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New York: Illegal wildlife trade undermines rule of law, degrades ecosystems and severely hampers the efforts of rural communities striving to sustainably manage their natural resources, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said on Tuesday as the intergovernmental organisation marked World Wildlife Day.


"Combatting this crime is not only essential for conservation efforts and sustainable development; it will contribute to achieving peace and security in troubled regions where conflicts are fuelled by these illegal activities," said the UN secretary general in a message.

"Getting serious about wildlife crime means enrolling the support of all sections of society involved in the production and consumption of wildlife products, which are widely used as medicines, food, building materials, furniture, cosmetics, clothing and accessories," he added.

World Wildlife Day - observed annually, with this year's theme 'It's time to get serious about wildlife crime' - was proclaimed by the UN General Assembly in 2013 for March 3, the day of the adoption of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).

According to the UN, as many as 100,000 African elephants were killed between 2010 and 2012. For forest elephants, the population declined by an estimated 62 percent between 2002 and 2011. In Asia, poached African ivory may represent an end-user street value of $165 to $188 million.

According to new figures released on Tuesday, elephant poaching rates remained virtually unchanged in 2014 compared to 2013, and still exceeded natural elephant population growth rates, meaning a continued decline in elephant numbers overall is likely.

According to CITIES, 1,215 rhinos were poached in South Africa alone in 2014 - this translates to one rhino killed every eight hours. Approximately 94 percent of rhino poaching takes place in South Africa, which has the largest remaining populations and rhino horn poached in 2014 is valued at an estimated $63-$192 million.

The illicit trafficking in live great apes is an increasingly serious threat to chimpanzees, gorillas, and bonobos in Africa and orangutans in Asia, with seizures averaging 1.3 per week since 2014. It is estimated that a minimum of 220 chimpanzees, 106 orangutans, 33 bonobos, and 15 gorillas have been lost from the wild over the last 14 months, according to the Great Apes Survival Partnership (GRASP).

In his remarks, CITS Secretary General John Scanlon said: "Illegal wildlife trade is threatening the survival of some of our most charismatic species, as well as some plants and animals you may have never heard of. And it threatens people, their livelihoods, their safety and security."

"The situation is serious," he warned, urging the international community to tackle the poaching, transport and consumption of illegally traded wildlife and in so doing use the same sorts of enforcement tools, techniques and penalties used to combat other serious crimes, such as trafficking in drugs or people.

Indeed, once an emerging threat, wildlife and forest crime has transformed into one of the largest transnational organised criminal activities alongside drug trafficking, arms, and trafficking in human beings. Beyond immediate environmental impacts, the illegal trade in natural resources is depriving developing economies of billions of dollars in lost revenues.

"Wildlife crime is a transnational organised crime generating billions of dollars and undermining development. It is also an inter-generational crime that can permanently scar the world through the loss of some of our most beautiful creatures. To stop this, we must act now," said Yury Fedotov, executive director for the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).

The UN Development Programme (UNDP) is launching new initiatives to halt the illegal trade in wildlife in Asia and Africa. These initiatives will tackle wildlife crime by focussing on law enforcement, regulations, and engaging the private sector and strengthening collaboration between governments within and across the two regions.

"World Wildlife Day is an opportunity to celebrate wildlife, but it is also a wake-up call to get serious about wildlife crime. We must all do more to halt the illegal trade in wildlife. UNDP and its partners are committed to this task," UNDP Administrator Helen Clark said.

World Wildlife Day was marked by events around the world. In New York, the Central Park Zoo featured a high-level expert panel discussion on the links between wildlife trafficking, organised crime and sustainable development. Other observances were held around the world in Cairo, Lima, Nairobi, Seoul, Vienna, Geneva, Berlin and Sao Paulo.

 

China bans ivory imports for 1 year as tusk smuggling threatens existence of African elephants.

China is banning the import of ivory products for one year amid criticism that its citizens' huge appetite for ivory is threatening the existence of African elephants.

The State Administration of Forestry declared the ban in a public notice issued Thursday, in which it said the administration would not handle any import request. The ban takes effect immediately.

In an explanatory news report, an unnamed forestry official told the state-run Legal Evening News that authorities hope the ban would be a concrete step to reduce the demand for African tusks and protect wild elephants. The official says the temporary ban would allow authorities to evaluate its effect on elephant protection before authorities can take further, more effective steps.

