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Latest news from TRAFFIC

Wednesday
Oct212009

“Operation Punch” delivers knockout blow to illegal bushmeat markets

Some of the seized bushmeat on display following markets raids in Cameroon, including parts of gorillas, monkeys, pangolins, turtles, tortoises, crocodiles, snakes, antelopes, monitor lizards, hornbills and rodents Click on photo to enlarge © Eva Paule MOUZONG / TRAFFIC   

en Français

Yaoundé, Cameroon, 21 October 2009—After months of planning, at 5 am on 16 October, a team of law enforcement officers, including the anti-poaching brigade of the Ministry of Forests and Wildlife (MINFOF), staff from the Direction Générale à la Recherche Extérieure (DGRE) and others, swooped on markets throughout Yaoundé to seize bushmeat illegally on sale.

Code-named “Coup de poing”, (“Operation Punch”), the team confiscated 45 live animals, 228 carcasses plus 42 assorted animal parts following raids at Nkolndongo and Nkolndongo Texaco markets and the railway station.

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Wednesday
Oct212009

CITES authorities in France, Belgium and Spain enhance regional co-operation

en Français

A traditional Asian medicine shop in Amsterdam Click photo to enlarge ©Jaap Reijngoud   Cambridge, UK, 21 October 2009—Enforcement officials from France, Belgium and Spain met this June to explore the characteristics of illegal wildlife trade from Africa—the principal origin of illegal wildlife exports to the three EU countries—and to undertake training in the identification of traditional Asian medicines (TAM).

20 participants from a variety of CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) enforcement authorities, including the Customs, Police, Environmental Inspectorate and Interpol, took part in the two-day ‘EU-TWIX’ (European Union Trade in Wildlife Information eXchange) workshop.

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Wednesday
Oct212009

EU-wide project to fight illegal wildlife trade not to be sniffed at

Luggage at Frankfurt airport receives a thorough going over from one of the best wildlife detectives in the business Click photo to enlarge © FRAPORT-AG   

en Français

Frankfurt, Germany, 21 October—a year after the introduction of sniffer dogs to track down illegal wildlife products at Frankfurt airport, WWF and TRAFFIC have announced plans to extend the successful pilot project Europe-wide.

In recent months, the two specially trained dogs—Amy and Uno—have uncovered several kilogrammes of caviar, ivory figurines, handbags made of snake skin, shark fins and even a complete bear skull, among other items.

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Tuesday
Oct202009

10 months for eBay ivory trader

A man illegally selling ivory artefacts through eBay has been sentenced to 10 months in jail in the UK Click photo to enlarge © HRMC   

en Français

Cambridge, UK, 20 October 2009—A man who traded in elephant and whale ivory on eBay was sentenced to 10 months in prison following an international investigation by the UK's HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC).

Nicholas Noonan, 46, of Bedfordshire, UK, pleaded guilty on 5 October 2009 to charges relating to illegal trading in African Elephant tusks and Sperm Whale teeth as well as ivory artefacts. They had been carved into billiard balls or used to make corkscrews before being sold on the commercial website.

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Tuesday
Oct202009

New security plan for Tiger Reserves in India

en Français

New Delhi, 20 October 2009—The National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) in association with TRAFFIC India has prepared new guidelines for scaling up security at Tiger Reserves in India. The guidelines were drawn up amidst the on-going Tiger crisis, which has seen more than 60 Tigers poached in India in 2009 to date.

The Generic guidelines for preparation of security plan for Tiger Reserves were released by Dr Rajesh Gopal, Member Secretary-NTCA earlier this month at the office of the Ministry of Environment and Forests in New Delhi

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Friday
Oct162009

New analysis sounds alarm over scale of bushmeat trade in Central Africa

Bushmeat market, Makokou, Gabon. Click photo to enlarge. © Natalie van Vliet / TRAFFIC

en Français

Cambridge, UK, 16 October 2009 — New analytical techniques have revealed that the scale of bushmeat trade in Central Africa may be much larger than originally thought, according to a study published today by TRAFFIC, the wildlife trade monitoring network.

The study, based on an analysis of food balance sheets provided by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization’s statistical database FAOSTAT, strongly supports the view that the current situation surrounding bushmeat hunting in Central African rainforests is precarious. According to the analysis, bushmeat extraction rose considerably in the Congo Basin between 1990 and 2005, despite the overall decrease in forest cover in Central Africa.

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Thursday
Oct082009

Wild meat workshop held in Kinshasa

en Français

Officials during the opening ceremony (Left to right—MM Dieudonné Mbayo (UICN), Albert Likunde (General Secretary of MECNT), Petrus Ndongala-Viengele (MECNT), Idi OMari (ADGA-ICCN), Stéphane Ringuet (TRAFFIC)). Click photo to enlarge. © Eva Paule Mouzong/TRAFFIC  Kinshasa, 8 October 2009—Some 50 participants from across the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) met in Kinshasa this September to formulate a national action plan to address the issue of trade in wild meat, popularly termed “bushmeat”.

The workshop, organized by ICCN (the Institut Congolais pour la Conservation de la Nature) under the patronage of the Ministry of Environment, Nature Conservation and Tourism) in collaboration with TRAFFIC Central Africa, brought together participants from national authorities, civil society representatives, other elected bodies and print and broadcast media.

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Monday
Oct052009

Tiger rescue points to urgent need for more patrols

Perhilitan officers attend to the rescued Tiger Click photo to enlarge. © WWF Malaysia

Update: On 19 October The Natural Resources and Environment Ministry's public relations department confirmed that the Tiger had died. A postmortem showed the animal had suffered severe stress from a respiratory failure and severe pulmonary congestion due to a chronic bacterial infection in its right forelimb, the limb that was caught in the snare.

Gerik, Malaysia, 5 October 2009—A five-year-old male Tiger was freed from a poacher’s snare on Sunday after it was found by WWF’s Wildlife Protection Unit (WPU) just off a highway that cuts through the Belum-Temengor forest complex in the northern state of Perak.

WPU members, who were on a routine patrol on Saturday, detected two men on motorcycles near the site, who fled upon seeing them approach.  When the WPU checked the area, they found the Tiger with its right foreleg caught in a wire snare.

View dramatic footage of the Tiger being rescued and treated below

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Thursday
Sep242009

Thailand steps up efforts to tackle illegal ivory trade

Thai Customs display the 800 kg of ivory seized at Suvarnabhumi International Airport this August Click photo to enlarge © Richard Barrow / Paknam.com  Bangkok, Thailand, 24 September—A recent high-profile ivory seizure, a review of national legislation, and the initiation of training courses for both government staff and ivory traders are indications of the commitment being shown by the Thai Government to tackle the illegal ivory trade, according to TRAFFIC.

The seizure, by the Royal Thai Customs Department, took place during the third week of August at the Suvarnabhumi International Airport, when, according to the Thailand CITES Management Authority, 316 pieces of raw ivory weighing 812.5 kg illegally imported from Qatar were confiscated.

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