tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:/xml/crime1 crime news from mongabay.com 2014-04-15T17:52:51Z tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13083 2014-04-15T17:34:00Z 2014-04-15T17:52:51Z Nearly a thousand environmental activists murdered since 2002 <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0415.murders.activists.gwreport.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>At least 908 people were murdered for taking a stand to defend the environment between 2002 and 2013, according to a new report today from Global Witness, which shows a dramatic uptick in the murder rate during the past four years. Notably, the report appears on the same day that another NGO, Survival International, released a video of a gunman terrorizing a Guarani indigenous community in Brazil. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12990 2014-03-26T22:41:00Z 2014-03-26T23:18:02Z Just how bad is the logging crisis in Myanmar? 72 percent of exports illegal <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0326.EIA.logging.myanmar.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Just days before Myanmar, also known as Burma, implements a ban on exporting raw logs, the Environmental Investigative Agency (EIA) has released a new report that captures the sheer scale of the country's illegal logging crisis. According to the EIA, new data shows that 72 percent of logs exported from Myanmar between 2000-2013 were illegally harvested. Jeremy Hance 26.304355 97.194069 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12909 2014-03-11T13:42:00Z 2014-03-11T13:55:23Z Cocaine: the new face of deforestation in Central America <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/thumb.cut.roatan_forest_burning_0.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In 2006, Mexico intensified its security strategy, forming an inhospitable environment for drug trafficking organizations (also known as DTOs) within the nation. The drug cartels responded by creating new trade routes along the border of Guatemala and Honduras. Soon shipments of cocaine from South America began to flow through the Mesoamerican Biological Corridor (MBC). This multi-national swathe of forest, encompassing several national parks and protected areas, was originally created to protect endangered species, such as Baird's Tapir (Tapirus bairdii) and jaguar (Panthera onca), as well as the world's second largest coral reef. Today, its future hinges on the world's drug producers and consumers. Jeremy Hance 15.667404 -86.826363 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12786 2014-02-18T14:02:00Z 2014-02-18T14:09:28Z Conservation groups launch new whistleblower site for wildlife and forest crimes Welcome to Wildleaks: a new website that aims to give the global public a secure and anonymous platform to report wildlife trafficking and illegal deforestation. The illegal wildlife trade has become one of the world's largest criminal activities in recent years, decimating elephants, rhinos, tigers, primates, and thousands of lesser known species. Meanwhile, illegal logging is rampant in many parts of the world, imperiling biodiversity, undercutting locals, and robbing governments of revenue. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12766 2014-02-12T13:40:00Z 2014-02-12T16:33:49Z Obama announces new strategy to tackle wildlife trafficking, including toughening ivory ban Yesterday, the Obama administration announced an ambitious new strategy to help tackle the global illegal wildlife trade, including a near-complete ban on commercial ivory. The new strategy will not only push over a dozen federal agencies to make fighting wildlife trafficking a new priority, but will also focus on reducing demand for wildlife parts and actively engaging the international community. The U.S. is the world's second largest destination for illegal wildlife trafficking after China. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12539 2013-12-18T17:35:00Z 2013-12-18T17:49:47Z Madagascar's most famous lemur facing big threats <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/1218.MakiMom.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The ring-tailed lemur (<i>Lemur catta</i>), perhaps the most well-known of Madagascar’s endemic animals, is facing a "very high" risk of extinction in the wild. The Madagascar Section of the IUCN Primate Specialist Group reassessed the Red List status of ring-tailed lemurs and upgraded the species from Near-Threatened (2008) to Endangered (2012). Ring-tailed lemurs are facing extinction in some parts of Madagascar because of continued habitat loss, and more recently, species exploitation. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12496 2013-12-10T14:09:00Z 2013-12-27T03:35:31Z Top 10 Environmental Stories of 2013 <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/south-africa/150/south_africa_kruger_1126.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>1. Carbon concentrations hit 400ppm while the IPCC sets global carbon budget: For the first time since our appearance on Earth, carbon concentrations in the atmosphere hit 400 parts per million. The last time concentrations were this high for a sustained period was 4-5 million years ago when temperatures were 10 degrees Celsius higher. Meanwhile, in the slow-moving effort to curb carbon emissions, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) crafted a global carbon budget showing that most of the world's fossil fuel reserves must be left untouched if we are to avoid catastrophic climate change. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12473 2013-12-02T15:28:00Z 2013-12-02T16:57:13Z 22,000 elephants slaughtered for their ivory in 2012 As the African Elephant Summit open in Botswana today, conservationists released a new estimate of the number of African elephants lost to the guns of poachers last year: 22,000. Some 15,000 elephants killed in 42 sites across 27 countries on the continent, according to newly released data from the CITES program, Monitoring the Illegal Killing of Elephants (MIKE). But conservationists estimate another 7,000 went unreported. The number killed is a slight decrease over 2011 numbers of 25,000. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12430 2013-11-21T20:26:00Z 2014-02-22T01:54:01Z Asia's most precious wood is soaked in blood <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/1121.%C2%A9FREELAND-Foundation---Rosewood-Poachers-Photographed-by-Cameratrap-2.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Deep in the tropical forests of Southeast Asia grows a rare and beautiful tree whose wood is so highly prized that men will kill to possess it. Wild rosewood, famous since antiquity in China and Japan for its unique, blood-hued luster and intricate grain, was once only used for the finest religious statues and princely ornaments. Now, China's nouveau riche lust for decorative baubles and furniture made of rosewood as a sign of status leading to a massive surge in demand for this precious timber that shows no signs of abating. In just a few short years the price has skyrocketed from just a hundred dollars a cubic meter to over $50,000 today. Jeremy Hance 14.268376 102.060013 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12230 2013-10-23T14:23:00Z 2013-10-23T14:35:02Z Fishermen illegally killing dolphins for shark-bait in Peru (video) <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/1022.harpooneddolphin.peru.video.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Peruvian fishermen slaughtered dolphins to use as bait for shark fishing, an undercover investigation has revealed. Footage showed infant and adult dolphins being harpooned then stabbed and clubbed before, in some cases, being cut open and butchered while still alive. The slaughtered dolphins were cut up and used as bait. Dolphins are also killed for human consumption in Peru even though it is illegal. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12181 2013-10-09T15:53:00Z 2013-10-09T15:59:52Z Tanzania should implement shoot-to-kill policy for poachers, says government minister A government minister in Tanzania has called for a "shoot-to-kill" policy against poachers in a radical measure to curb the mass slaughter of elephants. Khamis Kagasheki's proposal for perpetrators of the illicit ivory trade to be executed 'on the spot' divided opinion, with some conservationists backing it as a necessary deterrent but others warning that it would lead to an escalation of violence. Jeremy Hance -2.254362 34.600983 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12158 2013-10-02T18:57:00Z 2013-10-03T17:23:35Z Unlikely success: how Zimbabwe has become a global leader in rhino conservation <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/1002.LRT-rhino-monitor,-Hence,-tracking-a-black-rhino-cow.