tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:/xml/crime1 crime news from mongabay.com 2015-06-03T16:19:18Z tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14897 2015-06-02T18:38:00Z 2015-06-03T16:19:18Z The poachers' bill: at least 65,000 elephants in Tanzania <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0602.THUMB.elephants.Cristian-Samper_7540_African-Elephant-Aerial-Views-Ruaha-National-Park_TZA_03-17-14.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>During the last couple years there have been persistent rumors and trickles of information that elephant poaching was running rampant in Tanzania as the government stood by and did little. Yesterday, the government finally confirmed the rumors: Tanzania's savanna elephant population has dropped from 109,051 animals in 2009 to just 43,330 last year&#8212;a plunge of 60% in just five years. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14702 2015-04-28T17:39:00Z 2015-04-28T17:39:41Z Five tons of frozen pangolin: Indonesian authorities make massive bust <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0428,MR7A5347.thumb.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Five tons of frozen pangolin, 77 kilograms (169 pounds) of pangolin scales, and 96 live pangolins: that's the grisly haul of the latest pangolin bust in Indonesia. Officials confiscated the illegal wildlife goods in Medan, Sumatra and busted the smuggler, who has only been identified as SHB. This is the largest pangolin bust in Indonesia since 2008. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14700 2015-04-28T16:39:00Z 2015-04-28T16:39:39Z Illegal ivory trade alive and well on Craigslist As it has become more difficult to buy illegal ivory from slaughtered elephants on places like eBay, Etsy, and Amazon.com, traders and buyers in the U.S. have turned to another venue: Craigslist. A new report by the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) and the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) finds that the ivory trade is thriving on Craigslist. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14457 2015-03-05T18:25:00Z 2015-03-05T18:27:18Z Somali charcoal: funding terrorism through deforestation <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay.s3.amazonaws.com/madagascar-2012/150/madagascar_perinet_0371.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Militant terrorist group Al-Shabaab funds itself, in part, through the illegal production and sale of charcoal, turning Somalia’s trees into “black gold.” Because areas of the country controlled by the group aren’t accessible to researchers, it’s difficult to determine just how many trees are cut down to fuel Al-Shabaab’s violent agenda. Morgan Erickson-Davis 0.918541 42.611172 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14313 2015-01-27T23:12:00Z 2015-02-01T16:03:43Z Suspects acquitted in shocking murder of sea turtle conservationist Yesterday, the seven men accused of brutally murdering Jairo Mora Sandoval on a beach in Costa Rica two years ago were acquitted of the crime. Sandoval's murder shocked the Central American country&#8212;long known for the progressive protection of its lush rainforests and sweeping beaches&#8212;but the judge who acquitted the accused cited reasonable doubt and a investigation marred by mistakes. Jeremy Hance 10.062416 -83.149893 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14298 2015-01-22T19:35:00Z 2015-01-22T19:55:51Z 1,215 rhinos butchered in South Africa in 2014 <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0121.Black-Rhino-c-Anti-poaching-patrol-courtesy-580.thumb.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>1,215: that's the total number of rhinos butchered last year in South Africa for their horns. The number represents another annual record&#8212;the seventh in a row&#8212;topping last year's total by 195 rhinos. South Africa houses the bulk of the world's rhinos (around 80 percent), but has also become the center of the illegal poaching trade. Jeremy Hance -23.622689 31.431611 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14128 2014-12-08T17:06:00Z 2015-06-18T02:12:51Z Indigenous leader murdered before he could attend Climate Summit <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/1207.Hombre_Shuar.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Days before José Isidro Tendetza Antún was supposed to travel to the UN Climate Summit in Lima to publicly file a complaint against a massive mining operation, he went missing. Now, the Guardian reports that the body of the Shuar indigenous leader has been found, bound and buried in an unmarked grave on the banks of the Zamora River. Jeremy Hance -3.576019 -78.485306 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14076 2014-11-26T20:53:00Z 2014-11-26T21:00:16Z Meet the world's most wanted environmental criminals In keeping with recent efforts to ramp up action against environmental crime, INTERPOL has highlighted nine fugitives for breaking laws related to illegal logging, poaching and the wildlife trade, illegal fishing, and waste dumping, among other crimes. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14041 2014-11-18T22:39:00Z 2015-06-18T02:13:10Z A tale of 2 Perus: Climate Summit host, 57 murdered environmentalists <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/1118.800px-Asha%CC%81ninka.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>On September 1st, indigenous activist, Edwin Chota, and three other indigenous leaders were gunned down and their bodies thrown into rivers. Chota, an internationally-known leader of the Asháninka in Peru, had warned several times that his life was on the line for his vocal stance against the destruction of his peoples' forests, yet the Peruvian government did nothing to protect him&#8212;or others. Jeremy Hance -14.153426 -69.134704 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13913 2014-10-15T19:34:00Z 2014-10-16T16:07:39Z Daring activists use high-tech to track illegal logging trucks in the Brazilian Amazon <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/1015.GP0STONDM.