tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:/xml/traditional%20chinese%20medicine1 traditional chinese medicine news from mongabay.com 2014-11-04T13:39:17Z tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13975 2014-11-04T05:55:00Z 2014-11-04T13:39:17Z Tiger traffickers busted in Indonesia <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1104tigerEvidence150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Two online merchants of tiger parts have been arrested in Indonesia. The bust was the result of a coordinated effort between local and national authorities, and the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) which supports 'Wildlife Crimes Units' operating throughout the country. The arrests are a small success in the battle to curtail the trafficking of wildlife parts online—where sellers can readily connect with a broad international customer base. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13854 2014-10-01T18:47:00Z 2014-10-01T18:53:44Z Officials bust one of the biggest players in illegal Indonesian manta ray trade <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1001-bust-gillclose-thumb.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Writing this from a hotel room in Indonesia’s second-largest city, Surabaya, I realize that I am filled with trepidation as I wait for the phone next to me to ring. When it does, the voice on the other end will tell me it’s go time; the culmination of many years of work towards ending the global trade in manta ray gills. Morgan Erickson-Davis -7.275069 112.734365 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13724 2014-08-28T17:31:00Z 2014-08-28T17:34:33Z Indonesian authorities bust porcupine-smuggling ring Police in Langkat, North Sumatera, Indonesia, seized 55 porcupines from smugglers preparing to ship the animals to China. Three suspects were detained during last week's operation, while their accomplices remain at large. Dozens more animals reportedly obtained from dealers in Medan are still unaccounted for. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13642 2014-08-08T16:17:00Z 2014-08-08T16:19:07Z The threat of traditional medicine: China's boom may mean doom for turtles <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0808-mauremys-reevesii-thumb.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Despite a lack of scientific evidence demonstrating a causative link between turtle consumption and medicinal benefits, many people in China believe they can be used to cure disease and maintain health. Because of this, turtles have been highly sought after for more than 3,000 years. However, in recent years, China’s economy has changed in a way that has become increasingly threatening to the country’s wild turtle populations. Morgan Erickson-Davis 19.149867 109.541385 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12876 2014-03-05T17:05:00Z 2014-03-05T19:06:25Z Rhino with bullet in its brain and hacked off horn wanders for days before being put down <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0405.poachedrhino.kruger.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Last week, visitors in Kruger National Park came on a horrifying sight of the poaching trade: a rhino, still alive, with its horn and part of its face chopped off. The gruesome photo of the young rhino went viral and sent South African authorities scrambling. Five days after the sighting, South African National Parks (SANParks) has announced they found the rhino and put it out of its misery. Jeremy Hance -25.041240 31.488159 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12852 2014-02-28T19:17:00Z 2014-02-28T19:24:42Z South Africa loses nearly 150 rhinos to poachers so far this year Since the first of the year, South Africa has lost 146 rhinos to poachers or approximately 2.5 rhinos every day. This is a slight dip from last year's poaching rate, which hit 1,004 for the whole year or 2.75 a day. South Africa is home to more rhinos than any other country on the planet, but the populations have been hit hard by poachers in recent years seeking rhino horn. Jeremy Hance -24.246965 31.517944 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12651 2014-01-17T16:11:00Z 2014-02-28T14:49:26Z Over 1,000 rhinos killed by poachers in South Africa last year In another sign that Africa's poaching crisis has gotten completely out of control, South Africa lost 1,004 rhinos to poachers last year. According to the numbers released today by the South African Department of Environmental Affairs, 2013 was the worst year yet for rhino poaching in the country with nearly 3 rhinos killed every day. Jeremy Hance -23.962254 31.566439 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12449 2013-11-26T16:23:00Z 2013-11-27T15:25:51Z Consumer report uncovers why people buy rhino horn <table align="left"><tr><td><img src=" http://travel.mongabay.com/animals/sf/150/rhino_3081.JPG" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The rhinoceros is one of the largest and most iconic animals to