Displaying items by tag: endangered species

 

Blue-throated Macaw numbers only about 300 in the wild – but it’s hoped that the population will increase through acquisition of the new reserve and ongoing nest box program. Photo by Daniel Alarcon. //www.flickr.com/photos/128583429@N05/sets/72157691397221540">Additional photos are available of Blue-throated Macaw, the reserve, and nest boxes.

(Washington, D.C., August 20, 2018) The largest known group of nesting Blue-throated Macaws — a Critically Endangered species numbering only about 300 in the wild, all in Bolivia — is now a protected nature reserve, thanks to a land purchase made by Bolivian conservation organization Asociación Armonía with support from American Bird Conservancy, the International Conservation Fund of Canada, IUCN Netherlands, and World Land Trust.

The 1,680-acre (680-hectare) reserve is located in central Bolivia in the Beni savanna. Previously a cattle ranch, it is the site of Armonía’s ongoing artificial nest box program, launched in 2005 to boost the macaw’s population. Demonstrating the potential for this area to support the recovery of the species, 51 Blue-throated Macaws have since fledged from the reserve, and in 2017, a pair of macaws that fledged from the nest boxes returned to breed.

The Blue-throated Macaw has been declining in population for the last century. Habitat destruction is a key driver of this decline, including the removal and burning of large trees suitable for nesting, while capture of the birds for the international pet trade has also played a role.

The new reserve, together with Armonía’s existing Barba Azul Nature Reserve, establishes a total area of protected land for the Blue-throated Macaw of 28,862 acres (11,680 hectares).

“Increasing the Blue-throated Macaw population is more likely now that Armonía has secured this important site as a reserve,” said Rodrigo Soria, Executive Director of Asociación Armonía. “This acquisition means that we can continue the successful nest box program without worry of changing land ownership and management.”

Armonía has named the new reserve the Laney Rickman Blue-throated Macaw Reserve in tribute to Laney Rickman (1952 – 2017), founder of the Texas-based nonprofit Bird Endowment. Rickman expanded and supported the macaw nest box program since 2006 in partnership with Asociación Armonía as an annual campaign, Nido Adoptivo™, to raise funds to build and deploy the boxes.

To further honor Laney Rickman’s legacy, the Laney Rickman Blue-throated Macaw Fund has been established by her family, Asociación Armonía, and American Bird Conservancy. Donations are welcome and will provide vital long-term support for the nest box program as well as habitat conservation and reserve management. Donations received in 2018 will be matched dollar for dollar up to $100,000.

American Bird Conservancy is grateful for the generous support of the Robert W. Wilson Charitable Trust, the March Conservation Fund, the Gulf Coast Bird Observatory-Tropical Forest Forever Fund, David and Patricia Davidson, and an anonymous donor, who helped make the purchase of this new reserve possible.

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American Bird Conservancy is dedicated to conserving birds and their habitats throughout the Americas. With an emphasis on achieving results and working in partnership, we take on the greatest problems facing birds today, innovating and building on rapid advancements in science to halt extinctions, protect habitats, eliminate threats and build capacity for bird conservation. Find us on FacebookInstagram, and Twitter (@abcbirds1).

Asociación Armonía (www.armonia-bo.org) is a non-profit organization dedicated to the conservation of birds and their natural habitat in Bolivia. Armonía’s conservation actions are based on scientific studies and active involvement of local communities, respecting their culture and knowledge. Asociación Armonía is the Bolivian key partner of American Bird Conservancy, BirdLife International, ICFC, and World Land Trust.

International Conservation Fund of Canada (http://icfcanada.org) advances the long-term preservation of nature and biodiversity in the tropics and other priority areas worldwide.

IUCN Netherlands (https://www.iucn.nl) is the Dutch national committee of the International Union for Conservation of Nature, the world’s largest and most diverse environmental network. Our mission is to influence, encourage and assist societies throughout the world to conserve the integrity and diversity of nature and to ensure that any use of natural resources is equitable and ecologically sustainable.

The World Land Trust (https://www.worldlandtrust.org) is an international conservation charity that protects the world’s most biologically significant and threatened habitats acre by acre. Through a network of partner organizations around the world, WLT funds the creation of reserves and provides permanent protection for habitats and wildlife. Partnerships are developed with established and highly respected local organizations who engage support and commitment among the local community.

