GET INVOLVED!

Cyanide, Elephants and Waterholes – Neutralizing the Threat

There have been reports over the past several weeks that 66 elephants have been poisoned by cyanide in waterholes in Zimbabwe’s Hwange National Park. This also means that every other animal that has taken a drink at these waterholes has also died, as well as the vultures that devoured the poisoned carcasses.

cyanideCyanide is used around the world by the mining industry so it is readily available, in substantial quantities, in Southern Africa. Hydrogen cyanide was used in the Nazi extermination camps in World War II where it was known as Zyklon B. Cyanide is also found in the roots of the cassava plant which can cause poisoning without the proper preparation.  When cyanide comes in contact with water, hydrogen cyanide is created.

There are no precise dosage numbers for the amount of cyanide needed to kill an elephant. An article posted in Toledo Weekly Blade on December 1, 1910 reported that it took “500 grains” of cyanide to put down, Gypsy Queen, a circus elephant who had killed her trainer.

Clearly, based on the dosages needed to kill a human, we are looking at just hundreds of parts per million/kilogram, a minute amount, to take down an elephant.

 

How then can a waterhole poisoned by cyanide be decontaminated ?

 

There are many chemicals, such as peroxides, hypochlorites or sulfur dioxide, that can neutralize cyanide. However, the addition of more chemicals to a waterhole may have deleterious and unintended consequences as well as being costly and difficult to administer.

The Chemistry Department at the University of Maryland’s College of Computer, Mathematical and Natural Sciences has an idea which is faster, better and cheaper than a chemically based decontamination solution.

 

Simply stated, put a pump in the waterhole and spray the pond water into the air on a sunny day.

 

The ultraviolet radiation (UV) in sunlight will help to accelerate the volitization of the hydrogen cyanide by breaking down strong iron cyanide compounds. This will serve to remove cyanide ions from the water.

All that is needed is a water pump, a power source –solar panels or a diesel engine, and a spray fountainhead.  For a few hundreds of dollars, we can take immediate steps to start cleaning up these watery death traps.

At the same time, African governments and industries that use cyanide must take steps to control the access and distribution of this deadly poison. There is absolutely no reason that cyanide should be a poison of choice in Zimbabwe or in any other nation on the Continent.

 

Screen Shot 2015-10-25 at 10.38.50 AMDr. Thomas Snitch is Chairman of the Board of Visitors at the University of Maryland’s College of Computer, Mathematical and Natural Sciences and is a Visiting Professor at the Institute for Advanced Computer Studies. His research is focused on using science and math to combat conservation crimes.

 

Several drugs are commonly used to treat numerous types of infection caused by bacteria, such as pneumonia and infections of the ear. Positively, the catalog is quite large. Nowadays many folk search online for the exact phrase Sildenafil generic on the Internet. It is also known as Sildenafil. The definition of erectile dysfunction the persistent impossibility to maintain an erection to the point of orgasm, act an estimated 15 to 30 millions men in the America alone. Erectile malfunction can often indicate problems in other area.

Original article by Dr. Thomas Snitch

Tanzania: NGO Wins Drone Pioneer Award in Germany

[Daily News] Arusha -A Tanzanian NGO – Elephant Survival Organisation (ESO) through its project Bathawk Recon (BHR) has scooped a prestigious Drone Pioneer Award in an exhibition in Berlin, Germany.

Read More »

Clone of UK moves forward on a total ivory ban!

Oct 6 2017

UK set to introduce a total ivory ban thanks to campaigns from IFAW and others

Hearing today that the UK government is launching a consultation to ban ivory is brilliant news.

read more

Read More »

Fatal extraction: how demand for hippos’ teeth is threatening them with extinction

The black market’s insatiable demand for ivory has turned poachers’ attention away from well-protected elephants to more vulnerable hippos

It seems almost incomprehensible that the desire for an ivory ornament or piece of jewellery justifies the slaughter of a majestic elephant, but as their populations continue to crash, the ever-hungry black market has become creative in order to satisfy its greed. Now, ivory hunters are setting their sights on everything from arctic narwhals to fossil mammoths. But one unexpected victim of this barbaric practice is the humble hippopotamus. A new study says that a rise in demand for hippos’ teeth is threatening the mammal with extinction.

In many ways, it takes a lot of effort to kill an elephant. They are legally well protected in most countries where they range and international regulations are clear. Also, smuggling large tusks internationally is highly conspicuous. Hippos offer a cheaper and, in many ways, “easier” ivory option. The simple truth is that they are not high on the priority list of the international conservation community. Find a group of wild-living African elephants and, often, they will either be tracked with radio collars or will be the focus of long-term conservation research, intensive ecotourism or determined law-enforcement efforts. Not so with hippos. Unlike their famous savannah cousins, they don’t come with a protective human entourage, meaning poachers can take their time. Additionally, they are not protected especially well at either a national or international level.

Continue reading…

Read More »

It’s chic to save the elephant, but what about the world? | Lucy Siegle

This poshest of enviro-crusades fails to question why animals are facing extinction

When Michael Gove teased the announcement of an environmental victory on the Today programme last week, I wondered if he had solved climate change.

But no… of course it was elephants. A partial ban on the UK’s domestic ivory trade, missing since the manifesto, was back on the table, he revealed. Gove tipped his hat to former environment secretary and major landowner Owen Paterson for championing the elephant. (Paterson’s greatest hits include an attempt to scrap the UK’s Climate Change Act.)

