Conservation in the news: 17-23 October 2016

Conservation in the newsConservation Watch’s round-up of the week’s news on national parks, protected areas and conservation in the Global South.

For regular updates, follow @conserwatch on Twitter.

17 October 2016

Controversy surrounds South African coal mine, 17 October 2016
Atha-Africa Ventures’ Yzermyn project, a 2.26Mt/year export underground coal mine in the Mpumalanga province, is creating controversy between the South African government and environmental activists.
The Indian company has secured a mining right, an environmental authorisation, and an integrated water-use licence. The only step missing to kick-start operations is the approval the project needs from the Ministry of Environmental Affairs.
The problem is that the mine sits in the Mabola protected area, declared as such in 2014. Three major rivers, the Vaal, the Tugela and the Pongola, converge there. Thus, the place is one of the top five sources of water for the region.

Ugandans told to treasure national parks
East African Business Week, 17 October 2016
President Yoweri Museveni has asked local governments bordering national parks to support conservation agencies such as Ugandan Wildlife Authority (UWA).
He said although the number of tourists visiting the country’s national parks has increased there are also rising incidences of human-to-wildlife conflicts in some parts of the country. This may hinder the development of the tourism sector during the next five years.
In the speech read for him by Prime Minister Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda during the recent commemoration of World Tourism day in Mbarara (Western Uganda), Museveni said local leaders have a duty to educate the public about the contribution of the sector in the national economy.
“Promoting conservation of natural and cultural heritage resources by securing the integrity of the protected areas boundaries restore and maintain healthy ecosystems and address human-wildlife conflicts solving the conflicts should be every one responsibility because the revenue from the parks are equally shared both by Government and the local communities surrounding the parks,” reads part of the President’s speech.

18 October 2016

[India] Wildlife conservation project to be launched soon
By Vivek Deshpande, The Indian Express, 18 October 2016
A NGO-driven wildlife conservation initiative focused on habitat conservation and eco-development by addressing livelihood concerns of communities is soon likely to be launched by the Forest Department under the direction and funding from the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
To be mainly propelled by six NGOs with the Forest Department playing the sheet anchor, the project titled ‘Integrated Habitat Conservation and Eco-development Tiger Landscape’ will be implemented in two prime tiger corridors, Nagzira-Navegaon-Tadoba and Melghat-Bor-Pench. The NGOs to associate with the project will be Wildlife Trust of India, Wildlife Conservation Trust, Wildlife Research and Conservation Society, The Research and Conservation Trust, Binary Natural History Society and Satpuda Foundation. These NGOs will in turn take help of some local grassroots NGOs in project implementation.

Laos seeks heritage status
By Wanwisa Ngamsangchaikit, TTR Weekly, 18 October 2016
Lao PDR plans to submit documents by February 2017 to seek UNESCO World Heritage status for Hin Nam No National Protected Area.
Lao News Agency quoted Khammouane’s Forestry Division head, Sisomphone Soudthichack, saying the process was underway to achieve a listing.
It could take another three years to achieve recognition once the UNESCO accepts the application for consideration.
“To prepare our proposal we had to complete many tasks including providing maps, legislation, details of the area’s bio-diversity, conservation management and information on the role of tourism.”
The proposed documents for the listing of the Hin Nam No National Protected Area as a UNESCO World Heritage Site are currently being considered by the National Secretariat, the report said.

[Malaysia] Outraged wildlife groups warn of tiger extinction
The Malay Mail, 18 October 2016
Wildlife conservation groups were outraged at the apparent killing of a protected Malayan tiger by poachers and demanded beefed up security to prevent further poaching.
World Wildlife Fund (WWF) chief executive officer Datuk Dionysius Sharma warned inaction would see the extinction of irreplaceable fauna unique to the country.
“Other countries like Nepal have recognised this problem and have employed the help of their army to safeguard their wildlife,” he said.
“We should also look into doing something similar on a more permanent basis as ad-hoc and periodic patrols of our forests will not be able to detect, halt or deter these cases.”

[Philippines] 20 more mine sites to lose MPSAs soon
By Jonathan L. Mayuga, Business Mirror, 18 October 2016
At least 20 more mining sites are expected to lose their license to operate soon, not on the basis of the environment department’s mining audit, but for being in declared protected areas (PAs).
Director Theresa Mundita S. Lim of the Biodviersity Management Bureau (BMB) said records show more than 20 Mineral Production and Sharing Agreement (MPSAs) issued to various mining companies are within or encompassing declared PAs, threatening ecosystems of unique and threatened wildlife species.
These mining sites—according to the recent policy pronouncement of Environment Secretary Regina Paz L. Lopez—are likely to lose their MPSAs, as she said there will be “no more mining in any protected area.”

