Conservation Watch’s news round-up: July 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

[India] Saving tigers, killing people
By Souparna Lahiri, Al Jazeera, 6 July 2018
From forced eviction to restrictions on access to resources, conservation practices have long been tied to violence against the indigenous peoples that live in forest areas. In recent years, we witnessed an exponential increase in conservation-related violence across the world.
Today, as conservation efforts become more and more militarised, state-sponsored actors are not only evicting and restricting the movements of indigenous community members, but also killing them for allegedly trespassing on their own ancestral lands.
In India, conservation violence seems to be on the rise.

Rights not ‘fortress conservation’ key to save planet, says UN expert
By David Hill, The Guardian, 16 July 2018
The United Nations Special Rapporteur on indigenous peoples, Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, has released a report highly critical of the global conservation movement and calling for indigenous peoples and other local communities to have a greater say in protecting the world’s forests. Titled Cornered by Protected Areas and co-authored with the US-based NGO Rights and Resources Initiative (RRI), the report is an explicit condemnation of “fortress conservation.”

Protected areas

[India] Conservationists say no to private wildlife reserves
By Surupasree Sarmmah, Deccan Herald, 1 July 2018
Based on an African model, the Karnataka government has proposed to open the doors of it’s eco-sensitive areas to private wildlife reserves. While forest officials explain that this plan is to benefit the farmers, promote eco-tourism and reduce man-animal conflict, many wildlife activists and conservationists have criticised the proposal stating that this will only benefit the rich and will be an easy back-door entry for real estate owners and industrialists who own land on the fringes of protected areas.

Colombian national park becomes largest protected rainforest and new world heritage site
By Josh Gabbatiss, Independent, 3 July 2018
Colombia’s Serrania del Chiribiquete has been declared the world’s largest tropical rainforest national park following decades of efforts by environmental experts and conservationists.
The park, which is home to nearly 3,000 animal and plant species, has been expanded by more than 50 per cent – an area equivalent to the size of Northern Ireland.

ASEAN intensifies conservation of protected areas
Borneo Bulletin, 12 July 2018
On the second day of the 22nd Meeting of the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical, and Technological Advice (SBSTTA 22) of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) on July 3, 2018 in Montreal, Canada, the ASEAN Member States (AMS), through Myanmar, joined other Parties in recognising the importance of other effective area-based conservation measures (OECMs) in sustaining protected areas, particularly in achieving the Aichi Biodiversity Target 11.
“The identification of OECMs in the ASEAN region are timely as the region assesses its progress towards the achievement of Aichi Target 11 and quantifying areas covered by OECMs will help AMS close that gap,” said Dr Naing Zaw Htun of Myanmar’s Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Conservation, as he read out on the floor ASEAN’s group statement on the agenda item 10 on protected areas.

Cameroon crisis threatens wildlife as thousands flee to protected areas
By Amindeh Blaise Atabong, African Arguments, 12 July 2018
Around midday in the lush bushlands of western Cameroon, Nsong Gabriel enters a small makeshift hut to get a cup of the local brew. He carries his old rifle in one arm and drags along his rewards from his hunt with the other: a porcupine, caught in a trap he laid the previous day, and two monkeys.
He complains that this has been a relatively unproductive expedition. “Most often, I get alligators, porcupines, monkeys, antelopes, snakes and bush swine,” he says. But it is at least something, and he will be able to trade the animals for essentials.

Why Congo’s decision to open national parks to drilling isn’t really about oil
By Patrick Edmond and Kristof Titeca, African Arguments, 13 July 2018
Last month, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) triggered international outrage when it confirmed that it was considering opening up two of its national parks to oil exploration. It said a committee would put together plans to declassify parts of Salonga and Virunga in a bid to increase oil production.
Both national parks are renowned UNESCO world heritage sites. Salonga is Africa’s largest tropical rainforest reserve and contains several endemic endangered species. Virunga is one of the world’s most biologically diverse areas and is home to hundreds of the critically endangered mountain gorillas.

Angry farmers set fire to offices of Madagascar eco group, gov’t agency
By Rowan Moore Gerety, Mongabay, 13 July 2018
What began with a rare instance of aggressive enforcement of Madagascar’s environmental laws last month culminated in violent destruction. Angry farmers armed with sticks and machetes stormed into the northwestern city of Boriziny, also known as Port–Bergé, to demand the release of people arrested for illegally clearing farmland inside a protected area.
On June 22, hundreds of barefoot men from Tsiningia, a municipality on the fringe of the Bongolava Forest Corridor, ransacked the Boriziny offices of the local nonprofit that manages the protected area. They smashed the group’s motorcycles, computers and other equipment, and set fire to the building the group shares with an outpost of the Ministry of the Environment, Ecology and Forests, along with a stockpile of seized precious timber.

In Mozambique, a Living Laboratory for Nature’s Renewal
By Natalie Angier, New York Times, 23 July 2018
The 14 African wild dogs were ravenous, dashing back and forth along the fence of their open-air enclosure, or boma, bouncing madly on their pogo-stick legs, tweet-yipping their distinctive wild-dog calls, and wagging their bushy, white-tipped tails like contestants on a game show desperate to be seen.

Communities and conservation

The future of forest conservation
Rainforest Foundation Norway, July 2018
History is being made in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Local communities have participated in redrawing the borders of a nature reserve. They now seek effective participation in the management of the reserve. If successful, this experience could become a model for future conservation projects.

World’s poorest people bearing costs of rainforest conservation that benefits entire world, scientists warn
By Josh Gabbatiss, The Independent, 5 July 2018
Richer nations are “freeloading” off some of the poorest communities in the world by forcing them to foot the bill for rainforest conservation, according to a new study.
In Madagascar, an island known for its stunning biodiversity and lush tropical forests, farming communities are abandoning their way of life to satisfy the demands of international climate change prevention programmes.
Crucially, despite clear commitments by the likes of the World Bank to compensate those harmed by these programmes, such compensation is not taking place.

Q&A: Why conservation must include indigenous rights
By Gloria Pallares, devex, 6 July 2018
Indigenous peoples and local communities conserve lands and forests for a quarter of the cost of public and private investments in protected areas, according to new findings released at the Oslo Tropical Forest Forum last week, yet “fortress conservation” strategies often see indigenous peoples driven from their land in an effort to protect it from human activity.
The report, co-authored by the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous People Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, shines a light on the role of local communities as stewards of forests; warns about the spike of human rights abuses in those territories; and makes the case for conservation models that include — rather than evict — indigenous peoples.

Backed by Prince Harry, conservation group expands in Africa
AP, 8 July 2018
The news from Democratic Republic of Congo’s Garamba National Park was grim for decades: rangers killed, an elephant population decimated by poachers, marauding armed groups and the disappearance of the last northern white rhinos living in the wild.
African Parks, the non-profit group that took over management in 2005, had doubts about whether it could turn things around.

