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Posts Tagged "poaching"

Dog Spies

It Shouldn’t Suck to be an Elephant: Speaking Up For Elephants event in NYC on 10/4

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Between the government shutdown and the public uproar over the National Zoo Giant Panda Cam going dark (“PANDA!  PANDA!” screamed the general public), you might not have noticed a few more elephants in the news. I’m not talking about fluff pieces with adorable elephants and their big ears that according to BuzzFeed, “We Would Like [...]

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Expeditions

Call of the Orangutan: A Camera Trap Menagerie

elephants 1

In order to get more information about the forest here at the Sikundur research station in North Sumatra, I’ve set up four camera traps, which I’m using to get a better look at the wildlife around the site. The traps have been so successful in such a short time period that together with another graduate [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Giraffes under Threat: Populations Down 40 Percent in Just 15 Years

giraffes

One of the world’s most iconic and beloved animals is quickly disappearing. Fifteen years ago about 140,000 giraffes (Giraffa camelopardalis) roamed the plains and forests of Africa. Today that number has plummeted by more than 40 percent, according to the Giraffe Conservation Foundation (GCF). As with so many other species, the causes of this decline [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Elephants are Worth 76 Times More Alive Than Dead: Report

elephants

Ivory from a poached elephant sells on the black market for about $21,000. A living elephant, on the other hand, is worth more than $1.6 million in ecotourism opportunities. That’s the conclusion of a new report from the The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust. The report—“Dead or Alive? Valuing an Elephant” (pdf)—follows on the heels of [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Sloth Bears Confirmed Extinct in Bangladesh

sloth bear

A massive project to assess the health of wildlife in Bangladesh has confirmed conservationists’ longstanding suspicions that sloth bears no longer exist in that country. Sloth bears (Melursus ursinus) could once be found throughout India, Nepal, Bhutan and Bangladesh. (A separate subspecies lives on the island nation of Sri Lanka.) Overhunting during the British colonial [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Why Is Namibia Killing Its Rare Desert Elephants?

desert elephant

On Saturday, June 21 one of the Republic of Namibia’s rare desert elephants was felled by a hunter’s rifle. Unlike most of the other elephants that die on any given day in Africa, this particular elephant was slain legally. Namibia has reportedly sold nine hunting permits to foreign hunters for undisclosed amounts. Two of the [...]

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Extinction Countdown

$10-Million Action Plan Aims to Save World’s Most Endangered Gorilla

cross river gorilla

Great apes, and species in general, don’t get much rarer than the critically endangered Cross River gorilla (Gorilla gorilla diehli). Fewer than 300 of these rarely seen gorillas remain, scattered across 12,000 square kilometers of habitat along the border between Nigeria and Cameroon. Although legally protected in both countries, very little of the territory in [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Slaughtered for Ivory: 65 Percent of Forest Elephants Killed Since 2002

forest elephants

It just gets worse and worse. Last year a shocking study revealed that 62 percent of the world’s forest elephants (Loxodonta cyclotis) had been killed by poachers between 2002 and 2011. Now a new update adds data from 2012 and 2013, finding that a total of 65 percent of the species has now been slaughtered [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Shocking Study Finds Lions are Nearly Extinct in West Africa

west african lion

Physically and emotionally demanding. That’s how Philipp Henschel, Lion Program Survey Coordinator for the big-cat conservation organization Panthera, describes the six years he and other researchers spent combing the wilds of 17 nations looking for the elusive and rarely studied West African lion. The results of their quest were disheartening to say the least. Back [...]

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Extinction Countdown

‘Forest Giraffe’ Now Endangered: Okapi Populations Drop 50 Percent in 18 Years

okapi

Better late than never? This week the International Union for Conservation of Natural Resources, which publishes the IUCN Red List of threatened species, listed the rare and iconic okapi (Okapia johnstoni) as endangered, something the organization acknowledges should have been done back in 2008. The brown-and-white striped forest-dwelling species—which looks vaguely like a zebra but [...]

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Extinction Countdown

How the Western Black Rhino Went Extinct

western black rhino

Oh what a difference a century makes. At the beginning of the 20th century, an estimated one million black rhinoceroses from four different subspecies roamed the savannas of Africa. By 2001 that number had dropped to about 2,300 black rhinos and just three subspecies. This is the tale of how we lost one of those [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Sunday Species Snapshot: Sociable Lapwing

Sociable Lapwing

Why is the sociable lapwing critically endangered? Scientists don’t know for sure, and the birds aren’t talking. Species name: Sociable lapwing or sociable plover (Vanellus gregarius) Where found: As a migratory bird, the sociable lapwing has a fairly large range. It breeds in Russia and Kazakhstan, then flies south through 11 countries (including Iran and [...]

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Observations

Poaching Could Drive Elephants Extinct in Decades

elephant-carcasses-killed-by-poachers

Two or more dead elephants in one place means one thing: poaching by professional killers. Another tip-off is the lack of a face, as poachers hack off the tusks to be sold for ivory. That ivory is then made into valuable trinkets in Asia or even parts of violin bows in Europe and North America. [...]

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Observations

China Crushes Ivory, but Must Do More to Fight Wildlife Crime

China

In a development that has conservationists abuzz, Chinese officials crushed 6.1 tons of confiscated elephant ivory earlier today in a ceremony in Guangzhou. The move comes two months after the U.S. pulverized its six-ton stockpile of ivory contraband to signal that it will not tolerate the illegal wildlife trade, and one month ahead of a [...]

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Observations

Can We Avert the End of Elephants?

elephant

Within the next 10 years, Africa could lose 100,000 elephants—a fifth of  the population—to poachers if the slaughter for their ivory tusks continues at current rates, according to a new analysis.  Some 22,000 elephants were killed in 2012. And large-scale seizures of illegal ivory (those that involve at least 500 kilograms in a single transaction) [...]

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