Wednesday, 11 April 2018

Poaching on the increase in Botswana

According to a report from the Department of Wildlife and National Parks, in 2017/18, 62 elephants were killed compared to 42 in 2016/17. Similarly, there has been an increase in trafficking of elephant tusks as evident that 109 tusks have been trafficked in 2017/2018 (as of end of February) compared to 48 in 2016/2017.

The report also indicates that the Kgalagadi, Gantsi (Central Kalahari Game Reserve in particular), Ngamiland, Central and Chobe Districts are highly affected by poaching due to the fact that most species are concentrated in these areas, especially elephants and predators. Elephants are mostly poached in the Linyanti and Shaile areas along the Namibian Border.

Most poached animals are elephants for the ivory trading, antelopes for consumption.

Wednesday, 28 March 2018

Grace Mugabe investigated for ivory smuggling

The former first lady of Zimbabwe, Grace Mugabe, is suspected by wildlife officials to have smuggled ivory worth millions of dollars.

Mrs Mugabe faced accusations on Sunday that she had taken ivory from the country's stockpiles during her time as first lady and illegally sent pieces as gifts to high-profile individuals in the Middle East and Asia.

According to the Sunday Mail newspaper report, Grace Mugabe also demanded that officials grant her a permit to export millions of dollars worth of ivory to leaders to various countries, despite Zimbabwe imposing a general ban on ivory trading.

"Once outside Zimbabwe, the 'gifts' would be pooled together with other consignments of the product and routed to black markets," it said.

Zimbabwe has also suffered from serious poaching in recent years. Around 400 elephants died of cyanide poisoning in Hwange, Zimbabwe's biggest national park, between 2013 and 2015. Cyanide is easily obtained because of its use in the mining industry, and the poisonings continue. Often a waterhole is poisoned, which indiscriminately kills everythnig that drinks there. Sometimes fruits such as watermelons are laced and then when large game such as elephants eat them they die.

A serious knock on effect is that hundreds of vultures are often killed when they feed on a carcass.

Monday, 12 March 2018

Over 100 Vultures Poisoned in Mozambique


A 62-year-old poacher has been arrested in the district of Moamba in Southern Mozambique for deliberately poisoning at least 104 vultures thought to be an endangered species. Found in possession of two elephant tusks and a flask of the poison, Nelson Machel confessed to poisoning the vultures, but denied killing the three elephants found at Mbashene.

Several species of vultures were killed. According to the National Administration of Conservation Areas (ANAC), 80 were white-backed vultures (Gyps Africanus) and 17 were hooded vultures (Necrosyrtes monachus), both of which are endangered


white-backed vulture
 

Friday, 9 March 2018

Major seizure of Pangolin scales in Hong Kong

Hong Kong Customs on Wednesday (March 7) seized about 2,800 kilograms of suspected pangolin scales with an estimated market value of about $3.3 million from a container at the Tsing Yi Cargo Examination Compound.

Through risk assessment, customs officers inspected a 40-foot container declared to contain metal scraps arriving in Hong Kong from Nigeria. Upon inspection, Customs officers found the suspected pangolin scales in the container.

Thursday, 1 March 2018

Ivory poachers arrested near the Okavango Delta in Botswana

Three Zambian nationals together with two Batswana young men were last weekend arrested by police acting on a tip-off for alleged unlawful possession of elephant tusks near Tsau village.

The suspects, 41-year-old Samson Chaima of Livingstone, 24-year-old Stephen Mukwemba of Lusaka and 37-year-old Cletus Kamwale of Livingstone and locals 23-year-old Onthusitse Mothusiemang and 18-year-old Kelebogile Tonkole both from Nokaneng village have since been remanded in custody.

The accused persons who were on Tuesday arraigned before the Maun Magistrate’s Court are alleged to have been found with 11 elephant tusks at Setata Veterinary gate.

The tusks were reportedly retrieved from a Mitsubishi vehicle they were traveling in from Gumare towards Sehitwa.

Inevitable that poaching cases in Botswana and Southern Africa will escalate as East Africa's herds are depleted. Bushmeat poaching is also on the increase.

