Re: Elephant Poaching in Africa (Kenya, Tanzania, ...)

Wed Apr 13, 2016 2:10 pm

Chinese demand drives Zambia’s ‘amateur’ ivory gangs

Re: Elephant Poaching in Africa (Kenya, Tanzania, ...)

Thu Apr 14, 2016 3:35 pm

Well, Botswana seems to do something right...

Interesting how differently the shift of poaching of Zambians nationals to other countries is explained here.
I'm inclined to believe the anonymous source considering the drop in numbers of the Zambian elephant population. 0'

Re: Elephant Poaching in Africa (Kenya, Tanzania, ...)

Mon May 16, 2016 9:01 am

http://clubofmozambique.com/news/poachi ... opulation/


Poaching decimates Mozambique elephant population

12:56 CAT | 13 May 2016

The elephant population in Mozambique has fallen from 20 to just over 10 thousand in the last five years as a result of poaching, according to the National Elephant census conducted in 2014 by the Ministry of Land, Environment and Rural Development.

The latest data indicates that the Quirimbas National Park, in Cabo Delgado, now has fewer than 600 animals, 45 percent of its elephants having been killed by poachers.

Mozambique’s largest elephant populations are in Mágoè National Park in Tete and the Limpopo National Park in Gaza, but both have lost at least 20 percent of their number.

The National Administration of Conservation Areas (ANAC) is collecting information to update the national action plan for elephant conservation in Mozambique.

Re: Elephant Poaching in Africa (Kenya, Tanzania, ...)

Mon May 16, 2016 9:25 am

:no: :no: 0= @#$

Re: Elephant Poaching in Africa (Kenya, Tanzania, ...)

Sat Jul 02, 2016 11:18 am

One Expert’s Better Way to Save Elephants

Accompanying Kenya’s widely-publicized ivory bonfire last April were announcements that the country’s wildlife service was moving toward “intelligence-based conservation,” with more emphasis on the pursuit of traffickers and smugglers rather than on the poachers who actually do the killing.

“We know there is limitless supply of poor guys on the ground who are willing to risk everything,” WildAid Director Peter Knights told Kenya’s Capital News, in praise of the shift in conservation priority. “It’s the middlemen we need to stop.”

This is in line with the overall trend in African wildlife conservation. Kenya’s neighbor Tanzania, which lost 60 percent of its elephants between 2009 and 2014, has been ramping up law enforcement efforts to arrest and prosecute traffickers and claims to have caught several high-level criminals.

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This elephant, photographed in 2013 in Tanzania’s Mikumi National Park, may since have been killed for his tusks. Benson Kibonde, former warden of neighboring Selous Game Reserve, urges stronger protection for living elephants. Photograph by Daniel Hayduk, Getty Images

Many conservationists say that today’s organized wildlife crime networks simply can’t be stopped at the poaching level, that it’s virtually impossible to secure Africa’s vast protected areas from the desperately poor hired guns.

But Benson Kibonde—who served as chief warden of the Selous Game Reserve, in southern Tanzania, for 17 years—says that’s nonsense.

If any wildlife area can be said to be too big to effectively patrol, surely it’s the Selous. At 19,300 square miles (50,000 square kilometers), this World Heritage site is an uninhabited wilderness larger than many countries and a critical area for savanna elephants. In 1976, the reserve held some 110,000, thought to be the continent’s largest single population.

Comparing that number to the 13,000 elephants the Selous had at last count, in 2014, would seem to confirm that patrols are ineffective.

But that isn’t the whole story. Poaching has been contained in the Selous before, and its elephant herds set firmly on the path to recovery.

Kibonde served as chief warden from 1994 through 2007. During that time the elephants rebounded from a low of 30,000 in 1989 to more than 70,000 by 2006.

“Kibonde managed one of the most important elephant areas in Africa—and in the world—successfully,” says Ludwig Seige, who worked as Kibonde’s colleague for ten years when Seige headed the German Government’s Selous Conservation Program from 1993 to 2003. “So he knows how to prevent poaching on the spot.” (That program, launched in 1988 by the aid arm of the German government, undoubtedly was also a factor in the turnaround.)

