How to Stop Poaching and Protect Endangered Species? To start there were 8466 white rhinos and 2599 endangered black rhinos. “If the genie in the bottle were to grant me just one wish to combat international wildlife crime, I would ask that everyone work more collaboratively,” Mr. Sellar has written. There are … At times many of us inadvertently contribute to wildlife poaching. This trend has continued to stay high in the following years and whilst recent numbers for 2018 … Mr. Sellar and other experts argue this job should instead be assigned to police, detectives, money-laundering experts and the courts. Now, we're starting to see progress around the world to tackle this cruel trade. Supporters of this course of action argue that this would take the trade out of the hands of criminals and that, by flooding the market, the price of ivory would drop along with the incentive to kill them. Please support us! Wildlife crime is big business. Rangers don’t have access to policymakers who don’t consult conservation groups. “Usually, they’re involved in logistics-type businesses — trading or shipping companies, for example — or in commodity-based ones, which is why it’s easy for them to move things around,” he added. Of 317 arrests related to rhino poaching in 2015, for example, just 15 percent resulted in guilty verdicts. Yet countries are so reluctant to let us use it,” Dr. Wasser said. The guards led me into a spartan office where I found Mr. Chumlong seated on a bench near the wall, wearing an orange jumpsuit with “Corrections” written in circular patterns all over it. What is done to stop poaching Rhinos are taken to reserves and are cared for. These rhinos are my nation’s inheritance.”. You would be really doing something for the earth to save it. Poaching, in law, the illegal shooting, trapping, or taking of game, fish, or plants from private property or from a place where such practices are specially reserved or forbidden. Poaching can have a devastating effect on animal populations. A legal ivory trade can also provide a cover for criminals to launder illegal ivory. Roberto Schmidt/Agence France-Presse -- Getty Images, use DNA to determine the geographic origins of seized tusks. Nor has poaching declined since those individuals were arrested. Brent Stirton/Reportage for Getty Images. A rhino horn sitting on a scale in the back of a tailor's shop in Hanoi. Hunters are allowed to transport legally obtained trophies across borders under various international and domestic laws. He described having what he thought were legitimate hunting permits, only to be arrested by the South African police for fraud and railroaded into jail after signing what he believed was an agreement to pay a fine. Poachers hunt endangered animals for their meat, certain parts, and even for thier rareness. Again and again, associates of Mr. Chumlong and Vixay Keosavang from a decade ago, or longer, have turned up in wildlife trafficking cases, among them Bach “Boonchai” Mai, arrested by the Thai police earlier this year. After a horn — or a tusk, bag of bones, box of scales or other animal contraband — is smuggled out of a park, the goods are usually transferred along a chain of “runners” who take them to larger and larger cities. But because of the way the poaching and trafficking networks work, taking down any one of these supposed kingpins will not stop the illegal trade. [Read more: Rhino poacher killed by elephants then eaten by lions in South Africa.]. “Arresting a few alleged wildlife-trafficking ‘kingpins’ may be a useful symbolic tool for promoting the importance and feasibility of strong enforcement to the general public,” Dr. Wittig said. To acquire more hunting permits, Mr. Chumlong hired more than two dozen women to pose as hunters. This is the first time that infrared cameras and human recognition software have been used to monitor a park’s boundary for conservation and anti-poaching efforts. Governments often do not share information or effectively collaborate across borders. “Vixay never talk. A woman in Baoloc, Vietnam, drinking an elixir made from rhino horn at a roadside cafe. Keep in mind that wildlife is roaming within a vast territory. Legalization. Poaching is one of the most immediate threats to wild tigers. Soon enough, he was practically shaking, his eyes wide, his voice high. But “it is not likely to be effective in actually saving protected wildlife, especially if done in isolation.”. 1. Some refuse to share any samples at all. Some say that the USA is the second largest importer of wildlife products (Asia being the first.) Demand for rhino horn is strong in Vietnam. Three recent arrests for illegal wildlife trafficking have received wide attention among conservationists: Feisal Mohamed Ali, charged with trafficking in ivory in Kenya; Abdurahman Mohammed Sheikh, another alleged ivory trafficker in Kenya; and Yang Fenglan, Tanzania’s so-called queen of ivory. A dealer smuggling ivory out of an African port may not know the local boss overseeing poaching or the trader who eventually sells the contraband in Asia. Please, help us stop poaching with the rest of the world. Forget the ‘Kingpins’ Authorities keep arresting people said to be bosses of wildlife trafficking, but that isn’t making a … “This is not trophies or whatever,” Mr. Olivier told me he recollected thinking. There are lots of ways to help stop poaching and I'm going to say some out. Similar declines have been seen with rhinos. It was a punishment unheard-of in its severity, especially in a country with notoriously low rates of conviction for alleged wildlife crimes. Conserve Land: In tandem with anti-poaching efforts, we establish wildlife corridors – large sections of land that allow animals to move from one national park to another. The way he told it, it did sound possible that Mr. Chumlong had been a scapegoat for savvier criminals who took advantage of his ignorance to help get rhino horns out of the country. What can we do to turn those numbers around? He was granted early release this month after serving six years. Mr. Chumlong’s case illustrates one of the most profound obstacles to disrupting the international trade in illegal wildlife: the decentralized, constantly morphing networks along which poached goods are transported. There may be a lot more reasons of poaching somewhere on the internet. | Sign up for the Science Times newsletter.]