Video: China Ivory Crackdown Welcomed

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CHINA has destroyed more than six tonnes of illegal ivory, in a move welcomed as an important signal the country backs action to stop elephant poaching.

China has destroyed six tonnes of illegal ivory in a move to stop elephant poaching. Source: AAP

The ivory, which is sought-after in China for making ornaments, was seized from the illegal trade and has been crushed into powder by the Chinese government.

Conservationists say China is the world’s largest consumer of trafficked ivory, most of which comes from elephants killed in Africa, and the move sends a signal of the government’s commitment to tackling the problem.

Destruction of the ivory, from more than 600 dead elephants, comes just weeks after eight Chinese citizens were convicted and sentenced to between three and 15 years imprisonment for smuggling some 3.2 tonnes of ivory.

“The destruction of seized ivory makes an important public statement that, in conjunction with other government-led efforts to reduce demand, has the potential to have a significant impact on the illegal market for ivory,” said Tom Milliken, from Wildlife trade monitoring network Traffic.

Image comment: China will destroy ivory stockpile on January 6, 2014 Image credits: The Telegraph

“China’s actions, more than those of any other country, have the potential to reverse the rising trends of elephant poaching and illegal ivory trafficking.”

China has a legal ivory market based on stocks that pre-date a global ban on ivory trade imposed in 1989, and on stocks which were part of a legal “one-off” sale from four African countries in 2008, but the seized ivory cannot be be used for commercial purposes under international rules.

Gabon, the Philippines and the United States have all recently destroyed stockpiles of ivory 

Video & News Link:-http://www.weeklytimesnow.com.au/news/world/china-ivory-crackdown-welcomed/story-fnjbnxol-1226796201437

Score One For Pachyderms: Elephant Tramples Poacher To Death

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According to a report by Zimbabwe’s Sunday Mail, a poacher was trampled to death by the very elephant he was attempting to kill.“Now that’s what you call Karma; shame it doesn’t happen more often!”

The report said Magunje police found the remains of Solomon Manjoro fourteen days ago in Charara National Park, Gatshe-Gatshe, Kariba after a friend of his was arrested on allegations of possessing firearms illegally.

Manjoro was reportedly trampled by an elephant after he failed to shoot it during a hunting expedition. He, along with his 29-year-old friend Noluck Tafuruka, allegedly visited Charara National Park for the sole purpose of poaching between April 19 and 29.

Poachers kill elephants to collect ivory, which is sold on the black market and often smuggled into Asian countries to be used in ornaments and jewellery. Ivory sales were banned back in 1989 when poaching for the valuable substance halved the remaining number of African elephants in the 1980s.

Just recently, 26 elephants were massacred in the Dzanga Bai World Heritage Site in the Central African Republic. The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) said 17 individuals armed with Kalashnikov rifles entered an area locally known as the “village of elephants” with the intention to kill the large animals. This area reportedly hosts between 50 and 200 elephants each day. The WWF said that since the poachers arrived, no elephants have been seen in the area.

“The brutal violence we are witnessing in Dzanga Bai threatens to destroy one of the world´s great natural treasures, and to jeopardize the future of the people who live there,” said Jim Leape, WWF International Director General. “The Central African Republic must act immediately to secure this unique World Heritage site.”

He said the international community needs to step up to help assist the Central African Republic to restore peace in the area and safeguard the elephant population.

“WWF also asks Cameroon and the Republic of Congo to assist the Central African Republic in preserving this World Heritage Site, which not only encompasses the Bai, but also includes large neighbouring areas of these two countries,” Leape said. “The events in Dzanga Bai are a vivid reminder of the existential threat faced by forest elephants in Central Africa. Populations of this species have plummeted 62 per cent over the past ten years.”

report by the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) found that the elephant population in DRC has dropped by 37 percent in the last five years due to ivory poaching. The survey found that 75 percent of the reserve’s elephant population has been killed in the last 15 years.

