tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:/xml/wildlife%20trade1 wildlife trade news from mongabay.com 2015-06-30T22:11:42Z tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/15061 2015-06-30T22:02:00Z 2015-06-30T22:11:42Z Using DNA evidence to pinpoint poaching zones <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/i/tanzania/150/tz_1437.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A study published last week in <em>Science</em> showed that most of the ivory being trafficked today comes from two areas in Africa: savanna elephant ivory from southeast Tanzania in East Africa and forest elephant ivory from the meeting point of Gabon, the Republic of Congo, Cameroon, and Central African Republic. Rhett Butler 2.247879 16.167828 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/15060 2015-06-30T21:03:00Z 2015-07-02T03:31:37Z Taking technology out in the cold: working to conserve snow leopards <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0630Snow_leopard-Uncia_uncia150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Conservation work is important not just in tropical rainforests, but also in snow-covered peaks and steep slopes, the home of snow leopards and a number of unusual ungulates, including blue sheep and Asiatic ibex. When these and other native prey are scarce, snow leopards may resort to eating more livestock, which turns herders against them. Rhett Butler 48.728329 88.058417 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/15048 2015-06-29T15:40:00Z 2015-06-29T15:57:57Z Chinese turtle heist sends rare Philippine species to brink of extinction, international rescue underway <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0626_gs_150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>On Friday, June 19, Philippine authorities raided a warehouse on the island of Palawan and confiscated more than 4,000 live, illegally harvested rare turtles, only days before they were to be shipped to foreign food and pet markets. The massive haul included over 3,800 critically endangered Philippine forest turtles – animals in very poor health and showing signs of severe neglect from long captivity. Tiffany Roufs 9.542699 118.496978 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/15030 2015-06-25T06:41:00Z 2015-06-25T07:09:29Z Indonesia's booming caged-bird trade is fueling trafficking and threatening extinction <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/P_4Zai35Vkmvv7G9xhR3SLWzSSbRNl5eoLFpIC30g0g=w150-h100-no" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Indonesia is a global hub for the wild bird trade, given its abundance of bird species and deep-seated tradition of bird-keeping. But while newspaper headlines regularly trumpet the most alarming examples of international smuggling, experts warn it’s the domestic pet trade that poses a bigger threat. Philip Jacobson -6.226289 106.877762 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/15007 2015-06-19T21:32:00Z 2015-06-19T21:49:29Z Elephant poaching gets center stage in NYC ivory crush Public awareness of the global elephant ivory poaching crisis got a high profile boost today with the crush of 2,000 pounds (907 kg) of confiscated ivory in New York City's Times Square. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14997 2015-06-19T12:58:00Z 2015-06-19T14:13:55Z Can we save the Sumatran rhino? Indonesia holds out hope <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0619.THUMB.Andatu-DCandra-DSC_0221.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>'One percent of the world's population,' veterinarian Zulfi Arsan says as he nods towards Bina, a 714-kilogram, 30-year-old female Sumatran rhinoceros leisurely crunching branches whole. A gentle and easygoing rhino, pink-hued Bina doesn't seem to mind the two-legged hominids snapping pictures and awing at her every move at the Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary. Jeremy Hance -5.016160 105.758490 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14987 2015-06-17T14:46:00Z 2015-06-17T14:46:35Z New campaign says 'tickling is torture' for slow lorises <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0617.slowloris.THUMB.sonya-tickles.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Have you seen a video where a slow loris&#8212;a small, cute, big-eyed primate from Asian rainforests&#8212;gets tickled? Here's the real story of how that slow loris got there. It was stolen from the wild by poachers, who probably took it from its mother&#8212;after killing her. Then its teeth were torn out with pliers and without anesthetic, a procedure many stolen slow lorises don't survive. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14977 2015-06-16T19:24:00Z 2015-06-16T19:29:57Z What do China, Kenya and India have in common? Wildlife trafficking When it comes to trafficking rhino, elephant, and tiger parts the biggest players are China, Kenya, India, Vietnam, South Africa and Thailand, according to a new paper in PNAS. Examining news media reports aggregated by HealthMap: Wildlife Trade, researchers were able to pinpoint the most important countries for exporting, moving and importing illegal wildlife parts worldwide. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14931 2015-06-09T15:53:00Z 2015-06-09T15:54:00Z Happy tigers: Siberian population continues to grow <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0609.THUMB.Julie-Larsen-Maher_4358_Amur-Tiger-in-Snow_TM_BZ_01-06-15.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The Siberian tiger population continues to rebound, according to the latest numbers from the subspecies' stronghold in Russia. Ten years ago, conservationists estimated 423-502 Amur tigers in Siberia. But last month, the Russian government and WWF said numbers had risen to 480-540 tigers, including an estimated 100 cubs. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14925 2015-06-08T20:01:00Z 2015-06-09T12:50:59Z Passenger pigeon redo? Superabundant bird collapses across Eurasia <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0608.THUMB.trapped-YBB_China_Nov2012_Huang-Qiusheng-(3).jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In 1914 the world's last passenger pigeon died. Nicknamed, Martha, she was not killed by hunters, but simply old age. With her passing, the passenger pigeon fell into extinction. A hundred years before Martha's death, however, the passenger pigeon may have been the most populous bird in the world with a population often estimated in the billions. Now, conservationists warn history may be repeating itself. