Jun 222017
 
POLL: Should the trafficking of Pangolins be stopped?

If during the past decade you’d wanted to see a scaly creature about the size of a house cat with a long skinny tongue for slurping up ants, California’s San Diego Zoo was the place to go in the U.S. Baba the pangolin arrived there in 2007 after wildlife officials intercepted him in an illegal […]

Apr 212017
 
POLL: Should the sale of rhino horns be legalized?

A top court in South Africa just made it legal to trade in rhino horns within the country. The South African government, in 2009, imposed a moratorium that banned domestic trade in rhino horns. But after years of legal battle between commercial rhino breeders and the government’s Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA), the constitutional court […]

Mar 242017
 
POLL: Should zoos protect rhinos by removing their horns?

A Czech zoo has said it will use a chainsaw to remove the horns from its herd of rare rhinos after a brutal attack last week in a French zoo where poachers shot dead a white rhino and hacked off its horns. “It’s for the sake of rhino safety,” Andrea Jirousova, spokeswoman for the zoo […]

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 272017
 
POLL: Should the trade in captive lions and their bones be stopped?

Conservationists have condemned plans for the skeletons of 800 captive bred lions to be shipped to the Far East for use in traditional medicines. The highly-prized bones would come from South African big cats used for canned hunting as well as captive animals that died naturally or were euthanised. Producers of the film Blood Lions […]

Oct 032016
 
China accused of defying its own ban on breeding tigers to profit from body parts

China has been accused of deceiving the international community by allowing a network of farms to breed thousands of captive tigers for the sale of their body parts, in breach of their own longstanding ban on the trade. The Chinese government has allowed about 200 specialist farms to hold an estimated 6,000 tigers for slaughter, […]

Jan 152016
 
POLL: Should the international trade in geckos be stopped?

For many species threatened by the illegal wildlife trafficking, such as rhinos, elephants, tigers, and bears, debates persist as to whether a legal trade in their parts and products can reduce smuggling. But increasing evidence suggests that a legal trade instead acts as a conduit for the illegal trade. For instance, recent studies showed that […]

Nov 262015
 
First Pan-African Otter Training Workshop held in Tanzania

The latest Red List update by IUCN, the International Union for Conservation of Nature, has placed an alarming 12 of the 13 species of otter worldwide showing a declining population, with the North American river otter the only one shown as “stable”. Of those 13, Sub-Saharan Africa is home to three species: The spotted-necked otter […]

Feb 082015
 
Pangolins: why this cute prehistoric mammal is facing extinction

A what? A pangolin. It’s the only mammal in the world that is completely covered in scales. It looks like an artichoke on legs. Or a cross between a crocodile and a snake. Or a wacky computer-game invention. It is one of 10 animals that Sir David Attenborough would put on his personal ark, and […]

Oct 152014
 
South Africa’s Kruger National Park invites bids for 500 white rhinos

South Africa’s Kruger National Park is inviting bids for rhinos under a plan to move 500 of the animals to safety to counter a wave of poaching for their horns, highly prized in some Asian countries as a sign of wealth. In newspaper adverts on Sunday, South African National Parks invited potential buyers to “make […]

Aug 082014
 
Over a million pangolins slaughtered in the last decade

All pangolins now threatened with extinction, and two considered Critically Endangered. 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 […]

Jun 052013
 
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. “As an example in Indonesia, revenue to fishermen from manta gill […]

May 182013
 
Lions for sale: big game hunting combines with lion bone trade to threaten endangered cats

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 […]