Conservation Watch’s news round up: February 2018

Conservation Watch’s round-up of the month’s news on protected areas and conservation in the Global South.

For regular updates, follow @conserwatch on Twitter.

The news links are grouped under the following sub-headings:

Human rights abuses

Murder of patrollers puts safety of those protecting Cambodia’s forests into spotlight
By Alessandro Marazzi Sassoon, Phnom Penh Post, 6 February 2018
The murder last week of three forest patrollers in the Keo Seima Wildlife Sanctuary has put a spotlight on the dangers to conservationists in the face of endemic logging, and reignited a conversation about how best to protect often ill-equipped patrollers.
The deaths have prompted soul searching among stakeholders, particularly over how to train – and potentially arm – forest patrollers, but observers in recent days have said such questions ignore an even thornier issue: how best to tackle widespread forest crimes when those being policed are often police themselves.

[Kenya] Assassination of famous US wildlife anti-poaching czar shocks East African conservation fraternity
By Apolinari Tairo, eTurboNews, 7 February 2018
The killing of the famous American anti-poaching investigator in Kenya last Sunday has brought shock among the wildlife conservation fraternity in Tanzania, bringing to 3 the number of foreign anti-poaching campaigners killed in East Africa in recent years.
Esmond Bradley-Martin, 75, prominent American investigator of the illegal ivory and rhino horn trade, was assassinated in his home in the Kenyan capital of Nairobi last Sunday.
Kenyan police said the US anti-poaching investigation crusader was found dead in his Nairobi home with a stab wound in his neck.
Mr. Esmond Bradley Martin had spent decades tracking the movement of animal products, mostly from Africa to markets in Asia.

[Kenya] Safe of Murdered ivory sleuth Esmond Bradley Martin was cracked
By Harriet Salem, The Times, 10 February 2018
Cash and property deeds were missing from an open safe in the Nairobi home of a prominent American conservationist who was found dead last week from a stab wound to the throat.
The body of Esmond Bradley Martin, the heir to a Pittsburgh steel fortune who became one of the world’s leading authorities on the poaching of elephant tusks and rhino horn, was discovered by his wife Chryssee at their mansion in a Nairobi suburb.

Esmond Bradley Martin – 1941 – 2018 obituary: Leading conservationist took on the poachers
Daily Express, 10 February 2018
He had spent decades fighting the poaching of rhino horn and elephant ivory, working for organisations including the World Wildlife Fund, the UN and the Cambridge-based Traffic, which monitors the illegal wildlife trade.
Born in New York City to Esmond, the heir of a Pittsburgh steel magnate, and his wife Edwina, Esmond junior studied at the University of Arizona before coming to the UK to study for a PhD at Liverpool. He then became a research associate at the University of Nairobi and in 1973 published his first book The History Of Malindi.

Myanmar parks could stop thousands of Karen refugees returning home
By Jared Ferrie, Thomson Reuters Foundation, 21 February 2018
Plans to create two parks to protect swathes of mountainous jungle in Myanmar could stop more than 16,000 refugees who fled conflict from going home, campaigners said on Wednesday.
The parks, totalling 1.3 million acres (5,260 square km), could block the Karen people from returning to 55 villages in the Tanintharyi Region, said a report by the Conservation Alliance of Tanawthari (CAT), an advocacy group.
It said the proposals – which have been demarcated after being proposed in 2002 – should be halted until refugees’ right of return was guaranteed.

Protected areas

In New Park, China Creates a Refuge for the Imperiled Siberian Tiger
By Michael Standaert, Yale Environment 360, 1 February 2018
Small villages of a dozen or so houses emerge around each bend in the highway that cuts through the snow-laced foothills of the Changbai Mountains. Farmers, mainly old men, putt-putt by on motorized carts laden with birch branches, steam pouring from their mouths in the single-digit cold. Bronze-colored cattle graze, and large, black pigs root between rows of corn stubble.
It is early January, and I am traveling with a carload of Chinese volunteers who will spend much of the day in the forest looking for traps and snares, which locals set to catch roe deer and boar. These are the main prey of the rare, big cats — both Siberian tigers and Amur leopards — that roam these hills, but the traps occasionally ensnare one of the critically endangered felines. Our goal is to find and dismantle the snares.

Chile Establishes 10 Million Acres Of National Parks in ‘Gigantic’ Move For Conservation
By Jeremy Hance, Huffington Post, 2 February 2018
On Monday, Chile made an announcement of gargantuan proportions: It was establishing five new national parks and expanding three others, adding 10 million acres – an area almost as large as Switzerland – to its protected area system.
In what has been described as the largest public-private national park donation in history, Kristine McDivitt Tompkins, the former head of outdoor clothing giant Patagonia, donated a million of the acres.

Peru’s New Yellowstone-Sized National Park Will Protect 2 Million Acres of Rainforest
By Mike Richard, The Manual, 6 February 2018
It’s hardly news to say the Amazon rainforest is in peril and has been for more than two decades. Illegal mining and logging operations continue to decimate large swaths of the rainforest at an unimaginable pace. Thankfully, more and more South American countries are motivated and, more importantly, able to do something about it. In January 2018, the Peruvian government announced the creation of a new national park to safeguard more than two million acres of its own endangered land.

[Indonesia] Two nabbed for clearing conservation area for plantation, fishpond
By Eva Aruperes, Jakarta Post, 10 February 2018
Two people were arrested for causing damage in Bogani Nani Wartabone National Park, Minahasa Peninsula, Sulawesi.
Amandus, the head of the national park’s first responders, said his team and the Bolaang Mondondow Police were now chasing four other people who fled during the arrests.
Amandus said the six suspects had cleared 4 hectares of the park with chainsaws to prepare a plantation and fishponds. The felled trees were still scattered in the area when the team of first responders arrived.

Team from India to help Myanmar conserve dwindling tiger species
By Sowmiya Ashok, The Indian Express, 11 February 2018
A team from India is working on a conservation plan to preserve the last 30-odd Indochinese tigers in northern Myanmar’s Htamanthi Wildlife Sanctuary. Identified as a distinct subspecies in 1968, these tigers have a smaller skull and body when compared to the Bengal and Siberian tigers and are distributed in Myanmar, Thailand and Laos.

Congo defends right to explore for oil in national parks
By Aaron Ross, Reuters, 15 February 2018
Democratic Republic of Congo’s oil minister on Thursday defended the country’s right to explore for oil anywhere on its territory after media reports that President Joseph Kabila approved drilling in Africa’s largest tropical rainforest reserve.
Oil minister Aime Ngoy Mukena declined to confirm a report in Germany’s Die Tageszeitung newspaper that Kabila had this month authorized exploration inside Salonga National Park, but he said that no land should be off-limits.

