“On the Trail” n°36, the defaunation bulletin

20 Mar 2023

“On the Trail” n°36, the defaunation bulletin
1,342 events with references, checked, analysed, commented and strengthened
April 1 and June 30, 2022
407 iconographic documents. 8 maps and historical archives
(pdf, 238 pages – 7.5 Mo)

Robin des Bois’ incredible miscellany on poaching and smuggling is going on. “On the Trail” highlights black market trends, new weapons, modus operandi of raiders and smugglers, and rumours meant to attract consumers of wild animals and their by-products. “On the Trail” also pays tribute to the individuals, NGOs and institutions that are fighting wildlife crime. From beginning to end, the 36 issues of “On the Trail” are the biological, social, police, customs, legal and financial chronicle of the poaching pandemic and the anarchic and hypocritical exploitation of biodiversity.

The worst against animals in this issue #36 took place in Indonesia. Two Sumatran tigers, a male and a female, lived together. They died side by side after a slow agony in the noose of a trap on an oil palm plantation (see page 57). Good breakfast to the Nutella-spreaders.


The worst against rangers took place in Malawi. During an arrest, they were caught in a riot but managed to escape with a rhino horn and the poacher. They soon realised that one of them was missing, rushed back to the scene, and found Given Gondwe severely beaten and unconscious. He died during his transport to the hospital (see page 5).

Some quotes:

– Biswajit Mohanty, pro-elephant activist, speaking on elephant graveyards in Odisha, India: “Since unnatural deaths continue to be covered up or reported as natural, ivory hunters continue to act with impunity knowing well that the protectors themselves would shield them.” See page 36.

– Interpol after a special operation coordinated with Central and West African customs that led to the seizure of arms, explosives, gold, drugs, adulterated medicines and endangered species: “Organized criminal groups take advantage of the convergence of different forms of criminality and use the same routes for a number of illicit activities.” See page 213.

– The Society for the Protection and Study of Birds of Serbia after the new discovery in the fields of a white-tailed eagle and 9 other birds of prey: “When in a few years you wonder where the birds disappeared to and why their singing has stopped, remember that everything could and should have been different. The hardest part will be to explain to children how eagles once flew proudly in the skies above Serbia and why we could not save them from the curse.” See page 155.

In the chapter on freshwater and marine fish, the trial of the AED American Eel Depot Corporation in the United States with its ramifications in the Netherlands and Ukraine is largely dealt with. It shows that glass eels, the eel fry, and eels are being trafficked in complex ways all over the world. See page 215.

In the Multi-species chapter, the seizure in Spain of more than 1,000 stuffed animals or their parts is once again embarrassing the European Union, which claims not to be a reservoir of ivory and feline skins. The value of the seizure, which includes 198 elephant tusks, has an initial estimate of 29 million euros, or more than 32 million US dollars. This is the largest animal seizure ever carried out in the European Union and possibly in the world. See page 199.

In the Deer chapter (page 96), “On the Trail” sheds light on the market for the antlers of the big-one of the forests of Europe and the United States of America and the scourge of gathering antlers shed at the end of winters by male deer. All of this to supply the new market of domestic dogs chew bones and the antler market on the Internet.

Faced with the devastation of poaching and the expropriation of biodiversity, individuals, collectives, tribes, patrols are fighting every day, at all ages and everywhere, as in Cambodia (see page 109), Ukraine (see page 180) and Sinai (see page 184). “On the Trail” is their paper.

“On The Trail” has been carried out by the NGO Robin des Bois since 2013 with the support of the Brigitte Bardot Foundation, the Franz Weber Foundation and the French Ministry of Ecological Transition. “On the Trail” gets sponsorship from the Séché Environnement group.

“On the Trail” n°36, the defaunation bulletin



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