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“If we put our effort on the ground,” Kibonde says, “poachers would never, never, never come around with impunity.”

After Kibonde was transferred to a wildlife training institute in 2008, poachers once again began gunning down the Selous’s elephants. He was reinstated as chief warden in 2012, and though elephant numbers continued to plummet through 2013, they then stabilized and began rising. Kibonde retired in late 2015.

Tanzanian elephant activist Shubert Mwarabu says that some conservationists think Kibonde didn’t crack down on poaching quickly enough this time around. “But this is a small group of people,” he says. “The majority consider him a hero of anti-poaching.”

Speaking from his home in Dar es Salaam, Kibonde explains that with enough dedicated, motivated scouts on active patrol, it is indeed possible to protect elephants—even in a wilderness as large as the Selous.

You’ve said there’s too much emphasis on anti-trafficking in Tanzania, on intercepting poached ivory. Why do you believe that?

It is complicated. It consumes a lot of money. And anti-trafficking for what?

Protect the elephants and other species—that’s actually the objective. You don’t wait up until the elephant has been killed, and some crazy guys are running around with the tusks, and then you’re also running around, trying to arrest them. It doesn’t make any sense.

To me, anti-trafficking has a delayed impact. You are trying to address things from the end and coming back to where you were supposed to have started. I don’t say it shouldn’t be done at all. I’m saying the proportions of allocation of our resources are wrong. More weight should be given to protection itself, to making sure that the elephants are not killed. To make sure we don’t have ivory flying around.

How do you make sure the elephants aren’t killed?

When I was in Selous, we really had to work hard, boots on the ground, and make sure that we were at every corner where we thought these guys would be. We killed off the incursion. And the number of elephants started building.

In Tanzania 80 percent of the elephants are in 20 percent of the land area. If we go to that 20 percent of the land, put our effort on the ground, open up the communication network, be everywhere poachers want to be, poachers would never, never, never, come around our area with impunity.

What are they doing now? They are roaming around our [wildlife] areas with impunity, like we are not there. You see?

I’m 101 percent sure that the poaching problem we see in Tanzania is very much at the local level. These poachers are using local techniques, local strategies.

What do you mean by local techniques? Aren’t poachers using modern weaponry?

Let’s not think that simply because they’re using a gun, they are modern in their techniques. The technique of approaching, the technique of avoiding, of moving in the bush, are all traditional. As soon as they shoot, they hack the tusks using axes. They take the tusks on their shoulders. They walk their way through and back to the villages. Poachers are people from the rural areas, from the villages. Most of them have not gone to school. They learn from their fathers, they learn from their fellow villagers.

But aren’t organized criminal syndicates creating the incentive for poaching, by supplying money and arms to the poachers?

Let me give you an example. Leave the bank open. Be loose on guarding the vault. There will always be bad guys to run up the money. As long as wildlife is not securely protected, it creates an incentive for people to kill it as a means of earning a livelihood. If we have secured our elephants 101 percent, there will not be a tusk there to be trafficked. The supply is incentivizing the trafficking. What could they buy if we deny them something to buy?

What are the traditional techniques to counter the poaching?

You set out on foot. You pursue them on foot. If you learn where they hide, how they move, when they move, every step that they are doing, you could completely contain them. The poachers are not using rocket science. They’re using simple techniques that need simple solutions.

A lot of money has been contributed. The Americans have put in money. The Germans have put in money. It is enormous. I’m not against this support. But the truth is, I could easily contain poaching without those colossal and mammoth amounts of money. How much money do you need to enable me to walk around the bush? It’s not much! It’s not much.

With all this funding coming in, why do you think the poaching hasn’t been contained?

We have taken conservation by the head, having highly educated people, putting in lots of training. But we have lost the heart. And where we have lost the heart, that’s where we have lost conservation.

The job is simple. Go to the bush. Stand by the elephant and protect it. Full stop. And do whatever it takes to achieve that. But because it means toil, because it means offering sweat and blood and perseverance, people don’t like to take it up.

You can only offer your sweat, your blood, your toil by only looking inward and saying, “This wildlife is mine.” By saying, “I’m responsible for keeping this wildlife.” By saying, “My life is caught within conservation—not by my head, but by my heart.”

