Latest news from TRAFFIC

Tuesday
Jan052010

Pangolins still high on the wanted list

Enforcement officers in Malaysia with seized Pangolins; the noughties saw rising illicit trade in pangolins across Asia Click photo to enlarge © TRAFFIC   

in Japanese

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 5 January 2010—Illegal harvesting and trade in pangolins (scaly anteaters) escalated over the past decade, and the end of 2009 saw no reprieve, with a series of pangolin seizures in Southeast Asia, including the discovery of a 700 kg consignment of pangolin meat in Indonesia.

On 18 December, Malaysian Police arrested two men as they were loading 130 pangolins into modified compartments of two cars in a cemetery on the east coast town of Kuantan. News reports quoted Pahang State Wildlife Department director Khairiah Mohd Shariff saying that the smugglers had planned to take the pangolins to the capital, Kuala Lumpur, to be skinned, before being transported to Peninsular Malaysia’s southernmost State of Johor, for export. She said the two men arrested would be charged.

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Wednesday
Dec232009

Red Sanders Red Alert

Tricks carrying Red Sanders seized in Nepal: smugglers are getting increasingly sophisticated at smuggling the valuable timber out of India Click photo to enlarge © Samir Sinha / TRAFFIC India   

in Japanese

New Delhi, India, 23 December 2009—A series of seizures of Red Sanders, a valuable timber species native to southern India have taken place in the past 48 hours, and indications are that smugglers are getting increasingly more sophisticated in transporting the valuable timber out of India.

According to media reports, more than 50 tonnes of Red Sanders logs were seized on 22 December in Leh, in the far northern State of Jammu and Kashmir, where it was en route to China. One person has been arrested with more arrests expected.

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Wednesday
Dec232009

New study highlights scale of international wildlife trade in Southeast Asia

More than 17 million CITES-listed reptiles, like these Southeast Asian Box Turtles and Black Marsh Turtles were exported from Southeast Asia over a ten year period, according to a paper to be published in Biodiversity and Conservation Click photo to enlarge © Sabine Schoppe/TRAFFIC   Oxford, UK 23 December 2009—More than 35 million animals listed in CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) were exported from Southeast Asia between 1998 and 2007, according to a study published this week in the journal Biodiversity and Conservation.

The top animal groups traded were reptiles (17.4 million), seahorses (16 million), birds (1 million), mammals (0.4 million), butterflies (0.3 million) and fish (0.1 million). There were also more than 18 million pieces and 2 million kg of live corals exported.

More than 85% (30 million) of animals were wild-caught, with Malaysia, Viet Nam, Indonesia and China the major exporters of such animals (of around 300 species), and the European Union and Japan the most significant importers.

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Wednesday
Dec162009

Call for tougher wildlife law gets the support of 56,000

A Tiger trapped in a poacher's snare in Belum-Temengor forest, northern Malaysia in October 2009; the animal later died of its injuries. A petition calls on the Government to strengthen measures to protect Malaysia's wildlife against poaching Click photo to enlarge © WWF Malaysia   Petaling Jaya, Malaysia, 16 December 2009—The Malaysian Nature Society, TRAFFIC Southeast Asia and WWF-Malaysia, urgently call for the tabling and adoption of amendments to the Protection of Wild Life Act 1972 (Act 76) at the next session of Parliament.

The campaign, which was carried out over one and a half years, calling for a stronger and more comprehensive wildlife law, has received the support of 56,062 people from 161 countries.

However, the legislation that is meant to defend wildlife against domestic threats like poaching fails to be a deterrent and continues to allow wildlife criminals to escape justice.

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Friday
Dec112009

TRAFFIC helps board up major wildlife market

The billboard at Bangkok's Chatuchak market that warns about buying illegal wildlife Click image to enlarge   

in Japanese

Bangkok, Thailand, 11 December 2009—a large billboard strategically placed along a main thoroughfare at Bangkok’s Chatuchak market is warning buyers not to buy illegal wildlife.

TRAFFIC, WWF and key partners in the region helped design the billboard which is on prominent display at one of Southeast Asia’s largest and best known wildlife markets.

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Thursday
Dec102009

Communist Party, industry leaders and TRAFFIC focus on wildlife trade in Viet Nam

Handbag made of Hawksbill turtle shell (bekko) on sale in Phu Quoc Island, Viet Nam; Hawksbills are Critically Endangered because of over-harvesting Click photo to enlarge © Daniel Stiles / TRAFFIC   Tam Dao, Vinh Phuc Province, Viet Nam, 10–11 December 2009—CEOs, private entrepreneurs, State-owned enterprises, and multinational corporations are among the nearly 90 participants attending a workshop this week on the protection of Viet Nam’s wildlife.

The meeting, Corporate social responsibility for the protection of wildlife, the conservation of natural resources and the sustainable development of Viet Nam, is the first collaboration of its kind between the Communist Party’s Central Committee for Communications and Education (CCCE); the Viet Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) and TRAFFIC.

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Wednesday
Dec092009

Otters feel the heat in Southeast Asia

Analysis of camera-trap records suggests otters have disappeared from parts of their former range in Southeast Asia Click photo to enlarge © TRAFFIC Southeast Asia   Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 9 December 2009—Otters and some species of wild cats are at serious risk in Southeast Asia, according to a recent meeting of small carnivore experts in Bangkok.

Their conclusion was based on an analysis of thousands of camera-trap records that helped map the regional distribution of many small carnivore species. Some, like otters, have apparently disappeared from parts of their former range.

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Monday
Dec072009

Flaws in protection measures hurt Bigeye tuna stocks

Measures to protect Bigeye Tuna stocks are failing © WWF / Lorraine Hitch  

in Japanese

Cambridge, UK, 7 December 2009—Failure by the Western Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC) to manage fish stocks properly is contributing to the reduction of Bigeye Tuna and other fish.

WWF and TRAFFIC, the wildlife trade monitoring network, said today that the regional fisheries management organization must address these flaws when they meet this week in Tahiti.

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Monday
Dec072009

Study highlights gibbon trade in Indonesia

The majority of gibbons in rescue centres and zoos in Indonesia are animals confiscated by the auhorities or abandoned pets Click photo to enlarge © Chris R. Shepherd / TRAFFIC Southeast Asia   Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 7 December—A study focussing on the trade in gibbons, recently published in the journal Endangered Species Research, highlights the ongoing illegal trade in these threatened species in western Indonesia.

The research, conducted by investigators based in England and Malaysia, collected data from 22 zoos and nine wildlife rescue centres and found some 600 gibbons present in these facilities.  The most common species kept as pets was the Siamang, from the Indonesian island of Sumatra, with close to 200 individuals observed. Only six Kloss’ Gibbons from the Mentawai Islands were observed.

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