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Elephants needing a room: hawkmoths on the march for a pupal pad

A herd of elephant hawkmoth caterpillars is trooping across my garden to pupate

Caterpillars are on the march. In the past week I’ve found several elephant hawkmoth caterpillars trooping across my garden. These are arguably the most subtly beautiful of the charismatic hawkmoth grubs. They are deep brown and charcoal grey with four arresting “eyes” of black, brown and silver – part of an armoury of deterrents against voracious birds, which includes the sudden switching into “snake” mode when disturbed, to discombobulate predators.

The adult moth takes its name from the caterpillar’s trunk-like snout, although its bewitching pink hued wings are also the colour of a cartoon elephant.

Related: Exotic migrant moths invade Britain under cover of darkness

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大象2.0:留住珍贵的象群集体记忆

每头大象都是巨大的象群数据库和信息网络的一个神秘入口,让我们守护这份自然的奇迹。

大象有着一 副如此悲伤的面孔,很难现象任何人会去伤害它们。它们有着苍白的嘴唇和下垂的肩膀;它们的姿态悠长而松弛,眼睛若有深意,可以让罪过者动容。但似乎单凭负 疚感并不能拯救大象。八年前,非洲象和亚洲象的种群总数大约有600万到900万头。如今,大约只剩50万头。日复一日,大象距离灭绝越来越近。

也许我们需要一些新的观念。也许是时候从新的角度考虑我们为什么需要保护大象。对于我们来说,珍贵的或许并不是它们的身体,而是它们共享的记忆和经验。这就是我在这篇文中想要提出的观点。

Related: 打压盗猎盗伐,别小看了旅游业的本事

Related: Why the Guardian is publishing its elephant reporting in Chinese

Continue reading...

大象2.0:留住珍贵的象群集体记忆

每头大象都是巨大的象群数据库和信息网络的一个神秘入口,让我们守护这份自然的奇迹。

大象有着一 副如此悲伤的面孔,很难现象任何人会去伤害它们。它们有着苍白的嘴唇和下垂的肩膀;它们的姿态悠长而松弛,眼睛若有深意,可以让罪过者动容。但似乎单凭负 疚感并不能拯救大象。八年前,非洲象和亚洲象的种群总数大约有600万到900万头。如今,大约只剩50万头。日复一日,大象距离灭绝越来越近。

也许我们需要一些新的观念。也许是时候从新的角度考虑我们为什么需要保护大象。对于我们来说,珍贵的或许并不是它们的身体,而是它们共享的记忆和经验。这就是我在这篇文中想要提出的观点。

Related: 打压盗猎盗伐,别小看了旅游业的本事

Related: Why the Guardian is publishing its elephant reporting in Chinese

Continue reading...

What’s the story behind China’s ivory ban?

This year, China’s government enacted a ban on ivory sales and started closing down carving workshops. How did such an astonishing U-turn come about?

For years Chinese government officials were followed around the world, at every meeting, by a single issue: the scores of dead elephants across Africa, and the international community that blamed China for this “ivory “holocaust”.

Even the Chinese premier, Li Keqiang, could not escape lectures on poached elephants and the evils of China’s legal domestic ivory trade from foreign leaders. For years, China deflected the criticism with claims of a long cultural heritage and incremental policies, such as a ban on ivory carving imports two years ago.

Related: Alone, China's ban on ivory could make life worse for elephants

There’s a lot of groups talking about ivory, but no one would come out and say: ‘China needs to ban ivory'

Related: 'Elephants are not the only victims': the lament of China's ivory lovers

Continue reading...

What’s the story behind China’s ivory ban?

This year, China’s government enacted a ban on ivory sales and started closing down carving workshops. How did such an astonishing U-turn come about?

For years Chinese government officials were followed around the world, at every meeting, by a single issue: the scores of dead elephants across Africa, and the international community that blamed China for this “ivory “holocaust”.

Even the Chinese premier, Li Keqiang, could not escape lectures on poached elephants and the evils of China’s legal domestic ivory trade from foreign leaders. For years, China deflected the criticism with claims of a long cultural heritage and incremental policies, such as a ban on ivory carving imports two years ago.

Related: Alone, China's ban on ivory could make life worse for elephants

There’s a lot of groups talking about ivory, but no one would come out and say: ‘China needs to ban ivory'

Related: 'Elephants are not the only victims': the lament of China's ivory lovers

Continue reading...

Rhino horn sales: banking on extinction

Paula Kahumbu: The sale of rhino horn in South Africa won’t help save rhinos, but it will benefit organised crime

South Africa has just launched the first ever legal rhino horn auction. If you are based in South Africa and would like to buy some rhino horn you can place your bid here.

This is not a government auction, although it is sanctioned by the South African government. It has been organised by private rhino rancher, John Hume, who took the government to court and won the right to sell 265 rhino horns weighing about 500 kg. Trade in rhino horn is illegal in most countries, but the black market value of one kilogram is said to be USD 100,000—more than the price of platinum.

As the demand for rhino horn has increased globally, a trend led by Asia, we have seen the growth of rhino being poached in South Africa escalate at alarming levels to match that demand. We are at a crossroad where we, as a nation, need to view alternative approaches to conserve our species … We firmly believe that legal rhino horn trading is the best way to save the rhino…

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The tent is a trap for a wasp used to flying up out of danger

West Knoyle, Wiltshire It skitters up the fabric to the pinnacle, dropping down several feet then looping back up again, and again, and again

Taking respite from the hubbub of milling outdoor and bushcraft enthusiasts attending the Wilderness Gathering, I lie back under the shade of a conical bell tent. Gazing upwards into the canvas peak I watch a wasp skittering up the ivory fabric to the pinnacle, dropping down several feet then looping back up again, and again, and again.