I speak the truth, and the truth from absolutely my bone marrow. We only can protect wildlife by being where wildlife is.

We are not there. We are not there. We are where the elephant tusks are. We are where the products of wildlife are, after the wildlife has been poached.

This article was first published by National Geographic on 21 Jun 2016.

Re: Elephant Poaching in Africa (Kenya, Tanzania, ...)

Sat Jul 02, 2016 3:58 pm

This is very significant! Thanks, Lis! :ty:

Is Kibonde wearing an AW shirt? :shock:

Re: Elephant Poaching in Africa (Kenya, Tanzania, ...)

Sat Jul 02, 2016 4:01 pm

Not yet =O:

Re: Elephant Poaching in Africa (Kenya, Tanzania, ...)

Sat Jul 09, 2016 12:22 pm

29 countries in drive to save Africa’s elephants

With more than 100 000 African elephants killed since 2010, 29 African countries have banded together in a bid to ban ivory trade to ensure the survival of Africa’s elephants.

This week, the African Elephant Coalition (AEC), which includes Mali, Kenya, Uganda South Sudan and Rwanda, among others, called on the EU to take action.

ImageEPA/Lukas Schulze. Credit: EPA

“In 25 years there may not be a single elephant remaining in Africa if current rates of killing continue,” said Azizou El-Hadj Issa, the former minister of agriculture in Benin and president of the council of elders of the AEC.

“The situation is alarming in most of our countries. Elephants are slaughtered every day, rangers are being killed and the trade is fuelling terrorism, which destabilises the continent and has huge repercussions for EU security,” he said.

El-Hadj Issa said the EU “needs to support us and become part of the solution to this crisis”.

“We, the Africans, have that solution and we call on the EU and its member states to throw their support behind our proposals,” he added.

The AEC is also calling on the EU to extend its commitment towards implementing the African Elephant Action Plan, adopted by all African elephant-range states in 2010, by supporting the listing of all African elephants.

It believes that this will enhance the unity of African nations with respect to elephants and elephant conservation.

Last week, AEC members met in Switzerland to share their commitment to ensuring the survival of the African elephant, following several meetings there in the past week.

The meetings were held to consolidate their position in the run-up to the 17th Conference of the Parties (CoP17) of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (Cites), which will be taking place in Joburg in September and October.

“A global, permanent ban on ivory trade is the only way to ensure the protection of elephants,” said Vera Weber, president of the Swiss-based Foundation Franz Weber, a partner of the AEC.

“African countries in the AEC, which are losing their elephants to poachers every day, are blazing the trail to shut down the global ivory market and put an end to this senseless killing forever,” she said.

Five complementary proposals submitted to Cites in late April by AEC countries, together with other co-proponents, provide an integrated package to protect elephants by strengthening international Cites law.

These five proposals include the closure of domestic ivory markets, the destruction of ivory stockpiles, ending the decision-making mechanism for legalising trade in ivory and limiting the export of wild, live African elephants to conservation projects in their natural habitat.

Taken together, the proposals would put an end to the ivory trade and afford elephants the highest protection under international law.

Of the 29 countries represented in the coalition, 25 of them are African elephant-range states, which comprise the majority of 37 countries in which African elephants occur in the wild.

The package is a decisive response to the poaching crisis facing African elephants over the past decade, caused by the legal sale of ivory stockpiles to China and Japan in 2008, with Cites’s permission.

At the height of the killings, from 2010 to 2012, at least 100 000 elephants were slaughtered in Africa for their ivory, many in AEC countries.

With South Africa facing similar issues with elephant poaching, especially in the Kruger National Park, the proposals are a welcome plan in an attempt to put an end to elephant poaching.

Last month, Kruger National Park rangers echoed these sentiments, explaining that the only way to save elephants was to end the supply or demand for ivory.

“If no one buys it, poaching will stop,” said ranger Thomas Ramabulana.

“The biggest problem that we are facing is the value of the elephant tusks and the rhino horns. If the international community makes it worth nothing, then there is no supply or demand,” he added.

Re: Elephant Poaching in Africa (Kenya, Tanzania, ...)

