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Conservation (articles and reports)

Brazil Matias Offline
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"Starting with Uganda is a way of seeing with new eyes, a country with many probblem, where conservation walks at a slow pace ... but it goes ahead, seeking improvements for its people, identifying that tourism is an important part of this process"


Saturday April 7 2018
Pian Upe Park will balance our tourism


*This image is copyright of its original author
                               Scenery. Tourists enjoy a game drive in Murchision Falls National Park. PHOTO by Dominic Bukenya. 

In Summary:
  • One sided. Uganda’s tourism is skewed and the result is that a visitor to Uganda will likely only get to experience one side of Uganda.
  • This means the opportunity to earn from tourism is also limited to one side of the country.
  • How do we make Uganda tourism truly national? Odoobo C. Bichachi explores

By Odoobo C. Bichachi

Recently I had occasion to pick someone arriving at Entebbe International Airport and since the flight was delayed by half an hour, I found myself at the information desk where I was given an array of literature on tourism.I soon settled for a booklet titled “Uganda Tourism Catalogue: Journey Through the Pearl”. In the pages were colourful photographs and bite-size information about places one could visit in different parts of the country. I decided to analyse our tourism sector basing on the contents of the booklet and the pages allocated to different tourism regions, juxtaposing this with other tourism and general economic statistics. The emerging picture was interesting In those pages, there was everything right and wrong about Uganda tourism that should trigger an urgent conversation among government, tourism agencies, and other stakeholders. The booklet showed that Uganda’s tourism is skewed and the result is that a visitor to Uganda will likely only get to experience one side of Uganda. This means the opportunity to earn from tourism is also limited to one side of the country. How do we make Uganda tourism truly national? How do we spread the tourism experience, opportunities and benefits?

First, to the booklet. Out of the 131 pages, attractive “sights and sounds” in Uganda’s central region cover 28 pages, eastern region covers 21 pages, northern region covers 14 pages and western Uganda covers 68 pages. In percentage terms, this represents 21 per cent for central, 16 per cent for eastern, 11 per cent for northern and 52 per cent for western. The book is of course a reflection of what is on the ground. Most of Uganda’s tourism activities revolve around the Albertine Rift. There are currently 10 national parks in the country. Of these, seven and a half are located in western part of the country in the greater Albertine Rift. These are Mgahinga NP and Bwindi Impenetrable NP at the southwest tip of the country, home to the world famous mountain gorillas; Queen Elizabeth NP; Rwenzori Mountains NP; Lake Mburo NP; Kibale Forest NP; Semliki NP and Murchison Falls NP – southern sector. Only Kidepo Valley NP, Mount Elgon NP and the northern sector of Murchison Falls NP fall outside the western geographic region. Thus the two other parks fall in eastern Uganda while the half falls in northern Uganda.Outside game tourism, the other big attraction to Uganda for tourists is adventure and sightseeing in Jinja based on the source of the River Nile and the rapids/waterfalls along its course to Lake Kyoga, and increasingly the Ssese Islands beach resorts. Jinja is centrally located in the country as it is at the borderline of central and eastern Uganda. The Ssese Islands are in central Uganda in Lake Victoria.


Sharing tourism cake

What does this pattern of tourism mean in actual economic numbers? Well, tourism and travel has over the last few years grown to become Uganda’s number one foreign exchange earner. In 2016, the sector’s direct contribution to GDP was Shs2.4 trillion while visitor exports (money spent by tourists travelling into the country) was Shs2.6 trillion. The sector employed directly 191,000 people and indirectly through the support industry a total of 504,000 people. In terms of investment, Shs1.05 trillion was invested in the travel and tourism sector in 2016.

Broken down by the percentage of tourism activity per region as extrapolated from the booklet, the direct contribution of travel and tourism of western region to GDP stands at Shs1.3 trillion compared to central region’s Shs509 billion, eastern region’s Shs388 billion and northern region’s Shs266 billion.

In terms of employment, of the 191,000 direct jobs in the travel and tourism sector, about 99,320 jobs would be in western region, central region would have 40,110, eastern region would have 30,560 while northern would have only 21,010.
As for the 504,000 indirect jobs, 262,080 would be in western region, central region would have 105,840, eastern would have 80,640 and northern region would have only 55,440 jobs.

It is clear tourism creates a ripple effect and stimulates production of goods and services in different sectors along the value chain thus creating employment and economic opportunities for many in regional towns and remote communities. The value chain around tourism includes food production and supplies, construction, crafts, carpentry, transport, etc.

Just to get a graphic sense of it; the Tourism Sector Development Plan 2015/2016 noted the following: In 2011 there were 64,602 establishments providing accommodation and food in the country to tourists/travellers and these were employing 154,000 people. At least 29,635 of these were in hotels and campsites, 79,572 were in restaurants and mobile food outlets and 44,960 were engaged in events and other food services. There were 445 registered tour operators all employing at least 975 people. There were 325 tour guides and 2,901 members of community-based enterprises involved in making handcrafts and other tourism related activities. Tourism therefore impacts directly and indirectly on livelihood of hundreds of thousands of people in Uganda.

Indeed when tourism map is juxtaposed with the national poverty map, the impact of tourism – or lack of it – is clearly visible. According the Uganda National Household Survey 2016/2017, poverty is most prevalent in northern and eastern Uganda where it stands at 42.1 per cent in Busoga, 47.5 per cent in Bukedi, 40.9 per cent in Elgon, 40.5 per cent in Teso, 60.8 per cent in Karamoja, 34.7 in Acholi, 27.2 per cent in West Nile and 17.6 per cent in Lango. All these are areas with the least tourism activities. By contrast, the poverty prevalence is low in Kigezi at 19.5 percent, 11.5 per cent in Ankole, 20.5 per cent in Tooro, 27.5 per cent in Bunyoro, 24.3 per cent in Central 1, 21.8 per cent in Central 2, 7.5 per cent in Wakiso and 5.9 per cent in Kampala. Yes there are many factors that account for the poverty prevalence but certainly tourism has played a significant role in reducing poverty in the Albertine region. Queen Elizabeth NP and Murchison Falls NP are the most visited parks in Uganda while Kidepo Valley NP in Karamoja and Mt Elgon NP are the least visited parks in the country.


