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Latest from The Humane Society of the United States & Humane Society International ...
US imported more than 1.2 million trophies in past 10 years, having dire impact on world's wildlife
In the last ten years, American hunters have imported more than 1.2 million animals, more than 126,000 a year, as hunting trophies from across the world, according to a new report by Humane Society International and The Humane Society of the United States.
The report, Trophy Hunting by the Numbers: the United States’ Role in Global Trophy Hunting, uses original analysis of hunting trophy import data obtained from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Among its findings include:
* Trophies are primarily imported from Canada and South Africa. They are followed by Namibia, Mexico, Zimbabwe, New Zealand, Tanzania, Argentina, Zambia and Botswana;
* The species most favored by trophy hunters include: American black bears, impalas, common wildebeests, greater kudus, gemsboks, springboks and bonteboks;
* Trophy hunters highly covet the African big five, importing them to the U.S. in staggering numbers between 2005 and 2014;
* 5,600 African lions, 4,600 African elephants, 4,500 African leopards, 330 southern white rhinos, and 17,200 African buffalo. All of these species, except the African buffalo, are near threatened or vulnerable on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species
* The U.S. ports of entry importing the most wildlife trophies during the decade were: New York, New York; Pembina, North Dakota; Chicago, Illinois; Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas; and Portal, North Dakota.
Teresa M. Telecky, director of the wildlife department at HSI, said: “This report clearly shows the dire impact American trophy hunters are having on wildlife in other countries. It’s outrageous that every year hunters take the lives of thousands of animals, many threatened with extinction, just to win a prize and show off. These animals need protection, not to be mounted on a wall. The fact that rare, majestic species are entering the U.S. in large and small ports of entry should alarm lawmakers and the public concerned about trophy hunting.”
Read the press release in full at www.humanesociety.org/news/press_releases/2016/02/us-imported-12m-trophies-020816.html
#Africa #USA #hunting #elephants #rhions #lions
Image: Rhino hunters in Africa ... See MoreSee Less
5 hours ago ·
Tanzania: Ring of elephant poachers broken up by authorities
DAR ES SALAAM, Tanzania — An investigation into the death of a British helicopter pilot who was looking for poachers near Serengeti National Park has uncovered a criminal poaching ring led by a rogue intelligence officer, the Tanzanian authorities said on Monday.
After a weeklong manhunt that involved house-to-house searches in villages surrounding the reserve, at least nine people have been arrested in connection with the death of the pilot, including Iddi Mashaka, a former police officer who used his current position as an intelligence officer with a regional conservation authority to help the poachers travel undetected, said Lazaro Mambosasa, the regional police commissioner. With the arrests, the authorities said, the ring has been dismantled.
* Learn more from the landmark EIA report 'Vanishing Point – Criminality, Corruption and the Devastation of Tanzania’s Elephants' at ht.ly/Y79vb
The pilot, Roger Gower, 37, was shot on Jan. 29 while conducting anti-poaching surveillance over the Maswa Game Reserve. He and a colleague, Nick Bester, came across a newly killed elephant and circled back to take a closer look, and their helicopter was shot at by poachers who were apparently still at the scene, the police have said. A bullet from a .458 hunting rifle punctured the floor of the helicopter and ripped through Mr. Gower’s leg and shoulder. He managed to land the helicopter but died from his injuries before help could arrive.
Among those arrested was the gunman, Njile Gonga, 28, who led the police to the rifle, hidden on his roof, and to tusks he had taken from the elephant, Mr. Mambosasa said.
The country’s National and Transnational Serious Crimes Investigation Unit teamed up with the police and the local authorities to find the suspects, one of whom was chased hundreds of kilometers to the Tanzanian capital, Dodoma.
Full story at www.nytimes.com/2016/02/09/world/africa/ring-of-elephant-poachers-broken-up-by-tanzanian-authorit...
#Tanzania #Africa #elephants #ivory #poaching
Image: Another victim of poaching in Ruaha-Rungwa in Tanzania (c) Udzungwa Elephant Project ... See MoreSee Less
6 hours ago ·
Hunting whales is irrelevant to feeding Japan's population - so why does it still do it?
The answer from the Japanese Government is that whaling is an ancient part of Japanese culture, that fishermen have caught whales for centuries, and that Japan will never allow foreigners to tell its people what they can and cannot eat ...
A number of coastal communities in Japan have indeed hunted whales for centuries, and continue to do so. Taiji in Wakayama prefecture is well known, many would say infamous, for its annual dolphin hunts. There are other places, in Chiba Prefecture and in Ishinomaki in northern Japan, that also do coastal whaling.
So, yes, coastal whaling is part of Japanese culture, like Norway and Iceland and the Inuit of northern Canada. But only Japan continues to sail a fleet of ships half way across the globe to hunt whales in the Antarctic and maintains a large factory ship that can process hundreds of whales at sea.
Nothing about these Antarctic whaling expeditions is historic. Japan's first whaling voyage to the Antarctic took place in the mid-1930s but the really huge hunts didn't get going until after World War Two.
... [Researcher] Junko Sakuma thinks the answer lies in the fact that Japan's whaling is Government-run, a large bureaucracy with research budgets, annual plans, promotions and pensions.
"If the number of staff in a bureaucrat's office decreases while they are in charge, they feel tremendous shame," she says.
"Which means most of the bureaucrats will fight to keep the whaling section in their ministry at all costs. And that is true with the politicians as well. If the issue is closely related to their constituency, they will promise to bring back commercial whaling. It is a way of keeping their seats."
It may seem incredibly banal. But Japan's determination to continue whaling may come down to a handful of MPs from whaling constituencies and a few hundred bureaucrats who don't want to see their budgets cut.
Full story at www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-35397749
#japan #whales #whaling
Image: Archive shot of anti-whaling protest outside the Japanese Consulate in Melbourne, Australia, 2007, by Takver ... See MoreSee Less
6 hours ago ·