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14919 2015-06-05T15:33:00Z 2015-06-05T18:42:49Z Amid rhinoceros poaching frenzy, dark days for South African society <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-imgs.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0605_MSmith_Rhinos_Kruger_Rhett_Thumbnail.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>South Africa is in the eye of a global rhino-poaching cyclone, with highly organized and elusive international syndicates running a brisk black-market trade in rhino horn. Public trust is faltering: 'Rhino money buys many people at all levels,' a senior antipoaching official said. Rebecca Kessler -23.732984 31.554077 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/14882 2015-05-29T23:54:00Z 2015-05-30T02:10:39Z Elephants rejoice: China to end ivory trade <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/south-africa/150/south_africa_kruger_0654.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The Chinese government announced today that it will 'eventually' shut down its legal domestic ivory market. The move, which surprised conservationists, could provide a major boost in efforts to stop the mass killing of elephants for their ivory. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14878 2015-05-29T15:06:00Z 2015-06-17T16:07:13Z Vaquita porpoises down to 'way less than 100,' Mexican agents shoot fisherman while enforcing new protected area <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-imgs.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0529_RKessler_Vaquita_Boat_Thumbnail.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>With fewer than 100 individuals alive and dropping fast, the vaquita porpoise is just a swish of the tail away from extinction. In April, alerted by scientists that the vaquita population had recently suffered its biggest decline ever, the Mexican government announced an emergency two-year ban on gillnet fishing across the porpoise's main habitat in the upper Gulf of California. A frenzied race to fish for another critically endangered species, the totoaba, is behind the plummeting porpoise numbers. Rebecca Kessler 31.055433 -114.835650 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14867 2015-05-27T21:16:00Z 2015-05-27T21:17:24Z Uganda's elephant population has risen 600% since its 1980s low <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0527.Elephant--acacia.THUMB.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In the 1980s, Uganda's elephants looked like they were on their way to extinction. The country had only about 700-800 elephants left, all in a single park; poachers had exterminated the rest. But a new survey as a part of the Great Elephant Census has confirmed that Uganda is today a bright spot in the current ivory poaching crisis. The country has more than 5,000 elephants and growing. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14856 2015-05-26T22:30:00Z 2015-05-28T03:01:26Z Cash prizes offered for solutions to wildlife poaching crisis <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/i/animals/150/animals_05059.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A coalition has launched an initiative, the Wildlife Crime Tech Challenge to spark and drive investment in innovative science and technology solutions to help reduce the damage caused by wildlife trafficking. The initiative is backed by the US Agency for International Development (USAID), the National Geographic Society, the Smithsonian Institution, and TRAFFIC. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14812 2015-05-15T19:35:00Z 2015-05-15T19:39:53Z Weapons trafficking experts target criminal wildlife trade networks <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/south-africa/150/south_africa_kruger_0799.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>An outfit usually associated with investigating arms dealers and weapons traffickers is applying its advanced network mapping capabilities to go after wildlife trafficking syndicates. This week Washington D.C.-based C4ADS unveiled the Environmental Crimes Fusion Cell, a unit which consists of a team of analysts, network mapping technology provided by software company Palantir, and a network of NGOs and enforcement agencies. The unit analyses wildlife trade data to provide actionable intelligence to pursue and apprehend traffickers. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14807 2015-05-15T13:06:00Z 2015-05-21T16:31:54Z Price trends a reliable, cheap indicator of wildlife declines, finds study <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/indonesia/150/sumatra_2666.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Market prices can provide an equally reliable indicator of wildlife declines as field data for a thirtieth of the price, according to a new study analyzing Sumatra's pet bird trade. The researchers found that species that were increasing in price but decreasing in trade volume were likely to have been identified by the ornithologists they surveyed beforehand as undergoing population declines. Philip Jacobson 3.586441 98.672926 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14805 2015-05-14T15:55:00Z 2015-05-14T15:56:27Z South African Airways bans all wildlife trophies from flights <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0514.trophyroom.thumb.67877557_149afec7e7_o.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Trophy hunters may need to find another flight home, as South African Airlines (SAA) has announced a new ban on any wildlife trophies from their flights. The debate over trophy hunting in Africa is rising as many of the continent's most beloved mammals&#8212;including lions, elephants, rhinos, and giraffes&#8212;face precipitous declines. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14792 2015-05-13T11:56:00Z 2015-05-13T11:58:13Z Rhino poaching rate rises 18 percent in South Africa In the first four months of 2015, poachers killed 393 rhinos in South Africa, the epicenter of the rhino poaching crisis. This is an 18 percent rise from last year, which saw 1,215 rhinos butchered in total. Like previous years, the biggest hotspot was Kruger National Park where 290 rhinos have died so far. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14760 2015-05-07T12:12:00Z 2015-05-07T12:12:29Z Ranger killed by poachers in park known for grisly elephant slaughters <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0506.Agoyo_Ranger.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>On April 25th, poachers shot and killed wildlife ranger, Agoyo Mbikoyo, in Garamba National Park in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), according to the organization African Parks. On the frontline of the illegal wildlife trade, Garamba Naitonal Park is known as a hotspot for elephant poaching. Jeremy Hance 4.514637 29.664044 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14729 2015-05-04T04:16:00Z 2015-06-23T00:19:32Z 94 trafficked pangolins released into Sumatran wilds after massive bust <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="//lh5.googleusercontent.com/-QB_8Kt54ruA/VUbzlbn_NhI/AAAAAAAABho/g5zUKaJi7Uo/w150-h100-no/t2-Bayi-ini-baru-dilahirkan-dari-induk-betina-trenggiling-yang-akan-diseludupkan-ke-luar-negeri-Ayat-S-Karokaro.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Following a major seizure of illegal wildlife goods in North Sumatra, the Indonesian authorities released 94 critically endangered pangolins into the wild last week, including a newborn whose mother died shortly after the authorities caught up with the traffickers. Five tons of pangolin meat were burned in the wake of the bust. Philip Jacobson 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/14685 2015-04-24T19:54:00Z 2015-06-17T16:02:17Z Fracas over Costa Rican shark-fin exports leads American Airlines to stop shipping fins <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-imgs.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0424_MWatsa_HammerheadSchool_Thumbnail.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>On December 24, an American Airlines plane carried 411 kilos of dried hammerhead shark fins from Alajuela, Costa Rica, to Hong Kong, touching down partway through the journey in Miami. The shipment, valued at nearly $53,000, contained fins from around 411 animals, more than seven times the number on its export permit from the Costa Rican government. Rebecca Kessler 10.055211 -84.213172 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14681 2015-04-23T19:15:00Z 2015-06-10T18:31:55Z Officials: Sumatran rhino is extinct in the wild in Sabah <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0423_r_IMG_8536_Small.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>There are no Sumatran rhinos left in the wild in the Malaysian state of Sabah, confirmed Masidi Manjun, the Tourism, Culture and Envi­ronment Minister, over the weekend. In 2008, conservationists estimated there were around 50 rhinos in the state. Five years later, it dropped that estimate to just ten. Now, it's admitted the awful truth: the wild rhino is very likely gone. Jeremy Hance 5.194121 117.002418 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14649 2015-04-17T14:13:00Z 2015-04-17T14:24:44Z Zimbabwe selling baby elephant calves to China, says environmental group <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-imgs.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0417-montoro-zimbabwe-elephant-150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A hundred thousand African elephants were killed by poachers for their ivory between 2010 and 2012. Now a new threat looms: a growing wildlife trade in baby animals to satisfy international tourism. Zimbabwe has reportedly taken 80 elephant calves from their mothers and families in the wild, and is currently holding them in two heavily guarded facilities in Hwange National Park and near Victoria Falls. The baby animals await transport overseas for sale to unidentified buyers, possibly in China or other countries, says the international elephant rights organization, Global Action Ending Wild Capture (GAEWC). Brittany Stewart tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14633 2015-04-14T13:50:00Z 2015-04-15T19:36:12Z Expedition in the Congo rediscovers lost primate <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0414.thumb.Piliocolobus_bouvieri_-_Lieven_DEVREESE.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The last time there was a sighting of Bouvier's red colobus disco was all the rage, the Internet was non-existent, and Madonna still referred solely to the mother of God. But then the African monkey vanished and conservationists feared it had gone extinct&#8212;a victim of the bushmeat trade. For years, research groups called for an expedition to find out if Bouvier's red colobus still survived. Jeremy Hance 2.650827 16.554496 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14546 2015-03-27T15:43:00Z 2015-03-27T18:31:05Z New species of monitor lizards found on the black market <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0327caged-monitor-lizard150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Searching the globe for undiscovered species takes biologists to far and remote locations, trekking through exotic locales that may yield a new discovery. However, exploring the black market can also produce results. And this is just the case for Rafe Brown, curator of the University Of Kansas (KU) Biodiversity Institute, during a recent visit to the Philippines. In a black market in Manila, Brown and his colleagues discovered two new species of water monitor lizard for sale. Brittany Stewart tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14534 2015-03-25T16:02:00Z 2015-03-25T16:12:56Z Elephant poaching rate unchanged – and still devastating <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0325.south_africa_kruger_1099.thumb.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>New figures show essentially no change in the number of elephants killed in Africa by poachers last year, despite a high-profile meeting on the crisis which was attended by 46 countries and a number of commitments. Data from CITES' Monitoring the Illegal Killing of Elephants (MIKE) estimated that around 20,000 elephants were killed in 2014, the same as in 2013. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14517 2015-03-20T18:41:00Z 2015-03-20T18:50:10Z Pleasure palace in Lao facilitates wildlife poaching for Chinese elites A city-sized resort complex in Laos is facilitating large-scale wildlife trafficking for Chinese tourists, exacerbating commercial poaching in the Southeast Asian nation, warns a new report published by the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA). Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14451 2015-03-04T16:32:00Z 2015-03-04T16:46:11Z Last ditch: Mexico finally gets serious about saving the vaquita <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0919-vaquita1-thumb.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>There are likely less than 100 vaquita on the planet. Found only in the northern pocket of the Sea of Cortez in Mexico, the vaquita is a tiny, shy porpoise that has been brought to the very edge of extinction due to drowning in gillnets used for shrimping. But after years of stalling, Mexico now appears to be making a final effort to save the world's most endangered cetacean. Jeremy Hance 31.107045 -114.150787 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14437 2015-02-26T22:50:00Z 2015-02-26T22:51:56Z China bans carved ivory imports China has established a one-year ban on imports of carved African elephant ivory. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14423 2015-02-25T15:38:00Z 2015-02-26T16:57:05Z $7 million could save lemurs from extinction <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/madagascar_0591.thumb.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Last year, scientists released an emergency three-year plan that they argued could, quite literally, save the world's lemurs from mass extinction. Costing just $7.6 million, the plan focused on setting up better protections in 30 lemur hotspots. However, there was one sticking point: donating to small programs in one of the world's poorest countries was not exactly user friendly. Jeremy Hance -13.846412 48.910876 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14416 2015-02-24T00:48:00Z 2015-02-26T19:38:50Z Sting operation nets tiger poachers A sting operation by Indonesian officials snared a group of tiger hunters operating in Karinci Seblat National Park in Jambi Province, Sumatra. After an extended investigation, undercover officers caught three local residents as they attempted to sell a tiger skin and bones in the village of Karang Mendapo, in Sarolangun Regency. Rhett Butler -2.237506 102.812120 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14405 2015-02-21T15:46:00Z 2015-02-22T17:47:01Z Happy World Pangolin Day. What are we celebrating? <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0221pangolin150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>It’s that crazy time of year again, World Pangolin Day, where we feverishly run out into the streets and join the thousands of pangolin protectors, fighting for the survival of our scaly friend. Well, no actually, hold on, what’s a pangolin? Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14399 2015-02-19T16:55:00Z 2015-02-20T17:19:17Z Authorities catch kingpin responsible for killing 20 rhinos <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0218.thumb.800px-One_horned_Rhino.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>With the aid of Interpol, authorities have arrested the leader of a rhino poaching gang responsible for killing a 20 Indian rhinoceros in Nepal. Last month, authorities nabbed Raj Kumar Praja in Malaysia where he had been evading capture for two years. Kumar was already evicted of 15 poaching incidents in absentia and sentenced to 15 years in prison. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14387 2015-02-17T16:21:00Z 2015-02-20T16:23:14Z 42 pangolins rescued...then sold to restaurants On February 1st, local police seized 42 live Sunda pangolins from poachers and handed them over to forest rangers in Vietnam's northern province of Bac Ninh. While the poachers were slapped with a fine, the rangers turned around and sold the live pangolins to local restaurants for a reported $56 a kilo, netting a total of $11,300 for the Critically Endangered mammals. Jeremy Hance 21.143798 106.103456 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14364 2015-02-10T03:03:00Z 2015-02-10T03:11:06Z Malaysian authorities failing to take action against poachers Authorities in Sabah are failing to enforce anti-poaching laws, undermining governance and wildlife protection efforts in the Malaysian Borneo state, argues a letter published by several local conservation groups. Rhett Butler 4.816280 117.253647 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14350 2015-02-05T13:58:00Z 2015-02-05T14:25:16Z World Parks Congress talks the talk, but future depends on action <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/peru/150/manu_0177.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Last year, more than 6,000 people gathered for the World Parks Congress 2014, an event held around every ten years by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). The World Parks Congress discusses myriad issues related to protected areas, which recent research has shown are in rough shape. Jeremy Hance -33.905271 151.144906 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14338 2015-02-03T20:06:00Z 2015-06-18T14:41:21Z In unprecedented move, Indonesia punishes illegal manta ray trader For the first time, Indonesia has sentenced an illegal manta ray trafficker to jail time and a fine, reports the Wildlife Conservation Society. Rhett Butler 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/14267 2015-01-15T22:32:00Z 2015-01-16T18:33:46Z Ocean's 15: meet the species that have vanished forever from our seas <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/15/0115.Steller's-sea-cow-Labeled-Peter-Schouten.600.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In the last 500 years, the oceans have suffered far fewer extinctions than on land&#8212;at least that we know of. According to a recent study in Science, 15 animals are known to have vanished forever from the oceans while terrestrial ecosystems have seen 514 extinctions. The researchers, however, warn that the number of marine extinctions could rise rapidly as the oceans are industrialized. Jeremy Hance 34.889942 -154.673320 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14255 2015-01-13T18:01:00Z 2015-01-14T17:45:32Z Mother and cub: researchers photograph rare cat with cub in Sumatra <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/15/0113.Kucing_emas_Kerinci-Seblat-Clouded-Leopard-Project.