Friday, December 21, 2012
African Environmental Police: Ugandan rebels poaching elephants to finance war: United Nations — The UN Security Council has demanded an investigation into reports that Lord's Resistance Army rebels are killing elephants...
United Nations — The UN Security Council has demanded an investigation into reports that Lord's Resistance Army rebels are killing elephants for ivory to raise cash. The 15-member council also called for an inquiry into sources of financing and supplies for the rebel band led by Joseph Kony, who is wanted by the International Criminal Court for war crimes. A council statement ordered UN leader Ban Ki-moon to draw up plan to reinvigorate the international hunt for Kony by the end of February. The statement also called on the United Nations and African Union "to jointly investigate the LRA's logistical networks and possible sources of illicit financing, including alleged involvement in elephant poaching and related illicit smuggling." While nations believe they have Kony on the run, his rebels are still causing deadly chaos across remote jungle areas of Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda and South Sudan. A recent UN report said the rebels were responsible for the deaths of 39 civilians in at least 180 attacks this year. The UN says about 450,000 people have been displaced in areas where the rebels operate. The LRA has turned to ivory trafficking and also extended its area of operations, a UN Security Council meeting was told Tuesday. "There are credible reports of the LRA poaching elephants in DR Congo and illegally trafficking ivory," said Jeffrey DeLaurentis, a deputy US ambassador. Most poaching has been reported around the Garamba National Park in DR Congo, according to the rebel-tracking group Resolve. One woman who escaped the LRA in April reported that rebels in Garamba "were ordered by Kony to kill elephants and send their tusks to him," said a recent Resolve report. Park rangers reported finding three dead elephants and having confiscated tusks from suspected LRA forces after a battle, the group added. This year, the LRA has carried out attacks as far west as Bangassou in Central African Republic, where scores of men, women and children were abducted in September.
African Environmental Police: Senior ranger murdered by Mai Mai militia in DR Co...: December 2012. Atamato Madrandele, the chief ranger of Congo's Upemba National Park, has been murdered by Mai Mai militia as he was returnin...
December 2012. Atamato Madrandele, the chief ranger of Congo's Upemba National Park, has been murdered by Mai Mai militia as he was returning on a motorbike back to his park headquarters at Upemba National Park. Emmanuel de Merode, chief warden of Virunga National Park, who was a close friend and colleague of Atamato, said: "Atama was the first ranger I met when I came to Congo as a young researcher in 1993. We worked together in Garamba National Park for several years, and it was in his company that my love for Congo's wildlife grew alongside my affection for its people. He began as a junior ranger, not for lack of education or competence (he was a qualified teacher before joining the park service), but slowly steadily climbed through the ranks. In 2001, when I moved to Virunga he came with me and together we began our work of rebuilding the park. He was the commanding officer at Ishango, built the airstrip and trained up a unit of rangers. It was our first attempt at bringing Virunga back to life, and it gave me some of the most challenging and rewarding moments of my life. I appointed Atama as Sector Warden in Mutsora in 2008 as the first nomination I made. He was a critical support for me and for his men during those difficult days leading up to the CNDP war. Two of his rangers were killed by Mai Mai militias in separate incidences in the weeks that followed his nomination, and he confronted his responsibilities with the leadership that his men needed and a deep compassion towards the broken families of his fallen rangers." Please contribute towards supporting his family Atamato is one of around 150 rangers who have been killed in Congo in the course of their work in the last 15 years. Atamato leaves behind a widow, a young daughter and a son. If you would like to contribute towards supporting his family, and the families of other rangers who have been killed, please go to the Virunga National Park site. Source: Wildlife Extra
Wednesday, December 19, 2012
----- Forwarded Message ----- From: Johnny Rodrigues
To: Undisclosed recipient
Sent: Tuesday, 18 December 2012, 22:31
Subject: ZCTF Report - Dec 2012
ZIMBABWE CONSERVATION TASK FORCE
Only after the last tree has been cut down.
Only after the last river has been poisoned.
Only after the last fish has been caught.
Only then will you find that money cannot be eaten.
