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 Post subject: Re: THE GAME RANGERS ASSOCIATION OF AFRICA
Unread postPosted: Fri Aug 06, 2010 9:35 pm 
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 Post subject: Re: THE GAME RANGERS ASSOCIATION OF AFRICA
Unread postPosted: Sat Aug 07, 2010 8:45 am 
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Here below is an extract from the Oct 2009 cleft stick:

Trade in rhino horn fuels massive poaching surge in South Africa

An 'insatiable' demand for horn, with poaching at a 15-year high, is stretching South Africa's abilities to protect its white rhinos, above, and critically endangered black rhinos. Photograph: Steve & Ann Toon/Robert Harding/Corbis

South Africa is witnessing a massive surge in rhino poaching, an activity blamed on criminal syndicates striving to meet an "insatiable appetite" for rhinoceros horn in east Asia.
Eighty-four rhinos have been killed by poachers in the country so far this year, a jump from the 13 deaths in 2007.

Kruger Park, a worldwide tourist attraction, has been hardest hit, suffering the loss of 33 rhinos since January. Nineteen have been killed in KwaZulu-Natal province, and some privately owned reserves have lost seven animals.

Conservationists say it is the biggest spike in poaching for 15 years and blame the smuggling trade connected to countries, such as China and Vietnam, where rhino horn can fetch thousands of pounds for its perceived medicinal value.

They say that Asian countries' strengthening trade links with Africa have shortened the illegal supply chain. They also say more sophisticated poaching methods are being used, with organised criminal gangs flying in to game reserves by helicopter to kill rhinos, hack off their horns and make a quick getaway.

South Africa has about 1,490 black rhinos, more than a third of the world population of this critically endangered species. There are about 16,275 southern white rhinos, 93% of the global total.
Yolan Friedmann, chief executive of the Endangered Wildlife Trust, said the number of rhinos lost to poaching had altered from an average of 10 a year to 100. "There has been a rampant increase in South Africa," she said. "Poaching figures for this year have already surpassed the whole of last year. It's probably the worst it's been for 15 years. There's a lot more money going into poaching and it's becoming more hi-tech. It's no longer just a man with a bow and arrow wading through the bush. These guys are using helicopters and AK-47 rifles."

She warned that initiatives used previously could not meet the new threat. "Despite the once successful Save the Rhino project, rhinos are under siege. South Africa is facing a crisis. We've done extremely well in rhino conservation, but something has changed in the past 18 months, there's an insatiable appetite for rhino horn in the far east." Ground up and added to liquids, rhino horn has been used for millennia in traditional Asian medicine to treat fevers and other ailments.

Rumours have recently been circulating on the internet that a Vietnamese government official claimed rhino horn cured his cancer, potentially fuelling demand. Last year a Vietnamese diplomat was caught on camera taking delivery of contraband rhino horn outside the Vietnamese embassy in Pretoria.

There is also a lucrative market in Yemen and Oman for daggers with rhino-horn handles‚ frequently given to boys during rites of passage.

Poaching gangs, often from nearby countries, are believed to earn about $200 (£125) a horn but once the material has been transported, ground and mixed with other substances it can sell for thousands of pounds on the black market. Poachers' sentences and fines are usually negligible. Friedmann said that seemingly legitimate parties also exploited loopholes. "Their hunting permits say they are only allowed to mount the rhino horns on the wall but we're finding they use the byproducts to sell illegally. Price is not an issue. A hunt was sold last year to Vietnamese hunters for more than R1m [£84,000]. That's a record price for white rhino."
Luxury private game reserves seem to have been caught out by the upsurge; many employ guards but the men tend to lack training in wildlife protection.

In July a meeting in Geneva of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species warned that rhino poaching around the world was set to reach a 15-year high, and there was growing evidence of Vietnamese, Chinese and Thai nationals' involvement in the illegal procurement and transport of horn out of Africa.

The South African government has been criticised for disbanding the police's endangered species protection unit in 2003. But Buyelwa Sonjica, the environmental affairs minister, recently announced the formation of a special investigations team to tackle poaching. South African National Parks has said it will spend R2m (£165,000) to provide an additional 57 game rangers in Kruger Park and equip them with motorbikes. Patrols along the park's 280-mile South Africa and Mozambique border, where all 33 poached rhinos were killed, are also set to resume after being suspended three years ago.

