Caza furtiva

Worldwide, wild populations of cheetahs, clouded leopards, jaguars, leopards, lions, pumas, snow leopards and tigers have fallen at alarming rates. Credit Aditya Singh/Barcroft India, via Getty Images

Just seven years ago in India’s magnificent Manas National Park, there were no tigers to speak of, just a few remnants of a population wiped out after decades of civil unrest that left the park’s wildlife vulnerable to persecution.

Now there are more than 30 tigers in Manas, a remarkable recovery achieved in record time thanks to a robust collaboration among the Indian Forest Department, local and international nongovernmental organizations, and law enforcement agencies, all working together to secure the park and protect it from poachers.

The success in Manas shows that stopping poaching at the source can bring tigers back from the brink.…  Seguir leyendo »

Poaching’s Bloody Human Toll

Being a wildlife ranger can be extremely hazardous to your health.

Some 110 rangers died in the line of duty worldwide in the year preceding July 31, according to the Thin Green Line Foundation. Nearly a dozen were killed by elephants in Africa and Asia, some trampled to death. One was gored by a spotted deer; two others were killed by rhinos. In India, two rangers were mauled to death by tigers; a bear killed another wildlife officer there. In Zimbabwe, yet another ranger drowned when a hippo attacked his canoe. A land mine killed a Thai officer. Ten died fighting fires.…  Seguir leyendo »

CNN's David McKenzie speaks with an official at the site of an elephant slaughter.

The headline conclusion of the Great Elephant Census that Africa’s elephants have declined should not have come as a surprise to anyone. But the horrifying extent has sent a massive blow to the heart of the conservation world, where millions of dollars have been spent in trying to protect these beloved animals.

The decline of Africa’s elephants should make us rethink the wisdom of a decision made in 1997 by CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora), which allowed four southern African countries to have their elephants moved from Appendix I listing, with the highest level of protection, to Appendix II, which allows some trade.…  Seguir leyendo »

Kenya Wildlife Services rangers arrange elephant tusks recovered from an ivory-smuggling gang, on July 22. (Joseph Okanga/Reuters)

Throughout my life, I have been an avid hunter, fisherman and outdoorsman. I hunt quail, wild turkey, dove and other birds. I’ve been on safari in Africa a number of times to hunt Cape buffalo and other plains game. I hunt elk in the Rocky Mountains every year. In my native Texas, I fish the Gulf Coast’s bays for redfish and trout, and I fish Wyoming’s cool streams for freshwater trout.

Like most sportsmen, I am also a conservationist. From the days of Teddy Roosevelt, American hunters — and, indeed, the Republican Party that Roosevelt represented — have held a deep reverence for nature and the wildlife found there.…  Seguir leyendo »

El presidente keniano, Uhuru Kenyatta, fue el encargado de iniciar la quema de las once pilas de marfil en el Parque Nacional de Nairobi, donde el año pasado ya se quemaron otras 15 toneladas como acto de protesta contra los furtivos, el 30 de abril de 2016.

Kenia está por destruir todas sus reservas de marfil de elefante. Más de 100 toneladas de «oro blanco» -tanto obtenido de manera ilegal (confiscado a cazadores furtivos o traficante) como acumulado naturalmente (por muerte natural)- se convertirán en humo este fin de semana. En China -donde se consume o se acopia la mayor parte del marfil del mundo- el precio que se dio a conocer recientemente es de 1.100 dólares el kilogramo, lo que lleva el valor total del material que se va a quemar a unos 110 millones de dólares.

Para la mayoría de los economistas, la idea de destruir un bien tan valioso es un anatema.…  Seguir leyendo »

Ivory poaching is back, big time, and the Internet is awash with photos of bloodied tusks and elephant carcasses.

In 2007, Kenyan wildlife officials counted 47 elephants killed by poachers. In 2008, the number jumped to 98. Estimates of the number of elephants now being poached across the African continent range as high as 37,000 a year. All this despite a ban on international trade in ivory that was enacted 20 years ago today.

Why hasn’t the ivory ban been effective? Mostly because it doesn’t fit the reality of the situation.

In 1989, anti-ivory campaigners were riding a wave of worldwide revulsion at poaching that had halved the African elephant population over the previous decade.…  Seguir leyendo »