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>With its collapsed economy, entrenched poverty, and political tremors, one would not expect that a country like Zimbabwe would have the capacity to safeguard its rhinos against determined and well-funded poachers, especially as just across the border South Africa is currently losing over two rhinos a day on average. And indeed, without the Lowveld Rhino Trust (LRT), rhinos in Zimbabwe would probably be near local extinction. But the LRT, which is centrally involved in the protection of around 90 percent of the country's rhinos in private reserves along with conservancy members, has proven tenacious and innovative in its battle to safeguard the nation's rhinos from the poaching epidemic. Jeremy Hance -20.541387 32.08162 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12136 2013-09-27T16:52:00Z 2013-09-27T17:01:47Z Clinton Global Initiative pledges $80 million to combat elephant poaching Hillary and Chelsea Clinton on Thursday deployed their mother-daughter star power to help the effort to save African elephants, brokering an $80m effort to stop the ivory poaching which threatens the animals with extinction. Jeremy Hance 40.761638 -73.979783 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12054 2013-09-11T14:26:00Z 2013-09-12T02:52:56Z 600 vultures killed by elephant poachers in Namibia <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/13/0910vultures150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>As the illegal poaching of African elephants and rhinos reaches epidemic levels, other species are also suffering catastrophic losses as a direct result of poachers' behavior. A recent incident in July, where a poisoned elephant carcass led to the death of 600 vultures near Namibia's Bwabwata National Park, has highlighted how poachers' use of poison is now one of the primary threats to vulture populations. Tiffany Roufs -18.076918 21.54086 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12046 2013-09-10T16:38:00Z 2013-09-10T17:00:29Z U.S. to crush its six ton ivory stockpile On October 8th, the Obama administration will publicly destroy its ivory stockpile, totaling some six tons, according to a White House forum yesterday on the illegal wildlife trade. The destruction of the stockpile&#8212;via crushing&#8212;is meant to send a message that the U.S. is taking a tougher stand on illegal the wildlife trade, which is decimating elephants across Africa and imperiling other animals worldwide. The U.S. remains one of the biggest destinations for ivory and other illegal animal part aside from East Asia. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12034 2013-09-09T15:26:00Z 2013-09-17T15:22:43Z A year after devastating attack, security returns to the Okapi Wildlife Reserve (photos) <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/0905.Okapi-Giluka.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>On June 24th of last year, MaiMai Simba rebels, led by an elephant poacher known as Morgan, launched a devastating attack on the headquarters of the Okapi Wildlife Reserve in Epulu, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The attack, which was reportedly in response to a crack down on poaching and illegal mining in the park, left buildings burned, equipment destroyed, and six people dead including two rangers. The militia also left with 28 women hostages, many of them minors. As if to add insult to injury, the militia didn't leave until they shot dead all 14 captive okapis at the headquarters, which were used as wildlife ambassadors for the local community. Jeremy Hance 1.402248 28.577144 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11965 2013-08-27T17:06:00Z 2013-08-27T17:47:20Z Smuggler who illegally traded 500 chimps gets one year in prison Wildlife smuggler, Ousame Diallo, who has admitted to illegally trafficking 500 endangered chimpanzees out of the Republic of Guinea, was sentenced to a year in prison in the West African country reports WWF. The arrest and charge was supported by INTERPOL and to anti-wildlife trafficking local group, GALF. Jeremy Hance 9.561819 -13.66087 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11887 2013-08-06T13:51:00Z 2013-08-06T14:01:05Z Climate change to increase violent crime Bring on the cool weather – climate change is predicted to cause extreme weather, more intense storms, more frequent floods and droughts, but could it also cause us to be more violent with one another? Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11866 2013-08-01T20:44:00Z 2013-08-01T20:54:44Z Elephant killer gets five years in prison in the Republic of Congo The Congolese Supreme Court has ordered Ghislain Ngondjo (known as Pepito) to five years in prison for slaughtering dozens of elephants for their ivory tusks. The five year sentence is the maximum in the Republic of Congo for poaching. Ngondjo was considered the "kingpin" of an elephant poaching group; in addition to killing pachyderms, Ngondjo recruited new poachers and made death threats to park rangers and staff in Odzala National Park. Jeremy Hance -0.875782 14.822216 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11836 2013-07-25T19:45:00Z 2013-07-25T19:58:05Z How YouTube has put the world's only poisonous primates at risk <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/0725.AWalmsley-LFP-Markets-Jakarta-small-018.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>It all started with a video: in 2009 a Russian man uploaded a video of himself tickling his exotic pet (a pygmy slow loris) from Vietnam onto the hugely popular site YouTube. Since then the video has been viewed over half a million times. But a new study in the open source journal in PLoS ONE, finds that such YouTube videos have helped fuel a cruel, illegal trade that is putting some of the world's least-known primates at risk of extinction. Lorises are small, shy, and nocturnal primates that inhabit the forests of tropical Asia, but the existence of all eight species is currently imperiled by a booming illegal pet trade that has been aided by videos of lorises being tickled, holding tiny umbrellas, or doing other seemingly cute (but wholly unnatural) things. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11823 2013-07-24T14:57:00Z 2013-08-21T15:36:23Z Zoos call on governments to take urgent action against illegal wildlife trade (photos) <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/0722.chimp.zaccBASKET_DB9F392FAD98F.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In a single night in March, a band of heavily-armed, horse-riding poachers slaughtered 89 elephants in southern Chad, thirty of which were pregnant females. The carnage was the worst poaching incident of the year, but even this slaughter paled in comparison to the 650 elephants killed in a Cameroon park in 2012. Elephant poaching is hitting new records as experts say some 30,000 elephants are being killed every year for their ivory tusks. But the illegal wildlife trade&#8212;estimated at $19 billion&#8212;is not just decimating elephants, but also rhinos, big cats, great apes, and thousands of lesser-known species like pangolins and slow lorises. This growing carnage recently led to representatives of over 40 zoos and dozens of wildlife programs to call on governments around the world to take immediate action on long-neglected wildlife crime. Jeremy Hance 41.604661 -93.646889 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11797 2013-07-22T18:38:00Z 2014-03-10T10:53:24Z Featured video: saving animals from the illegal pet trade in Guatemala Found in Central America's largest forest, the Maya Biosphere Reserve, the Guatemalan organization Arcas has rescued and rehabilitated thousands of animals since its inception in 1989. Unlike many wildlife rescue centers worldwide, Arcas focuses on rehabilitating every animal for eventually release back into the wild. This means intensive training for each species, including food gathering and predator avoidance. A new short video by Arcas highlights the group's decades-long work. Jeremy Hance 17.481631 -89.851431 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11788 2013-07-18T19:37:00Z 2013-07-20T00:32:32Z Brazil's military takes on illegal loggers to protect nearly-extinct tribe Brazil has launched a military campaign to evict illegal loggers working from the fringes of an indigenous reserve home to the Awá people, reports Survival International. Inhabiting the Amazon rainforest in northeastern Brazil, only around 450 Awá, also known as Guajá, survive today, and around a quarter of these have chosen voluntary isolation. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11715 2013-07-03T17:22:00Z 2013-07-03T17:45:25Z Influential British editor banned from Sarawak Clare Rewcastle Brown, the editor of Sarawak Report and Radio Free Sarawak, has been deported from Sarawak reports the Bruno Manser Fund. Both the Sarawak Report and Radio Free Sarawak are known for high-profile and investigative journalism that is often critical of Sarawak's chief minister, Abdul Taib Mahmud or 'Taib', and his family for alleged corruption. Jeremy Hance 1.595558 110.329971 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11713 2013-07-03T15:07:00Z 2013-07-03T15:17:43Z Obama to take on elephant and rhino poaching in Africa Barack Obama launched a new initiative against wildlife trafficking on Monday, using his executive authority to take action against an illegal trade that is fueling rebel wars and now threatens the survival of elephants and rhinoceroses. The initiative, announced as the president visited Tanzania on the final stop of his African tour, was the second time in a week Obama has used an executive order to advance environmental policy, after announcing a sweeping new climate change plan. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11660 2013-06-27T20:29:00Z 2013-07-03T14:00:35Z Authorities nab ringleader of poachers who killed 89 elephants in Chad During one night in March, horse-riding poachers slaughtered 89 elephants in Chad, including over 30 pregnant mothers. Now officials say they have caught the ringleader behind the mass-killing: Hassan Idriss, also known as Gargaf. Jeremy Hance 9.80800 15.059000 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11635 2013-06-24T18:24:00Z 2013-06-25T23:55:17Z 60 big cats killed in Brazilian parks in last two years <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://travel.mongabay.com/brazil/150/brazil_1950.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>At least 60 big cats have been killed within national protected areas in Brazil during the past two years according to a recent survey published in mongabay.com's open access journal Tropical Conservation Science. The report, which focuses on jaguar (<i>Panthera onca</i>) and puma (<i>Puma concolor</i>) populations, within Brazilian protected areas shows that reserve management and use restrictions impact the level of big cat hunting. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11550 2013-06-05T21:39:00Z 2013-06-05T21:52:38Z African militias trading elephant ivory for weapons <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/0304.800px-Loxodontacyclotis.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) is using lucrative elephant poaching for ivory to fund its activities, according to a report published on Tuesday. Eyewitness accounts from park rangers, Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) escapees and recent senior defectors report that the fugitive warlord Joseph Kony, who is wanted by the international criminal court for war crimes and crimes against humanity, ordered African forest elephants to be killed in Garamba national park in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and the tusks sent to him. Jeremy Hance 4.16721 29.499062 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11467 2013-05-22T17:02:00Z 2013-05-22T17:25:41Z Indigenous groups protest hydropower congress as controversy hits meeting in Malaysia <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/0522.saveriverprotests.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The opening of the International Hydropower Association (IHA) World Congress in the Malaysian state of Sarawak was marred today by indigenous protests and controversy after a local indigenous leader was barred from attending a pre-conference workshop. Over 300 people from local indigenous people protested the ongoing construction of around a dozen mega-dams in the state that threaten to flood traditional lands, force villages to move, and upend lives in the state. The Sarawak hydropower plans are some of the most controversial in the world&#8212;making the choice of Kuching, Sarawak for the IHA meeting an arguably ironic one&#8212;with critics contending that the dams are have been mired in political corruption, including kickbacks and bribes. IHA brings together dam builders, banks, and various related organizations worldwide every two years. Jeremy Hance 1.54202 110.320358 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11465 2013-05-22T12:04:00Z 2013-05-22T12:13:27Z Prince Charles: take the war to the poachers Prince Charles has warned that criminal gangs are turning to animal poaching, an unprecedented slaughter of species that can only be stopped by waging war on the perpetrators, in the latest of a series of increasingly outspoken speeches about the environment. Addressing a conference of conservationists at St James's Palace in London, the Prince of Wales announced a meeting of heads of state to take place this autumn in London under government auspices to combat what he described as an emerging, militarized crisis. Jeremy Hance 51.504739 -0.137142 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11429 2013-05-14T16:39:00Z 2013-07-20T20:26:52Z Five percent of ploughshare tortoise population perishes after botched smuggling attempt In March, two people were caught attempting to smuggle 54 ploughshare tortoises (Astrochelys yniphora) into Thailand. Listed as Critically Endangered, the tortoises' wild population is down to approximately 400-500 animals in its native Madagascar, meaning the smugglers were attempting to move over 10 percent of the total population. Now, the Scientific American blog Extinction Countdown reports that nearly half of the smuggled tortoises have died of unknown causes. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11298 2013-04-24T19:12:00Z 2013-04-25T15:53:59Z Bizarre, little-known carnivore sold as illegal pet in Indonesian markets (photo) <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/0424.DSC_3186.javanferretbadger.250.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Few people have ever heard of the Javan ferret-badger, but that hasn't stopped this animal&#8212;little-known even to scientists&#8212;from being sold in open markets in Jakarta according to a new paper in <i>Small Carnivore Conservation</i>. The Javan ferret-badger (<i>Melogale orientalis</i>) is one of five species in the ferret-badger family, which are smaller than proper badgers with long bushy tails and elongated faces; all five species are found in Asia. Jeremy Hance -6.193803 106.828194 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11281 2013-04-22T16:21:00Z 2013-04-22T16:31:30Z Rhino horn madness: over two rhinos killed a day in South Africa Rhino poachers have killed 232 rhinos during 2013 so far in South Africa, reports Annamiticus, which averages out to 2.1 a day. The country has become a flashpoint for rhino poaching as it holds more rhinos than any other country on Earth. Rhinos are being slaughter for their horns, which are believed to be a curative in Chinese traditional medicine, although there is no evidence this is so. Jeremy Hance -23.185813 31.343079 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11239 2013-04-15T19:55:00Z 2013-04-15T20:01:33Z Double bad: Chinese vessel that collided with protected coral reef holding 22,000 pounds of pangolin meat What do you do when you're smuggling 22,000 pounds of an endangered species on your boat? Answer: crash into a protected coral reef in the Philippines. Last Monday a Chinese vessel slammed into a coral reef in the Tubbataha National Marine Park; on Saturday the Filipino coastguard discovered 400 boxes of pangolin meat while inspecting the ship. Pangolins, which are scaly insect-eating mammals, have been decimated by the illegal wildlife trade as their scales are prized in Chinese Traditional Medicine and their meat is considered a delicacy. Jeremy Hance 8.515836 120.419311 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11208 2013-04-10T17:26:00Z 2013-04-10T17:35:49Z Landowner who allegedly ordered Amazon murders acquitted Jose Rodrigues Moreira, a Brazilian landowner who allegedly ordered the killings of Amazon activists Jose Claudio Ribeiro da Silva and his wife Maria, was acquitted this week due to lack of evidence. But, the two men who carried out the assassinations, Lindonjonson Silva Rocha and Alberto Lopes do Nascimento, were found guilty and sent to 42 and 45 years of jail respectively. Jeremy Hance -1.482989 -48.451538 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11169 2013-04-04T19:41:00Z 2013-04-04T19:50:05Z Greener neighborhoods have less violent crime Turn your neighborhood green and it may prevent violent crime in the long run, according to a new study in <i>Landscape and Urban Planning</i>, which found that violent crimes (assaults, robberies, and burglaries) occurred less often in greener areas of Philadelphia. The connection between greener neighborhoods and less violent crime even stood up after researchers accounted for education, poverty, and population levels. Jeremy Hance 39.935013 -75.165939 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11168 2013-04-04T18:57:00Z 2013-04-04T20:13:37Z Killings over land continues in the Amazon On Wednesday, in the Brazilian state of Pará, the trial begins of three men accused of murdering José Cláudio Ribeiro da Silva and his wife Maria do Espirito Santo, who had campaigned against loggers and ranchers for years. Their assassinations in May 2011 generated international outrage, just like that of Chico Mendes, 25 years ago, and that of the American-born nun Dorothy Stang in 2005. Jeremy Hance -5.178482 -51.818849 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11156 2013-04-03T14:38:00Z 2013-04-03T14:54:01Z Infamous elephant poacher turns cannibal in the Congo <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://photos.mongabay.com/j/deadokapi.okapi.unesco.