At least 14 poachers, all Mozambican, have been arrested and several illegal firearms seized in Kruger this year. Nationwide, 22 poachers were caught. In January an international rhino-smuggling ring was smashed and 11 people were arrested.

Rhino numbers have been increasing worldwide thanks to various governments and NGOs. But Cathy Dean, director of the UK-based Save the Rhino International, warned: "The gains of the last decade are in real jeopardy. The underlying concern is that this upsurge in rhino poaching – a major issue in Zimbabwe as well as South Africa – is no longer opportunistic poaching by individuals but carried out by … highly sophisticated criminal gangs

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I participate because I care - CUSTOS NATURAE
No to Hotels in and commercialization of our National Parks.
No to Legalized Rhino and Lion trade.
Done 144 visits to National Parks.
What a wonderful privilege.


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 Post subject: Re: THE GAME RANGERS ASSOCIATION OF AFRICA
Unread postPosted: Sat Aug 07, 2010 8:48 am 
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Also from the October 2009 cleft stcik:

Kenya, Ethiopia authorities seize ivory stash

KATHARINE HOURELD, Associated Press, October 1, 2009

NAIROBI, Kenya — Authorities in Ethiopia and Kenya have seized more than 2,600 pounds (1,200 kilograms) of bloodstained ivory from about 100 illegally killed elephants at airports, the head of Kenya's Wildlife Service said Wednesday.
Julius Kipng'etich said trained dogs sniffed out a consignment of bloodstained tusks at Kenya's national airport late Tuesday. Another shipment of tusks sent by the same individual had been seized Monday at the airport in Ethiopia's capital.
Both shipments were sent as unaccompanied luggage to Bangkok. Police have launched an investigation and wildlife officials said they will continue to patrol the airport with dogs.
Elephants develop strong social bonds and can even identify family members by their bones, which individuals may return to several times over the years. Kipng'etich said he had seen groups of elephants standing around a dead family member and making a distinctive sound.
"It is as if they are crying: Please don't wear ivory. Please leave it to the elephants for heaven's sake," he said.
Ivory trade was banned internationally in 1989 because of its devastating effect on elephant populations. Before the ban was enacted, Kenya's elephant population plummeted from 120,000 elephants in 1963 to just 12,000 a few decades later.
But after authorities realized elephants' role in boosting tourism — one of Kenya's top foreign exchange earners — they clamped down on the poachers.
The ban and subsequent enforcement slowed poaching dramatically, but in recent years it has begun to creep up, from 47 elephants killed in 2007 to 98 in 2008. So far this year, 125 already have been killed. Kipng'etich blames the decision by signatories to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species to allow the periodic sale of confiscated ivory stockpiles to raise money for conservation.
The most recent authorized sale was in 2007, when China and Japan were both allowed to buy the stockpiled ivory from Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe and South Africa. Although Kenya was not included in the auction, Kipng'etich said he believes it fueled demand for illegal ivory.
Iain Douglas-Hamilton, who heads the conservation group Save the Elephants, said the airport seizures were a "tremendous coup" for the Kenya Wildlife Service.
"If this proves to be native Kenyan ivory rather than ivory in transit, it's a serious confirmation of poaching on the rise in Kenya," he said.
Until the problem is stamped out, the Wildlife Service will continue to patrol the airports with dogs like Charles, the black-haired star of Tuesday night's bust. He's sniffed out more than 2,200 pounds (1,000 kilograms) of ivory during his nine-year career.
"This is the real hero," said Kipng'etich, giving Charles a pat.

