Seventeen heavily armed suspected poachers entered the Dzanga-Ndoki National Park, a World Heritage site, in the Central African Republic (CAR) on Monday, May 6, 2013. WWF-supported researchers working in the area confirmed hearing automatic weapon shots coming from a large clearing known as Dzanga Bai, or “village of elephants.”
This area has become familiar to American audiences through programs like the CBS News program 60 Minutes story on elephant language, National Geographic specials and features on many other news outlets.
WWF sources working in the area confirmed hearing automatic weapon shots coming from a large clearing known as Dzanga Bai. They reported on Thursday that they had counted at least twenty-six elephant carcasses in and around the Bai. Bai is known as the “village of elephants,” where between fifty and two hundred elephants congregate daily to drink mineral salts present in the sands. Since the poachers arrived no elephants have been seen at the Bai, which was described as an “elephant mortuary.”
Swift and Urgent Action
WWF has confirmed other instances of elephants being slaughtered in the violence-ridden country, where the new government in place since the military coup is struggling to gain control over the situation. Given the size of the force witnessed, this most recent incursion into a protected area may result in one of the biggest elephant massacres in recent history.
WWF has been working in the CAR since the 1980s and is urging the government to immediately act on their commitment to mobilize troops to end poaching in the region and to safeguard the area’s people and wildlife. They are also calling on the international community to help restore peace and order in the Central African Republic, which recently underwent a chaotic coup.
WWF seeks to ensure a stronger local and global response to stop wildlife crime that is threatening whole populations of elephants, rhinos and tigers.
Learn more about what you can do to help stop wildlife crime by clicking the link below.
The little koala wandered back to his home in New South Wales, Australia last week only to find it had been cut down and chipped by logging operations. A volunteer with WIRES, a rescue operation licensed by the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service, said the koala had been sitting on top of the wood pile for over an hour looking confused, the Daily Telegraph reported.
He was later taken to a local veterinarian and released near an established colony, but the heartbreaking photo shows some of the hardships faced by the animals over the past few years.
Severe habitat destruction and the spread of a deadly chlamydia outbreak have decimated populations and the Australian government declared the species threatened in some areas for the first time last year.
Black rhinoceros listed as extinct
Several species of rhino have been poached into extinction or to the point of no return, according to an update of the Red List of Threatened Species. Several species of rhino have been poached into extinction or to the point of no return, according to an update of the Red List of Threatened Species, the gold standard for animal and plant conservation.
(CNN) — Small fish, turtles and other amphibians are being sold in Beijing as mobile phone trinkets and key rings, to the chagrin of animal rights groups.
Kept in bags filled with colored, oxygenated water the animals cost around $1.50 each.
One vendor selling the animals outside of a Beijing subway station told CNN that the bag contained crystallized oxygen and nutrients.
She said that that the animals could live for days but also warned that they should be freed from the bag as soon as the air ran out or they would suffocate.
Among the animals being sold are young Chinese soft-shell turtles - the adult turtles are a popular dish in Chinese cooking.
The live trinkets have been condemned by animal rights groups who have highlighted the lack of animal protection laws in China.
“Lack of food and diminishing oxygen concentrations within both the water and the small amount of air in these plastic pouches will cause the animals to die in a relatively short period of time after the pouches are sealed,” said David Neale, animal welfare director of Animals Asia.
“If a national animal protection law was enacted in China, such acts of cruelty could be prevented, and those who persist in causing harm and suffering to animals within their care could be prosecuted.”
Neale also warned that keeping a turtle in a bag and then as a pet could have health implications for people.
“Individuals should also be aware of the potential human health risks associated with being in close contact with animals such as turtles. Turtles frequently carry salmonella bacteria that can cause serious illness,” he said.
