Conservation Watch’s round-up of the news about national parks, protected areas and conservation in the Global South. For regular updates, follow @conserwatch on Twitter.
“Pygmy” man pleads with Bronx Zoo organization after son is killed for conservation
Survival International, 12 October 2017
A Batwa “Pygmy” man has issued a desperate plea to the organization which runs New York’s Bronx zoo, after his 17-year-old son was shot dead by a park guard.
The boy was gathering medicinal plants with his father, Mobutu Nakulire Munganga, in Kahuzi-Biega National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) on August 26. An anti-poaching squad opened fire on them.
Mr Nakulire was wounded but managed to escape, while his son, Mbone Christian, was killed at the scene. Mr. Nakulire has spent weeks in the regional hospital recovering.
Can Britain make an ivory ban work? Only if it learns from America’s experience
By Rosaleen Duffy, The Conversation, 9 October 2017
Sales of ivory within the UK could soon be banned, if the government gets its way. British environment minister Michael Gove has launched a 12-week consultation exercise on a policy which, if implemented, would also ban all ivory imports and exports to the country.
There is much to celebrate about the government taking a lead on this issue. However, such bans can have unintended consequences. The US, for instance, is just over a year in to its own “near total” ivory ban after it amended its Endangered Species Act with a special rule for the African elephant. At a stroke it effectively outlawed domestic trade in elephant ivory, yet the ban has affected museums, musicians and even Arctic peoples. No wonder the US government’s own Fish and Wildlife Service needs to issue guidance on “What Can I Do With My Ivory?”. If the UK is to make its ban work, it should first look across the Atlantic for some valuable lessons.
Houston Filmmaker Peeks Into World of African Poachers
By Jesse Sendejas Jr., Houston Press, 11 October 2017
If you’ve ever set out with immovable convictions to shine a light on some illegal or immoral wrongdoing, what do you do when you realize the issue is more complex than you first guessed? If you’re Jacob Calle, you ponder these new considerations from within the discomfort, darkness and danger of a vintage milk can.
Calle is a man of many artistic interests, but for more than two years now, he has focused on documentary filmmaking. Tonight he’ll give Houston a sneak peek at his film, Vanishing Heartbeats. Along with a screening of Blood Lions, a 2015 documentary focusing on the lion bone trade and trophy hunting of canned lions, Calle will share tales of his adventures chasing his own story in various African countries. The screening and lecture begins at 7:30 p.m. at The Secret Group.
Ivory poachers turn their guns on hippos
By Aislinn Laing, The Times, 11 October 2017
Hippopotamuses face being the next African species to become extinct after poachers began targeting them for their teeth as a substitute for elephant ivory.
While the trade in hippo teeth is legal and regulated, academics at the School of Biological Sciences at the University of Hong Kong found substantial discrepancies between official African export numbers and Asian import figures, leading them to conclude that illegal hippo poaching was taking place.
Give priority to endangered species
By Donald Bunge, Daily Nation, 12 October 2017
In 1895, only 20 white rhinos were left in South Africa due to massive poaching.
Today, South Africa is home to 20,000 rhinos, the largest concentration of this endangered species in the world.
It is proof that targeted conservation can bear positive results.
The world’s leading biologists and ecologists have intimated that one in five animal species on earth now faces extinction, with the figures expected to rise to 50 per cent by the end of the century unless urgent action is taken.
New €45 million initiative seeks to curb unsustainable wildlife hunting, conserve biodiversity and improve food security
FAO press release, 10 October 2017
A €45 million multi-partner programme launched today at FAO seeks to help African, Caribbean and Pacific countries halt unsustainable wildlife hunting, conserve their natural heritage and strengthen people’s livelihoods and food security.
Funded by the European Commission, the seven-year programme is an initiative of the African Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP). Led by FAO, it will also rely on the expertise of the Centre for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), the French Agricultural Research Centre for International Development (CIRAD) and the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS).