 

(Washington, D.C., July 19, 2018) The U.S. Department of the Interior is proposing new rules to implement for the Endangered Species Act (ESA) that will make it more difficult to recover Threatened and Endangered birds.

“These rules put species listed as ‘Threatened,’ rather than the more dire category of ‘Endangered,’ at greater risk of endangerment by eliminating the blanket protection known as the 4d rule,” said Steve Holmer of American Bird Conservancy. “Under these changes, birds newly listed as Threatened could legally be killed or harmed. The changes would also make it more difficult to list species that the best science indicates should be listed, and to conserve and restore habitat, due to the weakening of Sec. 7 consultation for management of federal lands.

“Several bird species listed as Threatened under the ESA — the Marbled Murrelet and Northern Spotted Owl in particular — likely owe their current existence to the ESA’s blanket 4d rule against take and the interagency cooperation mandated by Sec. 7,” continued Holmer.

One of the proposed changes is to adopt the 4d rule process currently used by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) for marine species. Instead of providing blanket protection for species newly listed as Threatened, NOAA puts 4d rules in place as threats arise, leading to delays in conservation action.

For example, because the Hawaiian monk seal is listed as Endangered, NOAA is addressing the emerging threat of the disease toxoplasmosis on the seal. “If the monk seal were listed as a Threatened species instead of Endangered under the ESA, it would require additional protection from toxoplasmosis in the form of new 4-d rule,” said Holmer. “The overall effect could be substantially delayed protection and an increased risk of further population losses.”

Seventy-eight percent of mainland birds listed as Threatened or Endangered under the ESA have populations that are now stable, increasing, or have recovered enough to be delisted, according to a 2016 report published by American Bird Conservancy. The Endangered Species Act: A Record of Success analyzed population trends and recovery success for all U.S. listed birds, including those in the Hawaiian Islands and U.S. territories where the recovery success rate is lower due to the high number of threats.

“Added funding could help continue the upward trend of 41 listed U.S. bird populations and make their eventual recovery possible,” said Holmer. “Black-capped Vireo was recently delisted, and Kirtland’s Warbler and Nene (Hawaiian Goose) are on their way toward delisting due to successful conservation. We are supportive of these delistings provided that adequate conservation measures are assured moving forward.”

A proposed definition change to the ESA would make it easier to eliminate critical habitat, because any loss would have to be considered “as a whole.”

“Critical habitat is essential for maintaining and recovering species, but this change would allow the loss of habitat to occur drip by drip,” Holmer said. “Eventually there could be little critical habitat left.”

Another change could undermine the listing process by allowing for misleading economic analysis to be included in the listing rule, potentially inviting political interference. The benefits of wildlife conservation, which provide billions of dollars to the economy, are undervalued or not even included in these analyses.

“Maintaining the existing science-based listing process is crucial to conserve declining bird populations,” said Holmer. “Just this decade, seven new populations of birds were listed. If slanted economic analysis were included, it is likely that some of these species — such as the Western Yellow-billed Cuckoo, Red Knot, and Gunnison Sage-Grouse — may not have been granted ESA protection due to political interference. American Bird Conservancy is urging that the existing science-based listing process be retained.”

A 60-day comment period has been set for these proposed changes. Submit comments to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Photo: Changes to the ESA may reduce protections for birds such as Red Knots. Photo by Ray Hennessy/Shutterstock

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American Bird Conservancy is dedicated to conserving birds and their habitats throughout the Americas. With an emphasis on achieving results and working in partnership, we take on the greatest problems facing birds today, innovating and building on rapid advancements in science to halt extinctions, protect habitats, eliminate threats and build capacity for bird conservation. Find us on FacebookInstagram, and Twitter (@abcbirds1).

Born Free Calls on UK Government to Implement Ivory Trade Ban Without Delay

UK ivory ban must inspire further international measures, take the commerce out of the ivory trade and pay attention to the plight of other ivory-bearing endangered species

Horsham, England -- March 4, 2018 ­-- Born Free today welcomes the long-awaited announcement of a ban on the commercial trade in elephant ivory within, to and from the United Kingdom. However, Born Free is seeking greater clarity about the appointment of a special regulator who will manage the accreditation of exempt items.

