Le Treg Ultra-Marathon

Two African Parks teams to run the grueling Le Treg ultra-marathon in Ennedi, Chad

Two teams, one comprising nine African Parks managers, and the other, a dedicated team of six runners from Zakouma National Park in Chad, are to participate in the punishing 2015 Le Treg Ultra-Marathon. The marathon is run in the beautiful, but unforgiving terrain of the Ennedi Plateau located in north-east Chad, in the middle of the Sahara Desert. The aim of the two teams is to demonstrate African Parks’ commitment to the Chadian Government in establishing Ennedi as a national park and to raise awareness and funds for anti-poaching initiatives at all the parks managed by the organisation. A designated UNESCO World Heritage Site, Ennedi is famous for its towering…

Elephant-baby-steps-Francis-Garrard

Put squeeze on Mozambique to stop slaughter of elephants

In the dead of night a group of men hack the meat from a corpse using rusted machetes and pocket knives. Together they’re like a machine systematically tearing flesh from bone, slashing and sawing with blunted instruments. By morning all that’s left for the vultures are stalactites of flesh that cling stubbornly to the ribcage, which gapes like a maw where the heart and lifeblood of the elephant once pulsed The slaughter is documented in a series of grisly photos that emerged from the northern Mozambican game reserves of Quirimbas National Park and Niassa National Reserve in October this year. They highlight the routine slaughter of elephants in that area…

sacred ibis

Cumbrian zoo and owner fined for bird escapes

A zoo in Cumbria and its owner has been fined by magistrates courts for allowing Sacred Ibis birds to escape. They were convicted under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 Sec. 14(1). The Sacred Ibis is an exotic bird species that is a known risk to UK bird populations if it becomes established in the wild. The South Lakes Wild Animal Park Ltd (SLWAP) of Dalton-in-Furness, and its owner David Stanley Gill, 53yrs, were both convicted of three counts of allow the bird to fly freely outside the park. The zoo was fined £5000 plus £370 costs and David Gill was fined £2000 plus £870 costs. The case arises from a series…

rhino

Rhino poaching smashes last years record

Rhino poaching in South Africa has smashed through last years record number. So far in 2014 1,020 rhinos have been killed for the horn. That smashes last years record for rhino deaths of 1,004. With 6 weeks of 2014 still to go the question is how high will the figure go? Todays rhino stats released by South Africa Department of Environmental Affairs have declared that the current official figure for the country has continued to grow. “Unfortunately the threat of poaching has continued to escalate while various multi-faceted interventions are being implemented by South Africa,” the Minister of Environmental Affairs Edna Molewa said. “We are concerned that poaching is part…

Animals Closeup 0035

Reducing the king of beasts to easy prey for ‘hunters’

Lions are majestic animals, the alpha predators of the African bush. We think of them as roaming wild and free across the plains. But this is far from the reality. South Africa has a population of about 2750 lions in national and private game reserves – and almost twice that number caged in pens. Since 2007 the conservation spotlight has been focused on rhino poaching. But looming as large is the intensive breeding of lions and other predators for the hunter’s bullet. These animals are being bred specifically to be shot in relatively confined or enclosed areas with little to no chance of escape. Canned hunting or ‘captive hunting’ as the…

MANTARAY

Manta parts worth $615 million to Indonesian tourism industry intercepted

The  Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries of the Republic of Indonesia and the WCS (Wildlife Conservation Society’s) Wildlife Crimes Unit have made their largest seizure of manta ray gills and arrested one person. The 103kg of gill plates represented 85 manta rays and each was worth $7.8 million to the Indonesian dive industry over its lifetime. The raid took place on 7th November when officials, working on part of a larger investigation, at a house near to the  Pengambengan Negara fisheries landing area in Bali. The latest raid follows on from follows three arrests earlier this month and in October involving illegal trade of manta ray meat and gill…