Omission or commission?

The current tourism infrastructure map is both an accident of nature and history. The Albertine Rift “is the western branch of the East African Rift Valley, covering parts of Uganda, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Rwanda, Burundi and Tanzania. It extends from the northern end of Lake Albert to the southern end of Lake Tanganyika.


*This image is copyright of its original author
                                                                              Map showing key national parks in Uganda


The Albertine Rift is one of the most bio-diverse areas in the world. Its landscape is also one of the most beautiful with spectacular land formations that created mountains, valleys, lakes and dramatic escarpments. It was therefore only natural that the colonial governments would gazette at least two national parks and several games reserves in the region.
Thus between 1926 and 1932, the colonial government established several game reserves across the Uganda Protectorate/Colony. In 1952, two of the big games reserves were elevated to national park status – namely Queen Elizabeth NP and Murchison Falls NP. In 1962, the Obote I government elevated Kidepo Game Reserve to a national park and later in 1983 the Obote II government elevated Lake Mburo game reserve to a national park, bringing the total national parks to four. It would remain so until 1991.

Between May 1991 and September 1993, six forest reserves were upgraded to national parks by the NRM government. They are: Rwenzori Mountains NP, Bwindi Impenetrable NP and Mgahinga NP (all in1991), Mt Elgon NP, Kibale Forest NP and Semliki NP (all in 1993). The primary driver in the upgrading of these game reserves to national parks was conservation. Mgahinga and Bwindi are home to the last surviving mountain gorillas while Kibale Forest is home to the biggest population of chimpanzees in Uganda. Mt Elgon and Rwenzori Mountains were elevated largely to preserve the forest cover whose decrease was having a huge impact on the country’s climate.

Several 1920s conservation areas however remained game reserves. These are: Katonga in western region), Ajai in West Nile region, Pian Upe, Matheniko and Bokora in eastern region. A few like Karuma, Bugungu, Kyambura, Kigezi and Semliki wildlife reserves became part of the wider conservation area around the nearby national parks – Murchison Falls NP, Queen Elizabeth NP and Semliki NP.

Nonetheless, it was always known that money follows conservation through tourism. The number of visitors to our national parks and the investments there in for accommodation and experiential tours attests to this. However for one reason or the other, I was unable to get the latest statistics from UWA on number of visitors, total revenue by park and revenue shared with communities as stipulated in the Uganda Wildlife Act. The information is not available on UWA website. UWA is by law supposed to share 20 per cent of gate collections with the districts in which the national parks are located.


More shall be given

In the evening of his reign, then UWA executive director Andrew Seguya – who handed over office two weeks or so ago – rolled out a mission to upgrade Katonga Wildlife Reserve to national park status. In furtherance of this, several animals were translocated from Murchison Falls and Lake Mburo national parks to boost the wildlife numbers in Katonga game reserve.
The necessary paperwork to have the area become a national park seems already complete pending presentation to cabinet and Parliament for endorsement. If all goes as planned, Katonga will be the eleventh national park in the country soon. Three things to note here: one, it will be the ninth national park in western Uganda. Two, the nine national parks in this region will be within 100km driving distance from each other (about one a half hours drive). Three, all the colonial gazetted wildlife reserves in western Uganda will now be at the level of national park, or part of a national park.

This is good news to the communities in these areas who will be able to pick more dollars from the growing number of tourists – selling goods or getting jobs. It is good news for investors (especially local ones) who are increasingly finding their feet in tourism through construction of accommodation and stop-over places. It is good news for tourists and tour companies who now have another easy picking added to their itinerary. It is also good for conservation in that more resources will be available to Katonga reserve – man power, money for infrastructure development, promotion/marketing, etc.


Critical questions

But it is bad for variety and it does not address the imbalance in tourism opportunities in the country. This is the reason there has been both excitement and disquiet in this move by UWA to single out Katonga for upgrade. What were the reasons for picking it out over and above the other game reserves at the same status? When will northern and eastern Uganda have any or all the game reserves set up in 1922 upgraded to national park status?
UWA’s unofficial explanation has been that the communities/districts in other regions have not asked for the game reserves to be upgraded to national parks; only the community around Katonga has asked! The question then is were they prompted or not? Were other areas prompted and were they are negative or not?

The benefits of a national park in a given area are immense. In terms of direct monetary contribution to communities around the national parks, UWA in the financial year 2015/2015 gave Shs900 million to the districts of Kasese, Kamwenge, Rubirizi, Mitooma, Rukungiri, Kanungu and Ibanda as part of the 20 per cent gate collections given back to the communities for conservation.

In the same year and for the same purpose, UWA gave Shs143 million to the communities adjacent to Kidepo Valley N P to implement livelihood projects. In 2014/2015, UWA had given Shs175 million to the communities adjacent to Lake Mburo NP as revenue-sharing funds. In 2006, UWA gave back Shs400 million to 15 sub counties surrounding Murchison Falls National Park in the districts of Buliisa, Masindi, Apac, Gulu, Amoro and Nebbi.

The latest figures were not available despite several attempts to get them from UWA.


*This image is copyright of its original author

Poverty estimates


Pian Upe and Ajai game parks

Several conservationists and tourism experts have spoken about the need to upgrade Pian Upe and Ajai game reserves into national parks but so far only Katonga is on UWA’s cards.
It certainly should not be a case of either or! The issue for UWA and government is to look at what investments can be made in other game reserves to make them more viable as conservation and tourism areas. Ajai Wildlife Reserve that was home to the rhinocerous can be stimulated by re-introduction of rhinos and other game. Instead rhinos are only at the privately owned Ziwa Ranch in Nakasongola.

