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…

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…

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’.…

Allen-Lambert

Gamekeeper guilty of killing 11 birds of prey

A gamekeeper at a Norfolk shooting estate has been found guilty by magistrates of killing 11 birds of prey and possessing pesticides used to make poisoned baits for the birds.  Allen Lambert, 65, has also pleaded guilty at a previous hearing to 5 charges of illegal storage and use of pesticides and possession of 9 dead buzzards. Lambert has worked for the Stody estate in Norfolk who operates the land as a shooting estate. Lamert was found guilty on Wednesday at Norwich Magistrates’ Court and will return there on 6th November for sentencing. The charges he was found guilty of included the killing 10 buzzards and a sparrowhawk and possession of associated pesticides…

Network for Animals slammed by South African animal welfare organisation

British wildlife charity, Network for Animals, has been rebuked by the National Council of SPCAs (NSPCA) for publishing misleading information on their website and fundraising campaign which could undermine a major elephant cruelty prosecution and have also been accused of trying to raise funds with claims of involvement in the case when they have played no role in the prosecution. The National Council of SPCAs (NSPCA) have been in contact with the Network for Animals previously in order to get the information corrected but no action has been taken to correct the information. In order to correct the situation the National Council of SPCAs (NSPCA) has now published an open letter to…

The most exciting wildlife art competition in the UK opens for entries on Monday 1st September.

The most exciting wildlife art competition in the UK opens for entries on Monday 1st September. Now in its 8th year, this well-established competition continues to attract some of the best wildlife artists in the world both professional and amateur and gives a fantastic platform for emerging young artists with its Young & Wild category. Nine categories to suit all styles, a £10,000 prize purse, a week-long exhibition at the Mall Galleries in London and all profits donated to support wildlife conservation make up an irresistible palette of prizes. Entry is open from Monday September 1st to February 13th 2015. For more information and entry forms (online and postal) see:…

UK rejects claims of funding ivory stockpiles

The Foreign Office has rejected claims made by Tanzanian officials, including ministers, and reported in the media that the UK was to fund the storage costs of Tanzania’s ivory stockpile for 10 years. The information from the Africa Desk confirms that the UK will fund an inventory of Tanzania’s stockpile but will not be funding any treatment of the tusks or any storage costs of the estimated 120 tonne stockpile. This is at odds with some claims made publically by Tanzanian officials that the UK tax-payer would meet the costs of storage for 10 years ‘while a study is undertaken to determine the impact of poaching on the elephant population’.…

Conserve living elephants don’t preserve the dead

It is the final fight to save elephants in the wild. Countries around the world are becoming more aware of the role that ivory stockpiles play in fuelling poaching and the deaths of elephants. Over the last 12 months countries have stepped up to the mark and destroyed or are destroying their ivory stockpiles to take the tusks of dead elephants out of the market place for good. Even China and Hong Kong, the two major destination countries of tusks have started to destroy their stocks. Other countries, in particular the United States, have gone further and introduced legislation that has effectively shut down the ivory trade in their borders…

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 1970’s The increase means that the beaches around the Ascension Island are now the second largest breeding population in the Atlantic Ocean. The future could be even brighter for the turtles and other wildlife as the governor signed in to existence 7 new nature reserves yesterday (28th July 2014) which included 3 main green turtle…

Controversial bee project buzzing with success

A bee re-introduction plan in Kent which led to outrage in Sweden appears to be working as researchers discover workers in the fields – a sure sign of the queen bees having bred. There has been a number of failed attempts at reintroducing the short-haired bumblebee to Kent in this year it may have finally been successful. It appears that it has been no easy task for the team to bring back the short-haired bumble bee to Dungeness and the Romney Marshes with attempts to introduce the species from New Zealand failing and at least two previous attempts to introduce queen bees from Sweden also having failed. However 2014 appears to…

Crop spraying connected to treatment resistant fungal lung disease

A UK based study by scientists from Manchester University and Radboud University have made a connection between crop-spraying and resistant Aspergillus infection in lungs of people. The study compared the aspergillus fungus in people from North Yorkshire where fungicides are sprayed on to crops with aspergillus found in inner-city Manchester and away from crop-spraying. The researchers found that 1.7% of the fungi samples taken from North Yorkshire were resistant to current treatments while no samples taken from Manchester were found to be drug-resistant. The aspergillus fungi is a common fungus found in the air, soil and water. However for some people it is a deadly condition if it gets into the…

Can elephants survive British diplomacy?

Can elephants survive British diplomacy?

