“On the Trail” n°34, the defaunation bulletin

25 Oct 2022

“On the Trail” n°34, the defaunation bulletin (pdf, 271 pages – 9.5 Mo)
1,854 events with references, analysed between September 1 and December 31, 2021.
506 iconographic documents.
Twelve maps and historical archives.

In 19 days, the 19th plenary meeting of CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) will take place in Panama City with the participation of Robin des Bois, the Franz Weber Foundation and the Brigitte Bardot Foundation which support “On the Trail”.


Indonesia, December 9, 2021

54,000 birds poached, trapped, stacked, limed, poisoned, tied up, beheaded, plus thousands of swifts’ nests (so-called swallows’ nests), 6,000 bats and colonies eradicated for fear of viruses. Covid-19 has exacerbated conflicts with the winged tribe. Farmers are protecting their grain more fiercely. People in cities are demanding songbirds. The European Union in particular is cracking down on birds of prey.

Germany, early October 2021

Colombia, mid-November 2021 © Policía Metropolitana de Pereira
“Mi casa no es su casa, su casa es el bosque” (My house is not your house, your house is the forest).

Wildlife wardens, green police and bird defenders are overwhelmed. For every one bird saved, ten fall through their cracks. The order of magnitude of birds trafficked between September and December 2021 is therefore 500,000.


Thailand, September 14, 2021

While scientists continue to assess the intelligence and social behaviour of gorillas, macaques, chimpanzees and bonobos, the world of apes is under siege and humiliation. Baboons sell for 13.5 US$/kg in the markets and gorillas for 35 US$/kg. Long-tailed macaques poached in Asia are shipped by the thousands to animal testing laboratories. Bushmeat, especially monkey meat, is pouring into European and American airports, dripping, stinking and infectious.

A baboon was captured and released painted blue with a tin can around his neck. A baby chimpanzee known on social networks as Obama is used as an attraction for tourists and expatriates. Monkeys exploited on the “Amazonas Extremo” tours eat snacks and drink sodas with tourists on survival training. When will the experts look into the deviations of human intelligence towards monkeys?


The months of September to December 2021 are characterised by active pan-African poaching divided between fresh young elephant tusks and big old tusks. International smuggling has been paralysed by the suspension of maritime logistics corridors, but the seizures of 456 kg of raw ivory (with 6 tonnes of pangolin scales) in Viet Nam, January 2022, and 6 tonnes of raw ivory (with 29 kg of rhino horns and suspected farmed tiger canines) in Malaysia, July 2022, show that destocking is underway and “business” is picking up. With the seizure of 938 kg of ivory in November 2021 and 1,500 kg in May 2022, the Democratic Republic of the Congo confirms its major role as a reservoir of undeclared raw ivory.

The Covid-19 biennial has put elephants under stress in Asia. They die by electrocution in the fences that protect crops. The tusks are sometimes cut up and buried for resale in future years. Fields become fortresses. In Bangladesh, more than 100,000 encroachers have taken over 100,000 hectares of forest that were the historic home of the country’s 200-300 elephants.

India, October 27, 2021
© Northeast Now

Some black market prices:
Snake venom: at least 200,000 US$/kg
Sperm whale ambergris: about 140,000 US$/kg for average quality
A domestic elephant: 136,000 US$
A live falcon: between 26,000 and 70,000 US$
Rhinoceros horn: 25,000 US$/kg
Musk deer preputial glands: 21,000 US$/kg
Totoaba swim bladders: 20,000 US$/kg
An okapi skin: 10,000 US$
Pangolin scales: 6,250 US$/kg in China
A live Victoria crowned pigeon: between 4,000 and 16,000 US$ (see cover)
A leopard skin: 4,775 US$
A saiga antelope horn: 3,000 US$
Sturgeon caviar: 2,550 US$/kg
Shark fins: 1,400 US$/kg
Sea cucumbers: between 700 and 2,000 US$/kg
A bear paw: 1,000 US$
A Bengal monitor lizard hemipenis: between 70 and 270 US$
A European goldfinch in Morocco: between 17 and 22 US$

Several seizures in Hong Kong show that in the same container, in the same truck, in the same speed boat or in the same warehouse, luxury goods are smuggled and mix the latest electronics, shark fins, “swallows'” nests, swim bladders, abalone, Cuban cigars, authentic or counterfeit Hermès, Gucci, Vuitton bags….

The shock phrase from “On the Trail” n°34: “We believe that that life isn’t taken by us, but that the creature [grey whale] chooses to give its life to us to sustain us and carry out our connection with the ocean” (a spokesman for the Makah Indian tribe on the West Coast of the United States of America).

The exceptional and instructive event of “On the Trail” n°34: marine turtles seized off Bali on board 3 fishing boats by the Indonesian Navy were immediately put in a recovery tank and some of them defecated instant noodle wrappers (December 2021).

The highlight of “On the Trail” n°34: a felt hat hemmed with skin and decorated with crocodile teeth.

KAS – Poland, late November 2021

“On the Trail” n°34


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