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House of horrors: inside the US wildlife repository – photo essay

Photographer Matthew Staver and writer Oliver Milman visited the US National Wildlife Property Repository, where illegal wildlife products, from stuffed tigers to worked ivory, are stored and counted

If the US had a national house of horrors, it would probably be the federal government compound that lies on the fringes of Denver, Colorado, incongruously set within a wildlife reserve where bison languorously dawdle against a backdrop of the snow-crowned Rockies.

The National Wildlife Property Repository, operated by the US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), is a warehouse of the macabre. It’s a Noah’s ark of protected deceased biodiversity that smugglers attempted to get into the US before being caught by FWS staff at airports and ports.

This is just a thimbleful ... it doesn’t even include live animals imported to be pets

The US is a big player in all this, you can’t get around that

If we had more enforcement and a different sentencing structure as a deterrent, that would really help

We could lose elephants in the wild in a decade

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Illegal trade in rhino horn thriving in China, NGO investigation reveals

Elephant Action League’s sting operation shows how horns are trafficked from Africa and enter into China via Vietnam, alleging official complicity

Rhinoceros horn can be easily bought in China despite it being illegal since 1993. The rhino horn products in antiques shop are far from antique. They are new and most likely been illegally trafficked from Africa to Vietnam and then into China.

A new report from Elephant Action League (EAL), Grinding Rhino: An Undercover Investigation on Rhino Horn Trafficking in China and Vietnam, shows how rhino horn makes its way into shops in China, the largest illegal market for rhino horn in the world. EAL’s 11-month investigation, called Operation Red Cloud, targeted the supply chain, exposing the players, the networks, and the means by which rhino horn is trafficked into China.

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The week in wildlife – in pictures

Eurasian wolf cubs, a wreathed hornbill and an elephant crossing the road are among this week’s pick of images from the natural world

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Sri Lankan navy saves wild elephant found in ocean – video

A wild elephant struggling at sea is found by the Sri Lankan navy, off the country’s northeast coast near Kokkilai. Divers were sent to tie ropes around the animal before it was safely pulled to shore. Elephants use their trunks as a natural snorkel but cannot stay too long in the water because they use up too much energy

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Have-a-go heroes: the women saving elephants in their free time

With one elephant killed every 25 minutes, the poaching crisis continues. But with the commitment and activism of a growing global network – dominated by women – laws and attitudes around the world are changing

If dedication and hard work were all it took, Maria Mossman would have saved every last elephant by now. Despite having two children, aged five and seven, and a part-time job for a large corporation, she also spends 35 to 40 hours a week as an unpaid activist. It was even more time when the children were younger. “I used to come home from work at about 4pm and then sit on my computer, networking with other groups and activists until two o’clock in the morning,” she recalls.

Mossman, 41, got heavily involved in elephant activism in 2013. As well as founding Action for Elephants UK (AFEUK), she’s one of the key organisers of the global elephant and rhino marches. “It’s really hard work,” she says. “Really stressful. Just before the marches you say: ‘We’re not going to do this again.’ And as soon as one is over you start planning the next one.”

Related: Elephants on the path to extinction - the facts

Related: 'If we stopped poaching tomorrow, elephants would still be in big trouble'

The poaching lit a fire in me. The barbarism of the act was so horrifying

Related: Why the Guardian is spending a year reporting on the plight of elephants

Campaigners have also been targeting other materials from endangered species – rhino horn, tortoiseshell and leopard fur

Continue reading...

Boris Johnson backs ‘all-out ban’ on ivory sales

Foreign secretary confirms government’s pledge, despite absence from manifesto

A total ban on ivory sales in the UK could still be introduced by the British government, foreign secretary Boris Johnson has said, signalling a possible U-turn that has been welcomed by conservationists.

In their 2015 manifesto the Conservatives promised to “press for a total ban on ivory sales”. But the pledge was quietly taken out of this year’s Tory manifesto, sparking anger among conservation organisations, which say that by allowing the trade to continue, the UK is fuelling elephant poaching.

Related: Hong Kong authorities seize 'record' ivory haul

Related: China's ivory ban sparks dramatic drop in prices across Asia

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Hong Kong authorities seize ‘record’ ivory haul

World’s ‘largest ever’ seizure of 7.2 tonnes of ivory has street value of £7m, officials say

Authorities in Hong Kong have announced what they say is the world’s largest ever seizure of about 7.2 tonnes of ivory tusks with an estimated street value close to HK$72m (£7m).

If the size of the haul is verified, it will replace the current record held by Singapore for a seizure of 7.138 tonnes of ivory tusks in 2002.

Related: Ivory is not beautiful, it’s barbaric | Nicky Campbell

Related: Hong Kong's illegal ivory trade revealed – in pictures

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The dark side of wildlife tourism: thousands of Asian elephants held in cruel conditions

Elephants are being exploited to entertain tourists in south-east Asia, and kept in harsh conditions, says a new report from an animal rights NGO

Thousands of elephants being used for entertainment across Asia are kept in cruel, abusive conditions fuelled by the growing tourism industry, World Animal Protection has found.

Three out of four elephants surveyed in south-east Asia’s popular tourist destinations are living in harsh conditions where they are being used for rides, with mostly steel or wooden saddles, and tied in chains less than three metres long.