Cree Indian Prophecy
18th December 2012
ELEPHANTS EXPORTED TO CHINA
We have received a very disturbing report that on the 25th November 2012, 4 elephants were exported to Bejing. The elephants were transported by road, a trip that took 12 hours from Hwange to Harare Airport where they were loaded onto an Air Emirates aeroplane and flown to Dubai. This flight took 10 hours and from Dubai, they are allegedly being flown to Bejing.
The total weight of the elephants was 3,9 tons which implies they were very young and the handling was done by AGS. The fact that these elephants are juveniles indicates that they are being taken away from their mothers and family units are therefore being destroyed. It is further reported that another 14 elephants are being held in a boma in Hwange, also awaiting exportation in January 2013. It is said that the final destinations of the elephants are 2 zoos in China.
We are very concerned because we believe this constitutes cruelty to animals. Some elephants do not survive the stress caused by such long trips, not to mention the fact that the ones that do survive will subjected to a life of captivity in a Chinese zoo.
It is a well known fact that Zimbabwe has a serious poaching problem and to compound that, live animals are also being sent out of the country.
Chairman for Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force
Landline: 263 4 336710
Mobile: 263 712 603 213
The Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force relies soley on public donations. Your donation can help to preserve the wildlife in Zimbabwe. If you would like to assist, please contact us.
Monday, December 17, 2012
MORE than three elephants and seven endangered rhino have been killed by poachers in the Northern Circuit, ten days after the Kenya Wildlife Services concluded the wildlife census. Isiolo county commissioner Wanyama Musiambo yesterday ordered the security personnel, including the regular police, APs, KWS rangers and conservancy scouts to track down the poachers. Musiambo said the recent killings of seven rhinos at Lewa conservancies and three more elephants within the circuit is alarming and called for urgent measures to end poaching. He warned poachers that there days are numbered. He said they will be arrested and prosecuted. The commissioner said the suspects will be paraded at Isiolo town to shame before being prosecuted. "We are going to come up with a coordinated security intelligence to arrest the suspects," Musiambo said. He was addressing the public at Isiolo Stadium durin Jamhuri Day celebrations . The commissioner attributed the killings to increased demand for trophies and asked the policymakers to address the challenges facing wildlife to promote tourism. Last week, the KWS conducted an aerial count of elephants and endangered grevy Zebra within the larger Laikipia, Samburu, Isiolo and Marsabit complex. The census recorded a drastic fall in the number of elephants and Zebra in three years. KWS director William Kipkoech Kiprono, who announced the results of the count at Isiolo Sarova Shaba, said the number of elephants has reduced from 7,415 in 2008 census to 6,361 while that of Gravy Zebra have gone down from 2,400 in 2008 to 1,870. Kiprono attributed the sudden fall of the figure to increased poaching due to high market demand for ivory, drought, climate change and lack of pumps and signs along Isiolo-Moyale highway where several zebras were killed. The killings of the rare Rhinos at Lewa conservancy comes two days after the director declared total war against the poaching and outlined urgent security measures to curb the menace. The director regretted that illegal poaching has been on increase due to easy access to sophisticated arms in the last past years where a herd of elephants in parts of Kwale were massacred. He said the Kenya Wildlife services will come up with a strategic plan including acquiring an advanced radio, step up operations and working closely with the members of the community to support in the war against the illegal poaching and other issues that affect the wildlife. " I will not accept to supervise as director where animals were killed in masses, i rather resign and watch from outside," said the Director after dispatching 2012 results in Isiolo last week. He said the Kenya Wildlife Services will modernize its service to control the menace to zero percent tolerance to poaching and spread officers all over the vast areas to combat the killings. During the occasion, Mr Kiprono said the role to protect wildlife should not be left to KWS alone but other security agents, community and partners must take responsibility in safeguarding and protecting the animals. " We want everybody to stand up for this, because the world should not keep quite while consumers have gone to the next level," said the director in his key note speech. He said the census is meant to assess endangered species in the region in order to check on its trend and come up with remedial measures including mobilizing resources and put in place stringent security measures to minimize illegal killings. Mr Kiprono said the data will enable Kenya Wildlife Services and other organizations dealing in conservation management to tackle emerging challenges and come up with right approach towards addressing issues affecting the sector. The region has second largest population of elephants and the largest 90% of gravy Zebra population in Samburu, Isiolo Conservation area and is therefore important for continued monitoring to provide long term data for better coordination and sound management. Source: AllAfrica.com
Saturday, December 15, 2012
African Environmental Police: Africa lions face extinction: JOHANNESBURG (AP) — The lions that roam Africa's savannahs have lost as much as 75 percent of their habitat in the last 50 years as humans o...
