Sunday, 5 July 2020

Elephant and rhino populations on the UP in Tanzania

During the past few decades elephants and rhinos populations have been enlisted as the most vulnerable and endangered animal species.
However, in Tanzania, both animals' populations have recently begun to tremendously bounce back, thanks to robust anti-poaching measures by the government.
Moving a speech to dissolve the Parliament in Dodoma last Tuesday, President John Magufuli said the number of Jumbos roaming national parks and other conservancies had risen from 43,000 in 2015 to 51,000 last year.
The rhino population, which in the recent past, decimated from over 10,000 individuals to just about 100 rhinos, rebounded from 162 in 2015 to 190 in 2019, he revealed.
The President, who was giving an overview of the tourism sector performance, attributed the resurfacing of the otherwise endangered species to the government's crackdown on criminal networks involved in industrial-scale poaching.

He said the establishment of the paramilitary force was the government's strong commitment of controlling poaching and depletion of natural resources in the country.
The departure from civilian to paramilitary system by the Tanzania National Parks (Tanapa), Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority (NCAA), Tanzania Wildlife Management (Tawa) and Tanzania Forest Services Agency (TFS) not only seeks to protect natural resources, but also instill discipline in the institutions which fall under the Tourism and Natural Resources Ministry.

Interestingly, in Botswana, the new government did away with the paramilitary force, and poaching of rhinos, has skyrocketed.

Friday, 3 April 2020

Who is responsible for Coronavirus: CHINA and the international trade in wildlife

Make no mistake about it. The reason that around a third of the world's population are currently in a coronavirus lockdown and 87% of the world's children are missing out on a proper education is because of the illegal international trade in wildlife.

The reason that the world economy is crashing, that international and local travel is forbidden is because of the illegal international trade in wildlife.

The reason that you cannot walk in the mountains, surf at the beach, go to football matches, ski down the slopes or cycle through the woods is because of the illegal international trade in wildlife.
The reason that millions of us will likely lose our jobs and some will lose their houses and families is because of the illegal international trade in wildlife.

Pangolins, the world's most trafficked animal and a likely cause of coronavirus, live baby chimps and other apes for the illegal pet trade, elephant ivory, rhino horn or lion claws and any host of other creatures used as 'bush meat' or in traditional medicine are all examples of this illegal trade. Many of these products are smuggled around the world destined for one country: China.

Coronavirus originated in the wildlife markets of China and no other country on Earth shows such blatant disregard to international law on the wildlife trade than China. It’s China’s attitude to wildlife, and the environment in general, that has directly led to coronavirus and the catastrophe the world currently finds itself in. This is not even the first time China's insatiable desire for illegal wildlife products has led to major health emergencies (remember SARS and bird flu among others?) and if they are allowed to continue unchallenged then it won't be the last time. After the SARS outbreak China said they would ban the trade in wildlife, but as soon as the world eased off the pressure they went back to old ways. Last month China again announced that they would ban this wildlife trade, but even before the coronavirus disaster has even peaked they are reverting on that commitment and actually suggesting that bear bile can be used to counter coronavirus! Yes, you read that correctly (see link here: https://www.nationalgeographic.com/…/chinese-government-p…/…).

The Chinese authorities are perfectly aware of this trade yet do little to really prevent it because the world does not really put enough pressure on them. For many of us across the world right now our governments are insisting that we stay indoors. Most countries have drafted in very strict rules on what we can and cannot do and the authorities are fining us for small infringements. We have in many ways had our freedoms removed. But, are any of our governments demanding compensation from China? Are any of our governments insisting that China change its ways? Are any of our governments asking China to apologise? No, in general, they are not. China is wholly responsible for this current mess (they even suppressed news of the outbreak when it first started) and China should be shamed and made to pay for their crimes until they crackdown on the illegal trade in wildlife forever.

Our governments will not stand up and point the figure at China for this unless their own citizens demand it, That means you and I. But if China is not shamed into cracking down on this trade and changing their environmental outlook then it’s only going to be a matter of time until another virus explodes out of the exotic wildlife markets of China and sweeps around the world. And the next time it might not be something as ‘tame’ as coronavirus with its 1-2% mortality rate. Next time it could be something along the lines of Ebola with its 60%+ mortality rate.

Friday, 27 March 2020

Coronavirus and friends

Been saying for long enough that if we don't stop destroying nature then mother nature will have us, most likely with a virus.

Well coronavirus is just a gentle warning folks. The next one could be 50-60-70+ % deadly and then its game over for civilization.

We are one Far Eastern live animal market away from complete Armaggedon.

We should act as a global voice to stop the animal markets. It'd be cheaper to send thousands of tons of beef to pooer people in the far east and Africa to eat for free.

Seriously - if we don't stamp bushmeat out completely we are fucked.

Wednesday, 18 March 2020

Rare white giraffes killed in Kenya

A rare white giraffe and her calf were killed by poachers near a Kenyan wildlife sanctuary, conservationists said earlier this month

The bodies of the two giraffes were found "in a skeletal state after being killed by armed poachers" in Garissa in eastern Kenya, the Ishaqbini Hirola Community Conservancy said in a statement.

White giraffes are very rare; only a few have been sighted in Kenya. They are not albinos, but instead have a condition called leucism, which means an animal's skin does not contain pigment-producing cells.

Thursday, 13 February 2020

Game numbers up and down in Selous-Mikumi

Tanzania recorded a slight increase of elephants and a considerable surge in zebra and hippopotamus populations in the Selous-Mikumi ecosystem between 2014 and 2018, a new report shows.

The report of the aerial wildlife census that was conducted between October and November 2018 covering 27 wildlife species indicates that elephants have increased by 284, zebra 6,190 while number of hippopotamus rose by 7,843.

It covered a total area of 104,143 km² that embrace Mikumi National Park, Selous Game Reserve, Kilombero Game Controlled Area and Selous-Niassa wildlife corridor.

Current statistics from the report have it that, the surveyed area has 15,501 elephants, up from 15,217 that were recorded in the previous study conducted in 2014.

This means that there is no further decline in the elephant population in the Selous-Mikumi ecosystem, and that the stabilising of the number of elephants combined with few incidences of fresh carcasses indicates that poaching has been brought under control.

Wildebeeste numbers, however have fallen by 72 percent over the last 22 years, and 'lesser' antelope by a whopping 97% in the same period. The very high carcass ratios suggest a lot of bushmeant hunting is taking place. However the carcass ratio has dropped significantly by the time this last survey was conducted.