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Latest news from TRAFFIC

Monday
Jan192009

Hanoi’s Environmental Police record largest-ever seizure

The discovery of a set of Tiger bones led to the largest ever seizure of wildlife products by Viet Nam's Envirnmental Police Click photo to enlarge © Viet Nam Environmental Police   More than two tonnes of illegal wildlife products seized in Dong Da district

Hanoi, Viet Nam, 19 January 2009—Hanoi’s Environmental Police have made their largest-ever seizure of wildlife products following the confiscation of more than two tonnes of bones from a store in Dong Da district, Hanoi, on 10 January.

Environmental Police first stopped a man transporting a set of tiger bones and ten kilograms of serow bones and horns by motorbike in Ba Dinh district. Following investigations, they raided the end destination of the products, a store belonging to Ms Nguyen Thi Thanh Tam, and discovered another set of tiger bones, six frozen pieces of tiger skin, seven bear paws, 16 bear gall bladders, six porcupine stomachs and 69 bags of bones from various wild animals.

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Thursday
Jan082009

Seized pangolins should be destroyed—TRAFFIC

More than 5 tonnes of pangolin parts have been seized in Viet Nam, a few weeks after the government auctioned an earlier seizure. Click photo to enlarge © EW / TRAFFIC  Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 8 January 2009—just two months after a major auction of seized pangolins in Hai Phong, Viet Nam, Customs officials seized another 4,400 kg of frozen pangolins and 900 kg of pangolin scales in Cai Lan seaport, Quang Ninh, Viet Nam.

The proximity of the two events, as well as the similarity in the size and packaging, has called into question the origin of the newly seized pangolins, with some speculating the shipment may have at least partially been sourced from the pangolins auctioned in October 2008. The latest seizure took place on 19 December 2008.

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Wednesday
Jan072009

Illegal trade in Malayan Box Turtles continues—TRAFFIC

The Malaysian Box-turtle is in decline through over-exploitation, despite a ban on its export from Malaysia Click photo to enlarge © Sabine Schoppe / TRAFFIC Southeast Asia   The Malayan Box Turtle is disappearing across Malaysia despite a ban on its export, finds a new report by TRAFFIC, the wildlife trade monitoring network. The turtles are in high demand in East Asia for their meat and for use in traditional Chinese medicine.

The Malayan Box Turtle is a subspecies of the widespread Southeast Asian Box, which is considered the commonest freshwater turtle in South-East Asia, but despite this, and even its tolerance of manmade artificial habitats, the species is in peril due to over-exploitation finds the new report, Science in CITES: The biology and ecology of the Southeast Asian Box Turtle Cuora amboinensis and its uses and trade in Malaysia (PDF, 2.4 MB).

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Tuesday
Dec232008

Malaysia’s Tigers thrown a lifeline

An ambitious Malaysian Tiger Action Plan aims to increase wild Tigers in Peninsular Malaysia to 1,000 animals by 2020. Click photo to enlarge © Elizabeth Kemf / WWF-Canon Update: Dismembered Tigers seized in Thailand

Just days after the Action Plan to protect Malaysia's Tigers was announced, Thai Police discovered the partly dismembered carcasses of four Tigers on a truck in Prachuap Kiri Khan province.

The animals were believed to be from Malaysia and were being smuggled to China. Two men were arrested.

"The gruesome discovery is a potent indicator of the seriousness of the threat posed by poaching to South-east Asia's last surviving Tigers, and the urgency with which the issue needs to be addressed," said Azrina Abdullah, Regional Director of TRAFFIC Southeast Asia.

Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia, 23 December 2008—Conservation groups today welcomed the release of the much-anticipated National Tiger Action Plan for Malaysia, calling the Plan an important milestone in Tiger conservation in the region.

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Wednesday
Dec172008

1000 new species in Greater Mekong

Described in 2005, the Laotian Rock Rat Laonastes aenigmamus was first encountered by scientists on sale at an outdoor food market in Lao PDR Click photo to enlarge © David RedfieldHa Noi, Viet Nam, 17 December 2008—Over one thousand new species have been discovered in the Greater Mekong Region of Southeast Asia since 1997, says a new report by WWF.

Among the most incredible finds documented in First Contact in the Greater Mekong are the Lao Rock Rat, thought to have gone extinct 11 million years ago but discovered in a Lao food market; the hot-pink “dragon millipede” that produces cyanide in self-defence; the world’s largest huntsman spider, which has a leg span of over 30 centimeters; and a new species of purple banana from Southern China.

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Wednesday
Dec102008

Myanmar emerges as ivory trade and elephant smuggling hot spot

Capture of wild elephants for work in the timber industry has fuelled the decline of wild elephant populations in Myanmar Click photo to enlarge © Lek Chailert   Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 11 December 2008—Around 250 live Asian Elephants have been smuggled from Myanmar in the past decade, mostly destined for “elephant trekking” tourism activities in neighbouring Thailand, a new report by the wildlife trade monitoring network TRAFFIC reveals today.

Meanwhile blatant illegal ivory trade continues in Myanmar, with TRAFFIC surveys of 14 markets and three border markets in Thailand and China finding 9000 pieces of ivory and 16 whole tusks for sale.

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Tuesday
Dec092008

Meeting to develop wild meat monitoring system for Central Africa

Participants at the Douala workshop © Roland Melisch / TRAFFIC en Français

Douala, Cameroon, 9 December 2008—In December 2008, TRAFFIC organized a workshop in Douala, Cameroon, to develop a wild meat trade monitoring system in the Central Africa sub-region.

In collaboration with selected key stakeholders, participants developed a monitoring system that uses available survey information to provide a regular overview through proxy indicators for Central Africa.

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Monday
Nov242008

India's wild medicinal plants threatened through over-exploitation

A report into trade in medicinal plants finds species, such as the Himalayan Yew are in decline through over-harvesting Click photo to enlarge © Samir Sinha / TRAFFIC India   Delhi, India, 24 November 2008--India is a hub of the wild-collected plant medicine industry in Asia, but key species have declined owing to over-collection to supply domestic and foreign medicinal markets, and action needs to be taken to ensure the sustainability of supplies, finds a new study released today by TRAFFIC, the wildlife trade monitoring network.

The study, commissioned by the German Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (Bundesamt für Naturschutz, BfN), focuses on seven plant species of conservation concern protected under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).

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Friday
Nov212008

Local agreements sought to prevent forest loss in Ecuador

TRAFFIC runs workshops on governance and transparency in the Amazon basin

A representative of a local chainsaw and logger association shows his documentation for legal timber Click photo to enlarge © TRAFFIC South America  Quito, Ecuador, 21 November 2008--Local people living in and close to Amazonian forests in Ecuador have been consulted through a new TRAFFIC project to devise the best ways to manage their forests sustainably and prevent forest loss and degradation.

TRAFFIC and local partner Servicio Forestal Amazonico brought together local forestry stakeholders including loggers, timber traders, carpenters, indigenous people, forest authorities, police, municipalities, non-governmental organizations and others.

"People living in or close to forests can have a strong interest to conserve and manage their natural resource sustainably, but all too often their forests are being cleared or over-exploited," said Ulrich Malessa, TRAFFIC South America's Regional Timber Programme Co-ordinator.

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