The African Ranger Awards and the Demand Side of the Coin

When researching the illegal wildlife trade, very often some tentacles lead back to South Africa. Not only when it comes to rhino horn, abalone and lion bone but in this case to one of South Africa’s biggest company: Naspers, a major shareholder in Tencent, who in turn owns WeChat, a Chinese multi-purpose messaging, social mediaContinue reading “The African Ranger Awards and the Demand Side of the Coin”

The PATA Department Store Zoo – Is it “The Saddest Zoo in the World” ?

Opinion piece – Related to this Daily Mail article. During a recent visit with a German film team there was one cage covered by a netting material, which showed a primate running up and down behind it.  When the ape climbed to the top where his face was visible, it became clear that it was a bonobo.Continue reading “The PATA Department Store Zoo – Is it “The Saddest Zoo in the World” ?”

Of Tiger and Lion Bones, and the Legalizing of the Rhino Horn Trade

At the CITES Conference of the Parties (CoP16) in Bangkok earlier this year, I attended a press conference where the South African Minister for the Environment announced that South Africa had tried a wide range of measures to curtail rhino poaching, but she confirmed that so far they had failed and it was now time toContinue reading “Of Tiger and Lion Bones, and the Legalizing of the Rhino Horn Trade”

The Definition of a Wildlife Reserve

In Sept 2009, towards the end of a very serious drought spell, I wrote a feature for SWARA magazine about what I had been seeing in the Samburu and Buffalo Springs Reserves. Livestock had taken over these protected areas, with camels and donkeys often moving without herdsmen in all parts of the reserve. The groundContinue reading “The Definition of a Wildlife Reserve”

The CITES Secretariat and the epitome of double standards

The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) will shortly hold its seventeenth major Conference of the Parties event in Johannesburg from 24 September to 5 October 2016 (CoP17). As part of the agenda for CoP17 the CITES Secretariat has published an agenda and numerous documents for consideration againstContinue reading “The CITES Secretariat and the epitome of double standards”

China, Ivory and Wishful thinking…

In early December 2015, a press release by Sam Smith (Wild Aid campaigns push price of Ivory into the ‘free-fall’ zone) documenting the decline in price of illegal raw ivory in China, was picked up by a wide range of media outlets. The Secretary General of CITES, John Scanlon, commented that the bottom had droppedContinue reading “China, Ivory and Wishful thinking…”

China and Gorillas

China’s illegal imports of some 150 chimpanzees from West Africa have become a major animal welfare and conservation concern since it first became public some 3 years ago. This trade was still ongoing in 2013. In addition, the CITES trade data for 2010 showed that China had also declared the import of 10 gorillas. AsContinue reading “China and Gorillas”