Born Free's co-founder and President, Will Travers OBE, said: "We applaud the government for its recognition of the need for the U.K., which has been the largest exporter of ‘legal’ ivory items in recent years, to take action on commercial ivory trade. African elephant range states, the international conservation community, and the British public, have all been calling for a comprehensive ban as the only way to help end the poaching epidemic which threatens the very future of wild elephants. We implore Parliament to pass the proposed measures into law without delay.”

Born Free believes the proposed online ivory registration process establishes, importantly, that the burden of proof now resides with the applicant. Furthermore, the range of penalties and fines for those who offend should have a suitably deterrent effect.

According to the government, the provenance of items exempted due to their rarity or cultural/historical importance, will be determined by independent advisors who will be accountable for their decisions.

Travers said: “In practice, it will be essential that anyone who seeks to trade ivory or facilitate the trade in ivory – including those who are responsible for its certification – must be held to account. Only a robust and highly precautionary approach will prevent these exemptions becoming loopholes that traffickers can exploit.”

Exempt items will include:

  • Items made before 1947 containing less than 10 percent of ivory by volume
  • Musical instruments containing less than 20 percent of ivory made before 1975
  • The “rarest and most important items” that are more than 100 years old, including portrait miniatures
  • Items traded between accredited museums.

Africa's elephant numbers have plummeted from perhaps 5 million a century ago, to less than half a million today, and upwards of 20,000 continue to be killed across the continent by poachers each year to supply criminal networks with ivory. Asian elephants, where only the males carry ivory and which number below 30,000, are also targeted for their tusks.

The U.K. has, in recent years, been the world's biggest exporter of legal ivory, largely in the form of antique worked items which have been in big demand among Asian buyers. This trade stimulates demand for ivory products and provides traffickers with a means by which they can launder new ivory from recently slaughtered elephants into trade.

Travers concluded: “Ending legal commercial trade in all ivory products is vital if we are to provide hope for beleaguered elephant populations. We need all countries that continue to operate legal markets and act as sources of ivory in international trade to step up and introduce similar measures to those announced here in the U.K. and, in particular, we urge the European Commission to announce far tougher restrictions on trade within, between and from EU countries without delay.

“We must also take into account the impact that closing elephant ivory trade and markets could have on other ivory-bearing species. For example, indications are that trade in poached hippo ivory is on the rise and official data confirms that since 2006 more than 50,000 kilograms of hippo ivory was released into trade – this from a species that may number as few as 130,000 individuals. Tackling the trade in ivory from other threatened species, such as hippos, narwhals and walruses, needs to be part of our immediate plan.”

Born Free has been campaigning for a global ban on commercial trade in all ivory products since 1989. The charity's advocacy, awareness-raising and public mobilization efforts have played a major part in informing recent decisions and persuading the UK government to take action. Born Free will continue with these efforts until the poaching of elephants and other ivory-bearing species has been brought to an end, and their future secured.

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Washington, D.C., December 15, 2016 -- As 2016 draws to a close, Born Free USA, a global leader in animal welfare and wildlife conservation, has released a round-up of its top 10 successes for animals this year. According to Adam M. Roberts, CEO of Born Free USA, “Despite significant national and international challenges, we have seen momentous gains for wildlife this year on issues from performing animals, to fur in fashion, to international wildlife trafficking. There is growing public awareness and momentum to stop the abuses animals face when they are held captive, or trapped, or poached for profit. Born Free USA’s successes for animals in 2016 inspire us to fight harder to build upon these gains and ensure that 2017 is an even better year for wildlife around the world.”   

International Wildlife Conservation. In the fall, a Born Free USA delegation attended the 17th Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) in Johannesburg, South Africa. CITES Parties approved decisions and enacted measures to increase protection for several imperiled species. Born Free USA helped secure recommendations on the long-term conservation of cheetahs, including efforts to stop the illegal trade in the species; succeeded in getting CITES Parties to consider the threats facing African wild dogs for the first time; and helped stop attempts to reopen the elephant ivory and rhino horn trades. Born Free USA also played an important role in securing the adoption of a prohibition of commercial trade in all eight pangolin species.

Fur for the Animals Campaign. Born Free USA’s annual Fur for the Animals campaign—a donation drive to collect fur coats, hats, and other items to send to wildlife rehabilitators to comfort orphaned and injured animals—made international headlines this year. Since September 2016, Born Free USA has collected more than 1,000 fur item donations: more than double the donations from 2015. To date, the three-year program has received more than 1,600 fur donations, worth an estimated $3.5M, from more than 54,000 animals killed for their fur.