roam the earth. However, poaching for their horn, erroneously believed to have medicinal value, has led the IUCN Red List to classify three of the world's five species as Critically Endangered. But, a new consumer report by the wildlife trade monitoring network, TRAFFIC, finds that rhino horn consumers in Vietnam buy the illegal product as much to raise their social status as to attempt to treat a fever or hangover. Tiffany Roufs 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/11943 2013-08-20T14:36:00Z 2013-08-20T19:51:56Z Six smugglers sentenced to jail time over pangolin trafficking in Malaysia Six men have been sentenced to a year in jail after being convicted of smuggling 150 pangolins in peninsular Malaysia, reports Annamiticus. The men were also given fines totaling over $100,000. Jeremy Hance 6.126218 100.359993 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11907 2013-08-13T20:01:00Z 2013-08-13T20:20:23Z Rhino slaughtered for its horn in city park In another sign that the rhino poaching crisis has gone out-of-control, Kenyan officials announced late last night that a pregnant rhino was poached in Nairobi National Park, which sits on the edge of Kenya's capital. Home to lions, leopard, giraffes and hippos in addition to rhinos, the park is known for its views of iconic wildlife flanked by Nairobi's skyline. Jeremy Hance -1.369384 36.823711 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/11811 2013-07-23T15:35:00Z 2013-07-23T15:48:38Z First ever pangolin conference concludes all eight species in trouble Demand for scales, meat, and even fetuses of pangolins have pushed all eight species of this unique mammalian order&#8212;Pholidota&#8212;toward extinction, according to the world's first ever pangolin conference with the International Union for Conservation of Nature - Species Survival Commission (IUCN-SSC) Pangolin Specialist Group. Meeting in Singapore earlier this month, 40 conservationists from 14 countries discussed the plight of these little-known scaly mammals and how to turn around their global decline. Jeremy Hance 1.283233 103.854733 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11543 2013-06-03T17:11:00Z 2013-06-03T18:05:04Z Manta ray tourism worth 28 times more than killing them for Traditional Chinese Medicine A new study in the open access journal PLoS ONE estimates that manta rays are worth $140 million a year in tourism across 23 countries, significantly outweighing the worth of manta ray gill plates, which have become the newest craze in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Jeremy Hance 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/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/11268 2013-04-18T14:30:00Z 2013-04-18T16:00:43Z Lions for sale: big game hunting combines with lion bone trade to threaten endangered cats <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://www.mongabay.com/images/uganda/150/ug8_5895.JPG" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Koos Hermanus would rather not give names to the lions he breeds. So here, behind a 2.4-meter high electric fence, is 1R, a three-and-a-half-year-old male, who consumes 5kg of meat a day and weighs almost 200kg. It will only leave its enclosure once it has been "booked"' by a hunter, most of whom are from the United States. At that point the big cat will be set loose in the wild for the first time in its life, 96 hours before the hunt begins. It usually takes about four days to track down the prey, with the trophy hunter following its trail on foot, accompanied by big-game professionals including Hermanus. He currently has 14 lions at his property near Groot Marico, about two and a half hours by road west of Johannesburg. Jeremy Hance -31.597253 25.726318 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/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/10792 2013-01-31T15:11:00Z 2013-03-03T19:33:32Z Asian bear farming: breaking the cycle of exploitation (warning: graphic images) <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/0131.sunbear.cage.indonesia.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In the forests of Asia, bears are being captured. These captives will be sent to bear farms, most unregulated and illegal, where they will be kept alive in a small cage, locked away for life. Their bodies will be used as renewable natural resources, from which profit will be made through the extraction of internal organs and fluids. By surgically inserting a permanent catheter into the bears' gall bladders, "farmers" extract several ounces of their bile. In a cycle of exploitation across east Asia, traditional medicine shops receive these daily shipments of bear bile products, while consumers support the industry through the purchase of these products, sustaining a supply-and-demand chain that puts more and more bears in cages as wild populations dwindle. Jeremy Hance 21.665724 100.019188 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10683 2013-01-14T14:32:00Z 2013-01-14T14:41:50Z Scary caterpillar fungus could lead to new cancer drug <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/0114.675px-Cordyceps_Sinensis.