Tag archives for Africa
During the dry winter months, thousands of elephants roam the vast Kalahari savannah in search of water. The largest of earth’s land animals have been known to walk hundreds of kilometres across the dry plains to quench their thirst at waterholes that are often few and far between. Named after a local Nhanzwa chief, Hwange…
Herding cattle as though they are part of giant migrating herds could be the key to restoring Earth’s dying grasslands, and trapping the carbon that’s steadily warming the planet.
Ancient urine of a rabbit-like critter is revealing how Earth’s climate changed thousands of years ago.
Sunday is opening day for the two-week-long 16th meeting, in Bangkok, Thailand, of the world’s leading body for regulating the world’s wildlife—the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna (CITES). How will the gathering decide on the issue of legalizing the sale of ivory?
Most experts believe China is the world’s leading consumer of ivory products, and, according to a recent survey conducted to support our upcoming National Geographic Special, Battle for the Elephants, China’s demand for ivory products is at an all-time high. According to the poll, 84 percent of Chinese middle and upper-middle class consumers surveyed plan to buy ivory goods in the future. That represents a very large number and a very grim future for elephants.
The population size and geographical range of the cheetah have declined dramatically during the past 50 years . During a survey of warthogs in Northern Kenya, National Geographic grantees, Yvonne de Jong and Tom Butynski, came eye to eye with this large charismatic cat in the Chalbi Desert, 65 km north of their known current range.
“I take every chance to share my campaign and the difficulties elephants are facing,” says Celia Ho, a 14-year-old student from Hong Kong who launched a campaign to stop ivory consumption after reading Bryan Christy’s “Blood Ivory” article in National Geographic. Her young voice represents a new hope for elephants that is increasing throughout Asia, while her story illustrates how one person can make a difference.
Panama-based Christian Ziegler specializes in nature photography. His exclusive photos of bonobos appear in the March 2013 issue of National Geographic, illustrating “The Left Bank Ape”, written by David Quammen. In this blog post for News Watch, Ziegler portrays Lola ya Bonobo, a sanctuary for bonobos orphaned by hunters who took their mothers for bushmeat. Here in the grounds of a former country club on the edge of Kinshasa, human “mamas” act as surrogate mothers for baby bonobos, giving them the love and stimulation essential for them to survive.
What can the rock hyrax – or, more specifically, the rock hyrax’s pee – tell us about climate change? More than you might think.
Why would members of remote tribal communities, heads of state, Nobel Laureates, local activists, scientists, artists, and people like you plan to travel to Salamanca Spain? The l0th World Wilderness Congress will convene there on October 4 involving a great diversity of people, professions and activists who understand the importance of wild nature to…
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.…
Gabon’s Minkebe National Park, once home to Africa’s largest forest elephant population, has lost 11,100 elephants to the illegal ivory trade in recent years, the Wildlife Conservation Society says. If we can find hundreds of millions of dollars to fight terrorism in Mali, we should be able to find the resources to combat this last big push by poachers, which may well be the final blow to a species that has just about gone extinct in the majority of countries where it once ranged.
See pictures of a rare pygmy chameleon spotted recently in Gorongosa National Park, Mozambique.
Poachers are capitalizing on the disarray in the Central African Republic (CAR) and appear to be moving freely in a search of elephants. Late last year several columns of Sudanese poachers, up to 200 well-armed men, were spotted traveling across northern CAR toward Chad and Cameroon. Reports last week indicate that these poachers are moving back-and-forth between CAR and Chad.
I was in the Congo a few months before this tragedy in association with The Frankfort Zoological Society which was awarded a $3.42 million grant from the European Union. We were tasked with writing a Master Plan for the recovery of The Kundelungu and Upemba National Parks devastated by war and corruption. Upemba, where Atamato…
Shifra Goldenberg, a Colorado State University student researching the effects of poaching and other disruption on the social structure and survival of young female elephants, shares memories and thoughts of the recent poaching of a young elephant in a wildlife conservation reserve in Kenya. The bull, known to the research community as Phylo, was found with his face hacked off and ivory stolen by gunmen who came for him under the light of the full moon.
The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), along with a coalition of wildlife groups, has petitioned to list the African lion ((Panthera leo leo) under the U.S. Endangered Species Act (ESA). Listing the species as Endangered would prohibit lion trophy importation into the U.S., an essential step to reversing the current decline of the population, according to IFAW. The African lion is the only big cat not protected under the ESA.
More elephants were slaughtered for their ivory in Kenya this weekend, including 20-year-old Phylo, an elephant known to wildlife conservationists.
Dear friends of Changila, I am deeply moved by all your letters, which I have read over and over again. Thank you. [You may read and add to the letters to Oria at the foot of her blog post Saluting Changila.] I share your feelings of rage and sadness. It will be a long battle to…
“We are absolutely convinced that the massacre of elephant is a very serious matter,” writes Father Federico Lombardi, director of the Vatican press office, in a response today to our correspondence about the use of elephant ivory for devotional icons by some Catholic followers.
As Father Lombardi points out, it was emails from readers of A Voice for Elephants blog to his office that encouraged him to write this letter. Please continue the conversation by commenting here and also, if you wish, by writing directly to his office.
The religious use of ivory is among the least publicized and seemingly most easily correctable drivers of the massive elephant slaughter now taking place across Africa. Does the Vatican consider the use of ivory religious carvings and ecclesiastical gifts to be morally wrong or at odds with Church doctrine? There has been no response to several requests National Geographic made to the Vatican to clarify the Church’s position.
The large number of mature and experienced African elephants being killed illegally for their ivory is exposing younger surviving elephants to a higher risk of mortality from predation and other risks, wildlife conservationists said today.
On January 3 Oria Douglas-Hamilton flew in tribute over the mutilated remains of an elephant named Changila, slaughtered outside Kenya’s Samburu National Park. He was killed the day after her 80th birthday. She pays tribute to the elephant and mourns the loss of another victim of the illegal ivory trade.
Right now, the subject of ivory trading is on everyone’s lips: to trade or not to trade? There’s also a lot of talk about reducing demand by targeting consumers with awareness campaigns. But no one talks about targeting the individuals, governments, and vested interests that stimulate the trade.
In South Sudan, epic wrestling matches between rival tribes are a path to post-war reconciliation.