Debate about Whether Hunters Conserve Wildlife. In the spring, at a nationally-broadcasted live debate in New York, Born Free USA’s CEO, Adam M. Roberts, and President and CEO of The Humane Society of the United States, Wayne Pacelle, successfully argued that trophy hunting depletes wild animal populations; that it occurs in countries in which governments set non-science-based quotas; and that the millions of dollars spent on these violent “thrill kills” do not promote conservation. Roberts and Pacelle won, convincing 65% of the audience that hunting does not conserve wildlife.

Undercover Trapping Report. Five years after the release of Born Free USA’s groundbreaking undercover trapping investigation, Victims of Vanity, the organization released Victims of Vanity II in September. This investigation focuses on trapping that takes place on private, public, and protected lands in New York and Iowa. The footage exposes the brutal world of trapping, documenting everyday trapping practices that are shockingly cruel and dangerous—and which are sometimes illegal. The compelling investigation is being used to push for bans on trapping on federal and state public lands.

Report to Expose Online Sales of Exotic Pets. In October, Born Free USA released a report titled Downloading Cruelty: An Investigation into the Online Sales of Exotic Pets in the U.S. The research confirmed the enormous quantity of exotic animals advertised on the internet; at least 3,706 individual exotic animals across 1,816 unique ads were listed for sale during a three-month period. The locations of these ads situated sellers in 49 states and Washington, D.C., and the species for sale were highly diverse. The report is being used to demand greater accountability from the classified ad websites, and stronger state and federal laws to crack down on the online exotic pet trade.

Banning Weapons Used on Elephants in Traveling Shows. Born Free USA successfully worked with coalitions in Rhode Island and California to pass legislation prohibiting the use of weapons designed to inflict pain on elephants in traveling shows. These precedent-setting laws will ensure that elephant trainers can no longer use these brutal tools, like the bullhook: a long, thick pole with a sharp metal hook attached to the end that trainers often embed into the soft tissue of elephants. Born Free USA also worked with a New York City coalition on an ordinance to prohibit the use of performing exotic animals within the city, including testifying at a hearing in October. Born Free USA Program Associate Kate Dylewsky told the council: “There are plentiful alternatives to shows that feature animals, and neither the economic strength nor the vibrant culture of New York City will suffer a loss from this law.” Born Free USA will continue pushing New York City aggressively to adopt this bill.

Trapping Legislation Introduced. In June, Representatives Alma Adams (D-NC) and Nita Lowey (D-NY) introduced the Public Safety and Wildlife Protection Act (H.R. 5560): a bill that would ban the import, export, and interstate commerce of steel-jaw leghold traps and Conibear traps. In September, Representative Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) introduced H.R. 5954: the Limiting Inhumane Federal Trapping (LIFT) for Public Safety Act. This bill would ban trapping on all lands managed by the U.S. Department of the Interior and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. It would also prohibit these federal personnel from using traps in the line of duty. Born Free USA assisted these efforts by providing information on U.S. trapping and calling on members of Congress to support the legislation after it was introduced. 

Armani Goes Fur Free. In April, luxury fashion icon Giorgio Armani announced the brand would eliminate the use of real fur beginning with its 2016 Fall/Winter line. Armani committed to this humane, fur free policy after working with the Fur Free Alliance, which includes Born Free USA. By committing to a fur free policy, Armani joins other high-end brands (such as Hugo Boss, Tommy Hilfiger, Calvin Klein, and Stella McCartney) and acknowledges the ethical concerns of a new generation of fashion consumers.

Strengthening Protection of African Manatees. Illegal trade, bycatch, poaching, and human population growth are increasing threats for the fewer than 10,000 African manatees ranging in West and Central Africa. In some regions, the species is reported as being close to extinct. Local communities urgently need to understand the role they can play in its conservation. In July, Born Free USA joined forces with other groups to distribute posters throughout West Africa to educate citizens in manatee Range States about the threats affecting the species and about the need to end the illegal trade in manatee products

New Accommodations for Primates—and New Primates. In November 2015, a crew began the intensive process of creating new enclosures at the Born Free USA Primate Sanctuary in Dilley, Texas. In March 2016, the enclosures were ready to be occupied by monkeys. These new enclosures contain necessary shade along with climbing and loafing structures. Each enclosure has its own propane-heated cinderblock house for inclement weather. The windows open, as well, so they will provide comfort in the summer heat. We also accepted new sanctuary residents, including two monkeys from biomedical research and one from a private owner who kept the vervet as a “pet.” Additionally, one of our resident monkeys from a zoo was released into the main 56-acre enclosure after a nearly year-long rehabilitation program.