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Researchers working in Kerinci Seblat National Park have captured a remarkable image of a mother Asian golden cat (Catopuma temminckii) carrying her young in her mouth. The image was taken in mid-2014 as reported by Mongabay Indonesia by the Sumatran Tiger Research Team. Jeremy Hance -0.876586 100.527871 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14244 2015-01-08T20:50:00Z 2015-01-10T15:00:39Z California introduces bill to close ivory loophole California congresswoman, Toni G. Atkins, introduced a bill yesterday (AB 96) that would close a major loophole allowing ivory to be sold all over the state. Thousands of miles away, across Africa, poachers are decimating elephants for their ivory tusks. A recent study estimated that one fifth of the continent's elephants have been slaughtered in just three years. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14232 2015-01-07T17:38:00Z 2015-01-20T03:22:47Z How black rhinos and local communities help each other in Namibia <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/15/0107.Photo-1-(credit-Dave-Hamman-Photography)-_-A-desert-adapted-black-rhino-in-north-west-Namibia.150.gif" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Africa's rhinos are in a state of crisis. Poaching for their horn has resulted in the deaths of thousands of animals and pushed the continent's two species&#8212;the white and black rhino&#8212;against the wall. Yet, despite the crisis, there are pockets of rhino territory where poaching remains rare and rhinos live comparatively unmolested. Indeed, one of the brightest spots for rhinos is in Namibia. Jeremy Hance -18.820276 15.165756 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14188 2014-12-23T16:23:00Z 2015-01-21T20:13:49Z Top 10 Environmental Stories of 2014 <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/sabah/150/sabah_2297.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In 2014, the unimaginable happened: companies representing the majority of palm oil production and trade agreed to stop cutting down rainforests and draining peatlands for new oil palm plantations. After years of intense campaigning by environmentalists and dire warnings from scientists, nearly two dozen major producers, traders, and buyers established zero deforestation policies. Jeremy Hance -2.391216 -64.166830 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/14063 2014-11-24T15:23:00Z 2014-11-24T15:31:21Z New blood record: 1,020 rhinos killed in South Africa South Africa has surpassed last year's grisly record for slaughtered rhinos&#8212;1,004&#8212;more than a month before the year ends. In an announcement on November 20th, the South African Department of Environmental Affairs said that 1,020 rhinos had been killed to date. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14022 2014-11-14T21:21:00Z 2014-11-14T21:29:15Z Black market manta ray bust in Indonesia In the largest confiscation in Indonesia to-date, authorities seized 103kg of manta gills in Bali, and arrested one suspect. The dried gill plates were harvested from as many as 85 individuals and are worth about 175 million rupiah on the local market. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14005 2014-11-11T19:19:00Z 2014-11-11T19:35:01Z Using mobile apps to stop wildlife trafficking at the border Conservationists are successfully developing mobile apps that enable authorities to identify illegal wildlife products, making it more difficult for traffickers to smuggle animals and animal parts, reports a paper published in the journal <i>Biological Conservation</i>. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13984 2014-11-06T03:23:00Z 2014-11-06T03:31:33Z Corruption in Tanzania facilitates ivory trade Corruption in Tanzania is enabling large volumes of illegal elephant ivory to be smuggled out of the country, alleges a new report from the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA). Rhett Butler 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/13964 2014-10-30T19:23:00Z 2014-12-30T22:30:10Z Pet trade likely responsible for killer salamander fungus <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/1029.martel5HR.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>As if amphibians weren't facing enough&#8212;a killer fungal disease, habitat destruction, pollution, and global warming&#8212;now scientists say that a second fungal disease could spell disaster for dozens, perhaps hundreds, of species. A new paper finds that this disease has the potential to wipe out salamanders and newts across Europe, the Middle East, North Africa, and the Americas. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13952 2014-10-28T21:34:00Z 2014-10-28T23:41:41Z The inconvenient solution to the rhino poaching crisis <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1028Lorinsa-Sabi-Sands150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Daily, we read or hear of more rhino being poached to satisfy the seemingly insatiable demand from Asia for rhino horn. With countless articles and papers having been published on the subject - and the Internet abuzz with forums, including heated debates concerning possible solutions - current approaches seem to be failing. Evidence is in the numbers. Known poaching deaths in South Africa have risen sharply over the past three years: 668 rhinos in 2012, 1,004 last year, and 899 through the first nine months of 2014. This toll includes only documented kills &#8212; the real number is higher. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13939 2014-10-24T15:41:00Z 2014-10-24T16:20:16Z When cute turns deadly – the story of a wildlife biologist who was bit by a venomous slow loris, and lived to tell the tale <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1024_george_madani_150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Slow lorises are YouTube stars. A quick search on the website will greet you with several videos of these endearing little primates--from a slow loris nibbling on rice cakes and bananas, to a loris holding a tiny umbrella. Lady Gaga, too, tried to feature a slow loris in one of her music videos. But the loris nipped her hard, and she dropped her plans. This was probably for the best, because the bite of a slow loris is no joke. Being the only known venomous primate in the world, its bite can quickly turn deadly. Brittany Stewart 3.679069 114.851374 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13937 2014-10-22T20:21:00Z 2014-10-23T14:56:42Z Demand for rhino horn drops 38 percent in Vietnam after advertising campaigns A new poll finds that consumer demand for rhino horn in Vietnam has dropped precipitously following several advertising campaigns. According to the poll by the Humane Society International (HIS) and Vietnam CITES, demand has plunged 38 percent since last year. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13927 2014-10-21T14:47:00Z 2014-12-30T22:30:02Z Saving Asia's other endangered cats (photos) <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/LC_Ronglarp_HKK.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>It's no secret that when it comes to the wild cats of Asia&#8212;and, really, cats in general&#8212;tigers get all the press. In fact, tigers&#8212;down to an estimated 3,200 individuals&#8212;arguably dominate conservation across Asia. But as magnificent, grand, and endangered as the tigers are, there are a number of other felines in the region that are much less studied&#8212;and may be just as imperiled. Jeremy Hance 5.395824 117.268519 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13891 2014-10-08T21:01:00Z 2014-10-08T21:02:33Z INTERPOL launches African environmental crime unit To help fight illegal poaching and trafficking, INTERPOL, the world's largest international police organization, has launched an environmental crimes unit in Africa. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13878 2014-10-06T15:02:00Z 2014-10-07T22:55:02Z Use of mammals still prevalent in Brazil’s Conservation Units <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1006_mamals_brazil150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>For as long as humans and animals have co-existed, people have utilized them as resources. Animals, and their parts, have been used for a variety of purposes, ranging from basic food to more esoteric practices such as in magical ceremonies or religion. A new study has found that the undocumented use of animals, particularly mammals, continues to occur in Brazil’s protected areas known as Conservation Units. Brittany Stewart -7.953238 -37.848851 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13875 2014-10-06T12:27:00Z 2015-02-20T15:20:40Z Photos: Czech Republic publicly burns confiscated rhino horns <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/1005.rhinohorn.15320153605_2c456039fb_o.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Late last month, armed guards escorted officials marching 60 kilograms (132 pounds) of rhino horns to a pyre for burning. The event, at the Dvůr Králové Zoo in the Czech Republic, was the first public burning of rhino horns in Europe. The Czech Republic burned the horns, which came from a government stockpile as well as from past rhinos held at the zoo, in a bid to help conserve rhinos. Jeremy Hance 50.432178 15.796715 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/13843 2014-09-29T14:26:00Z 2014-09-29T14:31:24Z Did the world's only venomous primate evolve to mimic the cobra? <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0928.Capture-and-collaring-low-124.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The bite of a slow loris can be painful, and sometimes even lethal. After all, this cute-looking YouTube sensation is the only known 'venomous' primate in the world&#8212;a trait that might have strangely evolved to mimic spectacled cobras, according to a recent paper. Mimicry in mammals is rare. But anecdotal evidence and studies in the past have noted the uncanny cobra-like defensive postures, sounds, and gait in slow lorises. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13788 2014-09-16T21:18:00Z 2014-12-30T22:32:49Z Malayan tiger population plunges to just 250-340 individuals <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/animals_01912.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Malaysia is on the edge of losing its tigers, and the world is one step nearer to losing another tiger subspecies: the Malayan tiger. Camera trap surveys from 2010-2013 have estimated that only 250-340 Malayan tigers remain, potentially a halving of the previous estimate of 500 individuals. Jeremy Hance 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/13769 2014-09-11T15:20:00Z 2014-09-19T22:14:50Z Why are great apes treated like second-class species by CITES? The illegal trade in live chimpanzees, gorillas, bonobos and orangutans showed no signs of weakening in the first half of 2014&#8212;and may actually be getting worse&#8212;since the Great Apes Survival Partnership (GRASP) published the first-ever report to gauge the global black market trade in great apes in 2013. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13742 2014-09-04T22:22:00Z 2014-09-29T14:26:31Z Conservationists use social media to take on Peru's booming illegal wildlife trade <table align="left"><tr><td><img src=" http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0904_150.-Capuchin-monkey-in-cage_Photo-Noga-Shanee.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Illegal wildlife trafficking is thriving in Peru. But a Peruvian organization is now using a public campaign, via social media and press releases, to track and rescue illegally kept wildlife in the country. 'I have filed 47 complaints from 14 different states in Peru including hundreds of animals commercialized illegally in markets, kept as pets, and used as tourist attractions,' said Noga Shanee, Co-founder and project director of Neotropical Primate Conservation. Tiffany Roufs 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/13686 2014-08-19T16:11:00Z 2014-08-19T16:32:54Z 20 percent of Africa's elephants killed in three years <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0819.elephants.14-03984-large1.