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The legal racketeering of ivory


Are discussions costing more than actions when it comes to saving the elephant from extinction?

A nail campaign highlights the absurdity of the illegal wildlife trade


Kilogrammes of nail clippings are being collected to present at CoP16, with the aim of highlighting the need to educate people about the lack of benefits of horn, ivory and bones.

Ex secretary-general of CITES calls for conservationists to support sustainable use of wildlife

©David Winch

Swiss-based hunting and ‘sustainable use’ lobbyist refers to those in the conservation industry as “eco-colonialists” and “arrogant, paternalistic imperialists”.

What can we expect from South Africa at CoP17?


With a huge range of pressing issues to be addressed, find out what lies in store this year at the Conference of the Parties for CITES.

Why you should vote to stop trade in African grey parrots

African grey parrots in flight in Odzala ©Dana Allen

Sign this petition and help to save thousands of wild African grey parrots!

Southern Africa holds the rest of Africa to ransom over ivory trade


South Africa, Namibia and Zimbabwe are pushing instead to establish a process for an international trade in ivory – in opposition to the rest of Africa.

The role of CITES in elephant conservation


In the lead-up to CoP17, the history of elephant trade provides a context to proceedings.

Appeal denied – South Africa can trade rhino horn within borders

A rhino with its horn hacked off by poachers in South Africa. ©Brent Stirton, Getty Reportage for World Wildlife Fund

South African rhino ranchers can legally trade in rhino horn as government appeal denied.

India may burn its ivory stockpile as poaching deterrent

Kolkata: Close on the heels of Kenya, experts in India are mulling a similar provision to destroy the "white gold" to send a strong message against poaching.

India decides whether to follow in Kenya’s footsteps and burn its ivory stockpile.

What will Africa propose to CITES?

©Janine Avery

A provisional list of proposals by African states for amendment of current trade allowances for endangered species of wild fauna and flora.

Swaziland accuses South Africa of backtracking on rhino horn trade proposal


Suspicion ignited as to South Africa’s intentions regarding the legalisation of the rhino horn trade.

Swaziland proposes a regulated trade in rhino horn


In order to escalate security requirements to protect the country’s rhino populations, increase the salary of park employees, and cover supplementary food costs during drought periods, Swaziland proposes for a limited trade in rhino horn to be permitted.

Why it makes sense to burn ivory stockpiles in Kenya

Stacks of 105 tonnes of ivory in Nairobi National Park, Kenya. On 30 April Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta will set fire to the ivory in a public ceremony in order to put it out of economic use. ©Kenya Wildlife Service

In the lead up to 30 April, when Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta will set fire to 105 tonnes of ivory, a Kenyan conservationist takes a closer look at why it makes sense to burn ivory stockpiles.

South Africa backs down from proposing legal trade in rhino horn

A rhino that has since been killed by poachers at Zululand Rhino Reserve in KwaZulu-Natal

South Africa won’t bid to have global ban on trade in rhino horn lifted.

SA rhino horn trade proposal hidden in DEA Budget

©Michael Lorentz

The decision to submit a rhino horn trade proposal to CITES has been “hidden away” in the National Treasury budget for South Africa’s Department of Environmental Affairs.

Video: Aim for the future of elephants

Do you want to own ivory dripping with blood? When the buying stops the killing can too.

A short, graphically minimalistic, conceptual animation that portrays the loss of elephant populations across African countries.

How China’s taste for wildlife feeds a killing frenzy

A wildlife trader points to fake tiger paws on sale in Guangzhou, Guandong Province, 28 January 2010. ©EPA/PAUL HILTON

Africa’s extraordinary and charismatic wildlife is clearly under siege from the wrecking ball that is China.

How CITES is undermining its wildlife regulations


Markets of death and blood permits – how cheating officials at CITES are fuelling the illegal wildlife trade.

South Africa opposes burning of ivory stockpiles

©Don Pinnock

CITES and many countries believe that destroying illegal ivory is the best way to deter people from buying ivory products, but South Africa disagrees.

An open letter to point out flaws in legalising the rhino horn trade


An open letter to Mr. Hume, the owner of South Africa’s largest privately owned rhino herd, with regards to his wish to lift the CITES ban on the rhino horn trade.

Rhino horn trade suspended as appeal lodged

© Georgina Lockwood

The Minister of Environmental Affairs has filed a leave to appeal the South African High Court’s decision to lift the ban on the domestic trade of rhino horn.

Nearly 99% of African grey parrots wiped out in Ghana

International pet trade is decimating African grey populations in the wild. ©Wikimedia Commons CC BY-SA 3.0.

Researchers have found that since 1992, Ghana has lost between 90 to 99 percent of its grey parrots as a result of the pet trade and habitat loss.