. National Geographic reports that in just 5 years, the second-largest herd of elephants in African was reduced to 45,000 animals from a count of 110,000. But that year, 10 Vietnamese “hunters” quietly applied as well. “I’m never poaching. In addition to once being used for keys on a piano, ivory has also been used for thousands of years as a sign of wealth, and even ingested as a powder for medicinal purposes. John Sellar, formerly chief of enforcement for the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, has argued that we should instead just think of wildlife trafficking more simply as a crime, not a conservation issue. The only way we can do that is to maintain zero poaching so that tiger populations are safe and on the rise. They provide the link between the bush and the market.”. Namibia is utilizing their armed forces to protect the borders. “This is now getting into slaughtering, purely for money. I introduced myself, turned on my tape recorder and told him that I was there to hear his story. Changing this largely depends on changing the way the world addresses illegal wildlife trade. That represented the beginning of an illicit industry referred to as pseudo-hunting — a first step toward the rhino poaching crisis that rages today. Once the contraband begins its trafficking journey, the route often isn’t direct. Some see them as a resource to be plundered and to profit from. As its name suggests, the IAPF is a non-profit … Wire-rimmed glasses framed his dark eyes, and his hair, once dyed black, was shaved short and gray, matching the stubble around his chin and upper lip. Being publicly-funded gives us a greater chance to continue providing you with high quality content. Sadly, corruption and violence towards both animals and humans are part and parcel of the ivory trade: Corruption is rife with Governments and officials taking bribes to ‘look the other way’. A China-bound ivory shipment may be sent first to Spain from Togo; a passenger carrying rhino horn may fly to Dubai before heading to Kuala Lumpur and then to Hong Kong. Mr. Olivier discussed Mr. Chumlong’s dealings with a private investigator, who began digging. Poaching has never stopped since the middle ages and we need to stop it or else we will lose the endagnered animals which will affect us. ... Is enough being done to stop the poaching … Only me, ‘kingpin,’” Mr. Chumlong scoffed. Once in the park, they usually wait until first light to kill a rhino. The investigator eventually compiled 222 pages of evidence. How to Stop Poaching and Protect Endangered Species? Vixay Keosavang, left, and Mr. Lemtongthai. In a gush of broken English, Mr. Chumlong told me that he was a legitimate businessman who recruited Asian tourists to hunt in South Africa. The poaching statistics for the last decade make for grim reading. The Vietnamese hunters each returned home with the mounted horn, head or even whole body of a rhino. But Mr. Chumlong served nowhere near 40 years. While some networks are highly organized, others are completely dispersed. Actually, quite a bit can be done to stop poaching, but it needs to be done by the land owner. So even with more trained rangers and anti-poaching units, the use of technology is a must to deter poaching practices. “I remain convinced, utterly convinced, that we would make major inroads into combating international wildlife crime if we could only get our act together.”. “Can you tell me about your involvement with rhino hunting?” I began. These individuals are sometimes referred to as kingpins, a term that experts say is overused. Educate the Public: We work with conservation groups and governments to raise awareness of poaching, illegal trading, and dwindling wildlife populations. Authorities keep arresting people said to be bosses of wildlife trafficking, but that isn’t making a dent in the problem. Maybe for another post, you should consider what the government can actually do to stop this poaching. Poaching has been a problem for a long time and there are reasons to it. Some ways are writting letters to the government about the poaching, don't but endangered animal products, put flyers out with warnings about poaching, create your own website about poaching like this one, donate money to sites that help stop poaching in some way, and others ways that can be found online. This roundabout travel obscures the goods’ true origin and destination, and the route often reflects the placement of compromised officials who allow for a smooth journey. After some hesitation — he didn’t appreciate how the press had depicted him in the past, without even speaking to him, he said — he agreed to talk. By Dr. Wittig’s estimate, the total amount they may have trafficked accounted for just 10 percent of African ivory smuggled over that period. Not everyone views our planet's extraordinary plants and animals the same way as we do. More than 100 elephants are being killed across Africa every day. According to South African and Thai authorities and conservationists, Mr. Chumlong’s boss was Vixay Keosavang, a Lao citizen once called the Pablo Escobar of wildlife trafficking. Another way people are working to end poaching is by trying to decrease demand for illegal wildlife and wildlife parts. Poaching is a major existential threat to numerous wild organisms around the world and is an important contributor to biodiversity loss. Support for alternative livelihoods, alleviation of poverty and education programs within rural communities wherever pangolins are