News Link:-http://www.redorbit.com/news/science/1112844919/elephant-tramples-poacher-to-death-zimbabwe-051313/

How N.Y. can stop elephant slaughter

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These great beasts are being killed at an alarming rate. Here’s how to choke off the illegal ivory trade


This month has seen troubling headlines: A rising demand for elephant ivory in Asia and the introduction of global criminal networks into the illegal wildlife trade in Africa are pushing wild elephants ever closer to extinction. Eight out of 10 elephants today die as a result of poaching rather than from natural causes.

As the October cover story in National Geographic, “Blood Ivory” describes, more than 25,000 of these majestic, highly social, and intelligent animals are slaughtered annually — and thousands of those are being killed for use of their tusks in statuary and religious artifacts.

What do crimes in Africa and Asia have to do with the five boroughs? More than you might care to know.

This summer, a joint investigation by Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service led to the arrest of two jewelers selling illegally-obtained ivory. In the heart of midtown’s diamond district, Vance’s staff seized a wide variety of decorative ivory with a staggering combined retail value of more than $2 million .

Under New York State law, selling ivory is legal — but dealers must have a permit, and that permit can only be obtained by those who follow strict federal regulations that require ivory either to be proven antique or to pre-date the listing of the species as endangered (1976 for Asia, 1978 for Africa).

The international community has its own strict regulations — a complete ban on the world trade in ivory that began in 1989.

For a long time, these prohibitions saved thousands of elephants from slaughter. But in recent years, a rising middle class in China and elsewhere in Asia has increased consumer demand for ivory.

And now the situation on the ground has slipped out of control: 2011 was the worst year for elephant deaths since the global ivory ban was first imposed.

The numbers are bad, but that cannot compare to the carnage one sees firsthand in elephant range countries.

Field staff of the Wildlife Conservation Society working in Africa and Asia have followed the expanding elephant carcass count with increased alarm. It is gruesome, shocking and infuriating. Full-grown elephants are brutally cut down. Juveniles and babies, too.

They’ve seen how roads into forests built for industries like logging and mining are providing poachers access to wildlife. They worry that, with more Asian companies and nationals moving into Africa, the situation could only get worse for these elephants, whose tusks are coveted for use in carvings, inlays and ornamental objects.

Obviously, better protection on the ground from Central Africa to the Far East is crucial.

But an equally critical key to saving elephants’ lives is drying up demand for products made out of their tusks in places like Hong Kong and Manhattan.

We must not only catch ivory traders and confiscate their contraband; we must prosecute and punish them.

In 2011, a 35-year-old Chinese national was apprehended by Republic of Congo officials as he attempted to board a flight for Beijing. He was carrying five tusks, 80 ivory chopsticks, three ivory carvings and several other ivory items.

The smuggler was eventually sentenced to four years in prison, sending a clear message that Congo will not tolerate the illegal killing of wildlife.

But these kinds of sentences are, regrettably, all too rare.

If we want our children and grandchildren to share the planet with elephants, we must make the world far more dangerous for the poachers who are driving them toward oblivion.

News Link:http://www.nydailynews.com/opinion/n-y-stop-elephant-slaughter-article-1.1160102

Rare Gorillas Caught on Camera

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Published on 9 May 2012 by 

May 9, 2012 — A group of elusive Cross River gorillas — including a chest-beating silverback — were recently captured by a camera trap in Cameroon.

© 2012 National Geographic
Video courtesy Wildlife Conservation Society

Helping a Species That Leaves Few Feeling Warm and Fuzzy

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BELIZE CITY, Belize — Among conservation biologists, Rachel Graham is sometimes called the aquatic Jane Goodall: She has developed new information about the lives of her research subjects and, like the famous primatologist, she has successfully deployed science to create a constituency for their preservation.

