No 366 Wildlife Trade News 25th March 2015

Yes, another daily dose of bad news about poaching, wildlife and environmental crimes …

Please note: Today’s newsletter is incomplete. Tomorrow’s will be an extended version.

in the spotlight today ……………………

So much time, so little done. So much expenditure, so little to show for it.

The only thing that matters are results – and we are not seeing them

from any conference (talking shops), are we?

How right he was.

No 366 Wildlife Trade News 25th March 2015


Elephant poaching crisis unchanged a year after global pledge

China to make more efforts on elephant conservation. extract: To further strengthen its efforts, China can do a great deal to show leadership in terms of further tightening enforcement and prosecution of criminals, finding those in China and elsewhere who are driving the trade and also in educating and changing behavior of its own consumers to understand impacts on consumption on the elephants in Africa.

Botswana: ‘Elephants Massacre Must Stop’. extract: "We have, however ,noted a decrease in seizures in China, which leads one to wonder if there is less ivory going into China or weak law enforcement," he said. He, however, noted that surveys had shown that China and Thailand remain some of the biggest importers of ivory despite the decrease in seizures by both countries.

Elephant slaughter reaches ‘an unprecedented rate’ in Tanzania


China’s Wealthy Are Banking on Extinction. The country’s elite hopes to profit by investing in illegal wildlife products in anticipation that they will be worth more if the animals are exterminated.


China blamed for elephant slaughter

William deBuys: War against nature rages in Southeast Asia. extract: China’s taste for wildlife penetrates the least visited corners of the region, where professional poachers industriously gather live porcupines and turtles, all manner of venison, monkey hands, python fat, pangolin scales, otter skins, gall bladders, antlers and hundreds of other items. These goods, dead or alive, are smuggled to China.”

492 tortoises seized at Trichy airport, 5 arrested. INDIA. EXTRACT: Five passengers, who were about to board a flight to Bangkok ……

FEBRUARY 2015: ILLEGAL TORTOISES (STILL) OPENLY FOR SALE IN NOTORIOUS BANGKOK MARKET. The illegal wildlife and especially tortoises on sale at the Chatuchak market (next door to ASEAN-WEN) have been reported on more times than we can remember… let’s say dozens. Despite that and despite the fact this shop has a very suspicious “NO CAMERAS/PHOTOS” on its shop window, anyone can still buy illegal wildlife in this hell-hole of a market. Investigators will return soon to see if this current report is acted upon and the shop (exclusively tortoises) is closed down. Watch this space. The authorities can’t say they have not been told/warned – numerous times, can they?



Why Tanzania, Kenya sign MoU to check illegal timber trade. (NA comment: Ah, an MOU – another piece of useless paper in Africa, isn’t it? More like dividing up the spoils for politicians?)

In Logging Hotbed, 7 Arrested for Felling Trees. CAMBODIA

Indonesia’s Rainforests Need Unique Care: FAO

Post Office stamps awareness on illegal animal trade (NA comment: A good idea maybe China could copy. They copy most other things.)

Adenan’s drive against illegal logging lauded. SARAWAK

Gun drills and discipline at anti-poaching school

Sunderbans’ ex-poachers now help save its wildlife

Electric fences kill more tuskers in Tamil Nadu than poachers

Broadcasting the environmental mantra TV host Jeff Corwin, who filmed part of his Ocean Mysteries series in Thailand, believes education is key to saving the planet .

No protection for Grouper four years since action plan. An action plan outlining measures costing €70,000 to protect the grouper was drawn up in 2011 and issued for public consultation in May 2012. (NA COMMENT: History shows us if government and NGOs don’t want things to happen they a) hold a workshop b) write an action plan. Both guarantee no progress but people still keep their jobs. A good wheeze don’t you think?)

Rhino horn pro-trade versus anti-trade debate

New report calls for better monitoring of international narwhal trade

Florence man cited after trying to board plane to Taiwan with bear paws

Rare parrots species seized along Indo-Bangla border. EXTRACT: About two dozen rare parrots, worth Rs 9.5 lakh, of ‘African Grey’ variety have been seized by BSF troops along the Indo-Bangladesh border in West Bengal.

