#wildlife trafficking
The Brave Ones: An All Female Ranger Unit Guarding Wildlife In Zimbabwe

The Brave Ones: An All Female Ranger Unit Guarding Wildlife In Zimbabwe

An elite unit of rangers protects the Phundundu Wildlife Area in Zimbabwe — it’s a 115 square mile former trophy hunting area that is home to 11,000 elephants — and it’s the first nature reserve in the world to be managed and protected by only by women.  The women rangers – many of whom came from backgrounds of abuse – call themselves the Akashinga, ‘the Brave Ones’ and are changing the face of conservation in Zimbabwe.

Continue Reading 503 words
Trump Administration Killed Big Game Hunting Advisory Council

Trump Administration Killed Big Game Hunting Advisory Council

Wildlife and environmental groups scored a legal victory last week when the Trump Administration admitted in court filings that it had disbanded the Interior Department’s International Wildlife Conservation Council, an advisory committee of hunting advocates charged with promoting the “benefits of international hunting,” when the advisory committee’s charter of the expired in December of last year.  It was the influence of panels like this one that led to the President reversing himself to allow big game trophies to be imported into the U.S. the agency after initially supporting the Obama Administration’s moratorium on bringing tusks and other elephant parts back home.

Continue Reading 415 words

One Cool Thing: Pangolins Protected From Poaching In South Africa

The pangolin is the most highly trafficked mammal on Earth — they are poached at a higher rate than elephants, rhinos and tigers combined. Their scales are what the poachers want — they are ground up and used for medicine in China and Southeast Asia. Pangolins are on the brink of extinction — 120,000 were […]

Continue Reading 128 words

Want the planet in your inbox?

Stay in the know, empower yourself to be a #FriendOfThePlanet, sign up to receive ODP in your inbox each morning!

Singapore Makes Huge Wildlife Bust

On Tuesday, the government of Singapore announced it had seized nearly $50 million in ivory tusks and pangolin scales (a record for the nation) found in shipping containers from the Democratic Republic of Congo that supposedly contained timber but instead were filled with 12 tons of pangolin scales and nearly 9 tons of ivory.  The illegal wildlife parts were bound for Vietnam, but will now be destroyed so that they will not re-enter the market, the Singapore government announced.  

Continue Reading 425 words
Botswana Lifts Ban On Hunting Elephants

Botswana Lifts Ban On Hunting Elephants

After a 5-year ban, the government announced recently that elephant hunting is again legal in the southern African nation of Botswana. The former President Ian Khama originally implemented the hunting ban, but it came under scrutiny by Khama’s successor, President Mokgweetsi E.K. Masisi, with the Environment Ministry citing conflicts with humans and an inability to manage increasing elephant populations as the rationale.

Continue Reading 532 words
Interview of the Week:  Azzedine Downes, ifaw

Interview of the Week: Azzedine Downes, ifaw

Azzedine is the President and CEO of the International Fund for Animal Welfare, where he leads their efforts to help people and animals thrive together in more than 40 countries around the globe. ODP:  IFAW just celebrated its 50th anniversary. What have been the organization’s greatest accomplishments? AD:  From humble beginnings 50 years ago, IFAW […]

Continue Reading 992 words
BuzzFeed News Levels Shocking Charge Against WWF

BuzzFeed News Levels Shocking Charge Against WWF

BuzzFeed News published a shocking exposé on Monday, in which it alleged that one of the world’s largest and most respected environmental organizations, the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), has supported anti-poaching guards “who have tortured and killed people.”  Immediately two leading Democratic Members of Congress called for an investigation into these allegations because WWF receives funding from the government to help fight wildlife trafficking.  WWF pledged “an “independent review” led by human rights specialists into the evidence uncovered by BuzzFeed News.” 

Continue Reading 560 words
Duct Taped Turtles Turn Up In Luggage – Abandoned by Smugglers

Duct Taped Turtles Turn Up In Luggage – Abandoned by Smugglers

Ironically, just as the world was celebrating World Wildlife Day last weekend, NPR reported that customs officials in the Phillippines on Sunday discovered more than 1500 rare and endangered turtles and tortoises wrapped in duct tape inside four unclaimed pieces of luggage at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Manila. 

Continue Reading 493 words
Major Wildlife Trafficking Busts In Hong Kong and Uganda

Major Wildlife Trafficking Busts In Hong Kong and Uganda

CNN reported last Friday that Hong Kong customs agents had taken into custody $8 million dollars worth of smuggled endangered species parts, including the largest single cache of pangolin scales.  This was one of the largest wildlife trafficking busts ever in Hong Kong, a gateway for smugglers to bring illegal good into China.  In a raid, authorities seized 8,300 kilograms (18,300 pounds) of suspected pangolin scales and 2,100 kilograms (4,600 pounds) of suspected ivory tusks from a 40-foot container ship that was supposed to be transporting frozen beef from Nigeria.

Continue Reading 447 words