[India] 10,000th wildlife conflict claim in Karnataka
Business Standard, 10 July 2018
US-based Wildlife Conservation Society’s (WCS) Wild Seve programme, which helps farmers living around Karnataka’s two national parks recoup crops or livestock losses caused by wildlife, this week filed its 10,000th claim since the launch of the programme in July 2015, it was announced on Tuesday.
In doing so, Wild Seve has potentially saved wildlife from being slaughtered in retribution killings, besides protecting farmers against lethal encounters with wild animals in Bandipur and Nagarahole National Parks, the WCS said in a statement.

‘Decolonizing conservation’: Q&A with PNG marine activist John Aini
By Basten Gokkon, Mongabay, 12 July 2018
In 1993, fisheries scientist John Aini founded the conservation group Ailan Awareness in Papua New Guinea’s New Ireland province to help his community and others nearby reverse declines in the marine life they depend upon. The organization helps communities around the province’s islands develop marine resource management plans that are based on local customs and designed to sustainably improve their livelihoods.

[India] Shepherd from Karnataka builds 14 ponds on barren hill, turns his village green
By Ashwini M Sripad, The New Indian Express, 15 July 2018
Eighty-two-year-old shepherd Kamegowda may be illiterate, but he has been able to do what most so-called educated and environmentally conscious persons only wish they had done. He is credited with greening an entire hillside at Daasanadoddi village in Malavalli taluk of Mandya district, an effort that took him four decades and culminated in 14 ponds being developed and maintained by him. These ponds are filled with water all year round — even during the scorching summers.

Study: Indigenous peoples own or manage at least one quarter of world’s land surface
Wildlife Conservation Society press release, 16 July 2018
Indigenous Peoples have ownership, use and management rights over at least a quarter of the world’s land surface according to a new study published this week in the journal Nature Sustainability.
The 38 million square kilometers (14.6 million square miles) are spread across 87 countries or politically distinct areas and overlap with about 40 percent of all terrestrial protected areas.

Indigenous peoples are crucial for conservation – a quarter of all land is in their hands
By Stephen Garnett, Álvaro Fernández-Llamazares, Catherine Robinson, Erle C. Ellis, Hayley Geyle, Ian Leiper, James Watson, John E. Fa, Kerstin Zander, Micha Victoria Jackson, Pernilla Malmer, Tom Duncan, and Zsolt Molnár, The Conversation, 17 July 2018
Indigenous peoples have a deep and unique connection to the lands they inhabit. This connection has persisted throughout the world, despite centuries of colonisation, displacement and suppression of their cultural identities.
What has never been appreciated is the contemporary spatial extent of Indigenous influence – just how much of Earth’s surface do Indigenous peoples still own or manage?

Tun Mustapha: Malaysia’s Conservation Experiment
By Ben Blackledge, The Diplomat, 17 July 2018
It’s a dark night, the moon providing little illumination on the unusual procession making its way along a pristine beach on a remote island in Malaysian Borneo. Our guide and local wildlife warden, Absan Saman, pauses occasionally, searching for clues in minor indentations in the sand or behind the crowded treeline.
Tailing behind, trudging in pairs with M16s firmly gripped in their hands, a police escort follows on what seems a tame mission. Their presence is a necessity in the piracy-stricken region. Joining tonight and taking up the rear are Saman’s mentors from the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF).

Indigenous stewardship is critical to success of protected areas
By Michael Painter, David Wilkie and James Watson, Mongabay, 25 July 2018
A recent article in Science reports that, while the portion of the world’s terrestrial surface allocated to protected areas has grown to around one-sixth of the area available, a significant number of these areas are so compromised by human pressures that they may be unable to meet their conservation goals. For example, in nearly 75 percent of the world’s nations, more than 50 percent of the protected areas are under intense human pressure.


The Trouble with Ecosystem Services: When Pricing Everything Means Valuing Nothing
By R. David Simpson, The Breakthrough Institute, Summer 2018
n the early 1990s, “bioprospecting” captured the imaginations of both the public and policy makers. Merck, the large US pharmaceutical company, entered into an agreement with Costa Rica’s National Biodiversity Institute (INBio), through which Merck would receive exclusive access to INBio’s natural product collections in exchange for a million-dollar up-front payment, in-kind contributions to research, and a promise of royalties in the event that commercial products were identified. INBio’s director speculated that Costa Rica’s bioprospecting earnings would soon exceed the $300 million per year it earned from coffee exports.

[Nigeria] Fulani Herdsmen, Threat to Wildlife Conservation, Stakeholders Warn
By Senator Iroegbu, This Day, 1 July 2018
In addition to the terror unleashed by suspected herdsmen, efforts to conserve, protect and preserve wildlife in Nigeria is threatened by the activities of the herdsmen as they invade conservation parks, maim and kill rangers on daily basis.
The issue was brought to the fore in a roundtable discussion in Abuja weekend, which centred on importance and way forward in conserving wildlife, organised by the French Embassy in collaboration with National Park Service (NPS), Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), the ministry of environment and other relevant stakeholders.

South Sudan bans exportation of charcoal, wood
Sudan Tribune, 4 July 2018
The South Sudanese government has announced a ban on wood and charcoal exportation, arguing that the practice has negatively impacted on the country’s environment.
The country’s minister for trade and investment, Musa Hassan Tiel said on Wednesday that illegal logging was now punishable by law.
“A lot of people are engaged illegally in cutting of trees for the purposes of producing charcoal for export,” Tiel told reporters in the country’s capital, Juba.

Scientists create hybrid embryo to save northern white rhino, poachers strike again
By Alok Gupta, CGTN, 5 July 2018
One of the world most endangered mammals—northern white rhinos— decimated by rampant poaching and habitat loss might witness a revival through hybrid embryos.
The last surviving male northern white rhino, Sudan, died in March 2018. After his death, only two females, Najin and Fatu, belonging to the subspecies are left on the planet. Hopes for the revival of the subspecies population dashed after researchers discovered both females are infertile.

Cambodia, China sign MoUs on environmental protection, biodiversity conservation
Xinhua, 5 July 2018
Cambodia and China have signed three Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) on environmental protection and biodiversity conservation.
The MoU included the establishment of the Cambodia-China Environmental Cooperation Center Preparatory Office, the donation of wastewater treatment equipment, and the pilot cooperation on biodiversity and ecosystem conservation.
Speaking after the signing ceremony on Wednesday, Chinese Vice Minister of Ecology and Environment Zhao Yingmin said China has been attaching high importance to environment protection and ecosystem conservation, saying that the MoUs opened a new chapter for bilateral cooperation in these fields.

