Tuesday 23 September 2014

New report highlights East African ports involved in Ivory smuggling

A new report has revealed that Chinese ivory traffickers are present in virtually every African country and operate at every point along the supply chain.

The report, "Out of Africa: Mapping the Global Trade in Illicit Elephant Ivory" was commissioned by Born Free USA and C4ADS (a nonprofit organization that is dedicated to data-driven analysis and evidence-based reporting of conflict and security issues worldwide).

The three biggest culprits are Dar Es Salaam, Mombasa and Zanzibar.

A thought

Why won't any of the Western Nations impose sanctions on China until they do something to about stopping Ivory Sales in that country?  Are we all slaves to profit and greed.? Why not send them the Bill for anti poaching measures? They are stealing National resources and selling them publicly and openly in China.

How can this be?

Monday 22 September 2014

Global March for Elephants and Rhinos

The Global March for Elephants and Rhinos (GMFER) is taking place in more than 120 cities across the world on October 4 this year. It will see the delivery of memoranda of demand and proposed changes to South Africa’s legislation delivered to key government representatives across the globe.

Foreign offices of the infamous “Gang of 19″ countries will be receiving these documents from march organisers on six continents, from as far afield as Toronto in Canada and the New Zealand capital of Auckland. The “Gang of 19″ are: Angola, Cambodia, Cameroon, China, Republic of Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, Gabon, Kenya, Lao People’s Republic, Malaysia, Mozambique, Nigeria, Philippines, Tanzania, Thailand, Uganda and Vietnam. These are the countries considered to be the most complicit in driving the illegal wildlife trade, specifically where ivory and rhino horn are concerned.

The memoranda also draw attention to the forgotten victims of the illegal wildlife trade – species like lion, tiger and pangolin – all of which are targeted for their highly lucrative body parts and which face extinction if the tide of slaughter is not turned back.

See details of where to march at : http://www.march4elephantsandrhinos.org/

Friday 19 September 2014

Hawks arrest major Rhino poaching syndicate members

The alleged kingpin of one of South Africa’s biggest and most violent rhino poaching syndicates,
accused of obtaining 84 rhino horns via illegal means, was arrested on Friday morning in front of the
Pretoria North Magistrate’s Court.

Among the other syndicate members arrested was the alleged right-hand-man, a Warrant Officer for the Organised Crime Unit in Pretoria, as well as the alleged kingpin’s wife, attorney, brother, a pilot and a professional poacher.

Nine of members of the syndicate were arrested, while another one of the members handed himself over to police.

The syndicate is believed to be responsible for the brutal slaughter and mutilation of 24 rhino, including a pregnant  cow and a small calf, in state and privately owned reserves around the country
between June 2008 and June 2012. Of the poached rhino, 22 were darted with a potent drug, known as M99, used by poachers to knock out rhinos. The other two rhino were shot with a firearm.
Only two of the poached rhino survived the attacks.

The syndicate operated in the Limpopo, Mpumalanga, North-West, Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal and the Free State.

Tthe syndicate’s main aim was to sell as many horns as possible to the Eastern black market, specifically Vietnam.

The syndicate is alleged to have obtained up to 84 rhino horns by poaching rhino, as well as stealing
the horns and obtaining them in other illegal ways: 41 of the horns were taken from 24 rhino that were poached; 14 horns were stolen – some  taken from a government building in Giyani – and 29 were obtained by other means.

The 10 suspects are expected to appear in Hatfield court in Pretoria on Monday.

Tuesday 16 September 2014

Tanzania in anti poaching coalition

Tanzania has agreed to form a task force together with the United States, China, Germany, European Union, World Bank and the United Nations Development Programs (UNDP) to control and curb illegal poaching, trafficking and export of ivory in the region.

Minister of Natural Resources and Tourism Nyalandu Lazaro said that the government has decided to seek support of international organizations in order to convince the world to stop purchasing ivory and other wildlife products.

"We want to make sure game reserves and official from the ministry and other departments are getting proper training to tackle the menace in Tanzania," he said."The development partners have agreed to support the government of Tanzania with the proper resources such as weapons, cars, technology, communication devices and training to ensure that elephant killing is abolished."

"We will scale up the efforts and call for action against such illegal activities at international level", he promised.

Personally I'm a bit baffled by the Chinese involvement in this. If they are sincere in their wish to help then why not just BAN IVORY SALES IN CHINA?

And all the coalitions in the World won't do much good if they don't root out the Corruption and Involvement in poaching activities at home.

UN-Backed Protection for Sharks comes into effect

From the 14th of September, international trade in specimens of five shark species and all manta ray species, including their meat, gills and fins,needs to be accompanied by permits and certificates confirming that they have been harvested sustainably and legally, as new United Nations-backed trade protections go into effect.

"Regulating international trade in these shark and manta ray species is critical to their survival and is a very tangible way of helping to protect the biodiversity of our oceans," said John Scanlon, Secretary-General of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), in a press release.

