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CONSERvation

Seahorses and Pipefish under threat ELEPHANTS SUFFER WORST DECLINE IN 25 YEARS


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Editors Notes Thank you for reading Conservation Redlist, in this edition we bring you an assortment of the latest conservation, ecological and protection issues from around the globe. We also ask you to help us continue with our programme of raising awareness to the

plight of the Rhinoceros by buying yourself a copy of Looking

into the

Abyss, see the following pages. I must thank Frank Burgey for the wonderful image of the seahorse which adorns this editions cover, and links in nicely with the UCIN’s report on the decline of seahorse and pipefish in the Mediterranean sea.

PeeJay Designs have joined us by sharing their exciting LOVE AFRICA design on a variety of clothing, homeware and accessories. Take a look, I am sure you will love them as much as I do and all products sold help our cause too...so go on, get yourself a LOVE AFRICA goody and show you care. This edition of CONSERVATION REDLIST aims to show it is not just the large animals which are under threat, but the smaller creatures too, many you may not have heard of before now. But they are all part of this planets overall ecological balance and loosing any one could have long lasting, long term disastrous effects we cannot imagine.

CONSERVATION REDLIST is produced and distributed FREE of charge by CQ International Publications, a small, independent publisher. We would like to keep it this way. If you would be kind enough to help us, by way of a small donation, or sponsorship we will be eternally grateful.

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LOOKING into the ABYSS is the work of eleven authors, an editor and a cover designer. These people came together from various countries across the globe, gave their time, their effort and their skills, as writers an publishing professionals, to help a species of animal thousands of miles away on a different continent. The commitment shown by these folk, reflects the passion and the humanity of so many people across the globe, the regular, normal, everyday humans who are aware we only share this planet with the rest of the worlds creatures. It is our duty to care, conserve and protect the less capable, not steal, torture, maim and kill for our own greed and unjustifiable desires. Please, help us spread the word, help us raise awareness of the plight of these magnificent beasts. Help stop the rhinoceros from becoming extinct. Get your copy of Looking into the Abyss UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1539868923 USA https://www.amazon.com/dp/1539868923 Kindle Worldwide http://authl.it/6bo


Seahorses and Pipefishes decline in the Mediterranean a ucin report First signs of Seahorses and Pipefishes decline in the Mediterranean 23 January 2017 For the first time, 14 seahorses, pipefishes, and snipefishes native to the Mediterranean Sea were assessed for

fish species lack enough information to estimate their risk of extinction in the region. Thus, further research is urgently needed to investigate their distribution, population trends, threats and determine if they require any conservation actions. Seahorses and pipefishes are mainly threatened by habitat loss and

Photo: ©Robert Pillon

the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Syngnathids are unique fish species that exhibit male pregnancy and give birth to live young. According to the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™ in the Mediterranean, almost 15% of seahorse assessed are listed as Near Threatened, which means that if current trends continue they will be soon threatened with extinction. More than half of these

Photo: ©Robert Patzner

degradation caused by coastal development and destructive fishing gears such as trawls and dredges. They are also taken as bycatch in trawl fisheries and sometimes retained and targeted for sale to aquaria, used in traditional medicines, and as curious and religious amulets.


To face these growing threats, both Near Threatened seahorse species, Hippocampus hippocampus and Hippocampus guttulatus with a decline of 20-30% of their population in the last decades, are already protected through the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) and are also included in Annex II of the Specially Protected Areas and Biological Diversity Protocol of the Barcelona Convention (SPA/BD). Moreover, some Mediterranean countries such as Slovenia legally protect these species. Unfortunately, these regulations are currently not sufficient to address issues such as bycatch and habitat damage due to trawling and dredging. Enforcement and expansion of

restrictions on such activities are needed. In addition, surveys and citizen science initiatives such as iSeahorse or iNaturalist can contribute to improve our knowledge of these unique fishes.

This study was undertaken through the Mediterranean Red List Initiative, which is coordinated by the IUCN Centre for Mediterranean Cooperation and is supported by the MAVA Foundation, in collaboration with the Seahorse, Pipefish and Stickleback Specialist Group and the Global Species Programme.