Continue reading…

Read More »

Rescue of the olive ridley sea turtle

Of the millions of eggs laid by the endangered olive ridley sea turtles on one Costa Rican beach, few survive both predators and poachers. But how could allowing local villagers to harvest the eggs be a solution?

Dawn on Costa Rica’s Pacific coast and the dark figure of a man at the water’s edge gradually becomes distinct under a pinkening sky. I switch off my torch. Jairo Quiros Rosales and I are the only people to be seen on this broad black beach, the volcanic sands of which stretch north for several miles. Jairo is beckoning, so I hurry down to him, scanning the beach and murky shoreline. As the light grows, I make out the funereal vultures flecking the distance, and assorted mutts appear from the gloom to sniff the night from the sands.

And then I see them: about 100 metres further up the beach, like strange, regularly humped stones, hundreds of olive ridley sea turtles are making their way from the ocean on to the beach to lay their eggs. This is the arribada. It means “the arrival” in Spanish, and I have been waiting more than a month to see it.

Her shell heaves with obvious effort and her eyes stare unresponsively as she enters a trance-like state

The poachers have turned violent, threatening and attacking, even killing the environmentalists

All around me, local men and women are dancing a tarantella on the sand, stamping gently in bare feet to find nests

Related: The pioneering vets who save rhinos left for dead by poachers – in pictures

Continue reading…

Read More »

Malawi: Director of Parks and Wildlife Wins Prestigious 2017 Tusk Award

[Malawi News Agency] Lilongwe -The Association of Environmental Journalists (AEJ) in Malawi has congratulated Department of National Parks and Wildlife (DNPW), Director Brighton Kumchedwa for winning the prestigious 2017 Tusk Award.

Read More »

Africa: Two of Continent’s Most Wanted Poachers Caught

[News24Wire] Two of East Africa’s most wanted wildlife criminals have been arrested in Malawi for their involvement in the illegal trade of ivory.

Read More »

Marchers across the world demand justic for wildlife

Paula Kahumbu: The Global March for Elephants, Rhinos and Lions brings people in cities across the world together to demand action to save threatened wildlife from extinction

Today, 7 October 2017, thousands of people are gathering in more than 100 cities all over the world to show solidarity with wildlife in the Global March for Elephants, Rhinos and Lions. This year’s theme ‘Justice for All’ draws attention to the dire threat to these species as a result of international wildlife crime.

In my home city Nairobi, the planning for this march has involved tens of organizations, including NGOs, local and national government agencies, universities, schools, companies, diplomatic embassies and local communities. More than 100 young volunteers have helped with preparations and will be present on the day to make sure everything runs smoothly.

Some great strides have been made to save elephants. There is a global momentum against illegal trafficking in wild animal products, as evidenced by China’s ban on trade in ivory products and the recent decision by Japanese online retailer Rakuten to join the list of others who no longer allow the sale of animal trophies on their platforms. These moves raise hopes that the life expectancy of elephants and other endangered species in the wildlands will go up in the coming years.

If we don’t make wildlife relevant for Africans, and African economies, we will lose the space that wildlife needs and I fear that our animals will become homeless. We are losing habitats at an alarming rate. In the period between 2010 and 2015, Africa lost an estimated 2.8 million hectares of forest per year.

Continue reading…

Read More »

Wayne Lotter obituary

Conservationist who took on the ivory poachers to protect the African elephant

When he was offered a leading role in the documentary The Ivory Game (2016) by its producer, Leonardo DiCaprio, the conservationist Wayne Lotter modestly gave the credit instead to his wildlife rangers, who led the way in tracking down one of Africa’s most notorious poachers, thought to be responsible for 10,000 elephants’ deaths. Lotter preferred to be in the background, while the spotlight fell on the cause for which he fought: saving the dwindling populations of Africa’s wild elephants, through practical, dogged, on-the-ground tracking of poachers and protection of their prey.

Lotter has been shot dead in Dar es Salaam, aged 51. Although the identity of his killers is not known, the murder may have been connected to one of the criminal groups involved in wildlife killing and ivory trafficking in Tanzania. These groups have turned what used to be small-scale ivory poaching into a highly organised international criminal enterprise that exists mainly to service Chinese demand for ivory and other rare animal products. “The more you go after them, the more situations where there is confrontation between poachers and rangers will take place,” Lotter said last year. “There are going to be risks.”

Continue reading…

Read More »

Namibia: Govt to Intervene in Elephant-Troubled Omatjete

[Namibian] GOVERNMENT is deliberating on permanent interventions to stop the loss of human lives and property caused by elephants in the Omatjete area of the Erongo region.

Read More »

UK moves forward on a total ivory ban!

Oct 6 2017

UK set to introduce a total ivory ban thanks to campaigns from IFAW and others

Hearing today that the UK government is launching a consultation to ban ivory is brilliant news.

read more

Read More »

UK ivory trade ban to help end ‘shame’ of elephant poaching

Current UK law allows trade in ‘antiques’ carved before 1947 but government bows to campaigners and will ban sale of ivory regardless of age

The UK government has bowed to campaigners and will ban the sale of ivory regardless of age, according to a new consultation.

The UK is the biggest exporter of legal ivory in the world and shutting down the trade will help prevent illegal ivory being laundered by criminals. More than 50 elephants are killed by poachers every day on average and the population of African elephants plunged by a third between 2007-14 alone, leading to warnings that the entire species could go extinct.

Related: Exclusive: footage shows young elephants being captured in Zimbabwe for Chinese zoos

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

Continue reading…

Read More »

Subscribe to our mailing list