It has been 142 days since 182 Parties to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species unanimously voted to ban all international trade in pangolins and their body parts and supposedly save all 8 species. It has been 52 days since the new ban came into effect, and 16 days since the last multi-tonne seizure of pangolin scales in Thailand and just one day since the government of Cameroon took to the streets to publicly burn 3 tonnes of confiscated pangolin scales in a demonstration against illegal trafficking.
In a world where President Trump, sends little Eric and Donald Jr off to shoot African wildlife with luxury safari operator and the head of a hidden rhino poaching syndicate; Hugo Ras, let's not kid ourselves, wildlife protection was never going to be high on the political agenda. But now, among all the other hazards species must face, there might be a new obstacle in the way.
There has been a great movement recently to bring optimism back to wildlife conservation, and so there should be with some great success stories. Then all of a sudden, someone wakes you up by kicking you in the teeth announcing 'We have lost 58% of the worlds wildlife in 40 Years!'
Elephants up for a huge amount of discussion at next month's CITES CoP in South Africa, and just the mention of an ivory ban has caused so much controversy over the last few weeks, SKIN AND BONES had to address it.
With so much information in one report (differences in legal and illegal trade, the issues of organized crime, international and national legislation, wildlife laundering, the World WISE database, policy implications, species specifics, ....oh the list is endless), I cannot address it all in one post (that's what the actual report was written for, go ahead a read it), but luckily some key findings were put together and I am going to take my Friday night off and unravel some of them.
The Gull Islands off the coast of Poole, UK are supposedly inaccessible. Apparently not, as one local charity 'Birds of Poole Harbor' discovered when surveying the area in early May. Footprints and empty nests are what the researchers found, uncovering a crime where plunderers had stolen not just one or two but hundreds of hundreds of eggs.
A trip through Hanoi's notorious snake village. Accompanied by wild, young backpackers from across the world- all eager to experience Vietnamese culture- I witnessed the horrific slaughter of a banded snake.
It sounds contradictory, but it has been suggested that inserting the horn of these animals with a toxin may be the solution to stop poaching incidents. But, with criticism from scientists and NGOs is it the magic bullet against poaching once hoped for?
Estimates are that 7'000 captive tigers reside in facilities across China and South-East Asia, where they are intensively bred for trade and commercial purposes. The interactive map below (created by tiger campaigners at EIA International) pinpoints where tigers are kept, facilities implicated in trade and planned facilities. Providing a glimpse into the murky world of tiger farming.
This week the European commission adopted an EU Action Plan on tackling Wildlife Crime. It comes 7 months after the EU joined the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) in July 2015.
Mapping Illegal Trade- produced by the Environmental Investigation Agency,(and I'm a little bias towards as I personally had a hand in generating it) details pangolin poachingand seizure incidents spanning the last 15 years, since CITES placed a zero export quota on Asian species.