More tourists visiting Ajai would not only boost the economy of West Nile region, it would also add a new activity to tourists visiting Murchison Falls NP given that the two conservation areas are about 100km apart.

Pian Upe is located in eastern Uganda and lies in the lower Karamoja area is very compelling proposition. It is the second largest conservation area in the country after Murchison Falls NP. But it has suffered years of neglect and abuse that in 2003 a plan to de-gazette it into farmland was mooted but thankfully defeated.

The potential for Pian Upe for conservation and tourism is immense. In the past, the area once supported big populations of elephants, lions, black rhinos and giraffes which are now extinct. Today there are small populations of zebra, eland, Grants gazelle and smaller mammals and the smaller cats and jackals. Translocations of a few hundred animals from the other national parks can therefore quickly get Pian Upe on its feet. Of course this would come with careful study and strengthening of manpower to protect the animals from poachers as well as development of requisite infrastructure to support national park activities. All these are not impossibilities and lie squarely in UWA’s mandate, Uganda Tourism Board and the Ministry of Tourism.


Balancing the regions

The elevation of Pian Upe to a national park would not only bring about some balance in the spread of national parks and tourism infrastructure, it would also make the other two national parks in the region – Mt Elgon and Kidepo Valley – more viable as a complete circuit. A tourist could therefore plan to visit Mt Elgon, Pian Upe and end up at Kidepo in one swoop.

The other impact of Pian Upe NP is that it could boost visits to existing places that attract minimal tourist traffic like Nyero Rock Paintings and Sipi Falls and perhaps stimulate the development of other sites like the enchanting Mt Kadam that is barely 100km away, Lake Bisina and Lake Opeta.

As earlier noted, tourism has a ripple effect near and far. The immediate beneficiaries would be the community surrounding the park who would not only get jobs, supply tourist lodges that will crop up, and sell artifacts to tourists, they would also share 20 per cent revenues from UWA’s gate collections.

Hotels in the nearby towns of Mbale, Moroto and Soroti whose room accupancy is currently very low as they mostly host training workshops and a handful of itinerants would greatly benefit from increased tourist visits. A few other hotels and stop-overs shall also be viable along the Tirinyi highway and the Mbale-Nakapiripirit-Moroto highway. Tour operators would also benefit from a new tourism circuit and the opportunity it brings to host tourists for more days, therefore more earnings.Finally the country would gain most – better conservation in an area that has suffered neglect, more diversified tourism experience, more revenues and better livelihood.


Domain: Daily Monitor

Link:  http://www.monitor.co.ug/artsculture/Tra...index.html

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Brazil Matias Offline
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For those interested in deepening knowledge, I present a very interesting report. Although its publication was in 2015, its effects will remain for many years ahead of it. Botswana is in turbulent times after the resignation of Ian Khama and his deputy Masisi impose many changes, deconstructing much of the legacy of Khama, with parliament's approval: return trophy hunting and communities can regulate the number of elephants on their land (slaughter), as a reaction to the problems of conflict, leading to deaths and impoverishment caused by the destruction of crops - a poorly understood relationship between which is cause and effect. In 2019 there will be elections, and dirty play is operating  to win votes.

It presents excellent data and realistic content of the problems caused by the high bushmeat rate in the Okavango region, with very clear conclusions about the causes and effects for the wild population as a whole, proposing a clear and objective path, namely through involvement of wild populations and communities in proposing a greater economic involvement with wildlife... makes an interesting observation: most hunters are those who own land and livestock, and do not directly face poverty, makes use of hunting only by the criterion of easy opportunity, and Criminal Law is soft, and the meat used, even when it is not used commercially, replaces the need to use its domestic cattle (demystifies that poverty is the reason hunting). Another finding is that the biggest victims are not the big animals (buffaloes, giraffes and elephants). Excellent document, a more comprehensive reality about conservation issues that the entire Okavango is going through, including its formally unprotected area.

Title: Illegal Bushmeat hunting In the Okavango Delta, Botswana (DrIvers, Impacts and potentIal solutions)

Author: FAO - FOOD AND AGRICULTURE ORGANIZATIONS OF THE UNITED NATIONS.

CO-PATROCINADOR: PANTHERA, BOTSWANA PREDADOR CONSERVATION TRUST

Link: http://www.fao.org/3/a-bc611e.pdf
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Brazil Matias Offline
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DEA announces 2018 rhino and elephant poaching stats to date
Department of Environmental Affairs highlights progress on the implementation of the
Integrated Strategic Management of Rhinoceros
21 September 2018

 
The Department of Environmental Affairs has reported back on the Integrated Strategic Management of Rhinoceros. The report back covers the period 1 January to 30 August 2018.

The Integrated Strategic Management of Rhinoceros approach was adopted by Cabinet in 2014 and draws together the work of the Department together with the Justice, Crime Prevention and Security (JCPS) Cluster Departments and Agencies.

These include the Departments of Defence, Correctional Services, the Ministry of State Security, the Directorate of Priority Crime Investigation or Hawks and the South African Police Service (SAPS).

This is supported by the work of South African National Parks (SANParks), the provincial conservation authorities, the South African Revenue Service (SARS), the Asset Forfeiture Unit, the Financial Intelligence Unit in the Ministry of Finance and National Prosecuting Authority (NPA).

Importantly, the ranger corps continue to play a key role in the conservation of South Africa’s fauna and flora; and in government’s anti-poaching efforts...


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United States Polar Offline
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(09-21-2018, 11:24 PM)Matias Wrote:
DEA announces 2018 rhino and elephant poaching stats to date
Department of Environmental Affairs highlights progress on the implementation of the
Integrated Strategic Management of Rhinoceros
21 September 2018

 
The Department of Environmental Affairs has reported back on the Integrated Strategic Management of Rhinoceros. The report back covers the period 1 January to 30 August 2018.

