that in the town center, where one might expect to see a fountain, there’s a circle of four great white tusks.....

 

CHINA’S IVORY FACTORIES
Inside the Beijing Ivory Carving Factory it smells and sounds like what it essentially is: a vast dentist’s office. The whir of electric drills on tusks fills the air. Ivory dust lies heavy on windowpanes and doorframes and even coats my teeth as I make my way among men and women bent over images that repeat the religious and mythological motifs...

 

THE JAPAN EXPERIMENT
In 1989, after ten years during which at least one elephant died every ten minutes, President George H. W. Bush unilaterally banned ivory imports, Kenya burned its 13 tons of ivory stocks, and CITES announced the global ivory ban, which began in 1990. Not all countries agreed to the ban....

 

DEVILS LURK IN DETAILS
Meng Xianlin is executive director general of China’s CITES management authority, making him China’s top wildlife-trade official. He attended the 2008 ivory auctions in southern Africa...

 

In March CITES will meet again to discuss the future of the African elephant.

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