Born Free USA is a global leader in animal welfare and wildlife conservation. Through litigation, legislation, and public education, Born Free USA leads vital campaigns against animals in entertainment, exotic "pets," trapping and fur, and the destructive international wildlife trade. Born Free USA brings to America the message of "compassionate conservation," the vision of the U.K.-based Born Free Foundation, established in 1984 by Bill Travers and Virginia McKenna, stars of the iconic film Born Free, along with their son Will Travers. Born Free's mission is to end suffering of wild animals in captivity, conserve threatened and endangered species, and encourage compassionate conservation globally. More at www.bornfreeusa.org, www.twitter.com/bornfreeusa, and www.facebook.com/bornfreeusa.

 

Washington, D.C. (November 9, 2016) – Jeffrey Flocken, North American Regional Director, International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), issued the following statement regarding the passage of the Wildlife Trafficking Prevention Act (Measure 100) in Oregon, which prohibits the sale of parts and products of 12 types of imperiled wildlife in the state:

“Oregon followed the right trail passing the Wildlife Trafficking Prevention Act. Elephants, rhinos and many other species are facing unprecedented poaching levels that are driving them towards extinction. These animals are being viciously killed to supply markets with products that no one needs or should deem to be of value.

By prohibiting the sale of these wildlife products, Oregon completes the 1,300-mile bulwark of West coast states against wildlife traffickers. Its neighbors to the north and south, California and Washington, both passed legislation last year to restrict the trade of endangered species products within their borders. Hawaii passed a similar ban earlier this year.

The more states that enact this kind of legislation, the fewer places wildlife can be smuggled and sold. The fewer places wildlife parts are sold, the less consumer demand is triggered, which in turn reduces poaching.

Thank you to the groups we worked with in Oregon and the hundreds of volunteers who made this possible.”

IFAW worked with Save Endangered Animals Oregon, a coalition of animal conservation groups both large and small to get Measure 100 on the ballot and passed by Oregon citizens. To learn more about IFAW’s efforts to stop wildlife trafficking, please visit: http://www.ifaw.org/united-states/our-work/fighting-wildlife-trade 

About IFAW (the International Fund for Animal Welfare)

Founded in 1969, IFAW saves animals in crisis around the world. With projects in more than 40 countries, IFAW rescues individual animals, works to prevent cruelty to animals, and advocates for the protection of wildlife and habitats. For more information, visit www.ifaw.org. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

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Conference in Johannesburg, South Africa, September 24 - October 5, 2016

Washington, D.C., September 19, 2016 -- Born Free USA, a global leader in animal welfare and wildlife conservation, will urge delegates at the 17th Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) to make precautionary decisions with respect to wildlife and international trade. Adam M. Roberts, CEO of Born Free USA, will be in attendance at the conference in Johannesburg, South Africa, September 24 - October 5, 2016.

The international wildlife trade is estimated to be worth billions of dollars annually and includes millions of animals who are traded as trophies, pets, medicine, and more. After habitat destruction, exploitation of wild specimens for trade is a main reason for the critical decline of global biodiversity. CITES is one of the most effective global instruments to counter the depletion of wildlife species for trade. CITES accords varying degrees of protection to more than 30,000 species of animals and plants that are threatened by overexploitation. With 183 Parties bound by the Convention, CITES is the largest conservation agreement in existence. 

According to Roberts, “This meeting is the most important call to save wildlife. And, people are watching and waiting for outcomes.  Armed militia and sophisticated organized crime networks are operating across continents to slaughter and trade wildlife for profit. Traffickers and other profiteers are watching closely to see what happens if the trades in elephant ivory and rhino horn are reopened. Any signal from CITES that there is profitability in this deadly trade will result in animal carcasses unceremoniously littering the African savannah and forests. CITES Parties must act with precaution to adopt sufficient measures to ensure that international trade will not lead to the extinction of species for future generations. The outcome of this conference can change everything.”