19 October 2016

Discovery Communications Announces ‘Project C.A.T.: Conserving Acres For Tigers’
Discovery Communications press release, 19 October 2016
Discovery Communications announced today a historic partnership with World Wildlife Fund (WWF) through which Discovery will fund and help conserve nearly 1 million acres of protected habitat in India and Bhutan to protect and increase the wild tiger population.
“The global movement to protect tigers just got one million acres stronger,” said David Zaslav, President and CEO of Discovery Communications, who made today’s announcement. “Discovery is a purpose-driven company, and for more than 30 years we’ve had cameras in every corner of the globe, from PLANET EARTH to RACING EXTINCTION, documenting and inspiring audiences about the beauty and splendor of our planet. Unfortunately, our cameras also have captured the fragile state of much of the world and its animals. So today we take a bold step further, beyond the lens, to protect one of our most iconic and endangered species. Not on our watch will we let these beautiful animals disappear from the world. We will shine a light on this compelling cause and amplify it through our global brands and platforms with the goal of doubling the wild tiger population by 2022.”

Amazon fishery management provides rare ‘win-win’ for conservation and poverty alleviation
University of East Anglia press release, 19 October 2016
A study into freshwater lake management along the Amazon’s most meandering river has demonstrated astounding benefits to local livelihoods in replenishing vitally important fish stocks — a source of much-needed food and income.
Prof Carlos Peres from the University of East Anglia (UEA) and Dr João Campos-Silva of Federal University of Rio Grande do Norte in Brazil led the analysis into the population recovery of Arapaima gigas, the world’s largest scaled freshwater fish, which had been previously depleted.
Eight years of data were used to measure how population sizes varied between managed, protected oxbow lakes and open-access lakes. The study demonstrated a dramatic rebound in arapaima populations that had been previously overfished in lakes under community-based management, concluding that these management programmes are a clear ‘win-win’ conservation solution, compatible with the socioeconomic reality of Amazonian countries.

China aims for 2,200 wild pandas by 2025, 19 October 2016
China is looking to expand the population of wild giant pandas by 2,200 within the next decade.
In the animals’ habitat in southwest China, the number for wild pandas has climbed to 1,864, while 422 are now breeding in captivity.
The country will also expand pandas’ habitat, mostly in provinces of Sichuan, Gansu and Shaanxi, and work to release more captive ones into the wild.
Earlier this year, after decades of conservation, giant pandas are no longer endangered, announced the World Wildlife Fund.
The species was downgraded to “vulnerable” from “endangered” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.
According to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), China now has 67 panda reserves.

[Democratic Republic of Congo] Population analysis suggests Grauer’s gorilla is Critically Endangered
PLOS press release, 19 October 2016
Grauer’s gorilla, which is confined to the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, is now Critically Endangered, according to a study published October 19, 2016 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Andrew Plumptre from Wildlife Conservation Society, USA, and colleagues.
This is the first analysis of the Grauer’s gorilla population since civil war broke out in the region in 1996. Since the war, armed miners have hunted bushmeat including gorillas, but the presence of militia has complicated assessments of the gorilla population. Plumptre and colleagues assessed local community and ranger-collected data that included encounter rates at gorilla nests at 10 sites as well as spatial occupancy across the species’ range.

Indigenous Land Rights In Mesoamerica
Alianza Mesoamericana de Pueblos y Bosques, 19 October 2016
In 2016 the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) presented the map ‘Indigenous peoples, protected areas and natural ecosystems of Central America’, the study corroborates the fundamental relationship between indigenous peoples and the conservation of forests, mangroves , wetlands and corals of the Central American region. The study shows with scientific evidence that close to 50% of protected forests in the area overlap with indigenous territories.
Indigenous peoples uniquely protect forests and biodiversity through their traditional practices and way of life. Mesoamerica is a living example of the ways in which the respect or violation of indigenous land tenure rights make a difference between socioeconomic welfare and environmental devastation.