Gorillas Face Grave Risk if Congo Allows Oil Search, Groups Say
By William Clowes, Bloomberg, 5 July 2018
Environmental groups involved in running two wildlife reserves in the Democratic Republic of Congo said they oppose plans by the government to open the areas to oil exploration.
Congo’s cabinet last month authorized the creation of an inter-institutional committee that will discuss declassifying parts of the Virunga and Salonga national parks to permit a search for crude. Virunga is home to most of the about 1,000 mountain gorillas still alive, while Salonga is the world’s second-largest tropical rainforest reserve. Both are UNESCO World Heritage sites.

Extinction is a natural process, but it’s happening at 1,000 times the normal speed
By Elizabeth Boakes and David Redding, The Conversation, 6 July 2018
When Sudan the white rhino was put down by his carers earlier this year, it confirmed the extinction of one of the savannah’s most iconic subspecies. Despite decades of effort from conservationists, including a fake Tinder profile for the animal dubbed “the most eligible bachelor in the world”, Sudan proved an unwilling mate and died – the last male of his kind. His daughter and granddaughter remain – but, barring some miraculously successful IVF, it is only a matter of time.

[South Africa] Conservation can never have too much money – SANParks
The Citizen, 7 July 2018
Funding for nature conservation can never be sufficient, says SANParks CEO Fundisile Mketeni.
“There is never enough [funding], there is always something happening in the environment,” Mketeni told a group of business leaders hosted by SANParks at Skukuza in the Kruger National Park (KNP) this weekend.
The business executives were flown out of Johannesburg’s concrete jungle to the KNP on Thursday, and given an opportunity to explore the park and get first hand knowledge of the daily problems SANParks rangers are exposed to, and to see where they could contribute to making a difference.

How blockchain gaming could benefit wildlife conservation
By Rhett A. Butler, Mongabay, 10 July 2018
Blockchain has been one of the hottest sectors in tech over the past couple of years, with cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum soaring in value as they captured the public’s attention. But blockchain has applications well beyond underpinning cryptocurrencies, including gaming and art.
On that latter front, a new initiative aims to raise money and awareness for conservation by leveraging the popularity of CryptoKitties, one of the world’s first blockchain games. A CryptoKitty is effectively a digital collectible — a piece of electronic art that is unique, tradable, and can be “bred” to produce more CryptoKitties. While the concept may seem abstract to the uninitiated, there is currently a market for CryptoKitties — in May, one Kitty sold for $140,000 at auction. More than $20 million in CryptoKitties have been transacted to date.

UN Biodiversity Lab Offers Spatial Data for Conservation, Development
By Catherine Benson Wahlen, IISD, 10 July 2018
The UN Development Programme (UNDP), the UN Environment Programme (UNEP, or UN Environment) and the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) launched an interactive mapping program that supports informed decision-making on biodiversity conservation and development challenges. The groups launched the ‘UN Biodiversity Lab’ at the 22nd meeting of the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice (SBSTTA 22).

DRC prioritises oil over conservation
By Duncan E Omondi Gumba, Institute for Security Studies, 10 July 2018
The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has started the process to degazette parts of two UNESCO World Heritage Sites to allow for oil drilling. Environmentalists have reacted sharply to the proposal to open up Virunga and Salonga national parks – a move that is likely to jeopardise a regional treaty on the protection of Africa’s most biodiverse wildlife habitat and the endangered mountain gorilla.

[Zambia] African Parks grants Kafue National Park $5m for road works, conservation
By Abraham Kalito, Diggers!, 10 July 2018
African Parks Director of Conservation Development James Milanzi says the bad road network in Kafue National Park has damaged the realization of that parks dream and flagship status.
In a statement issued by Ministry of Tourism and Arts Public relations Manager Sakabilo Kalembwe, Milanzi, who is also The Nature Conservancy (TNC) Director, said his organization had noted the need for proper road network and had since offered $5 million grant per annum to revamp the park.

Kenyan environmentalists to walk to South Africa for elephant, rhino conservation
Xinhua, 12 July 2018
A team of ten Kenyan environmentalists plan to walk to South Africa to raise awareness about elephant and rhino conservation, organizers said on Thursday.
Jim Nyamu, executive director of Elephant Neighbor Center, told a media briefing in Nairobi that he plans to traverse Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana and South Africa over a period of 160 days.

Eight of 14 rhinos die after move to Kenyan national park
By Sandra Laville, The Guardian, 13 July 2018
Eight out of 14 critically endangered black rhinos have died after being moved to a reserve in southern Kenya, wildlife officials have revealed, in what one conservationist described as “a complete disaster”.
Preliminary investigations pointed to salt poisoning as the rhinos tried to adapt to saltier water in their new home, the Kenyan Ministry of Tourism and Wildlife said in a statement. It suspended the moving of other rhinos and said the surviving ones were being closely monitored.

Kenya launches investigation into rhino deaths
Reuters, 13 July 2018
Kenya launched an independent investigation on Tuesday into the deaths of black rhinos while they were being transported by the state wildlife service from one national park to another.
A total of nine rhinos died, Tourism Minister Najib Balala said, raising the toll from the eight reported on Friday. Two female rhinos from the group are in good health, he told reporters.
The 11 critically endangered rhinos were among a group the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) began moving last month to Tsavo East National Park.

[Kenya] ‘I dread to think of the suffering’: Eight rare rhinos die in botched conservation effort
By Joel Shannon, USA Today, 14 July 2018
The Kenyan Ministry of Tourism announced Thursday that eight black rhinoceroses had died following a botched attempt to start a new population of the critically endangered species.
The eight animals likely died of salt poisoning, a release says. The rhinos were unaccustomed to the level of salt in water in their new environment and could not adapt.

Mozambique Pairs Coffee and Conservation
By Steve Baragona, Voice of America, 14 July 2018
The year 2017 was the second worst on record for the loss of tropical forest cover, according to a report from Global Forest Watch. While many countries have pledged to restore forest land, doing so while providing an income for the people who live there is a challenge. Coffee may help.

How conservation became colonialism
By Alexander Zaitchik, Foreign Policy, 16 July 2018
In February, a group of Cofán men dressed in dark tunics and bandoliers studded with forest seeds gathered around a fire pit in northeastern Ecuador. In the thin light of dawn, they prepared to set out on a patrol of the Cayambe Coca National Park, a protected area that covers more than 1,500 square miles of rainforests, wetlands, glacial lagoons, and snowcapped cordillera, the tallest peak of which belongs to the massive Cayambe volcano. The men were all members of la guardia, a unit established by the Cofán in 2017 to push back against trespassers’ growing encroachment onto their ancestral lands.