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Early on a Sunday morning last summer, the villagers of Epulu awoke to the sounds of shots and screaming. In the eastern reaches of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, that can often mean another round of violence and ethnic murder is under way. In this case, however, something even more horrific was afoot. Jeremy Hance 1.402462 28.572299 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11146 2013-04-01T15:32:00Z 2013-04-01T15:52:21Z Poachers enlisting impoverished wildlife rangers as accomplices in elephant, rhino killing Corruption among wildlife rangers is becoming a serious impediment in the fight against poaching, fuelled by soaring levels of cash offered by criminal poacher syndicates, senior conservation chiefs have admitted. Rangers in countries as diverse as Tanzania and Cambodia are being bribed by increasingly organised poaching gangs keen to supply ivory, rhino horn and tiger parts to meet huge consumer demand in Asia. Jeremy Hance -9.069551 37.582397 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11119 2013-03-26T19:02:00Z 2013-03-26T19:40:13Z A thousand soldiers sent after marauding elephant poachers [warning: graphic photos] <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/0326.SOS_Elephants_Mars_2013_.2.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Eight Central African nations have announced they will send a thousand soldiers after poachers responsible for slaughtering 89 elephants, including over 30 pregnant mothers, in Chad earlier this month. The mobilization of soldiers and law enforcement officers could be a sign that Central African countries are beginning to take elephant poaching, which has decimated populations across Africa, more seriously. Jeremy Hance 3.864255 11.555786 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11118 2013-03-26T15:55:00Z 2013-03-26T16:06:02Z NGO says Malaysian regulators should shut down two Sarawak companies after damning video The fallout from a video by Global Witness exposing widespread corruption in Sarawak continues, as the Bruno Manser Fund, a European NGO, has called on the Companies Commission of Malaysia to "dereigster" land corporations highlighted in the video. The video purports to connect the head of Sarawak, Chief Minister Taib Mahmud, to illegal land deals on indigenous territory. Jeremy Hance 1.510445 110.346222 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11099 2013-03-25T17:34:00Z 2013-03-25T17:44:09Z Indigenous protester killed by masked assailants in Panama over UN-condemned dam <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/0325.boulders.panamadam.DSCF1153.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A Ngäbe indigenous Panamanian, Onesimo Rodriguez, opposing the Barro Blanco hydroelectric dam project was killed last Friday evening by four masked men. His body was then thrown into a nearby stream where it was discovered the following day. Onesimo Rodriguez was attacked with a companion in Las Nubes, after they had attended a demonstration in Cerro Punta, Bugaba, against the dam. His companion, whose identity is being withheld for security reasons, received serious injuries but managed to escape and is having his injuries tended to by the local indigenous community. Jeremy Hance 8.248612 -81.668859 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11096 2013-03-25T14:34:00Z 2013-03-25T14:48:24Z Over ten percent of a species' total population found in smuggler's bag <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/0324.malagasytortoises.IMG_1207.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>On Friday, March 15th Thai authorities arrested a 38-year-old man attempting to collect a bag containing 54 ploughshare tortoises (<i>Astrochelys yniphora</i>) and 21 radiated tortoises (<i>Astrochelys radiata</i>) in Suvarnabhumi International Airport. Found only in Madagascar both species are listed as Critically Endangered and protected under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), but have become lucrative targets for the black-market pet trade given their scarcity and beauty. Jeremy Hance 13.695005 100.750784 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11084 2013-03-20T14:45:00Z 2013-03-20T16:55:42Z Video uncovers top level corruption in Sarawak over indigenous forests <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://photos.mongabay.com/11/0310-150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Tax evasion, kick-backs, bribery, and corruption all make appearances in a shocking new undercover video by Global Witness that shows how top individuals in the Sarawak government may be robbing the state of revenue for their own personal gain. Anti-corruption groups have believed that corruption has been rife in the Malaysian state of Sarawak for decades, but Global Witness says their investigation offers undeniable proof. Jeremy Hance 1.510445 110.346222 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11029 2013-03-11T19:51:00Z 2013-03-12T14:52:03Z Prayers for dying elephants: Buddhists hold prayer ceremony for elephants decimated by poachers <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/0311.merit_making_cites_wwf_thailand.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Buddhist leaders prayed for slaughtered African elephants in Bangkok, Thailand last week, reports WWF. During a special merit-making ceremony, often reserved for the recently deceased, Buddhist monks, abbots, and leaders prayed for the tens-of-thousands of elephants that have been killed for their ivory tusks. Bangkok is currently hosting an international meeting of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), where the elephant crisis is being discussed. Jeremy Hance 13.74272 100.501013 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11007 2013-03-07T20:13:00Z 2013-03-07T21:37:23Z What happened to the elephants of Bouba Ndjida? [warning: graphic photos] <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/0307.cameroon.elephants.bullets._DSC0738.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A new report released by the Wildlife Conservation Society says that poachers have killed a staggering 62 percent of Africa's forest elephants in the last decade. The insatiable demand for elephant ivory hails mainly from China and Thailand, which is ironically hosting this year's CITES (CoP16) meeting. The meeting will continue until March 13 2013. The study is based on a survey of five elephant range states including Cameroon. Cameroon is the home of Bouba Ndjida National Park, where the dizzying massacre of 650 elephants occurred last year. Jeremy Hance 8.628323 14.668034 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10972 2013-03-04T18:37:00Z 2013-03-04T18:47:34Z Thailand's Prime Minister commits to ending ivory trade <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/0304.800px-Loxodontacyclotis.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Yesterday, Thailand's Prime Minister, Yingluck Shinawatra, committed to ending the ivory trade in her country. Her announcement came during the opening of the Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species of Fauna and Flora (CITES) in Bangkok, which seeks to regulate trade in biodiversity across borders. Wildlife groups say that Thailand's legal trade in domestic ivory&#8212;international ivory is illegal of course&#8212;has created an easy opening for smugglers from abroad. Currently the ivory trade in Thailand is estimated to be second only to that of China. Jeremy Hance 13.743387 100.51506 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10925 2013-02-25T15:35:00Z 2013-02-26T14:00:34Z Warlords, sorcery, and wildlife: an environmental artist ventures into the Congo <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/0225.leopard.peet.7741733238_69e961758d_b.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Last year, Roger Peet, an American artist, traveled to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to visit one of the world's most remote and wild forests. Peet spent three months in a region that is largely unknown to the outside world, but where a group of conservationists, headed by Terese and John Hart, are working diligently to create a new national park, known as Lomami. Here, the printmaker met a local warlord, discovered a downed plane, and designed a tomb for a wildlife ranger killed by disease, in addition to seeing some of the region's astounding wildlife. Notably, the burgeoning Lomami National Park is home to the world's newest monkey species, only announced by scientists last September. Jeremy Hance -1.503581 25.100784 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10856 2013-02-11T16:38:00Z 2013-02-24T00:14:07Z Pity the pangolin: little-known mammal most common victim of the wildlife trade <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/0209.pangolin.Indonesia-exotic-meat-TRAFFIC.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Last year tens-of-thousands of elephants and hundreds of rhinos were butchered to feed the growing appetite of the illegal wildlife trade. This black market, largely centered in East Asia, also devoured tigers, sharks, leopards, turtles, snakes, and hundreds of other animals. Estimated at $19 billion annually, the booming trade has periodically captured global media attention, even receiving a high-profile speech by U.S. Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, last year. But the biggest mammal victim of the wildlife trade is not elephants, rhinos, or tigers, but an animal that receives little notice and even less press: the pangolin. If that name doesn't ring a bell, you're not alone. Jeremy Hance 18.359739 104.265747 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10848 2013-02-07T20:17:00Z 2013-02-24T00:17:11Z Report: nearly half the timber from Mozambique to China is illegal <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/0207.Log-truck-en-route-to-Beira,-Mozambique,-September-2012-(c)-EIA.