Mar 212017
 
High price of rhino horn leaves bloody trail across the globe

On the black market it is reputedly worth more than its weight in gold or cocaine, and this week the lure of rhino horn brought the bloody business of poaching to a zoo near Paris. There, in the dead of night, criminals broke in, shot a white rhino called Vince three times in the head […]

Mar 172017
 
POLL: Should all tiger farms in China be closed down?

In China, around 6,000 captive tigers are raised on “farms,” often under inhumane conditions, and their pelts sold for hefty sums in a poorly regulated market upheld through legal loopholes by the Chinese government. Breeding tigers on these farms is legal, but sale of their parts is not — something that may be about to […]

Jan 302017
 
POLL: Should India's export of tiger skin, parts and bones be stopped?

From 1990 to 2013, the notorious tiger poacher Kuttu Bahelia and his extended family — brothers, uncles, and their wives and children — reportedly killed hundreds of tigers and leopards in the tiger-rich Indian states of Maharashtra and Karnataka, according to law enforcement informants and media reports. “Even if half that [estimate] is correct, it […]

Jun 172016
 
POLL: Should tiger farming and trade in tiger parts be banned?

A week ago it cost 600 baht (£11.50) to visit the tiger temple in Thailand’s Kanchanaburi province, west of the capital, Bangkok. Tourists moved by the spectacle of such splendid creatures living side by side with human beings could also pay the saffron-robed Buddhist monks an extra £15 to help feed the cubs, or to […]

May 152016
 
POLL: Should bear trafficking in Southeast Asia be stopped?

The population of captive animals on “bear farms” in Laos has been increasing significantly in recent years, despite laws to protect the bears. After mother bears and their cubs—both Asiatic black bears and sun bears—are captured, their bile and body parts are harvested for use in traditional Chinese medicine. An organization called Free the Bears […]

Apr 292016
 
South Africa Backs Away From Legal Rhino Horn Trade

South Africa will not propose ending the ban on the international rhino horn trade at the next major meeting of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), the body that regulates the worldwide wildlife trade. Jeff Radebe, the minister of planning, monitoring and evaluation, said the government has […]

Feb 292016
 
POLL: Should the trafficking of all wildlife be banned?

The “year of the monkey” dawned recently in China – and with it, a trendy new exotic pet. Pygmy marmosets are all the rage among China’s wealthy elite, who are forgoing legality and snapping up baby monkeys at around $4,500 (£3,200) each. The internet has exploded with photos of the so-called “thumb monkeys,” while conservationists […]

Feb 022016
 
Over 40 years, half of China’s land vertebrates disappear

From 1970 to 2010, the world’s populations of mammals, reptiles, amphibians, birds, and fish shrunk by about 52 percent. China is right in the middle of the global pack with a nearly 50-percent loss of its land-based vertebrates, according to a recent report by the international NGO World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF). The situation […]

Jan 072016
 
POLL: Can ‘Bear-moving’ be a better way to reduce conflict in the Himalayas?

In the Indian Himalayas, threatened Asiatic black bears (Ursus thibetanus) are frequently drawn to energy-rich human food sources such as apple orchards and other crops. This resource-driven movement frequently brings bears and humans into close contact, increasing potential risks for either side that can end in retaliatory killings of bears by local people. Because of […]

May 062015
 
Five tons of frozen pangolin: Indonesian authorities make massive bust

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 […]

Apr 162015
 
Is the end of 'house of horror' bear bile factories in sight?

If we grant bears any modicum of intelligence or emotional experience, if we grant them the capacity to suffer pain or mental anguish, then bear bile farming – which houses bears in tiny cages for the breadth of their life in order to repeatedly extract their bile – poses a whole slew of ethical questions. […]

Aug 142014
 
China's boom may mean doom for turtles

For thousands of years turtles have been used in Chinese traditional medicine to treat a wide variety of ailments and diseases. Originally published in the journal Radiata and recently republished HerpDigest David S. Lee and Liao Shi Kun write, “[In Chinese culture] turtles are symbolic of long life, personal wealth, fertility, strength, and happy households.” […]

Apr 122014
 
'Shocking' scale of pangolin smuggling revealed

The globally threatened animals are sought for their scales which are used in traditional Chinese medicine. Annual seizures have been estimated at roughly 10,000 animals but experts warn the illegal trade is far greater. Chinese enforcement officials worked with researchers from the UK to assess the extent of the problem. Zhao-Min Zhou, from the Public […]