Microsoft teams up with National Geographic to support AI-driven conservation research
By Hamza Jawad, Neowin, 16 July 2018
Today, Microsoft has announced a new partnership with National Geographic that will be aimed at providing financial support to research projects that use Artificial Intelligence (AI) to advance environmental conservation.
For this purpose, a new “$1 million AI for Earth Innovation Grant” program has been introduced. Grants will be offered to between five and 15 recipients, providing them financial support and access to Microsoft cloud and AI tools. Furthermore, the recipients of this award will be affiliated with the National Geographic Labs and be included in the institution’s explorer community as well. Projects that are aimed towards research on biodiversity conservation, agriculture, climate change, and water are going to be considered.

How many hippos are too many? Proposed cull raises questions
By Jeremy Hance, The Guardian, 18 July 2018
The hippo — really? That’s the common response when tour guides in Africa tantalize travelers with this question: “What’s the most dangerous animal on the continent?” Lion? Rhino? Elephant? No, no, no. Eventually, the tour guide delivers the answer with a twinkle in their eye: the hippo, yes, that water-loving, one-tonne mammalian oddity. Despite their hefty and somnolent appearance, hippos are fast and aggressive — a dangerous mix — and may kill several hundred people a year (of course the most dangerous animal in Africa is not really the hippo at all, it’s the mosquito — but no one likes a know-it-all).

The case for introducing rhinos to Australia
By Bill Laurance, The Conservation, 18 July 2018
Rhinos in Australia might seem like an insane proposition – after all, we’ve had historically bad luck with introduced species. But on reflection it’s not quite as crazy as it sounds.
There are five species of rhinoceros in the world: two in Africa and three in Asia.
The world of all five species is being rapidly destroyed and shredded, their savanna and forest habitats sliced apart by clearings, fences, roads, and other obstructions.

Why should we care about ethics in conservation?
By Stephanie Brittain, Interdisciplinary Centre for Conservation Science, 19 July 2018
When imagining a stereotypical conservationist, people may think that we spend our time running around the forests counting chimpanzees. However, conservationists increasingly appreciate the need to understand the role of humans in conservation issues, or learn from how some have successfully protected an area or species from ongoing or emerging threats. Conservationists now commonly use a plethora of social research methods to tackle highly complex and interdisciplinary conservation issues, and gain a deeper understanding and context behind trends in species populations, identify changing and emerging threats or understand the demand for wildlife products.

[Cambodia] Government rips into WWF report
By Khouth Sophak Chakrya, Phnom Penh Post, 20 July 2018
The Ministry of Agriculture’s Forestry Administration spokesman Keo Omaliss hit back on Thursday at a World Wildlife Fund (WWF) report that claims the Greater Mekong will lose 30 percent of its forests by 2030 without drastic action.
He said the claims do not accurately reflect efforts made by the region’s governments and people, and called the report “unacceptable”.

Kenya: Fishy Fire in Serengeti Sparks Claims of Sabotage
By George Sayagie, Daily Nation, 20 July 2018
A diplomatic row is simmering between Kenya and Tanzania over claims of sabotage. Tanzanians living around the Serengeti National Park are reported to have set the area on fire to block wildebeest from crossing over into Kenya.
The infernos, that have lasted for about a week, have delayed hundreds of wildebeest from Serengeti plains gathered on the Mara River ready to cross into Kenya. Hundreds of acres of the reserve in northern Tanzania along the migratory routes are still on fire and have pushed back wildlife. Yesterday, tour operators accused rangers from Tanzania National Parks Authority (Tanapa) of lighting fires on the Serengeti National Park and Masai Mara Game Reserve border to delay the animals’ migration.

[Uganda] Conservation of apes threatened by Migrants, Investors
By Jacky Achan, New Vision, 20 July 2018
In Bunyoro and Rwenzori sub regions in Uganda a chimpanzee is revered. The Bayanja clan of Bunyoro, and Batanyi clan of the Bakonzo have the chimpanzee, as their totem (sacred symbol) plus taboos against their killing.
But, these great apes that are over 5000 in Uganda, the highest number in Africa are threatened by cultures that protect them, fast fading away.
A recent study conducted by The Cross-Cultural foundation of Uganda (CCFU), found population growth especially that of migrants, posed a great threat to the existence of chimpanzees.

Diamond Company Plans To Move 200 Elephants From South Africa To Mozambique
By Sasha Ingber, NPR, 23 July 2018
De Beers Group, the company most known for diamonds, announced Monday that it is moving 200 elephants from South Africa to Mozambique in an attempt to boost that country’s depleted population.
In July and August, some 60 elephants are scheduled make the trip from the company’s Venetia Limpopo Nature Reserve, in the northernmost part of South Africa, to Zinave National Park in central Mozambique.

[Botswana] Khama joins Conservation International as a Distinguished Fellow
Botswana Unplugged, 25 July 2018
On Tuesday, Conservation International announced that former President of the Republic of Botswana, Seretse Khama Ian Khama will join as a Distinguished Fellow. Conservation International uses science, policy and partnerships to protect the nature that people rely on for food, fresh water and livelihoods. Founded in 1987, Conservation International works in more than 30 countries on six continents to ensure a healthy, prosperous planet that supports us all.

Big Cat Comeback: How India Is Restoring Its Tiger Population
By Richard Conniff, Yale Environment 360, 26 July 2018
Ullas Karanth, a senior scientist with the Wildlife Conservation Society, is one of the world’s premier tiger experts and a leader in the effort to restore India’s depleted tiger populations. Raised in the South India state of Karnataka, he has spent much of his professional life studying and working to bring back tigers there, starting in Nagarahole National Park in the foothills of the Western Ghats, and then across a 10,000-square-mile region of that mountain range.

UN launches program for environmental conservation in Kenya
Xinhua, 27 July 2018
The UN Development Program (UNDP) on Thursday launched a 4 million U.S dollar program for environmental conservation in Kenya.
Deputy Country Director at UNDP Kenya Catherine Masaka said the Small Grants Program (SGP) will help in conserving the degraded environment that poses life-threatening challenges to people.
“The grants will enable communities develop and implement projects that mitigate degradations, support ecological life systems and protect human dignity,” Masaka said during the launch of the 6th phase of the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and the UNDP’s Small Grants Program in Nairobi.

How India’s Conservationists Are Fighting to Save Half of the World’s Tigers
By Kamakshi Ayyar, Time, 28 July 2018
How do you get a 400lb tiger into the back of a truck?
It’s an elaborate process that involves dozens of personnel, carefully calibrated tranquilizer darts, a custom-made cage — and a handful of elephants. All that was in place on June 20 when MB2, a three-year-old male tiger, was transported from Kanha Tiger Reserve in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh to the Satkosia Tiger Reserve in the eastern state of Odisha in the first ever such relocation.