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Forty-eight percent of the timber making its way from Mozambique's forests to Chinese companies was harvested illegally, according to a new report by the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA), which blames the problem on widespread corruption and poor governance. The illegal logging cost Mozambique, the world's fourth least-developed country in the world according to the UN, $29 million in tax revenue, says the report. Jeremy Hance -19.837122 34.852753 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10810 2013-02-05T18:26:00Z 2013-02-05T18:59:17Z Sri Lanka to give poached ivory to Buddhist temple, flouting international agreements <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/0205.800px-Zahntempel_Kandy.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The Sri Lankan government is planning to give 359 elephant tusks to a Buddhist temple, a move that critics say is flouting the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). The illegal tusks were seized in Sri Lanka last May en route to Dubai from Kenya; they are believed to stem from hundreds of butchered elephants, including juveniles, inside Africa, possibly Uganda. The decision comes after a high-profile National Geographic article, Ivory Worship, outlined how demand for ivory religious handicrafts, particularly by Catholics and Buddhists, is worsening the current poaching crisis. In 2011, it was estimated that 25,000 elephants were illegally slaughtered for their tusks. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10805 2013-02-04T14:18:00Z 2013-02-04T15:03:34Z Vatican condemns elephant poaching, pledges steps Responding to an investigative report by National Geographic, the Vatican has condemned elephant poaching for ivory and pledged three steps to help in the battle to save the world's elephants. The National Geographic article Ivory Worship, by Bryan Christy, looked at how religions&#8212;specifically religious items for Christians and Buddhists&#8212;were playing in the growing demand for black-market ivory, which is currently resulting in the violent deaths of tens-of-thousands of endangered elephants every year. Jeremy Hance 41.902006 12.453321 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10760 2013-01-24T15:26:00Z 2013-01-24T18:08:00Z Illegally logged trees to start calling for help Illegal loggers beware: trees will soon be calling&#8212;literally&#8212;for backup. The Brazilian government has begun fixing trees with a wireless device, known as Invisible Tracck, which will allow trees to contact authorities after being felled and moved. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10655 2013-01-08T15:57:00Z 2013-01-08T16:04:34Z Kenya suffers it worst elephant poaching incident yet Over the weekend Kenya suffered its single worst elephant poaching incident when poachers killed an entire family of elephants. In all, eleven elephants were gunned down and had their tusks removed. Among the dead was a two-month-old calf. The elephants were killed in Tsavo East National Park. Jeremy Hance -3.065096 38.848801 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10636 2013-01-03T18:21:00Z 2013-02-05T15:01:56Z An avalanche of decline: snow leopard populations are plummeting The trading of big cat pelts is nothing new, but recent demand for snow leopard pelts and taxidermy mounts has added a new commodity to the illegal trade in wildlife products, according to the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA). Traditionally, the market for large cat products has centered around tiger bones and parts for traditional Chinese medicine. Snow leopards (Uncia uncia), however, are a novel trend in the illegal wildlife trade arena and skins and taxidermy mounts are the most recent fad in luxury home décor. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10552 2012-12-10T18:34:00Z 2013-02-05T15:17:44Z Poaching in Serengeti seems worth the risk Illegal hunting in Tanzania's Greater Serengeti Ecosystem (GSE) remains a prevalent activity for local people, despite government regulation and grassroots movements to prevent it. A new paper from mongabay.com's open-access Tropical Conversation Science examines the factors that drive poachers to continue their activities, despite the high costs involved. By interviewing citizens involved with illegal hunting in the Western part of the Serengeti, they were able to identify key risks that are faced by the hunters as well as the perceived gains of a successful hunt. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10510 2012-12-04T14:29:00Z 2012-12-05T14:48:30Z Pledge to end wildlife trafficking for Wildlife Conservation Day Today has been dubbed the first ever global Wildlife Conservation Day. To honor it, a coalition of conservation groups&#8212;including WWF and Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS)&#8212;are working to raise awareness of illegal wildlife trafficking. Poaching for traditional medicine, bushmeat, and other products has put innumerable species at risk, including tigers, rhinos, sharks, and elephants. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10487 2012-11-29T18:02:00Z 2012-11-29T18:14:26Z 'Exporting deforestation': China is the kingpin of illegal logging <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/12/Logs-smuggled-across-the-land-border-from-Myanmar-into-Yunnan-province,-China,-April-2012-(c)-EIA.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Runaway economic growth comes with costs: in the case of China's economic engine, one of them has been the world's forests. According to a new report by the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA), China has become the number one importer of illegal wood products from around the world. Illegal logging&#8212;which threatens biodiversity, emits carbon, impoverishes local communities, and is often coupled with other crimes&#8212;has come under heavy pressure in recent years from the U.S., the EU, and Australia. Each of these has implemented, or will soon implement, new laws that make importing and selling illegal wood products domestic crimes. However, China's unwillingness to tackle its vast appetite for illegal timber means the trade continues to decimate forests worldwide. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10444 2012-11-21T21:05:00Z 2012-11-22T03:07:39Z Australia outlaws illegally-logged wood from abroad In another blow to illegal loggers, Australia has passed the Illegal Logging Prohibition Bill, joining the U.S. in outlawing the importation of illegal logged timber from abroad. The new legislation makes it a criminal offense for Australian businesses to import timber from illegal operations. The Australian government estimates that $400 million worth of illegal timber products are sold in the country each year often as outdoor furniture and wood for decks Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10378 2012-11-12T17:31:00Z 2012-11-12T17:43:48Z Conservationists turn camera traps on tiger poachers <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/12/Intruder-caught-on-camera_ZSL_Lazovsky.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Remote camera traps, which take photos or video when a sensor is triggered, have been increasingly used to document rare and shy wildlife, but now conservationists are taking the technology one step further: detecting poachers. Already, camera traps set up for wildlife have captured images of park trespassers and poachers worldwide, but for the first time conservationists are setting camera traps with the specific goal of tracking illegal activity. Jeremy Hance 44.762337 134.996337 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10360 2012-11-05T12:25:00Z 2012-12-02T22:28:18Z 'The ivory trade is like drug trafficking' (warning graphic images) <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/12/arranz.guards.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>For the past five years, Spanish biologist Luis Arranz has been the director of Garamba National Park, in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Arranz and a team of nearly 240 people, 140 guards among them, work to protect a vast area of about 5,000 square kilometers (1,930 square miles) of virgin forest, home to a population of more than 2.300 elephants that are facing a new and more powerful enemy. The guards are encountering not only bigger groups of poachers, but with ever more sophisticated weapons. According to Arranz, armed groups such as the Lord’s Resistance Army from Uganda are now killing elephants for their ivory. Jeremy Hance 4.197138 29.526329 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10323 2012-10-31T13:24:00Z 2013-02-05T15:18:02Z Leopard poaching is a bigger problem in India than previously believed <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/12/Leopard-head_c_TRAFFIC-web.