[India] Government weighs doubling of protected areas over next few years
By Mayanak Aggarwal, livemint, 15 February 2018
India’s environment ministry is considering doubling the number of protected areas such as national parks and wildlife sanctuaries from the current 729 over the next few years.
At present protected areas, including national parks, wildlife sanctuaries, and conservation and community reserves, cover 4.9% or 162,072 sq. km of India’s geographical area.

Six Lions Poisoned And Killed In A Tanzania National Park
By Mischa Pearlman, Lad Bible, 15 February 2018
A Facebook post by the Ruaha Carnivore Project has announced that six lions have been poisoned and killed just outside of Ruaha National Park in Tanzania.
The project – which is a collaboration with the Tanzania Carnivore Monitoring Project and is based at the Wildlife Conservation Research Unit at the University of Oxford’s Department of Zoology – was initiated with the aim of learning more about the status and conservation of large carnivores in Tanzania’s Ruaha landscape.
The Facebook post read: “We are deeply saddened to report a mass poisoning incident in the Wildlife Management Area (WMA) just outside Ruaha National Park.

Protected areas with deforestation more likely to lose status in Brazilian state
Mongabay, 18 February 2018
A recent study finds that when parks and reserves don’t do a good job of safeguarding the forest they contain, they’re more likely to be stripped of their status as protected areas.
“It’s a vicious cycle,” Mike Mascia, who directs the social sciences department at Conservation International, said in a statement. “If a protected area has suffered from deforestation, then it becomes vulnerable to loss of legal protections. And if a government scales back some or all legal protections, then the remaining forest may be even more vulnerable to the forces that led to deforestation in the first place.”

Plan to sell off Panama’s ‘crown jewel’ of protected areas has world worried about similar schemes elsewhere
By Jeremy Hance, ALERT, 20 February 2018
Debate has erupted over a development plan for Panama’s Coiba National Park — a World Heritage Site. Critics are worried it could unleash harmful development and be a bellwether for plans to degrade and damage other protected areas around the world.
Coiba is an island chain and vast marine area in Panama’s Pacific coast. It contains massive reefs and among the highest fish diversity documented anywhere.

Seychelles protects an area ‘as big as Britain’ in Indian Ocean
BBC News, 22 February 018
The Seychelles has created protected areas “the size of Great Britain” in the Indian Ocean.
In exchange for getting some of its national debt paid off, the island nation has agreed to protect 210,000 sq km (81,000 sq miles) of ocean.
The reserves will limit tourism and fishing activities in the Seychelles to halt further damage to aquatic life.
A foundation set up by actor Leonardo DiCaprio is one of the investors that worked on the deal.

Debt for dolphins: Seychelles creates huge marine parks in world-first finance scheme
By Damian Carrington, The Guardian, 22 February 2018
The tropical island nation of Seychelles is to create two huge new marine parks in return for a large amount of its national debt being written off, in the first scheme of its kind in the world.
The novel financial engineering, effectively swapping debt for dolphins and other marine life, aims to throw a lifeline to corals, tuna and turtles being caught in a storm of overfishing and climate change. If it works, it will also secure the economic future of the nation, which depends entirely on tourism and fishing. With other ocean states lining up to follow, the approach could transform large swaths of the planet’s troubled seas.

Just Conservation
By David Macdonald, Wildlife Conservation Research Unit, 26 February 2018
What is the right thing to do? In the context of conservation the answer always requires evidence, generally from both natural and social sciences. But as evidence builds into knowledge, deciding what to do requires something more: judgment and, hopefully, wisdom. It is because of our determination to incorporate this ethical dimension that the University of Oxford’s Wildlife Conservation Research Unit (WildCRU) is delighted to welcome, this week, Dr John Vucetich, a leading conservation ethicist now joining WildCRU as an Oxford Martin School Fellow under our Natural Governance Programme.

[Indonesia] Ditching stereotypes to save orangutans
By Liana Chua, Pokok, 27 February 2018
A week and a half ago, Current Biology published an article that made for grim reading. Bearing the names of 41 leading scientists and conservationists, it argued that the population of Bornean orangutans had decreased by over 100,000 between 1999 and 2015. The lead authors blamed this precipitous decline on familiar problems—notably deforestation and the expansion of industrial agriculture. But they also highlighted another less well-known issue: the killing of orangutans by local people, through hunting, poaching and human-wildlife conflict.

Communities and conservation

New research questions assumptions about bushmeat hunting in the Global South
University of Copenhagen, 1 February 2018
As much as 150 million rural households across the Global South may be involved in bushmeat hunting, new studies led by the University of Copenhagen find. Hunting is prevalent in the 24 countries surveyed but only providing a small contribution to households and mainly for subsistence rather than for trade. The studies thus contradict earlier assumptions that hunting is increasingly commercial and an essential source of protein and income. The authors stress that rural food security and biodiversity conservation should be considered jointly.

Empowering local communities
The Asian Age, 4 February 2018
While a lot has been talked about tiger conservation in India, there has not been much emphasis on strengthening forest staff and including communities in the wildlife area in the process.
Adopting a new approach towards tiger conservation, the Tiger Matters programme initiated by the Wildlife Conservation Trust (WCT), in collaboration with the US Agency for International Development (USAID), has 190 anti-poaching campaigns and 88 Special Tiger Protection Forces (STPF) in Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh.

Study delves into overlooked community perceptions of conservation impact
By Shreya Dasgupta, Mongabay, 20 February 2018
Most conservation projects today must answer a key question: How does the project affect the local people? But high-quality studies that measure the impacts of conservation projects on people’s well-being remain few and far between.
Whatever rigorous research does exist tends to focus on a narrow range of economic indicators, such as household income or expenditure, serving as proxies for people’s well-being. But well-being can mean different things to different people. And indicators like income, while objective, may not capture aspects of well-being that are actually important to the people themselves, some conservationists argue. Instead, the conservationists have called for complementing the more objective methods with approaches that measure what the people think are important to them, because people’s perceptions of impacts can determine future support for conservation projects.

‘It’s our home’: Pygmies fight for recognition as forest protectors in new film
By John C. Cannon, Mongabay, 20 February 2018
The word “pygmy” conjures images of hunter-gatherers living deep in the Congo rainforest, far removed from the modern world. But that modern world is closing in on them, as the forests in which they live fall to provide the rest of the world with timber and make way for huge industrial farms.
Now, the pygmies of the Democratic Republic of Congo are coming together to demonstrate both the value of the forest to their society and their role as stewards of this resource.