The document is available here:

The IUCN Red List of seahorses and pipefishes in the Mediterranean Sea


Photo © Paul White In Namibia, leading environmental organisations have warned that the growth of the country’s Chinese population is leading to devastating consequences for Namibia’s wildlife. In an open letter to the Chinese Ambassador in Windhoek, published on 21 December 2016, Namibia’s Chamber of Environment argues that "until the arrival of Chinese in significant numbers in Namibia, wildlife crime was extremely low." The letter highlights concern that Chinese economic investment in Namibia is coming at the price of damaging the country’s environment and tourism sectors, and has the potential to create tensions between the indigenous community and

100,000-strong Chinese population. Signed by 40 organisations including Save the Rhino Trust – one of the field programmes we support – the strongly worded open letter says: “We support our government’s policy of attracting foreign investment to stimulate growth, employment and development. And we counter all forms of xenophobia and profiling. However, we expect foreign investors and their nationals to abide by Namibia’s laws, and to embrace Namibia’s cultures, ethics, and values. Too many Chinese nationals have abused Namibia’s environmental laws, and this is causing growing resentment and anger amongst Namibians”.


Leading environmental organisations in Namibia hold China accountable for increased wildlife crime In conclusion, the letter’s signatories call on the Chinese Ambassador and the Chinese government to acknowledge the scale of Chinese involvement in wildlife crime, question whether the actions of some Chinese criminals are “state sanctioned”, and propose that China should “make good” on the huge financial losses that wildlife crime causes the country.

Namibia’s poaching crisis Whilst covering a broad range of wildlife crimes from illegal fishing to pangolin and elephant poaching, the open letter also highlights the growth of rhino poaching. Poaching for rhino horn in Namibia has leaped in recent years as gangs move out of South Africa’s Kruger National Park and into neighbouring provinces or countries. Namibia is home to the desert-adapted subspecies of black rhino, known as the South western black rhino (Diceros

bicornis bicornis). In a document submitted to the CITES Conference of the Parties at Johannesburg in September 2016, the African and Asian Rhino Specialist Groups and TRAFFIC commented that “the geographical drift in poaching to Namibia over the last two years is worrying”, and recommended that the nation be added to the CITES’ Rhino Working Group’s list of countries of “priority concern” as a result of this trend. 61 rhinos were illegally poached in Namibia in 2014, rising to 91 in 2015. Unofficial figures for 2016 suggest that 63 rhinos were killed, a reduction on the previous year but high enough to threaten the growth of the country’s rhino population. Elephant poaching is on the increase. During this time, the Namibian government has responded to the rising threat to the country’s rhinos by creating a new Wildlife Crime


Save the Rhino's view As long as there is consumer demand, there will always be criminals motivated to poach rhino horn. The interventions that work – strong incentives for communities to protect rhinos, well-trained and equipped rangers with high morale, good monitoring and management of populations and their habitat, and a strong legislative framework to prosecute poachers – are as applicable in Namibia as they are for rhinos in Indonesia or India. Rhino poaching in Namibia isn’t just due to its Chinese population but, as the open letter to Windhoek’s Chinese Ambassador details, China’s involvement in Namibia’s natural resource management and economic development throws up many questions around how indigenous Namibians can continue to protect and benefit from their natural heritage whilst furthering the country’s wider development.

traders. Imports of rhino horn into China were banned in 1981 and exports in 1988, while domestic trade was prohibited and all stockpiles of rhino horn registered and sealed in 1993. There are signs that recent busts of criminal networks in China are indicative of a renewed crackdown by the Chinese government. As the Namibian Chamber of Environment has identified, the Chinese government does not recognise dual nationality and ultimately has the power to convict nationals involved in Namibian wildlife crimes.

China has, theoretically, a good legislative framework for prosecuting wildlife poachers and

Finding a common path that protects Namibia’s wildlife whilst still encouraging development


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Ascension Island to become marine reserve It is not all doom and gloom on the conservation front. Work is being undertaken by various governments and organisations all around the world. One such is the announcement that the British government is to create a marine reserve almost as big as the UK in the Atlantic waters of Ascension Island. Reports Roger Harrabin , the BBC’s environment analyst. Just over half of the protected area will be closed to fishing. The fishery in the other half will be policed under a grant of £300,000 from the Louis Bacon Foundation, a charitable body.

It is the latest marine reserve to be declared around remote islands, which will increase marine conservation zones to about 2% of the ocean. That remains a far cry from the 30% recommended by scientists to preserve species and expand fish stocks, but is much more than just a few years ago. Governments have designated marine parks at Palau in the North Pacific, Easter Island and Pitcairn in the South Pacific, and New Zealand's Kermadec islands, in

what has become a landmark year for ocean conservation. The latest reserve at Ascension Island is said to hold some of the largest marlin in the world, one of the largest populations of green turtles, big colonies of tropical seabirds and the island's own unique frigate bird. Conservation commitment The reserve totals 234,291 sq km, slightly less than the size of the United Kingdom. It could be ready for formal designation as soon as 2017, once further data has been collected and analysed. Map showing where St Helena is Dr Judith Brown, director of fisheries and marine conservation for Ascension Island government, said: "The economic benefit from the fishery has provided muchneeded income for the island.

