Posts Tagged ‘cites’

Huffington Post: Wildlife Smuggling by Bryan Christy

Monday, January 4th, 2010

For most crimes, journalists are part of an eco-system involving the public, law enforcement, and the courts.  That system isn’t functioning well when it comes to wildlife crimes.  Journalists have a great opportunity to help bring the eco-system back to health, but first they have to adjust their focus.  To explain what I mean, I wrote this essay for the Huffington Post…


Wildlife Smuggling:  Why Does Wildlife Crime Reporting Suck? by Bryan Christy

Did you read the story about the illegal trade in gorilla testicles? Have you seen the one about parrots poached in Brazil using glue? How about the news bulletin last week about the guy at LAX with Australian lizards strapped to his chest?

Generally there are two kinds of wildlife crime stories in the media: the weird news item showing a smuggler in flagrante (a stunned German tourist with a marmoset hidden in his beard) and the “in-depth” overseas report. I want to focus on the latter because too often these overseas reports kill endangered species.   Continue…


Protect Me/Poach Me

Sunday, September 13th, 2009

Here is a fascinating article in the current Scientific American on the impact endangered species listing can have on black market demand.  The conclusions are consistent with my own experience.  In one instance, for example, I was with a breeder of Burmese Mountain Tortoises (manouria emys) when she heard the tortoise might be upgraded to CITES I, ie, to critically endangered status.  She was ecstatic about the effect the upgrade would have on her sales (and prices), then paused to tell me that really, as a conservationist, she shouldn’t think that way.  Everything in this article may well be true, but what is the alternative?

Endangering Species: Listing Can Make Animals Valuable Black Market Commodities

By certifying species as endangered, government programs can backfire

By Wendy Lyons Sunshine

Through most of the last century, Javan hawk eagles (Spizaetus bartelsi) flew unnoticed through the dwindling forests of Indonesia’s principal island of Java. Their prominent head crest and multi-toned plumage didn’t attract attention, bird markets didn’t sell them, nor did zoos have them on display. Then in 1993 the Indonesian government awarded Javan hawk eagles special protected status. That’s when the bird’s fortune turned—for the worse. 

To celebrate the raptor’s official “National Rare/Precious Animal” designation, the Indonesian government printed the Javan hawk eagle’s likeness on postage stamps and phone books. Soon zookeepers and illegal pet collectors were clamoring for one of their own, and the birds began… Go to the Full Article.

A Poser in the Palace?

Monday, August 17th, 2009

More news running today from Malaysia.  This from the Malay Mail:

Poser Over Signatures on Wildlife Permits
NGOs lodge corruption report against Perhilitan
by Ng Suzhen, Malay Mail

Monday, August 17, 2009

Wake Up Call:  (From left) Manogaran, Khan, Chin, Thanasayan aide, Surendran, Manickavasagam and Thanasayan (seated) at the MACC office last Friday

Wake Up Call: (From left) Manogaran, Khan, Chin, Thanasayan aide, Surendran, Manickavasagam and Thanasayan (seated) at the MACC office last Friday


IS wildlife smuggling rampant in Malaysia because the signatures of high ranking officials from the Department of Wildlife and National Parks (Perhilitan) are being forged?

However improbable this may sound, it was suggested by Perhilitan Deputy Director-General I Misliah Mohamad Basir.

“There is a possibility that my signature was forged on the permits issued, as it happens quite often. But I need to have a look at the documents involved before jumping to conclusions,” she said when Malay Mail enquired about her alleged involvement in approving import-export permits to Anson Wong, a notorious wildlife smuggler featured extensively in the widely acclaimed book The Lizard King — The True Crimes and Passions of the World’s Greatest Reptile Smugglers.

Misliah admitted (more…)