The Amazon Rainforest does not just conceal animals and plants of great wonder, it also houses small tribes who live in the forest’s shelter in peace with its other inhabitants. Most of these tribespeople keep to themselves and do not take part in anything outside of the forest. I know that we are a page that focuses on animals who are in danger. Normally when we post on loggers or rainforests it’s because animals are losing their lives and their habitats. And I’m sure this proves true for these loggers. But this is something else; this is a crime against a child. And I beg you to speak against it.
An eight year old child was burned alive on the outskirts of her home in the Amazon Rainforest as part of a campaign by loggers to drive Amazonian tribes off of their land. It is said that the little girl wandered from her family, and had never seen people other than those in her small tribe of roughly sixty people. It would be the first time she had ever seen white men-and the last. The loggers reportedly tied the girl to a tree and laughed as they burned her alive.
The Awá tribe, numbering about 60 people, is like other Amazonian tribes in that they live in complete isolation from the modern world, following a nomadic lifestyle that changes with the seasons. It was a member from a neighboring tribe that believed that the child’s encounter with the loggers would’ve been the first time she’d ever seen white men.
These tribes are protected by laws defining their homes as protected reserves, which means that loggers are not allowed to use their land. Loggers have been ignoring these regulations, however, and are now trying to drive the tribes off of the land using intimidation methods. The last remaining tribes in Brazil are in constant danger, both because of the direct actions of the loggers and because logging depletes the animals and resources they need to survive.
It is reported that 450 tribespeople have been killed between 2003 and 2010, and the laws that would stop this are hard to enforce. There are not enough people or resources available to improve the protection of the tribes or the enforcement of the regulations, which is why Brazil must increase its efforts. It is time Brazil worked to curtail illegal logging and worked to better protect its last tribes. Please click the link below to sign a petition urging the Brazilian government to guarantee the survival of these defenseless groups.
Singer Beyoncé Knowles has commissioned a pair of shoes made by PMK, (Perfectly Made Kicks), using skins from 5 different animals- anaconda, crocodile, stingray and ostrich skin and calf will be used for the singer’s simple-looking white trainers. The singer is acting ignorantly towards the rights of animals, and she should be stopped.
The custom designed bespoke trainers were first made popular by Isabel Marant, and sold for more than $350 a pair.The New York Daily News reported that Beyoncé’s sneakers cost a whopping $7,000-$10,000 and took one person a month to create. These newly embellished sneakers not only cost the singer a lot of money, but they also cost the animals their lives. Five animals are dead so that Beyoncé can flaunt her wealth and success. This is cruel and disgusting behavior that should be condemned.
Knowledge that the popular singer has shoes made of these animals could fuel the existing wildlife trade, (much of it illegal), making the market demand for exotic skins even greater, and increase poaching. As it stands now, 1/5 of the world’s reptiles are endangered and facing extinction.
Please click the links below to sign a petition to Beyoncé, asking her to reconsider her choice to use exotic animal skins. These shoes are not the first instance of cruelty and ignorance on her part. Many were horrified to see that during the half-time Superbowl show, she wore an iguana and python costume, and the singer was also condemned for her animal-skin handbags.
Ask her to help us fight extinction, not fuel it. A woman with her wealth and influence could be a strong voice against animal cruelty—or a strong voice supporting it. Please take a stand for the animals, and let Miss Knowles know that this is unacceptable.
The Red River giant softshell turtle is a very rare and critically endangered species of softshell turtles. There’s an estimate of only FOUR of these beautiful creatures remaining. At 39 inches in length, 28 inches in width, and weighing around 440 pounds, the Red River softshell turtle holds the title of being the largest freshwater turtle in the world.