Related: Secret footage obtained of the wild elephants sold into captivity in Chinese zoos

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中国禁售令造成亚洲市场象牙价格暴跌

最新调查显示,中国的象牙交易禁令的效果初步显现:越南象牙价格暴跌,而一些象牙贸易商也被迫退出。(翻译:子明/chinadialogue)

《卫报》拿到的一份最新研究显示,自从中国政府宣布计划取缔国内象牙交易之后,亚洲的象牙原料价格大幅走低。但是,偷猎现象目前并未因此减少。

过去三年,野生动植物正义委员会(WJC)的卧底调查员一直在走访河内的象牙贩子。2015年,他们了解到的象牙原料平均价格是每公斤1322美元,2016年10月降到了750美元,而到今年2月份价格再次下跌到660美元,比两年前降了一半。

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

Related: 新加坡成象牙走私中心

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Elephant 2.0. – nature’s invisible information architecture

What do you see when you look at an elephant? The world’s biggest land mammal – or a giant data store, sharing information in a living, breathing network?

Elephants have such sad expressive faces that is hard to imagine how anyone could harm them. They have drawn lips and sagging shoulders; a long, drooping demeanour; sad, knowing eyes capable of laying on the guilt. Yet, it would appear that guilt is not enough to save them. Eighty years ago there were perhaps 6 to 9 million African and Asian elephants. Today there are roughly half a million left. Day by day, they are getting closer to extinction.

Perhaps we need some new ideas. Perhaps it is time for a different perspective on why elephants need saving. Rather than their bodies, maybe it is their shared memories and experience that we might one day come to value. This is the argument that I’d like to put forward in this piece.

Elephant memories and experiences run deeper than we once thought. They can be passed around. They are almost collective.

We rightly seek to save human languages from extinction - why not the experiences and group memories of elephants?

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Have-a-go heroes: the women saving elephants in their free time

With one elephant killed every 25 minutes, the poaching crisis continues. But with the commitment and activism of a growing global network – dominated by women – laws and attitudes around the world are changing

If dedication and hard work were all it took, Maria Mossman would have saved every last elephant by now. Despite having two children, aged five and seven, and a part-time job for a large corporation, she also spends 35 to 40 hours a week as an unpaid activist. It was even more time when the children were younger. “I used to come home from work at about 4pm and then sit on my computer, networking with other groups and activists until two o’clock in the morning,” she recalls.

Mossman, 41, got heavily involved in elephant activism in 2013. As well as founding Action for Elephants UK (AFEUK), she’s one of the key organisers of the global elephant and rhino marches. “It’s really hard work,” she says. “Really stressful. Just before the marches you say: ‘We’re not going to do this again.’ And as soon as one is over you start planning the next one.”

Related: Elephants on the path to extinction - the facts

Related: 'If we stopped poaching tomorrow, elephants would still be in big trouble'

The poaching lit a fire in me. The barbarism of the act was so horrifying

Related: Why the Guardian is spending a year reporting on the plight of elephants

Campaigners have also been targeting other materials from endangered species – rhino horn, tortoiseshell and leopard fur

Continue reading...
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One ton of elephant ivory to be destroyed in Central Park

Publication Date:  Jul 12 2017 WHAT:      The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) will destroy more than one ton of illegal ivory confisca...
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Innovative ivory fingerprinting kit arrives in France

David Cowdrey Jul 10 2017 Two of IFAW’s new ivory fingerprinting printing kits, which were developed in the UK by the Metropolitan ...
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Namibia: U.S.$740 Reward for Reporting Poaching

[Namibian] Anti-poaching organisation 'Help our Rhinos NOW Namibia' (HoRN.NAM) has called on the public in the Kunene region and across the country to report wildlife crimes.
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Uganda: Residents Reject UWA Proposal to Turn Area Into Game Reserve

[Monitor] Agago -Following several years of destruction of crops in Kaket Parish in Lapono Sub-county, Agago District, by elephants straying from Kidepo Valley National Park, Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) officials now want the area be turned into a ...
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Boris Johnson backs ‘all-out ban’ on ivory sales

Foreign secretary confirms government’s pledge, despite absence from manifesto

A total ban on ivory sales in the UK could still be introduced by the British government, foreign secretary Boris Johnson has said, signalling a possible U-turn that has been welcomed by conservationists.

In their 2015 manifesto the Conservatives promised to “press for a total ban on ivory sales”. But the pledge was quietly taken out of this year’s Tory manifesto, sparking anger among conservation organisations, which say that by allowing the trade to continue, the UK is fuelling elephant poaching.

Related: Hong Kong authorities seize 'record' ivory haul

Related: China's ivory ban sparks dramatic drop in prices across Asia

Continue reading...
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Cameroon: ‘Maalle’ – Wanted for Elephant Poaching!

[Cameroon Tribune] The educative film by Ashu Egbe focuses on societal ills and their impact on the community.
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Elephant calf reunited with wild herd in India

Rupa Gandhi Chaudhary Jul 10 2017 A displaced female elephant calf was rescued near the A displac read more
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South Africa: Two Suspected Rhino Poachers Killed in Shootout

[News24Wire] Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife field rangers shot and killed two suspected rhino poachers after a gunfight at the Hluhluwe-iMfolozi game park in the early hours of Sunday morning.
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South Africa: KZN Police Arrest Three Suspected Rhino Poachers

[News24Wire] Three suspected rhino poachers will appear in the Hluhluwe Magistrate's Court on Monday, after being caught by police carrying a high calibre hunting rifle, a silencer, ammunition and an axe.
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South Africa: Serial Rhino Poaching Brothers Back in Court

[News24Wire] Two brothers accused of rhino poaching, Deon and Niklaas van Deventer, and Onward Muchangowa - a Zimbabwean national - are expected back in the Makhado Magistrate's Court on Monday.
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Largest online retailer in Japan bans ivory sales

Tania McCrea-Steele Jul 7 2017 Rakuten, the largest online retailer in Japan, has banned ivory sales on its platform. read more
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