But Dr. Graham’s subjects lack the all-but-human charms of Dr. Goodall’s chimps. As the director of the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Gulf and Caribbean Sharks and Rays Program, Dr. Graham must overcome deeply held fears and prejudices in her efforts to outlaw fishing of various shark species, including the whale shark, a playful and friendly creature that migrates to the western Caribbean every spring. That species of shark is now protected off the coasts of Belize and Mexico, and last May Dr. Graham received the 2011 Gold Award and about $100,000 from the Whitley Fund for Nature in England for her work on its behalf.

Rachel Graham studying whale sharks off Nosy Be, Madagascar

We spoke for three hours at a hotel here, then later by telephone. A condensed and edited version of the two conversations follows.

You are a citizen of Belize. Did you grow up here?

No. I spent a large part of my childhood in Tunisia, that little tinderbox that last spring sparked so many changes in the world. I’m very excited to be from there. My British mother and American father were international vagabonds who met while teaching in Sierra Leone. We were this migratory family.

Wherever we lived, I was always bringing home creatures — lizards, snakes, scorpions. Perhaps because I was this blue-eyed tomboy in places where no one else was that, I identified with marginalized animal species. My mother tells the story of my coming home from school, complaining: “It’s so boring there. Nobody wants to talk about piranhas or sharks!”

To read more click here:- Rachel Graham Shark women

Jail Time for Thailand’s “Cell Phone” Tiger Poachers – Wildlife Conservation Society

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Jail Time for Thailand’s “Cell Phone” Tiger Poachers - Wildlife Conservation Society

The evidence for their crime was grim: Two poachers posed proudly over a dead tiger, shotguns in hand. The photo was found on one of the men’s cell phones last summer, damning proof that eventually led to their conviction.

Now, Thailand is hoping to send a new warning to the criminal gangs that continue to pursue the world’s last wild tigers. Thai authorities have sentenced the two poachers, who were arrested in July, to prison.

The sentence was handed down after a lengthy trial. One poacher, a Thai Hmong will serve five years in jail, while the second, a Vietnamese citizen, will serve four. These are the most severe punishments for wildlife poaching ever handed down in Thailand.

The tiger killed last summer was an animal being tracked by WCS conservationists in Thailand’s Western Forest Complex. Researchers were able to confirm its identity by examining the stripe pattern depicted in the cellphone photo—a visual thumbprint unique to each tiger. The poachers had alleged the tiger was shot in neighboring Myanmar, but the matched stripe pattern proved otherwise.

The sentences are the latest achievement of an ongoing operation known as the SMART patrol, a systematic, evidence-based adaptive management program designed to increase monitoring and enforcement in areas important to conservation.

“The jail sentences show that Thailand is serious about stopping poaching of its wildlife,” said Joe Walston, WCS Executive Director for Asia Programs. “WCS commends the dedicated park guards and enforcement personnel who made this conviction a reality.”

Thailand serves as a training ground for guards from other Asian countries seeking to protect their own resources. WCS collaborates with the Thai government in the training of enforcement staff from China, Nepal, India, Myanmar, Bhutan, Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia, and Indonesia.

Last December, WCS released incredible camera trap video footage of a rich gallery of wildlife from the forests of Thailand confirming that anti-poaching efforts are paying off.

WCS work in Thailand is supported by the Multinational Species Conservation Funds of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the U.S. Department of State, Liz Claiborne and Art Ortenberg Foundation, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation‘s Save the Tiger Fund, Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund, The Cattail Fund, and other private donors.

via Jail Time for Thailand’s “Cell Phone” Tiger Poachers – Wildlife Conservation Society.

Tiger poached in Jharan forest – Times Of India

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CHANDRAPUR: A suspected case of tiger poaching was discovered in compartment No. 121 of Jharan range under FDCM north Chandrapur.

Foresters on Monday evening found a partially decomposed carcass of a full grown tiger with several of its body parts including nails and teeth missing. The carcass is around 48 hours old. Forest officers suspect electrocution as cause of death.

via Tiger poached in Jharan forest – Times Of India.

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