Rhino horn trade pushed into the belly of the underworld

©Youth 4 African Wildlife

Ecologists argue that legalising trade in rhino horn won’t save the species, and that South Africa needs to be careful about decisions that they make.

Six pangolins rescued in Zambia


Zambia Wildlife Authority scale up their efforts to protect the world’s most trafficked animal.

South African government and US hunters plot future of wildlife

©Michael Lorentz, Conservation Action Trust

The nature of the African Wildlife Consultative Forum that is currently taking place in South Africa makes it difficult not to infer a conspiracy between hunters and government.

Chinese traditional medicine industry says NO to illegal wildlife trade

According to China’s Criminal Law, those who are engaged in the purchasing, transporting and trading of tiger products shall be sentenced to 5 years or more in jail. Photo courtesy of TRAFFIC

The traditional Chinese medicine sector pledges zero tolerance to purchasing and selling products made from wildlife from illegal sources.

Is it possible to save Congo’s parrots?

African Grey Parrots descend to the ground at the Aikongo forest clearing, northwest of the Lomami Park. © A Bernard

An examination of the African grey parrot populations in the DRC and suggestions of what can be done to prevent their extirpation.

Are we condemning forest elephants by ignoring evidence?

Forest elephants are smaller than savanna elephants and sport straighter tusks among other physical differences. © Carlos Drew/WWF

Could recognising forest elephants as a distinct species be the first step on the path to saving them?

Plan B for rhinos


Enjoy a talk in Cape Town that will discuss the solutions to saving rhinos.

Global organisations step up fight against illegal wildlife trade

© Shutterstock

MOU signed to help the aviation industry to play a role in stopping the scourge of illegal wildlife trade.

Rhino horn trade debate will fuel poaching

Rhino taken by Conservation Action Trust

By working on a proposal to CITES to legalise trade in rhino horn, South Africa could actually be fuelling rhino poaching.

Thailand makes its biggest ivory bust in history


Thai customs officials have seized four tons of ivory worth $6 million in the largest bust of its kind in Thailand’s history.

EU puts the squeeze on illegal hunting trophy imports

The European Commission has closed a major loophole exploited by criminal gangs trafficking in high-value hunting trophies that carry tusks and horns.

Mozambique dragging its heels – no real effort to combat elephant poaching

Without committed policing and law enforcement Mozambique’s declarations of efforts to end poaching are little more than window dressing to gloss over the decimation of elephants.

Remains of 12 lions found in Senegal crackdown

Remains of 12 lions found with 2 600 animals parts, as five arrested in Senegal crackdown

Elephants worth more alive than dead

A living African elephant has 76 times the value of one poached for ivory…

Head of CITES says no to rhino trade

An interview with the CITES Secretary-General, John E. Scanlon, about trade in wildlife products and poaching of wild animals.

Legalising the trade in rhino horn and a wilderness of greed

South Africa is pushing hard for the legalisation of trade in rhino horn. With more than 20 tonnes of stockpiled horn the country stands to make a fortune if the CITES ban on the trade is lifted.

Ivory Trade Nations Face Threat of Sanctions

Original source Top conservation organizations warned Wednesday that the illegal ivory trade is hastening the decline of Africa’s already endangered elephant population, and said they are ready to punish nations that are lax in fighting the problem. “Globally, illegal ivory

Tanzania Withdraws Proposal to Downlist Elephants

Earlier this year Tanzania applied to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) for permission to hold a one-off sale of 101 tonnes of stockpiled ivory and to reduce protection for its elephant

Bleak News For Rhino – Vietnam Fails to Sign

The Mail & Guardian has reported that Vietnam has FAILED to sign a Memorandum of Understanding with South Africa that would have addressed the rhino poaching crisis. According to Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) spokesperson, Roopa Singh, the MoU wasn’t signed

Elephant Ivory – the deadly new currency in China

The demand for elephant ivory in China is growing as wealthy Chinese citizens begin to see the ‘white gold’ as a private and business investment option. This coincides with a rise in poaching that is, arguably, as high as those

More lion statistics

The CITES stats I referred to in a previous blog are a comprehensive set of numbers covering everything from trophies to the export of claws and other body parts for 2008/9. They make for astounding reading and give a clear

Canned lion hunting in Botwana?

I have for a number of years been warning that canned hunting is on its way to Botswana. After taking a thorough look at the latest export and import statistics for lion Panther leo issued by CITES in South Africa,

Ivory traders get tusked

Ring one up for the elephants! The most recent CITES meeting in Doha, Qatar has drawn to a close and amongst the numerous resolutions, there was a significant victory for elephants and those opposed to the ivory trade. The proposals

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