"This donation will help fund the enforcement to protect the closed area from illegal fishing."


The Great British Oceans Coalition, which includes the Blue Marine Foundation and the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, has been campaigning since 2014 for the designation of all or part of Ascension's waters. Charles Clover, Blue Marine Foundation chairman, said: "Ascension has been at the frontiers of science since Charles Darwin went there in the 19th Century, so it is entirely appropriate that it is now at the centre of a great scientific effort to design the Atlantic's largest marine reserve."

An accident of colonial history has left the UK and France with huge potential to safeguard marine life around remote oceanic islands. The Conservative party promised in its 2015 manifesto to create a "blue belt" of protected ocean round the UK's Overseas Territories. The commitment was described by Tory MP Zac Goldsmith as "the biggest conservation commitment by any government ever, pledging to protect an area of ocean three-and-a-half times the size of Britain".

Photo - Jeremy Bishop Unsplash.com


African Elephants Suffer Worst Decline In 25 Years. The results of a three-year aerial survey of Africa's elephants published recently revealed a dramatic 30 per cent decline in savannah elephant populations, largely due to poaching. Africa's total elephant population at around 415,000, a decline of around 111,000 over the past decade and Africa's elephant population has suffered its worst drop in 25 years.

better. "Armed with this knowledge of dramatically declining elephant populations, we share a collective responsibility to take action," Allen said as the results were published on Thursday at a meeting of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) in Hawaii. Named the Great Elephant Census (GEC),

"We completed a successful survey of massive scale, and what we learned is deeply disturbing" "We completed a successful survey of massive scale, and what we learned is deeply disturbing" said Paul Allen, the Microsoft co-founder and billionaire philanthropist who spent $7 million (6.3 million euros) funding the census.

the three-year programme began in December 2013 and involved 81 aeroplanes and 286 crew flying 463,000 kilometres over 18 countries, said James Deutsch, of Allen's Vulcan Inc investment company.

The first-of-its-kind survey is the largest wildlife census ever and involved flying over 18 African countries with scientists and conservationists counting live elephants and carcases to establish a baseline for future studies of elephant populations and how to protect them

A total of 352,271 elephants were counted during the survey, representing a decline of 30 percent between 2007-14 equivalent to 144,000 elephants. Currently savannah elephant numbers are declining at eight percent a year, the study said.


Photo: Casey Allen -Unsplash

"The surge in poaching for ivory that began approximately a decade ago -- the worst that Africa has experienced since the 1970s and 1980s -- has been the main driver of the decline," said IUCN in a statement. IUCN chief Inger Andersen said the numbers showed "the truly alarming plight of the majestic elephant. It is shocking but not surprising that poaching has taken such a dramatic toll on this iconic species," she said. Poaching hotspots identified include Angola, Mozambique and Tanzania where "staggering population declines" were found. Other populations face "local extinction" in northeast Democratic Republic of Congo, northern

Cameroon and southwest Zambia. However, populations were found to be stable or even increasing in South Africa, Botswana, Uganda, parts of Kenya, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Malawi and the WArli-Pendjari conservation area that spans the borders of Benin, Niger and Burkina Faso. "If we can't save the African elephant, what is the hope for conserving the rest of Africa's wildlife?" said Mike Chase, of conservation organisation Elephants Without Borders, who led the census. A booming illegal wildlife trade has put huge pressure on an existing treaty signed by more than 180 countries -- the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES).


People usually think of leopards in the savannas of Africa but in the Russian Far East, a rare subspecies has adapted to life in the temperate forests that make up the northern-most part of the species’ range. Like other leopards, the Amur leopard can run at speeds of up to 37 miles per hour. This incredible animal has been reported to leap more than 19 feet horizontally and up to 10 feet vertically. The Amur leopard is solitary. Nimblefooted and strong, it carries and hides unfinished kills so that they are not taken by other predators. It has been reported that some males stay with females after mating, and may even help with rearing the young. Several males sometimes follow and fight over a female. They live for 10-15 years, and in captivity up to 20 years. The Amur leopard is also known as the Far East leopard, the Manchurian leopard or the Korean leopard. The Amur leopard is important ecologically, economically and culturally. Conservation of its habitat benefits other species, including Amur tigers and prey

species like deer. With the right conservation efforts, we can bring them back and ensure long-term conservation of the region.

