“On the Trail ” n°28 
The defaunation bulletin
January, February and March 2020
137 pages (pdf), 7.5 Mo
This edition is bearing the stamp of the Covid-19 pandemic. Bats have been subject to reprisals in Peru, India and China and renewed hostility towards flying mammals has opened out worldwide.
In Guinea-Bissau, a mass poisoning of vultures, most of which were beheaded, is attributed to charlatans who took the opportunity to spread the rumour that vulture heads had the ability to prevent or cure the new disease.
In China, the mass seizure of dried geckos proves that the industry is still on the lookout for market opportunities. After cancer and AIDS, it is now time for gecko against the Covid-19 pandemic.
In South Africa, desertion by tourists and reduced patrolling in national parks and other protected areas has led to increased poaching of rhinos. In usual times, the influx of visitors acts as one of the means of keeping poachers away. In Botswana, the director of Rhino Conservation fears a surge in antelope poaching by bushmeat traffickers, “There’s going to be a lot of people out of work and falling back on nature”.
The poachers did not observe the stay-at-home order. Poaching peaks have been observed worldwide. “The exceptional context of the Covid-19 pandemic is seen by some as a great opportunity to engage in criminal activities in the forest environment,” said an agent of the Moroccan Department of Water and Forests, speaking on condition of anonymity.
Small-scale food trafficking has flourished since the Covid-19 pandemic emerged in South America but also in Asia. In China, a man was poisoning birds in a cemetery for a small food business. His trial was followed live by a million students and vendors in the markets.
In South America and Asia, local authorities intervened to remove wild meat stocks from wet markets, and vendors often showed incomprehension and bad temper with regard to this unprecedented enforcement of rules.
In China, again, the Supreme Court, aware of the need to ensure public health, warns, however, against hasty convictions of poachers and wildlife traffickers.
Despite the Covid-19 threat, NGOs and orangutan conservation agencies did not give up and continued to rescue “woodsmen” trapped in oil palm plantations.
In Uganda, gorillas do not respect barrier gestures.
In South Africa, a young pangolin female was extirpated from the hands of traffickers and named “Corona” by her rescuers. The quarter was marked by 4 large seizures of pangolin scales: 9,504 tonnes corresponding to around 25,500 pangolins in Nigeria, 6.16 tonnes in Malaysia, 820 kg in China and 500 kg in the Central African Republic.
Special features of this issue 28 of “On the Trail”:
– Three close-range shots in the left front window of his car silenced the Hawks’ top investigator and rhino defender in South Africa.
– Sea cucumber poaching is on the rise in Mexico, India and Sri Lanka.
– Frozen sharks are stuffed with cocaine in Mexico.
– In India the electrocuted elephant still had 2 corncobs in his mouth, two irrefutable proofs of his horrible pillage.
– Another elephant skinning in Myanmar. Elephant skin is sold in retail. After ivory, elephant’s skin is the new golden business for the traffickers.
– In Zimbabwe, poachers drop poisoned cabbages and corncobs on the rhino trails to kill them silently.
– A scientific report proving that glass-eels are smuggled into China is presented on page 20.
– The use of ambulances to transport smuggled animals continues harder than ever.
– White-tailed deer antlers were seized in China from a container of logs originating in South America.
– The Japanese zoo keeper looted African elephant tusks, Asian elephant hair and bones, white rhino bones, cheetah teeth and deer antlers from live animals or from the corpses of animals buried in the zoo’s cemetery. He was arrested at the airport on his way to Laos via Vietnam.
– They want to turn the Okavango Delta into the Texas of Southern Africa, page 104.
“On the Trail ” n°28 , 137 pages, 7.5 Mo (pdf)