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Around 100,000 elephants were killed by poachers for their ivory on the African continent in just three years, according to a new paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Between 2010 and 2012 an average of 6.8 percent of the elephant population was killed annually, equaling just over 20 percent of the continent's population in that time. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13655 2014-08-12T20:35:00Z 2014-08-12T20:42:11Z Demand for shark fin plunging <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0812.WildAid-Hilton4.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Shark fin demand has dropped precipitously in China in just a few years, according to a new report by WildAid. Shark fin traders in Guangzhou&#8212;the current informal capital of the shark fin trade&#8212;say their sales have fallen by 82 percent in just two years, according to WildAid. Jeremy Hance 23.121809 113.325348 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/13632 2014-08-05T21:23:00Z 2014-08-05T21:30:36Z New Jersey bans elephant ivory trade <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/namibia/150/namibia_1142.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has signed into law a ban on elephant ivory sales, reports NorthJersey.com. The measure, passed earlier by the New Jersey State Senate and Assembly, establishes fines for first-time offenders caught buying or selling ivory products. Repeat offenders have stiffer fines. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13613 2014-07-31T05:10:00Z 2014-07-31T17:22:55Z Poachers target elephants, tigers in Sumatran park The Leuser Ecosystem in Aceh, Indonesia is gaining the attention of international animal traffickers, according to the Leuser Conservation Forum (FKL). From the beginning of 2013, FKL patrols have dismantled 282 makeshift traps targeting high value threatened species, and the situation is getting worse. Rhett Butler 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/13579 2014-07-24T07:22:00Z 2014-07-24T09:01:45Z Lush Cosmetics launches bid to protect pangolins Lush Cosmetics has agreed to support an effort to battle trafficking of the Sunda pangolin. Rhett Butler 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/13495 2014-07-07T13:25:00Z 2014-07-07T13:42:30Z Price of ivory triples in China In the last four years the price of ivory in China has tripled, according to new research from Save the Elephants. The news has worrying implications for governments and conservationists struggling to save elephants in Africa amidst a poaching epidemic, which has seen tens-of-thousands of elephants butchered for their tusks across the continent annually Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13490 2014-07-03T19:01:00Z 2014-07-03T19:18:09Z U.S should sanction Mozambique for its role in elephant, rhino poaching, urges NGOs Two prominent NGOs U.S should sanction Mozambique for its role in elephant, rhino poaching, urges NGOsare petitioning the U.S government to slap Mozambique with trade sanctions due to the country's role in regional poaching. The groups contend that Mozambique has done little to combat both its own poaching epidemic or stop its nationals from spilling over the border to kill rhinos and elephants in South Africa and Tanzania. Jeremy Hance -23.861151 31.754577 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13433 2014-06-24T12:50:00Z 2014-06-26T17:21:07Z Shot Egyptian vulture leads conservationists to bizarre black-market for bird parts <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0623.800px-Neophron_percnopterus_-_01.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Around 11 AM on Thursday, 27 February 2014, Angoulou Enika was lying hidden in the tall grass on the side of a large water hole in the Sahel region of Niger. He was staying as quiet as he could while aiming his custom-made rifle at an Egyptian vulture which had landed nearby to drink from the water. He took a breath, held it and fired. The large bird fell to its side. Jeremy Hance 13.718000 10.483320 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13411 2014-06-18T19:41:00Z 2014-06-18T19:42:33Z Billy Joel welcomes New York Senate's approval of ivory ban Musician Billy Joel has weighed in on the ivory bill making its way through the New York State legislature. Rhett Butler 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/13380 2014-06-13T18:07:00Z 2014-06-13T21:47:04Z New York State Assembly approves bill banning ivory trade The New York State Assembly has passed a bill that would ban the purchase and sale of elephant ivory and rhino horn, reports the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), which played a key role in pushing the legislation. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13367 2014-06-10T16:55:00Z 2014-06-10T18:11:35Z Despite poaching, Indian rhino population jumps by 27 percent in eight years The world's stronghold for Indian rhinos&#8212;the state of Assam&#8212;has seen its population leap by 27 percent since 2006, despite a worsening epidemic of poaching that has also seen 156 rhinos killed during the same period. According to a new white paper, the population of Indian rhinos in Assam hit 2,544 this year. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13283 2014-05-25T03:42:00Z 2014-05-25T13:04:40Z Indonesia's forests increasingly empty of wildlife Tropical rainforests are the most species-rich ecosystems in the world. Each square kilometer has hundreds of tree species, birds and mammals, and countless other creatures. The idea that these forests could be devoid of animal life therefore seems ludicrous. Still the disappearance of birds, mammals and other species is what is happening in Indonesian forests. The 'empty forest' syndrome is becoming an increasing reality in this country. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13273 2014-05-22T19:29:00Z 2014-05-22T21:13:32Z Next big idea in forest conservation? Linking public health and environmental degradation <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0522.Madagascar2-061.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Dr. Christopher Golden is an explorer on a mission. As both an epidemiologist and ecologist, he is investigating and expanding the interface between human and ecosystem health. This year, Golden was appointed the Director of Wildlife Conservation Society's HEAL (Health & Ecosystems: Analysis of Linkages</a>) Program. Jeremy Hance -15.508300 49.598895 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/13251 2014-05-20T14:53:00Z 2014-05-20T14:58:19Z Chinese officials seize nearly a thousand dead pangolins <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0520.pangolin.seizure.2.