elephant

A million dollars of ivory stolen from Uganda’s stockpiles

It’s being reported that President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda has launched a special investigation after it was discovered that ivory worth more than $1 million was stolen from protected stockpiles in the country. Routine checks by the Uganda Wildlife Authority noted that there was a shortfall of 1.33 tonnes of tusks recovered from poachers. The special investigation has been launched amid fears that staff from the Uganda Wildlife Authority are working closely with traffickers to remove seized ivory. The investigation is being led by the Ugandan Inspectorate General of Government – the country’s anti-corruption specialists. UWA chief Raymond Engena said the agency “remains committed to the fight again illegal wildlife trade…

rhino-fws

Interpol launches public appeal to track down environmental criminals

Interpol has called on the public to help them track down 139 fugitives who are wanted for environmental crimes. Under the guise of Operation Infra (International Fugitive Round Up and Arrest) Terra the international police organisation has asked the public to look out for the first 9 of 139 wanted criminals. Crimes committed by the 139 fugitives targeted by Operation Infra Terra include forestry and illegal logging, fisheries crimes, disposal of toxic waste and traders in ivory and other illegal wildlife parts. It is the first INTERPOL fugitive operation targeting individuals specifically wanted for crimes concerning the environment. The first nine targets chosen by Interpol in the operation are: Adriano Giacobone –…

Balearic-Shearwater-Spain_Credit-Ric_Guerreiro

Hundreds of important sites for nature threatened with destruction

More than 350 of the planet’s most important sites for nature are threatened with being lost forever according to a new report by BirdLife International. Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBAs) are places of international significance for the conservation of the world’s birds and other nature, with over twelve thousand identified worldwide. IBAs are the largest and most comprehensive global network of important sites for nature conservation. Now, 356 of these – known as ‘IBAs in Danger’ – have been identified in 122 countries and territories as being in imminent danger of being lost. About half of these are legally protected, which highlights the importance of improving the management effectiveness…

Smaller kudu

Wild Uncovered – Exciting talent supporting conservation in the heart of London

An exciting new exhibition from talented young wildlife artists Emily Lamb, David Filer and Simon Max Bannister opened in London on Tuesday evening (November 11). Showcasing the extraordinary work of three exceptional artists Wild Uncovered excited and delighted at the private preview at The Old Truman Brewery in Shoreditch.  From the splintered simplicity of Simon Max Bannister’s recycled sculptures, the dramatic softness of David Filer’s graphite portraits to the explosive mixed media of Emily Lamb’s canvasses the show is designed to inspire and raise vital funds for conservation.  It runs until 7pm on Saturday November 15 with 50% of sales supporting the David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation’s conservation projects. You can view the online…

polar bear

International protection increased for 31 species

The so called ‘Shark COP’ – or the 11th Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS) (COP11) – concluded yesterday in Quito, Ecuador. The result is that 31 species have been given greater international protection including 21 species of sharks and rays. The conference was the largest ever for the Convention with over 900 delegates attending the 6 day conference. Government officials, NGO’s, academics and media people swarmed around the conference location as species were subject to intense scrutiny before being placed on either Appendix I or Appendix II of the convention. The conference was termed the Shark COP…

Ivory poaching hurting elephant population

Ivory poaching hurting elephant population

A TV interview with leading Chinese anti-ivory campaigner Grace Ge Gabriel (12:27). It’s hard to believe that 70% of Chinese do not know that ivory comes from dead elephants. That statistic show the scale of the education programme needed in the country.  

forest elephants

UN troops set to ‘march for days into the jungle’ in the Congo

The head of the United Nations mission in the DR Congo, Special Representative Martin Kobler, has told the Security Council that the UN troops in the DR Congo are ready to ‘march for days into the jungle’ in pursuit of rebels and militia. He said that the mere presence of UN troops in danger areas is no longer sufficient to protect civilians. While much of the Democratic Republic of Congo is becoming more stable after peace talks and agreements the east of the country is still experiencing civil war and atrocities. Rebels and militia are still undertaking mass murders – mainly of women and children – before escaping into safe…