Kenya seizes massive ivory haul

BBC News, September 30, 2009

The price of ivory has shot up and can fetch more than $1,000 per kg
Kenyan authorities have seized almost 700kg of ivory worth millions of dollars in a night-time raid at the country's main airport.
The Kenya Wildlife Service says a similar amount was intercepted in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa. Both consignments - with a potential value of more than $1.5m (£938,000) - were reportedly headed for Thailand.
The BBC's Will Ross in Nairobi says poaching is on the increase mostly owing to high demand for ivory in Asia.
Our reporter says it is not yet clear whether the ivory, recovered at Nairobi's Jomo Kenyatta Airport, had been trafficked from other parts of the continent or was from East Africa.
Twenty years ago the world's elephant population was plummeting and the trade in ivory was banned. But over the past decade the ban has been periodically relaxed and occasional supervised ivory auctions have been allowed.
Chinese influence
Officials say the sales have fuelled demand for ivory in Asian countries, especially China, contributing to a sharp increase in elephant poaching.
So far this year poachers in Kenya have killed 128 elephants for their ivory; last year 98 were killed. In July, Kenyan authorities intercepted 16 elephant tusks and two rhinoceros horns being illegally exported to Laos from Mozambique.
Some wildlife experts have attributed the increase in elephant poaching to the presence of Chinese workers in Africa.
With demand for ivory products increasing back home, some Chinese workers on low salaries in Kenya are reported to have become middlemen in the ivory trade.
And because of the high demand for ivory across Asia, the price of ivory has shot up and can fetch more than $1,000 a kilo.

U.S.$4,500 Ivory Lands Five in Court (Zimbabwe)The Herald, 1 October 2009

Harare — Five Harare men who were allegedly found in possession of 30,8 kilogrammes of ivory worth more than $4 500 yesterday appeared at the Harare Magistrates' Court on charges of contravening provisions of the Parks and Wildlife Act.
One of the men, Tapiwa Mupindu (29), pleaded guilty to the charges when he appeared before magistrate Ms Tendai Rusinahama, who remanded him out of custody on US$50 bail to tomorrow for sentence.
The other four Tarisai Mashonganyika (26), Obert Rusere (29), Angels Marozva (29) and Edmore Jaure (21) pleaded not guilty to the charges.
They were all remanded out of custody on US$50 each to October 13 for trial. Ms Rusinahama ordered them to reside at their given addresses, not to interfere with State witnesses and to report once every week at Harare Central Police Station.
Prosecutor Miss Memory Mukapa alleged that on September 22 this year, a team of detectives from CID Minerals Unit in Harare received information that the gang was illegally dealing in ivory in Warren Park. It is alleged that the detectives met Mashonganyika in town where one of them posed as a buyer. He got convinced with the deal and led the detectives to the Army Ordinance where Rusere works.
Rusere called Marozva who later led the detectives to Mupindu and Jaura's house in Warren Park were the ivory was kept, it is alleged.
The State further alleged that upon arrival, Mupindu and Jaura went into their bedrooms and brought out two pieces of elephant tusks each.
Upon seeing the tusks, Mupindu allegedly demanded the cash and was immediately arrested.
It is further alleged that Mupindu later led the detectives to Hurungwe's Chiundu area where a .303 rifle that was used to kill the elephants was recovered.

Police in Kenya seize Bangkok-bound ivory
Agence France Presse, September 20, 2009

NAIROBI — Kenya police are looking for the people behind a shipment of 684 kilogrammes of ivory seized at Nairobi's main airport and destined to Bangkok, a police official said Wednesday.
The elephant tusks were discovered at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport on Tuesday during a nighttime cargo inspection.
"The consignment was intercepted as it was about to be transported out of the country. No person has been arrested," said the official on condition of anonymity.
"We are now looking for the owners or people who were transporting it," he added. "We know it was headed for Bangkok, but we want to know the exact destination and the people who were going to receive it."
Kenya Wildlife Service spokeswoman Kentice Tikolo confirmed the seizure.
In July, authorities intercepted 16 elephant tusks and two rhino horns being illegally exported to Laos from Mozambique.
Kenya outlawed poaching and the reckless slaughter of wildlife in 1977, but allowed controlled culling and harvesting of game meat. In 2003 conservationists managed to have the activity banned completely.
But poaching for elephant and rhino tusks has been on the rise in Africa since the partial lifting in 2007 of an international trade ban to allow a one-off ivory sale to China and Japan by Botswana, Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe.

_________________
I participate because I care - CUSTOS NATURAE
No to Hotels in and commercialization of our National Parks.
No to Legalized Rhino and Lion trade.
Done 144 visits to National Parks.
What a wonderful privilege.


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