Monday, 12 June 2017

Thousands of poachers arrested in Tanzania over the last year

A TOTAL of 3,185 poachers have been caught in the act and apprehended. Among them 1,539 have been arraigned in courts of law since July 2016, according to the Permanent Secretary with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism, Major General Gaudence Milanzi.

In similar vein, a total of 270 guns and 1,058 rounds of ammunition have been seized by the Tanzania Wildlife Authority (TAWA) during the period under review.

It seems there is so much more government buy in since John Magafuli was elected.

Major ivory smuggling ring broken

A cross-border African task-force has arrested several key members of an ivory smuggling pipeline that covertly moved tons of elephant tusks from Africa to Asia.

Details of the intensive six-week clandestine operation were released in Nairobi on Friday, the culmination of a crackdown by the Lusaka Agreement Task Force (LATF) and its multi-agency partners.

Seven key players of a syndicate that smuggled 1 ton of elephant tusks from Uganda to Singapore via Kenya in one instance alone, were among those arrested.

The operation was the culmination of 18 months of investigation in 8 countries by numerous agencies.

Tuesday, 6 June 2017

Major ivory trafficker jailed in the DRC

Northern Congo’s notorious elephant poacher and ivory trafficker Daring Dissaka, 39, has been convicted and sentenced to five years imprisonment. Connected to international ivory networks, Dissaka’s imprisonment represents another significant step forward for the Republic of Congo’s justice system and forest elephant conservation in Central Africa.

Thursday, 25 May 2017

White-backed vultures poisoned

Around 94 white-backed vulures have died in what appears to have been a poisoning incident brought about by poachers near the Zimbabwe Mozambique border.

The poachers had poisoned an elephant (probably with cyanide)   and the vultures had fed off it.

This is a common practise in the area. Poachers poison waterholes to kill elephants and unfortunately anything else that either drinks the water or eats the meat suffers as well.

As it is the peak breeding season for the vultures this may be a double blow as many chicks may have also been lost.

Monday, 15 May 2017

Nine rhinos found butchered in Hluhluwe-iMfolozi reserve

Nine new rhino carcasses have been found at the Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park in South Africa.

The gruesome find adds weight to fears that the park, which was where white rhino conservation started when they were on the brink of extinction,  has become the new ground zero in the battle to save the species. Deaths of rhinos have increased as poachers are finding it more difficult to operate in the Kruger. 

This is despite the fact the domestic ban on rhino horn trade was effectively lifted when the Constitutional Court, in April, rejected a government appeal to preserve a 2009 ban on the domestic trade.

Conservationists have long argued that rather than stem the poaching of rhinos, the lifting of the ban would just encourage the demand for rhino horn and escalate the problems they are facing.

It appears that South Africa has learned no lessons from the debacle of the 'one off' ivory sale in 2008 which was going to depress the price of ivory and put an end to serious elephant poaching and help save the species.  Once again the might $$$ beats all common sense and the rhinos are now in even more danger.

Thursday, 11 May 2017

Rhino poaching King Pin arrested in Viet Nam

Good news from Viet Nam: A suspected rhino horn kingpin, Nguyen Mau Chien, was arrested on 27 April 2017 along with two members of a wildlife trafficking ring. Chien is suspected to be a leader of a major criminal network that traffics rhino horn, ivory, tiger parts and other high-value illegal wildlife products into Viet Nam

Over the past five years, he has been expanding his operation into Africa where his networks have been focusing mainly on rhino horn, elephant ivory and pangolin scales.

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Huge rhino horn seizure in Thailand

Twenty-one rhino horns worth an estimated $5m have been seized in Thailand after being found in luggage sent from Ethiopia in the biggest such haul in years.
The seizure comes days after 300kg of elephant ivory was also impounded in the country.
Thailand is seen as a transit point for the illegal trafficking of wildlife.

Wednesday, 1 March 2017

China sees sharp decline in Ivory smuggling in 2016

The amount of smuggled ivory tracked down in China fell 80 percent in 2016 from previous peak years, the State Forestry Administration (SFA) said Sunday.

Liu Dongsheng, deputy head of the SFA, made the remarks at the opening ceremony of a wildlife protection campaign, without specifying detailed numbers.

China will stop commercial processing and sales of ivory by the end of this year. Last year, it imposed a three-year ban on ivory imports in an escalated fight against illegal trading of wild animals and plants.

The number of illegal wildlife trade cases has been on the decline since last year, said Liu.

Meanwhile, the numbers of critically endangered species in China, including giant pandas, crested ibis, Yangtze alligators and Tibetan antelopes, have been increasing steadily, he said.

China's newly-revised law on wild animal protection took effect at the start of this year, imposing harsher punishment on overkilling and illegal utilization of wild animals. 
 Now let's not forget the fate of the pangolin in all this good news.

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Rhino sanctuary at Thula Thula attacked by criminals

In a brutal manifestation of how sickening and bad the rhino poaching situation is in South Africa, On the night of 20 February 2017 five men broke in and attacked the staff at Thula Thula Rhino Orphanage. They killed two baby rhinos, care-givers were savagely beaten and a young woman was sexually assaulted.

The team from Operation Rhino 7 – the national South African Police Service anti-poaching programme – were alerted and have already impounded a vehicle and rifle and arrested 2 men in nearby Ermelo. They are still looking for the other three.

Just how low can so called human beings sink in the pursuit of greed in the rhino poaching industry?

This must make the South African Government take heed and do something, instead of fueling the industry by legalizing the sale of rhino horn.

Thursday, 16 February 2017

Malaysia: Seven ‘most wanted’ elephant poachers arrested

On February 10, Malaysian authorities arrested seven of the country’s “most wanted” elephant poachers in Kelantan, Malaysia.

The men, believed to have killed at least 15 Asian elephants over a period of four years, were caught in a joint operation between the Department of Wildlife and National Parks (Perhilitan) and Malaysia’s Armed Forces, near the Taman Negara National Park in Gua Musang in Kelantan.