Monday 18 February 2019

Biggest ever seizure of pangolin parts

On the 11th of February 2019  the biggest ever seizure of pangolin parts was made from two locations in Sabah, Borneo.

From the two locations, authorities uncovered 29.8 tonnes of pangolinsand their parts.

The haul included about 1,800 boxes full of frozen pangolins stuffed inside three refrigerated containers, 572 more frozen pangolins in six freezers, 61 live pangolins in cages and in a car boot and 361 kg of pangolin scales. Two bear paws and carcasses of four flying fox were also recovered.

Pangolins, a group of unique African and Asian scaly mammals, are considered to be one of the most heavily trafficked wild mammals in the world. They are hunted and traded for their meat, scales, and other body parts, and used as traditional medicines in parts of Africa and Asia.

Of the eight pangolin species, four are found in Africa. These are the white‐bellied, black‐bellied, giant, and Temminck's ground pangolin. Three of these species live in Central African forests. The tree-dwelling white-bellied and black-bellied pangolins, weighing approximately 1.5 to 3kg (comparable to a small rabbit), and the ground-dwelling giant pangolin can weigh up to 33kg (the weight of a small Labrador dog).

For Central African forests in Cameroon, Central African Republic, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Democratic Republic of Congo and Republic of Congo, we estimated that at least 400,000 pangolins are hunted annually for meat.

Monday 4 February 2019

Head of Tanzania's Anti-poaching Unit suspended.

The head of Anti poaching in northern Tanzania , Mr Said Mnkeni has been suspended from duty. Allegations are that he has colluded with poaching gangs by giving them a heads up as to the anti poaching units plans and schedules of where they will be in the area.

Arusha Regional Commissioner (RC) Mrisho Gambo said Mnkeni's suspension was a result of his conniving with the poaching suspects, leading to the killings of 35 giraffes in the Longido district over two years.

Mr Mnkeni was a member of a committee investigating wildlife deaths in the region.

According to Mr Gambo, arrested poaching suspects were walking scot-free under Mr Mnkeni's watch.
"His office was also issuing contradicting reports on the rate of giraffe and other wildlife killings," he alleged.
Mr Gambo was referring to an incident where the KDU northern zone office put the number of giraffe killings at three, while the Longido Wildlife Officer registered nine killings.

 Corruption is alive and well - more needs to be done to root it out as one criminal at this level can do untold amounts of damage to conservation efforts. But it's better than it was five years ago.