[Myanmar] Tanintharyi locals say national park conservation plan threatening livelihoods
By Su Myat Mon, Frontier Myanmar, 21 February 2018
An environmental group has called for greater respect for the rights of indigenous peoples in Tanintharyi Region, saying that land concessions and restrictions on forest use in recent years pose a grave threat to local livelihoods.
In a report released Wednesday, the Conservation Alliance of Tanawthari warned the government’s designation of “Protected Areas” for forest reserves and efforts by international conservation groups risked cutting off local residents from land and resources.

[India] The ‘conservation vs people’ approach to protecting wildlife has hit tribals hard
Hindustan Times, 25 February 2018
In a tit-for-tat response to the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA)’s March 2017 circular, which asks states not to confer forest rights to any tribal or forest dwelling communities in tiger habitats, the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (NCST) has temporarily banned displacement of tribals from forest areas and critical tiger reserves. It has also asked the Union environment ministry to revisit the rehabilitation policy to ensure tiger conservation does not infringe on tribal rights. In a letter to secretary (environment), CK Mishra, NCST secretary, Raghav Chandra, said the NTCA circular cannot override the Forest Rights Act of 2006, which safeguards the rights of forest-dwelling tribals.

[India] As Kaziranga Expands, the Fate of Grazing Communities Hangs in the Balance
By Eleonora Fanari and Pranab Doley, The Wire, 26 February 2018
Bars of sand with fluttering grass, ribboned out by small watercourses, buffaloes and cows scattered all over merge into the green grass spread across terrain framed by a smoky winter sky. Numerous bicycles with jerry cans clinking in non-existent trails as they try to overtake each other to collect their share of milk from herders. Fishermen slowly follow in the silence of the flowing waters, struggling for a good catch in the river where imaginary boundaries stop them. The last to venture out are groups of women off to collect firewood and grass for their daily use.
This is the picture that unfolds in front of you on a normal day in the ever-contested lands of the sixth addition of Kaziranga National Park (KNP), situated in the northern bank of Brahmaputra.

Community-Based Wildlife Conservation in Tanzania Yields Ecological Success
By Derek Lee, Wild Nature Institute, 27 February 2018
Good news about the environment is rare these days, but in Tanzania there are signs that local wildlife conservation efforts can effectively protect the natural resources that provide the lion’s share of revenue for the economy. Eco-tourism is Tanzania’s largest economic sector and biggest dollar earner for this developing nation, but wildlife populations have suffered in recent decades from poaching and clashes with people involved in other economic activities such as farming and mining. The good news comes from a new study that found community-based wildlife conservation can quickly result in clear ecological success, with the largest and smallest species being among the winners.


Message from UN Secretary-General António Guterres
World Wildlife Day, March 2018
On World Wildlife Day we focus on the important role the planet’s wild animals and plants play in our cultures and the sustainability of our societies. This year, the spotlight falls on the world’s big cats. These magnificent predators, which include species such as cheetahs, jaguars, leopards, lions, pumas, snow leopards and tigers, are found from Africa to Asia and the Americas.
These charismatic creatures are universally revered for their grace and power, yet they are increasingly in danger of extinction. Big cats have undergone a massive decline in recent times. Just over a century ago, there were as many as 100,000 wild tigers living in Asia. Today, fewer than 4,000 remain. They have lost 96 per cent of their historic range.

Conservation stories from the front lines, 5 February 2018
The ups and downs of the research process underlie every scientific publication, yet rarely make it into the final paper. A new collection, “Conservation Stories from the Front Lines,” publishing between 5-7 February in the open access journal PLOS Biology, captures the long-neglected human side of science by entering the tragedy, comedy, and (mis)adventures that shape research into the scientific record as peer-reviewed scientific stories. The stories come from scientists working to manage and preserve biodiversity, and offer a new way to engage diverse audiences in today’s pressing scientific issues.

Evaluating conservation efforts in Africa one “Snapshot” at a time
University of Minnesota press release, 6 February 2018
When it comes to wildlife monitoring, a picture is worth more than a thousand words. That is why the University of Minnesota Lion Center launched a new citizen science project today called SnapshotSafari. Through camera-traps, cameras that use passive infrared sensors to take a series of three photographs when a warm object moves in front of the sensor, researchers hope the project will give them a better understanding of wildlife populations and the effectiveness of conservation efforts designed to protect them.

Tanzania, China hail cooperation on wildlife conservation
Xinhua, 7 February 2018
Tanzanian and Chinese officials and diplomats Tuesday hailed the two countries’ cooperation in wildlife conservation.
They also promised closer cooperation at the China-Tanzania Forum on Wildlife Conservation and Tourism Development held in the commercial capital Dar es Salaam.

New African conservation journalism group widens wildlife stories
By Mike Pflanz (Space for Giants), The Independent, 8 February 2018
A new network of African journalists working for major media in four key elephant range countries will increase conservation coverage on the continent, and amplify African voices in the international debate about wildlife protection.
The Giants Club African Conservation Journalism Fellowships gathers professional reporters in Botswana, Gabon, Kenya and Uganda, which together hold more than half of Africa’s remaining 415,000 elephants.

[Côte d’Ivoire] Eco-guards In Action: From Poachers To Protectors
By Taylor Robb-McCord, Rainforest Trust, 8 February 2018
Rainforest Trust is supporting its local partner Conservation des Espèces Marines to create the 12,360-acre Dodo River Community Natural Reserve along the southwestern coast of Côte d’Ivoire.
The primary purpose of this proposed reserve is to protect a key tract of vanishing coastal forest and adjacent wetlands, river, ponds, mangroves and beaches which also serve as a key nesting site for many marine turtles, such as the Olive Ridley Sea Turtle and the Green Turtle, and is the most important nesting site in West Africa for the Vulnerable Leatherback Turtle. Through efforts to protect this important landscape, our local partner is creating a lasting impact throughout the community and inspiring change to protect this habitat and its species.

Thai seizure of a dozen captive tigers resurrects farming threat
Traffic, 9 February 2018
A recent discovery of a dozen Tigers at a property in eastern Thailand serves as a reminder that Tiger farming is still a threat to Southeast Asia’s wild Tigers and an enforcement challenge for the region’s authorities.
On 2 February, authorities inspecting a premise in Khlong Kiu in Chon Buri province found a large pig farm where several species of protected wildlife were kept, including the 12 Tigers.

It’s time for a more realistic approach to conservation
By Rajesh Rajaselvam, The Conversation, 12 February 2018
The tropics are home to the greatest diversity of plants and animals on Earth. Yet many of these hotspots are in war zones that disregard the rules of democracy and nurture an indefinite influence of corruption.
During the 10 years I’ve worked in tropical countries, I have seen the human toll on biodiversity both exaggerated and underplayed by scientists and media. Rare road kills of leopards in Sri Lanka have been mistakenly exaggerated as “organized poaching,” and the systematic smuggling of reptiles in South America and Africa has been distorted as “random attempts.”