The recent article we published about Britain stepping in to help Tanzania to store and preserve its vast ivory and tusk stockpile has generated a lot of traffic and discussion. We even had a tweet from the Africa Minister, Mark Simmons, highlighting that the UK is against illegal wildlife trading and our article was wrong to suggest that Britain is supporting poaching with its aid to Tanzania. While we don’t know the full details of the deal struck with Tanzania – and we wait with anticipation over the publication of that deal – what we do know is the extent to which Tanzania has changed its stance on the ivory…

Britain steps in to stop Tanzania destroying its ivory stocks

Just as Tanzania seemed to be heading towards destroying its 112 tonnes of seized tusks and ivory it appears that the British government has stepped in to stop it from happening. As countries around the world are stepping up to show their disapproval for the elephant poaching epidemic the UK seems intent on supporting it. It is reported that during his 2 day visit to Tanzania the UK Minister for Africa Mark Simmonds on Wednesday evening assured the Tanzanian government that the UK would help it to maintain and store the vast ivory stockpile. This is despite a growing and popular campaign within Tanzania to see the stocks destroyed. It…

Ricky Gervais supports Metropolitan Police’s call for Londoners to donate unwanted wildlife products

The Metropolitan Police Service Wildlife Crime Unit, in partnership with animal welfare and conservation NGOs, has announced a call for Londoners to donate items made from elephant ivory and other wildlife products from endangered species. The call for donations will run across London police stations until the end of the month and is supported by actor Ricky Gervais . “This is an opportunity for Londoners to show their support and to protect animals from the illegal wildlife trade by giving away any unwanted items made from endangered species such as elephants, tigers and rhinos,” says Ricky Gervais , an active animal supporter. DC Sarah Bailey, Metropolitan Police Wildlife Crime Unit,…

End of an era as BBC plan to dumb down wildlife documentaries

For the last 30 years or so nature lovers across the world have been spoiled by the BBC and its high quality nature programming. All that is now to change as the BBC gets set to ‘dumb down’ its nature programming moving away from science and facts towards populist hyperbole and emotional anthropomorphism. In a piece in todays Daily Telegraph the BBC has confirmed that the scientific and factual approach of wildlife programming that led to the BBC dominating nature documentary production with global admiration is to come to an end. The head of the corporation’s Natural History unit, Wendy Darke, said in the piece that the BBC will not…

Disruptive policies needed to provide homes for people

Looking back at the track record of Labour’s 13 years in power and their abysmal ability to build sufficient homes (was it just incompetence or Gordon Brown’s desire to push up house prices?) it would be difficult to conceive that any other government could be as bad as Labour at ensuring enough houses were built for the population. However the Libdem and Tory coalition have magnificently succeeded in being even worse than Labour. One of the core responsibilities of government is to meet the very basic needs of its population and one of the most basic of needs is somewhere to live. For the last 20 years the political parties…

UK government clarifies protection of public forest estate

The UK government has clarified the position of the public forests estate in relation to the Infrastructure Bill. Public owned forests will not be part of the land that the government is seeking to release to boost much-needed housing in the country. Public forests will be protected from being transferred to the Homes and Communities Agency. In response to increasing levels of mis-information that is currently being promoted by some groups Baroness Stowell released a statement in the House of Lords. In the statement she confirmed: “Clause 21 of the Infrastructure Bill is completely unconnected to the government’s stated policy to establish a new public body to hold the public forest…

UK courts give conditional discharge to trader of endangered species

Teeside Crown Court  has given a taxidermist who traded illegally in endangered bird species a conditional discharge and a £300 fine. Lee Yafano, 41 years of Glenfield Drive, Middlesbrough, traded stuffed birds of prey on ebay and claimed that the items came with the required permits. Officers from the National Wildlife Crimes Unit and Cleveland Police monitored ebay and monitored a seller, Yafano, who was selling species covered by CITES Annex A species which required a permit – Article 10 – for trade to take place. Yafano knew about the requirements but intentionally ignored the needs for permits Police raided Yafanos home on 12th November 2012 and discovered a live…

Tiger, tiger burning bright …flaming success combines art, awareness and conservation

This year’s Wildlife Artist of the Year international art prize has, once again, attracted hundreds of artists who share a passion to raise awareness and funds for conservation through their art. One shortlisted entrant uses the power of fire to symbolise the regeneration of what man destroys. Since he was a child Vietnamese Trung Nghĩa Nguyen has marvelled at people who live in harmony with nature and animals. But, as he grew and witnessed the increasing destruction, disaster and death of many species caused by those who brazenly transform the wonders of fire into a means of annihilation he decided to use fire as a means to rebuild what is…