He dares to challenge Kenyas ‘Big Conservation Lie’
By Julia Steers, Ozy, 29 July 2018
Online, Mordecai Ogada deals in exclamation points. “Calling class to order!” is his Facebook tagline, and the conservationist is known for angry posts calling out colleagues, government officials, foreign do-gooders and fellow Kenyans.
In person, his approach is softer, more persuasive, but no less forceful. On a drizzly weekday night, Ogada draws a crowd of 50 at Pawa254, a center for activism and social justice, for a talk titled “Conservation: The Quiet Spread of Imperialism.” He pleads with the audience to wake up to the grave reality that Kenyans are losing sovereignty over their own land to nongovernmental organization–backed nature conservancies and expat-led animal projects. The audience — teachers, public servants, NGO staffers, students, fellow scientists — nods, mmm hmms and shouts back throughout.

Conflict threatens Myanmar’s dwindling tiger population
By Coconuts Yangon, 31 July 2018
Ethnic conflict in Myanmar’s forested regions threatens wild tigers, and ending conflict is key to protecting them, the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) announced last week, ahead of International Tiger Day.
The group specifically pointed to conflict between the Myanmar military (Tatmadaw) and the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) in the vicinity of the Hukawng Valley Wildlife Sanctuary, which spans 17,373 square kilometers in Kachin State, Naga Autonomous Region, and Sagaing Region, making it the world’s largest tiger reserve.

Tech for tigers: WWF and Intel test AI technology for monitoring wild tigers in China
WWF, 31 July 2018
Artificial intelligence (AI) may seem a long way removed from the natural world. But a new collaboration between WWF and tech giant Intel, announced yesterday on Global Tiger Day, is harnessing the power of AI to help protect wild tigers and their habitats.
Back in 2010, WWF together with 13 tiger-range governments launched the TX2 goal — a commitment to double the number of tigers in the wild by 2022, the next Chinese year of the tiger. While there are many aspects to achieving this goal, one crucial component is being able to monitor trends in tiger distribution and population numbers. Essentially, the more we know about how many tigers there are and where, the better we’re able to protect them.

Wildlife trade

[Philippines] Communication is key in combatting illegal wildlife trade–DENR exec
By Jonathan L. Mayuga, Business Mirror, 1 July 2018
An official of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) underscored the need for private-sector support to raise the level of public awareness about the importance of biodiversity and the threat posed by activities that lead to biodiversity loss, including illegal wildlife trade and trafficking.
Josefina de Leon, the head of the Wildlife Resources Division of the DENR-Biodiversity Management Bureau (BMB), said on Sunday that, under the Wildlife Law Enforcement Action Plan 2018-2028, communication, education and public awareness is one of the key strategies that will boost wildlife law enforcement. De Leon told the BusinessMirror that many Filipinos living in abject poverty see the illegal wildlife trade as their way out.

The UK’s ban on ivory sales will not protect the elephants
By Anna Somers Cocks, The Art Newspaper, 2 July 2018
The great majority of ivory in the UK is worked ivory dating from the 18th to early 20th centuries and is from long-dead elephants. Banning the sale of antique, worked ivory in the UK will not make any difference to the market for new ivory in Asia, and hence the poaching of elephants, claims Richard Thomas, the official spokesman for Traffic, the most respected collectors and interpreters of data about the trade in ivory.

Australia gets closer to banning domestic ivory trade
By Alok Gupta, CGTN, 3 July 2018
Australia is holding public hearings on potentially banning the domestic trade of ivory and rhino horns.
The country is under intense pressure after the UK proposed one of the most stringent ivory laws; the US and China have also imposed a similar ban shutting down ivory trading.
A parliamentary committee was formed in April to investigate whether Australia’s ivory trade is leading to the massive poaching of African elephants.

Ivory ban could be extended to protect hippos, walruses and narwhals
By Harriet Agerholm, Independent, 4 July 2018
A proposed ivory ban could be extended to protect hippos, walruses and narwhals, the government has said.
Ministers have proposed strict legislation to ban the sale of ivory items of all ages, with a few exemptions, as part of efforts to protect elephants from poaching.
Around 20,000 elephants a year are slaughtered for their ivory, and wildlife campaigners argue the ban will slow the pace of the killing.

Tanzanian Tusks Seized in 29 Countries
Tanzania Daily News, 4 July 2018
Half of the Savanna elephant tusks seized from the year 2006 to 2014 in 29 countries originated from Tanzania, it has been established.
The College of African Wildlife Management Mweka (CAWM) Rector, Professor Jafari Kideghesho unveiled here on Monday that a recent DNA (Deoxyribonucleic acid) analysis that was done recently came out with the findings.

Illegal ivory found on sale in 10 European countries
By Fiona Harvey, The Guardian, 10 July 2018
Illegal ivory has been found on sale in 10 European countries, contravening international efforts to cut down on the trade which campaigners say encourages the poaching of elephants.
The campaigning group Avaaz bought 109 items of ivory and had them tested using radiocarbon dating. Nearly one-fifth of the objects were found to contain ivory from animals killed since 1990, which is illegal, after restrictions on the were put in place in 1989.

Legal EU ivory sales ‘condemn elephants’
By Matt McGrath, BBC News, 10 July 2018
The open, legal sale of antique ivory in many European countries is covering up a trade in illegal and recently poached ivory, campaigners say.
Researchers from environmental group Avaaz bought 100 ivory items and had them radiocarbon dated at Oxford University.
Three quarters were modern ivory, being sold illegally as fake antiques.
Ivory from an elephant killed by poachers as recently as 2010 was among the items passed off as being antique.

[USA] Environmentalists Intervene in Challenge of NY Ivory Ban
By Amanda Ottaway, Courthouse News Service, 10 July 2018
A federal judge ushered several environmental-advocacy and animal-rights groups into the ring Monday for a challenge of New York’s ban on ivory sales.
Filed in March by the Art and Antique Dealers League of America Inc. and the National Antique and Art Dealers Association of America Inc., the case here contends that the New York scheme is pre-empted by federal statute.
U.S. District Judge Lorna G. Schofield granted requests to intervene Monday from the Humane Society of the United States, the Center for Biological Diversity, the Natural Resources Defense Council and the Wildlife Conservation Society, all of which had some hand in advancing the state’s ivory ban.

