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South Africa: Bureaucratic bungling puts KZN rhinos in danger
Fears have been raised that bureaucratic bungling by Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife could be impacting on the province’s dwindling rhino population.
This as a rhino anti-poaching airwing unit has been grounded for two months as staff at the struggling provincial wildlife authority fail to attend key decision-making meetings to decide who should be the supplier of helicopters to be used to protect rhino.
Recently Ezemvelo came under intense scrutiny by the KZN Legislature due to its R213 million under-expenditure in the 2014/15 financial year, with the bulk of this under-expenditure being operational capacity.
At the time general manager Sudhir Ghoorah told the MPLs that the body was “sorry for letting you, the department and the public down”.
Just how many rhinos poached during this period as a direct result of the poor air support is, according to experts, difficult to quantify. There is, however, deep concern that the longer the status quo remains, the greater the risk profile to the Zululand region and its dwindling rhino population.
An insider into the anti-rhino operations said while the grounding has been kept out of the news, poaching syndicates were more than likely aware of the situation.
Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife spokesperson Musa Mntambo said the delay in awarding the contract to a new service provider for the Hluhluwe-based Zululand Anti-Poaching Wing (ZAP-Wing) lay in the slow process in awarding tenders and poor attendance at critical decision-making meetings.
Full story at www.timeslive.co.za/scitech/2015/10/05/Bureaucratic-bungling-puts-KZN-rhinos-in-danger
#SouthAfrica #rhinos ... See MoreSee Less
5 hours ago ·
Defending the Amazon - in Brazil, militias of indigenous people take up arms against illegal logging
A beat-up sign on the edge of this Amazon reserve warns strangers not to enter. For years, loggers ignored it and barreled straight into the protected indigenous territory, cutting tracks ever deeper into the diminishing forest.
But on a recent day, visitors approaching Juçaral village, just inside the reserve, encountered an improvised checkpoint operated by a militia called the Guardians. Wearing disheveled uniforms and face paint, members of the 48-man militia sauntered out, shotguns in hand, to check every arriving vehicle.
The Guardians are one of two indigenous groups on this eastern fringe of the Amazon that have taken radical action to reduce illegal logging. They have tied up loggers, torched their trucks and tractors, and kicked them off the reserves.
As a result, such logging has sharply declined in these territories. Silvio da Silva, a village chief from Arariboia and employee of the Brazilian government’s indigenous agency, said that a year ago as many as 130 logging trucks left the southern end of the reserve a day. That has fallen to around 10 to 15 trucks a day.
But the indigenous groups have faced reprisal attacks and death threats for their actions, raising fears of more violence in an area known for its lawlessness. In a rare visit to the reserves permitted by the indigenous groups, Washington Post journalists found many residents support the militias. But others are uneasy about relying on informal armed groups to resolve a problem that should fall to the Brazilian government.
Read the full story in The Washington Post at www.washingtonpost.com/sf/world/2015/10/06/loggers/
#Brazil #Amazon #indigenous #forests #logging
Image: Amazon Guardians, via Washington Post ... See MoreSee Less
6 hours ago ·
India: Missing tigress killed in Uttarakhand tiger reserve by poachers
Poachers killed an adult tigress in the forest of Rajaji Tiger Reserve (RTR) in Uttarakhand, disclosed an official source on Monday evening.
The tigress with her three cubs was often captured on cameras fitted by Uttarakhand forest division but she had not been sighted for the past two weeks.
The tigress is said to be almost 54 months old. According to sources, she was captured on camera for the first time in 2014.
“There are clear indications that the poachers from Bawariya community with the help of nomads killed the tigress,” a forest department source told HT, requesting anonymity.
He claimed that poachers were trying to sell off the skin of the animal. The big cat’s skin can fetch anything between Rs30-40 lakh in the international market.
Full story at www.hindustantimes.com/dehradun/missing-tigress-killed-in-uttarakhand-by-poachers/story-6t1tVJdhu...
#India #tigers #poaching
Image: The adult tigress poached in the forest of Rajaji Tiger Reserve (RTR) in Uttarakhand, India, via Hindustan Times ... See MoreSee Less
6 hours ago ·