Myanmar road corridors threaten land and livelihoods
By Kayleigh Long, China Dialogue, 12 February 2018
Up to half of Myanmar’s population live in areas that could suffer environmental damage from two giant highways unless the ecological risks are considered, according to a new report from the World Wildlife Fund. The planned roads will form part of China’s continent-crossing network of overseas infrastructure known as the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).
“We’ve estimated about 24 million people could be affected by this infrastructure project – and negatively affected if it is not carried out in a way where you are taking into account the potential impacts on areas that help provide clean water, protection against floods, landslides, and so on,” report author Hanna Helsingen told chinadialogue.

[South Africa] MS Azure comes to rescue of on-the-brink rhinos
By Paula Gilbert, ITWeb, 16 February 2018
Peace Parks Foundation (PPF) is using Microsoft Azure-enabled artificial intelligence (AI) technology to help fight against the scourge of rhino poaching in South Africa.
In 2017, a total of 1 028 rhinos were poached throughout SA, only 26 less than in 2016.
In KwaZulu-Natal (KZN), conservation agency Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife – custodian of the world’s second largest population of rhino – has been especially hard hit, with 222 rhinos poached across the province last year.

With 10 Million Acres in Patagonia, a National Park System Is Born
By Pascale Bonnefoy, New York Times, 19 February 2018
An eagle soared over the lone house atop an arid hill in the steppes of Patagonia Park.
In the valley below, not far from the town of Cochrane, President Michelle Bachelet announced the creation of a vast national park system in Chile stretching from Hornopirén, 715 miles south of the capital, Santiago, to Cape Horn, the southern tip of South America, where Chile splinters into fjords and canals.

Tanzania: Conservationists Hope World Bank Funds Will Help Save Selous
The Citizen, 20 February 2018
Conservationists believe that part of $150 million (about Sh330 billion) offered by the World Bank for boosting tourism in the southern circuit can be used to mitigate effects of economic projects planned within the Selous Game Reserve.
They argue that if used appropriately, the money would ensure that the country attains economic gains while at the same time ensuring that the Selous, the largest reserve in Tanzania, continues to be home to millions of wildlife species.

Aichi or Bust: Is the World on Target to Protect Its Most Threatened Ecosystems?
By Gloria Dickie, The Revelator, 22 February 2018
The Paris Climate Accord has gotten a lot of press lately, but did you know there’s an equally important international strategy to preserve the world’s most threatened ecosystems?
The Aichi Biodiversity Targets — named after Japan’s Aichi Prefecture — were established under the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity and are quite possibly the best roadmap nations have for biodiversity conservation. Unfortunately, though the deadline to meet the Aichi Targets is looming, few people have ever heard of it.

‘We need to act’: Scientists urge prioritization of intact forests
By Morgan Erickson-Davis, Mongabay, 26 February 2018
When it comes to habitat quality and ecosystem services, research has shown that natural landscapes do it best. A new study, published today in Nature, adds fodder to this argument, describing how intact forests are critically important for mitigating climate change, maintaining water supplies, safeguarding biodiversity and even protecting human health. However, it warns that global policies aimed at reducing deforestation are not putting enough emphasis on the preservation of the world’s dwindling intact forests, instead relying on a one-size-fits-all approach that may end up doing more harm than good.

Leo to the Rescue! Leonardo DiCaprio Donates $1 Million to Help Protect Marine Life
By Maria Pasquini, People, 26 February 2018
Leonardo DiCaprio is putting his money to good use.
The 43-year-old actor’s foundation donated $1 million towards funding a $22 million debt swap in the Seychelles, in exchange for the island nation creating two major marine reserves, The Guardian reports.
The Nature Conservancy announced the new deal on their website, sharing that the nonprofit group teamed up with DiCaprio to buy the large sum of debt for the creation of the reserves, which will be situated around two vital ecosystems.

Seychelles in deep drive to protect blue economy
By Rehana Rossouw, BusinessDay, 27 February 2018
Seychelles is crafting two world-first initiatives to mitigate overfishing and climate change, and to protect its marine stocks and environment.
It has pledged to create two huge new marine parks in return for a large amount of its national debt being written off.
It is also finalising the issuing of the world’s first blue bond, which will mobilise public and private investments for a more profitable and sustainable fisheries sector.

Vanishing species deserve our few cents
By Katarzyna Nowak, Mongabay, 27 February 2018
As a conservation scientist, people often ask me, “What can I do to help save vanishing species?”
In the U.S., you already do something when you pay your taxes. The current budget for multinational species conservation funding is $12 million — that’s 3.6 cents per American citizen (assuming a population of 330 million), or about 10 cents per year contributed by each federal tax-paying American.

Financing conservation

Rainforest Trust Launches Conservation Circle Program for Corporate Partnerships
By Alyssa Wiltse-Ahmad, Rainforest Trust, 13 February 2018
Rainforest Trust recently announced the launch of its new corporate partnership program, the Conservation Circle.
Rainforest Trust’s new premier business sponsorship program allows corporations of all sizes to participate in the organization’s mission to purchase and protect threatened tropical habitats to save endangered wildlife through local partnerships and community engagement.

[Belize] PACT earmarks $3.5 million for new conservation investments
BBN, 24 February 2018
Yesterday, the Protected Areas Conservation Trust (PACT) announced a new funding strategy for Belize’s National Protected Areas System (NPAS).
This Conservation Investment Strategy will ensure the allocation of funds for long-term support towards the achievement of priority actions within priority ecosystems.
The investment portfolio will see an initial budget allocation of $3.5 million to be replenished periodically.

[Chile] Recovery: Evicting Rabbits
By Ted Williams, Cool Green Science, 26 February 2018
Early in the 20th century settlers on the islands of Chañaral and Choros off northern Chile had a brainstorm: They’d create a ready supply of fresh meat by unleashing European rabbits.
It worked out as well as rabbit introduction in Australia.
In short order the aliens stripped away a rich array of native plants (many imperiled), reducing the islands to eroding dirt and rubble. They took over the nesting burrows of Humboldt penguins and Peruvian diving-petrels, now listed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature as vulnerable and endangered respectively. And they knocked down populations of the Atacama tree iguana, many-spotted tree iguana, braided tree iguana, Chilean slender snake, a spider found only on Chañaral and countless insect species including a beetle found only on Choros.

Wildlife law

Hong Kong Bans Trade in Elephant Ivory by 2022
Environment News Service, 5 February 2018
The Hong Kong Legislative Council has voted to pass a bill that will end local ivory trade in Hong Kong by the end of 2021, with no compensation for ivory dealers, and an increase of maximum penalties for wildlife crimes of up to 10 years imprisonment.
The decision, approved Wednesday, will close a trade that brought the city notoriety in the 1970s and 1980s as the world’s foremost supplier of worked ivory products.