Chad Expands Conservation Area Under New Agreement
African Parks press release, 10 October 2017
The Government of the Republic of Chad and African Parks announced on Tuesday October 10th the signing of an agreement for the management and protection of key reserves Siniaka Minia, Bahr-Salamat and wildlife corridors around Zakouma National Park, to create the Greater Zakouma Functional Ecosystem. African Parks, a conservation NGO which manages protected areas on behalf of governments across Africa, has managed Zakouma National Park since 2010. The results achieved in Zakouma enabled the extension of the mandate to manage a much larger landscape, securing vital habitats beyond the national park.
Conservation in a weak state: Madagascar struggles with enforcement
By Rowan Moore Gerety, Mongabay, 10 October 2017
Late in the afternoon on June third of this year, Pierette Razafiandravao was at home getting ready for a church outing the following day when she heard gunshots in the distance. At the time, she didn’t think much of it. Armed cattle rustlers have become a disturbingly common presence in her corner of southern Madagascar, and that morning she’d gotten word of a standoff between soldiers on patrol and a group of bandits a few miles north of her house.
It was only later that she realized she’d heard the bullets that killed her husband.
Cash for conservation: Do payments for ecosystem services work?
By Mike Gaworecki, Mongabay, 12 October 2017
As far as conservation strategies go, payments for ecosystem services (PES) are based on a relatively simple concept — perhaps deceptively simple. The idea behind PES is, essentially, to pay landowners to protect their land in the interest of ensuring the provision of some “service” rendered by nature, such as clean water, habitat for wildlife, or carbon storage in forests.
Tanzania: 128 poachers arrested in one year
By Victor Muisyo, Africa News, 15 October 2017
Tanzanian anti-poaching unit has arrested 128 poachers in central parts of the east African nation for the past one year, an official said on Saturday.
Keneth Sanga, head of central Tanzania’s anti-poaching unit, said that the suspected poachers were arrested in different parts of central Tanzania’s regions of Singida and Dodoma between 2016 and this year, according to Xinhua News agency.
Why blaming ivory poaching on Boko Haram isn’t helpful
By Mark Moritz, Alice B. Kelly Pennaz, Mouadjamou Ahmadou and Paul Scholte, The Conversation, 15 October 2017
In 2016, as part of a ceremony in Cameroon’s capital Yaoundé, 2 000 elephant tusks were burned to demonstrate the country’s commitment to fight poaching and illegal trade in wildlife. US Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power gave a speech at the event linking poaching to terrorism.
The idea that terror groups like Boko Haram fund their activities through ivory poaching in Africa is a simple and compelling narrative. It has been adopted by governments, NGOs and media alike. But it is undermining wildlife conservation and human rights.
[India] MP court jails man who poached 125 tigers
nyoooz.com, 15 October 2017
Sirothia led the STF (Wildlife) to arrest more than 100 people, busting one of the world’s biggest poaching networks. He was arrested from Kanpur by the STF of MP forest department’s wildlife wing.The others convicted with Shamim are MP residents — Raghuveer alias Kalicharan, a listed criminal, Badrilal, Man Singh and Prehlad. They also admitted to links with Shamim, say police. Many of these big cats were killed in the jungles of MP and Maharashtra. In 2001 UP police had seized a large consignment of tiger and leopard hides from his house, and in 2013, his brother Shakil was arrested with pangolin scales from Kanpur.
[Malaysia] Survey finds number of Sunda clouded leopards dwindling in Sabah
By Kristy Inus, Straits Times, 15 October 2017
A six-year camera-trap survey at eight protected areas in Sabah has led to a worrying discovery.
Based on a report compiled from the survey, researchers estimated there are around 750 Sunda clouded leopards in the State.
The study was recently published in the scientific journal Oryx, according to a joint press release from Sabah Wildlife Department (SWD), United Kingdom’s WildCRU and Danau Girang Field Centre (DGFC).
[South Africa] Rhino poaching trial stalled – once again!
By Orrin Singh, Zululand Observer, 14 October 2017
A new prosecutor has been appointed to deal with the case of alleged rhino poaching kingpin Dumisani Gwala and his co-accused.