The Integrated Strategic Management of Rhinoceros approach was adopted by Cabinet in 2014 and draws together the work of the Department together with the Justice, Crime Prevention and Security (JCPS) Cluster Departments and Agencies.

These include the Departments of Defence, Correctional Services, the Ministry of State Security, the Directorate of Priority Crime Investigation or Hawks and the South African Police Service (SAPS).

This is supported by the work of South African National Parks (SANParks), the provincial conservation authorities, the South African Revenue Service (SARS), the Asset Forfeiture Unit, the Financial Intelligence Unit in the Ministry of Finance and National Prosecuting Authority (NPA).

Importantly, the ranger corps continue to play a key role in the conservation of South Africa’s fauna and flora; and in government’s anti-poaching efforts...



Poaching seems to have dropped by almost 200 instances since last year, nice! It seems like the wildlife and environmental officials of South Africa are finally stepping up their game and probably not giving hidden subsidies to the poachers (especially those from richer countries) for the tourism business as much. Things are going a bit better.
"If all mankind were to disappear, the world would regenerate back to the rich state of equilibrium that existed ten thousand years ago."

- E.O Wilson
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Netherlands peter Offline
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( This post was last modified: 09-22-2018, 05:54 AM by peter )

MATIAS

Good stuff. We need to develop the conservation section in order to be able to get to good assessments on the state of affairs in different parts of the world. Good information is needed, that is.  

There are distinct differences between continents and regions. In Europe, for instance, rivers are cleaner than a few decades ago. Wolves are now seen in regions where they're all but unknown. Same for quite a few other species. Things are slowly changing. The reason is a clear policy and a follow-up (research and protection).

In newspaper reports, we often read about forest destruction in Indonesia, Africa and North- and South-America. Although the reports are true, it also is a fact that the amount of forest worldwide has increased quite significantly last year (by about 7%). In Europe, Russia and China, reforestation is considered important. Politicians acted and it had an effect. Same for India.

Large predators are the best indicators of health. In quite many regions, they are protected. It most definitely has an effect. Let's take tigers. India, Nepal, Thailand and Russia now have more tigers than a decade ago. In regions where they're not protected, they're struggling or completely gone. In southeastern Asia (Vietnam, Laos and Cambodja), forests are all but empty. The result is that tigers, also targeted by poachers, have become extinct.   

As the remaining wild tigers are now protected in Russia, China, Thailand, Malaysia, Bhutan, Nepal and India, poachers moved to Africa (lions) and South-America (jaguars). That's not a result of coincidence; conservation isn't taken very serious in a number of countries in South-America and Africa. On the other hand, however, interesting initiatives have been developed as well. Projects about which we, as you said, know next to nothing. Same for research.  

In short: it would be much appreciated if you could keep us informed about the situation. South-America and Africa have some priority, but feel free to post about anything everywhere. 

At your request, you're still a member and not a mod. As far as we're concerned, however, you can act as a mod. If you need any help, let us know.
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Brazil Matias Offline
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(09-22-2018, 12:04 AM)Polar Wrote: Poaching seems to have dropped by almost 200 instances since last year, nice! It seems like the wildlife and environmental officials of South Africa are finally stepping up their game and probably not giving hidden subsidies to the poachers (especially those from richer countries) for the tourism business as much. Things are going a bit better.
Like Really government agencies are improving their actions. Over time, professional wildlife management has been showing ever better results. South Africa outlined decades ago a road to the future and has been improving ever since. The implementation of community conservation units is one of them. The commitment to donate animals to some communities that commit to this deployment is salutary. If we count all the initiatives, be they public, private and community where the fauna is established, we have a real vision of the importance that this model of conservation represents for the whole Africa. Improving the legal system with tougher punishments and a judiciary more committed to crimes against wildlife is an important step yet to be improved.

@peter 

Exactly. You said it very well! With the passage of time we will be able to divide news, articles and reports by continent ... and even by country or region. In time we can organize a more definitive format. I am sure that these matters are in everyone's interest. It is with them that we get attuned to what happens with all the wildlife that are addressed here. The news on conservation is very abundant and we have many new features daily. Thank you.
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Brazil Matias Offline
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( This post was last modified: 09-24-2018, 02:32 AM by Matias )

Opinion:

When I see Chinese companies approaching wildl areas, independent of being extractive companies (oil, minerals, gas ...) or infrastructure (roads, bridges, railways ...), concerns arise and become evident in facts. Scattered around the world, its employees soon absorb new possibilities to increase their financial gains, through products and by-products from the wildlife and examples are not lacking ... this investigative report approaches the surrounding region and Madidi National Park, just one example where the opportunity led to a search for canines, testicles, fur and claws of jaguar, whose existence was not known in this reogião. In this case, it seems redundant to identify that this "business" is a direct result these newly arrived citizens.

It is not a matter of wishing that these companies fail to carry out their works, many of them are important sources of development. It is a question of understanding that these crimes are propagated as long as they find a favorable environment. Bland laws and inefficient execution lead the balance to go down in favor of crime. In many underdeveloped countries foreign citizenship already provides certain tolerances among other perks, and nothing like corruption and public inefficiency to propel an illegal market in a place where such practices did not exist.
Fang trafficking to China is putting Bolivia’s jaguars in jeopardy

by Roberto Navia on 26 January 2018 | Translated by Sarah Engel
Mongabay Series: Latin American Wildlife Trade

  •  Residents in Bolivia’s Sena community say that they can sell a jaguar canine for about $215 on the Chinese market.
  • According to Bolivian authorities, the fangs are valued in the Asian market at prices as high as cocaine.
  • Between 2013 and 2016, 380 jaguar canines were seized by Bolivian authorities, which correlates to 95 jaguars killed.
  • Residents say an influx of Chinese companies to build roads and bridges in Bolivia is contributing to increased trafficking of jaguar parts. However, authorities deny these claims.

