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Opinion: Dereck Joubert reacts to Botswana hunting and culling recommendation

Respected filmmaker and conservation spokesperson Dereck Joubert has reacted to the Botswana government committee proposal to resume trophy hunting, and commence with elephant culling. Plans also include erecting fences to prevent certain wildlife migrations, and improve on human-wildlife conflict mitigation methods.

Fate of meerkats tied to seasonal climate effects

Does a drier and hotter climate present a threat to the meerkats in the Kalahari Desert? Researchers reveal that climate change is likely to impact meerkats, and seasonal rainfall and temperature will be the key factors.

NEWS WRAP: ‘Ivory Queen’ sentenced to 15 years + rangers get closer to capturing escaped lion

In this week’s news wrap a prominent Chinese businesswoman dubbed the “Ivory Queen” was sentenced to 15 years in prison by a Tanzanian court for smuggling the tusks of more than 350 elephants; rangers have edged closer to catching a lion that has escaped Karoo National Park; four alleged rhino poachers, including a SANParks employee, were arrested in Kruger National Park; and China’s efforts to ban ivory trade have received worldwide acclaim as the effects of its strict measures are starting to be felt.

Detecting wildlife cybercrime

Being able to identify transactions involving restricted species, and conversations happening about them, will assist law enforcement in the fight against wildlife trafficking.

NEWS WRAP: Record seizure of pangolin scales + cameras find lone female elephant roaming Knysna forest

In this week’s news wrap Hong Kong customs have seized a record haul of pangolin scales bound for Vietnam; camera-trap technology has captured what is suspected to be the last elephant in Knysna forest; the South Africa parliament has attacked the Kruger agreement with neighbouring private reserves; Uganda seized ivory and pangolin scales worth an estimated $8 million; 20 endangered vultures die of poisoning near the Maasai Mara; thousands of baby flamingos have been rescued in South Africa as drought has put their breeding ground in peril; and a new widow spider species has been discovered – the first in 29 years.

Pangolin rescued from poachers in Limpopo

Earlier this February, Welgevonden Game Reserve’s anti-poaching unit received word of a pangolin sale which they intercepted, arresting five suspects and detaining two.

Parliament attacks Kruger agreement with neighbouring private reserves

The South African Parliament has strongly criticised South African National Parks for signing a formal agreement on 5th December to ratify a long-standing cooperation arrangement between Kruger National Park and several neighbouring private and community game reserves, which together form an area known as “Greater Kruger”.

Understanding yellow fever

Recent news reports have raised concerns about yellow fever and its vaccine. We take a look at this disease and the risks and benefits of the vaccine.

NEWS WRAP: Six animals electrocuted in Kruger + wildlife trafficking kingpin’s case dismissed

In this week’s news wrap a freak accident in the Kruger National Park has resulted in six animals, including a white rhino and two lions, being electrocuted; a suspected wildlife trafficking kingpin accused of smuggling $1 million worth of rhino horns to Thailand has had the case against him dismissed; two people were arrested at O.R Tambo International Airport after police found R2 million worth of rhino horn hidden in their luggage; and Vietnam customs forces have discovered nearly 1.4 tonnes of pangolin scales and 20 elephant tusks hidden inside a container shipped from Nigeria.

NEWS WRAP: Hong Kong failing to tackle illegal wildlife trade + elephant poaching numbers down in Tanzania

In this week’s news wrap a new study has revealed that Hong Kong’s illegal wildlife trade is contributing to a global extinction crisis; the Tanzanian government announced that elephant poaching has declined in Tanzania’s national parks; China customs dismantled a major ivory trafficking syndicate after arrests were made; and a new Tanzanian reserve has been declared in order to protect invaluable forest.

2 Countries want changes to white rhino CITES listings, to permit trade

Proposed changes in CITES have been released, with Namibia proposing to downlist its population of white rhinos to Appendix II, to allow only international commercial trade in live animals and hunting trophies, and Eswatini seeks to allow unrestricted international commercial trade in all specimens of its white rhino population, which is currently included in Appendix II.

Africa is divided over ivory trade ahead of wildlife meeting

Several African countries with some of the world’s largest elephant populations will push this year for looser controls on legal ivory trade, while another group of countries on the continent says more restrictions are the best way to curb the illegal killing of elephants for their tusks.

NEWS WRAP: Famous super tusker rescued + 2.8 tonnes of pangolin scales torched

In this week’s news wrap the famous super tusker elephant, Tim, was rescued from certain death; Malaysia torched 2.8 tonnes of African pangolin scales; the Kruger National Park 10-year management plan was approved by acting Environmental Affairs Minister; the lion bone quota was reduced to 800 skeletons from 1,500; an American woman was attacked by a hippo after her canoe capsized on the Zambezi River; an anthrax outbreak in Mana Pools in Zimbabwe has killed 100 impala; and eight West African giraffe have been reintroduced to Gadabedji Biosphere Reserve in Niger after a 50-year absence.

New citrus farm on Kruger border – have your say

A citrus farming enterprise has purchased a small but ecologically pivotal farm on the border of the Klaserie and Timbavati private nature reserves (Greater Kruger) near the town of Hoedspruit, and plans to develop a citrus orchard in this vital game reserve area.

Rhino Walking Safaris wins prestigious Kudu Award

Rhino Walking Safaris, a private concession located entirely within the Kruger National Park, has won the South African National Parks’ prestigious Kudu Award for the 2018 Business Partner of the Year.

Balule teams bust three suspected rhino poachers

Three suspected rhino poachers were apprehended on Balule Nature Reserve on Tuesday morning after a well-coordinated effort between numerous anti-poaching, security, aviation and policing personnel took place through the night.

NEWS WRAP: Mountain gorilla status improves + giraffes under threat

In this week’s news wrap the IUCN has updated the status of mountain gorillas, officially changing them from ‘Critically Endangered’ to ‘Endangered’, though the list also reveals that giraffes are in serious trouble; the IUCN also stated that certain Lake Malawi fish species are at risk of extinction; a new parliamentary report has called for a ban on captive lion breeding for hunting and the lion bone trade in South Africa; China has now postponed the lifting of a ban on the trade of rhino horn and tiger parts for medicine and other uses; the African Carnivore Initiative has been established to help conserve Africa’s largest carnivores; and more than 400 buffaloes drown in the Chobe River.

Lake Malawi fish species at risk of extinction

The latest update of the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species has revealed that overfishing is causing fish species in parts of the developing world to decline, with 9% of the 458 fish species assessed in Lake Malawi at high risk of extinction.

NEWS WRAP: Outrage as China lifts ban on rhino horn + tragedy as elephants kill Botswana soldier

In this week’s news wrap China has lifted the ban and legalised tiger bone and rhino horn for medical purposes; a soldier in Botswana was tragically trampled by elephants; thousands of radiated tortoises were seized from traffickers in Madagascar; five men linked to rhino poaching were arrested in the Northern Cape in South Africa; a South African teen won the Young Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2018; and the South African rhino film, STROOP scooped 10 international awards.

NEWS WRAP: Two black rhino carcasses found in Zakouma + eight poachers arrested in Kruger

In this week’s news wrap two black rhino carcasses have been discovered in Zakouma National Park; eight suspected rhino poachers were arrested during counter poaching operations inside the Kruger National Park; Uganda gets three new gorilla trekking groups after successful habituation; and a young elephant has been rescued and reunited with its family after it was caught in a wire snare in Liwonde National Park in Malawi.