Born Free USA will be there to focus on a number of important issues, among them:

African Elephants: Africa’s elephants remain beleaguered by poaching for their ivory tusks, and some populations could disappear forever without significant action. Born Free USA will be supporting Kenya’s call to uplist all of Africa’s elephants back to Appendix I, thereby closing any chance for trade that is primarily commercial. Going back to the 1989 ban will dry up ivory markets and reduce elephant poaching. Similarly, the organization will work to defeat certain southern African countries that will be trying to facilitate international trade once again.   

Rhinoceros: Swaziland is proposing limited trade in rhino horn, which could seriously threaten the continent’s remaining estimated 25,000 black and white rhinos. Born Free USA will urge Parties to reject Swaziland’s proposal as the trade in rhino horn, like elephant ivory, leads to poaching. Rhinoceros horns are highly sought after in Asia because of false local beliefs in their medicinal properties. According to Roberts, “A resumption of rhino horn trade would have a devastating impact on this species already poached close to extinction.”

African and Asian Pangolins: Born Free USA believes that all eight species of pangolins—four in Africa and four in Asia—should be on CITES Appendix I. Roberts explains, “Pangolins are the most heavily-traded mammal in the world and are at risk from trade in their scales as medicines—despite a complete lack of efficacy in medicinal use. Pangolins are disappearing fast and a ban must be secured on international commercial trade.”

African Lions: Having successfully petitioned for the addition of Africa’s lions to the list of endangered species under the U.S. Endangered Species Act, at CITES, Born Free USA will be supporting the proposal submitted by Niger, along with many other lion range States, to uplist lions from Appendix II to Appendix I. “Lions are not only subjected to an international trade in trophies, but are also increasingly targeted by the international trade of their bones, which replace tiger bones in Asian folk remedies. This commercial trade is having an increasingly prejudicial impact on the species.” Read the proposal.

For more information about key issues Born Free USA will be involved with at CITES, visit www.bornfreeusa.org/cites. Born Free USA will be on Twitter and Facebook throughout the conference with live updates.

Born Free USA is a global leader in animal welfare and wildlife conservation. Through litigation, legislation, and public education, the organization leads vital campaigns against animals in entertainment, exotic “pets,” trapping and fur, and the destructive international wildlife trade. Born Free USA brings to North America the message of “compassionate conservation”—the vision of the United Kingdom-based Born Free Foundation, established in 1984 by Bill Travers and Virginia McKenna, stars of the iconic film Born Free, along with their son, Will Travers. Born Free USA’s mission is to end suffering of wild animals in captivity, conserve threatened and endangered species, and encourage compassionate conservation globally. More at www.bornfreeusa.org, www.twitter.com/bornfreeusa, and www.facebook.com/bornfreeusa.

 

U.S. is Largest Importer of Hunting Trophies By Far

Washington, D.C. (June 14, 2016) – Today the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) released Killing For Trophies: An Analysis of Global Trophy Hunting Trade. The new report provides an in-depth look at the scope and scale of trophy hunting trade and isolates the largest importers of animal trophies worldwide.  

The result of a comprehensive analysis of the Convention on International Trade of Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) Trade Database, the report found that as many as 1.7 million hunting trophies may have been traded between nations between 2004 and 2014, with at least 200,000 of that being made up of categories of species, also known as taxa, that are considered threatened.

“The trophy hunting industry is driven by demand, and sadly, demand for animal trophies is prevalent worldwide,” said Jeff Flocken, North American Regional Director, IFAW. “Even in the face of extinction, imperiled species are still being hunted every day in order to serve as the centerpiece of someone’s décor. It is unconscionable in this modern day when species are under so many threats to survive.”

IFAW’s research found that 107 different nations (comprised of 104 importing nations and 106 exporting nations) participated in trophy hunting between 2004 and 2014, with the top twenty countries responsible for 97 percent of trophy imports. The United States accounted for a staggering 71 percent of the import demand, or about 15 times more than the next highest nation on the list—Germany and Spain (both 5 percent).

Of the top 20 importing countries, most of the trophies were killed and imported from Canada (35 percent), South Africa (23 percent) and Namibia (11 percent), with the largest number of threatened taxa coming from Canada to the U.S., followed by African nations to the U.S.