BOLIVIA — A skull rests in the hands of a hunter. It is a jaguar’s skull that has all of its teeth in place, except the four fangs that the jaguar used to sink into the necks of its prey – until Jesús shot him with an old shotgun in the Bolivian Amazon.

“For the tiger, you have to aim at the heart to leave it dry,” says the hunter, boasting of his aim.

Jesús, like many other hunters in the Bolivian jungle, usually uses the word “tiger” to refer to the jaguar (Panthera onca). He killed this particular jaguar in the thicket of a forest that he is very familiar with.

Jesús claims that he killed the jaguar three months ago because it was about to attack him, and that he shot it dead from about 30 meters away. He also says he would do the same thing again, because two Chinese citizens visited him in his home in Sena, in the Pando Department, to “open his eyes” and offer him $215 per fang. He also says that he sold them to them generously because he had never seen so much money in the same place. It surprised him that someone would pay so much money for a few jaguar fangs that were worth nothing to him...

Link: https://news.mongabay.com/2018/01/fang-t...-jeopardy/
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Venezuela epaiva Online
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(09-24-2018, 02:27 AM)Matias Wrote:
Opinion:

When I see Chinese companies approaching wildl areas, independent of being extractive companies (oil, minerals, gas ...) or infrastructure (roads, bridges, railways ...), concerns arise and become evident in facts. Scattered around the world, its employees soon absorb new possibilities to increase their financial gains, through products and by-products from the wildlife and examples are not lacking ... this investigative report approaches the surrounding region and Madidi National Park, just one example where the opportunity led to a search for canines, testicles, fur and claws of jaguar, whose existence was not known in this reogião. In this case, it seems redundant to identify that this "business" is a direct result these newly arrived citizens.

It is not a matter of wishing that these companies fail to carry out their works, many of them are important sources of development. It is a question of understanding that these crimes are propagated as long as they find a favorable environment. Bland laws and inefficient execution lead the balance to go down in favor of crime. In many underdeveloped countries foreign citizenship already provides certain tolerances among other perks, and nothing like corruption and public inefficiency to propel an illegal market in a place where such practices did not exist.
Fang trafficking to China is putting Bolivia’s jaguars in jeopardy

by Roberto Navia on 26 January 2018 | Translated by Sarah Engel
Mongabay Series: Latin American Wildlife Trade

  •  Residents in Bolivia’s Sena community say that they can sell a jaguar canine for about $215 on the Chinese market.
  • According to Bolivian authorities, the fangs are valued in the Asian market at prices as high as cocaine.
  • Between 2013 and 2016, 380 jaguar canines were seized by Bolivian authorities, which correlates to 95 jaguars killed.
  • Residents say an influx of Chinese companies to build roads and bridges in Bolivia is contributing to increased trafficking of jaguar parts. However, authorities deny these claims.

BOLIVIA — A skull rests in the hands of a hunter. It is a jaguar’s skull that has all of its teeth in place, except the four fangs that the jaguar used to sink into the necks of its prey – until Jesús shot him with an old shotgun in the Bolivian Amazon.

“For the tiger, you have to aim at the heart to leave it dry,” says the hunter, boasting of his aim.

Jesús, like many other hunters in the Bolivian jungle, usually uses the word “tiger” to refer to the jaguar (Panthera onca). He killed this particular jaguar in the thicket of a forest that he is very familiar with.

Jesús claims that he killed the jaguar three months ago because it was about to attack him, and that he shot it dead from about 30 meters away. He also says he would do the same thing again, because two Chinese citizens visited him in his home in Sena, in the Pando Department, to “open his eyes” and offer him $215 per fang. He also says that he sold them to them generously because he had never seen so much money in the same place. It surprised him that someone would pay so much money for a few jaguar fangs that were worth nothing to him...

Link: https://news.mongabay.com/2018/01/fang-t...-jeopardy/
https://earthjournalism.net/stories/jagu...ack-market
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( This post was last modified: 10-01-2018, 05:24 PM by Matias )

This series of four articles on sumatran rhinos provides interesting information on the shared efforts that have been implemented since 1984 to safeguard the conservation of this species. The last article has not yet been made available, and possibly will introduce the approach of mixing the two subspecies (Sumatra x Borneo) to strengthen the genetic material a bit - it seems to fit this division no more - it is a battle almost lost ...

Domain: Mongabay


Link:


https://news.mongabay.com/2018/09/a-herd...ad-rhinos/

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United States Polar Offline
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#10

(09-24-2018, 02:27 AM)Matias Wrote:
Opinion:

When I see Chinese companies approaching wildl areas, independent of being extractive companies (oil, minerals, gas ...) or infrastructure (roads, bridges, railways ...), concerns arise and become evident in facts. Scattered around the world, its employees soon absorb new possibilities to increase their financial gains, through products and by-products from the wildlife and examples are not lacking ... this investigative report approaches the surrounding region and Madidi National Park, just one example where the opportunity led to a search for canines, testicles, fur and claws of jaguar, whose existence was not known in this reogião. In this case, it seems redundant to identify that this "business" is a direct result these newly arrived citizens.

It is not a matter of wishing that these companies fail to carry out their works, many of them are important sources of development. It is a question of understanding that these crimes are propagated as long as they find a favorable environment. Bland laws and inefficient execution lead the balance to go down in favor of crime. In many underdeveloped countries foreign citizenship already provides certain tolerances among other perks, and nothing like corruption and public inefficiency to propel an illegal market in a place where such practices did not exist.
Fang trafficking to China is putting Bolivia’s jaguars in jeopardy

by Roberto Navia on 26 January 2018 | Translated by Sarah Engel
Mongabay Series: Latin American Wildlife Trade

  •  Residents in Bolivia’s Sena community say that they can sell a jaguar canine for about $215 on the Chinese market.
  • According to Bolivian authorities, the fangs are valued in the Asian market at prices as high as cocaine.
  • Between 2013 and 2016, 380 jaguar canines were seized by Bolivian authorities, which correlates to 95 jaguars killed.
  • Residents say an influx of Chinese companies to build roads and bridges in Bolivia is contributing to increased trafficking of jaguar parts. However, authorities deny these claims.