“Amur leopards are teetering on the brink of extinction. With the establishment of the Land of the Leopard National Park, in conjunction with other conservation efforts, we can now start to focus on how to begin bringing them back.� Dr. Sybille Klenzendorf Managing Director, Species Conservation


ILLEGAL WILDLIFE TRADE The Amur leopard is poached largely for its beautiful, spotted fur. In 1999, an undercover investigation team recovered a female and a male Amur leopard skin, which were being sold for $500 and $1,000 respectively in the village of Barabash, not far from the Kedrovaya Pad reserve in Russia. Agriculture and villages surround the forests where the leopards live. As a result the forests are relatively accessible, making poaching a problem— not only for the leopards themselves, but also for important prey species, such as roe deer, sika deer and hare, which are hunted by the villagers both for food and cash. There are still large tracts of suitable habitat left across the Amur in Russia and China. In China the prey base is

insufficient to sustain large populations of leopards and tigers. Prey populations will recover if measures are taken to limit the poaching of prey species and the forests are managed for logging more sustainably. For the Amur leopard to survive for the long term, it needs to repopulate its former range. But for that to happen, prey populations need to recover first.

A SAFE HAVEN Amur leopards received a safe haven in 2012 when the government of Russia declared a new protected area. Called Land of the Leopard National Park, this marked a major effort to save the world’s rarest cat. Extending nearly 650,000 acres it includes all the Amur leopard’s breeding areas and about 60 percent of the critically endangered cat’s remaining


habitat. The park is also home to 10 endangered Amur tigers. WWF lobbied for the establishment of this park in the Russian Far East since 2001.

PROTECTING AMUR LEOPARD HABITAT

This work includes increasing areas of protected land in both Russia and China, reducing illegal and unsustainable logging practices, and facilitating trade between companies committed to responsible forestry practices. In 2007, WWF and other conservationists successfully lobbied the Russian government to reroute a planned oil pipeline that would have endangered the leopard's habitat.

STOPPING POACHING AND TRADE

With such a small population left, the loss of each Amur leopard puts the species at greater risk of extinction. WWF supports antipoaching work in all Amur leopard habitat in the Russian Far East and in known leopard localities in northeast China. WWF implements programs to stop the illegal trade in Amur leopard parts. Together with TRAFFIC, the world’s largest wildlife trade monitoring network, we help governments enforce domestic and international trade restrictions on Amur leopard products. Amur leopards are listed on CITES Appendix I, prohibiting all commercial trade in the species.


Reported wildlife trafficking and seizures of animal parts have increased dramatically the past few years. The illicit wildlife and plant trade is estimated to be worth $70213 billion a and infringes on the natural resources of countries and wealth of businesses around the world. It's also contributing to the extinction of tigers, bears, elephants, rhinoceroses, and hundreds of other incredible species while criminal organizations and rebel militias profit. Finding ways to contribute to wildlife conservation is becoming easier and more opportunities to get involved are available to individuals of all skill levels from anywhere in the world. While governments and private organizations race to save the world's wildlife you can create your own fundraisers, show your support by crowdfunding projects, and even volunteer in atrisk areas with anti-poaching rangers.

Wildlife Trafficking & Criminal Profits Most poachers and African criminal syndicates receive only 5-10% of the retail value for the animal parts they poach. Even

in destitute parts of Africa and Asia this is little reward for what can be a very risky task of spending days tracking dangerous wildlife in their natural habitat. Coordinated efforts to exterminate rhino and elephants in central Africa, as well as systematic poaching in Southeast Asia and China, have made it easier for criminal syndicates to organize a market for tiger and leopard skins, elephant ivory, and rhino horn. This has provided a channel for lowlevel poachers and high-level rebel militias to sell their animal parts to middlemen who then smuggle the cargo en mass to destinations around the globe where the items are sold for exorbitant prices. In 2013 the street-price for rhino horn in Asia was $60,000-100,000 per kilogram. At roughly $1,700-2,840 per ounce, more than the price of gold, it was believed to be a better investment than real estate and an easy way to show off wealth. According to anti-poaching forces in South Africa a Mozambican poacher would earn R100,000 ($10,000) per hunt or over R200,000 per horn depending on the middleman.


