baby elephant

85% of Thai ivory traders close in 3 months

As the deadline looms for Thailand to get its domestic ivory trade in order or risk trade bans under CITES the number of ivory traders in Thailand’s main ivory market has dropped by 85%.  As traders have not been able to provide sufficient evidence of the source of their ivory the number of shops in Chatuchak and Tha Prachan have fallen from 200 to just over 30. In order to avoid being subject to CITES species trade bans Thailand was required to improve it’s monitoring of its domestic ivory trade. While it claimed that its domestic ivory trade was met purely by domestic ivory the figures did not add up – […]

Sunda Pangolin

Rescued pangolins sold to restaurants

When police from the northern province of Vietnam intercepted poachers and rescued 42 pangolins it might be safe to assume that eventually those pangolins would be released back into the wild. However once the pangolins were handed over to forest officials the officials decided to sell them to local restaurants. Conservationists from Education for Nature-Vietnam have been angered by the decision of the forestry department and accuse the officials of effectively supporting the trade in endangered animals. Even if, as claimed by officials, the pangolins were in such a poor condition they would likely die, selling them to restaurants should not have been contemplated. Nguyen Thi Phuong Dung, deputy director […]

Hong Kong’s big ivory burn begins

The secret world of ivory destruction

Concerns are being raised by conservation and environmental groups about the handling of the ivory destruction in Hong Kong. From the high profile destruction of the first batch in May 2014 the following monthly destruction has been strictly ‘behind closed doors’. Each batch of ivory destruction since that first batch has been witnessed only by a select group of invited members of a statutory advisory body on endangered-species protection  That group is made up people who also have a vested interest in wildlife trade such as reptile traders, rare plants sellers and people who are involved with traditional medicine. Independent media and non-government groups and organisations have been barred from the […]

forest-elephant-poaching

Cameroon responds to reappearance of poachers at Bouba-Ndjidda

The Cameroon government has launched Operation Peace at Bouba-Ndjidda after the discovery of elephant poachers operating in the national park again. In an effort to prevent a repeat of the 2012 slaughter of elephants a full scale military operation has been launched to track down and eradicated the poachers. On January 16th a military patrol hear gunfire in the national park and went to investigate. They discovered 10 dead elephants. The patrol came from the permanent  4th Rapid Intervention Battalion (4th Bir) which was formed after the killing of hundreds of elephants in a couple of months during 2012. On the discovery of the elephant bodies the government launched the latest […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Chinese property tycoon ate 3 tigers in three months

Chinese property tycoon ate 3 tigers in three months

A Chinese property tycoon from Nanning in Guangxi Zhuang southern China was caught up in a police raid in Guangdong where a tiger was electrocuted and dismembered for eating. The businessman was named as Xu and he pleaded guilty to the charges at Qinzhou Beiqu People’s Court on June 5th. The court also heard Xu admit to being responsible for the killing of 3 tigers between March and May last year. The court heard how Xu ordered that the tigers were electrocuted and then drained of blood and dismembered. The bones were roasted and meat from the tigers packed up and shipped back to Nanning. Xu who had property investments including hotels and […]