BOLIVIA — A skull rests in the hands of a hunter. It is a jaguar’s skull that has all of its teeth in place, except the four fangs that the jaguar used to sink into the necks of its prey – until Jesús shot him with an old shotgun in the Bolivian Amazon.

“For the tiger, you have to aim at the heart to leave it dry,” says the hunter, boasting of his aim.

Jesús, like many other hunters in the Bolivian jungle, usually uses the word “tiger” to refer to the jaguar (Panthera onca). He killed this particular jaguar in the thicket of a forest that he is very familiar with.

Jesús claims that he killed the jaguar three months ago because it was about to attack him, and that he shot it dead from about 30 meters away. He also says he would do the same thing again, because two Chinese citizens visited him in his home in Sena, in the Pando Department, to “open his eyes” and offer him $215 per fang. He also says that he sold them to them generously because he had never seen so much money in the same place. It surprised him that someone would pay so much money for a few jaguar fangs that were worth nothing to him...

Link: https://news.mongabay.com/2018/01/fang-t...-jeopardy/

Result of runaway capitalism...someone can just easily invade your territory, exploit natural resources, and leave you with nothing.
"If all mankind were to disappear, the world would regenerate back to the rich state of equilibrium that existed ten thousand years ago."

- E.O Wilson
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( This post was last modified: 11-06-2018, 06:52 AM by Matias )

Dando continuidade ao Post 9 ...

Este é o último artigo da série iniciada por Mongabay. Ele apresenta um resumo dos últimos trinta anos, concentrando-se no aprendizado fornecido neste momento e na reflexão de muitos profissionais sobre se devem prosseguir com mais capturas. É um dilema difícil de prever. Na minha opinião, o ecossistema de Leuser não deveria estar envolvido em capturas, continuaria incólume a quaisquer propostas ex situ ... e funcionaria como uma reserva muito bem protegida para salvaguardar a maior população selvagem de rinocerontes na natureza. Como disse Rabinowitz, "os esforços de reprodução em cativeiro devem estar associados à proteção do habitat e planos para relançar os rinocerontes um dia", e Leuser é o melhor lugar para isso. Eu não conheço sua situação atual mas até poucos anos atrás o Parque Nacional Bukit Barisan Selatan estava mal protegido e sofria com o desmatamento em escala média, bem como com assentamentos humanos. Replicar o santuário de rinocerontes em Way Kambas como um modelo não parece bom, condicionará sua sobrevivência a projetos desconectados de seu habitat. A causa desses rinocerontes deve servir como conscientização para melhorias em termos de proteção e salvaguarda de habitats e ecossistemas. E tanto a Malásia quanto a Indonésia precisam urgentemente de políticas públicas capazes de deter o desmatamento. A causa desses rinocerontes deve servir como conscientização para melhorias em termos de proteção e salvaguarda de habitats e ecossistemas. E tanto a Malásia quanto a Indonésia precisam urgentemente de políticas públicas capazes de deter o desmatamento. A causa desses rinocerontes deve servir como conscientização para melhorias em termos de proteção e salvaguarda de habitats e ecossistemas. 
https://news.mongabay.com/2018/10/the-rhino-reckoning/
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SANParks has released its Kruger National Park management plan covering the next 10 years. This 259-page report is essential reading for Kruger fans who enjoy debating the issues that the Kruger management team has to deal with on a regular basis, such as problem-animal management, hotels in Kruger and trophy hunting of free-roaming wildlife on reserves adjoining Kruger.

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20 June 2018
Wildlife crime: global seizures and arrests in transcontinental operation

LYON, France – An international operation against the illegal trade in wildlife and timber has seen hundreds of seizures worldwide as well as suspects arrested.

Codenamed Thunderstorm and targeting the people and networks behind global wildlife crime, the operation involved police, customs, border, environment, wildlife and forestry agencies from 92 countries and resulted in millions of dollars-worth of seizures.

The month-long (1-31 May) operation has so far brought 1,974 seizures and the identification of some 1,400 suspects, triggering arrests and investigations worldwide. Further arrests and prosecutions are foreseen as ongoing investigations unfold.

Total worldwide seizures reported to date include:
  • 43 tonnes of wild meat (including bear, elephant, crocodile, whale and zebra)
  • 1.3 tonnes of raw and processed elephant ivory
  • 27,000 reptiles (including 869 alligators/crocodiles, 9,590 turtles and 10,000 snakes)
  • almost 4,000 birds, including pelicans, ostriches, parrots and owls
  • several tonnes of wood and timber
  • 48 live primates
  • 14 big cats (tiger, lion, leopard and jaguar)
  • the carcasses of seven bears, including two polar bears
The operation saw eight tonnes of pangolin scales seized worldwide, including almost four tonnes by Vietnamese maritime authorities on board a ship arriving from the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Two flight attendants were arrested in Los Angeles attempting to smuggle live spotted turtles to Asia in their personal baggage. Both suspects have been charged with smuggling CITES-protected species and a transnational investigation has been opened between the involved countries.

A man was arrested in Israel and awaits deportation to Thailand after his hunting photograph on social media led to the seizure of multiple wildlife items at his home including fox, jackal and mongoose bodies. Follow-up inquiries have revealed that the suspect was also engaged in people smuggling and illegal employment.

Canadian authorities intercepted a container holding 18 tonnes of eel meat arriving from Asia. Thought to be poached from Europe originally, the juvenile glass eels had been reared in Asia before being dispatched to North American markets for consumption.

An integrated global response

The second in a global ‘Thunder’ series initiated by the INTERPOL Wildlife Crime Working Group, Operation Thunderstorm was coordinated by INTERPOL and the World Customs Organization (WCO) in conjunction with the International Consortium on Combating Wildlife Crime (ICCWC), which includes the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) Secretariat, UNODC and the World Bank.