Kenya to lobby African states to enhance elephant protection
Xinhua, 14 July 018
Kenya plans to lobby African states to enhance their elephant protection measures in order to protect the mammals from becoming extinct, a government official said on Saturday.
Margaret Mwakima, Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Tourism and Wildlife, told journalists in Nairobi that some Southern African countries currently permit domestic trade in ivory products and this could complicate efforts to save the African elephant

Bone trade huge threat to wild lions
By Sjheree Bega, IOL, 21 July 2018
When Dr Paul Funston and his colleagues evaluated the threats to Africa’s lions a few years ago, there was no legal bone trade in South Africa – or illicit trinket trade to the Far East.
But Funston, the senior director of the lion programme at Panthera, the global wild cat conservation organisation, believes South Africa’s contentious lion bone trade is now imperilling the continent’s dwindling wild lion populations.

China’s push to export traditional medicine may doom the magical pangolin
By Simon Denyer, Washington Post, 21 July 2018
In a rescue center, the pangolin slowly wakes and uncurls, sniffing out a nighttime feast of ants’ eggs, then lapping it up with its implausibly long tongue. One of 74 pangolins rescued from the back of a truck in Vietnam in April, its survival has defied the odds.
This almost mystical creature, looking like a cross between an anteater and an armadillo but unrelated to either, is the world’s most trafficked mammal: A million of them are thought to have been poached from the wild in just a decade.

This British ivory ban will make us all poorer — except the poachers
By John Lewis, The Times, 22 July 2018
Last year the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) ran a “consultation” with the public to approve its proposed ban within the UK of the sale or purchase of articles made of or incorporating worked ivory from long-dead elephants.
Unfortunately, the “consulting” questionnaire that the department accordingly issued was skewed towards receiving answers that would show the public supported its previously declared enthusiasm for such a ban.

The internet is helping fuel global wildlife trafficking
By Brianna Grant,, 27 July 2018
The internet has transformed our everyday lives in ways we are still beginning to understand. Gone are the days of navigating a map for directions and mailing letters to far away friends to keep in contact. The internet has made our lives easier, faster and more convenient. Unfortunately, the internet has also helped fuel the illicit wildlife market.
A recent study by the wildlife monitoring group TRAFFIC and the International Union for Conservation of Nature Otter Specialist Group found that the online pet trade for otters is creating a pressing threat to otter populations.

Vandalism for conservation? New Zealand strikes off-note by stripping ivory off 123-yr-old British piano
AFP, 29 July 2018
New Zealand authorities have been accused of “vandalism” after they stripped the ivory key tops from an antique piano shipped into the country by its British owner.
The 123-year-old upright piano should have been exempt from strict rules aimed at cracking down on the ivory trade, because it was built before 1914.
But owner Julian Paton, an English heart disease researcher who emigrated to New Zealand with his wife and two children, was unaware he needed a special verification certificate for the family heirloom, according to New Zealand media.
“We are disappointed and horrified as a family at the bureaucracy,” Paton told the website, adding that they had “followed all the rules that we were told to follow”.


Pioneering AI tech to fight poaching of rhinos and elephants
By Jonathan Symcox, Business Cloud, 2 July 2018
A software firm has developed a pioneering artificial intelligence technology to combat the poaching of rhinos and elephants.
South African entrepreneur Colleen Glaeser is the global marketing director for AxxonSoft and runs multiple tech and securities businesses.
She also owns a luxury safari lodge in South Africa and, having seen an increase in poaching over the past decade, knew she had to do something to help prevent the catastrophe from growing.

[India] Poacher who planned to kill rhino using dinghy in flooded Kaziranga, arrested
By Naresh Mitra, Times of India, 2 July 2018
The arrest of two most wanted poachers last month led the joint team Kaziranga National Park officials and police to nab the sixth member of the gang, infamous for devising new methods to kill rhino at the World Heritage Site.

UAVs a useful tool in wildlife conservation
By Guy Martin, Defence Web, 3 July 2018
Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), or drones, are a useful tool in wildlife conservation, performing duties ranging from anti-poaching to crocodile and bird counting.
Dr Debbie Jewitt from KZN Ezemvelo Wildlife gave an overview of her organisation’s use of UAVs during the Drones Conference 2018 at Emperor’s Palace last week.
She said that UAVs are proving to be extremely beneficial, especially in places that people can’t reach; in places that are dangerous and where efficiency is needed.

Is cutting off rhinos’ horns the way to save them from poachers?
ITV, 3 July 2018
In a bid to stop poachers killing and injuring rhinos for their horns, some vets and conservationists in South Africa have taken the drastic step of de-horning the mammals in an attempt to save the species.
While taking a chainsaw to a rhino’s most distinctive feature might seem barbaric, there is no feeling in the horn.
“De-horning is really not much worse than cutting your own fingernails,” explained vet Mike Toft.

UK aims to reduce poaching of African elephants by one-third by 2020
By Alok Gupta, CGTN, 4 July 2018
The British government has announced major funding aimed at controlling the illegal wildlife trade across the world, with a focus on ivory.
A fund of around 58 million US dollars has been set aside to boost anti-wildlife trafficking projects. One goal is to combat the large-scale poaching of African elephants for ivory.
The government wants to reduce the illicit slaughter of elephants by at least one-third by 2020 and to further halve the rate by 2024.

Lions eat ‘rhino poachers’ on South African game reserve
BBC News, 5 July 2018
At least two suspected rhino poachers have been mauled to death and eaten by lions on a South African game reserve, officials say.
Rangers discovered the remains of two, possibly three, people in a lion enclosure in the Sibuya reserve, near the south-east town of Kenton-on-Sea.
A high-powered rifle and an axe were also found.

Botswana records 30 poaching incidents in 2 months
Xinhua, 7 July 2018
Botswana’s Department of Wildlife and National Parks has recorded 30 incidents of poaching in Ngamiland District, some 700 km away from Gaborone, capital of Botswana, in the past two months.
DWNP director Otisitswe Tiroyamodimo said Thursday that this year witnessed an increase in cases of poaching as compared to last year.
Poaching had increased extensively in the Okavango region and that the species poached included elephants, he said.

[UK] £44.5 million allocated to end poaching and animal trafficking across the globe
By Jemima Webber, Live Kindly, 7 July 2018
Projects designed to combat the international illegal wildlife trade have received a massive boost. On July 2 it was announced that £44.5 million will be allocated to anti-wildlife trafficking initiatives around the globe.
UK Environment Secretary Michael Gove announced that the Department for Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs (Defra) will contribute £4.5 million to the cause. These funds will be put into 14 new Illegal Wildlife Trade Challenge Fund projects that work to protect wild animals from being illegally traded across 27 countries.

‘Better and better’: Thermal cameras turn up the heat on poachers
By Sue Palminteri, Mongabay, 9 July 2018
Nearly 2 million animals, mostly wildebeest and zebra, migrate roughly 800 kilometers (500 miles) each year between Serengeti National Park in Tanzania and Maasai Mara National Reserve across the border in Kenya. Their joint search for fresh green grass is an ecological phenomenon and a major tourist attraction in both countries.

