An unknown error occured.
Indra Kailani

Environmental groups protest over Indonesian activist murder

The London-based Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) is one of 25 organisations to send a joint letter of protest over the murder of Indonesian activist Indra Kailani, killed in a confrontation with security staff employed by a subsidiary of Indonesia’s largest pulp and paper company. The letter, below and online at, has been sent today (Friday, March 6, 2015) to Asia Pulp and Paper, the Government of Indonesia, the European Commission, the European Delegation in Indonesia and the Indonesian Embassy in Brusssels.   Friday, March 6, 2015 On Friday, February 27, 2015 Indonesian community activist Indra Kailani was murdered following a confrontation with security guards working for PT Wirakarya Sakti […]


A third of the Amazon could lose 44% of species in just 15 years

New research has shown that parts of the Amazon could lose between 31% and 44% of major species by 2030, just 15 years away. The research shows that as regions of the Amazon reach a threshold for forest loss the number of species quickly crash. A third of the Amazon is expected to reach or exceed that threshold by 2030. As the Amazon is clear-felled for industries such as agriculture and timber species are obviously lost. To reduce the impact governments such as Brazil require operators to keep at least 80% forest cover but this is rarely enforced and often more forest is felled. What the researchers from the University […]


World Wildlife Day: tribespeople denounce persecution in the name of ‘conservation’

To mark World Wildlife Day on Tuesday, Survival International, the global movement for tribal peoples’ rights, exposes abuses faced by tribal peoples in the name of wildlife “conservation”. Powerful video testimonies by Bayaka “Pygmies” in the Republic of Congo highlight their intimate connection with their lands and the abuses they face at the hands of anti-poaching squads – who are often funded by large conservation organizations like the Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF) and the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS). The lives of thousands of Baiga tribespeople in India were destroyed after being forcibly and illegally evicted from Kanha Tiger Reserve – home of the “Jungle Book”. Their communities have been […]

kenya ivory burn

Kenya leads the way as UK and Tanzania lag behind

Today’s burning of 15 tons of ivory and tusks by Kenya has shown the way for other African countries who want to make a stand against elephant poaching. At the burn in Nairobi National Park, President Uhuru Kenyatta committed to burning the remain stockpile of Kenya by the end of this year. Before the 15 tons of tusks going up in flames it was estimated that Kenya had a stockpile of 100 tons. Kenya has taken a step that other countries in Africa should follow. As the pile of tusks were being built the UK and Tanzania signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the now dated and ineffective Elephant Protection Initiative […]

online sales

Social media becomes new trading hub for wildlife in China

Transactions for illegal wildlife products, particularly ivory, are shifting away from online retailers and onto social media platforms according to TRAFFIC’s research into the Chinese-language online retail community. This is a key finding of a new report, Moving targets: Tracking online sales of illegal wildlife products in China, which discloses the results of routine market monitoring of China’s online retailers that began in 2006 and is released today, World Wildlife Day. At its peak in March 2012, more than 4,000 new advertisements per month for illegal wildlife products were appearing online on Chinese language online retail websites, finds the new report. More than half of the illegal products offered comprised […]


Kenya to burn 15 tons of ivory on World Wildlife Day

There are reports from at least 2 official Chinese newspapers that Kenya is to mark World Wildlife Day by burning 15 tons of elephant tusk and ivory. While we’ve not yet been able to get an official source from Kenya to confirm or deny the report, both Xinhua (China’s state run news service) and are reporting that preparations are underway for the destruction. Kenya Wildlife Service Corporate Communications Manager Paul Udoto told Xinhua that the KWS are unable to put a value on the elephant tusks set to be burned as Kenya does not recognise trade in ivory as being legitimate. The latest tusk burn is Kenya’s third and […]


Virunga cleared of rebels claim

An unnamed official at the United Nations has claimed that the Virunga National Park has finally been cleared of rebel forces. The UN military adviser supported the claims of the DR Congo government that its army has retaken control of vast areas of the park following a weekend offensive. Joint operations by the United Nations forces and Congolese army was meant to take place in January but were delayed after the UN force pulled out. The UN demanded that the two DR Congo generals heading the army operation were replaced as they were under investigation for human rights abuses. The DR Congo government refused and decided to conduct the operation […]

Li Yuchun

Teaching elephants to handstand and taking chimps shopping – the life of a WWF Ambassador

A Chinese pop sensation who is a Wildlife Ambassador for the WWF has come under fire after taking part in a reality TV show based at a zoo. In the series a number of Chinese celebrities take part in activities with animals such as teaching elephants how to perform and do handstands or taking chimps out clothes shopping. The show is called Wonderful Friends and is based at the Chimelong Safari Park in Guangzhou, Guangdong Province. The show has caused a viral storm on the Chinese social media site Sina Weibo.  Online science channel also published a story on Saturday about inappropriate interactions between celebrities and chimpanzee cubs, including […]

ground pangolin africa

Fight over pangolin scales goes to court

The Ugandan courts will today decide on whether to issue an emergency injunction to prevent the export of 7 tons of pangolin scales worth USD4.3 million. The injunction will be decided in advance of a court hearing over the legality of Uganda Wildlife Authority ability to issue an export permit for the scales. While the original case was between Greenwatch – a Ugandan environmental organization – and the Ugandan Wildlife Authority, the trader and current owner of the pangolin scales is also claiming that he should be heard as a defendant because of the cost to his business if the permit is revoked. According to the particulars of the case, […]


Mexico commits $37 million to world’s smallest porpoise

The vaquita is the world’s smallest porpoise and with less than 100 remaining its future may not be certain. Living only in the Upper Sea of Cortez the porpoise is threatened by the gillnets used by fishermen to catch the totoaba fish. With just 25 breeding females in the population any more losses could be devastating for the species. Mexico has just announced a $37 million action plan to conserve the species and it involves the porpoises being protected by naval drones and high-speed patrol boats. The plan announced by Environment Department official Rafael Pacchiano will last for 2 years and will see a ban on gillnets being bought in later […]

Badger baiting rises in England and Wales but convictions drop.

