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Latest news from TRAFFIC


Customs learn how to identify horns and hooves

Russian Customs officers are being taught how to identify hunting trophies Click photo to enlarge © TRAFFIC Europe - Russia  en Français

Vladivostock, Russia, 4 June 2009–Customs officers from the Russian Far East and Eastern Siberia are being taught how to identify wildlife products such as trophies, stuffed animals and plants, basic ways to determine their value and origin and how best to store such items.

“It is an important part of their professional development that Customs officers receive State certificates to enable them to conduct such biological and merchandising evaluations of confiscated wildlife goods,” commented TRAFFIC-Europe’s programme officer Natalia Pervushina.

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ETIS workshop held in DRC

Dignitaries at the opening ceremony of the ETIS workshop, including government Ministers and representatives from the Congolese Institute for the Conservation of Nature and TRAFFIC. Click photo to enlarge © TRAFFIC  en Français

Kinshassa, Democratic Republic of Congo, 3 June 2009—representatives of institutions involved in the implementation of wildlife regulations from across the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) met in Kisangani in the country’s Eastern Province this May to learn about ETIS, the Elephant Trade information System.

ETIS is the world’s most sophisticated database of elephant ivory seizures, and is operated by TRAFFIC on behalf of parties to CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora).

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Arrest of Cambodians highlights rising poaching concerns in Malaysia’s protected areas

Sign of the times: increased enforcement efforts in Malaysian rainforests is uncovering more evidence of poaching activites, such as this abandoned camp Click photo to enlarge © Perak Wildlife and National Parks Department   

en Français

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 26 May 2009—Three Cambodian poachers with a stash of Wild Boar and argus pheasant meat, agarwood and snares have been nabbed by the National Parks and Wildlife Department (Perhilitan) at their hideout in a forest reserve in Malaysia’s northern state of Perak.

The trio was part of a larger group of seven men who had been poaching protected species in the Bintang Hijau Forest Reserve in Ulu Lawin, near the town of Gerik.

Perak Perhilitan director Shabrina Mohd Shariff said the department deployed a team of 15 enforcement officers on Saturday after a tip-off.

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Paper protection not enough for Viet Nam’s marine turtles

Illegal goods: stuffed marine turtles openly for sale in An Dong Market, Ho Chi Minh City, Viet Nam Click photo to enlarge © Dan Stiles / TRAFFIC Southeast Asia   

en Français

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 23 May 2009—Marine turtles are vanishing from Viet Nam’s waters and illegal trade is largely to blame says a new study by TRAFFIC, the wildlife trade monitoring network.

An assessment of the marine turtle trade in Viet Nam (PDF, 500 KB), launched to mark World Turtle Day found that large marine turtles are now virtually absent from Viet Nam’s waters except for Green Turtles around the Con Dao Islands National Park.

A government-owned souvenir shop found selling illegal turtle products was a potent symbol of how a national ban on turtle products enacted in 2002 has been undermined by a lack of enforcement.

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Croatia hosts regional CITES workshop

Participants at the inaugural CITES enforcement workshop for countries in Eastern Europe held in Croatia Click photo to enlarge © TRAFFIC   Donja Stubica, Croatia, 21 May 2009—53 participants from 6 countries in Eastern Europe (Bulgaria, Croatia, Macedonia, Montenegro, Romania and Serbia) took part in their first ever regional CITES workshop this May.

They included officers from a variety of CITES enforcement authorities, such as Management Authorities, Scientific Authorities, Customs, police, and environmental phytosanitary and veterinary inspectorates, who discussed important issues relating to wildlife trade in the region. They were joined by colleagues from the UK Border Agency and the Management Authority of Slovenia.

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Boycott illegal trade, protect our wild tigers

en Français

Beijing, China, 21 May 2009—“Boycott illegal trade, protect our wild tigers” is the key message of a consumer campaign launched today in China by TRAFFIC, the wildlife trade monitoring network.

The campaign will see an animated film “Tiger Evolution Ends—Don’t Let This Be the End” screened on Beijing’s Line 1 and 2 subway trains from tomorrow, International Day for Biological Diversity.


The film depicts millions of years of Tiger evolution ending when the Tiger is poached to create a bottle of Tiger-bone wine.

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UK tortoise trader jailed for eight months

Illegal trading in globally threatened Hermann's Tortoises has resulted in an eight month jail sentence for a UK trader Click photo to enlarge © Michel Gunther / WWF-Canon   en Français

Cambridge, UK, 18 May 2009—An illegal trader of tortoises in the UK has been jailed for eight months after he pleaded guilty to eight offences contrary to the Control of Trade in Endangered Species (Enforcement) Regulations 1997.

David Neville Johnson, aged 21, was charged with offences related to the prohibited sale of 191 Hermann’s Testudo hermanni and seven Spur-thighed Tortoises T. graeca, making false statements to obtain permits and the prohibited purchase of 200 Hermann’s tortoises.

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Thai Navy arrests eight and seizes dismembered Tigers

Shocking end—one of two dismembered Tigers seized by the Thai Navy on the Thai-Lao border. Click photo to enlarge © Mekong Waterfront Guard & Natural Resources and Environmental Crime Suppression Division (NRECD) Thailand   en Français

Nongkhai/Bangkok, Thailand, 15 May 2009—The Thai navy has seized two Tiger carcasses and 45 pangolins, and arrested eight traffickers who had planned to smuggle the animals across the Mekong River into Lao PDR.

Navy officers followed two cars carrying the traffickers in Ponpang village in the Rattana Wapi district of Nongkai Province on April 26, and made the arrests as they were attempting to transfer the slaughtered Tigers and live pangolins to a boat.

Eight people were arrested including a Vietnamese woman and her Thai husband. Several others in the boat fled upon sighting the navy officers.

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Coral climate crunch compounds over-harvesting

The impact of climate change on coral reefs will only compund the problems caused by over-harvesting of species like the Humphead Wrasse Click photo to enlarge © Cindy Cheng / WWF-Hong Kong   en Français

Manado, Indonesia, 13 May 2009—Southeast Asia’s coastal environments will lose much of their ability to feed people while the livelihoods of 100 million people will be lost if the world fails to take effective action on climate change and other environmental impacts, warned TRAFFIC’s programme partner, WWF, at the World Oceans Conference today.

But effective global action on climate change and regional attention to problems of over-fishing and pollution would prevent catastrophe, said a WWF-commissioned study.

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