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Latest news from TRAFFIC


Poachers walk free as assault on rhinos in Zimbabwe escalates

A female Black Rhino, recovering following veterinary treatment for a gunshot wound, with her calf Click photo to enlarge © Lowveld Rhino Project / WWF  Harare, Zimbabwe, 25 September—A breakdown in law enforcement against rhino poaching and horn smuggling is threatening the success of more than a decade’s work restoring rhino populations in Zimbabwe.

Typical of the problem is the recent release of a gang of four Zimbabwean poachers who admitted to killing 18 rhinos in five different areas of central Zimbabwe, including a semi-tame group of Black Rhinos slaughtered in their pens at Imire Safari Ranch.

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TRAFFIC helps protect Mexican wildlife

TRAFFIC presented wildlife handling equipment to PROFEPA as part of a UK-funded project to help conserve Mexican biodiversity and stem illegal wildlife trade in Central and South America Click photo to enlarge TRAFFIC  Español

Mexico City, 23 September 2008—TRAFFIC today presented USD30,000 worth of animal handling equipment to PROFEPA, the Mexican Government body responsible for protection of the environment.

The new equipment will assist enforcement officers in Mexico in the implementation of CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora), and is part of a wider agreement between PROFEPA and WWF, implemented through TRAFFIC, which is aimed at nationwide capacity building for enforcement officers to tackle illegal wildlife trade and ensure the sustainable use of natural resources.

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Vietnamese fishing crew arrested in the Philippines for marine turtle poaching

More than 100 Hawksbill Turtles were drowned in the cargo of a Vietnamese fishing vessel off Palawan, the Philippines Click photo to enlarge © Cat Holloway / WWF-Canon  

Hanoi, Vietnam, 15 September—On 29 August, two boats from a Philippine’s-based task force found 101 Hawksbill Turtles drowned in the cargo of a Vietnamese fishing vessel off the coast of the Philippines. The crew of 13 Vietnamese fishermen was taken to El Nido in the Philippines, where they are likely to be charged with breaking both the Philippine’s Wildlife and Conservation Protection law and the Philippine’s Fisheries Code of 1998. If convicted, they face substantial fines and up to six years in prison.

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TRAFFIC to collaborate on Central African forestry initiative

Germain Ngandjui, Senior Programme Officer with TRAFFIC Central Africa, pledged TRAFFIC's support to COMIFAC through the Central African bushmeat project. © TRAFFIC  

en Français

Bangui, Central Africa Republic, 11 September 2008—The fifth ordinary council of ministers of COMIFAC (the Central African forests commission) took place today, and was attended by around 100 participants from eight member countries (Burundi, Cameroon, Congo, Gabon, Equatorial Guinea, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic Congo and Chad), plus representatives from civil society and the donor community.

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"Don't buy trouble" warns TRAFFIC India's new film on illegal wildlife trade

New Delhi, India, 26 August 2008—TRAFFIC India today released “Don’t Buy Trouble”, a new film advising consumers/tourists against buying illegal wildlife products. The five minute film captures glimpses of the burgeoning illegal wildlife trade in India that threatens the country’s precious flora and fauna and is the latest addition to TRAFFIC India’s consumer awareness “Buyers Beware” campaign. 

TRAFFIC India's latest film urges tourists not to buy illegal wildlife products

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International rhino task force to combat illegal poaching and trade

CITES is establishing a Task Force to counter rising levels of rhino poaching Click photo to enlarge © Martin Harvey/ WWF-Canon  Cambridge, UK, 20 August 2008—The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) is establishing a Rhinoceros Enforcement Task Force to counter rising levels of rhino poaching and illicit horn trade in Asia and Africa.

The move follows a report from the CITES Secretariat expressing concerns over reports of increasing poaching and illegal trade in rhinoceros horn, and the highly-organized nature of these activities. The report noted that considerable profits appear to be involved in rhino poaching, with strong grounds to suspect the involvement of money-laundering.

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Olympic Green Guide launched

The Olympic Green Guide provides tips on where to stay, what to eat and what to see in Beijing  Click image to enlargeBeijing, China, 15 August 2008—with all eyes on Beijing and China’s much-touted Green Olympics, Immersion Guides, in co-operation with TRAFFIC and Shan Shui, today launched the Beijing Green Guide, a guide to sustainable consumer practices in Beijing.

The Green Guide provides guidance on how people living in or visiting Beijing can minimise their impact on the environment: what species to avoid eating, where to find sustainably sourced souvenirs, sightseeing with a green slant, and a guide to the most popular eco-friendly hotels, bars, and restaurants around the city.

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Indonesian police smash one of country's largest illegal wildlife smuggling operations

Although trade in pangolins is illegal, they are in high demand for their meat and for use in traditional medicines, particularly in China. Click photo to enlarge © Meg Gawler / WWF-Canon  

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 5 August 2008—Officers from the Indonesian National Police Criminal Investigation Bureau have raided the warehouse of a suspected illegal wildlife trader in the city of Palembang in South Sumatra. The raid uncovered over 14 tonnes of Malayan Pangolins Manis javanica, packed frozen ready for export, and led to the arrest of 14 suspects.

Pangolins are fully protected by Indonesia law, and are banned from international trade by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). Yet, despite legal protection, illegal trade continues to push pangolins closer to the brink of extinction, with Indonesia being the main source of these animals, which are destined for China. In China, the skins and scales are used in traditional medicines and their meat is eaten.

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Paper Tigers: U.S. regulations on captive Tigers flawed

Lax regulations in the U.S. mean authorities have no way of knowing how many captive Tigers there are, who owns them, or what happens to their body parts when they die Click photo to enlarge © Sybille Klenzendorf   Washington, U.S., 31 July 2008—Huge gaps in U.S. regulations could make Tigers held in captivity a target for illegal trade, wildlife trade monitoring network TRAFFIC and WWF found in the first-ever comprehensive report into captive Tiger regulations across the United States.

According to the report, Paper Tigers?: The role of the U.S. captive Tiger population in the trade in Tiger parts, the U.S. government has no way of knowing how many Tigers there are in captivity within its borders, where they are, who owns them, or what happens to their body parts when they die. In many states there are no controls on individuals keeping Tigers as pets.

A registration scheme for all captive Tigers and a means to monitor disposal of dead animals are urgently needed, says the report.

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