[Mongolia] Sukh to receive the Denver Zoological Conservation Award
The Villagers, 19 October 2016
Denver Zoo has selected Dr. Amgalanbaatar Sukh (Dr. Amgaa) as its 2016 Conservation Award winner. Dr. Amgaa is the director of Ikh Nart Nature Reserve and has been a partner of the zoo for the past 19 years. He will receive his award at the zoo’s 19th Annual Conservation Night, Thursday, October 13, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Zoo staff will celebrate their 20 years of field conservation efforts around the world with a special focus on Mongolia, its longest-standing conservation project.
Dr. Amgaa has significantly advanced wildlife research and program management, as well as the long-term success of the Ikh Nart Nature Reserve (Ikh Nart), in central Mongolia. His dedication to the reserve and the zoo’s conservation mission is evident through his time spent implementing programs with targeted education outreach and creating and fostering productive relationships with universities throughout the country. Dr. Amgaa has worked with the zoo since its early days of outreach efforts in Mongolia.

[USA] Yosemite signs sister agreements with three international parks
Sierra Star, 19 October 2016
Yosemite National Park last month signed three new sister park agreements with Cumbres de Monterrey National Park in Mexico, Blue Mountains National Park in Australia, and Wadi Rum Protected Area in Jordan. Park officials joined Yosemite Acting Superintendent Linda Mazzu to sign a formal agreement between each park and Yosemite, which cemented a formal relationship as the National Park Service enters a second century of service.
A goal of Yosemite National Park has been to strengthen international relations and to enhance the International Affairs program at Yosemite by establishing a sister park on six continents, excluding Antarctica, officials said. This allows Yosemite to share information and resources, learn from fellow Rangers and park managers across the globe, share best practices in park management, exchange technical assistance, and expand opportunities for collaboration in the areas of resource management.

Biodiversity conservation in Yemen – joining forces for the future
By Sharif Jbour and Maaike Manten, BirdLife International, 19 October 2016
What do conservationists do when they can’t do surveys, can’t implement grass-root activities, can’t meet with local people or government representatives to talk about environmental issues and policies? What if a country is being bombed, tanks are rolling through the streets, and it’s not even clear who the government is?
This story can be read as an annex to the latest BirdLife -The Magazine’s ‘War issue’.

20 October 2016

Coalition taps private sector to help nature pay for itself
By Susan Kelley, Cornell Chronicle, 20 October 2016
The global community is spending only about 15 percent of what it must to conserve natural habitats for future generations, according to a new global consortium headed by Cornell and three other world-class institutions. The consortium is betting private investors, if presented with the right opportunity, will see the benefit of boosting that number.
Cornell has partnered with Credit Suisse, The Nature Conservancy and the International Union for Conservation of Nature to co-found the Coalition for Private Investment in Conservation. The coalition also includes more than 20 supporting members, from financial institutions to environmental organizations to national governments.
The group’s goal is to help preserve the world’s most important ecosystems by creating new opportunities for private investment in conservation and sustainable development.

‘People need nature’
By Agustín Silvani (Conservation International), Environmental Finance, 20 October 2016
Nature-based solutions – protecting forests, managing watersheds, restoring coastal ecosystems – are efficient and effective answers to our most critical development problems. To achieve our goals of tackling climate change for a sustainable future by 2030 we will have to lean on nature – our green infrastructure.
In fact, nature can provide at least 30% of the solution to limiting global warming to 2°C. These are near-term solutions that are available today – not dependent on new technology – yet they currently receive only 2% of estimated global climate finance flows; 30% of the solution, but only 2% of current investment? That represents a tremendous opportunity that savvy investors, both public and private, are now looking to capitalize on.

Conservation conversations
By Javed Jabbar, The News, 20 October 2016
In September 2016, the world’s most unique ecology forum adopted two motions with potentially far-reaching, multiple impacts on mass participation to combat climate change.
These two motions came in the final days of the Members’ Assembly of the International Union for Conservation of Nature ( held as the second part of the quadrennial World Conservation Congress in Honolulu, Hawaii on September 1-10. The assembly was attended by over 9,000 delegates from about 160 countries. Ten fulsome days enabled thousands of dialogues to motivate action for a healthier planet.
One motion approved opening union membership to indigenous people’s organisations. The second called on the newly-elected council to set up a working group on how membership could also be opened to local governments. While indigenous people’s bodies are relatively easy to identify for eligibility, there are significant variations between, and even within, countries and across continents on the precise definition of eligible local governments.