The trial against Gwala was postponed for the 17th time on Monday when he appeared in the Ngwelezana Regional Court.
The appointment of a new prosecutor resulted in the case being postponed to May next year.
[India] Madhya Pradesh court convicts man who poached 125 tigers, 1025 leopards for China
By P Naveeni, Times of India, 14 October 2017
A Madhya Pradesh court has sentenced five poachers including Sansarchand’s close aide Mohammed Shamim for four years in connection with poaching tigers, leopards, pangolins and jackals, making it one of the fastest convictions of poachers in the country ever.
Shamim, who was arrested from Kanpur by the special task force (STF) of state forest department’s wildlife wing, has confessed smuggling hides of 125 tiger and 1025 leopards from different states to China with many poached from MP and Maharashtra, say sources.
[Malaysia] Sabah and Sarawak are taking Steps to better Protect their Wildlife
Clean Malaysia, 14 October 2017
When it comes to protecting Malaysia’s world-famous wildlife, it often feels like the proverbial “one step forward, two steps back.” Officials in Sabah, for instance, report making progress in their ongoing clampdown on the sale of so-called bushmeat in Sabah. One step forward. But then comes news that there has arisen a thriving black market in exotic dishes in Sabah catering to foreign tourists. Two steps back.
[Zimbabwe] 13 jumbos die in ‘cyanide poisoning’
Chronicle, 14 October 2017
Thirteen elephants were found dead in a bush between Fuller Forest and Chikandakubi area outside Victoria Falls town on Wednesday in yet another suspected case of cyanide poisoning.
A villager from Chikandakubi reportedly bumped onto the 13 carcasses near Ngwengwe Springs as he was herding cattle on Wednesday.
The Chronicle was told that four of the elephants had been dehorned while rangers recovered ivory from the other nine.
Aberdeen man stepped up for 200-mile challenge to raise funds for conservation efforts in Kenya
By Ana Da Silva, Evening Express, 14 October 2017
A man has walked nearly 200 miles to increase awareness of his environmental campaign.
Kris Pashley hiked 164 miles, coast to coast from Aberdeen to Mallaig, to raise funds for two conservation centres in Kenya and for future environmental projects in Aberdeen.
He said: “This is something I always wanted to do and I wanted a challenge.
“So, what better challenge than walking coast to coast.”
He said the trek was a challenge and the weather had “definitely” not been on his side. The hike lasted nine days, starting in Aberdeen on September 25 and finishing on October 3 in Mallaig.
Chad extends key conservation area in national park
AFP, 12 October 2017
Chad is to boost protection for a key haven for endangered wildlife in the south of the country under an agreement with a conservation group.
African Parks is to take over management and protection of a territory of high ecological value that lies around the vast Zakouma National Park in southern Chad.
Pangolin poaching: Ghana to look at new wildlife laws
enca.com, 12 October 2017
Ghana is facing calls to update its laws on wildlife crime after fears the country has become a transit route for the illegal trade in pangolin scales.
More than 31,000 kilogrammes of scales from the nocturnal mammal have been seized across the world this year, according to the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW).
In May and June, two major seizures were made in Malaysia, with at least 700 kgs found to have been shipped through Ghana.
Beijing philanthropist commits S$2 billion to wildlife conservation
Straits Times, 13 October 2017
This Saturday (Oct 14) in Monaco, He Qiaonv will announce the first step in a US$1.5 billion (S$2 billion) plan that may represent the largest-ever personal philanthropic commitment to wildlife conservation.
The number isn’t the only thing that’s surprising about the announcement. The source might equally raise eyebrows: The donation isn’t coming from a known Western conservationist like Paul Allen, but from a landscape planner-turned-environmental steward who’s based in Beijing.
[India] After a Half-Century, Tigers May Return to Kazakhstan
NRDC, 13 October 2017
Wild tigers may be on their way back to Kazakhstan.