The new controls adopted by the CITES will apply to the oceanic whitetip shark (Carcharhinus longimanus), scalloped hammerhead shark (Sphyrna lewini), great hammerhead shark (Sphyrna mokarran), smooth hammerhead shark (Sphyrna zygaena), porbeagle shark (Lamna nasus) and manta rays (Manta spp.), as they are now included in CITES Appendix II.

Sharks and manta rays are consumed in many parts of the world. Shark fin soup is served at important events such as weddings and banquets in parts of Asia, while fish and chip meals are often made rom shark meat in Europe.

Monday 15 September 2014

Satao's Law presented to United States Congress

A new bill, in honour of Satao, a Kenyan ‘big tusker’ elephant recently killed by poachers, has been put before Congress in the US. It would give the US government the power to introduce trade sanctions against countries that do not do enough to tackle poaching and the trade in illegal wildlife.

The new bill being introduced by Peter DeFazio from Oregon will enable the government to impose greater sanctions that can currently be done under the CITES agreement. The US would be able to increase or widen trade sanctions unilateraly.

Under CITIES there is already the provision to put implement trade sanctions against countries in regard to international trading of species listed under the CITES agreement.

Whether the US government will take advantage of this new bill if passed, is debatable. The US has not yet been willing to impose sanctions on countries such as Iceland for its whaling activities.

Tarangire National Park to trial UAVs in anti poaching operations

Tarangire National Park is trialing a pilot program in deployment of special
Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) for surveillance of wildlife and to search for

"The trial aerial scrutiny will be conducted later this September and the second
one is expected to come up in October," said Mr Michael Chambers, the Director of
Bathawk-Recon, an organization which is introducing the idea of aerial
surveillance to Tanzania.

The use of UAVs  for aerial survey and wildlife patrols aims at  greatly reducing, the slaughter of elephants, rhinos and other wildlife species by poaching gangs. The initiative is being implemented through Bathawk-Recon (BHR, a leading International organization and Tanzanian limited liability company, the African Wildlife Foundation (AWF) with support from the Elephant Survival Organization (ESO).

"The equipment will fly over parks covering as much area as possible using
advanced high definition video and Infra-red equipment," stated Mr. Chambers who
is also the BHR Communications and Strategy officer. The participation of the
private sector in the war against poaching is vital to help ensure success in the
global war against the illegal killing of wildlife.

Tarangire is a great place to watch Elephants, as they love to congregate around
the river in large family groups. The Park is around 2600 sq km, but is
part of a 30000 sq km ecosystem as for much of the year outside the dry
season many of the animals leave the park and head into the Maasai steppes.

Sunday 14 September 2014

Will America use sanctions on Mozambique for failing to curb poaching?

Environmentalists are formally urging President Barack Obama to enact trade sanctions on Mozambique over the country’s alleged chronic facilitation of elephant and rhinoceros poaching through broad swathes of southern Africa.

Investigators say substantial evidence exists of Mozambique’s failure to abide by international conventions against wildlife trafficking, including to back up allegations of state complicity.
“We believe that there are ex-military officials who are providing political protection to the [trafficking] syndicates who are arming and funding these poaching teams."

A new petition, publicly announced Wednesday, now provides evidence on the issue and urges the president to make use of legal authorities to encourage Mozambique to crack down on poachers.

Friday 12 September 2014

KWS quotes ludicrous figure for Elephant poaching in Kenya

The Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) said Wednesday (September 10th) that the number of animals killed by poachers in recent years is declining and that the "poaching menace was under control", Kenya's Daily Nation reported.

"Statistics show a decline in poaching cases since 2012 and there is a different trend contrary to what some lobby groups have been portraying," KWS Director William Kibet Kiprono said.
"Our sustained efforts in dealing with poaching cartels have been successful and I can say the worst is now behind us," he said. He said that studies show a drop in animal deaths since 2012.
"Up to the end of last month, Kenya had lost 116 elephants and 26 rhinos to poachers. Comparatively, we are winning this war because in 2012 we lost 384 elephants and 30 rhinos while in 2011, some 289 elephants and 29 rhinos were killed," he said.

In an unusual demonstration of solidarity, two Kenyan newspapers earlier this month dismissed KWS claims that poaching is under control as false, pressuring the government to declare a national disaster.

So how do they expalin that 117 elephant carcasses were found on the Kenyan side in a July aerial survey of the Mara-Serengeti ecosystem? That's more than the total they are quoting for the year.
And let's not forget the killing of Satao and Mountain Bull, and numerous others in Samburu and Tsavo.

Are they covering up to try and avoid alarming any potential tourists.

Either somebody is lying, or very bad at arithmetic.

Thursday 11 September 2014

Six professional poachers arrested in Niassa

Six suspected poachers were arrested in Niassa (Mozambique) on 7 September 2014 in a joint operation conducted by the Mecula District police, Luwire scouts and Niassa National Reserve WCS scouts.The arrests were the result of a 10 month investigation.

12 tusks and two rifles were confiscated at the time of the arrest. Two of the largest tusks, 23 kilograms or 57 pounds each, were from an elephant about 40 years old.