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Cordyceps sinensis, commonly known as caterpillar fungus, may be a groundbreaking new treatment for a number of life-threatening conditions including asthma, kidney failure and cancer according to a paper recently published by The RNA Society. If you’re a caterpillar of the Tibetan Plateau, the fungus Cordyceps is your worst nightmare. It hits you when you’re most vulnerable, during hibernation. You can try to stay awake, but on the Tibetan plateau, which reaches −40 degrees Celsius during the winter, you’ll have to hibernate sooner or later, and the fungus will be waiting for you. Jeremy Hance 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/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/10227 2012-10-02T18:58:00Z 2012-10-03T13:29:12Z In midst of rhino poaching epidemic, Lewa Wildlife Conservancy has happy problem: too many black rhinos <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/12/lewa.DSC_0266.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>So far this year, South Africa has lost 430 rhinos to poachers, more than one animal a day. The epidemic of rhino poaching, fueled by demand for black-market powdered rhino horn in Vietnam and China, is decimating rhino species worldwide. In fact, last year saw the official extinction of two rhino subspecies: the Vietnamese rhino (Rhinoceros sondaicus annamiticus), a subspecies of the Javan, and the western black rhino (Diceros bicornis longipes), a subspecies of the black. However there is one place where rhinos still thrive. The Lewa Wildlife Conservancy in Kenya has found itself with a unique, but happy, problem: they have so many black rhinos, which are considered Critically Endangered by the IUNC Red List, that they need to move some to stop rhino-fights. In other words, their rhino population has hit its limit for the 25,000 hectare (62,000 acre) nonprofit protected area. Jeremy Hance 0.228652 37.443066 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10190 2012-09-25T14:50:00Z 2012-09-25T14:57:20Z New website highlights the plight of the pangolin <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/12/Chinese-Pangolin-(Manis-pentadactyla)GA_Sekkong-HKG_199305.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Scaly, insect-devouring, nocturnal, and notoriously shy, pangolins are strange mammals who remain unknown to many. But they are facing a major crisis as they are stolen from the wild in East Asia to serve as meat or traditional medicine. In Asia, two of the four species are now listed as Endangered due largely to poaching. Now, a new expert group through the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) aims to work toward better research and conservation of the world's imperiled pangolins, starting with launching a new website, PangolinSG. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10062 2012-08-27T12:52:00Z 2012-08-27T13:06:46Z Picture of the day: Yao Ming with baby elephant orphaned by ivory trade Former NBA Basketball player and Olympian, Yao Ming is taking his first trip through Africa in order to see the on-the-ground impacts of the black-market ivory and rhino trades in East Asia. Ming, who stands 7-and-a-half feet (2.3 meters), has become not only well-known for his athletic prowess, but also his devotion to endangered wildlife. Jeremy Hance -3.356462 38.595629 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/9961 2012-08-06T11:47:00Z 2012-08-06T11:57:00Z Pictures of the day: pangolins saved in Thailand from poachers Earlier this summer, 110 Sunda pangolins (Manis javanica) were rescued by Thai customs officials from poachers in a pickup truck. While the driver of the vehicle escaped, a passenger was arrested, but released after paying a fine of $75,000, reports the NGO FREELAND Foundation. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/9401 2012-04-17T19:51:00Z 2012-04-17T20:00:13Z Hail Mary effort aims to save the world's most endangered turtles <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://photos.mongabay.com/j/northern-river-terrapin.wcs.top25.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) has pledged to work with all of its institutions to save at least half of the world's most 25 endangered turtles as listed in a report by WCS and the Turtle Conservation Coalition last year. The program will include both conservation work in the field as well as participation from WCS's zoological institutions for captive breeding and future reintroductions. Even with WCS's ambitious program, however, it is likely this century will see a number of turtle extinctions. 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/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/9079 2012-02-08T18:11:00Z 2012-02-20T22:00:55Z Majority of protected tropical forests "empty" due to hunting <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://photos.mongabay.com/j/colombia_2156.