This news is surprising for a few reasons. First, most people associate tigers with the jungles of India or Sumatra, even the snowy slopes of eastern Russia—not the dry landscapes of Central Asia. But Iran, Turkey, and Kazakhstan were once home to thriving populations of Caspian tigers. Unfortunately, sometime between the 1940s and ’70s, this subspecies went extinct due to widespread trapping, hunting, poisoning, and habitat degradation.
[South Africa] Africa’s war on poaching spills over into new Tony Park novel
The Times, 13 October 2017
Author Tony Park has once more drawn on his experiences in Africa and his background as a former army officer to bring a real-life “wildlife war” to the pages of his 14th novel, The Cull.
In the book, former mercenary Sonja Kurtz is hired by business tycoon Julianne Clyde-Smith to head an elite squad. Their aim: to take down Africa’s top poaching kingpins and stop at nothing to save its endangered wildlife.
[South Africa] Rhino hunters become the hunted
By Blake Linder, Letaba Herald, 13 October 2017
A special intelligence-led joint operation was conducted at a game reserve near Hoedspruit.
The operation comprised of various police units including the K9 Unit, the Rhino 8 Unit, Anti-poaching Unit, the Endangered Species Unit and private security members.
Police were informed that there was a group of rhino poachers who were en route to a reserve for rhino poaching and in turn waited for their arrival.
Within a short space of time, the alleged poachers arrived and when stopped, did not cooporate which led to a shootout with the law enforcement entities.
‘Very-Very Dangerous People’ Who Target Those Fighting Elephant Poaching
Sputnik News, 13 October 2017
Three people have been charged with the murder of elephant conservationist Wayne Lotter, who was gunned down in Tanzania. Sputnik spoke to a leading conservationist about the “very, very dangerous” people behind elephant poaching in Africa and why UK government plans to ban the ivory trade were a step in the right direction.
Three people have been charged with the murder in Tanzania of leading elephant conservationist Wayne Lotter, who was assassinated in the capital, Dar es Salaam, in August.
[South Africa] Aviation industry key to supporting tourism sector
By Anine Kilian, Engineering News, 13 October 2017
Aviation plays a central role in supporting the tourism sector, with over 54% of international tourists now travelling by air, KwaZulu-Natal Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental MEC Sihle Zikalala said at the Airlines Association of Southern Africa’s forty-seventh annual general assembly on Friday.
Tourism, he noted, was particularly important in many developing countries, where it played a key role in economic development strategies and in creating jobs.
Zimbabwe’s elephant population balloons
By Walter Mswazie and Runesu Gwidi, The Herald, 13 October 2017
Zimbabwe’s elephant population has ballooned to 84 000, exceeding the carrying capacity of 50 000 jumbos, which is exerting pressure on the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority. Speaking during the launch of the Command Water Harvesting project in Masvingo recently, Zimparks director-general Mr Filton Mangwanya said the problem has been worsened by the CITES ban on the sale of elephants.
Anthrax Devastates Namibian National Park, Kills Over a Hundred Hippos
Sputnik News, 11 October 2017
An estimated 109 hippopotamuses have dropped dead in a Namibian national park, according to park officials, because of anthrax in the water supply.
Bwabwata, a national park primarily dedicated to the preservation of Namibia’s African elephants, is the site of the mass hippo die-off. Park officials say that they believe that bacillus anthracis, the bacteria that causes anthrax, entered the park’s water supply.
“This is a situation that we have seen before,” said Colgar Sikopo, director of parks and wildlife management at Namibia’s Ministry for the Environment and Tourism, to state-owned outlet New Era. “It happened in Zambia before and it mainly occurs when the level of the river is so low… Our scientist will advise properly, but we suspect it is anthrax.”
Attacks on ‘militarized conservation’ are naive (commentary)
By Niall McCann, Mongabay, 10 October 2017
Over the past few months, a few academics have released a tide of articles (for example here, here, and here) criticizing what they call the “militarization of conservation,” but their ideas are not grounded in reality and, if taken seriously, would only speed up the extinction of threatened wildlife.
