Tag archives for wildlife trafficking
Swiss-born journalist and wildlife activist Karl Ammann has been investigating the illegal trade in wildlife products in Africa and Southeast Asia for 30 years. In this blog post, he discusses what he documented with hidden cameras while investigating the booming Asian trade in tiger parts. Ammann’s findings were aired on Spiegel Television in Germany and…
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The mystery of the origin and whereabouts of ten gorillas supposedly exported legally from Africa to China in recent years continues to mystify wildlife monitors. Why is CITES, the international treaty set up to protect endangered species from commercial exploitation, not responding to the situation?
The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) is an international agreement supported by 180 governments. Its aim is to ensure that international trade in wild animals and plants does not threaten the survival of endangered species. But is it doing the job? Karl Ammann asks some tough questions based on his observations of clear violations of the agreement.
Indonesia’s top Muslim clerical body has issued a fatwa, or edict, against illegal wildlife trafficking.
On Tuesday the Obama Administration announced a national strategy on wildlife trafficking, including new restrictions on the ivory trade designed to create “a near complete ban” on the commercial sale of African elephant ivory in the U.S.
Wildlife trafficking crimes often go undetected and unchallenged, even though they threaten many endangered species, including elephants, rhinos, and pangolins.
In a week of wildlife conservation announcements coming out of New York, including CGI’s commitment to spend $80 million fighting elephant poaching, and the merge between Rare and The Nature Conservancy, the nonprofit organization African Parks (AP) added its news to the mix: African Parks is partnering with the government of Chad to launch the first national program to combat elephant poaching in central Africa.
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.”
Relentless poaching is threatening to claim more rhinos in South Africa this year than ever before. But there is hope that a comprehensive strategy to fight the criminals could start reversing the sickening trend.
When the Philippines destroyed its five-ton stockpile of seized elephant tusks on June 21, it marked not only the first time an ivory-consuming nation took such a public action but also the first time a country took key steps to guarantee that it could not re-enter the black market.
Former Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy Tara D. Sonenshine writes that in the end the war on poaching will be won through changing hearts and minds.
With illegal ivory trade at its highest level in almost two decades, and large-scale ivory seizures more than doubling since 2009, a new commitment to submit ivory shipments for DNA testing is a welcome development. “The single most important thing we can do is figure out where the killings are taking place,” says Samuel Wasser, Director of the Center for Conservation Biology at the University of Washington. Wasser and his team innovated techniques for extracting and analyzing DNA from ivory. The team also developed a DNA map for African elephants that allows the geographic origin of a tusk to be ascertained within a 160-mile radius.
The growing incursion of rhino poachers from Mozambique into South Africa’s flagship Kruger National Park is beginning to strain relations between the two countries. South African security operatives trying to stem the relentless killing of the enigmatic animals speak of it as a “border war”. They are getting increasingly fed-up with Mozambique’s security agencies for not doing more to clamp down on the poachers and the rhino-horn smugglers on their side of the boundary.
Wildlife conservationist Paula Kahumbu writes that Kenya stands at the crossroads of turning things around for elephants. The authorities need to recognize that poaching and ivory trafficking are serious crimes and immediately elevate penalties for wildlife crimes.