Wildlife Trafficking & Criminal Profits Most poachers and African criminal syndicates receive only 5-10% of the retail value for the animal parts they poach. Even in destitute parts of Africa and Asia this is little reward for what can be a very risky

- mass to destinations around the globe where the items are sold for exorbitant prices. In 2013 the street-price for rhino horn in Asia was $60,000-100,000 per kilogram. At roughly $1,700-2,840 per ounce, more than the price of gold, it was believed to be a better investment than real estate and an

The illegal wildlife trade is worth tens of billions of dollars each year and dramatically impacts legally operating businesses and tourism around the world. Rhino horn: over $60,000/kg (2014) Elephant ivory: $2,142/kg (2014) task of spending days tracking dangerous wildlife in their natural habitat. Coordinated efforts to exterminate rhino and elephants in central Africa, as well as systematic poaching in Southeast Asia and China, have made it easier for criminal syndicates to organize a market for tiger and leopard skins, elephant ivory, and rhino horn. This has provided a channel for low-level poachers and high-level rebel militias to sell their animal parts to middlemen who then smuggle the cargo en

easy way to show off wealth. According to anti-poaching forces in South Africa a Mozambican poacher would earn R100,000 ($10,000) per hunt or over R200,000 per horn depending on the middleman. In January of 2015 Ugandan officials seized a shipment of 137 ivory tusks weighing 700 kg and destined for Amsterdam. The ivory in this shipment had an estimated street value of $1.5 million or $2,142 per kilo or roughly $973 per pound.


India’s diverse ecosystems suffer from the loss of its the native species of Bengal tiger, leopard, Indian rhinoceros, and Asian elephant. In 2009 a single tiger skin smuggled from India would sell for 650,000 rupees in China, approximately $134,000 or 91,920 yuan. However in recent years poaching and wildlife trafficking have received more attention and more poachers and traffickers are being sentenced to jail time for their crimes.

or trophies from the animals are the most common example of commercial poachers. Wildlife trophies and animal parts such as skins, claws, teeth, quills, and other items suitable as souvenirs are sold to tourists who are usually unaware of the origin of the items. There are also commercial poachers who are involved in the illegal wildlife trade and capture rare or highly prized wildlife and sell the live fish or animals to interested buyers to keep as exotic pets or are sold to private zoos. Hardwood trees are also targeted by poachers who sell the wood to locals who make souvenirs for tourists or sell large pieces of lumber to wood manufacturing companies. Commercial poaching through the acts of over-fishing and illegal fishing also occurs in the world’s oceans and many of its seas, including the Mediterranean, and threatens the sustainability of sea life that are popular seafood.

Bushmeat Poaching as a Business

Photo: Crocodile and antelope meat at Mountuka Nunene market in Lukolela, DRC. Photo by Ollivier Girard for CIFOR. Commercial poaching describes a vast array of illegal activities related to illegally killing or capturing wildlife or sea life. People who make a careerof illegally hunting wildlife and selling the bushmeat

Local bushmeat poaching poses a serious health risk to people that buy contaminated meat or those that come into contact with diseased animals. Unlike meat they might find at a market the bushmeat procured cheaply and illegitimately from commercial poachers may be taken from the rotten carcasses of animals that have been snared and left to die in the sun. Drying and smoking bushmeat is a common practice for preserving food, even meat taken from


rotting carcasses. But rotten meat may still have the ability to spread food-borne illnesses and some types of diseases. Bushmeat poachers that routinely hunt do so for business purposes, but in West Africa studies have shown that commercial poachers typically spend their incomes on non-essential items instead of re-investing the money as a legitimate business would. Some poachers cater to specific interest, particularly in regions where certain parts from common wildlife species are thought to have supernatural powers, such as the brains of a vulture. These birds are then illegally killed en-masse and the parts sold to people who practice folk medicine. This practice has intensified the decline in Old World vulture populations and other species that depend on them to keep the environment clean. The methods used to poach small game in Asia and Africa pose threats to other wildlife as well. Metal snares indiscriminately target any wildlife that gets caught in the metal noose, even elephants These inexpensive traps are frequently set

up by the dozen and the poacher can check the snares at their leisure .

Commercial Poachers Commercial poaching describes a vast array of illegal activities related to illegally killing or capturing wildlife or sea life. People who make a career of illegally hunting wildlife and selling the bushmeat or trophies from the animals are the most common example of commercial poachers. Wildlife trophies and animal parts such as skins, claws, teeth, quills, and other items suitable as souvenirs are sold to tourists who are usually unaware of the origin of the items. There are also commercial poachers who are involved in the illegal wildlife trade and capture rare or highly prized wildlife and sell the live fish or animals to interested buyers to keep as exotic pets or are sold to private zoos. Hardwood trees are also targeted by poachers who sell the wood to locals who make souvenirs for tourists or sell large pieces of lumber to wood manufacturing companies. Commercial poaching through the acts of over-fishing and illegal fishing also occurs in the world’s oceans and many

Giraffe poachers arrested by Big Life Rangers in Rombo, Kenya. May 2011. Photo by Big Life.


of its seas, including the Mediterranean, and threatens the sustainability of sea life that are popular seafood.