Spearheaded by Professor Rosaleen Duffy at the University of Sheffield, the argument against the militarization of conservation is based on ideological opposition to the armed defense of wildlife and protected areas, particularly in developing nations, and especially when enabled by foreign individuals and organizations.
Will the Capture of Africa’s Two Most Wanted Poachers End Poaching?
By Fredrick Ngugi, Face2Face Africa, 10 October 2017
The African wildlife has for many years been relied upon as a major source of revenue, attracting millions of tourists from all over the world every year. It has been a true African heritage that makes the continent stand out from the rest.
Unfortunately, this heritage is quickly diminishing thanks to ruthless poachers who continue to wage war against rare wild animals and indigenous trees for money. Scientists and conservationists have warned that if the situation is not arrested soon enough, it will lead to complete extinction of some of these precious wild animals and plants.
[Myanmar] Animal ranger held captive and beaten for three days after trying to stop poachers
By Warren Manger, The Mirror, 11 October 2017
Rohit Singh sat slumped in the corner of his locked cell, the hunger pains in his stomach throbbing in time with the bruises that covered his body.
He dreaded the sound of the key in the lock – that would mean yet another beating.
He was to spend three days held hostage, his captors the poachers who slaughter elephants and other animals to make a quick buck.
Yesterday, the Mirror revealed elephants in Myanmar, where Rohit worked, could be pushed to the brink of extinction within two years because of a new Asian craze to turn their skin into beads – which traders claim have health benefits.
[UK] Met forensics expert invents kit to catch African ivory poachers after daughters ask him to save elephants
By Martin Bentham, Evening Standard, 10 October 2017
A Met forensics specialist who developed an ivory fingerprinting kit used to identify elephant poachers and traders in Africa is to be honoured for his achievement.
Mark Moseley, who works at crime scenes for the Met, developed the kit in his spare time after being challenged by his two daughters to find a way to save elephants. It can allow fingerprints to be obtained from ivory for up to 28 days after it has been handled.
Saving endangered animals is our duty as humans
By Allison Weis, The Daily Orange, 10 October 2017
Some experts warn we’re in the midst of a mass extinction as habitats are destroyed, fish are over-harvested and animals are killed after being deemed a “threat” to humankind. Efforts to save these populations are starting in Syracuse, and it’s important we stand behind them.
Scientists at the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry are among those breeding endangered species in captivity to combat extinction. And even when some of these animals don’t have a home to return to, it’s important that we preserve their numbers in captivity by reviving and maintaining populations and habitats in need.
Extinction worry for Africa’s largest eagle species
IOL, 9 October 2017
The population of Africa’s largest eagle species is in freefall in South Africa and may be edging towards extinction, according to a new UCT study.
Martial eagle sightings have dropped by as much as 60% since the late 1980s, in stark contrast to human population growth across their shared natural habitat, the study published this week in the scientific journal Bird Conservation International found.
Scientists complete conservation puzzle, shaping understanding of life on Earth
Phys.org, 9 October 2017
An international team of scientists have completed the ‘atlas of life’ – the first global review and map of every vertebrate on Earth.
Led by researchers at the University of Oxford and Tel Aviv University, the 39 scientists have produced a catalogue and atlas of the world’s reptiles. By linking this atlas with existing maps for birds, mammals and amphibians, the team have found many new areas where conservation action is vital.
Philosophy Talks: Context and Values in Conservation
By Sara Kaiser, Island Conservation, 9 October 2017
Does philosophy have a place in conservation? Philosophical inquiry can provide pathways to broader and clearer understandings of the daily efforts and deeper purposes of any pursuit, including conservation. The process of asking questions often gives rise to insight and new awareness even if the initial questions remain unanswered.
