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.