Bushmeat Poaching as a Business Local bushmeat poaching poses a serious health risk to people that buy contaminated meat or those that come into contact with diseased animals. Unlike meat they might find at a market the bushmeat procured cheaply and illegitimately from commercial poachers may be taken from the rotten carcasses of animals that have been snared and left to die in the sun. Drying and smoking bushmeat is a common practice for preserving food, even meat taken from rotting carcasses. But rotten meat may still have the ability to spread food-borne illnesses and some types of diseases. Bushmeat poachers that routinely hunt do so for business purposes, but in West Africa studies have shown that commercial poachers typically spend their incomes on non-essential items instead of re-investing the money as a legitimate business would. Some poachers cater to specific interest, particularly in regions where certain parts from common wildlife species are thought to have supernatural powers, such as the brains of a vulture. These birds are then illegally killed en-masse and the parts sold to people who practice folk medicine. This practice has intensified the decline in Old World vulture populations and other

species that depend on them to keep the environment clean. The methods used to poach small game in Asia and Africa pose threats to other wildlife as well. Metal snares indiscriminately target any wildlife that gets caught in the metal noose, even elephants. These inexpensive traps are frequently set up by the dozen and the poacher can check the snares at their leisure. Forgotten metal snares do not biodegrade after weeks and years of poor weather and will still trap, maim, and kill wildlife. In regions without enough scavengers the corpses of snared animals will decay, sometimes creating anthrax, and can poison water sources that nonpredatory animals depend on for nourishment. Livestock medicine (diclofenac), cyanide, and agricultural pesticides have purposefully or accidentally resulted in the indiscriminate deaths of large and small species.

Illegal Fishing & Over-fishing Illegal fishing has a dramatic long-term economic and environmental impacts as well as fishing without a license and businesses engaged in over-fishing by exceeding their quota exploit local resources and can exceed the sustainability of wild fish populations. Deep sea fishing is often restricted to internationally agreed upon exclusive economic zones or a nation’s territorial


Turtles seized from suitcases. Photo by TRAFFIC.

This creates a dramatic decrease in future yields over the long term and impacts the economic viability of deep-water fishing as a business. Exotic fish and turtles are also targeted by commercial poachers who then sell the fish to legitimate pet fish stores and street vendors. All of these fishing practices detract from legal, regulated businesses and can result in consumers potentially purchasing unsafe and illegally acquired products.

Career Poachers & Organized Crime In some instances commercial poachers are at the bottom level of large-scale poaching syndicates and do the ground work which international criminal organizations profit from Career poachers cull local wildlife or sea-life populations and deprive legitimate businesses of their sources of revenue and local villages of traditional sources of food as well as killing off exotic wildlife such as India’s tigers This takes away the opportunities of small

villages and towns to provide for themselves and can force destitute individuals to hunt larger, more dangerous wildlife or to subsist on meat from wildlife that died of disease. The species hunted for bushmeat varies by region, but typically small- and medium-sized game up to 250 kilograms (550 pounds) are targeted. In Liberia and the Congo Basin larger wildlife like elephants and pygmy hippopotamuses are sometimes illegally killed for legitimate food needs by local villagers and other times killed for their bushmeat by poachers.

India The big cat skin trade is thriving in Asia in large part due to burgeoning commercial poaching operations in India and neighbouring countries. For many decades India, has had weak penalties and lax enforcement of poaching laws, even for repeat offenders, which has resulting in expansive commercial poaching and brazen acts of trafficking. In October of 2003 a shipment of skins from 581 leopards,


31 tigers, and 778 otters was intercepted at the India-Tibet border. An incident in July of 2004 in Kanpur, India saw the seizure of 456 leopard and tiger claws and $13,000 in cash Sansar Chand was a prominent commercial poacher in India and was credited with killing thousands of wild cats, leopards, and tigers in his home country. By his own admission, the wildlife trafficking ring that he and his brother, Narain, were engaged in have sold thousands of skins. Read more about Sansar Chand’s poaching syndicate on Organized Crime & Criminal Syndicates .

Kenya Bushmeat poaching in protected areas occurs at a staggering volume in Kenya. During 2007 more than 239 arrests were made and 15,300 kilograms (over 33,700

pounds) of bushmeat were recovered by Kenya Wildlife Service employees from failed poaching attempts, seizures made during arrests, or discovered snared animals. In 2008 there were 334 arrests related to bushmeat poaching and over 7,000 kg recovered, with a similar number of arrests and recoveries in 2010. Data on bushmeat poaching arrests is not provided from 2011-present, however in 2012 more than 6,700 kilograms were recovered and in 2013 that number rose to more than 10,000 kg. In 2011 rangers employed by Big Life arrested and prosecuted 627 poachers. In September of 2014 the rangers arrested 37 individuals in 18 different bushmeat poaching incidents.