Co-ordinator (Anti-Trafficking) – Wildlife Crime Initiative TRAFFIC is seeking a Co-ordinator to lead the "Stop the Trafficking" pillar of an ambitious joint initiative between WWF and TRAFFIC focusing on urgent and sustainable solutions to combat wildlife crime. The role will be based in a TRAFFIC Office in Africa or Asia, depending on the preferred candidate.

‘You will need to watch your back’: The cowardly note threatening Aussie woman’s family for developing app that shows which products contain jungle-wrecking palm oil

Read more:

Botswana minister blames corruption for rampant poaching in Africa. extract: Botswana’s Environment, Wildlife and Tourism minister, Tshekedi Khama, says the fight against the poaching of elephants can only be won if African states start by fighting corruption in their own countries first, APA learns here on Tuesday. Speaking in an interview on the sidelines of the ongoing African elephant technical meeting taking place in Kasane, northern Botswana, Khama said the root cause of poaching in Africa is corruption and lack of the political will to fight it.

Cambodia: local people risk everything to defend national park sold off to highest bidders. (NA comment: Compared to conference addicts whose only risk is the bar closing early.)

The truth behind the slow loris pet trade

Africa’s wildlife needs your help, Prince Harry Poachers are winning the war – but a new royal recruit could make all the difference

Botswana talks to end illegal wildlife trade

Importers get prison for wildlife violations. USA

Wildlife Crime Control Bureau tipped off. INDIA

Mexico needs to find new homes for at least 2,000 tigers, elephants, giraffes, zebras and other exotic animals that will soon be banned from the country’s circuses.

So much time, so little done. MALAYSIA

March 25, 2015

As Malaysia’s Wildlife Conservation Act celebrates its fifth anniversary, nothing much has changed, laments the CEO of Nature Alert.


By Sean Whyte

It is now approaching the fifth year since Malaysia’s Wildlife Conservation Act became law.

Although all zoos and wildlife parks knew full well they had to clean up their act by the time the law came into force, seemingly they did not.

They relied, with certainty, on their old friends in Perhilitan to turn a blind eye to law enforcement. Well, if you were a zoo owner or manager, you would, wouldn’t you?

Have you ever heard of a zoo owner being prosecuted for cruelty towards its animals?

Five years on we still see most zoos in Malaysia openly breaking the law.

Many of them are members of the Malaysian Association of Zoological Parks and Aquaria (MAZPA).

In fact, most zoos and parks have barely made any attempts to comply with the law.

Why would you if the Department of Wildlife and National Parks (Perhilitan) doesn’t enforce the Wildlife Conservation Act?

Apparently, law breakers don’t even get thrown out of MAZPA.

On paper, the Wildlife Conservation Act 2010 is a very good law. But in reality, I’m quite sure Perhilitan has long forgotten its existence.

I say this because there is no evidence at all of any law enforcement being carried out at zoos.

It’s been five long stressful, even painful, years for zoo animals in Malaysia, all because of complacent zoo owners and an apathetic Perhilitan.

It’s never been any different in the 15 or more years I have been trying to help animals incarcerated in Malaysian zoos and wildlife parks.

Part of the problem, I suspect, is the lack of animal welfare and zoo husbandry knowledge by senior Perhilitan management.

But ignorance is no excuse, and there is plenty of expertise out in the world to help and advise.

If you care about animals and want to help them, stay away from Malaysian zoos, as some can be deeply upsetting to visit.

Instead, save up and give yourself and maybe your family a real treat and visit the Singapore Zoo.

In terms of animal welfare it’s about 20 years ahead of any zoo or wildlife park in Malaysia.

As we all know, Singapore is well known for its zero tolerance law enforcement.

Sean Whyte is CEO of Nature Alert and an FMT reader.