Mon Jul 11, 2016 10:59 am

Right thing to do, IMO, to summon the EU to support the fight against elephant poaching.
After all, lots of Europeans would profit O** North America shoud also be involved :yes:

Re: Elephant Poaching in Africa (Kenya, Tanzania, ...)

Fri Aug 05, 2016 11:44 am

Barbaric elephant slaughter in Angola

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Photo for illustrative purposes only

BY NIEL TERBLANCHE - 25 JULY 2016 - AFRICA GEOGRAPHIC

Residents at a well-known Namibian tourist lodge on the banks of the Okavango River had to watch helplessly as a horrific slaughter of elephants played out in front of their eyes just across the border in Angola. At least five men armed with AK-47 automatic assault rifles attacked a group of about 40 elephants grazing peacefully in the long grass along the river.

According to Hennie Burger, who saw the horrific attack less than 150 metres from where he was standing, “The men suddenly appeared out of the bushes on the Angolan side of the river. They started firing at the animals with the assault rifles set to full automatic and what ensued could only be described as tragic carnage. At least three elephants were mortally wounded and the noise they made was horrifying.”

Because the calibre of the AK-47 automatic assault rifles is too small to kill an elephant effectively and humanely with one shot, many hundreds of rounds are needed to bring down an animal of that size. Remnants of the Angolan civil war, including hand grenades and improvised explosives, were used along with AK-47 automatic assault rifles to massacre at least three elephants in the Luiana National Park, previously the heartland of Jonas Savimbi’s UNITA, on the banks of the Okavango River.

According to Burger the attack did not focus on one or two of the animals. He said the barbaric men were firing wildly and indiscriminately, leaving many other elephants wounded. Those who could still move disappeared into the bushes and have not been seen since. “At this stage it is not clear how many of the elephants were actually injured. We just know that three suffered a torturous death and that the attackers came in the night to hack out the tusks of the biggest animal out of its skull with axes and machetes,” he said.

According to a well-known lodge owner of the area, members of the local communities said that they heard explosions along with automatic rifle fire when the incident took place. “From what I could discern from the stories of the villagers, the gang of poachers might have used hand grenades or improvised mortars or some such explosives in their attack on the herd of elephants grazing peacefully in the long grass on the banks of the river. I was told that the people heard the awful noise of the attack and screams of anguish of the elephants shortly afterwards. It must have been awful,” the owner told Informanté.

The incident was reported to the Namibian Police, as well as officials of the Ministry of Environment and Tourism, but their hands are tied because the incident happened on Angolan soil. A day after the barbaric attack on helpless animals was reported to the Namibian authorities, the Angolan authorities slowly started to investigate the incident.

On the Namibian side, officials from Nature Conservation started patrolling the Namibian banks of the river to look for more dead animals that might have succumbed to the bullet strafing delivered so indiscriminately.

In the meantime, local lodge owners and the Namibian authorities started crossing the river to assist their Angolan counterparts in investigating the massacre. Namibians helping to facilitate the transport of police and environment officials have asked that their names not be used out of fear of retribution from the poachers. “It is not the first time such an attack happened here, right in the middle of the Luiana National Park. A few months ago there was an international fishing competition and a lot of people were on the river in their boats. They had to flee from the fishing spot while AK-47 bullets were flying over their heads because the poachers attacked and killed a hippopotamus on the river bank close to them,” one of them said.

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Another resident of the area on the Namibian side of the river, Mark Paxton, said the huge animals only started returning to the area in 1997 after the Angolan civil war ended. “The area where the elephants were attacked was declared a conservation park but the Angolans do not apply the same value to wildlife and its economic benefits to the community as the Namibians. Crocodiles and hippopotami on many occasions get slaughtered in this indiscriminate manner and it seems that Angolan wildlife officials worry more about the meat they might get from such actions than the actual conservation of natural resources.”

Later, many villagers on the Angolan side of the river could be seen walking back to their dwellings in the bush with hunks of meat.

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The barbaric attack on the group of elephants occurred on Saturday afternoon near Kasira Camp close to Derico in the Katere area of the Kavango.

Original article : http://africageographic.com/blog/barbar ... er-angola/