Related: Conservationists slam 'hateful' survey promoting wasp killing

Related: Editorial: In praise of… wasps

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Tributes paid to ‘silent hero’ wildlife conservationist killed in Tanzania

Government officials and fellow conservationists paid tribute to Wayne Lotter at a special memorial yesterday

Hundreds of people gathered at Baobab Village in Dar es Salaam to pay tribute to Wayne Lotter on Tuesday evening, as tributes continued to come in from around the world.

Lotter, 51, was shot and killed last week while travelling in a taxi from the airport to his hotel on Dar es Salaam’s Msasani Peninsula. Lotter, who co-founded PAMS Foundation, a conservation nonprofit, was responsible for supporting anti-poaching efforts that had led to the arrests of more than 2000 ivory poachers and traffickers, and had taken down several key poaching syndicates in the country. He had received numerous death threats since starting the organization in 2009.

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Three more rangers killed in a deadly month around the world for wildlife defenders

Wildlife protection has become an increasingly dangerous business as rangers face armed gunmen and poachers

Three rangers have been killed in separate countries in a deadly month for wildlife defenders.

A ranger at Serra da Capivara national park, in Brazil’s north-eastern Piaui region, was killed by hunters on 18 August. Edilson Aparecido da Costa Silva and two other colleagues were patrolling the park when they were ambushed by a group of four armed men who are believed to have been hunting in the park illegally. Costa Silva was killed in the shootout that followed, while the other two rangers were injured.

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Baby giraffe takes first steps after being born at Taronga Western Plains zoo – video

Taronga Western Plains zoo in Dubbo, New South Wales, has welcomed two brand new additions to the giraffe herd, born within one week of each other. This video was shot within minutes of the first calf’s birth and shows it taking its first steps and bonding with adult members of the giraffe herd. The first calf is named Zuberi, which means strong in Swahili, and the second calf is Kibo, which means the highest. The zoo says that in just 30 years the global giraffe population has fallen by up to 40% due to poaching for bush meat and habitat encroachment. The zoo aims to spread awareness of their plight and raise money for conservation in Kenya

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South Africa: Rhino Poacher Jailed for 20 Years

[SAPS] On 7 September 2017, 30-year-old Mapoyisa Mahlauli was sentenced to an effective 20 years imprisonment after he was found guilty in the Skukuza Regional court for various rhino-poaching related crimes.
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Africa: How Ivory Fell Into the Hands of Organized Criminal Syndicates

[IPS] Cambridge -"Ivory is like a drug and you have to be careful with it. If you are serious and desire it, you can get all you want, but you have to be patient and act very carefully," a Cameroonian man selling ivory items from a network of shops acr...
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Zimbabwe: Poachers Poison Jumbos

[The Herald] Two elephants were killed by suspected poachers using cyanide in the Liasha area of Hwange, the Parks and Wildlife Management Authority of Zimbabwe has said. About 260 kilogrammes of cyanide has since been recovered in a bushy area, while ...
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Namibia: N$866 000 Raised for Anti-Poaching Drive

[Namibian] THE Hunters United Against Poaching Trust last Thursday hosted a gala dinner and fund raising auction during which N$866 000 was raised for use in anti-poaching activities.
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Namibia: NGOs Cry Foul Over Licensing to Kill Desert Elephants

[Namibian] TWO non-governmental organisations have accused government of indiscriminately issuing licences for desert elephants to be shot.
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IFAW collaborates on new scientific report about sharks, rays and chimaeras

Dr. Akram Darwich Sep 7 2017 read more
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Kasungu National Park’s wildlife is recovering after 25 years of poaching

Deanne Gibbs Sep 6 2017 The increase in scale and nature of the illegal wildlife trade combined with Malawi’s previously undeveloped...
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Kasungu National Park’s wildlife is recovering after 25 years of poaching

Deanne Gibbs Sep 6 2017 The increase in scale and nature of the illegal wildlife trade combined with Malawi’s previously undeveloped...
Read More »

Africa: Wildlife Crime – Why Diverse Data Will Drive Better Responses

[ISS] Since 2006, Southern Africa has been facing an increasing poaching crisis. The securitisation of national parks and private reserves has become a multi-million-rand industry. The cost to secure South Africa's Kruger National Park alone, for insta...
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Angola: IDF Preserves Rare Species of Fauna and Flora

[ANGOP] Matala -Animals such as black buffalo, elephant, leopard and wild boar are some of the rare species of fauna considered privileged and cataloged by the Forest Development Institute (IDF), in the Bicuar National Park, southern Huíla province, preventing them from being extinguished.
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Zimbabwe: Poacher Zimparks Employee Shot

[The Herald] A Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (Zimparks) employee was shot and injured while allegedly poaching for elephant tusks at Mana Pools National Park.
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Elephants needing a room: hawkmoths on the march for a pupal pad

A herd of elephant hawkmoth caterpillars is trooping across my garden to pupate

Caterpillars are on the march. In the past week I’ve found several elephant hawkmoth caterpillars trooping across my garden. These are arguably the most subtly beautiful of the charismatic hawkmoth grubs. They are deep brown and charcoal grey with four arresting “eyes” of black, brown and silver – part of an armoury of deterrents against voracious birds, which includes the sudden switching into “snake” mode when disturbed, to discombobulate predators.

The adult moth takes its name from the caterpillar’s trunk-like snout, although its bewitching pink hued wings are also the colour of a cartoon elephant.

Related: Exotic migrant moths invade Britain under cover of darkness

Continue reading...
Read More »

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