Sara Kaiser, Communications Specialist at Island Conservation, recently audited a class titled Philosophy of Mind at UC Santa Cruz. With this blog series, Sara hopes to highlight the questions and unknowns that pervade conservation work, demonstrate the value of inquiry, and stimulate productive dialogue and action throughout the conservation sphere–all in support of the flourishing of life on Earth. This blog series is not intended to make a claim or endorse a particular ethical stance or opinion by Island Conservation.
Colombia, an example to world, balances conservation and development
By Justin Catanoso, Mongabay, 9 October 2017
I was in the U.S. Capital to conduct an exclusive Mongabay interview with Luis Gilberto Murillo, Colombia’s minister of the environment and sustainable development, a Q&A scheduled at the National Geographic Society headquarters just prior to the society honoring Colombian President Juan Santos for his prodigious efforts in protecting biodiversity since taking office in 2010.
Kenya: Conservation and indigenous peoples’ rights – not a zero sum game
Amnesty International, 9 October 2017
The preamble of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples sets out that “…respect for indigenous knowledge, cultures and traditional practices contributes to sustainable and equitable development and proper management of the environment”. Despite this emphatic international human rights standard, and the global leadership and commitment demonstrated by Indigenous Peoples throughout the world, some Indigenous communities in some parts of world continue to have their rights denied in the name of conservation. This troubling paradox lies at the heart of the controversy over Embobut forest in Kenya, from which the Sengwer Indigenous people have been evicted on an ongoing basis since the 1980s.
Beyond Biodiversity: A New Way of Looking at How Species Interconnect
By Jim Robbins, Yale Environment 360, 12 October 2017
In 1966, an ecologist at the University of Washington named Robert Paine removed all the ochre starfish from a short stretch of Pacific shoreline on Washington’s Olympic Peninsula. The absence of the predator had a dramatic effect on its ecosystem. In less than a year, a diverse tidal environment collapsed into a monoculture of mussels because the starfish was no longer around to eat them.
Botswana: Khama Wants More Action
By Esther Mmolai, Daily News, 11 October 2017
President Lt Gen. Dr Seretse Khama Ian Khama has urged parties to the Gaborone Declaration for Sustainability in Africa (GDSA) to scale up their efforts if they want to address the pertinent issues of climate change and contribute to the realisation of the Sustainable Development Goals.
Officiating at the fifth anniversary celebration of the inaugural ministerial meeting of the GDSA in Maun on October 11, he said issues of environment and sustainable development were pertinent to people in Africa.
Koh Phi Phi – Thailand’s most profitable national park
By Nattha Thepbamrung and Kritsada Mueanhawong, Phuket Gazette, 10 October 2017
Phi Phi Islands is the most profitable national park in the nation for 2 years in a row.
Had Nopparat Thara – Phi Phi Island National Park has officially reached the highest income among the national parks across the country this year with 669 million Baht.
The statistic were revealed by the Department of Nature, Wildlife and Plant Conservation (DNP) yesterday (October 9), when they released the profit generated by all 147 national parks across the nation from October 2016 – 2017; a new record of 2.4 billion Baht for Thailand’s national parks.
Experts seek ways to mitigate environmental impacts of infrastructure boom in Asia Pacific
By Basten Gokkon, Mongabay, 9 October 2017
“We are currently living in the most explosive era of infrastructure expansion in human history,” said biologist and conservation advocate William Laurance in a speech kicking off a forum on infrastructure development in the Asia-Pacific region.
Academics, activists and officials from countries in the region last week gathered in Malaysia’s capital to explore ways to boost the socio-economic advantages of road projects without severely impacting the environment.
[India] Serving people & wildlife
By Mythri S, Deccan Herald, 10 October 2017
Mahadevaswamy, a spirited young man has travelled three km from his village near Bandipur Tiger Reserve to meet a farmer, Mahadeva, on a rainy morning. An exasperated Mahadeva wasted no time in describing why he had phoned early that morning.
A lone elephant had eaten 30% of cotton plants he had sown. No other plants were trampled in the entire three-acre patch. Giant foot patches shaped by spilled water and fresh dung for evidence, it seemed the animal even enjoyed a break at a pool nearby. The elephant’s midnight merry had cost Mahadeva nearly Rs 5,000.
