No 340 Wildlife Trade News 23rd February 2015

The daily dose of bad news from around the world …

about poaching, wildlife and environmental crimes …

in the spotlight(again) today ……………………

Conservationists, lawmakers, lobby Xi Jinping over ending the ivory trade. (Published in China – but NOT on the pro-CHINA CITES secretariat’s web site. Odd that, isn’t it?)

"From what I can see, if China and Japan banned the domestic ivory trade today, and enforced it, poaching would start to decline immediately across Africa," says Allan Thornton, Founder of the Environmental Investigation Agency. "This is what happened after the 1989 ivory ban was introduced. Within a few months the trade just plummeted across Asia because the markets were shut down."

SHAME ON CHINA for not banning sales of ivory.

To be successful, anti-poaching efforts must focus on reducing demand, extract : “I am economist by training and I can tell you: Trying to restrict supply without restricting demand is likely only to drive up price.”

No 340 Wildlife Trade News 23rd February 2015

David Attenborough’s powerful plea to China

Why doesn’t China do something similar? Because it’s not serious about stamping out the ivory trade, is it?

WILDAID: BREAKING: Hong Kong delegates to China’s parliament are formally supporting a ban on #ivory sales. More to follow.

Far West ‘transit’ for wildlife smugglers. NEPAL EXTRACT Ramesh Chand, chief of the District Forest Office in Bajhang, said animal parts are smuggled to China and Hong Kong via Bajhang through Saipal. “The final destination of the smuggled items is Tibet in China,” he said.

Illegal logging still a big issue in Cameroon EXTRACT: Cameroon is also an important source of timber for foreign markets, especially the European Union and increasingly China.


One trader in Vietnam is seen offering more than 30 rhino horns on his smart phone. All the horns are available to be inspected at short notice – as long as a deposit is paid. Wholesalers and importers market their wares to a wide range of retailers in the region and they all have their products available on their phones. It is not just rhino horn for sale, displays often also include ivory carvings, tiger skins, tiger teeth, claws etc. Any enforcement agency in the region committed to their task would have no problem infiltrating these networks and receiving the same offers the retailers get. Rounding them up based on such information would be the next step. At present enforcement agencies so called activity is mere lip service and window dressing to minimize the potential PR backlash associated with this plundering of the planet’s resources. by Karl Ammann

Slaughtered courtesy of Vietnam & the absence of CITES enforcement?UPDATE The CITES Management Authority (they see these reports as well) have been invited to take action against the trader concerned as well as respond to Nature Alert regarding this report. So far, CITES Vietnam have shown no interest in doing either, which will surprise no one. Vietnam is not really serious about stopping the trade in rhino horn – is it?)


The CITES Secretary-General’s certificates of commendation Why are these allowed to be awarded “at the discretion of the Secretary-General”? Not very democratic is it? Some question why awards in recent times have been given to China and South Africa – not exactly pillars of good conservation and known for their adherence to the convention – are they? Why shouldn’t others have a say about who, if anyone, should receive an award?

Huge forest under threat from ‘unsuitable’ oil palm. SABAH / MALAYSIA

Tens, maybe hundreds of thousands of pounds spent on yet another conference when rangers on the front line are starved of food, money and arms. Is it any wonder elephants are being poached? When did you last hear of a conference (talking shop) saving even one elephant?

MALAWI: ‘He said the government is aware of the dire conditions of service facing the game rangers and will work to improve them. Among other problems, game rangers in Malawi are poorly paid, poorly armed and poorly motivated.’

Two elephants shot and killed, locals sliced them up for meat. ZIMBABWE

Conservationists blast massive slaughter of wildlife at Mugabe’s birthday bash

Drones, satellites, and maths take down poachers in South Africa

India: Shrinking forests bring the endangered tiger into confrontation with humans

London Conference on the Illegal Wildlife Trade 2014 ONE YEAR ON FROM THIS ‘MEGA’ CONFERENCE AND – WHAT’S CHANEGD FOR THE BETTER? Can you think of a single thing? What has the Prince’s new organisation set up at the time, done? – you have heard of it, haven’t you?

South African hunters say no to golden gnus, black impalas – See more at:

Contraband Ivory Still At Customs. SRI LANKA

Kids Against Palm Oil: Inspiring young minds with sustainability. THAILAND – See more at:

Road to recovery: Abused and malnourished orangutan back on form after being rescued by charity

State police marks first wildlife offense prosecution

Dubai Safari will replace the existing small zoo

32 hill mynahs seized, 2 smugglers held. INDIA

Glenn McGrath says he ‘deeply regrets’ involvement in hunting trip to Zimbabwe Pictures emerge of legendary Australian bowler with dead bodies of buffalo and hyenas as well as two elephant tusks

5-year-old male elephant found dead. INDIA

‘Extreme conservation’ saves mountain gorillas from extinction

What circus handler is accused of doing to elephant will make your blood boil

11 Arrested Over Illegal Forest Clearing in Riau

Illegal forest clearing for plantations is a major problem for Indonesia. (AFP Photo/Chaideer Mahyuddin)

When is a forest not a forest? When it’s a plantation

Illegal loggers are terrorists, says minister. INDONESIA

West Bengal mulls two-way approach to stop rhino-poaching

Elephant Tusks Seized, One Held. INDIA

Anti-timber mafia action supported. PAKISTAN

Birds at risk from ‘rampant’ poaching on Chilika Lagoon
Read more:

Radical transparency: Tracking deforestation through satellite imagery (NA comment: check out the lead photo)

Cambodia’s News Blackmailers Hundreds of Cambodian journalists make a living by uncovering news and then extorting bribes to bury the story.

The struggle to save the ‘Congolese unicorn’

An okapi or forest giraffe in the wild. Okapi are shy creatures, rarely seen by humans in their natural habitat. George Holton / Science Source