Park ranger murdered while trying to protect Congo’s rare gorillas
By Shreya Dasgupta, The Guardian, 20 October 2016
On October 4, a park ranger was killed in the Democratic Republic of Congo’s Kahuzi Biega national park while trying to protect the park’s rare Grauer’s gorillas.
The ranger, Munganga Nzonga Jacques, died at the age of 26. He was killed in the Tshivanga region of the park — an area that was previously believed to be safe for the gorillas, according to a statement by the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS).
Jacques is the second ranger to be killed in Kahuzi Biega in the last six months. On 31 March 2016, rebel groups fatally shot another park ranger, Oscar Byamungu Mianziro, in Kahuzi Biega.

[Guyana] Granger attending Conservation International’s board meeting in Washington
Stabroek News, 20 October 2016
President David Granger will be attending the two-day Conservation International (CI) Board of Directors Meeting in Washington, D.C. from today.
The Head of State was invited to meet with the Board and top officials of CI, as well as address, along with President Ian Khama of Botswana, an official dinner, a release from the Ministry of the Presidency said.
“The President will promote Guyana’s push towards the development of a ‘green’ state and make the case for international support for this goal. Having already committed to bringing a further two million hectares of Guyana’s forest under conservation, President Granger is expected to emphasise its central role to the construction of a ‘green’ state, demonstrating how conservation can form the basis of economic growth and human development”, the release said.

Project to increase wild tiger population in India, Bhutan
Times of India, 20 October 2016
In order to protect and increase wild tiger population, nearly one million acres of protected habitat in India and Bhutan will be covered under a new private conservation efforts.
The ‘Project C.A.T – Conserving acres for Tigers’ by Discovery Communications and NGO World Wildlife Fund (WWF) aims to conserve the wild tiger population, which has dropped by 96 per cent in the last century alone to only 4,000 left in the wild due to habitat loss and pervasive poaching.
“The global movement to protect tigers just got one million acres stronger. For more than 30 years we have had cameras in every corner of the globe, from ‘Planet Earth’ to ‘Racing Extinction’ documenting and inspiring audiences about the beauty and splendor of our planet. Unfortunately, our cameras also have captured the fragile state of much of the world and its animals.

[Kenya] Uhuru Kenyatta lashes out at opponents of SGR Nairobi National Park route
By Moses Michira, Standard, 20 October 2016
President Uhuru Kenyatta has bashed conservationists opposed to having the Standard Gauge Railway pass through the Nairobi National Park. In an indication the State would not yield to the demands of re-routing the Sh150 billion-worth project, he said it was ‘nonsense’ for the opponents to rush to court. He was speaking at the launch of the second phase of the 120-kilometre line linking Nairobi to Suswa, near Narok town. “Nothing is going to damage the Nairobi National Park, so these people should just stop dragging us to court,” President Kenyatta said. He maintained that the route was final, as all consultants involved had approved of it after considering the costs and how to deal with unintended outcomes such as interfering with the wildlife.

Conserving Madagascar’s forest of hope
By Roger Stafford, BirdLife International, 20 October 2016
Some places are so rich in natural wonders, so extraordinary, so different from any other, so important for people, and yet so threatened, that we must pull out all the stops to save them. Madagascar is one such: an ‘island-continent’ almost as big as France, with wildlife so unlike even nearby Africa’s that it can hardly be bracketed with it, or any other region of the world. Within this vast area are a multitude of astonishing sites, and right up among the most remarkable of these is Tsitongambarika Forest. Most of Madagascar’s forests have been destroyed over a long period, and in particular the lowlands have suffered, being the most accessible areas.
The rainforests of Madagascar form a chain extending down the east side of the great island, much of it on steep slopes and at high altitude. In a few places, mostly in the North, forest survives down on the hills, and very occasionally plains, by the coast; but in the South, forest in such places has virtually all gone.It is no wonder, then, that Tsitongambarika, as the only remaining area in southern Madagascar that supports significant areas of lowland rainforest, is such a treasure. Scaly and Short-legged Ground-rollers (Geobiastes squamiger and Brachypteracias leptosomus), once impossible dreams for visitors and still highly prized finds, are common.