“Operation Thunderstorm has seen significant seizures at global level, showing how coordinated global operations can maximize impact,” said INTERPOL Secretary General Jürgen Stock.

“By revealing how wildlife trafficking groups use the same routes as criminals involved in other crime areas – often hand in hand with tax evasion, corruption, money laundering and violent crime – Operation Thunderstorm sends a clear message to wildlife criminals that the world’s law enforcement community is homing in on them,” added the Secretary General.

An intelligence-driven operation

Investigative crime intelligence was gathered ahead of the operation to help target specific hotspots for action, including land and airport border points and wildlife parks.

Cars, trucks, boats and cargo transporters suspected of moving illicit products were also targeted with searches carried out by officers, often with specialist sniffer dogs and x-ray scanners.

“By leveraging the global network of worldwide environmental law enforcement experts and customs community’s commitment to protecting wildlife, WCO and its partners have clearly illustrated the power and effectiveness of international cooperation in keeping our natural heritage safe, both now and for future generations,” said WCO Secretary General Kunio Mikuriya.

“Operation Thunderstorm clearly demonstrates that by pooling our transnational law enforcement collaboration in the field, WCO and INTERPOL firmly contribute to making sure that borders everywhere divide criminals but connect customs and law enforcement as a whole to make the world a safer place,” added Dr Mikuriya.

Results will continue to be analysed globally to generate intelligence which will be used as guidance in future national, regional and international law enforcement efforts.

Organized wildlife crime: everybody’s business

The organized crime groups behind wildlife crime target high-value animal and plant specimens, and operate through complex global criminal networks. Driven by profit, the activities of these groups can have devastating economic, social and environmental impacts.

Ben Janse van Rensburg, CITES Secretariat Chief of Enforcement Support said: “No one country, region or agency can tackle illegal wildlife trade alone. Collective action across source, transit and destination states is essential. On behalf of all ICCWC partner agencies, I commend the excellent work done in member countries - Operation Thunderstorm is testimony to what can be achieved if we all work together.”

Senior officer Grant Miller of the UK Border Force and head of the UK national CITES enforcement team, said: “Through Operation Thunderstorm, criminals have seen the products they need to ply their trade seized and their illegal profits targeted. Organized crime groups engaging in wildlife crime will feel the impact of this operation for a long time.”

Mr Miller is also chair of the INTERPOL Wildlife Crime Working Group, which leads a number of projects to combat the poaching, trafficking, or possession of legally protected flora and fauna.

Participating countries

Countries which took part in Operation Thunderstorm include: Albania, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Bulgaria, Cameroon, Canada, Chile, China (including Hong Kong), Colombia, Congo, Cote d’Ivoire, Croatia, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Estonia, Ethiopia, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Latvia, Lebanon, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Malawi, Malaysia, Mexico, Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Oman, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Singapore, Slovakia, Somalia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Thailand, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States, Uruguay, Venezuela, Vietnam, Yemen, Zambia and Zimbabwe.  Vanuatu, which is not a member country of INTERPOL, also took part in Operation Thunderstorm.

Link: Wildlife crime: global seizures and arrests in transcontinental operation
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( This post was last modified: 10-10-2018, 11:33 PM by Matias )

Elephant massacre in Niassa Reserve -17,000 killed in eight years
12:26 CAT | 19 Sep 2018


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File photo of an elephant killed by poachers in Niassa reserve. Courtesy of the Wildlife Conservation Society / Alastair Nelson

The elephant in the Niassa National Reserve is at risk of extinction. The expression sums up the most visible consequence of what is, in fact, a massacre.
It has been eight years of devastation for the elephant population in Mozambique’s largest conservation area, threatening the conservation of biodiversity in an ecosystem which has the potential to become the largest transboundary conservation area in the world.

The Niassa Reserve, located in the provinces of Cabo Delgado and Niassa, covers a total area of 42,300 square kilometres, twice the size of South Africa’s Kruger National Park. But this vast conservation area has only about 400 rangers; one ranger per 100 km2, which makes the task more complicated.

It is as a result of this fragility and the growing international pressure of organised trafficking in ivory that the last years have been years of elephant killing. In 2009, according to local mapping data, there were 20,118 elephants in the Niassa Reserve, but by 2016 there were only 3,675 left. So in 16 years, 16,360 elephants were killed in the largest concentration of conserved animals in the country.

One of the most daring episodes came in December of last year when poachers shot down a family of seven elephants less than 10 kilometres from the reserve base camp, but rangers were only able to reach the site 24 hours later. It was rainy season and, over and above the difficulty of navigating the dirt roads, the crew had no boats to cross a river whose flow was elevated by the rain.

“When we arrived we found only the carcasses. They had already extracted all the tusks and left. They only left the tusks of a young elephant behind,” José Sitoe, Chief of Reserve Surveillance explains, stressing his concern about the growing pressure on elephants. “The poachers tend to shoot everything in their path. They’re not even be guided by quality, which would make them at least spare the younger elephants,” he says.

Since 2012, to combat the rampant destruction of wildlife resources, the main focus of the reserve has been the training of rangers in partnership with the Wildlife Conservation Society. From 2012 to date the rangers force has indeed grown, but is still far short of the number needed to protect the area.

But reserve managers rate 2018 as a relatively quiet year in terms of elephant poaching.

Mbatamila Camp, the reserve’s headquarters, showcases the tusks, firearms, traps and other hunting equipment seized by the men who are sworn to defend the reserve’s natural resources.

Tanzanian poachers are considered the most dangerous, and measures have been taken to reinforce surveillance along the Rovuma River, the natural border between the two countries. The need to bolster control over movement in the main areas of animal concentration has been identified as an important anti-poaching measure.

Other species such as lion and wild dog are also at risk and the focus of additional efforts by the anti-poaching teams.

