“On the Trail” n°19

26 Feb 2018

Quarterly information and analysis bulletin on animal poaching and smuggling
770 events. October 1st to December 31, 2017
134 pages illustrated
pdf – 6.4 Mo
Original in French
Seahorses, corals, abalones, giant clams, conches, noble pen shells, sea cucumbers, fishes, pages 3 to 14

Sea Cucumbers – page 7
Sea cucumbers are on sea bottoms and low grounds of repute. Along with shark fins, abalones and totoaba swim bladders, sea cucumbers are among the “must” of marine gastronomy. At the same time they suffer from a reputation as healers of human diseases since the Ming dynasty (1500 BC). Today, more than 60 species of sea cucumbers are caught in tropical, temperate or polar waters. The circle of sought-after species is widening and eventually the 377 known species of sea cucumbers are threatened with extinction. Dried, they sell for up to $ 3000 US/kg. There is an urgent need for international protection of sea cucumbers. For much more information on sea cucumbers, see “A Sea Cucumber Ending“ in “On the Trail” n°4, p.107.

Tortoises and Freshwater Turtles – page 19
The United States of America, Brazil, Madagascar, India, Mexico, Bangladesh, Hong Kong, by canoe, plane, Mercedes Benz, by post, in socks or under chocolates, for meat, scales, petmania, games of gambling, tortoises and freshwater turtles are slaves to trafficking in conspiracy. The trade in turtles is universal. The most spectacular seizure of the quarter was made in Libya. The 3,000 Kleinman’s tortoises took the road to Egypt. Old IUCN documents from 2003 say that in three generations their range has shrunk from 123,000 km2 to 16,600 km2. The same document predicted extinction of the species by 2025. The end is coming.

Birds – page 33
Brazil is losing its colours and musicians. Every year, 30,000 songbirds and chicks are seized in cars on the roads that cross the meadows and forests. Despite the efficiency of the flying brigades, it is to be feared that these 30,000 victims represent only 10% of the poaching. The standard fine is $153 US for every bird stolen from the wild. The bill is increased if the offender is charged with illegal trade and animal abuse and one of the species is listed in CITES.
After the cyanide and pesticide attacks, southern Africa continues to lose its precious natural knackers.

Pangolins – page 48
It’s not getting any better. The seizures for the quarter of October, November and December 2017 totalled 13,132 kg of scales, representing a taking of of nearly 40,000 pangolins. This record includes a seizure of 11,900 kg of African pangolins in China in July 2017, which was revealed at the end of November after the suspects were arrested. Convictions for trafficking in live pangolins or scales range from 4 years in India, 5 to 7 years in Malawi, and 9 years in Zimbabwe.

Felines – page 61
Speeding up. In 2013, in the first issues of  “On the Trail “ leopard lynching was uncommon in India. Today, it’s common. In addition to the poison of joint violence, electrocution, barbed wires and pesticides are also poisons for leopards and tigers. Fortunately, the Bombay High Court protects tigers, nucleuses of resistance are still holding good and rescues of leopards or cubs illuminate the dark news.
After the banning of travelling circuses in Mexico, Bengal tigers and lions are dispersed and continue to be abused.

Rhinoceroses – page 83
The official toll for the year 2017 exceeds for the 5th time the threshold of 1,000 poached rhinos in South Africa. It amounts to 1,028 including 504 in Kruger Park. Fetuses are not included in the number. For the October, November, December 2017 quarter alone, three females were in gestation when they were poached.
Poaching in Kaziranga National Park in India is comparable to that of 2001. It would not exceed 5 individuals in 2017. It’s down dramatically.

For poaching or horn trafficking, prison without remission sentences are between:
2 months in Hong Kong
14 months in the United Kingdom
14, 15 and 20 months in Vietnam
18 months in the United States
5 years in Zambia
11 years in Swaziland
8, 10 and 18 years old in Malawi
4, 18 and 20 years in South Africa
20 years in Tanzania

Elephants – page 91
If we have to talk about imminent extinction, Asian elephants are much more threatened than African elephants. By the end of 2017, Sri Lanka’s and Indian’s super-tuskers and Indonesia’s pygmy elephants are disappearing at top speed. The official and global value of an Asian elephant in China is just over $300,000 US compared to just over $150,000 US for an African elephant. Asiatic ivory is more appreciated in Asia than African ivory.
Ivory is not the only material sought in the elephant. In 10 years, 70,000 elephants from Africa would have legally fed tanners and world fashion.

Donkeys – page 131
Pressure’s getting worse. Australia enters into conversations with China to export thousands of donkeys once again wild. In China, since 1 January 2018, the import tax on donkey skins has been reduced from 5% to 2%.

“On the Trail” Is carried out by Robin des Bois (Robin Hood) with the financial support of the Brigitte Bardot Foundation, the Franz Weber Foundation and of the Ministry of Ecological and Solidarity Transition, France.


“On the Trail” n°19



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