[South Africa] Justice for Rhinos—When Will It Come?
By Laurel Neme, National Geographic, 20 October 2016
Nothing prepared me for the venom in his eyes. While not directed at me, nobody in the courtroom could escape the anger seeping from his pores.
Through a twist of fate, I was in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN), a province on the eastern coast of South Africa, on September 19, the day the trial of a suspected leader of a rhino horn trafficking syndicate, Dumisani Gwala, and his two co-conspirators was scheduled to begin.
Arrested on December 18, 2014, after a weeks-long sting, he reportedly is “the leader of KZN’s biggest rhino-poaching syndicate,” with about 80 percent of illicit horns in the province passing through his hands.
“He is brutal and rules by the gun. He is often the middleman between the poachers and buyers, but he also organises poachers in Mozambique and locally and provides them with weapons,” Barend Lottering, head of the private, regional Nyathi Anti-Poaching Unit told South Africa’s Sunday Tribune at the time of the arrest.

21 October 2016

Translating Survey Findings Into Effective Elephant Protection Results
By Paul Elkan and Simon Hedges (WCS), National Geographic, 21 October 2016
The results of the ambitious, two-year-long Great Elephant Census (GEC) of the African continent’s savannah elephant populations were released in late August. The GEC team estimated a population of 352,271 savannah elephants in survey sites in 18 countries. Best estimates suggest savannah elephant populations have decreased by 144,000 from 2007 to 2014 and we are losing roughly 8 percent per year continent-wide – chiefly due to poaching for ivory.
While shocking, the overall results of the GEC should not be that surprising to conservationists. Given our firsthand knowledge of the elephant poaching situations in many of the countries where we work, we were not expecting positive findings for most areas. There are, however, several important aspects to the GEC results that we believe deserve further attention if Governments and conservationists are to understand the implications of the new data and translate this information into improved elephant protection results.

Snow leopards: Numbers decline due to ‘retaliation’
By Matt McGrath, BBC, 21 October 2016
Hundreds of snow leopards are being killed by poachers every year across the high mountain ranges of Asia, according to a new report.
It’s estimated there are just 4,000 of these elegant but elusive creatures now surviving in the wild.
Around four a week are being poached say experts, with most killed by local people in revenge for livestock losses.
The report highlights concerns that the illegal trade in snow leopard skins is moving online to evade the law.

100 Years Ago 100,000 Tigers Roamed the World, Now There Are Fewer Than 4,000
By Dan Zukowski, EcoWatch, 21 October 2016
Discovery Communications and World Wildlife Fund (WWF) announced Wednesday a partnership to conserve nearly 1 million acres of critical tiger habitat in India and Bhutan in hopes of doubling the world’s population of tigers by 2022.
The big cats are known to have once roamed much of Asia. Poaching and habitat loss slashed the 100,000 tigers that existed just 100 years ago by 96 percent and led to the extinction of four subspecies. As top predators, they are crucial to the ecosystems where they live. The current tiger population is estimated at under 4,000.
“Not on our watch will we let these beautiful animals disappear from the world,” David Zaslav, president and CEO of Discovery Communications, said when making the announcement.

[DRC] Ranger’s Slaying Defending Endangered Gorillas Shows Danger Of Conservation Fight
By Nick Visser, Huffington Post, 21 October 2016
A wildlife ranger tasked with protecting critically endangered gorillas was killed in the Democratic Republic of Congo this month, showing the dangers environmental defenders face in unstable regions, the Wildlife Conservation Society said.
Munganga Nzonga Jacques, 26, was the second ranger to be killed in the Kahuzi Biega National Park in six months. The park, home to the largest population of eastern lowland gorillas, also known as Grauer’s gorillas, was believed to be one of the safest areas in the world for the animals, according to a press release from the conservation group.
“We are very concerned about these increased threats to the rangers and their families and to the protection of these animals,” Andrew Plumptre, the group’s senior conservation scientist for Africa, said in a statement.

[India] Mumbai: BNHS stresses need for strict measures to protect wildlife habitat
By Karishma Ravindran, The Free Press Journal, 21 October 2016
With projects like airports and power plants disturbing the wildlife habitat, the impact assessment study conducted by Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS) on a number of infrastructure projects has raised the need to follow several measures in order to protect the wildlife habitat.
The study has raised the need to install transmission wires underground and to conduct baseline monitoring of birds before and after construction of the project work.
The impact assessment study by BNHS was conducted between January and March 2015. The study was conducted on several projects including avifaunal study of Navi Mumbai International Airport, flora and fauna study for preparation of wildlife conservation and monitoring plan for the National Thermal Power Corporation’s (NTPC) power plant at Solapur.

