New bill seeks to end Hong Kong’s days as an illegal wildlife trade hub

New bill seeks to end Hong Kong’s days as an illegal wildlife trade hub

In 2019, Hong Kong customs authorities inspected a cargo ship bound for Vietnam. Hidden beneath slabs of frozen meat were 8.3 metric tons of illegal scales from about 13,800 pangolins, and more than 2.1 metric tons of tusks from about 200 elephants, with a combined value of about $8 million. This was one of the […]

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In Madagascar, cultural taboos can protect or harm the environment

In Madagascar, cultural taboos can protect or harm the environment

ANTSAHADINTA, Madagascar — Marcel Rakotonary, 75, gives a sharp warning to visitors before they enter Antsahadinta, or the “valley of the leeches.” Located 20 kilometers (12 miles) southwest of the capital city of Antananarivo, the sacred hill of Antsahadinta is the site of royal tombs and ancient dwellings. Its forest has been protected from clearing […]

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Reptile traffickers trawl scientific literature, target newly described species

Reptile traffickers trawl scientific literature, target newly described species

“What happens when a new species of gecko is discovered? Two Germans grab their suitcases and get on a plane,” says Sandra Altherr, telling an in-house joke. Altherr is a co-founder of Pro Wildlife, a conservation NGO in Germany. In the joke, the anonymous men with suitcases are reptile traders. Their objective is to get […]

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Lean times leave orangutans wasting away. Habitat loss makes things worse

Lean times leave orangutans wasting away. Habitat loss makes things worse

JAKARTA — Orangutans in Borneo have been found to physically waste away when fruit is scarce — a finding with dire implications as human-driven climate change and the destruction of their habitat put their food supply under even greater threat. In a study recently published in the journal Scientific Reports, researchers collected and analyzed urine […]

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Tale of two traffickers is a rare spell of Congolese conservation convictions

Tale of two traffickers is a rare spell of Congolese conservation convictions

Two of the Democratic Republic of Congo’s most prolific wildlife traders have been handed jail terms this year, in a rare spell of conservation wins for Congolese law enforcement. Salomon Mpay 51, was arrested at a Kinshasa hotel on Jan. 30, following a two-year joint investigation between the Congolese Institute for the Conservation of Nature […]

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In Colombia, a successful jaguar conservation program has a whiff of coffee

In Colombia, a successful jaguar conservation program has a whiff of coffee

Fires had a devastating effect in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, in Colombia’s Caribbean region, between 2012 and 2013. In 2013 alone, the region lost an estimated that 22,000 hectares (54,400 acres) of forest, mainly due to fires, according to CORPAMAG, the environmental authority for the department of Magdalena. At almost the same time, […]

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In Sri Lanka, here be dragonflies and damselflies like nowhere else (Commentary)

In Sri Lanka, here be dragonflies and damselflies like nowhere else (Commentary)

A tropical continental island located close to the Indian subcontinent, endemic fauna and flora form an integral part of Sri Lanka’s rich biodiversity. The island’s biodiversity is globally recognized for both its diversity and endemism of fauna and flora, and this is true of its dragonflies and damselflies, or odonates in general. With 130 known […]

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As the rest of world tackles plastics disposal, the U.S. resists

As the rest of world tackles plastics disposal, the U.S. resists

For the first time ever, international shipments of plastic waste came under global control this year. That’s because disposable plastic — a major pollutant of the world’s waters and atmosphere, fodder for incinerators, occupier of overflowing landfills, and material for costly recycling — was added to the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements […]

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