Uncovering an Obscure Trade: Threatened Freshwater Fishes and the Aquarium Pet Markets

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An analaysis of trade data on freshwater fish exports for ornamental trade was recently published in Biological Conservation 164: 158-169: R. Raghavan, N. Dahanukar, M. Tlusty, A. Rhyne, K. Krishnakumar, S. Molur & A.M. Rosser (2013) Uncovering an obscure trade: threatened freshwater fishes and the aquarium pet trade.

The trade deals with 30 species that are threatened with extinction. Here are the highlights of the paper.

Highlights of the study

  • This study for the first time assessed the extent, magnitude
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Pangolins: ‘The New Rhinos’

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Few of us know about this animal called the pangolin, or scaly anteater, found in the tropical forests of Africa and Asia, including India. It’s an odd creature, donning an armour – not unlike a knight of the medieval ages. It has a very narrow, long tongue that extends over 15 inches, coated with a gluey substance to enable it to probe nests, mounds and suchlike for ants, termites, etc. that make for its unique insectivorous diet. The pangolin has … Read More

China’s Illegal Ivory Trade Escalating Out of Control – Save the Elephants

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Save the Elephants Press Release

The illegal ivory trade is exploding in China, overwhelming efforts to enforce the law, according to the results of the first detailed research on the markets of Beijing and Shanghai since 2002, published today by Save the Elephants and The Aspinall Foundation.

Skyrocketing demand for ivory in China – the wholesale price of raw elephant tusks has tripled in just four years since 2010 – have sparked a booming trade in smuggled ivory that is … Read More

The Endangered Narrow-headed Softshell Turtle

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The Narrow-headed Softshell Turtle (Chitra indica) of the family Trionychidae, is an extremely large, highly aquatic species. It is listed as Endangered on the IUCN Red List, and placed in Schedule II of the Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act of 1972. It is widely but patchily distributed throughout the riverine ecosystems of the Indian subcontinent. The Narrow-headed Softshell Turtle does not appear to exist at high densities anywhere in its range. Its specialized dietary and habitat requirements make it … Read More

Eating pangolins to extinction — ZSL / IUCN Press Release

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The enigmatic pangolin, or scaly anteater, is literally being eaten out of existence according to the latest update of The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™, which shows that all eight species are now threatened with extinction.

Resembling an artichoke with legs and a tail, the pangolin is the world’s only truly scaly mammal. Their scales act as armour against natural predators but offer no defence against poachers.

The IUCN Species Survival Commission (SSC) Pangolin Specialist Group, which is hosted … Read More

Stemming illegal trade vital to saving the world’s wildlife, says TRAFFIC

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Media Release | 12 February 2014, New Delhi

The London Conference on Illegal Wildlife Trade that takes place from 12-13 February, is an opportunity for governments to commit to finally ending the illegal trade in elephants, rhinos, tigers and other endangered wildlife species whose very survival is in crisis due to rampant poaching for illegal trade.

The event is being hosted by UK Prime Minister David Cameron and Foreign Secretary William Hague. The Prince of Wales and his son HRH … Read More

Between Flood Waters and a Poacher’s Gun

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We were in Kaziranga to document the July 2012 floods. Rhinos escaping the rising waters of the Brahmaputra, seek shelter in the Karbi Hills to the South. This is where poachers lie in wait.

We saw this poached rhino in a pool of blood, with its horn cut off. The forest department estimates that during floods, about 100 rhinos try to escape to fringe areas like Haldibari, Kanchanjuri, and Panbari. The department attempts to round up and drive back rhinos … Read More

Crucial Breakthrough in Cracking Extensive Wildlife Smuggling Ring

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The alleged kingpin of an extensive smuggling network that traded in plant and animal wildlife, Veeriya Shekhar of Manipur, was detained at the Chennai airport by immigration authorities and handed over to the Chhattisgarh police. It is believed that he was at the core of an illegal wildlife trading network that dealt in tiger and leopard bones, deer antlers, pangolin scales and red sandalwood. Information about Shekhar’s role emerged after interrogation of persons who had been arrested during a series … Read More

Huge Haul of Dried Turtles Intercepted in Bangladesh

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Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) troops have intercepted around 120 kg of dried turtles being smuggled from India into Bangladesh. This is the largest haul in the region. A kilogram of dried turtle can fetch around $140 in the international market. Dried turtles are used for soups and in oriental medicine. The region has seen an increase in smuggling of live as well as dried turtles. Bangladesh is said to be turning into a transit point for wild animal trade into … Read More

Organized International Pangolin Wildlife Trade Busted

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Conservationists headed by Santosh Martin, President Sloth Bear Foundation and also the honorary wildlife warden of Bellary district, Karnataka, with the help of Kamalapur police have unearthed a major organized international wildlife trade in Bellary district with the seizure of several kilograms of Pangolin scales. These scales were heading towards China and other south Asian Countries like Korea, Taiwan, etc., where the demand for scales and other animal body parts has increased exponentially over the recent years due to economic … Read More