DNA breakthrough sends badger baiters to jail

Three badger baiters from Rotherham have been sent to prison for 12 weeks after DNA forensic evidence was used for the first time. The RSPCA used the skills of the Scottish Government Science and Advice Service for Scottish Agriculture (SASA) to place the men at the scene of the crime. Antonio Miguel Alonso-Brown. aged 24, of Shelley Drive, Herringthorpe, Nathan Swift, 20, of Hague Avenue, Rawmarsh and his brother Liam, aged 24, of the same address, all in Rotherham, were caught by police near a badger sett off St John’s Road, Unstone, Derbyshire as they tried to flee. Behind them they had left a badger with a smashed in skull […]

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 – […]

forest elephants

China bans ivory imports – what will happen next month?

There was no big announcement and the source was a small article in the state run Legal Evening News but China has just made a major policy decision for elephants. The country has  – from immediate effect – banned the import of ivory and elephant tusks for 12 months. Is this just a short term measure or can we read into it some indication as to the stance of the central Chinese government next month when they meet to decide on whether to ban the domestic ivory trade. The announcement of the ban was made by the State Forestry Administration. The ban will mean that the government will immediately stop […]

landsat data

Deforestation rate soars 62% since 1990’s

A new satellite based study has shown that deforestation rates have soared by 62% since the 1990’s. During the 2000-2010 period 6.5 million hectares of primary forest was lost each year. An area equivalent to Norway being cleared every 5 years. The new study overturns claims by the U.N.’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) who said deforestation rates were falling. The FAO’s Forest Resource Assessment was produced using collections of separately submitted reports from dozens of countries. The new survey, set to be publicised in Geophysical Research Letters, is based on actual data from images produced by Landsat. The images record the actual changes to land use over the 20 year period […]


India deploys undercover commandos to combat wildlife trade

India has deployed plain-clothes commandoes along the Uttarakhand and Nepalese border to improve security against smugglers and wildlife traders. The news was made public today by SSB Additional Director General Somesh Goyal. he also confirmed that operations have already started. Goyal explained that teams of specially trained plain-clothes commandoes were patrolling the border in order to work better with local communities and to be more effective at intercepting smugglers. He said, “The force wants to get maximum cooperation from locals residing near these transit and trade routes to keep a tab on smugglers and wildlife traders.” Operations are being undertaken along all 22 trade routes between India and Nepal.  Patrol […]

amur leopard wwf-russia ISUNR

Amur leopard population doubles

With barely a couple of dozen animals in the wild during 2007 the amur leopard was close to extinction. It still is but at least the numbers are heading up. From an estimated 26-30 adults in 2007 numbers in the last census show that at least 57 of the big cats now live in it’s main stronghold with possibly another dozen living in China. The 2014 census of Russia’s Land of the Leopard National Park used extensive camera trapping over 900,000 acres. it was carried out by park authorities and researchers from the Russian Academy of Sciences with the support of The Amur Leopard Center and WWF-Russia. The camera footage and […]


Are synthetic wildlife products the way forward?

Is killing the demand for wildlife products such as rhino horn, elephant ivory and tiger parts the best way to protect our most precious wildlife or is growing the parts in a lab the way forward? A small start-up bio-engineering company called Pembient thing growing rhino horn, ivory and other wildlife products in the lab is the way to end poaching. Marketing themselves as ‘the De Beers of Synthetic Wildlife Products’ the company thinks it can produce the wildlife products at such a low cost that it makes no economic sense for poaching. The company has already been to Vietnam to test their lab produced ‘rhino horn’ powder. Despite their […]


Forensic DNA tests show majority of Thai ivory on sale comes from African elephants

Ivory traffickers be warned: the Thai authorities have a powerful forensic tool in the country’s drive to detect ivory of illegal origin entering its markets and ensure domestic traders are complying with new laws. A collaborative project between Thailand’s Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation (DNP) and TRAFFIC, the wildlife trade monitoring network, has trialed forensic DNA examination of ivory products to assess the origin of elephant ivory products commonly available in local markets. One hundred and sixty items of small ivory products legally acquired by TRAFFIC researchers primarily from retail outlets in Bangkok were subjected to DNA analysis at the DNP’s Wildlife Forensics Crime Unit (WIFOS Laboratory). […]

leopard - ingwe

Name a camera trap programme launched

We, the INGWE Leopard Research team, have recently launched our campaign, named “Your Own Camera In Africa” on the popular crowd funding site Kickstarter. With the aim of expanding our network of camera traps out in South Africa, our intention is to increase data collection that will help protect African wildlife, with a particular focus on the African leopard. Our unique method of using motion-sensor cameras to analyze leopard populations, territories and behaviors will help us towards their protection as unfortunately there are still permits available that endorse the hunting of these majestic big cats despite there being an obvious and worrying lack of data surrounding population numbers. The […]


Flawed model questions reliability of wildlife surveys

A flaw in a commonly used wildlife survey and census method could undermine the accuracy of those surveys. The accuracy of estimated populations of endangered species such as tigers is now under question. A team of statistical mathematicians discovered the flaw and explained how results using ‘index-calibration’ are unreliable. The flaw impacts on major species surveys such as the recent India National Tiger Survey which claimed an increase of 30% in the country’s tiger population. The  team of scientists from the University of Oxford, Indian Statistical Institute, and Wildlife Conservation Society exposes the short-comings of ‘index-calibration’ and while they are not suggesting that tiger numbers are not increasing in India […]

An unknown error occured.