found globally, to stop the slaughter. There are lots of ideas out there. Around the world, conservation gains are at risk of being overturned by the illegal trade in wildlife, which is growing at an alarming rate. The horns were sold on the black market, authorities said. “He said lie to me, my lawyer! To get their prize, rhino poachers — who are often desperately poor local men living on the fringes of parks and reserves — tend to sneak in under cover of darkness, sometimes during the full “poacher’s moon,” as it’s often called. Forget the ‘Kingpins’. Although I myself do not understand it, the practice was at one time quite widespread and accepted and continues to be both in many Eastern countries. Normally, North Americans and Europeans account for the bulk of South Africa’s rhino hunting permits. The global ivory trade is fueling the elephant poaching crisis, with around 55 African elephants killed for their tusks every day. All have denied the charges and await trial. Vietnam, however, has corresponding paperwork for only a fraction. No one knows just how many rhino horns were actually sent back to Asia as purported hunting trophies. Chumlong Lemtongthai, a Thai citizen, and his band of gun-toting prostitutes were surely the most remarkable of those gangs. The women received around $550 just to hand over copies of their passports and to take a brief “holiday” with Mr. Chumlong and his men in South Africa. Anti-poaching units are beginning to increase the use of trained detection dogs. 1. Dr. Wasser could produce a map showing officials and law enforcement exactly where they need to go to shut down the ivory trade in its current form. Use of Technology: GPS and Drones The most effective way for people around the world to help stop the killing of elephants in Africa is by financially supporting the people operating on the front line: action-oriented organizations and agencies that are proactively involved with anti-poaching work. We don’t necessarily want to see rhinos’ horns sawed off, but … Protecting the world wildlife and the global environment is essential, and to avoid the extinction of some species we must act now. Other solutions being debated currently: Injecting non-lethal poison into the rhinos’ horns. In 2014, Mr. Chumlong’s sentence was reduced to 13 years in prison, plus a fine of about $78,000. Mr. Olivier worked for Mr. Chumlong, but after fifty or so rhino kills, his conscience began to nag at him. I interviewed Mr. Chumlong at the Pretoria Central Correction Center on a sunny Sunday morning in October 2016. WWF (the World Wildlife Foundation) and their partners launched an African Rhino Program in 1997. Or you can create your idea of stoping poaching. Support de-horning of rhinos. I go legal way.”. Others simply run home with the horn as quickly as they can. He was released earlier this month. She claimed it cured her kidney stones, and she now drinks it daily for her health. Even officials within a country plagued by poachers may not cooperate. They are also building support by training more guards. Breaking up the decentralized criminal networks of poachers, experts say, will require the building of new networks among those who oppose the decimation of animal species. One option is to legalize the trade of horns and tusks. “In some ways, chasing after a Mr. Big behind it all is a bit of a myth,” said Julian Rademeyer, a project leader with Traffic, a conservation group, and author of “Killing for Profit: Exposing the Illegal Rhino Horn Trade.”. “People who operate in the legal field — in government or in the transportation or wildlife industry — play a vital role in ensuring that rhino horn or any other wildlife contraband passes along the supply chain,” said Annette Hübschle-Finch, a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Cape Town’s Center for Criminology. He has denied involvement in trafficking, and Mr. Chumlong told me he had not had any contact with Vixay Keosavang after his arrest. The International Anti-Poaching Foundation. Create an anti-poaching unit to crack down on poachers. That criminal groups dealing in wildlife tend to include multinational players further complicates investigations. Now is the time for the UK government to take action to tackle the illegal ivory trade. Is Anything Being Done To Stop Elephant Poaching? At some point, Asian businessmen based in Africa are likely to get involved — generally Vietnamese bosses for rhino horn, Chinese bosses for ivory. Word spread. If you can be pateint in your idea, it could make a huge difference in the world like saving some of the endagered animals. In the cartels run by just one or a few individuals, vacuums left by arrests are quickly filled. Trafficking bosses themselves are often also involved in legitimate and even well-known local businesses. Afterward, they may await well-organized pickups, or they may bury the horn for later retrieval. But most of those tasked with fighting this type of crime are conservationists, rangers and wildlife managers. The key is education. But even if they were all eventually found guilty, Dr. Wittig noted, their trade would account only for a meager 10.9 tons of ivory over the past decade, or the equivalent of 1,500 elephants. Chumlong Lemtongthai, a Thai citizen convicted in South Africa in a rhino-hunting scheme. Amid an uproar of criticism from conservation groups and government officials, he was swiftly deported to Thailand. This month, South Africa granted Mr. Chumlong early release after serving six years. One of the most important characteristics of poaching and smuggling networks is their diversity, according to Vanda Felbab-Brown, an expert on international crime at the Brookings Institution in Washington. South Africa has records of more than 650 rhino trophies leaving the country for Vietnam from 2003 to 2010 — goods worth some $200 million to $300 million on the black market. 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