Africa – France
Marie-Ségolène Royal, French Minister for Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy informed the Bern Convention in July that the wolf in France will be listed in Annex V instead IV. Annex V prohibits the killing, capture or disturbance of wolves, but a listing in Annex IV enables the administration to regulate wolf populations by lethal means. Royal’s action was apparently triggered by the fact that wolves killed approximately 8,000 sheep in 2014. This action contradicts the French minister’s decision to ban imports of African lion trophies. But French farmers vote in France and African peasants don’t. Royal did not contact the EU Commission prior to both legislative changes.
Africa – United Kingdom
The UK environment minister Rory Stewart announced a possible ban on lion trophy imports if the hunting industry and African nations do not make “significant improvements in their performance”. Source The Guardian
The Botswana government has sold 3 fracking licenses for shale gas covering 29,291, 34,435 and 23,980 square kilometers in the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park to the UK-listed company Nodding Donkey, which changed its name recently to Karoo Energy. Conservationists and top park officials were apparently not consulted.
CITES – IUCN
The CITES Secretariat and IUCN have signed an agreement to strengthen cooperation to minimize the illegal killing of and related illegal trade in elephants and other CITES-listed flagship species in Sub-Saharan Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific region. The agreement will build upon the active participation of elephant range states in the CITES MIKE program. Read more HERE
The Parliament’s Environment and Natural Resources committee says wildlife populations of different species have declined by between 30-90% since 1977 and warns that some animals could disappear in the next few decades. Besides poaching, habitat loss due to increasing human settlement and developments, human-wildlife conflict, bush meat hunting, climate change and diseases are contributing to the dwindling numbers. Read more HERE.
A 2014 survey shows that the population of popular wildlife species such as zebras declined by 21%, giraffes (25%), elands (32%) and buffalos (27%) between 2009 and 2013. The population of elephants fell by 23%, according to data provided by the Department of Resource Surveys and Remote Sensing (DRSRS). Read more HERE
Eight lions of the Famous Marsh pride have been poisoned in Kenya’s Masai Mara reserve. Two lions died after eating a poisoned cow carcass one more is missing and at least five are being treated by vets. 3 men, apparently local cattle-herders who frequently bring their animals into the reserve to graze were due to be charged.
Delegates from 13 countries, including government representatives from African nations, US Fish & Wildlife Service, professional hunter associations, a variety of non-governmental organizations, CITES Secretariat, UN organizations, and wildlife researchers gathered in November at the Legend Resort and Entabeni Conservancy in Limpopo, South Africa for the 14th annual African Wildlife Consultative Forum (AWCF) sponsored by SCIF.
African Indaba readers may be interested in listening to a public lecture given by Dr. Andrew Venter, CEO of the South-African NGO Wildlands Conservation Trust on “Good Will Hunting – Trophy hunting as an instrument to enhancing biodiversity and livelihoods in South Africa?”. Go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=26ElaSI3NSI.
The Tanzania Wildlife Management Authority (TAWA) is tasked with a number of obligations including reshaping wildlife management and conservation with a vision to become a center of excellence. The Permanent Secretary to the Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism, Dr Adelhem Meru, named Martin Loiboki as the interim Director General with 11 board members under the chairmanship of Maj. Gen. (ret.) Hamis Semfuko. Read more HERE
Boniface Matthew Mariango nicknamed “Shetani”, a notorious elephant poacher and ivory trafficker has been arrested by the National and Transnational Serious Crimes Investigation Unit (NTSCIU) of Tanzania. Mariango managed over 15 poaching syndicates in Tanzania, Burundi, Zambia, Mozambique and southern Kenya for years. NTSCIU was also responsible for the arrest of the infamous “Queen of Ivory” Yang Feng Glan in October.
The arrests of Shetani and the Ivory Queen have been filmed by an undercover documentary crew. The feature length film is slated for completion in 2016. The two filmmakers state, “To be embedded with the TASK force … was the most dangerous and challenging mission of our lives … With this film, we will be able to reveal real incriminating evidence against traffickers across the entire supply chain.”
Tabling the new results of the 2015 Wildlife Census at the 10th Scientific Conference of the Tanzania Wildlife Research Institute (TAWIRI), the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism, Dr Adelhem Meru, showed that fresh counts by TAWIRI in conjunction with the Frankfurt Zoological Society (FZS) have upped the total number of elephants in Ruaha-Rungwa ecosystem to 15,836.
Cyanide poisoning by poachers killed 62 elephants in October. The latest carcasses were found in Hwange Park’s Sinamatella area. The national parks authority also announced that end of October authorities at Harare International Airport seized 173 kg of ivory about to be smuggled to Singapore. Three Zimbabweans and a Malian national were arrested. Parks Investigations arrested 2 poachers in Dete in November, recovering two tusks, ammunition and 500g of cyanide. 3 more poachers were arrested in Victoria Falls. In Hwange Main Camp a Parks ranger has been arrested for elephant poaching in the Park. 4 poaching suspects appeared in the Hwange magistrates court end November and were all sentenced to 10 years for ivory, 3 months for cyanide, and 6 months for illegal weapon. Another poacher was sentenced to 7 months for possession of cyanide, dagga, and illegal ammunition.
3 South Africans were charged with illegally exporting sable to South Africa and have been sentenced Count 1 US$300 fine or 6 months in prison, Count 2 US$2 000 fine or 3 months in prison and Count 3 US$300 fine or 6 months in prison. 3 vehicles and trailers, sables and dart gun forfeited to the state.
Minister Muchinguri-Kashiri said that without trophy hunting, it’s difficult to sustain conservation efforts. Zimbabwe incurs significant costs, estimated at close to US$13 million a year in retrieving ivory from the field, treating it for preservation, transporting it to different storage centers and maintaining security at various stations and at the head office. Zimbabwe accumulated more than 90 tons of elephant tusks.