Thai business magnate charged after being caught poaching animals in protected wildlife sanctuary
By Tom Embury-Dennis, The Independent, 7 February 2018
A Thai business magnate has been charged after he was allegedly caught poaching animals, including a black panther, in one of the country’s protected wildlife sanctuaries.
Premchai Karnasuta, the largest shareholder of one of Thailand’s biggest construction firms, was arrested with three other suspects by park rangers at Thungyai Naresuan national park.
His three companions are believed to be employees at the 63-year-old’s company, Italian-Thai Development, according to local media.

[Thailand] Poaching: Sanctuary park’s troubled past
By Anchalee Kongrut, Bangkok Post, 7 February 2018
Thungyai Naresuan, a valuable and wildlife-rich forest, has been notorious for decades as an area where rich and powerful people enjoy poaching and game hunting.
Seub Nakhasathien, a wildlife sanctuary chief who oversaw the forest, committed suicide on Sept 1, 1990, to protest about the country’s dysfunctional bureaucracy that failed to provide sufficient resources and backup for officials to tackle poachers and hunters.
The case of Premchai Karnasuta, president of the huge SET-listed construction company Italian-Thai Development, being arrested for allegedly hunting wildlife in the World Heritage sanctuary in Kanchanaburi province, shows brazen poaching continues there.

[Botswana] AI computer vision breakthrough IDs poachers in less than half a second
University of Southern California press release, 8 February 2018
Thousands of animals including elephants, tigers, rhinos, and gorillas are poached each year. Researchers at the USC Center for Artificial Intelligence in Society have long been applying AI to protect wildlife. Initially, computer scientists were using AI and game theory to anticipate the poachers’ haunts, and now they have applied artificial intelligence and deep learning to spot poachers in near real-time.

Prince William urges crackdown on illegal ivory trade, telling shipping industry it is ‘part of the problem’
By Hannah Furness, The Telegraph, 8 February 2018
The Duke of Cambridge has called on the shipping industry to crack down on “bloody, dangerous” illegal ivory trade, as he tell them they are “both a central part of the problem, but also the solution”.
The Duke, who has made wildlife campaigning one of his key charity focuses, said the destruction of animal populations was an “almost unthinkable” travesty which, if it continued at current rates, would see no wild rhinos left on the planet by the time Prince George and Princess Charlotte were grown up.

Rhino poaching in South Africa has dipped but corruption hinders progress
By Keith Somerville, The Conversation, 8 February 2018
The number of rhinos poached in South Africa in 2017 was lower than 2016’s, according to South African Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs Edna Molewa. Last year, 1028 rhinos were killed compared to 1054 in 2016, a decrease of 26 animals (2.5%).
Any fall in the numbers is welcomed, but it’s the fifth year running that over 1000 rhinos were killed.

AI-based system designed to spot poachers
By Ben Coxworth, New Atlas, 9 February 2018
Poachers typically hunt at night, which is why drone-mounted infrared cameras are being used to spot them. The problem is, since both the poachers and the animals emit heat, it can be difficult to tell which is which in the videos. Scientists from the University of Southern California are making the job easier, using artificial intelligence.

WWF to pilot use of drones in wildlife monitoring in Zambia
Xinhua, 9 February 2018
The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) will soon pilot a project on the use of drones for wildlife monitoring in Zambia.
The project is aimed at enabling wildlife authorities in the southern African nation to better detect and respond to poaching and other threats in its protected areas.
Eneya Phiri, head of communications and marketing at WWF Zambia, said the project came up following the decision by the government to produce guidelines on the use of drones.

Thung Yai sanctuary chief files bribery complaint against Premchai
Phuket Gazette, 10 February 2018
Chief Forest Ranger Wichian Chinwong has filed a bribery complaint against the president of Italian-Thai Development Plc (ITD), Premchai Karnasuta, who is accused along with three companions of poaching and possessing wildlife at the Thung Yai Naresuan Wildlife Sanctuary in Kanchanaburi province.
The four entered the sanctuary last Saturday before being captured by wildlife rangers on Sunday after they were seen possessing firearms, ammunition, as well as carcasses of wild animals, including the rare black leopard.

[India] Take All Measures to Prevent Poaching in KNP: Assam Governor
Northeast Today, 11 February 2018
Assam Governor Prof Jagadish Mukhi has directed law enforcing agencies to take all measures to prevent incidents of poaching of rhinos in Kaziranga National Park.
“Assam has earned its name and fame worldwide because of the Kaziranga National Park and its precious one-horned rhinoceros. Indiscriminate killing of the rhinos by the poachers is not only an attack on the creature, it is an attack on the pride of the state”, he said.

[India] Rhino Killed by Poachers in Kaziranga, 5 Elephants Mowed Down by Speeding Train in Assam
By Karishma Hasnat,, 11 February 2018
In the second poaching incident in Kaziranga National Park this year, the body of a 20-year-old dehorned rhino was found in the Northern range of the park at Biswanath Chariali on Sunday.
Meanwhile, five elephants were run over and killed by a speeding passenger train in Assam’s Hojai district late on Saturday.
“An adult male rhino was killed by poachers at Polokata Tapu near Silamari area in Kaziranga National Park’s sixth addition in northern range. Five rounds of .303 empty cartridges have been recovered from the site,” said Divisional Forest Officer of Kaziranga National Park, Rohini Saikia.

[India] Poachers kill rhino, escape with horn in Kaziranga
The Hindu, 12 February 2018
Poachers killed an adult rhino and escaped with its horn from the Western Range of Kaziranga National Park in Biswanath district, a senior forest official said on Sunday.
According to Kaziranga National Park divisional forest officer Rohini Ballav Saikia, the incident took place around midnight at Polokata near the Sitamari area — a sandbar island in the Brahmaputra — south of the Baghmari powergrid station under the Lahorijan forest camp.

Poachers kill nearly 11,000 Mozambique elephants in 7 years
By Jon Sharman, The Independent, 12 February 2018
Poachers have killed more than four elephants a day since 2011 in a Mozambique nature reserve, cutting the population from 12,000 to as few as 1,500, according to a conservation group.
Fauna and Flora International (FFI) said it feared surviving elephants in the Niassa National Reserve may be wiped out if heavily-armed poaching gangs are not shut down.
In the last two months, the group said, up to five per cent of the reserve’s remaining elephants had been killed for their ivory.

[India] When poachers have more guns than forest officials
By Mohit M Rao, The Hindu, 13 February 2018
On the night of February 8, a team of 12 forest officers surrounded a house in Byadarahalli on the fringes of Cauvery Wildlife Sanctuary. Gun shots had been heard earlier, and forest officials had managed to corner a gang of six poachers — many of whom are habitual offenders — in the house.
There was a problem though. While the poachers had three guns with them, the forest officers had just one: a double-barrel shotgun. “Even though their guns were country-made, it was fitted with scopes that allow them to shoot even 150-ft. Our gun is outdated, and the bullet disintegrates within 50 ft,” said a forest official who was part of the operation.

