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Wildlife crime: Stealing animals to sell as pets
The illegal wildlife trade goes far beyond the dreadful story of ivory poaching.
The market across the world for live apes - specifically baby chimpanzees, gorillas and orang-utans plucked from their forest homes in Africa and Asia - is burgeoning.
Also being traded are the heads and skulls of the great apes, destined for markets from Nigeria to the United States. Some are used for black magic, others just as trophies for a mantelpiece.
Together with deforestation and the supply of bushmeat, the demand for live and dead ape parts is decimating and destroying populations where once they thrived.
"The live trade in apes particularly is growing," said Doug Cress of the Great Apes Survival Partnership. "There are a few people in places like the UAE, Kuwait and Qatar who just want a baby chimp or gorilla in their garden. It adds to their status. In China the demand comes from zoos and safari parks.
"And for one baby chimp taken from the wild, several adults have to be killed. We work on the principle that 10 adults die for every baby taken."
Wildlife crime is worth tens of billions of dollars annually, and as well as threatening the very existence of species, it undermines ecosystems and strikes at the heart of poor communities.
Read this story in full on Al Jazeera English at www.aljazeera.com/news/2016/05/wildlife-crime-stealing-animals-sell-pets-160525113231433.html
#UAE #Kuwait #Qatar #China #apes #gorillas #chimpanzees #orangutans #pets Great Apes Survival Partnership (GRASP-UNEP)
Image: An orangutan seized from a carry-on bag at an airport (c) Wildlife Conservation Society ... See MoreSee Less
18 hours ago ·
South Africa: Rhino decision ‘victory for poachers’
DURBAN: The Humane Society International, one of the world’s largest animal protection organisations, has voiced “grave disappointment” over the Supreme Court of Appeal decision that reopens the door for rhino horns to be smuggled out of South Africa to China, Vietnam and other Eastern nations.
* Greed beats logic: why a legal rhino horn trade won’t work - ht.ly/KdAR300BtpN
Commenting on a ruling last week by Supreme Court Judge Eric Leach and acting Judge Nambitha Dambuza, the Humane Society said the decision to overturn the 2009 moratorium on rhino horn trading inside South Africa would only benefit those who sought to commodify wild animals.
“With only about 29 000 rhinos left in the world, 1 175 were poached in South Africa alone in 2015. Poaching rates are on the brink of overtaking the rhinos’ natural rate of reproduction; the tipping point towards extinction for these iconic animals,” said Dr Teresa Telecky, the society’s director of wildlife.
“Rhinos are wild animals who need to be protected so that they may grace our planet for years to come, not be treated as a commodity to be bought and sold out of existence.”
Telecky said the Supreme Court decision was “a gravely disappointing move” that could not have come at a worse time for the species.
“Amidst a rhino poaching crisis and increased international efforts to reduce demand for rhino horn, this ruling will do nothing whatsoever to protect rhinos, and only serves to benefit those parties with vested interests who seek to commodify rhino horn, and who stand to profit greatly as a result.”
Full story at www.iol.co.za/capetimes/rhino-decision-victory-for-poachers-2026335
#SouthAfrica #Africa #rhinos #poaching Humane Society International
Image: Rhino poached for its horn in South Africa (c) AP SA ... See MoreSee Less
19 hours ago ·
Everything you ever wanted to know about the illegal ivory trade, as explained by a leading elephant expert
Mary Rice has held a deep affinity with elephants for as long as she can remember.
Today Executive Director of the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA)—an independent campaigning organisation committed to protecting the natural world from environmental crime—and team leader of their Elephant Campaign, the author of Heat, Dust and Dreams has been fighting for the welfare of wild elephants in a professional capacity since 1997.
As a result, Mary knows more than just about anyone of the grim effect the illicit global trade in ivory is having on the Africa’s dwindling pachyderm populations. So we tracked down the elephant expert to ask her a little bit more about the blackmarket trade of tusks and the stark reality of ivory trafficking in the world right now.
... what do you think the global ivory trade will look like in 10 years’ time, and what to do you hope it will look like?
"I would hope that there would be absolutely no ivory trade in 10 years’ time. That would be my wish. Between now and that point, I think what we’re going to see over the next few years, hopefully, is the closure of domestic markets. Those markets are not subject to international law, only sovereign law. So it’s up to each individual country to determine whether or not it will have an ivory trade.
"And increasingly, what we’re seeing is countries coming to the table and saying, ‘Right, we’re going to close our markets.’ So if you close your domestic market both at the source and at the consuming end, then there is limited opportunity to get illegal ivory into the market place. And if CITES continues to impose its international ban, which is still in place despite those two one off sales, there should be no movement of ivory from country A to country B legally.
"So I would like to see closure of domestic markets in the short term and ultimately in 10 years’ time, the status quo globally that there would be no ivory trade anywhere."
Read the Love Nature interview with Mary in full at community.lovenature.com/2016/05/25/everything-you-ever-wanted-to-know-about-the-illegal-ivory-tr...
#elephants #ivory #Africa #China CITES
Image: Mary Rice during preparations for Kenya's recent destruction of stockpiled ivory (c) Grey London ... See MoreSee Less
19 hours ago ·