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Richard Ruggiero

Richard Ruggiero is the Chief of the Branch of the Near East, South Asia and Africa, in the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service’s Division of International Conservation. He arrived in Africa in 1981 as a Peace Corps volunteer in the Central African Republic. During his almost two decades on the ground, Richard also worked in Kenya, Zimbabwe, the Republic of Congo and Gabon. Although elephants are still the centerpiece of his work, he also focuses on protected area management, helping to build the capacity and collaboration of African conservationists, and addressing the threat posed by illegal international wildlife trade.

The opinions expressed in Richard Ruggiero's blog are his own and not necessarily those of either the USFWS or the National Geographic Society.

Why Elephants Matter

Richard Ruggiero, J. Michael Fay, and Lee White write that wildlife trafficking will receive overdue world attention this week at the United Nations General Assembly and by the Clinton Global Initiative and other elite platforms. “The ongoing slaughter of African elephants will be in particular focus, as African states and their partners seek to craft consensus on how best to save the largest land mammal from extinction.”

Minkebe: A Tragedy Revealed and a Lesson to be Learned

Readers of this blog and other news related to the calamitous trends in the large-scale poaching of African elephants have another word to add to the vocabulary of crimes against nature: Minkebe. I did not share the shock that the news release from the Office of the President Ali Bongo Ondimba brought to most readers.…