By Antonio Tiua
[b]Source: [/b]O País

Opinion:

The rate of killing should decrease - not because of issues of protection, financing or community development - but rather simply because of the gradual decline in the rate of hunter encounters. When Niassa has less than 1000 elephants hunters will need many days (3 to 5) of hunting to find them. When your quantitative is only 300/400 hunters will need weeks to find them ... until the hunt is not compensating. Difficult to predict something different, in the face of the current efforts of the Mozambican government to stop poaching.
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Communities hold the key to expanding conservation impact in Africa

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12.10.2018

Wildlife conservation that uses community partnerships is working for people and threatened species across Africa, write Fred Nelson and Rosie Cooney of IUCN’s Sustainable Use and Livelihoods Specialist Group

Conservation efforts in Africa today face huge challenges. Africa’s human population is forecast to quadruple by the end of the century, and already intensifying pressures around the use of land, water, and natural resources are having an impact on the region’s extraordinary wildlife. The high-level statistics on wildlife decline are now familiar: elephant numbers across Africa declined by a third in the past decade, while lion populations have dropped by 50% over the past 30 years.
Against this backdrop, conservationists have been gathering in London in mid-October, at a conference convened by the UK government, to again discuss how to stop poaching and better safeguard elephants, rhinos, and other wildlife.

Quote:While most attention is focused on illegal wildlife trade and wildlife security, on the ground evidence is demonstrating the importance of community-level action.

In order to respond effectively to current challenges, conservationists – including funders and patrons based in northern countries – need to urgently promote and invest in approaches that are delivering conservation impact. Despite the impression created by many media headlines, there are strong grounds for hope that Africa’s wildlife can recover lost ground. Indeed, even while most attention is focused on illegal wildlife trade and wildlife security, on the ground a growing body of evidence is demonstrating the importance of community-level action. An expanding array of local conservancies and other community-based models are delivering results and showing the potential to integrate conservation with local livelihoods and national economic interests.

No country embodies these tenets better than Namibia, where innovative models for conservation developed over the past 30 years have restored wildlife on a remarkable scale. Namibia’s wildlife laws enable local communities to create conservancies, which give communities rights over wildlife use and management in their area. This provides the basis for these conservancies to enter into agreements with tourism or trophy hunting operators, which pay the conservancies directly through joint ventures or concession lease arrangements.

Over 80 such conservancies have been created, covering about 16 million hectares – an area larger than all of Greece. These conservancies now earn nearly $10 million annually from tourism and hunting, making wildlife a growing component of the country’s rural economy and creating incentives for rural communities to tolerate wildlife. Elephant numbers nationwide in Namibia have tripled since 1990 and the country has Africa’s largest population of black rhinos on community lands.


*This image is copyright of its original author


In Kenya, a diverse range of conservancies created by ranchers and local communities are spreading rapidly, now covering over six million hectares – about 11% of the country’s surface and more than the total land area contained in Kenya’s national parks. These conservancies help communities protect and manage their lands and generate opportunities from the country’s multi-billion dollar tourism industry. For example, in the Maasai Mara, conservancies now cover an area roughly equivalent to the Maasai Mara National Reserve (about 140,000 hectares), and deliver about $3.7 million in annual lease payment to thousands of local landowners.

In northern Kenya, recent aerial surveys recorded a 12% increase in the country’s second-largest elephant population between 2012 and 2017, attributed in part to the proliferation of conservancies in that part of the country. In the Maasai Mara, lions are now found at higher densities on some of these private conservancies than in the adjacent national reserve. Private and community conservancies contain nearly all the key habitat of Grevy’s zebra and the hirola antelope, two of East Africa’s most endangered large mammals.

Quote:Conservancies help communities protect their lands and generate opportunities from the country’s multi-billion dollar tourism industry.

Across Kenya’s southern border in Tanzania, evidence is also growing of positive conservation impacts linked to local stewardship. Tanzania’s version of conservancies are called Wildlife Management Areas –WMAs – and 19 of these areas cover a total of about 6 million hectares around the country, often bordering national parks and other reserves. These areas have not been as successful as local conservation models in Namibia or Kenya, partly because of ambiguities in government policy regarding the level of local control, and high levels of effective taxation on community revenues earned from tourism and hunting. But even WMAs are now starting to deliver after nearly 20 years of investment.

For example, recent research provides evidence of wildlife recoveries in two WMAs adjacent to Tarangire National Park in northern Tanzania. The most recent paper finds that one of these WMAs “has had positive ecological outcomes in the form of higher wildlife densities and higher giraffe population growth” since it became operational.


*This image is copyright of its original author


Conservancies and similar community-driven conservation areas are now at the forefront of making conservation work for people and wildlife. In both Namibia and Kenya, conservancies have more than doubled the total conservation estate beyond what is included within state protected areas. Namibia now has about 43% of its total land area under some form of conservation management, with more than half that total covered by private and communal conservancies.

While many conservationists, and leading scientists such as E.O. Wilson, are calling for countries to dramatically increase their conservation ambitions, including aiming for conservation measures on up to half of their land area, it is the growth of community-based models and action that is actually making this scaled up impact possible in Africa.

Quote:Conservancies and similar community-driven conservation areas are now at the forefront of making conservation work for people and wildlife.

Importantly, this progress is being spearheaded by a rising cadre of African conservation organizations that have the skills, local roots and determination to make conservation deliver for both people and wildlife. These include groups such as Integrated Rural Development and Nature Conservation (IRDNC) in Namibia; Honeyguide and Ujamaa Community Resource Team – the latter a 2016 Goldman Environmental Prize recipient – in Tanzania; and the Northern Rangelands Trust and Maasai Mara Wildlife Conservancies Association in Kenya.

Supporting the growth and development of these spreading community-based models, including their long-term financial sustainability, and investing in the local organizations that are facilitating them, will be a key to preserving and recovering Africa’s wildlife in the face of growing threats.

Link: https://africasustainableconservation.co...in-africa/
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