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Posts Tagged "wildlife trade"

Extinction Countdown

Vaquita Porpoise about to Go Extinct, Only 97 Remain

vaquita

Millions of dollars and two decades of conservation efforts have failed to protect the Gulf of California’s critically endangered vaquita porpoise (Phocoena sinus). Two years ago this species’s population was estimated at 200. Today it has plummeted to just 97. Fewer than 25 of those that remain are thought to be females capable of reproducing [...]

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Extinction Countdown

All 8 Pangolin Species Being Eaten into Extinction

ground pangolin

A few days ago customs officials in Vietnam raided a cargo ship from Sierra Leone and seized an astonishing 1.4 tons of dried pangolin scales. The grisly discovery came from the bodies of as many as 10,000 dead pangolins, the scaly anteaters of Africa and Asia that are being hunted into extinction for their meat [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Tiger Skins Are Like Fingerprints—Could That Help Stop Smugglers and Poachers?

tiger

Last month forest rangers in India arrested a 21-year-old engineering student and his friend who had been caught carrying a tiger skin that they intended to sell for nearly $25,000. A few days earlier Indonesian police raided the homes of two suspected wildlife traffickers, where they confiscated a small menagerie of live animals, a number [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Should We Stop Selling Nautilus Shells?

nautilus

Nautilus shells are big business. The U.S. imports more than 100,000 of the iconic mollusk shells every year, according to a recent study by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS). The shells end up online or in stores around the country, where they sell for anywhere from $15 to a few hundred dollars. But [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Fire Salamanders in the Netherlands Wiped Out by Newly Discovered Fungus

fire salamander

Five years ago the Netherlands was home to a small but healthy population of fire salamanders (Salamandra salamandra terrestris). That is no longer the case. The first dead salamanders, their bodies lacking any visible signs of injuries, turned up in 2008. More mysteriously dead salamanders appeared in the following years, while field surveys found fewer [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Pangolins in Peril: All 8 Species of Scaly Anteaters Endangered by Illegal Trade

pangolin

Dan Challender remembers the first time he saw someone eat a pangolin. As part of his research into the consumer demand and illegal trade of the small mammals—often referred to as scaly anteaters—he found himself in a restaurant in Ho Chi Minh City in 2012. To help his research Challender made friends with the restaurant [...]

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Extinction Countdown

As Rhino Poaching Surges, South Africa Proposes Legalized Trade in Precious Horns

white rhino

The South African government released two important and shocking news items last week. The first announcement revealed that 461 rhinos had been poached in the country to date as of July 3—more than were killed in all of 2011. Poachers target the animals for their horns, which are valued in China and Vietnam for their [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Last Chance for Sawfish?

sawfish

All species of sawfish around the world could soon gain full protection under the U.S. Endangered Species Act, a move that comes just in time for the iconic but critically endangered creatures. Sawfish populations have dropped 90 to 99 percent over the past few decades, mostly because of coastal development in sawfish habitat and peoples’ [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Philippines Cancels Planned Burn of Confiscated Elephant Tusks after Clean-Air Groups Object

elephant with tusks

This Philippine government this weekend cancelled plans to burn $10 million worth of seized elephant tusks after several clean-air groups cried foul. The Philippines isn’t the only country trying to destroy its ivory stockpiles. Gabon conducted a massive ivory burn last year—an act that  their government said sent a message to poachers in that country [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Gray Wolves Declared Recovered and Other Links from the Brink

gray wolf

Gray wolves, little penguins and rare birds in Fiji are among the endangered species in the news this weekend. Prepare for the Howls: In a not-unexpected move, this U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) on Friday announced that it will propose to delist gray wolves (Canis lupus) from the Endangered Species Act (ESA), arguing that [...]

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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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Observations

Ban Elephant Ivory, Legalize Rhino Horn?

White rhino

The fate of elephants, rhinoceroses and other imperiled species could be decided in the coming days at a major meeting on wildlife trade regulation in Bangkok. Beginning March 3, delegates from the 178 countries that have signed the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, dubbed CITES, will gather to [...]

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