TRADE ROUTES


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African Penguin Conservation Status and Life Today Today, the African Penguin is a vulnerable animal and has been listed as being Endangered by the IUCN. It is thought that today's African Penguin population of around 70,000 breeding pairs, is less than 10% of the population that existed in 1900. By the 1950s, the African Penguin population had halved, and it had then halved again by 1980. There is an approximate 2% decline in the African Penguin population every year, mainly due to the Human consumption of their eggs, competition for food and habitat disruption.

As the climate changes and fisheries transform the oceans, the world's African penguins are in trouble, according to researchers. Young penguins are not able to take all the changes into account and are finding themselves "trapped" in parts of the sea that can no longer support them even as better options are available. "Our results show that juvenile African penguins are stuck foraging for food in the wrong places due to fishing and climate change," says Richard Sherley of the University of Exeter and University of Cape Town. "When the young of this endangered species leave the colony for the first time, they travel long distances, searching the ocean for certain signs that should mean they have found an area with


African penguin "Protecting the penguins -- and other species -from falling into similar ecological traps will require better action to account of the needs of predators in managing fisheries and concerted action to tackle climate change." lots of plankton and plenty of the fish that feed on it. But rapid shifts caused by climate change and fishing mean these signs can now lead them to places where these fish, the penguins' main prey, are scarce with impacts on their survival -- a so-called 'ecological trap.' Sherley and colleagues, including Stephen Votier, also at the University of Exeter, and scientists from the Namibian and South African governments, made the discovery after using satellites to track the dispersal of newly fledged African penguins from eight sites across their breeding range. They wanted to find out whether the penguins were being trapped in what's known as the Benguela Current Large Marine Ecosystem (BCLME). The BCLME is one of four major eastern boundary upwelling ecosystems of the world, Sherley explains. This portion of the ocean stretches from near the Angola-Benguela

front in southern Angola in the north to Cape Point in South Africa's Western Cape.

It has historically also been one of the most productive ocean areas in the world, rife with anchovies and sardines, which make good food for penguins and for people. In recent decades, overfishing in Namibia, heavy localized fishing, and subsequent environmental change have reduced the number of sardines and changed the areas that the fish use. In addition, fish and plankton are no longer reliably found together as they were in the past. The problem is that no one told the penguins. "The penguins still move to where the plankton are abundant, but the fish are no longer there," Sherley says. "In particular, sardines in Namibia have been replaced in the ecosystem by lower-energy fish and jellyfish."


The researchers developed models to show that the penguins travel over thousands of kilometres to find areas where sea surface temperatures are low and chlorophyll concentrations are high, a sign that should mean plenty of plankton and the fish that go with them. The researchers don't yet know for sure, but they suspect that the penguins are responding to substances given off by phytoplankton when they are under stress, as occurs when they are being grazed on by predators.

possible to protect the penguins by translocating chicks to a place where it's not possible to get trapped. They say there is some evidence that fledglings from the colonies in South Africa's Eastern Cape generally don't get caught in the trap, at least not yet. There are other options, too, such as building spatial fishing closures in key areas where the penguins feed or otherwise increasing the number of sardines in the area.

These were once reliable cues for prey-rich waters, but climate change and industrial fishing have depleted forage fish stocks in this system," Sherley says.

"

"These were once reliable cues for preyrich waters, but climate change and industrial fishing have depleted forage fish stocks in this system," Sherley says.

Sherley says the South African government is working to implement spatially explicit catch limits and management practices in their sardine f

Young penguins that find themselves in the degraded Benguela ecosystem today often fail to survive. Their breeding numbers are about 50% lower than they would be if they found their way to other waters, where the human impact has been less severe, the new study shows.

fishery, which will almost surely help. The researchers are helping to inform their decisions with the penguins in mind. Meanwhile, their work to understand how fishing influences the interactions between seabirds and their prey at different spatial scales and at different phases of the birds' lifecycle and how to protect them continues.

