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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 […]

gorilla

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 […]

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 […]

rhino

Special forces set for Kaziranga National Park

Not so long ago the rhinos of Kaziranga National Park had to rely on rangers equipped with little more than a shot gun or wooden staff for protection. It was only a few years ago the rangers were lucky to have boots to wear for patrols. Soon though that will all change as an application has been put into the Indian central government for a special force of 1200 highly trained and equipped rangers to operate against the rhino poachers of Kaziranga. No longer will a .303 bolt action rifle of a ranger have to take on Kalashnikovs and military grade weapons of the poaching gangs. The new force will […]

It’s World Rhino Day today

South Africa confirms 2014 worst on record for rhino poaching – TRAFFIC’s response

Official figures released today by South Africa confirmed that 2014 was the worst on record for rhino poaching.  A total of 1,215 rhinos were poached in South Africa in 2014, an average of more than three animals per day or 100 per month.  The latest figures illustrate the severity of the rhino poaching crisis with losses substantially increasing for seven consecutive years. The number of animals killed now raises concerns that rhino populations in South Africa may be in decline for the first time in nearly 100 years.  Increased support—both in terms of more rangers on the ground and more up-to-date equipment have been made available during the year—yet despite […]

garamba buffett donation

Garamba National Park receives USD2 million boost from Howard G Buffett Foundation

African Parks’ efforts to resolve the poaching crisis in Garamba National Park have been bolstered by a $2 million grant from the Howard G. Buffett Foundation (HGBF), a private foundation in the United States. The funding was used to purchase a the Eurocopter (Airbus) AS 350 B3 model helicopter, designed to accommodate a pilot plus five rangers with sufficient weapons and equipment for a 10-day patrol. It is equipped with night vision capabilities and has been fully-fitted for African Parks’ law enforcement operations to implement a variety of dedicated anti-poaching and support initiatives. These include: show-of-force operations, the rapid deployment of anti-poaching rangers, surveillance flights, the transportation of tracker teams […]

elephant

Specialist anti-poaching air squadron set to launch in Tanzania

Speaking at a hand over of donated 4×4 vehicles the Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism in Tanzania, Lazaro Nyalandu, has announced that a special air squadron of 5 helicopters is set to take to the skies in the New Year as the country continues its fight against poachers. Despite the loss of a helicopter which crashed last month killing 4 staff, the Ministry has said that the new squadron will be ready to take on the poachers within weeks. The crashed helicopter is covered by insurance and will be replaced. A second helicopter is currently on the way to Tanzania and once new pilots have been trained in South […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

forest-elephant-poaching

United Nations launches emergency appeal for elephants of the Congo

The United Nations Rapid Response Facility has launched an emergency appeal to raise funds to fight elephant poachers in the Garamba National Park in the DR Congo. The launch comes just days after Mr. Martin Kobler, who heads the UN Organisation Stabilization Mission in the DRC (MONUSCO) said more international help is needed to stop the poachers. Kobler visited the Garamba National Park last week and said, “Armed group activity is eastern DRC is largely funded by the proceeds from illegal trade and trafficking of the country’s rich natural resources. Our efforts to track down these negative forces must also address the drivers of the conflict,” Despite increase action by […]

gorilla

Cameroon officials catch traffickers with gorilla, chimp and elephant bones

Cameroon gendarmerie officers have intercepted 2 wildlife traffickers carrying a number of bones from endangered species and are hunting the woman who ordered the items. Chief warrant officer, Ngouloure Oumarou from Tombel Gendarmerie post described the haul of the catch as containing 9 pieces of bones. The bones came from gorillas, chimpanzees and included the skull of a mature elephant. The age of the elephant is estimated to have been about 50 years old. The other bones are thought to have come from mature animals ranging in age between 30 and 40 years old. The two traffickers were caught at a hotel in Tombel, south wet Cameroon. They were discussing […]

rhino

Interpol launches specialist wildlife crime unit in Africa

Interpol has announced the formation of a specialist team to be based in Nairobi, Kenya, which will target wildlife criminals such as ivory poachers and rhino horn smugglers. The team will be an extension of the established Environmental Crime Unit based in Lyon, France. The dedicated team will help to co-ordinate activites of law enforcement agencies across Africa and build intelligence networks and information sharing capacity to reign in the activities of major criminal gangs and terrorists who use wildlife as a source of income. The unit will be based at Interpol’s Region Bureau for East Africa in Nairobi. With the illicit trade in ivory and rhinoceros horn a major […]

rhino-and-giraffe

Anti-poaching spokesman to be charged with rhino poaching

A senior ranger for South Africa National Parks is to be charged with rhino poaching. The sector ranger had also featured in press articles advising young people to stay away from poaching and criminal gangs. Now Lawrence Baloyi is set to be charged with two others for rhino poaching in the Kruger National Park. Baloyi, Andrea Mabunda and Shakes Baloyi were caught on 22nd September when four police officers were investigating an old rhino carcass in the Kruger Park. While examining the body of the rhino the police heard gunshots and used their helicopter to search the area. A dead rhino was found and the police called in special dog units […]

Tusks from at least 94 dead elephants seized in Cameroon

Officials at Yaounde-Nsimalen International Airport yesterday seized 200 tusks after locals provided the officials with a tip-off about the shipment. No arrests have yet been made and police are currently investigating the case. The supervising officer explained that it seems the tusks originated from the Southern part of Cameroon and possibly the border region with Gabon. The number of tusks suggested that at least 94 forest elephants had been killed. Cameroon has seen large-scale killings of its elephants before but with sentences for poachers being relatively light – maximum of three years in prison – there is little disincentive for poachers to stop operating. While tusks of any elephant is […]

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