JOHANNESBURG (AP) — The lions that roam Africa's savannahs have lost as much as 75 percent of their habitat in the last 50 years as humans overtake their land and the lion population dwindles, said a study released Tuesday. Researchers at Duke University, including prominent conservationist Stuart Pimm, warn that the number of lions across the continent have dropped to as few as 32,000, with populations in West Africa under incredible pressure. "Lion numbers have declined precipitously in the last century," the study, published Tuesday by the journal Biodiversity and Conservation, reads. "Given that many now live in small, isolated populations, this trend will continue. The situation in West Africa is particularly dire, with no large population remaining and lions now absent from many of the region's national parks." Fifty years ago, nearly 100,000 lions roamed across the African continent. In recent years, however, an ever-growing human population has come into the savannah lands to settle and develop. That has both cut down the amount of land lions have to roam, as well as fragmented it, researchers said. Using satellite imagery, the researchers determined the amount of land now available for lions that remains wild and minimally impacted by human growth. Those lands are rapidly diminishing, and more territory will likely be lost in the next 40 years, the report said. Five countries in Africa have likely lost their lions since a 2002 study was run, the report said. Only nine countries contain at least 1,000 lions, while Tanzania alone has more than 40 percent of the continent's lions, it said. "An obvious caveat is that areas for which we detect little conversion of savannahs to croplands may still suffer human impacts that make them unsuitable for lions," the report said. "Over-hunting for trophies, poaching — of lions and of their prey species — and conflict with pastoralists may not have any visual signal to satellites. Even where there are low human population densities and areas designated as national parks, there (may) not be lions within them." The report calls for more mapping and studying to be done to ensure the lions' protection. Source: Huffington Post ___
African Environmental Police: Google-funded drones for anti-poaching war in Afri...: Google has awarded a $5 million grant to the World Wildlife Fund to use and adapt new technologies to combat animal poaching around the wo...
Google has awarded a $5 million grant to the World Wildlife Fund to use and adapt new technologies to combat animal poaching around the world. According to NBC News, the WWF has incredible plans on how to put the money to good use. One of their plans is to use the money to develop camera-equipped drones to monitor poaching in Africa. Crawford Allan, head of wildlife trade organization TRAFFIC North America is one of the WWF’s on-call experts. He told NBC News: “We needed to find other ways where we could detect and deter poachers. It’s been fairly rudimentary in places where there are very precious species to protect.” Despite efforts to stop them, poaching operations have continued to grow in both scale and sophistication. Rhinos used to be poached at a rate of 15 or 20 per year in Africa. Thanks to the high demand for rhino horn coming primarily from Asia, the number of poached Rhinos has grown to over 600 this year alone. The number of poached elephants and tigers are equally as heart-breaking. Allan continued by saying:“We could have just gone on business as usual, making small steps. But now that we have a major partner in Google, we can finally take some big steps.” Of course, part of the money has to go to much needed logistical concerns like updating laptops, buying gas for patrols, and making sure that the people on the ground are safe and well-supplied. However, the $5 milllion grant also means that the WWF can finally deploy technologies that it’s been waiting on for years. For example, the camera-equipped drones. Not fully autonomous ones, but human-piloted drones that can relay information like acoustic signals and infrared imaging to their operators and patrols on the ground in real-time. Allan said: “With the aerial vehicles, we have not selected any particular system, and we may be looking to tailor one to our needs. But we’re not going to be using a $200 hobby-shop device. We’re probably looking in the tens thousands of dollars range.” A drone like that would need to strike a balance between cost, capacity, noise, portability and many other factors. The WWF is doing initial aerial platform testing at sites in Namibia and Nepal, and is hoping to partner with interested local governments. Source: ABC News
Friday, December 14, 2012
African Environmental Police: Tanzanian safari operators boost anti-poaching ope...: A GROUP of 10 hunting operators donated equipment worth 42m/- to boost anti-poaching campaigns in the country. In the meantime, the compan...