[South Africa] Alleged rhino poaching syndicate ‘dismantled’
Letaba Herald, 13 February 2018
The intelligence-led joint operation, conducted in the Namakgale Policing areas outside Phalaborwa on Monday night, has resulted in the arrests of four suspected poachers, confirmed the police on Tuesday afternoon.
This concerted effort was coordinated by members of the Phalaborwa Crime Intelligence jointly with National intervention Unit, said Police spokesperson, Lt Col Moatshe Ngoepe.

Zimbabwe: Poachers Wield Cyanide as New Weapon Against Elephants
By Jerry Chifamba, All Africa, 13 February 2018
The poaching of elephants on the continent has dramatically increased, with poachers increasingly turning to poison instead of using their noisy rifles as police and park rangers increase joint patrols.
In Zimbabwe there is now deep concern that the use of cyanide represents a new and particularly damaging technique in the already soaring poaching trade. The southern African country’s Parks rangers are on high alert after they found four areas in the Hwange National Park contaminated with cyanide, The Chronicle reports.

The war against animal poaching will be won by data, not drones
By Matthew Reynolds, Wired, 14 February 2018
The war against poaching is not going well. Every year, around 20,000 African elephants are killed for their ivory – a trade driven by strong demand in China and the Far East. In South Africa, people clamouring to get their hands on rhino horns have pushed the death rate to 100 rhinos every month. But a consortium of animal conservation groups has come up with a solution that could rangers the edge over poachers: more data.

[Kenya] US donates Land Cruisers to boost anti-poaching war
By Gilbert Koech and Lucy Karanja, The Star, 14 February 2018
USAID yesterday donated 26 vehicles to the Kenya Wildlife Service to help in the war on poaching.
“I know the challenges facing KWS and it is my responsibility and that of the board members to address them. I’m proud of the work KWS is doing and I will do everything to support their work,” Tourism CS Najib Balala said.
The KWS budget was trimmed, but Balala said the country has to invest in safeguarding its heritage. Poaching of iconic species has reduced by more than 80 per cent, a momentum that must be maintained.

Kenya reports sharp decline in elephant, rhino poaching
Xinhua, 14 February 2018
Kenya is experiencing a sharp decline in elephant and rhino poaching, a senior government official has said.
Najib Balala, Cabinet Secretary in the Ministry of Tourism and Wildlife, told a media briefing Tuesday in Nairobi that Kenya lost nine rhinos and 60 elephants to poachers in 2017, compared to 14 rhinos and 96 elephants lost in the previous year.
“The rapid decline in wildlife poaching is due to concerted government efforts to protect national parks and game reserves that began in 2012,” Balala said during a ceremony to hand over 26 vehicles to the Kenya Wildlife Service for use for field operations.

Dramatic decline in Borneo’s orangutan population as 150,000 lost in 16 years
By Ian Sample, The Guardian, 15 February 2018
Hunting and killing have driven a dramatic decline in the orangutan population on Borneo where nearly 150,000 animals have been lost from the island’s forests in 16 years, conservationists warn.
While the steepest percentage losses occurred in regions where the forest has been cut down to make way for palm oil and acacia plantations, more animals were killed by hunters who ventured into the forest, or by farm workers when the apes encroached on agricultural land, a study found.

[DR Congo] Garamba National park threatened by poachers
By Selassie Alitash, Afrika News, 16 February 2018
DR Congo’s Garamba National Park is a natural reserve highly threatened by poachers and armed groups. The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) issued a warning about the threat that such groups have on the biodiversity of the reserve.
Garamba National Park is located in the northern region of DRC bordering South Sudan to its north. The park has a diverse set of land that ranges from savannas to woodlands passing by marshland depression and gallery forests. Garamba’s naturally bordered by several rivers located in its northern, southern and eastern boundaries.

[India] Forest guards in Assam get modern weapons to check rhino poaching
Hindustan Times, 18 February 2018
Forest guards in Assam were on Sunday given modern weapons like SLRs and 9 MM pistols to check poaching of rhinos, tigers and other wild animals.
Chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal said 10 wildlife fast-track courts were set up to exclusively deal with poaching and other related crimes against wild animals for the first time in the country.

Decline in elephant poaching could be short-lived
By Duncan E Omondi Gumba, Institute for Security Studies, 19 February 2018
Elephant poaching in Africa has dropped for five consecutive years to levels last witnessed over a decade ago. The latest report by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) on the status of elephants and ivory trade reveals a welcome indication of gains made, and links this to better law enforcement.
The report indicates that 2016 saw ‘the highest level of seizures of illegally traded ivory by weight since commercial international trade was banned by CITES in 1989.’

In Kenya, anti-poaching dogs are wildlife’s best friends
Straits Times, 19 February 2018
Five-month-old bloodhound Shakaria gambols through the long savannah grasses of Kenya’s Maasai Mara reserve, her playful mood swiftly turning to keen determination as she is ordered to track a human scent.
Straining at the leash, she pulls her handler along an invisible scent path laid down for her until she finds a ranger hiding in the grass, pretending to be one of the poachers she is training to sniff out.
Shakaria is top of her class of five puppies being trained by American experts to join a tracker dog unit, which has become pivotal in the fight against poaching in the Mara Triangle, part of the vast Maasai Mara ecosystem in southern Kenya that merges into Tanzania’s Serengeti.

10-Year Plan Aims to Save Myanmar’s Wild Elephants from Poachers
The Irrawaddy, 20 February 2018
Amid a rise in illegal poaching of wild elephants in Myanmar, the government last week launched an action plan to protect the animals, supported by international and local organizations.
The Myanmar Elephant Conservation Action Plan (MECAP) lays out a focused elephant conservation strategy for the next 10 years (2018–27) with the overall aim of securing viable and ecologically functional elephant populations in Myanmar for the next century and beyond.

[South Africa] KNP wins the fight against poaching, in parts
By Sibahle Motha,, 20 February 2018
Sanpark’s Regional Ranger, Tinyiko Kulele says this is attributed to an intelligence driven operation and the accessibility to information.
“The environmental monitors initiative and the ops Capricorn in the eastern part of the Kruger National Park are some of the projects that play an important role in reducing the number of poaching in the Tshinadzeni north.”
According to Kulele, environment monitors inform them in time where to follow up and make arrests.