Sherley and Votier say it might be


The


I guess you have never heard of this cute looking dog, but this is one of Asia’s to predators and it is on the edge of extinction Dholes are wild canids, efficient predators and communal pack hunters. These rustcoloured carnivores roam the jungles and montane forests of Central and East Asia filling the humid air with whistles, howls and screeches that chill the heart of any sambar deer or wild boar. There have even been reports of dhole packs hounding – and, maybe even, killing – tigers. The Dhole’s prowess has not kept them off the endangered list, however. According to an as yet unpublished update to the IUCN Red List, there are only 949 to 2,215 breeding dholes left in the wild – that’s less than the world’s breeding tigers. Yet, dholes have been almost wholly ignored by conservationists, researchers and the global public. They are a forgotten predator. “Compared to a tiger, a Dhole is not very ‘sexy,’” said Kate Jenks, a conservation biologist with the Minnesota Zoo who has spent nine years trapping, collaring and studying dholes in Thailand. “They tend to get overlooked by scientists and conservationists that are more interested in tigers and leopards that live in the same area.” Although extremely adept hunters, dholes are no means a ‘big bad wolf’. At least not in the ‘big’ sense: these canids are

surprisingly small. At just 12-18 kilograms, Dholes are 30 to 50% the size of your average wolf, making them smaller than many medium-sized dogs. But despite their diminutive stature, Greg McCann, described dholes as “dogs that kill better than cats.” McCann, who is the field coordinator for a new NGO called Habitat ID, said Dholes were “natural born killers” in their ability both to tackle large (and often dangerous) prey like sambar deer, boar and young or injured gaurs – wild bovines that can weigh 50 times more than a Dhole. But dholes are also not too proud to hunt smaller game, like monkeys and mouse deer, or to scavenge.

Pulped forests and poisoned carcasses Dholes inhabit some of the most threatened, degraded and disconnected forest landscapes on the planet. The rainforests of Southeast Asia have seen unprecedented destruction over the past fifty years for palm oil, paper, rubber, timber, mining and other commodities. Where forests haven’t been destroyed, they have been fragmented by booming human populations, roads and everexpanding development projects. In 2011, Conservation International listed the forests of Indo-Burma (basically continental Southeast Asia) as the world most threatened forest hotspots on the planet.


The forests of Indonesia, Borneo, and the Malayan peninsula came it at number three. But recently Indonesia beat Brazil as the world’s biggest forest destroyer.

biodiversity, pushing everything from rhinos, wild cats, orangutans and elephants closer to extinction as well as hundreds of thousands of lesser-known

Captive Dhole at the Taronga Zoo. Photograph: Bobby Jo Clowmmunication methods. –DeMarco Williams A forest activist inspects land clearing and drainage of peat natural forest located on the concession of PT RAPP (Riau Andalan Pulp and Paper), a subsidiary of APRIL group which is being developed for a pulp and paper plantation in Sumatra, Indonesia. A forest activist inspects land clearing and drainage of peat natural forest located on the concession of PT RAPP (Riau Andalan Pulp and Paper), a subsidiary of APRIL group which is being developed for a pulp and paper plantation in Sumatra, Indonesia. The vast loss and fragmentation of these forests has proven a disaster for regional

species. But dholes may have been especially hard hit, since according to Kamler, they “have the largest land requirements of any Asian species.”

“Because Dholes are hypercarnivores that need relatively high prey numbers to raise litters and sustain large pack sizes,” he explained. Overhunting and snaring has decimated many prey species across southern Asia. In fact, the region is known for so-called empty forests syndrome. Here, forests are largely emptied of any large-to-mediumsized mammal or bird, wiped out by hunting both for food and the Traditional Chinese Medicine industry.


Even where forests still stand and prey remains abundant, dholes face human persecution. Dholes are not dangerous to people, but are killed for the threat they pose to livestock.

vultures.

Ambika Khatiwada, who works on humandholes conflict in his native Nepal with the National Trust for Nature Conservation (NTNC), said that “retaliatory killing...is a primary factor limiting dhole conservation.”

“Recent population analysis by the IUCN’s Dhole Working Group has revealed that the area of occupancy of this species has significantly declined close to 50% since the last assessment in 2008,” said Jenks.

“If Dholes kill livestock, herders [poison] the carcasses,” he noted. Such practices can wipe out an entire pack in one go. Poisoning carcasses – a common practice in many countries – can also kill other carnivores and vital scavengers like

Add to the list disease outbreaks from stray dogs, and it’s no surprise that dholes continue to vanish from the region, even in well-protected parks.

You can see captavive Dhole at Cambodia’s Srepok River Area, San Diego Zoo Safari Park


Thank you once again for reading

Conservation RedList. I shall leave you with this image of Rhinoceros at a watering hole in

Nambia. It may be the last time anyone sees such a spectacle.

Conservation RedList  

Focusing on conservation, preservation, protection ecoligical and environmental issues.

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