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Protected areas in the world's tropical rainforests are absolutely essential, but one cannot simply set up a new refuge and believe the work is done, according to a new paper in Bioscience. Unsustainable hunting and poaching is decimating tropical forest species in the Amazon, the Congo, Southeast Asia, and Oceana, leaving behind "empty forests," places largely devoid of any mammal, bird, or reptile over a few pounds. The loss of such species impacts the whole ecosystems, as plants lose seed dispersers and the food chain is unraveled. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/9069 2012-02-07T19:49:00Z 2012-02-07T19:50:15Z Sumatran rhino pregnant: conservationists hope third time's the charm <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://photos.mongabay.com/j/Andalas-1.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Ratu, a female Sumatra rhino (Dicerorhinus sumatrensis), is in the eleventh month of her third pregnancy raising hopes for a successful birth of one of the world's most imperiled big mammals. Ratu suffered two prior miscarriages, but researchers believe the current pregnancy&#8212;which still has four to five months to go (for a total term of around 15-16 months)&#8212;could produce what Indonesian officials have long hoped for: a bundle of joy at the Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary in Sumatra. With only around 200 Sumatran rhinos surviving today in Indonesia and Bornean Malaysia, many conservationists see such breeding efforts as the last and best chance to save the Critically Endangered species from extinction. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/9063 2012-02-06T18:25:00Z 2012-02-06T22:54:43Z Vampire and bird frogs: discovering new amphibians in Southeast Asia's threatened forests <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://photos.mongabay.com/j/Rhacophorus_vampyrus.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In 2009 researchers discovered 19,232 species new to science, most of these were plants and insects, but 148 were amphibians. Even as amphibians face unprecedented challenges&#8212;habitat loss, pollution, overharvesting, climate change, and a lethal disease called chytridiomycosis that has pushed a number of species to extinction&#8212;new amphibians are still being uncovered at surprising rates. One of the major hotspots for finding new amphibians is the dwindling tropical forests of Southeast Asia. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/8994 2012-01-24T13:07:00Z 2012-01-25T16:35:16Z Pangolins imperiled by internet trade--are companies responding quickly enough? You can buy pretty much anything on the internet: from Rugby team garden gnomes to Mickey Mouse lingerie. In some places, consumers have even been able to purchase illegal wildlife parts, such as ivory and rhino horn. In fact, the internet has opened up the black market wildlife trade contributing to the destruction of biodiversity worldwide. Pangolins, shy, scaly, anteater-like animals in appearance, have not been immune: in Asia the small animals are killed en masse to feed rising demand for Chinese traditional medicine, placing a number of species on the endangered list. 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/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/8854 2011-12-14T18:05:00Z 2011-12-14T18:19:46Z Photos: 208 species discovered in endangered Mekong region in 2010 <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://photos.mongabay.com/j/mekong.wwf.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Last year researchers scoured forests, rivers, wetlands, and islands in the vanishing ecosystems of the Mekong Delta to uncover an astounding 208 new species over a twelve month period. A new report by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) highlights a number of the new species&#8212;from a new snub-nosed monkey to five new meat-eating pitcher plants to a an all-female, cloning lizard&#8212;while warning that many of them may soon be gone as the Mekong Delta suffers widespread deforestation, over-hunting and poaching, massive development projects, the destruction of mangroves, pollution, climate change, and a growing population. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/8638 2011-11-03T16:53:00Z 2011-11-04T13:56:23Z South Africa hits record poaching of rhinos&#8212;again <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://travel.mongabay.com/animals/sf/150/rhino_3081.JPG" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Two months before the end of the year, the number of rhinos killed for their horns in South Africa has surpassed last year's breaking record, reports conservation organizations WWF and TRAFFIC. So far, 341 rhinos have been lost to poaching this year; while last year saw a total record of 333. The news follows last week's announcement that the Vietnamese rhino (Rhinoceros sondaicus annamiticus), a subspecies of the Javan rhino, has gone extinct&#8212;the last individual killed by a poachers' bullet. Rhinos are killed for their horns which are used in traditional Chinese medicine, even though numerous studies have shown there is no medicinal benefit to consuming rhino horn. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/8591 2011-10-25T03:58:00Z 2011-10-25T05:03:00Z Vietnamese rhino goes extinct <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://photos.mongabay.com/j/Vietnam-Javan-Rhino-by-camera-trap2.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In 2009 poachers shot and killed the world's last Vietnamese rhinoceros (Rhinoceros sondaicus annamiticus), a subspecies of the Javan rhino, confirms a report from International Rhino Foundation (IRF) and the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF). The Vietnamese rhino was the last Javan rhino to survive on the Asian mainland and the second subspecies to vanish, following the extinction of the Indian Javan rhino (rhinoceros sondaicus inermis). The Javan rhino is the world's most imperiled rhino species with now only around 50 individuals surviving in a single park on its namesake island in Indonesia. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/8484 2011-09-29T19:56:00Z 2011-09-29T21:07:21Z Cute animal picture of the day: ginger-haired baby monkey <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://photos.mongabay.com/j/Francois-Langur---ZSL-London-Zoo.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>One of the world's most endangered primates recently gave birth to an orange-haired baby at the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) Zoo in London. It's the mother Francois langur (Trachypithecus francoisi)'s first birth. The fire-orange hair of the baby is typical of this species and will only last around six months. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/8091 2011-06-30T21:00:00Z 2011-06-30T21:02:27Z Eating rhino horn sends woman to hospital A Vietnamese woman ended up in the hospital after consuming rhino horn, reports savingrhinos.org. Used for a rash around her mouth, the rhino horn instead caused a serious allergic reaction, including reddening skin, itching, and fever. Listed under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), rhino horn is illegal to purchase or sell worldwide. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/7981 2011-06-06T21:48:00Z 2011-06-07T22:26:29Z How do we save the Sumatran rhino? <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://photos.mongabay.com/j/rhino%20thumb.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Some conservation challenges are more daunting than others. For example, how do you save a species that has been whittled down to just a couple hundred individuals; still faces threats such as deforestation, poaching and trapping; is notoriously difficult to breed in captivity; and is losing precious time because surviving animals are so few and far-apart that simply finding one another—let alone mating and successfully bringing a baby into the world—is unlikely? This is the uphill task that faces conservationists scrambling to save the Sumatran rhino (Dicerorhinus sumatrensis). A new paper in Oryx, aptly named Now or never: what will it take to save the Sumatran rhinoceros Dicerorhinus sumatrensis from extinction? analyzes the conservation challenge, while putting forth a number of recommendations. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/7872 2011-05-16T20:36:00Z 2011-05-16T21:06:40Z Bear bile trade, both legal and illegal, ubiquitous in Asia <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://photos.mongabay.com/j/bear-in-cage.traffic.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Surveying 13 nations and territories in Asia, the wildlife trade organization TRAFFIC found that the bear bile trade remains practically ubiquitous in the region. In many cases the trade, which extracts bile from captive bears' gall bladders for sale as a pharmaceutical, flouts both local and international law, including Appendix I of Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES ). Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/7852 2011-05-11T20:55:00Z 2011-05-11T21:16:54Z Cambodia's wildlife pioneer: saving species and places in Southeast Asia's last forest <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://photos.mongabay.com/j/Aerial-shot-of-the-Cardamoms-showing-unbroken-forest-as-far-as-the-eye-can-see-LOW-RES.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Suwanna Gauntlett has dedicated her life to protecting rainforests and wildlife in some of the world’s most hostile and rugged environments and has set the trend of a new generation of direct action conservationists. She has designed, implemented, and supported bold, front-line conservation programs to save endangered wildlife populations from the brink of extinction, including saving the Amur Tiger (also known as the Siberian Tiger) from extinction in the 1990s in the Russian Far East, when only about 80 individuals remained and reversing the drastic decline of Olive Ridley sea turtles along the coast of Orissa, India in the 1990s, when annual nestings had declined from 600,000 to a mere 8,130. When she first arrived in Cambodia in the late 1990s, its forests were silent. 