China is the world's largest importer of smuggled tusks.

The government also has warned its citizens not to bring back any ivory, but critics say the public awareness campaign is inadequate as many Chinese do not know that tusks can only obtained by killing the elephant.

After China acquired a legal stockpile of ivory in 2008, demand for ivory has surged among increasingly affluent Chinese who see ivory as a status-defining luxury, and high profits have fueled a strong underground market for the product.

 

Gaborone - The Minister of Environment, Wildlife and Tourism, the Honourable Tshekedi Khama, says the latest wildlife census shows that Government’s efforts against poaching were bearing fruit.

Speaking at the handing over of the Elephant census report, Minister Khama said while other countries in the region had been assisted by international donors, 99.9% of Botswana’s efforts against poaching were funded by the government. He said the government’s decision to ban hunting was the right decision as certain species were declining.

In July to October 2014, Elephants Without Borders (EWB) in collaboration with the Department of Wildlife and National Parks (DWNP) undertook an aerial survey counting elephants and other wildlife in the northern part of the country, he said. It was part of the GEC which was fully sponsored by Mr. Paul Allen and his sister, Jody.
For his part, EWB director, Dr Michael Chase said the total elephant estimate in the northern part of Botswana was over 129,000, the largest population in Africa. He said the elephant population in Chobe appeared to be decreasing while in Makgadikgadi and Nxai Pan national parks it grew at a rate of 15% per year. “Many of the changes in the local elephant population are due to movement of elephants between different parts of Botswana and surrounding countries,” he said.

Dr Chase said during the survey, they saw 18 elephant carcasses but that none appeared to have been killed by poachers. He said this showed improvement as the 2010 EWB survey showed that 20 per cent of the fresh elephant carcasses were attributed to poaching. The survey indicated that there were about 48,000 zebras, 26,000 buffaloes, 9,000 giraffes, 57,000 lechwe, 9,000 hippos and over 72,000 impalas. The survey showed a decline of between 7 to 10% for wildebeest, tsessebe and springbok. Ostrich are also declining by 9% annually in the northern part of Botswana, he said.

Source (BOPA)

 

 

Subcategories

"The Future of Wildlife is in our Hands"

Saving Leila the captive Chimp

We have to help save this poor Chimp Leila. We need to raise funds to relocate her to a sanctuary where she can live in peace without being chained to a tree everyday. We will be coordinating efforts with John Groblar who found the little girl so that we can find a suitable home.

From John - "My efforts to rescue Leila the chimpanzee from her prison and put her into a sanctuary has run into some headwinds: the Jane Goodall Institute does not have funds available to remove her from present situation.

PASA also does not have a chapter in Angola, so that leaves me with only one small NGO in Luanda, run by Francisca Pires who takes care of stray and abandoned dogs. She works close with a veterinary in Luanda called Fatima, who is exactly the kind of person we need here to rescue Leila from that old zoo.
I do not have the funds myself either - we need to buy her out from captors, have her checked out and sedated and possibly moved by plane to Luanda to Fatima' and Francisca's care.

Her story by John Groblar: "Her name is Leila and she six or seven years old.
Some guy from Cabinda sold her to the Granja Por De Sol concessionnaire about three years ago.
He has since skipped town for Luanda, left lots of unpaid debts and is currently not answering his phone.
They kept her in a cage initially, but she broke everything until they figured she wanted to be close to people, which is why she is kept here next to the gate. She might also be a trained pick-pocket - she had her hand in my pocket at first opportunity. Very friendly and liked a good scratch from another strangely hairless ape: my hair was of great interest. She has learned to beg a drink from passers-by, either fetching a can for some Coke or a bottle for beer. And her incissors have been removed. One shudders to think how. I'm amazed she still trusts people, but clearly one that had been around humans all her life."

We are still working out how much money will be needed and to finalize a home for her, but have to make a start. Please help us help her be making a donation.. Thank you.

Ongoing help needed to supply our Baby Rhinos with desperately needed Milk

We need your help to make sure that everything is done to care for these victims of poaching.

Below is little Nandi. just one of the orphans we help so that eventually she can be released back into a safe haven in the Wild.