Officials estimated that this group of poachers has killed 39 elephants this year alone based on interviews with the suspects. In addition, this arrest is a major crack down on one of five well-organised groups suspected of poaching elephants in Niassa. “This is an important raid that has shut down a group of poachers responsible for killing many of Niassa’s elephants” said Alastair Nelson, Director of the WCS Mozambique Program.

WCS President and CEO Cristian Samper, who is currently in Niassa, said: “With this arrest we have charged a shooter, porters and poacher informers who are driving the elephant crisis in Niassa Reserve."

There are thought to be about 13 000 elephants remaining in Niassa National Reserve which is in northern Mozambique. The reserve holds Mozambique’s largest remaining population of elephants. WCS has been co-managing the reserve with the Mozambique government since 2012.

Thursday 4 September 2014

Richard Leakey - Hero of the First Elephant War - returns to the Maasai Mara

Richard Leakey, former Director of KWS, has returned to the Maasai Mara.
Leakey is back saving elephants and other endangered species threatened by poachers. 69 year old Leakey has made this trip with his protégé, Dr Paula Kahumbu, who now heads up Wildlife Direct, the activist organisation he founded in 2006. This Despite a liver transplant last September and two previous Kidney transplants.

Leakey and Kahumbu have used the power of social media, to engaged their fellow Kenyans in citizen conservation. Kahumbu says there is now an unprecedented groundswell of “citizen concern”, a significant shift in public engagement. The slogan “My elephants, my heritage” is constantly re­tweeted because “elephants are part of our heritage,” she says. Kenyans are beginning to realize that their heritage is being stolen and are no longer prepared to put up with it.

Most recently, Leakey and Kahumba made waves by accusing the Kenyan government of protecting international poaching networks. Leakey levelled these accusations after one of Kenya’s last big tuskers, the magnificent 45 year old Satao, was found dead in Tsavo National Park with its enormous tusks hacked off and presumably already smuggled out of the country. He said there was “no question that there’s very high level protection of individuals who engage in the illegal export of elephant ivory and rhino horn.”

Associates of a well known Kenyan businessman, Feisal Mohamed Ali, were arrested in June in Mombasa with some 228 tusks and 74 ivory pieces weighing some 2 100kg. Although a warrant was issued for Feisal’s arrest, he remains free. Leakey and Kahumbu refer to this as an example of highlevel protection and Kahumbu says, “There are probably another 10 Feisels operating in Kenya right now.”

Such accusations of corruption directed at African administrations and their business connections frequently invite serious trouble, as Leakey knows from his previous experience.  He lost both legs in an Aeroplane crash in 1993 which he firmly believes was an attempt to kill him because of his previous anti poaching efforts, in what I term the First Elephant War, in the 1980s.

Leakey cites recent evidence of corruption within the KWS – six senior deputy directors were recently suspended and more than 30 KWS rangers have also been suspended – as reason to radically reform the organisation. He has also made a formal request to President Uhuru Kenyatta to declare a state of national emergency on wildlife poaching.

At the time of writing the president has not responded.

Tuesday 2 September 2014

200 Forest Elephants tusks seized in Cameroon

Around 200 tusks from forest elephants killed in Cameroon and Gabon have been intercepted at the Yaounde-Nsimalen International Airport. They were bound for Asia - where else.

Conservationists say almost 12,000 elephants have been killed in Central African countries since 2004. It is estimated that there has been a 62% decline in forest elephant numbers during this period.
Cameroon authorities said the tusks came from  near the border with Gabon where elephant poaching has been rife.

Wildlife official Issola Dipanda supervised the operation to seize the tusks at the airport after a tip-off from locals. He said that although the poachers escaped, efforts are being made to find them.
Gabon, Cameroon, the Democratic Republic of Congo are home to more than half of Africa's forest elephants - the smallest of the African species.

Their Ivory is highly valued for jewellery and other products in Asian markets because of the hardness and unusual pinkish colour.

Until we stop the demand from Asia, all the anti poaching work in the World will do little else but buy a few more years to save the Elephant from extinction in the Wild.

Monday 1 September 2014

Video footage shows why Green Mile Safari (hunting) Company is banned in Tanzania

Some horrifying footage has been released of hunting and wild animal abuse in Tanzania , by clients of a company known as Green Mile Safari.

The Company has been caught allowing its clients to hunt protected animals with semi-automatic weapons, shoot animals from jeeps, run over animals with jeeps, and otherwise torture animals before killing them.  There is also footage of capturing a baby zebra and torturing it while it cries and tries to get away.

Green Mile Safari, which several Tanzanian media outlets have suggested is well-connected politically, has now had its license revoked by Lazaro Nyalandu, the country’s Minister of Natural Resources and Tourism. The footage itself has been seen by members of Tanzania’s parliament, who did nothing about it, but it has not, until now, been released to the public. The company, which is owned by Awadh Ally Abdullah and Abdullah Bin Butti Alhamed of the United Arab Emirates is trying to fight the ban allegedly using its political connections..

I find this totally sickening, and so if you want to view the video and get more details please use the following link.