Bile extraction taking place in a Laotian bear farm traffic

Bear bile farming surges in Lao PDR

The number of bears held in bear bile farms in the Peoples Democratic Republic of Lao has surged in recent years. In 2008 there were just 40 bears held captive but by 2012 the number had tripled to 122. With no breeding facilities at the farms the assumption is that the growth of bear bile farms is at the expense of wild bear who are captured to stock the farms. The growth of bear bile farms in Lao PDR is recorded in a new study that has been published. The study was undertaken by independent researcher Emily Livingstone and Dr Chris Shepherd from TRAFFIC. The paper was published 29th October in conservation…

rhino

Kimberley Process is no model for legal rhino horn trade

South Africa is almost certain to try to push through a legal rhino horn trade at the CITES meeting in 2016. Those in support of a legal trade say a highly regulated system could raise money for rhino protection and slash poaching rates. Often those is support of a legal rhino horn trade point to the Kimberley Process of tackling ‘blood diamonds’. A report from a Panel of Experts at the end of last month on the conflict in Central African Republic demonstrates that the Kimberley Process is not as effective as thought and is pretty weak when it comes to trying to end the trade in conflict or blood diamonds.…

eia - elephants tanzania report

Chinese criminal syndicates & corruption behind Tanzania’s elephant meltdown

A new report reveals that Chinese-led criminal gangs are conspiring with corrupt Tanzanian officials to traffic huge amounts of ivory, a trade which has caused half of Tanzania’s elephants to be poached in the past five years – even diplomatic visits by high-level Chinese Government delegations have been used to smuggle ivory.  In the major new report Vanishing Point – Criminality, Corruption and the Devastation of Tanzania’s Elephants, released on the eve of a major regional wildlife crime summit in Tanzania, the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) details how the country’s elephants are being slaughtered in vast numbers to feed a resurgent ivory trade in China.  In December 2013, an official…

lion-cub

United States set to boost protection of lions

The United States is set to boost the protection of African lions as it continues to fight wildlife trafficking across the world. The Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) have submitted a petition to have the lion listed as Threatened under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). They are also calling for a permit system for sport hunt trophies so only those trophies from countries with sustainable populations can be imported. Following a review of the best scientific evidence the FWS yesterday submitted their petition and called for the African lion subspecies (Panthera leo leo) to be listed as a threatened species. They concluded that the species is in real danger of becoming…

leopard

Four leopard skins seized in Burnley, UK

National Wildlife Crime Unit officers and local police from Lancashire have seized a range of illegal wildlife products including 4 leopard skins from a house in Burnley. The search was undertaken on 23rd October and a 23-year-old man later handed himself into a local police station. During the search of the house a range of endangered wildlife items were discovered including: four Leopard skins, a Jaguar skull, a Sperm whale tooth and two stuffed Snowy owls The items seized are protected by international laws and are included on the Appendix A list of the Control in Endangered Species Enforcement Regulations 1997. Officers are now continuing with their enquiries and looking…

elephant

First ivory trading prosecution for UK auction houses

The first prosecution of an auctioneer in the UK for selling illegal ivory has taken place. The prosecution of Chiswick Auctions resulted in a fine of £3,200. The ivory carving came from an elephant killed during the 1960s and was therefore illegal to sell. The piece of carved ivory was discovered by Wildlife Crime Unit and Arts and Antiques unit officers during an on-going operation against modern ivory sales in London. The piece was seized during a search of trade stands at the Portobello Market. The tusk was carved as a train of elephants. During investigations the tusk was tracked back to Chiswick Auctions who sold the carving in 2010 as ‘old ivory’.…

rhino

Net closes on the Groenewalds as rhino poaching reaches 899

As the net closes in on the Groenewalds and their safari company Out of Africa Adventurous Safaris the South African government has announced that the latest rhino poaching stats for the country stands at 899. With just 10 weeks left in 2014 the number is set to beat last years record 1004 rhinos killed for their horn. Yesterday the Groenewald brothers were charged in the United States with a range of indictments including fraud and selling illegal rhino hunts to US hunters and also the illegal trade in rhino horns. The brothers have a long history of dubious rhino hunts with claims that they have worked with land grabbers in…