A GROUP of 10 hunting operators donated equipment worth 42m/- to boost anti-poaching campaigns in the country. In the meantime, the companies made special request to the government to increase the hunting period from five to around 20 years, which could be considerable for the firms to invest in key infrastructures like roads and bridges for easy access into the wildlife areas. Northern Hunting Enterprise (T) Limited Managing Director, Muhsin Abdallah, made the plea on behalf of the 10 hunting firms at Rungwa Game Reserve, Kizigo/Muhuwesi Game Reserve and Ecosystem, during the handing over ceremony in Dar es Salaam. The facilities donated include 15 tyres and three batteries for anti-poaching vehicles, 12 Australian made front and rear shock absorbers, one injector pump, six injector nozzles, 10 tents, two satellite phones and 10,000 litres of diesel. The companies which made the donation are Northern Hunting Enterprises (T), Palahala Safaris, Rungwa Game Safaris, Wembere Hunting Safaris, Robin Hurt Safaris, Bushman Safaris, Marera Safaris, African Buffalo Trackers, TAWICO and Wildfoot Prints. "Conducting patrols in the country's wildlife which is approximately 120,000 kms, requires enough budget and incentives to the game wardens...this fact that calls for all stakeholders to team up against the ravaging malpractice," he said. To increase patrols in wildlife areas. Mr Muhsin said his firm and other two counterparts have ordered three helicopters to facilitate the surveillance in Rungwa Game Reserve, Kizigo/ Muhuwesi Game Reserve and Ecosystem. "Conservation of wildlife resources has become an expensive undertaking due to the vastness of the area, as well as the increasing demand of the trophies from some Asian countries," he said. Manager of the Rungwa Game Reserve, the second after Selous, Mr Julius Kibebe said according to international standards, each game warden is supposed to patrol an area of about 25 kms but due to insufficient human and financial resources they oversee a region of between 280 and 300 square kms. Deputy Assistant Director of Wildlife Division Twaha Twaibu pleaded for cooperation from all citizens to reveal the poachers. He challenged other companies which secured hunting blocks in the period of 2013-18 to emulate their colleagues in support of the government efforts to protect the wildlife for the present and future generations. Source: Tanzania Daily News
Wednesday, December 12, 2012
ZIMBABWE Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (Zimparks) rangers have shot and killed two suspected elephant poachers in Mushumbi Pools in the Dande Valley, a senior official confirmed yesterday. Report by Moses Matenga The suspects — Andrew Mapfumo and Last Stephanie — were allegedly shot after slaughtering six elephants recently. “Investigations reveal that Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority Rangers observed a human spoor of five suspected poachers in the park, and quickly made a follow up and it is during a contact that the two armed poachers were killed,” Zimparks spokesperson Caroline Washaya-Moyo said. “The other three poachers ran away and items recovered included one 3008 calibre hunting rifle, one 3008 spent cartridge, three live 3008 rounds and six Pairs of elephant tusks weighing 51,4kg valued at $12 850 and three mortar-bombs.” Washaya-Moyo added that the poachers started a veld fire in a bid to cover their tracks after leaving the park. “Mapfumo has been involved in elephant poaching since 2005 and was convicted of elephant poaching and served a custodial sentence at Guruve and Bindura prisons,” she said. Their bodies were taken to Guruve Hospital where a post mortem was conducted on December 3. They were buried on Wednesday last week. It is understood that the poachers were killed when they were having lunch and according to their relatives, who condemned Zimparks rangers for the killing, the suspected poachers were shot at close range when they had not resisted arrest. Relatives of the deceased who spoke to NewsDay said they were not happy with the way their relatives were killed and post-mortem results did not indicate their cause of death. Meanwhile, Washaya-Moyo said a suspected Zambian poacher was also killed in Katombola, Hwange National Park, on Sunday while four others escaped. “Two rifles, 14 rounds of ammunition and foodstuffs with Zambian labels were recovered. Much as we are resource-constrained, rangers are more than willing and ready to bring the country’s conservation efforts back on track,” she said. Source: Newsday
Monday, December 10, 2012
African Environmental Police: Zambian poacher shot dead in Zim's Kazungula Natio...: GAME rangers shot and killed a suspected poacher at Kazungula National Park on Saturday – the second fatal confrontation in a month, police...