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In one of the biggest pangolin trafficking cases yet recorded in China, officials confiscated 956 animals stuffed into 189 coolers this month. The dead pangolins were being carried overland in a truck, with the total haul weighing four tonnes. The traffickers were caught at the border of Guangdong Province. If convicted, they face up to ten years in jail. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13246 2014-05-17T23:31:00Z 2014-05-17T23:39:34Z Hong Kong begins destroying 131,000 pounds of elephant ivory <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/namibia/150/namibia_1042.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Hong Kong has begun destroying its 29.6-metric-ton stockpile of confiscated ivory. On Thursday authorities in the semi-autonomous Chinese city crushed and incinerated a ton of seized ivory in an action they hope will send a message to poachers and traffickers. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13213 2014-05-12T22:26:00Z 2014-05-13T20:26:45Z Leonardo DiCaprio donates $1M toward ending elephant poaching crisis Actor Leonardo DiCaprio has stepped up with a $1 million donation to the Elephant Crisis Fund, an initiative that aims to stop the ivory poaching crisis. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13197 2014-05-08T15:46:00Z 2014-06-02T17:31:19Z China pledges $10 million to combat poaching in Africa The Chinese Premier, Li Keqiang, has pledged $100 million to combat poaching in Africa during a visit to the African Union headquarters in Addis Ababa. Jeremy Hance 9.000698 38.741573 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13156 2014-04-30T19:44:00Z 2014-04-30T20:00:36Z Featured video: elephant advocates ask Antiques Roadshow to stop appraising ivory The 96 Elephants campaign has asked the television program, Antiques Roadshow, to stop airing appraisals of ivory, even if it is antique. To help convince the PBS program, the campaign produced a satiric video capturing not the worth of ivory, but its cost. Jeremy Hance 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/13095 2014-04-17T15:37:00Z 2014-04-17T15:45:19Z Okapi-killing warlord shot dead in the Democratic Republic of the Congo <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/deadokapi.okapi.unesco.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The head of an informal militia and poaching group, Paul Sadala a.k.a. 'Morgan,' was killed on Monday after surrendering himself to the army in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). A well-known elephant poacher and terrorist, Morgan became most famous for leading an attack on the Okapi Wildlife Reserve station in 2012. Jeremy Hance 1.402597 28.573283 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13031 2014-04-03T21:11:00Z 2014-04-05T04:17:32Z Next big idea in forest conservation? Connecting deforestation to disease <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0403.gillespie.portait.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Thomas Gillespie is concerned with the connections between conservation and disease, with a particular emphasis on primates. Much of his research examines the places where humans and animals are at a high risk of exchanging pathogens, and how human-caused disturbances, such as deforestation, can change disease dynamics and impacts. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13021 2014-04-02T17:44:00Z 2014-12-30T22:50:21Z How locals and conservationists saved the elephants of Mali amidst conflict and poverty <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0402.mali.elephants.trunk.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>At a time when Africa's elephants are facing a relentless poaching crisis, one community has managed to safeguard their elephants in the most unlikely of places: Mali. In a country that has suffered from widespread poverty, environmental degradation, and, most recently, warfare, a collaboration between conservationists and the local community has kept Mali's elephants from extinction. Jeremy Hance 15.662697 -2.605392 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12971 2014-03-21T22:41:00Z 2014-03-21T22:45:41Z Howard G. Buffett puts $24M toward saving rhinos Howard G. Buffett, the son of Berkshire Hathaway chairman Warren Buffett, has pledged $23.7 million to South African National Parks to help fight rhino poaching in Kruger National Park, reports Reuters. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12907 2014-03-10T20:34:00Z 2015-02-16T04:45:40Z Islamic clerics issue 'fatwa' against poaching, declare the illegal wildlife trade 'haram' <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/indonesia/150/sumatra_9236.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Indonesia’s Islamic clerics drew praise from conservation groups last week after the top clerical body in the world’s largest Muslim-majority country issued a <i>fatwa, </i>or religious decree, against poaching and wildlife trafficking. The Indonesian Council of Ulema (MUI) announced the <i>fatwa </i>on Tuesday, declaring the illegal wildlife trade to be <i>haram</i>, or forbidden under Islamic law. The <i>fatwa</i> forbids Indonesia’s Muslims from “all activities resulting in wildlife extinction” and is meant in part to help support existing national laws protecting endangered species, which are poorly enforced and have done little to prevent poaching. Rhett Butler -6.185611 106.806915 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/12851 2014-02-28T17:20:00Z 2014-02-28T17:37:21Z Palm oil plantations allegedly poison seven Critically Endangered elephants in Sumatra Wildlife officials suspect foul play in the deaths of seven Sumatran elephants on the outskirts of Tesso Nilo National Park. Officials stumbled on the corpses of one female elephant, five young males, and one male calf in mid-February. Although the males had their tusks hacked off, the officials suspect the elephant were poisoned in revenge for disturbing illegal palm oil plantations inside the park. Jeremy Hance -0.252685 101.712685