Ethnic land dispute forces thousands to flee in Ivory Coast cocoa belt
By Ange Aboa, Reuters, 9 October 2017
An ethnic-fueled land dispute has driven thousands of farmers off illegal plantations in Ivory Coast’s main cocoa belt, threatening the start of the harvest in the world’s top producer.
Humanitarian workers and local government officials said at least 3,000 people had already been displaced by the violence, after the government said last week that two people had been killed in clashes and soldiers had been sent to the area.
[South Africa] Rampant rhino poaching rocks Ezemvelo, Eastern Cape cops bust four suspects
By Simon Bloch, news24, 9 October 2017
Despite a legal supply of horns from private farmers having been released on the domestic market, the latest poaching figures gathered from around the country indicate staggering numbers of rhinos continue to be killed illegally by heavily armed poaching gangs.
Nowhere is this more evident than in KwaZulu-Natal, where a fresh wave of rhino killings swept across the province’s game parks last month, leaving more rhinos slaughtered in a single month than ever before.
Tanzanian authorities in campaign against bush meat to curb poaching
Xinhua, 9 October 2017
Authorities in northern Tanzania have embarked on a campaign against bush meat business aimed at addressing poaching in the East African nation’s sanctuaries.
Joel Bendera, Manyara Regional Commissioner said on Sunday that the campaign involved all people, including those living close to game reserves and national parks.
South Africa to restock Chad with black rhinos
By Ed Stoddard, Reuters, 9 October 2017
South Africa will relocate six endangered black rhinos to Chad where the animal was hunted to local extinction decades ago, the environment ministry in Pretoria said.
If the experiment is successful, the central African nation will host the most northerly wild population of black rhinos in Africa. This could pave the way for the species to be reintroduced to other parts of its former continental range from which it was exterminated due to poaching.
Poachers Work Across Borders, So Why Not Conservation Efforts?
By Rachael Bale, National Geographic, 9 October 2017
Elephants can travel up to 50 miles a day. And because the majority of them live near national borders, that means an elephant that begins its evening in Botswana may be in Angola by the morning.
Here’s the catch: Angola’s elephants have greater protections under international law than Botswana’s. In fact more than half of Africa’s elephants live in border regions where as soon as they cross that arbitrary line, the level of protection they have changes.
UK ivory ban proposals include musical instrument exemption
The Strad, 9 October 2017
Under plans announced by the UK government’s Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) on 6 October, musical instruments would be exempted from the ivory ban proposed to help bring an end to elephant poaching.
A 12-week consultation, closing on 29 December 2017, invites responses from interested parties, including on the topic of ivory used in musical instruments. Although it applies only to England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, it does accept responses from ’organisations and people based outside of the UK’.
Will Myanmar’s elephants die out because their skin is being made into jewellery?
By Emine Saner, The Guardian, 9 October 2017
The extent to which humans can find a use for every part of an elephant seems infinite. Once, it was a desire for ivory that was to blame for the destruction of populations, but now that countries have cracked down on that – including a ban in the UK on the sale of antique ivory – markets for other products are being found. The latest fad is for elephant skin, which is being sold as jewellery and a cure for eczema.
In Myanmar there are thought to be only 1,000-2,000 elephants left, down from 10,000 two decades ago. Female Asian elephants, which were always protected to a degree because they don’t have tusks, are now being targeted.
[Rwanda] The battle to save Africa’s endangered mountain gorillas
By Eva de Vries, DW, 9 October 2017
“Are you ready?” the guide asks. He is wearing a green army uniform and heavy black boots. “We could spot one within the hour, but there’s always a chance that we’ll have to trudge through rainforest all day,” he warns.
The tourists in safari hats gather around him and listen attentively, clutching heavy cameras around their necks. They’ve paid $1,500 (1,277 euros) for this unique experience. After listening to the guide’s instructions, they set off into the rainforest with two armed rangers and a several porters in tow.