[Namibia] Anti-poaching war now also covers per-emptive stikes based on grassroots intelligence
Namibia Economist, 21 February 2018
“Without the custodianship of rural communities, the protection of wildlife against poaching will be in vain, and it is therefore critical to consider our wildlife and our people as inseparably linked,” said Tinus Hanses, the Chief Operating Officer of Intelligence Support Against Poaching.
The anti-poaching unit earlier this week received a substantial contribution from Nedbank to help cover its operating costs. Intelligence Support Against Poaching (ISAP) is a monitoring service that gathers intel of pending or immanent poaching incidents, warning law enforcement agencies in advance, to deter and prevent poaching. Information supplied by the organisation has recently lead to several successful anti-poaching pre-emptive strikes, and on one occasion, the arrest of poachers at the scene.

Namibia aims at reducing poaching by 50 percent
By Albertina Nakale, New Era, 21 February 2018
Windhoek-According to the latest statistics, Namibia’s anti-poaching unit is proving a success with the country only having recorded three cases of rhino poaching this year.
Minister of Environment and Tourism Pohamba Shifeta yesterday said the aim for this year is to reduce poaching cases by more than 50 percent.
“Even though rhino and elephant poaching seem to be decreasing, there is a need to work harder to ensure that the poaching figures are brought to zero. Let us rededicate ourselves to ensuring that fewer rhinos and elephants are poached this year,” he said.

Poachers Killing Elephants, Their Protectors in Northern Cameroon
By Moki Edwin Kindzeka, Voice of America, 22 February 2018
Cameroon says a wave of attacks by armed elephant poachers has killed at least eight soldiers and rangers in a northern national park. The poachers killed elephants too, further shrinking the population of the increasingly endangered animals.
A decomposing carcass of an elephant without its tusks lies in Cameroon’s Bouba Ndjida national park some 17 kilometers from the border with Chad.

[South Africa] Alarming rise in elephant poaching
By Louise McAuliffe, Eyewitness News, 22 February 2018
The Kruger National Park is experiencing a rise in elephant poaching as rhinos are not as easily accessible anymore.
Ranger Mangena shares his daily pursuit to protect the elephants plus shares other poaching incidents and the dangers of entering the park without the proper authority.
Trespassers and poachers will be dealt with to the full extent of the law.

Successful Anti-Poaching Operation Leads to 5-Year Conviction for Three Poachers in Republic of Congo
Wildlife Conservation Society, 23 February 2018
Three poachers responsible for slaughtering eleven elephants in and around Nouabale-Ndoki National Park in January were convicted to five years’ imprisonment by the local district court last week, according to WCS (Wildlife Conservation Society). The poachers, who had ventured deep into the remote Ndoki forest and spent three weeks killing elephants for their ivory, walked into an ambush setup by park rangers as they exited the forest on February 2nd. Three of the six poachers were apprehended.

Thai construction tycoon accused of poaching faces new charge
Xinhua, 23 February 2018
A powerful construction mogul in Thailand accused of poaching in a wildlife sanctuary on Friday was charged with illegal possession of firearms, the tenth charge he has been facing within a month.
Thai police filed the charge on Premchai Karnasuta, president of Italian Thai Development Plc, after officials confirmed that six of 43 firearms seized from his house were illegal.

Five more charged in Tanzania for murder of anti-poaching activist
ENCA, 24 February 2018
Five more suspects were charged in a Tanzanian court on Friday for the murder of prominent conservationist Wayne Lotter, bringing to eight the total number of people arraigned over the killing.
Three other suspects were charged with the same crime in October last year.
Lotter, 51, co-founder of PAMS Foundation USA, a non-governmental organisation that supports anti-poaching efforts across Africa, was shot dead in Tanzania’s commercial capital Dar es Salaam on August 16, 2017.

[Thailand] Poachers can face 14 years’ jail when new law passed
By Om Jotikasthira, Bangkok Post, 24 February 2018
Poaching cases will be met with harsher penalties by year-end as the National Legislative Assembly (NLA) plans to pass amendments to a wildlife protection law this year, officials said on Friday. Sompong thomgseekem, as senior official at the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation (DNP), said the new penalties will be among a series of changes to the Wild Animal Reservation and Protection Act, BE 2535 (1992), one of several environmental laws awaiting NLA approval.

[India] Poacher arrested in Kaziranga
By Pranab Kumar Das, The Telegraph, 25 February 2018
Kaziranga forest officials on Saturday arrested a poacher, Jabidur Rahman alias Bhujel, who has three rhino poaching cases against him.
The poacher was arrested from Niz Biswanath under Biswanath Chariali police station in the sixth addition of Kaziranga early in the morning.

[India] Specialist squad sniffs out poachers in the forest
By Sounya Das, The Hindu, 25 February 2018
A set of sniffer dogs from Belgium are the newest friends of wildlife in Bengal.
The four Belgian Malinois have been deployed in Jaldapara and Gorumara National Parks, Buxa Tiger Reserve and Mahananda Wildlife Sanctuary. Their assignment is to sniff out poachers in the forest.
“It has proved to be an effective step,” says West Bengal’s Forest Minister Binay Krishna Barman. The deployment of the dogs has made tracking and prevention of poaching easier. “These dogs can not only trace carcasses of animals killed by poachers, but also track down the culprits,” the Minister says.

[South Africa] Seven rhino butchered in one day at KZN game reserve
By Tony Carnie, Sunday Times, 27 February 2018
The discovery of seven butchered rhinos in a single day has shocked conservationists who are battling gangs of armed poachers in KwaZulu-Natal’s flagship Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Game Reserve.
Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife spokesman Musa Mntambi confirmed on Monday that seven rhinos were found poached and dehorned in the Makhamisa section of the park last Wednesday – all within about 800m of each other – although two appeared to have died about two weeks earlier.

Tanzania: How Sh4.5bn Initiative Helped Net 2,617 Suspected Poachers
By Mussa Juma, The Citizen, 27 February 2018
A total of 2,617 suspected poachers were arrested between 2013 and 2015, thanks to a decision by six companies to invest Sh4.5 billion in wildlife conservation.
The suspects were arrested from game reserves, forest reserves and Wildlife Management Areas (WMA), which directly benefit from the Friedkin Conservation Fund (FCF).

Militarisation of conservation

dulkiri-forestry-patrols-killers”>[Cambodia] Search on for Mondulkiri forestry patrol’s killers
By Kong Meta, Mech Dara and Alessandro Marazzi Sassoon, Phnom Penh Post, 1 February 2018
As authorities yesterday searched for officials suspected of killing three forestry patrollers in a brazen ambush near Mondulkiri’s border with Vietnam, families, friends and colleagues struggled to make sense of the sudden deaths of their loved ones.
Thol Khna, 26, had worked as a Geographic Information Systems staffer for Wildlife Conservation Society Cambodia (WCS) for just six months before going out on patrol Tuesday in Keo Seima Wildlife Sanctuary. He was joined that day by Military Police officer Sok Vathana and Theun Soknay, a ranger with the Environment Ministry for the sanctuary. In the late afternoon, the three were suddenly ambushed about 20 kilometres from the border in O’Raing district.