Malayan tigers lost to poachers?
WWF Malaysia, 11 July 2018
We are losing our Malayan tigers, the symbol of national pride. The Malayan tiger proudly flanks our jata negara or national emblem. It is a representation of strength and courage; an inspiration to Malaysians from all walks of life.
As the world gears up to celebrate Global Tiger Day on July 29, Malaysia is in the spotlight again after the recent raid by the Department of Wildlife and National Parks (Perhilitan) in Pahang. Some of the most valuable animal parts seized, including skin, were suspected to be from three Malayan tigers (one of which is said to be a tiger cub).
‘You will never run from death’: shot by poachers in Uganda
By Jonathan Watts, The Guardian, 21 July 2018
The bullet that pierced the shoulder of Ugandan ranger Samuel Loware had already taken one life and could easily have added his. The shell was fired by a Sudanese poacher trying to flee back over the border with contraband meat from the Kidepo Valley national park.

[India] Former chief wildlife warden responsible for poaching of Corbett tigers: Report
By Vieet Upadhyay, Times of India, 13 July 2018
An inquiry conducted by the forest department into what was arguably Uttarakhand’s biggest seizure of tiger parts in 2016 has held the former chief wildlife warden (CWLW) of the state as well as former director of Corbett Tiger Reserve (CTR) responsible for lapses that led to poaching of five big cats.

[South Africa] Two rhino poaching kingpins back in court
By Jan Bornman, news24, 13 July 2018
Two men believed to have been the “kingpins” in a rhino poaching syndicate operating out of Gauteng are expected back in the Benoni Magistrate’s Court on Friday.
Mandla Mashele, 37, and Kelvin Malapane, 30, were arrested in May and appeared in the Benoni Magistrate’s Court in June where they were released on bail of R50 000 each.

The Fight to Stop Poaching: What If We’ve Been Doing It Wrong?
By Maria Fotopoulos, The Revelator, 16 July 2017
Damien Mander has thought a lot about best practices for protecting wildlife.
As the Australian-born founder of the International Anti-Poaching Foundation, Mander has spent the past 10 years working on the front lines protecting rhino and other wildlife in four African nations. For most of that time his work in this dangerous arena took what he calls “a fairly military approach.” That’s not surprising considering his prior decade-long career with governmental and private military organizations.
More recently, however, he began to wonder if maybe “we’ve done it wrong all these years.”

Meet the Vegan, All-Female Anti-Poaching Team That Has Been More Effective at Defending Animals Than Any Other
By Estelle Rayburn, One Green Planet, 17 July 2018
Poaching is one of the largest threats presently facing precious endangered animals such as elephants, lions, and rhinos. Fed up with this senseless, ecosystem-destroying “sport,” an Australian convervationist and former military sniper named Damien Mander founded the International Anti-Poaching Foundation (IAPF) a decade ago. Since then, Mander has been working tirelessly to land on the best methods for combatting poaching and preserving wildlife in African nations.

Spooks implicated in Botswana’s mysterious ivory stockpile
By Kago Komane and Joel Konopo, Mail & Guardian, 17 July 2018
Botswana’s intelligence agency has been accused of using its anti-poaching operation to conceal elephant tusks from the responsible government department, potentially using it as a conduit for ivory smuggling.
This comes after the department of wildlife and national parks’ anti-poaching unit raided a storage facility at a directorate of intelligence and security services (DISS) camp in Ngwashe, near Nata village in northern Botswana, allegedly finding a large stockpile of elephant tusks.

[Nepal] Rhino poaching down to nil in CNP; death by natural causes escalates
By Tilak Ram Rimal, The Himalayan Times, 17 July 2018
Chitwan National Park (CNP) witnessed ‘zero poaching’ of endangered one-horned rhinoceros in the fiscal year 2074/75. However, death of the rhinos by natural causes has increased recently.

[South Africa] Alleged poaching kingpin released on bail
by Arisa Janse van Rensburg, The Citizen, 17 July 2018
Followers of ‘Mr Big’ celebrated the release of the alleged kingpin at his home last night after he was released on bail yesterday.
Petrus Sydney Mabuza was released on bail of R250 000 at the Nelspruit High Court today. This came after Mabuza appealed the sentence of the White River Magistrates’ Court, who did not grant him bail, Lowvelder reports.
According to Captain Leroy Bruwer from the Hawks, the high court granted Mabuza bail as it decided he was not a flight risk.

Botswana deny security agency involved in ivory trade
Xinhua, 21 July 2018
Botswana has denied media reports that the country’s spy agency is involved in illegal ivory trade.
The Ministry of Environment, Natural Resources Conservation and Tourism on Friday denied reports that Directorate of Intelligence and Security Services (DISS) has been caught with a secret ivory stash.

[South Africa] Alleged poacher trampled by elephants in Kruger Park
By Stefan de Villiers, The Citizen, 22 July 2018
The news follows just days after a ranger was fatally shot by a group of poachers in the park.
An alleged poacher was arrested soon after being trampled by elephants in the Kruger National Park earlier on Sunday, reports the Lowvelder.
According to SANParks’ media specialist Ike Phaahla, the man was confirmed to be part of a poaching group.
“He was arrested by the SAPS after he was injured while running away from elephants,” Phaahla said.
The incident happened on the S21 (marked on the map below) in the park near Skukuza, the park’s biggest rest camp.

[South Africa] Six arrested following poaching incident at Thula Thula Private Game Reserve
By Orrin Singh, The Citizen, 24 July 2018
A group of between eight and nine suspects entered the reserve on Saturday night.
The hunt is on for a poacher believed to have been part of a group of seven others arrested after being caught poaching at Thula Thula Private Game Reserve in Empangeni, KwaZulu-Natal, on Saturday night, Zululand Observer reports.
According to reports, the poachers entered the reserve late on Saturday evening by cutting through the northern fence.
While the poachers killed two nyala and impala, they are believed to have targeted the reserve’s world-renowned herd of elephants.

[Bangladesh] Tiger poaching continues in Sundarbans
Dhaka Tribune, 30 July 2018
The number of the Royal Bengal Tiger continues to plunge as poaching of the majestic beast continues in the Sundarbans.
Seventy-four tigers have reportedly died in the last 38 years. Some of them died during natural calamities, while others were either killed by poachers or the locals.
But the poaching ring leaders are nowhere to be found.

Indian NGO to the rescue as poachers call shots in Kenya’s wildlife parks
By Mahesh Trivedi, Al Arabiya, 30 July 2018
Poachers and trophy hunters have been calling the shots for donkey’s years in the world-renowned wildlife reserves of Kenya despite the government’s marathon efforts to save the East African country’s rare elephants, rhinoceroses, lions, leopards, buffaloes and giraffes.
But an India-headquartered international non-profit Hindu religious organization promoting spiritual, cultural, and social welfare across the globe has come to their rescue, especially their cubs and calves.