GAME rangers shot and killed a suspected poacher at Kazungula National Park on Saturday – the second fatal confrontation in a month, police said on Monday. Four other poachers escaped in the early morning raid on their camp in the Matetsi Unit Six area, a subdivision of the sprawling game reserve. Matabeleland North police spokesman Inspector Billie Dube said on December 7, the rangers deployed at Quebec base in Matetsi received information from Econet engineers working on a facility along the Victoria Falls-Kazungula road who heard two gun shots in the area. Inspector Dube said: “The rangers made a follow up and came across human tracks about 800m from the Econet facility and started tracking until it got dark. “The rangers then camped for the night before resuming the search for the suspected poachers early the next morning. “At about 6AM, the rangers intercepted five poachers at Camp 21. They saw one of the poachers seated by a huge tree and opened fire on him, killing him on the spot. The other four poachers managed to flee in different directions.” Two loaded assault rifles were recovered along with three elephant tails, two cooking pots and a mobile phone with two Zambian SIM cards. The dead poacher, who has not been named, had seven bullet wounds. The dead man’s body is at the Victoria Falls Hospital mortuary. Inspector Dube said game rangers were authorised to shoot to kill in a high stakes game with poachers who are always armed to the teeth and have previously fatally wounded rangers. Source: New Zimbabwe.com
African Environmental Police: Zimbabwean lioness sets world record by giving bir...: A LIONESS in Zimbabwe has set a world record by giving birth to EIGHT cubs in a single litter despite being on the PILL. Dr Hillary Madzika...
A LIONESS in Zimbabwe has set a world record by giving birth to EIGHT cubs in a single litter despite being on the PILL. Dr Hillary Madzikanda, the Zimbabwe National Parks and Wildlife Management Authority's head of scientific services gushed: “This has never happened in the history of lions, the world over. It is actually a world record.” The previous known highest number of cubs in one litter was recorded in China only in July this year when a lioness gave birth to six cubs. Dr Madzikanda explained: “Normally, you get two cubs per litter and getting four is even very lucky. This one is a record. It is an achievement for this lioness. “Surprisingly, the lioness was on a contraceptive pill.” The lioness, named Pasha, gave birth on November 4 at the Lion and Cheetah Park on the outskirts of Harare, although parks officials only announced the rare event on December 10. Anthony Newall, the wildlife sanctuary’s general manager, said Pasha had given birth to two cubs earlier this year, and had been immediately put on the pill to control her breeding. One employee at the Park said: “How Pasha got the eight cubs is still a mystery to everybody.” Pasha was understandably a little tired and frail after giving birth to such a large litter and was receiving some extra treats to boost her health. The gamekeepers were also bottle feeding milk to the cubs. Said one worker: “We are suckling them from the bottle each time they wake up from sleep. “They still need a lot of milk and warmth and we are keeping an eye on them every minute.”
Saturday, December 1, 2012
African Environmental Police: 215 pieces of African ivory seized in Dubai: Dubai Customs have foiled an attempt to smuggle a large consignment of ivory hidden in 40 boxes containing green beans. The customs author...
Dubai Customs have foiled an attempt to smuggle a large consignment of ivory hidden in 40 boxes containing green beans. The customs authorities estimated the ivory, that was seized at the Jebel Ali Port. to be worth some £2.5 million. The consignment was en route from an unspecified African country. The customs inspectors manually searched the boxes of beans and found that they contained ivory from at least 108 poached elephants of various ages. Poaching has caused a decline of African elephants from millions to a few hundred thousand individuals in the past decades. Source: Online