[India] Forest ministry formulates new norms to speed up infrastructure projects
The New Indian Express, 21 October 2016
The Ministry of Environment and Forests is coming up with a new set of rules to facilitate faster green clearances for construction of ‘linear projects’ like roads, railway tracks, transmission lines and canals in the periphery of protected areas.
The ministry has roped in the Dehradun-based Wildlife Institute of India to compile mitigation measures practised around the world. The rules are to be presented during a two-day conference starting Friday, which will see participation of all states, a senior ministry official said.
“It will be helpful for the State forest departments for counselling the project proponents at the formulation stage itself,” he said and added it would facilitate faster decision-making.

22 October 2016

Costa Rica police and environmental authorities of Osa unite forces to fight environmental crimes
By Laura Alvarado, The Costa Rica Star, 22 October 2016
The Osa Conservation Area (ACOSA) of the Costa Rica National Area Conservation System (SINAC-MINAE), through the Program of Control and Protection and along with the Ministry of Public Security, unite efforts to run Inter-Institutional operations against the environmental offenders.
Yesterday, October 20, members of the Police force and the Frontier Police along with personnel of the Osa Conservation Area in topics of control and protection along with legal assessment, decided to create a special environmental police to battle the illegal logging, hunt, and smuggling of flora and fauna and strengthen the control and actions to protect Osa`s Protected Areas, specially in the Corcovado National Park.

[Nepal] New snow leopard conservation plan in offing
By Ram Saran Tamang, My Republica, 22 October 2016
The government is all set to bring in a new Snow Leopard Conservation Action Plan for Nepal, aimed at safeguarding one of the most endangered wildlife species in a more effective way.
Until the new plan kicks in, the Snow Leopard Conservation Action Plan for Nepal 2005-2015 will renain in effect, according to the Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation (DNPWC) under the Ministry of Forests and Soil Conservation.
As Nepal will be joining hands with global communities to mark the third International Snow Leopard Day on October 23, conservationists have echoed the need for an effective plan to preserve this endangered species.

23 October 2016

Satellites reveal ‘child slave camps’ in Unesco-protected park in Bangladesh
By Cara McGoogan and Muktadir Rashid, The Telegraph, 23 October 2016
Hundreds of child slaves could be working on a protected World Heritage Site in Bangladesh, according to a researcher who discovered five previously unknown labour camps using satellite technology.
Two fish processing plants located on the Sundarbans National Park in the south west of Bangladesh were already suspected of using forced labour, including, it is claimed, children as young as nine, working for up to 40 hours straight.
The additional five camps, used to dry fish for pet food, were located by Professor Kevin Bales of the University of Nottingham using satellite technology including Google Earth.
“People are suffering here. Children are killed in these places regularly: sometimes they’re eaten by tigers, sometimes they die of disease,” Prof Bales, a specialist in contemporary slavery at the University of Nottingham and author of the annual Global Slavery Index, told the Telegraph.

[India] The leopard’s friends
By Sarika Sharma, Tribune India, 23 October 2016
Livestock venturing into wild animals’ pastures; wild animals dying for want of food; leopards preying on livestock — a simple phenomenon called food has been driving man-leopard conflict in Spiti valley.
There isn’t much people think they can do, but feel helpless. However, this is slowly changing in the cold desert. Nature Conservation Foundation (NCF) and the Snow Leopard Trust (SLT), along with the Himachal Pradesh wildlife department, are striving to help conserve the snow leopard while taking people along in the high altitudes of Spiti and Ladakh.
Snow leopard conservation began nearly two decades ago. Back then, agriculture and livestock were the traditional sources of livelihood with barley being the only crop. Traditionally, barley was not sold, giving livestock its importance. Any loss to that was a big blow.

[South Africa] Poaching wars – 121 years of unceasing battle in Zululand’s uMkhuze
By Jane Flowers, Blasting News, 23 October 2016
Poaching in the uMkhuze section of the iSimangaliso Wetland Park situated on the east coast of KwaZulu-Natal, South #Africa, has seen park protectors wage an unceasing battle against the slaughter wild game. The fight against poachers pre-dates the formation of South Africa’s UNESCO World Heritage #Conservation Site which protects 332000 hectares of diverse eco-systems. It predates the 1956 proclamation of the original Mkuze Game Reserve and it predates the 121 year old protected area of the Pongola-Mkhuze area, according to Reg Gush, in his book “Mkhuze – The Formative Years.”

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