In Kenya’s Maasai Mara, detection dogs are a ranger’s best friend
By Sue Palminteri, Mongabay, 31 July 2018
It took Gage roughly six seconds to find the tiny piece of ivory hidden on the underside of our vehicle. Gage, a Labrador retriever, specializes in finding ivory and firearms, helping his handlers in the Mara Triangle, the northwestern portion of Kenya’s renowned Maasai Mara National Reserve, reduce the options for wildlife poachers to enter with weapons or exit with ivory.

Militarisation of conservation

Uganda: War Against Illegal Wildlife Criminal Racket Yields Results
By Franklin Draku, The Monitor, 5 July 2018
Illegal global wildlife trade continues to threaten the existence of the endangered species, more particularly as demand for wildlife products increases.
A recent report by the Uganda’s Financial Intelligence Authority (FIA) said the country loses about Shs2b annually in wildlife offences ranging from commercial poaching to hunting for daily subsistence.

[USA] Lawmakers target link between wildlife poaching, terror groups
By Caroline Gardner, The Hill, 17 July 2018
Two lawmakers are hoping to draw attention to the problem of illegal wildlife poaching and how it helps fund terror groups.
Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.) and Rep. Ed Royce (R-Calif.) on Tuesday discussed the issue at an event Tuesday at the United States Institute for Peace.
“We do have a once in a lifetime chance to change the trajectory here and to improve it,” said Coons.

[South Africa] Field ranger killed by alleged poachers in Kruger National Park
The Citizen, 20 July 2018
It appears that shots were exchanged when the rangers approached the group, fatally injuring him in the upper body.
South African National Parks (SANParks) announced the poaching related fatal shooting of a field Ranger in Kruger National Park on Thursday, Lowvelder reports.
According to reports, the field ranger and his colleagues made contact with a poaching group that they had been tracking together with the K9 unit. It appears that, as they approached the group, shots were exchanged and the ranger was seriously injured in the upper body.

[Malaysia] Xavier: Ministry may propose ‘shoot-on-sight’ policy to curb poachers
The Star, 29 July 2018
Water, Land and Natural Resources Minister Dr Xavier Jayakumar said he was seriously considering bringing a shoot-on-sight policy for wildlife poachers for Cabinet deliberation.
The minister, who was attending a Global Tiger Day 2018 event organised by World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Malaysia, said this after the official screening of “On The Brink of Extinction”, a documentary on the decline of Malayan tigers.
“It might sound a bit drastic, but if you want to save Malayan tigers, we also have to take drastic action as well,” he said, noting that a large number of poachers were foreigners from Indochina.


The Conservation conversation: luxury travel company andBeyond’s sustainable philosophy
By Arion McNicoll,, 12 July 2018
“Travel has evolved from the adage of taking only photos and leaving only footprints,” says Joss Kent, the CEO of luxury African travel company andBeyond. “The wild places of this world need us to do better than that. Now it’s about taking memories and leaving a legacy.”
A few months ago, Kent unveiled his company’s annual impact review, a document that highlights the ways andBeyond is attempting to meet two simultaneous goals of offering visitors a luxurious experience of the African bush, while simultaneously “expanding and protecting the biodiversity of the Earth’s lands and oceans.”

Ngorongoro Conservation remits $26m dividends to Tanzanian government
EABW, 25 July 2018
Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority and Tanzania National Parks have remitted dividends to the government of Tanzania, signaling a positive trend of tourism growth overtaking other business sectors.
The both submitted their 2018 dividends amounting to US$26 million to the Tanzanian government’s treasury.
The National Parks paid US$16 million and Ngorongoro Conservation Area paid US$10 million under the same arrangement. There are 16 national parks under the management of Tanzania National Parks.

Big game hunting

The tide is turning Botswana lifts ban on elephant hunting
By Mpho Tebele, Southern Times, 2 July 2018
In a sign that Botswana is likely to climb down on its earlier official position not to convince parties to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) to legalise commercial ivory trade, the Botswana Parliament has lifted a ban on elephant hunting.
This was revealed by the Ministry of Environment, Natural Resources Conservation and Tourism when it stated that “it is indeed true that Parliament has adopted a motion asking the government to consider lifting the ban on hunting and shooting of elephants in areas that are not designated as game reserves and national parks”.

[USA] American woman who killed giraffe says it was part of a conservation effort
CBS News, 3 July 2018
An American hunter is pushing back against her critics, after photos of her next to a giraffe she killed in South Africa triggered outrage. Tess Thompson Talley told CBS News in a statement she killed the old bull giraffe to prevent it from attacking younger giraffes. She said, “This is called conservation through game management.”
This situation is being compared to Cecil the lion, the iconic big cat hunted down by a Minnesota dentist in 2015, reports CBS News’ David Begnaud. Even though the giraffe in this case was not world famous like Cecil, the response from animal lovers is just as intense.

[USA] Killing of African Giraffe Sets Off Anger at ‘White American Savage’ Who Shot It
By Christine Hauser, New York Times, 3 July 2018
The dead giraffe is curled up on the ground in souvenir photographs. The American woman who killed it during a guided hunt in South Africa is nestled in the curve of the animal’s long neck, clutching her long gun and pointing at the sky in gratitude.
That was last year. But in June, the photographs found new life online when they were published by Africlandpost, an online news organization that covers social and political issues in Africa. It posted a critical message on Twitter saying the animal was a rare black giraffe exploited by a “white American savage.”

[South Africa] Bridging the great conservation divide
By Derek Carstens, Daily Maverick, 13 July 2018
Conservationists can differ on ideas and methodology but we can all come together to carry out our stewardship of the earth and its creatures in a more effective, sustainable manner.
It is a truism that in the absence of facts, opinion prevails. Typically opinion that, over time, becomes increasingly emotional, strident and irrational. And it never ceases to amaze me how, while we think we know so much, we actually understand very little.

[USA] How Trump’s wildlife board is rebranding trophy hunting as good for animals
By Jake Bullinger, The Guardian, 17 July 2018
Donald Trump has called big-game trophy hunting a “horror show”, despite his own sons’ participation in elephant and leopard hunts, and in 2017 he formed an advisory board to steer US policy on the issue.
But rather than conservation scientists and wildlife advocates, it is composed of advocates for the hunting of elephants, giraffes and other threatened, charismatic species. And observers say that since Trump took office, court rulings and administrative decisions have in fact made it easier for hunters to import the body parts of lions, elephants and other animals killed in Africa.

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