Justice for Rhinos—When Will It Come?

Nothing prepared me for the venom in his eyes. While not directed at me, nobody in the courtroom could escape the anger seeping from his pores. Through a twist of fate, I was in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN), a province on the eastern coast of South Africa, on September 19, the day the trial of a suspected…

I wonder what’s up there?

Five years ago I met an anteater that changed my life. As a first-year grad student, I was in the midst of my academic identity crisis trying to figure out what exactly I was going to study. I joined a team of researchers at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama to survey wildlife in…

Dog detectives leading the way in law enforcement

By Lindy Taverner Canines are increasingly being used in crime tracking and detection work.  The heroes in the shadows of conservation are of the four-legged, furry variety. These dog detectives are not only able to locate hidden firearms and cocaine, but can sniff out ivory as well, greatly complementing conservation law enforcement efforts. A specialized…

World body that could protect elephants—decides not to

Acutely, an elephant’s problem is ivory. Chronically the problem is shrinking space. Rich or poor, humans seem too much of a good thing. One wonders where this trend of growing human numbers and appetites, afflicting elephants and humans alike, is headed.

CITES Upholds Rhino Horn Trade Ban; But Will This Reduce Rhino Poaching?

By John Frederick Walker

Zzzzrrrghh! The saber saw screeches as it cuts through the front horn of a sedated two-ton rhinoceros kneeling on the parched earth. A team of game guards push against the massive beast to steady it; another two hold a tarp under its head to capture pale shavings spewing from the snarling saw. On the black market, rhino horn is more valuable per ounce than gold—even tiny flecks are worth saving.

Keeping peace with predators can cut livestock deaths

When predator animals like tigers, lions, bears and wolves attack livestock animals like goats, cows and horses, you need to kill off the predators to reduce livestock deaths, right? Wrong.

More Highs Than Lows for Wildlife at CITES Meeting

By Born Free Foundation

After almost two weeks of intense debate, the 17th Conference of the Parties (CoP) to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) drew to a close on 4th October.

First Photographic Evidence of Snow Leopards in Kyrgyz Ala-Too Range

Researchers have captured the elusive big cat on camera in Shamshy, a former hunting concession that has been co-managed as a wildlife sanctuary by the Kyrgyz government and conservationists since 2015.

CITES CoP17 Concludes on the Side of Wildlife

Notes Susan Lieberman, Wildlife Conservation Society VP for International Policy and head of the WCS CITES delegation, “Science and wildlife conservation prevailed at CITES CoP17. The decisions made by the gathering countries were based on the best available scientific information. Further, we were encouraged that governments fully embraced the precautionary principle by making decisions in the best interest of the species in the wild. After attending 11 CoPs, I strongly believe this was among the most successful CoP ever for wildlife.”

Protecting the Brilliant Psychedelic Rock Gecko

It’s got orange feet and an orange tail; a blue-grey body; and a lime green head. The psychedelic rock gecko, a small reptile native to only one island smalls off the coast of southern Vietnam, is endangered. It was only described for the first time in scientific literature in 2010, but it has already made…

Q&A: Bushmeat Trade Threatens Wildlife and People

From rats to monkeys, all kinds of wild animals in Africa are poached for their meat. The rural poor in Africa have long consumed bushmeat for subsistence. But recent years have brought an increase in the amount of bushmeat sold to markets in urban areas, much of it from larger, slow breeding species such as…

Sharks and Rays Get New International Protections from Trade

Check out the story of how silky sharks, thresher sharks, and devil rays got new protections at CITES, as told through the social media posts of experts. [View the story “Sharks and Rays Get New Protections from Trade” on Storify]

A Big Day at CITES: No Ivory or Rhino Horn Trade

Today’s the day everyone at CITES CoP17 has been waiting for: elephants and rhinos. The debates were long, heated, and emotional. Here’s what happened: Elephants There were three proposals on the table. Two from Namibia and Zimbabwe proposed re-opening the ivory trade, and a third, from a coalition of African countries did the opposite—it wanted…

Thailand Suspends Exports of Seahorses

Set foot in any beach town and you might see paintings of seahorses hanging in a restaurant or plastic seahorse toys sold in stores. The mythical creatures are used as symbols of marine life around the world. Seahorses, easily recognized by their necks and long-snouted, horse-like heads, are some of the most unique animals on…

EU Fails to Lend Necessary Support to the African Elephant Coalition

By Katarzyna Nowak and Keith Lindsay The European Union (EU) – a regional economic integration organization of 28 member states – became the 181st party to the major wildlife treaty, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), in July 2015. This month became the first time the EU votes…