Monday, 15 January 2018

Grace Mugabe investigated for ivory and rhino horn poaching

Investigations into illicit and illegal activities led and directed by the former first lady of the country Grace Mugabe have intensified.

Investigations into Mrs Mugabe now include ivory and rhino horn poaching.

Documents are said to implicate her and some close associates, at least one of whom is Chinese, in involvment in a poaching network responsible for the cyanide poisoning of hundreds of elephants in Zimbabwe.

Tusks are also said to have disappeared from ivory stockpiles in the country.

The new government in Zimbabwe has taken a much more committed approach to conservation and vowed to arrest any persons involved in poaching ‘regardless of who they are, or who they know’.


I hope the  truth comes out, and we don't end up with a cover up

Friday, 12 January 2018

Hong Kong Government advisor on protection of endangered species in possession of illegal ivory

A Hong Kong ivory trader fined this week for illegal possession of ivory resigned on Wednesday from a government advisory panel to protect endangered species, a potentially embarrassing blow for a city fighting to stamp out smuggling of ivory.

Hong Kong has the largest retail market for ivory, which it has traded for more than 150 years. The territory is a prime transit and consumption hub, with more than 90 percent of consumers from mainland China.

Earlier on Wednesday Reuters reported that government records showed Lau Sai-yuan was a member of the Endangered Species Advisory Committee of Hong Kong’s Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department (AFCD).

Friday, 15 December 2017

Ivory intercepted at Robert Mugabe International Airport belonged to Grace Mugabe

A 200kg consignment of ivory that the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (Zimparks) intercepted at the Robert Mugabe International Airport on Monday belonged to former First Lady Grace Mugabe.

The ivory, which was stashed in four boxes was intercepted yesterday with the help of the country’s security agencies who were on duty at the airport according to ZBC news site.

Two people, who are alleged to have been facilitating the movement of the consignment have been identified as Robert Mugabe’s aides following the interception and investigations have pointed to Grace Mugabe as the owner of the contraband.

Grace was accompanying her husband Robert on Monday evening, an official said. They are expected to make a stop-over in Malaysia, where their daughter, Bona, is expecting a second child.

No arrests have been made.


WHY NOT?  

Thursday, 30 November 2017

Chinese customs make biggest ever pangolin scales seizure

Shenzhen Customs announced on Wednesday that it cracked a case of 11.9 tons of pangolin scales smuggled from Africa, the largest volume in any single case found by the country’s customs.

The scales are estimated to come from at least 20,000 pangolins, a species listed in Appendix I at the 17th Congress of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna last year, which bans all international trade of pangolins and their products.

Two suspects in the case, surnamed Li, from East China’s Shandong province and He, from East China’s Anhui province, have been issued arrest warrants, said Chen Qunfang, deputy chief of Dapeng Customs affiliated with Shenzhen Customs.

Thursday, 2 November 2017

Forest elephants down two thirds in eight years

Wildlife censuses carried out in four Central African countries have revealed that forest elephant populations have declined by approximately 66% over eight years in an area covering almost 6 million hectares. These declines are attributed to the illegal killing of elephants for their ivory. However, there are indications that lower levels of poaching have occurred within protected areas, underscoring the role of protected areas as safe refuge for wildlife.

WWF, in collaboration with the respective country ministries in charge of wildlife and various partners, conducted the censuses between 2014 and 2016. The inventories were carried out in key protected areas (representing 20% of the survey area) and surrounding zones (logging concessions, hunting areas and other land use types) in Cameroon, the Republic of Congo, the Central African Republic and Gabon. The censuses focused on forest elephants, great apes (chimpanzees and gorillas) and additional data were collected on levels of human activities.

Published in a WWF Central Africa Biomonitoring report, the results indicate an estimated 9,500 forest elephants and 59,000 great apes (weaned, independent individuals) across the survey area. The studies revealed a 66% decline in elephant population between 2008 and 2016 across the landscapes but indicate stable populations of great apes. The figures for elephants are particularly alarming in the Cameroon segment of Tri-national Dja-Odzala-Minkebe (TRIDOM) transboundary conservation landscape where their numbers have declined by more than 70% in less than a decade.