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A recent study conducted by wildlife trade monitoring group TRAFFIC uncovered unnerving statistics about the illegal trade of leopards (Panthera pardus) in India: at least four leopards have been poached every week for the past decade in the country. The study, entitled Illuminating the Blind Spot: A study on illegal trade in Leopard parts in India, highlights the severity of leopard poaching from 2001 to 2010, despite preventative measures established in 1972 by the Wildlife Protection Act (WLPA) that prohibit the sale of leopard parts in India. Jeremy Hance 28.634555 77.213173 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10303 2012-10-24T15:06:00Z 2013-02-05T15:11:10Z Indonesia remains epicenter for illegal wildlife trade in reptiles and amphibians <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/12/IMG_3027.indonesianreps.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Demand for exotic pets is driving the illegal harvest and trade of herpetofauna (reptiles and amphibians) in Indonesian New Guinea, according to a recent study published in the journal Biodiversity and Conservation. Between September 2010 and April 2011, Daniel Natusch and Jessica Lyons of the University of New South Wales surveyed traders of amphibians and reptiles in the Indonesian provinces of Maluku, West Papua and Papua. Jeremy Hance -3.107606 129.680786 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10290 2012-10-22T17:35:00Z 2012-10-22T17:41:40Z Authorities confiscate 600 dead elephants' worth of ivory in Hong Kong Hong Kong authorities have confiscated two massive shipments of elephant tusks, totaling 1,209 tusks, stemming from Kenya and Tanzania. Representing over 600 poached elephants, the shipments are estimated to be worth $3.4 million on the black market. African elephants are being decimated for their tusks in recent years with heavily-armed and well-connected poachers&#8212;backed by criminal syndicates&#8212;killing off whole herds in some cases. Jeremy Hance 22.348171 114.167747 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10280 2012-10-18T19:56:00Z 2012-10-18T20:06:38Z South Africa hits another new record in rhino killings Four hundred and fifty-five rhinos have been killed by poachers in South Africa since the beginning of the year. The number surpasses the record set last year (448) and proves that national efforts to stem poaching have not yet made a dent in actual killings. The mass killing has been spurred on by high demand for powdered rhino horn in Vietnam and China. A traditional curative in Asia, rhino horn has no medicinal properties according to scientists. Jeremy Hance -23.614329 31.583862 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10267 2012-10-15T13:35:00Z 2013-02-05T15:13:23Z The riot over rhinos: how a luxury and illegal commodity is driving the slaughter of one of the world’s iconic megafauna <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/12/rhino_001.crop.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>23,680 = the estimated number of wild rhinoceroses in South Africa. 35,000,000 = the number of American dollars generated by rhino hunting in South Africa. 97% = the percentage increase in illegally-hunted rhinos in 2011 from the national average in 1990. 30,000 = the number of pounds of rhino horns confiscated from poachers since 2010. 65 = the number of horns that have been stolen in South Africa from public display. 430...the number of rhinos killed this year, and counting... Jeremy Hance -23.614329 31.583862 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10248 2012-10-08T20:23:00Z 2012-10-08T20:41:07Z Cambodia drops case of murdered forest activist, Chut Wutty An investigation into the mysterious death of Cambodian forest activist, Chut Wutty, has been dismissed by the courts, which critics allege is apart of an ongoing cover up. The court decided that since the suspect in Wutty's death, In Rattana, was also dead there was no need to proceed. Chut Witty was shot to death while escorting two journalists to a logging site run by Timbergreen. Wutty, whose death made international news, was a prominent activist against illegal logging in Cambodia. Jeremy Hance 13.84608 107.088776 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10236 2012-10-08T12:57:00Z 2012-10-08T18:22:51Z Indigenous blockade expands against massive dam in Sarawak <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/12/%5Benanblockade.sign.DSC_0162-(640x428).150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Indigenous people have expanded their blockade against the Murum dam in the Malaysian state of Sarawak, taking over an additional road to prevent construction materials from reaching the dam site. Beginning on September 26th with 200 Penan people, the blockade has boomed to well over 300. Groups now occupy not just the main route to the dam site, but an alternative route that the dam's contractor, the China-located Three Gorges Project Corporation, had begun to use. Jeremy Hance 2.646292 114.366167 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10214 2012-09-27T16:38:00Z 2012-09-27T16:59:03Z Another journalist attacked in Cambodia for covering illegal logging Two weeks after an environmental journalist was found murdered in the trunk of his car, another journalist has been brutally attacked in Cambodia. Ek Sokunthy with the local paper Ta Prum says he was beaten in his home by three assailants by a pistol and a stick. The attack follows swiftly after the high-profile murder of 44-year-old forest journalist Hang Serei Oudom. Jeremy Hance 13.84608 107.088776 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10200 2012-09-26T17:04:00Z 2012-09-26T17:26:52Z Corruption still plundering forests in Laos for furniture The forests of Lao are still suffering from widespread destruction with the government turning a blind eye to a thriving black market logging trade on the border of Laos and Vietnam, according to an update report by the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA). Last year, the EIA found that powerful players, including the Vietnamese military, were plundering Laos of its forests for raw logs. Smuggled from Laos into Vietnam, the raw logs are crafted into furniture, which are eventually exported to Europe and the U.S. Now, over a year later a new report finds little has changed. Jeremy Hance 17.956526 102.627182 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10177 2012-09-19T17:38:00Z 2012-09-19T17:53:30Z NGO: Malaysian leader worth $15 billion despite civil-servant salary; timber corruption suspected Abdul Taib Mahmud, who has headed the Malaysian state of Sarawak for over 30 years, is worth $15 billion according to a new report by the Bruno Manser Fund. The report, <i>The Taib Timber Mafia</i>, alleges that Taib has used his position as head-of-state to build up incredible amounts of wealth by employing his family or political nominees to run the state's logging, agriculture, and construction businesses. Some environmental groups claim that Sarawak has lost 90 percent of its primary forests to logging, while indigenous tribes in the state have faced the destruction of their forests, harassment, and eviction. Jeremy Hance 1.493971 110.377807 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10148 2012-09-13T19:08:00Z 2012-09-16T15:09:11Z Environmental journalist investigating illegal logging murdered in Cambodia Less than five months after high-profile forest activist, Chut Wutty, was killed in Cambodia, an environmental journalist, Hang Serei Oudom, has been found slain in the trunk of his car, possibly murdered with an ax, reports the AFP. Oudum, who worked at the local paper Vorakchun Khmer Daily, was known for writing stories on epidemic of illegal logging in Cambodia, often linking the crime to business people and politicians. The car and body were found in a cashew nut plantation in Ratanakiri province, an area rife with logging. Jeremy Hance 13.880746 107.181702 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10078 2012-08-30T16:37:00Z 2012-09-11T01:24:01Z Survivors say gold miners in helicopter massacred village of 80 in Venezuelan Amazon <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/peru/150/peru_aerial_1470.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Up to 80 people have been massacred by gold miners in the remote Venezuelan Amazon, according to reports received by the indigenous-rights group, Survival International. According to Reuters, the reports have prompted the Venezuelan government to investigate the alleged murders of the Yanomami isolated community. According to three indigenous survivors, sometime in July a helicopter and what-are-believed to be illegal goldminers massacred the Yanomami community of Irotatheri. