165 critically endangered geckos seized at Heathrow

Border Force officers have intercepted an attempt to import 165 critically endangered turquoise dwarf geckos from Tanzania. The geckos was found last month within a larger consignment containing other species such as  chameleons, scorpions and frogs. Turquoise dwarf geckos are critically endangered and are protected under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). They […]


Thailand’s tortoise seizures significant but insufficient follow-up to quash illegal trade

Tortoises and freshwater turtles may be slow movers, but they are being smuggled at lightning speed through Thailand, with close to 19,000 seized in six years. A new TRAFFIC report, Seizures of Tortoises and Freshwater Turtles in Thailand 2008-2013, analyses 53 reported seizures of tortoises and freshwater turtles in Thailand, over half of which took […]

International smuggling threatens the Holy Grail of the reptile world

An unusual and little-known monitor lizard from Borneo that has captured the interest of reptile collectors is emerging as the latest victim of the global illicit wildlife trade, an investigative report by TRAFFIC warns. Lanthanotus borneensis or the Earless Monitor Lizard had long remained virtually unknown to the outside world due to its subterranean habits […]

British turtles are booming

It may take more than a day trip to the coast to see the booming turtle population but the numbers of green turtles on British dependency Ascension Island are booming. The latest survey shows that turtle numbers on the main beaches now total 24,000 nests – an increase of 500% since records began in the […]

Moldovan police and Interpol break up snake venom gang

Police in Moldova working with Interpol officers have broken up a snake venom smuggling gang that operated between Moldova and Afghanistan. The amount of venom seized in the interception was valued at up to 2.8 million Euros. With closer ties being formed between Moldova and the European Union there is an opportunity for criminal gangs […]

Alarming rise in Black Spotted Turtle trade across Asia

Illegal international trade of the Black Spotted Turtle in Asia has escalated over recent years and immediate action is required to stem the flow, a new TRAFFIC report has found. The attractive spotted visage of the Black Spotted Turtle, Geoclemys hamiltonii, may well be its downfall. The species is known to be traded for meat, […]

Heathrow wildlife traffickers jailed for 12 months

2 Romanian women who were caught trying to smuggle 13 endangered iguanas through Heathrow airport have been jailed for 12 months. The women were caught during border checks at Terminal 5 on 3rd February. The discovery was made as the women transferred from their Bahamas flight to their connection to Dosseldorf in Germany. Border Force […]

Greece faces court over turtle habitat

The European Union (EU) is to take Greece to court over the threats to turtle habitat in the country. The EU is to claim that unrestricted development around the coast of Greece is putting endangered sea turtles at risk. Of particular concern is  Kyparissia Bay in the Western Peloponnese, one of the most important nesting beaches for […]

Water test to end the great newt scam

Claiming that they’ve seen protected greater crested newts on a proposed site is something that is often used by anti-housing campaigners. It adds costs to any planning application and can also delay the development process for many months as ecologists have to make repeated visits to a site to try to find evidence. Now a simple […]

UK Border Force seizes endangered reptiles

Thirteen endangered San Salvador Rock Iguanas have been seized by Border Agency officers at Heathrow. The reptiles were in the possession of 2 Romanian women on their way to Germany. The women were passing through Terminal 5 yesterday on their way back to Dusseldorf from the Bahamas. 1 of the iguanas had died during transport. […]

UK Garden wildlife health watch launches

  Britain’s largest survey of the health of garden wildlife has begun today and lead partners are calling for people to report on the condition of their garden wildlife at the web site of the Garden Wildlife Health project. The aim of the project is to  gain a better understanding of the diseases that threaten native wildlife. […]

Security engraving hopes for saving tortoises

With just 400 adult Ploughshare tortoises left in the wild conservationists are hoping to reduce their value to poachers by engraving security codes on to their highly decorative shells. Now critically endangered the ploughshare tortoise has seen it’s population plummet in recent years as poachers seek them out for supplies to the pet trade. The […]

Return of the Lizard King: Ministry hits back at Al Jazeera

Malaysia’s Natural Resources and Environment Ministry have responded to the recent Al Jazeera documentary about Anson Wong – also known as The Lizard King. In an open letter to the national newspaper News Straits Times the ministry have pointed out some mistakes in the programme. The main point of concern is the claim that Anson […]

CITES checklist now online

With 35,000 different species covered by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) it can be difficult for wildlife traders and customers to ensure that they have the adequate documentation and certificates. Many exotic pet or plant owners may not even be aware of the need for certification of some species. THat has all […]

450000 water monitor lizards killed each year for handbags

A team of Indonesian and German researchers have recently published a comprehensive study into the current state of south-east Asia’s giant lizard populations. Despite all the species of the giant lizards having protection under CITES they are under threat from an un-controlled trade. The pet trade is the biggest threat to the giant lizards-  such as […]

International taxonomists name their Top 10 new species from 2012

In celebration of  Carolus Linnaeus – the scientist who established the naming system for species – the world’s top taxonomists have released their latest Top 10 new species list. The latest list  covers 2012 and is the 6th annual list they have produced. The choice of this years top species covers a wide range of […]

New snake species named after assassinated forest campaigner

A deadly but beautiful new species of palm pit-viper snake has been named after the assassinated forest campaigner Mario Guifarro. The gorgeous new species was discovered by scientists during two expeditions in 2010 aimed at studying the fauna of Texiguat Wildlife Refuge, one of the most endemism-rich and diverse highland forests in Mesoamerica. The new […]