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Latest news from TRAFFIC

All pangolins uplisted as threatened species by IUCN more...


Over-harvesting a key threat according to new IUCN Red List

In the Red List update, African Elephants have been downlisted from Vulnerable to Near Threatened Click photo to enlarge (C) Martin Harvey / WWF-Canon   Barcelona, Spain, 6 October 2008--The new IUCN Red List of Threatened Species was unveiled today at the World Conservation Congress currently underway in Barcelona. A record 44,838 species have been assessed, of which 16,928 (38%) are threatened with extinction.

The new assessment finds 1,141 mammal species, more than 1 in 5 of all mammals, is threatened with extinction. Over harvesting is a key threat, wiping out larger mammals, especially in Southeast Asia, but also in parts of Africa and South America. Species like the Caspian Seal Pusa caspica move from Vulnerable to Endangered. Its population has declined by 90 percent in the last 100 years due to unsustainable hunting and habitat degradation and is still decreasing.

However, conservation can bring species back from the brink of extinction, with five percent of currently threatened mammals showing signs of recovery in the wild. They include the African Elephant Loxodonta africana, which moves from Vulnerable to Near Threatened, largely a reflection of the recent and ongoing population increases in southern and eastern Africa. The status of the species varies considerably across its range.

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New study on what’s driving the wildlife trade in south-east Asia

Wild meat on sale in Vietnam; a new study investigates what drives trade in wildlife Click photo to enlarge  TRAFFIC  

Cambridge, UK, 3 October 2008—A report released today by the World Bank and TRAFFIC, the wildlife trade monitoring network, examines what factors influence wildlife trade in south-east Asia, and in particular trade that is illegal and unsustainable.

Launching the report, What’s Driving the Wildlife Trade?, Tony Whitten, the World Bank’s Senior Biodiversity Specialist for the East Asia and Pacific Region, commented on the rationale in carrying out the study: “Understanding the factors that influence wildlife trade is absolutely fundamental if steps are to be taken to curb illegal trade or influence unsustainable trade so that it becomes sustainable.” 

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How to help your hotel help nature

TRAFFIC provided techical input into a new guide aimed at promoting sustainable use of biological resources in hotels  Click image to enlargeCambridge, UK, 2 October 2008—From cotton towels and sheets in guest rooms, to food in the restaurant and wood used for furniture and fittings—the products of biodiversity are everywhere inside hotels. Outside, plants and animals make a hotel’s public spaces and gardens attractive for guests, while beyond the hotel gates, parks, green spaces, coasts and natural habitats provide guests with opportunities for recreation and enjoyment. 

Recognizing these important links, Accor, one of the world's leading hotel companies, has joined forces with the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), to develop guidelines on the sustainable use of biological resources in hotels’ everyday operations. The guide includes technical factsheets developed by TRAFFIC, listing conservation issues and advice on which wildlife species to choose and which to avoid.

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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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