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/9918 2012-07-26T17:31:00Z 2012-08-16T14:09:34Z Gang raids remote national park in the Democratic Republic of the Congo Mai mai rebels, likely linked to poachers, raided the headquarters of the remote Upemba National Park last weekend, reports the Frankfurt Zoological Society (FZS) which is working to rehabilitate the park in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Fortunately, no one was injured in the raid, but equipment was stolen. The raid comes only a few weeks after a different group of rebels murdered seven people and shot dead 13 captive okapis at the Okapi Wildlife Reserve. Jeremy Hance -9.004452 26.591492 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/9917 2012-07-26T15:58:00Z 2012-08-16T14:10:29Z Indigenous tribes hold 3 engineers hostage over Belo Monte dam Three engineers are being held hostage by the Juruna and Arara indigenous tribes as tensions rise over the on-going construction of the Belo Monte dam in Brazil, reports the Indigenous rights NGO Amazon Watch. The company building the dam, Norte Energia, has confirmed that three of its employees were being held against their will. Tribal groups in the region say the massive dam will upend their way of life, and that construction is already making travel along the Xingu river difficult. Jeremy Hance -3.184394 -52.210694 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/9789 2012-07-09T13:39:00Z 2012-07-09T16:59:30Z Endangered fruit bats, and many other species, on the menu in the Philippines <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://photos.mongabay.com/j/bigstock-pteropus-vampyrus-hanging-in-t-1615458.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Bushmeat hunting is well-known to be decimating animal populations in Africa, but has been little studied much of Southeast Asia. However, a new paper in mongabay.com's open access journal Tropical Conservation Science shines light on the size and scale of bushmeat poaching in the Philippines. Studying an anonymous community near a national park on the island of Luzon, researchers found that poachers targeted 22 species, ten of which are considered either threatened or near threatened with extinction by the IUCN Red List. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/9780 2012-07-05T18:27:00Z 2012-07-05T18:47:42Z Poacher known as 'Morgan' behind devastating massacre at Okapi Wildlife Reserve <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://photos.mongabay.com/j/deadokapi.okapi.unesco.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Officials have pointed to an infamous elephant poacher known as 'Morgan' as the head of the murderous attack at the Okapi Wildlife Reserve station in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) late last month. The attack by Morgan and his crew left seven people dead, including two wildlife rangers. The poachers also shot dead 13 captive okapis at the headquarters, which were considered ambassadors for the imperiled forest. One okapi remains alive, but injured and conservationists are not optimistic about its survival. UNESCO and the the NGO Fauna and Flora international have issued an emergency appeal to raise $120,000 dollars within two weeks for the victim's families as well as for rapidly rebuilding the station. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/9751 2012-07-02T13:14:00Z 2012-07-02T13:30:21Z Gabon torches their ivory stock as poachers attack okapi reserve <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://photos.mongabay.com/j/Gabon-ivory-jamesmorgan_wwf.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Last week, the west African nation of Gabon committed over 1,200 ivory tusks and carvings to the fire. The act, which was meant to send a strong signal to illegal wildlife poachers across Africa, came only a few days after militia poachers stormed the Okapi Wildlife Reserve in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). The assailants killed 13 okapis and six people, including two wildlife rangers, in retaliation for a crackdown against poaching and mining in the protected area. Poaching has reached epidemic levels in Africa due to increasing bushmeat consumption and a rise in East Asian demand for black-market ivory and rhino horns. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/9693 2012-06-19T15:59:00Z 2012-06-19T16:11:30Z Over 700 people killed defending forest and land rights in past ten years <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://photos.mongabay.com/11/0528-murders-in-brazil-150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>On May 24th, 2011, forest activist José Cláudio Ribeiro da Silva and his wife, Maria do Espírito Santo da Silva, were gunned down in an ambush in the Brazilian state of Pará. A longtime activist, José Cláudio Ribeiro da Silva had made a name for himself for openly criticizing illegal logging in the state which is rife with deforestation. The killers even cut off the ears of the da Silvas, a common practice of assassins in Brazil to prove to their employers that they had committed the deed. Less than a year before he was murdered, da Silva warned in a TEDx Talk, "I could get a bullet in my head at any moment...because I denounce the loggers and charcoal producers." Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/9687 2012-06-18T12:21:00Z 2012-06-18T12:43:28Z Nearly 50 tigers die in India in last six months Since January 1st, 48 Bengal tigers (Panthera tigris tigris) have been found dead in India, which has the world's largest population of tigers. According to India's National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA), 19 of those deaths have been confirmed to be at the hands of poachers, but that number could become even higher. In order to combat a surge in tiger poaching, the Indian state of Maharashtra has recently granted legal immunity to any forest ranger who shoots a poacher. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/9487 2012-05-07T16:47:00Z 2012-05-07T16:57:19Z Cambodia suspends economic land concessions Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen announced today that Cambodia would be temporarily suspending new economic land concessions and would revoke any concessions from companies involved in illegal logging, the evictions of locals or land-grabbing. The announcement comes two week after the high-profile death of local forest activist, Chut Wutty, who was shot and killed by military police while investigating illegal logging with two journalists. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/9486 2012-05-07T14:30:00Z 2012-05-07T14:47:59Z Organizations target rhino horn consumption in China <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://photos.mongabay.com/j/bigstock_Rhinoceros_Kruger_National_Pa_7034933.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Last year nearly 450 rhinos were killed for their horns in South Africa, which has become the epicenter for the global rhino poaching epidemic. Rhinos are dying to feed rising demand for rhino horn in Asia, which is ground up and sold as traditional Chinese medicine, even though scientific studies have shown that rhino horn has no medicinal benefit. Now, two organizations, the African Wildlife Foundation (AWF) and Wildaid have announced a partnership to move beyond anti-poaching efforts and target rhino horn consumption in China. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/9444 2012-04-26T16:41:00Z 2012-04-26T17:39:06Z Forest activist shot dead in Cambodia allegedly over photos of illegal logging Chut Wutty, a prominent activist against illegal logging and deforestation, has been killed in the Koh Kong province of Cambodia. Wutty was shot dead at a military police checkpoint while traveling with two journalists with The Cambodia Daily. The journalists are currently being held for questioning by the military police. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/9443 2012-04-26T12:54:00Z 2012-04-26T13:15:34Z NGO: lifting sanctions on Myanmar must lead to forestry reform Following historic elections, many foreign powers have relaxed or lifted sanctions against Myanmar, also known as Burma. But the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) warns that the end of sanctions presents Myanmar and the world with a choice: further plundering of the country's forests for outside markets or large-scale forestry reform. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/9387 2012-04-11T16:05:00Z 2012-04-11T16:13:54Z Blood rosewood: Thailand and Cambodia team up to tackle illegal logging crisis and save lives Cambodian and Thai officials have agreed to work together to combat illegal logging of rosewood and resulting violence between Cambodian loggers and Thai rangers, reports MCOT online news. Officials with both nations met on Tuesday and spent three hours discussing the issue. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/9384 2012-04-10T18:37:00Z 2012-04-10T19:00:16Z U.S. gobbling illegal wood from Peru's Amazon rainforest <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://photos.mongabay.com/j/EIAreportPeru-20111027-02419.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The next time you buy wood, you may want to make sure it's not from Peru. According to an in-depth new report by the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA), the illegal logging trade is booming in the Peruvian Amazon and much of the wood is being exported to the U.S. Following the labyrinthian trail of illegal logging from the devastated forests of the Peruvian Amazon to the warehouses of the U.S., the EIA identified over 112 shipments of illegally logged cedar and big-leaf mahogany between January 2008 and May 2010. In fact, the group found that over a third (35 percent) of all the shipments of cedar and mahogany from Peru to the U.S. were from illegal sources, a percentage that is likely conservative. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/9367 2012-04-05T17:39:00Z 2012-04-05T17:59:34Z Kruger National Park loses 95 rhinos to poachers in three months <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://photos.mongabay.com/j/bigstock_Rhinoceros_Kruger_National_Pa_7034933.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Since the first of the year, South Africa's Kruger National Park has lost 95 rhinos to poachers, reports the blog Rhino Horn is NOT Medicine. South Africa, and Kruger National Park in particular, continue to be the epicenter for rhino poaching worldwide. South Africa has lost 159 rhinos in total this year with Kruger bearing nearly 60 percent of the fatalities. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/9301 2012-03-24T00:10:00Z 2012-03-24T04:04:48Z Banning ivory sales to China could save elephants <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://photos.mongabay.com/j/Entire-family-group-poached,-Quirimbas-National-Park,-Mozambique,-2011-(c)-EIA.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Although the international ivory trade has been banned since 1989, last year was the worst ever for elephant poaching, and this year has begun little better as reports come out of Cameroon of hundreds of elephants slaughtered in a single park. What went wrong? According to a new briefing by the Environmental Investigation Agency (IEA), approved legal auctions of ivory by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) to Japan and, especially, China has fueled, rather than abated as promised, the illegal trade along with mass deaths of elephants across Africa. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/9293 2012-03-22T00:12:00Z 2012-07-17T11:57:53Z Fight illegal logging by going after criminal masterminds <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/indonesia/150/kalbar_1083.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Illegal logging has never been a high priority for criminal investigators, but a new report by the World Bank says it should be. Worldwide, the illegal logging epidemic is decimating natural resources, imperiling biodiversity, emitting carbon, and undercutting the livelihoods of local and indigenous people. But the lucrative funds from these ill-gotten gains is just as problematic: top organized criminals rake in $10-15 billion annually from illegal logging and largely use the funds to drive corruption. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/9284 2012-03-20T13:49:00Z 2012-12-01T17:31:52Z 'Where's my mama?': campaign targets cruel slow loris pet trade [warning: graphic photo] A new campaign by The Body Shop West Malaysia and TRAFFIC Southeast Asia attempts to raise awareness of the illegal slow loris pet trade. YouTube videos of "cute" pet slow lorises have raised demand for these endangered primates, but as the campaign highlights the pet trade is fueling slow loris deaths in the wild and cruel treatment, such as pulling out their teeth, to make them more desirable pets. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/9204 2012-03-05T13:58:00Z 2012-03-08T19:08:20Z Military called in to stop Cameroon elephant slaughter - but may be too late Cameroon's military has been called in to Bouba Ndjida National Park to take on foreign poachers that have slaughtered hundreds of elephants for their ivory, according to the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF). Reports vary, but between 200-480 elephants have been killed in recent weeks in the park by what is widely assumed to be poachers from Sudan. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/9194 2012-02-29T18:07:00Z 2012-02-29T18:24:54Z Elephant death-toll rises to almost 500 in one park in Cameroon (warning: graphic photo) Wildlife officials have found 458 dead elephants in Cameroon's embattled Bouba Ndjida National Park, reports the AFP. However officials fear the actual number is even higher around 480. Over the last six weeks a well-organized group of poachers has run free in the park, slaughtering elephants for their ivory tusks which will make their way to markets in Asia. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/8955 2012-01-16T15:34:00Z 2012-01-16T15:35:22Z Elephant poachers kill unarmed wildlife ranger in Kenya Abdullahi Mohammed, an wildlife ranger, was killed in the line of duty in Kenya this weekend by elephant poachers. A ranger with the conservation organization Wildlife Works, Mohammed was shot by poachers in Wildlife Works Kasigau Corridor project, a REDD program (Reduced Emissions From Deforestation and Degradation). Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/8946 2012-01-11T22:57:00Z 2012-01-11T22:57:20Z Peruvian smugglers traffic illegal rainforest timber from Brazil to America An investigation by Brazil's Federal Police has detailed a significant trade of illegally logged rainforest wood by Peruvian nationals making its way from northern Brazil to the U.S. and Mexico, reports O Globo. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/8936 2012-01-10T18:58:00Z 2012-01-10T18:58:47Z Happy rhino news: no rhinos poached in Nepal last year <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://photos.mongabay.com/j/nepal.goodnews.rhinos.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>As rhinos again fell to poachers in record numbers in 2011, there was one bright-spot: Nepal. Not a single rhino was killed by poachers in the Himalayan nation, home to an estimated 534 greater one-horned rhinos (Rhinoceros unicornis), categorized as Vulnerable by the IUCN Red List. Conservationists celebrated at Chitwan National Park, which holds the vast majority of the country's rhinos. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/8926 2012-01-08T18:07:00Z 2012-01-08T18:09:59Z Critically Endangered Hawaiian monk seals bludgeoned to death <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/maui/150/maui_1095.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>To date three Hawaiian monk seals (Monachus schauinslandi), and possibly a fourth mortality under investigation, have been found bludgeoned to death by an as yet undiscovered assailant, reports the Associated Press. Authorities believe the seals may have been killed by local fishermen who fear new regulations meant to save the species from extinction. The seal is currently down to 1,100 individuals. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/8889 2011-12-22T16:31:00Z 2011-12-22T17:42:42Z Top 10 Environmental Stories of 2011 <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://photos.mongabay.com/j/Sunny_Skies_over_the_Arctic_in_Late_June_2010.NASA.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Many of 2011's most dramatic stories on environmental issues came from people taking to the streets. With governments and corporations slow to tackle massive environmental problems, people have begun to assert themselves. Victories were seen on four continents: in Bolivia a draconian response to protestors embarrassed the government, causing them to drop plans to build a road through Tipnis, an indigenous Amazonian reserve; in Myanmar, a nation not known for bowing to public demands, large protests pushed the government to cancel a massive Chinese hydroelectric project; in Borneo a three-year struggle to stop the construction of a coal plant on the coast of the Coral Triangle ended in victory for activists; in Britain plans to privatize forests created such a public outcry that the government not only pulled back but also apologized; and in the U.S. civil disobedience and massive marches pressured the Obama Administration to delay a decision on the controversial Keystone XL pipeline, which would bring tar sands from Canada to a global market. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/8755 2011-11-28T18:32:00Z 2011-11-28T18:39:44Z Indigenous religious leader murdered in front of his tribe in Brazil <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://photos.mongabay.com/11/0528-murders-in-brazil-150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Amnesty International has called for an independent investigation of the murder of Nísio Gomes. A religious leader of the Guarani tribe, Gomes was executed by masked gunmen in front of his community earlier this month in the southwestern Brazilian state of Mato Grosso do Sul. Officials believe the gunmen were likely hired by local ranchers, who are embroiled in a land dispute with the Guarani tribe. In addition to killing Gomes, the gunmen allegedly kidnapped three young Guarani. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/8526 2011-10-09T18:57:00Z 2011-10-09T18:57:30Z Gorilla poachers brutally murder forest ranger Forest ranger, Zomedel Pierre Achille, was brutally murdered by gorilla poachers near Lobéké National Park in Cameroon, according to the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF). Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/8411 2011-09-20T18:11:00Z 2011-09-20T18:11:53Z Two arrested in connection with murdering Amazon activists Two suspects have been arrested for allegedly taking part in the killing of Amazon activist, José Cláudio Ribeiro da Silva, and his wife, Maria do Espírito Santo da Silva. The men, who are brothers, were arrested after police stormed their remote jungle camp on Sunday in Brazilian state of Para. A third man remains at large. Jeremy Hance