[Cambodia] Updated: Suspect in forestry patrol killings surrenders
By Mech Dara and Alessandro Marazzi Sassoon, Phnom Penh Post, 1 February 2018
A suspect allegedly involved in the slaying on Tuesday of three forest patrollers in Mondulkiri’s Keo Seima Wildlife Sanctuary surrendered himself to authorities late on Wednesday night and was questioned by authorities on Thursday, according to officials.
So Sovan, the deputy provincial police chief, said suspect Keut Veha, the head of Royal Cambodian Armed Forces Regiment 103, turned himself in at the police station Wednesday night.

[India] Sensor barriers in Kaziranga: NGT rejects Assam’s proposal to engage manpower
Financial Express, 6 February 2018
The National Green Tribunal has rejected the Assam government’s proposal to engage manpower in place of installation of sensor-operated automated traffic barriers to control the death of animals in road accidents near the Kaziranga National Park. The green panel rapped the state government over its proposal and said except revealing the budgetary constraints there was no reason to go for the alternative proposal. The state government had proposed to engage additional manpower to monitor the animal corridor stretch of the NH-37 which passes from Jakhalabandha to Bokakhat along the reserve. It had said that additional home guards or casual labourers, if engaged, would be an efficient means to control the speed of vehicles on the national highway.

DRDO’s assault rifles to throw shield around Assam rhinos
By Rahul Karmakar, The Hindu, 10 February 2018
An indigenous hybrid rifle, named Ghatak for ‘deadly,’ will protect the rhino in Assam from heavily armed poachers.
The Assam Forest Department is poised to be the first non-police or non-paramilitary force to acquire the Ghatak, a multi-calibre rifle from the Defence Research Development Organisation (DRDO). It placed orders for the weapon more than a year ago. The rifle is described as a cross between an automatic close-combat weapon such as AK-47 and a more lethal long-range firearm.

[India] Kaziranga gets additional firepower
Times of India, 19 February 2018
Rhino habitats and tiger reserves of the state, including the Kaziranga National Park (KNP), received a fresh batch of automatic firearms on Sunday, adding more teeth to the anti-poaching drive at the world heritage site.
Home to two-third of the world’s one-horned rhino population, Kaziranga has been bearing the brunt of poachers who kills the pachyderms for their horns, which are in high demand in illicit international markets for wildlife body parts. Vietnam and China are major consumers of rhino horns, where it is used in traditional cures.

British troops en-route to Africa to help Malawi rangers stop poaching
By Dannielle Maguire, Pickle, 22 February 2018
We all love elephants, but we know they need a little help from us humans from time to time.
Take, for example, this little tyke, who had to be pulled free by park rangers are becoming stuck in the mud.
But unfortunately, not all human assistance given to elephants is so wholesome and adorable.


[Brazil] Effects Of Tourism And Human Presence On Mid-Sized Animal Populations
By Atilla Ferreguetti Science Trends, 6 February 2018
Tourism and the environment have a close relationship of dependence. Every tourist activity needs an environment, and whether this environment is natural or not, it undergoes a process of de-characterization in its natural setting by human action. Nature is essential for the development of tourist activity, and without a doubt arouses fascination in people, who seek to connect with it, recover their energies and relieve the tensions of everyday life.

Why the private sector must protect tourist destinations
By Megan Epler Wood, GreenBiz, 10 February 2018
Destinations around the world are found in highly different stages of development. Humans naturally love to discover new destinations especially when they are in the bohemian stage, and voice crushed psychological disappointment as they change. Oddly, we travelers see no relationship between our arrival and the inevitable changes that come over time. We love being there first.

Lion defenders: How Tanzania stopped 90% of hunts in a national park
By Sue Watt, The Independent, 28 February 2018
Deep in the night, I hear a lion roaring, a low melancholy call that carries for miles across the plains. It’s a sound of strength and supremacy as the king of the beasts stakes his territorial claims. But with lions becoming increasingly vulnerable due to poaching, habitat loss, hunting and human-wildlife conflict, it’s a sound that could soon be silenced. Today, just 24,000 lions survive in Africa; experts believe they could be extinct by 2050.

Big game hunting

Tanzania hunting safari outfitters in dilemma over tourism minister’s remarks
By Apolinari Tairo, eTN Tanzania, 1 February 2018
Tourist hunting executives in Tanzania are looking for fresh talks with the government over the recent remarks by the Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism who accused their companies of the wanton killing of wildlife.
The minister in charge of conservation and protection of wildlife and nature, Dr. Hamis Kigwangala, mentioned 4 prominent hunting safari companies operating in Tanzania which he said were running undercover plans to hunt animals without permits.
But the companies – seen to have a big influence over Tanzania’s political landscape – have so far refuted the minister’s remarks, saying they were good corporate business citizens in Tanzania, contributing about US$30 million per year from hunting.

Safari Club International Steps Up Its Game To Protect Hunting
Ammoland, 7 February 2018
On February 1 2018, the Board of Directors of Safari Club International changed its headquarters designation from Tucson, Arizona to Washington, DC. The purpose of the move is to focus and intensify SCI’s efforts on all forms of advocacy to protect the freedom to hunt, in coordination with other hunting organizations.
SCI’s CEO Rick Parsons will relocate to the SCI office on Capitol Hill in early April. SCI has advocacy, Litigation and communication units in that building. The SCI Foundation, which owns the building, houses its conservation department there. Parsons has a degree in International Law and has specialized in wildlife conservation issues. While working with the U.S. Government, he helped to draft and implement the global treaty (called CITES) that regulates trade in wildlife so as to prevent extinctions. Parsons has been with SCI since 1985. He has hunted in Virginia, Michigan, Texas and South Africa.

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  1. Very nice story and video. So glad the baby rhino is in a safe place but at the same time, I am heartbroken to hear that she would be released back into the wild. Doesn’t that put her in the same danger as her mother with poachers? Obviously her mother was murdered and stripped of her horn by poachers. I don’t think that is a very wise decision to do. Hopefully that won’t occur and she can be placed in a sanctuary with the larger rhinos.

  2. Thanks for this comment Christian. I assume you’re referring to this video (the story isn’t included in the post above). The rhino was killed in a national park. According to Rhino 911’s Instagram account, the baby rhino has been moved to a “secure location where she will be cared for and loved and introduced to other rhinos”. And National Geographic reports that the rhino is at a rehab centre called Rhino Orphanage.

  3. mitarbeitervs

    Thank you so much for this!

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