'You couldn’t hear any birds, you couldn’t hear any wildlife and you could hardly see any signs of wildlife because of the destruction,' Gauntlett said. Wildlife was being sold everywhere, in restaurants, on the street, and even her local beauty parlor had a bear. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/7851 2011-05-11T17:23:00Z 2011-05-12T13:30:59Z Belief and butchery: how lies and organized crime are pushing rhinos to extinction <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://photos.mongabay.com/j/rhino_3081.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Few animals face as violent, as well organized, and as determined an enemy as the world's rhinos. Across the globe rhinos are being slaughtered in record numbers; on average more than one rhino is killed by poachers everyday. After being shot or drugged, criminals take what they came for: they saw off the animal's horn. Used in Traditional Chinese Medicine, which claims that it has curative properties, rhino horn is worth more than gold and cocaine on the black market. However, science proves all this cash and death is based on a lie. 'There is no medicinal benefit to consuming rhino horn. It has been extensively analyzed in separate studies, by different institutions, and rhino horn was found to contain no medical properties whatsoever,' says Rhishja Larson. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/7813 2011-05-01T17:50:00Z 2011-05-01T18:14:50Z New eco-tour to help save bizarre antelope in 'forgotten' region <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://photos.mongabay.com/j/Saiga-calf-copyright-Nils-Bunnefeld.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Imagine visiting a region that is largely void of tourists, yet has world-class bird watching, a unique Buddhist population, and one of the world's most bizarre-looking and imperilled mammals: the saiga. A new tour to Southern Russia hopes to aid a Critically Endangered species while giving tourists an inside look at a region "largely forgotten by the rest of the world," says Anthony Dancer. Few species have fallen so far and so fast in the past 15 years as Central Asia's antelope, the saiga. Its precipitous decline is reminiscent of the bison or the passenger pigeon in 19th Century America, but conservationists hopes it avoids the fate of the latter. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/7792 2011-04-27T04:33:00Z 2011-04-27T19:38:01Z In spite of poaching, Nepal's rhino population on the rise Good news for rhinos is rare recently, but a new census shows that Nepal's one-horned rhino (<i>Rhinoceros unicornis</i>) population has increased by 23% since 2008 even in the face of poaching. In total 534 rhinos survive in Nepal, a rise of 99 individuals from 3 years ago. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/7607 2011-03-20T17:59:00Z 2011-03-20T19:46:02Z Pet trade, palm oil, and poaching: the challenges of saving the 'forgotten bear' <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://photos.mongabay.com/j/neme.sunbear.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Siew Te Wong is one of the few scientists who study sun bears (<i>Ursus malayanus</i>). He spoke with Laurel Neme on her "The WildLife" radio show and podcast about the interesting biological characteristics of this rare Southeast Asian bear, threats to the species and what is being done to help them. Sun bears are the smallest of the eight bear species. They’re about half the size of a North American black bear and typically sport a tan crescent on their chests. Similar to the "moon bear," or Asian black bear, the sun bear’s name comes from this marking, which looks like a rising or setting sun. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/7498 2011-02-28T02:01:00Z 2011-06-16T17:52:17Z Video: camera trap proves world's rarest rhino is breeding <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://photos.mongabay.com/j/javanrhino.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>There may only be 40 left in the world, but intimate footage of Javan rhino mothers and calves have been captured by video-camera trap in Ujung Kulon National Park, the last stand of one of the world's most threatened mammals. Captured by World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and Indonesia's Park Authority, the videos prove the Javan rhinos are, in fact, breeding. "The videos are great news for Javan rhinos," said Dr. Eric Dinerstein chief scientist at WWF, adding that "there are no Javan rhinos in captivity—if we lose the population in the wild, we’ve lost them all." Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/7454 2011-02-16T21:51:00Z 2011-02-16T21:52:30Z California proposes ban on selling shark fin Last year Hawaii banned the sale of shark fins; California may be next. Bill 376, introduced by two Democrats, would outlaw the sale of shark fins, including the popular Asian delicacy shark fin soup, in the US's most populous state. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/7435 2011-02-14T03:18:00Z 2011-02-15T22:13:26Z A lion's story, an interview with the filmmakers of <i>The Last Lions</i> <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://photos.mongabay.com/j/lastlions.three.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The new theatrical film, The Last Lions does not open, as one would expect, with a shot of lions or even an African panorama. Instead the first shot is a view of our planet from space at night. Billions of artificial lights illuminate continent showing just how much humans over the past few thousand years have come to dominate our world. Then comes the lions, but not in person, just in this staggering, and little known, statistic: in the last 50 years we have gone from a population of 450,000 lions to 20,000 today, a 95% decline. While the dramatic story of the The Last Lions follows the perils and tragedies of lion motherhood in one of the world's last untouched places—the Okavango Delta—this statistic hangs over the film, reminding us that the story we are witnessing is on the verge of extinction. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/7436 2011-02-13T19:51:00Z 2011-02-13T19:52:29Z Rhino horn price matches cocaine As a rhino poaching epidemic continues throughout Africa and Asia, the price of rhino horn has matched cocaine, according to the UK's Daily Mirror. The price of illegal powdered rhino horn—obtained by killing wild rhinos and sawing off their horns—has hit £31,000 per kilo or nearly $50,000 per kilo. The price has already topped that of gold. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/7101 2010-11-24T18:51:00Z 2010-11-24T18:51:26Z Tiger summit reaches bold agreement and raises $300 million The summit to save the world's biggest cat, and one of the world's most popular animals, has agreed to a bold plan dubbed the Global Tiger Recovery Program. Meeting in St. Petersburg, 13 nations have set a goal to double the wild tiger's (<i>Panthera tigris</i>) population worldwide by 2022. Given that tiger numbers continue to decline in the wild, this goal is especially ambitious, some may even say impossible. However, organizations and nations are putting big funds on the table: around $300 million has already been pledged, including $1 million from actor, and passionate environmental activist, Leonardo Dicaprio. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/7032 2010-11-10T19:18:00Z 2010-11-10T19:20:49Z Alleged rhino horn dealer takes his own life The illegal trade in rhino horn doesn't just end in the deaths of thousands of rhinos. Humans, too, often lose their lives in the trade. Both those poaching rhinos and those protecting them, such as park rangers, have been killed in gun battles. But the trade ruins lives in many ways: yesterday, Tommy Fourie, 51, who allegedly sold 36 rhino hunters to a game farmer, shot himself with a hunting rifle in South Africa. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/7028 2010-11-09T20:13:00Z 2010-11-09T20:18:24Z Authorities confiscated over 1000 tigers in past decade Highlighting the poaching crisis facing tigers, a new report by the wildlife trade organization, TRAFFIC, found that from 2000-2010 authorities have confiscated the parts of 1,069 tiger individuals, many of them dead. The tigers, or their body parts, were confiscated from 11 of the species' 13 range countries, according to the report entitled <i>Reduced to Skin and Bones</i>. Yet the number only hints at the total number of tigers (<i>Panthera tigris</i>) vanishing in the wild due to the illegal trade in tiger parts for traditional Asian medicine and decorative items, such as skins. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/6990 2010-11-03T16:37:00Z 2011-02-27T21:07:44Z Undercover for animals: on the frontline of wildlife crime in the US <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://photos.mongabay.com/j/neme.oconnor.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Special Agent O’Connor is a veteran wildlife law enforcement officer, with over 20 years of service under belt. She began her career in wildlife law enforcement as a Conservation Police Officer for the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, where she served for eight years. She then moved to federal wildlife law enforcement with the US Fish and Wildlife Service, where she was first posted to Ann Arbor, Michigan, and then to St. Paul, Minnesota. During that time, she investigated several major cases that led to felony convictions for violations of wildlife laws. She now serves as a training officer at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC), the interagency law enforcement training organization that serves 88 Federal agencies, in Georgia. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/6968 2010-10-28T21:35:00Z 2010-10-28T21:43:44Z Over 20,000 pangolins illegally poached in Borneo <table align="left"><tr><td><img src=" http://photos.mongabay.com/j/pangolin.traffic.150.jpg " align="left"/></td></tr></table>Notebooks confiscated by the Sabah Wildlife Department (SWD) reveal that 22,000 Sunda pangolins (<i>Manis javanica</i>) were illegally poached from May 2007 to January 2009 in the Malaysian state in northern Borneo. The number, in fact, may be significantly higher since the logbooks didn't cover over a third of the time period. The logbooks were analyzed by TRAFFIC, an organization devoted to combating the illegal trade in wildlife. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/6909 2010-10-14T17:43:00Z 2010-10-14T19:54:30Z Video: camera trap catches bulldozer clearing Sumatran tiger habitat for palm oil Seven days after footage of a Sumatran tiger (<i>Panthera tigris sumatrae</i>) was taken by a heat-trigger video camera trap, the camera captured a bulldozer clearing the Critically Endangered animal's habitat. Taken by the World Wildlife Fund—Indonesia (WWF), the video provides clear evidence of forest destruction for oil palm plantations in Bukit Batabuh Protected Forest, a protected area since 1994. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/6875 2010-10-07T19:06:00Z 2010-10-07T20:11:05Z Chinese court sentences rhino horn smuggler to 12 years A traditional Chinese medicine businessman has been sentenced to 12 years in prison for attempting to smuggler rhino horn from Vietnam to China, according to Saving Rhinos which has been following the case on ChinaCourt.org. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/6553 2010-07-28T19:27:00Z 2010-07-28T20:03:13Z Already illegal, one man tests poisoning rhino horn too Given the epidemic of rhino poaching across Africa and Asia, which has placed four out of five species in jeopardy of extinction, one fed-up game manager wants to take the fight beyond the poachers to the consumer. Ed Hern, owner of the Lion and Rhino Park near Johannesburg, told South Africa's <i>The Times</i> that he has begun working with a veterinarian on injecting poison into a rhino's horn to consumers. He told <i>The Times</i> that people who consumed poisoned rhino horn "would get very sick or die". Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/6500 2010-07-14T18:57:00Z 2010-07-18T21:51:09Z China seizes over 2,000 illegally trafficked pangolins Boarding a suspect fishing vessel in the early morning of June 6th, Chinese customs officials discovered 2,090 frozen pangolins and 92 cases of pangolin scales, weighing an astounding 3,960 pounds. Manned by five Chinese and one Malaysian national, the boat was awaiting instructions via satellite phone as to where to meet another ship to transfer the illegal cargo while still at sea. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/6415 2010-07-02T13:55:00Z 2010-07-05T15:50:50Z Elle MacPherson promotes consumption of illegal rhino horn [warning: graphic image] Despite a number of scientific studies showing that rhino horn has no curative properties, supermodel, entrepreneur, and recent host of <i>Britain's Next Top Model</i>, Elle Macpherson, says she ingests powdered rhino horn because: '[it] works for me'. In an interview with <i>The Sunday Times</i> via Twitter, Elle Macpherson says the illegal substance tastes like 'crushed bone and fungus'. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/5770 2010-03-02T20:29:00Z 2010-03-02T20:36:34Z National parks in India and Nepal hit by rhino poachers The rare Indian rhinoceros is not safe from poachers even in national parks. In Nepal's world renowned Royal Chitwan National Park, twenty-four Indian rhinos (<i>Rhinoceros unicornis</i>) have been poached since the last census was taken in 2008. The most recent one was killed last Thursday. Approximately 372 Indian rhinos survive in the park, and the population is in decline. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/5625 2010-02-07T19:49:00Z 2010-02-07T19:58:44Z India to track every tiger death on-line Due to increased problems with poaching, the conservation organization TRAFFIC has joined with the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) to begin tracking every tiger mortality in India with a new website called Tigernet. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/5222 2009-12-06T19:21:00Z 2009-12-06T20:09:12Z Video: rare footage of the sun bear, the world's smallest, making a nest in the canopy Sun bear expert, Siew Te Wong, has captured rare footage of the world's smallest bear making a nest high in the canopy. The sun bear in the video is a radio-collared individual that Wong is keeping tabs on in Borneo. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/4327 2009-02-23T21:25:00Z 2009-02-24T03:24:50Z Box turtles in Asia imperiled by massive trade Massive international trade in Southeast Asian Box Turtles has driven the species to near-extinction in parts of Indonesia, according to a new report by TRAFFIC, the wildlife trade monitoring network. Rhett Butler