Only four specimens are known to live in Vietnam and China, one at Hoan Kiem Lake, one at Dong Mo Lake Son Tay in Vietnam, and two at the Suzhou Zoo in China. The turtle residing in Hoan Kiem Lake in is known as the symbol of Vietnam’s independence. The two captive turtles were brought together in China and have since produced eggs but sadly, the eggs failed to develop. At the time of their mating process, the male was one hundred years old and the female was eighty. The Turtle Survival Alliance released a statement saying, “A number of the eggs had very thin shells, suggesting that the diet of the animals prior to breeding was not optimal.” The two turtle are now being prepared for another round of mating, while being fed a high-calcium diet in an effort to strengthen the eggs. Liu Jinde, the director of the zoo said, “We’ve worked very hard on this, We ought to succeed. The turtles are very healthy.”
The Red River softshell turtle is on the brink of extinction thanks to habitat loss, hunting, consumption, and medical research. A recent plan to build hydropower cascade of 12 dams on the Red River in China may flood all of its habitat and change the ecosystem of lower Vietnam.
The Roloway monkey is one of the three most endangered monkeys of Ghana, on the west coast of Africa. It is a species of Old World monkey found in a small area of eastern Côte d’Ivoire and the forests of Ghana, between the Sassandra and Pra Rivers.
The Roloway monkey is similar to other species of guenons but is distinguished by its lengthy beard. This monkey’s coat and face are predominantly black, while the throat and the interior side of its arms are white, and its hips and back are orange. Their body length varies between 40 and 55 centimeters and its weight is between 4 and 7 kilograms. Its diet is composed of fruits, flowers, seeds and insects. Roloways are an arboreal species that forms social groups of 15 to 30 individuals found primarily in undisturbed, mature forests. They seem unable to adapt to most habitat changes.
The Roloway monkey is among the most threatened primates on the African continent, although exact figures for the species are not available. Recent surveys could not find evidence of it in Ghana’s Bia National Park, where it was probably eliminated between mid 1970s and 1990. There are estimates are that there probably has been a population decline of at least 80% over the last three generations. The species is listed as one of “The World’s 25 Most Endangered Primates.”
A recent decline of roloway monkeys is most likely related to the decline in forest habitats and deforestation. In the past 100 years, Ghana has lost 80% of its forested lands. The monkeys are also endangered by extensive “bushmeat” hunting. Over 800 tons of bushmeat are sold in Ghana’s markets every year. This is equivalent to the weight of 40 duikers, 160,000 monkeys or 200 elephants.
The beautiful and critically endangered Araripe manakin was first discovered in 1998 and is only known from one location. It has an extremely small known range, within which it is subject to continuing pressure from agriculture and the development of recreational facilities.
The males are spectacularly patterned, with pure white plumage, black wings and tail and a bright crimson nape, crown and mid-back. There is a tuft of bright red feathers above the bill. Females are dull olive green, with a paler belly and a smaller tuft of feathers above the bill. Because of its helmet-like crown it has received the Portuguese name soldadinho-do-araripe which means ‘Little soldier of Araripe.’
These birds are found along the slopes of the chapada in the lower and middle stories of tall forests where there are plenty of vines, as well as clearings. They’re associated with water springs and are a good indicator of environmental quality. Very little is known about this extremely rare species. It typically occurs in pairs and has been reported to feed on the fruits of Cordia species. Juvenile males have been found during March and January. The population is very small; a survey in 2006 estimated a population of only 800 individuals.
Habitat loss and degradation as a result of human encroachment for development and recreation, as well as clearance for agriculture (particularly banana, maize, beans and tomatoes) and cattle, is the main threat. The chapada region has suffered intense human pressure recently, and the locality at which the species was first described has been turned into a recreational park.
The location at which this beautiful bird is found is within the Araripe National Forest and a larger Environmental Protection Area, but these designations do not prevent disturbance or exploitation. It is imperative that this area is designated as a biological reserve or a national park. Thankfully, the owner of the land next to the type locality resolved to protect the habitat after this species was discovered.
A project, supported by the British Petroleum Conservation Leadership Programme, is underway to shed light on the ecology of this species and to assess the main threats facing it as well as opportunities for its conservation. Urgent action must be taken if this critically endangered and recently discovered species is to escape extinction.