URGENTLY NEEDED! Birds of Prey Rehabilitation Enclosures. 

Sometimes, our persecuted Wildlife gets lucky. It doesn't happen often, but it happens occasionally, when passionate people decide to pour their heart and soul into #EthicalConservation.
In Johannesburg, South Africa, our Wildlife just got lucky.

The team at the Jhb Wildlife Veterinary Hospital is dedicated to treating and rehabilitating small to medium-sized urban wildlife.

A few weeks ago, Wild Heart Wildlife Foundation did a surprise #SupplyDrop for them, stocking them up on veterinary medicines and consumables numbering hundreds of items, to the value of over R20 000. This was a great start, but we have to do more! All the animals here are treated at no charge, and the aim is always successful re-wilding and release. We have to put the animals first, be their voice, and give them the best chance at survival.

*Anything worth doing, is worth doing well*
A substantial number of the patients are raptors, and they need specialist care. In the pictures you can see a selection of the beautiful birds of prey who have been treated here.

***Urgently Needed right now is 3 x Rehabilitation Enclosures for these winged wonders. Having the proper enclosures aid rehabilitation and improves the survival rate of rescues.
The enclosures are made out of a steel framework with gate, diamond-mesh covered and completely enclosed in shade-netting to minimize trauma and external stimuli. They are 5m in length, and 2.4m wide, so that a pre-flight test can easily be accommodated.

We have sourced the manufacturers, and just need that magical ingredient - your support - to make these life-saving enclosures a reality.

The cost is R25 000 (1,800 USD) for all three enclosures. The injured Birds of Prey really need this. Every single cent will help towards being the wind beneath their wings, and will help set them up for that sweet flight of freedom.
As always we will keep you updated on progress, from the building to the delivery and installation of these critically needed rooms.
Please help by donating to Support #RaptorRehab and help us build this for them! You can also donate directly at: paypal.me/wildheartwildlife

We cannot do it without you.
#WHWF
#EthicalConservation

Your Donations at Work

Help is needed for the treatment & welfare of orphaned Rhinos. Some of the items, equipment & general supplies needed listed below.

- High density foam mattresses for the treatment of larger Rhinos who have been rescued.

- Milton Disinfectant for sterilizing babies Milk bottles.
- Ringers: I.V. Drips for rhinos in need of critical care .
- Veterinary Tear gel to protect the rhino babies eyes.
- Basic Wound Care Kits (Kidney dishes, Suture kits & Forceps).

- Denkavit calf milk replacer: 25 kg per month
- Protexin premium or soluble: 1 bucket per week
- Calostrum Biomel-plus: 1 bucket per 2 weeks
- Oral electrolytes: to prepare 10 lts per day
- Antimicrobial spray for wounds: 1 can per month

- Virkon disinfectant: 1 bucket per 2 weeks
- Carmino+ sachets
- Omega oil
- Syringes: 1, 3, 5, 10, 50 ml

- lighting & surge protection
- Camera traps
- Food thermometer
- Linen for volunteers accommodation.

These are just a few of the items needed to help care for the Rhino orphans. They have already been through hell, so the least we can all do is to ensure they have a chance at a future.
 

You can donate via the donate button on the right of the page or via Bank transfer below.

First National Bank / Check Account
Wild Heart Wildlife Foundation
Account number - 62518554101
Branch Code - 250-655
Swift code for International - FIRNZAJJ 143

 What We Do!

Below are the brave Anti-Poaching Rangers we help supply with Uniforms and equipment to help protect our precious wildlife. Your help to keep them properly equipped is much appreciated.

Wild Heart Wildlife Foundation has to date supplied a significant portion of supplies to Rhino Orphanages in South Africa, including over 1000 Kilo's (2,200 lbs) of milk powder, specialized food and health supplies and critical care medical items as well as other desperately needed equipment such as shovels, spades, rakes and cleaning materials, Shade netting, Field fencing for the Wild Dogs, Anti-Poaching Ranger gear and camera traps to help protect the Lions in the Sanctuary - all required to keep the orphanages and sanctuary operational. 

  
 

Doing What We Say, and Showing What We Do!

Wild Heart Wildlife Foundation below, assisting with treatment of Rhinos in the field

 

We help Turn the Tragedy of Poaching into Hope for a better Future