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Every night empty trucks disappear into the Brazilian Amazon, they return laden with timber. This timber &#8212;illegally cut &#8212;makes its way to a sawmills that sell it abroad using fraudulent paperwork to export the ill-gotten gains as legit. These findings are the result of a daring and dangerous investigation by Greenpeace-Brazil. Jeremy Hance -2.445331 -54.707183 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13847 2014-09-30T13:26:00Z 2014-10-01T14:36:36Z Armed conflict decimates tigers, rhinos, and swamp deer in Indian park The human cost of war is horrendous. However, while most attention is focused on the suffering caused to people&#8212;and rightly so&#8212;an understudied element is the impact on wildlife conservation. This is worrying given that many of the world’s conflict zones are situated in biodiversity hotspots. Jeremy Hance 26.717212 90.830000 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13793 2014-09-17T19:46:00Z 2015-06-18T02:13:29Z 'The green Amazon is red with indigenous blood': authorities pull bodies from river that may have belonged to slain leaders Peruvian authorities have pulled more human remains from a remote river in the Amazon, which may belong to one of the four murdered Ashaninka natives killed on September 1st. It is believed the four Ashaninka men, including renowned leader Edwin Chota Valera, were assassinated for speaking up against illegal logging on their traditional lands. Jeremy Hance -10.433375 -71.573146 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13783 2014-09-15T16:52:00Z 2014-12-30T22:33:00Z Bizarre lizard newest victim of reptile pet trade <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0914.earless.monitor.Facebok-EML.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>If you've never heard of the earless monitor lizard, you're not alone: this cryptic lizard has long-escaped the attention of the larger public. But over the past couple years its bizarre appearance has been splashed across social media sites for reptile collectors. While this decidedly-quirky attention may seem benign, it could actually threaten the species' existence. Jeremy Hance 3.284402 114.791102 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13727 2014-08-28T19:31:00Z 2014-11-06T17:48:38Z Authorities stop 'greatest destroyers of the Brazilian Amazon rainforest' <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0828-brazil-lone-thumb.png" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A criminal organization involved in the illicit deforestation of large portions of Brazil's forests has been stopped, with at least six members of the organization arrested as of Aug. 28 and warrants issued for others. The gang has been accused of committing crimes worth over $220 million. Morgan Erickson-Davis -5.670855 -55.858498 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13696 2014-08-21T14:56:00Z 2014-08-21T15:17:04Z Next big idea in forest conservation? DNA fingerprinting trees to stem illegal logging <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0821.cannon.DSC_0527.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>As a professor at Texas Tech, Dr. Chuck Cannon has been, among other things, working to create a system of DNA fingerprinting for tropical trees to undercut the global illegal logging trade. 'If we just enforced existing laws and management policies, things would be pretty good, but unfortunately, that is where things fall apart in many tropical countries,' Cannon said. Jeremy Hance 15.038075 106.306014 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13638 2014-08-07T16:44:00Z 2014-08-19T15:46:30Z Want to save Africa's elephants? Close all ivory markets <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0807.gabon-27820.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The only way to save the long-suffering elephants of Africa is to close every ivory market on the planet and destroy all ivory stockpiles, according to a bold new essay in Conservation Biology. Written by Elizabeth Bennett, the Vice President for Species Conservation at the Wildlife Conservation Society, the paper is likely to prove controversial. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13594 2014-07-28T23:03:00Z 2014-12-30T22:37:28Z Over a million pangolins slaughtered in the last decade <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0728.Phataginus_tricuspis_APWG_2.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>One of the world's most bizarre animal groups is now at risk of complete eradication, according to an update of the IUCN Red List. Pangolins, which look and behave similarly to (scaly) anteaters yet are unrelated, are being illegally consumed out of existence due to a thriving trade in East Asia. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13534 2014-07-14T16:47:00Z 2014-07-14T16:55:53Z 558 dead: rhino poaching in South Africa on track to exceed last year's record Poachers have butchered 558 rhinos in South Africa so far this year, approximately a hundred more animals than lost during the same time in 2013. Jeremy Hance -23.362229 31.433914 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13470 2014-06-30T19:28:00Z 2014-11-06T17:07:49Z New report: illegal logging keeps militias and terrorist groups in business <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0630-peacekeepers-thumb.png" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Released last week by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) during the first United Nations Environment Assembly in Nairobi, Kenya, a new report found that together with other other illicit activities such as poaching, illegal deforestation is one of the top money-makers for criminal groups like Boko Haram and Al-Shabaab. Morgan Erickson-Davis -2.432117 21.156799 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13389 2014-06-15T16:29:00Z 2014-06-15T16:39:17Z Grenades, helicopters, and scooping out brains: poachers decimate elephant population in park <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0615.Massacre-site,-photograph-taken-from-aircraft.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Over the last two months, poachers have killed 68 African elephants in Garamba National Park representing around four percent of the population. Poachers have used helicopters, grenades, and chainsaws to undertake their gruesome trade, and, for the first time, the park has recorded that the criminals are removing the elephant's brains in addition to tusks and genitals. Jeremy Hance 4.245461 29.167766 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13258 2014-05-21T14:25:00Z 2014-05-22T12:45:48Z Epidemic of elephant calf kidnapping hits Sri Lanka, say conservationists <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0520.elephant.IMG_0412-(1).150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In Sri Lanka, an underground wildlife racket has been simmering for a while. And a recent incident has brought it to a boil. On the night of May 1st, a gang attempted to kidnap a wild elephant calf out of the Uduwalawe National Park in Sri Lanka. But tipped off by alert villagers, police and wildlife officers foiled the abduction. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13229 2014-05-15T15:36:00Z 2014-05-15T15:47:50Z Chinese poachers caught with 555 marine turtles, most dead (PHOTOS) <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0515.20140509-pawikan-fishing-vessel-pnp-01-carousel.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>On Friday, eleven Chinese fishermen were caught by Filipino police with 555 marine turtles, 378 of which were dead. Officials in the Philippines have since released the 177 living turtles. But the incident has sparked an international standoff between the Philippines and China as the Chinese nationals were arrested in disputed waters in the South China Sea. Jeremy Hance 9.784405 118.175065 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13189 2014-05-06T19:49:00Z 2014-05-06T20:03:57Z Almost 90 percent of Republic of the Congo's lowland forests open to logging <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0506.brnxz_482.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Although the Republic of the Congo has opened up nearly 90 percent of its lowland forests to logging, the majority of the logging occurring in the country is still illegal, according to a new report from the Chatham House. In fact the UK policy institute finds that illegal logging in the Republic of the Congo may make up as much as 70-75 percent of the industry. Jeremy Hance 2.169665 17.210078 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13148 2014-04-29T14:28:00Z 2014-04-29T14:41:24Z Chinese who eat endangered species could face over ten years in jail It's well known that much of the world's massive illegal wildlife trade ends up in China, including poached tigers, pangolins, and bears. But now those who order pangolin fetuses, tiger blood, or bear bile at a restaurant or market may see significant jail time. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13116 2014-04-22T15:30:00Z 2014-04-22T15:40:30Z Illegal logging makes up 70 percent of Papua New Guinea's timber industry <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/papua/150/west-papua_5011.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Corruption, weak governance, and powerful timber barons are illegally stripping the forests of Papua New Guinea, according to a new report from the Chatham House. The policy institute finds that 70 percent of logging in Papua New Guinea is currently illegal, despite the fact that 99 percent of land is owned by local indigenous communities. Jeremy Hance -6.843058 145.777812 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13083 2014-04-15T17:34:00Z 2014-12-30T22:49:03Z 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 2015-03-05T04:15:03Z 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 2014-12-30T22:53:42Z 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 2015-02-12T00:00:37Z 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 2014-12-28T19:57:48Z 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 2015-02-11T23:43:51Z 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 2015-02-11T23:12:46Z 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 2015-02-09T22:53:55Z 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 2015-02-09T22:45:47Z 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 2015-02-09T22:41:43Z 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 2015-02-09T22:37:44Z 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 2015-02-09T22:38:11Z 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 2015-02-09T22:37:36Z 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 2015-02-09T22:30:47Z 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 2015-02-09T22:19:06Z 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 2015-02-09T22:12:57Z 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 2015-02-09T22:09:54Z '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