The analysis further revealed that three of the four threatened taxa from the highly-prized species known as the “Africa Big Five” (African elephant, African leopard, and African lion) are among the top six most traded of imperiled taxa. African lions in particular had the strongest statistically significant increase of trophy hunting trade since 2004, with at least 11,000 lion trophies being traded worldwide from 2004 to 2013.  Other big five species also remain popular with trophy hunters, with over 10,000 elephant trophies and over 10,000 leopard trophies being legally traded worldwide between 2004 and 2014. Like African lions, elephant trophy hunting trade has increased since 2004.

To view the full report, please visit: http://www.ifaw.org/united-states/resource-centre/killing-trophies-analysis-global-trophy-hunting-trade

About IFAW

Founded in 1969, IFAW saves animals in crisis around the world. With projects in more than 40 countries, IFAW rescues individual animals, works to prevent cruelty to animals, and advocates for the protection of wildlife and habitats. For more information, visit www.ifaw.org. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

 

Fleetwood Mac drummer Mick Fleetwood and the Drum Workshop snare drum “Rumours” created in his honor.

Music legend and wildlife advocate Mick Fleetwood has chosen the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) as the benefiting charity of the Drum Workshop snare drum “Rumours,” created in his honor and named after Fleetwood Mac’s most iconic album. “Rumours” is a limited edition collection (only 250 produced) handmade with maple and custom gold hardware and created with input from the artist himself. The album’s cover art is recreated in hand-inlaid exotic woods.

Fleetwood, who is a long-time Hawaii resident and business owner in Maui, worked with IFAW to support passage of a state bill that cracks down on trafficking of ivory and other wildlife products from imperiled species. He joined other Hawaii-based musicians, actors and business leaders in signing an open letter in the Honolulu Star-Advertiser encouraging residents to support this legislation. In addition, Mick hosted an IFAW event at his restaurant, “Fleetwood’s on Front Street,” that was attended by notable Hawaii residents and wildlife supporters who wanted to learn about the issue and join the effort. Mick also submitted testimony to the House Committee on Water and Land Committee and the House Committee on Judiciary, urging lawmakers to protect wildlife and make Hawaii a leader in global conservation efforts.

In early May, the Hawaii legislature passed this landmark legislation, making it the fifth state in the nation to prioritize endangered species over trade in unnecessary wildlife products. Elephants, rhinos, tigers, and countless other species face unprecedented threats – from habitat loss to rampant poaching – but this successful fight shows that we can make a difference.

We sincerely thank Mick for his passionate support of this campaign and his leadership in raising awareness and funds for IFAW’s work to protect imperiled wildlife.

The Rumours snare drum can be purchased here.

BirdLife International, American Bird Conservancy (ABC), IUCN, UNEP, GEF, and the Governments of Brazil, Chile, and Madagascar team up to safeguard endangered species

(Montreal/Cambridge/Washington, D.C., April 28, 2016)Gathered in Montreal1, leading conservation organizations have announced a new global initiative to prevent the extinction of endangered species, in partnership with the governments of Brazil, Chile, and Madagascar.

Supported by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the initiative will mobilize $6.7 million to deliver a project entitled the “Alliance for Zero Extinction (AZE): Conserving Earth’s Most Irreplaceable Sites for Endangered Biodiversity.”AZEis a global initiative working to prevent species extinctions by identifying and safeguarding the places where Endangered or Critically Endangered species are restricted to single remaining sites.

Birds such as theStresemann’s Bristlefront2, clinging to existence with fewer than 15 known individuals in significantly fragmented habitat in Brazil, will be targeted. The project’s focus will be the creation and improved management effectiveness of protected areas and the improved conservation status of AZE species at five demonstration sites in Brazil, Chile, and Madagascar and at an additional 10 sites globally.3

“By focusing on those sites that represent the tip of the iceberg of the extinction crisis, the Alliance for Zero Extinction is a key approach to save species from extinction,” said Gustavo Fonseca, GEF Director of Programs. “These are sites that are the last remnants for entire species. Saving the habitat is saving these fragile species."

Carlos Alberto de Mattos Scaramuzza, Ministry of the Environment, Government of Brazil,stated:“By expanding the Mata do PassarinhoReserve and working with local landowners, this initiative will provide a vital lifeline for the critically endangered Stresemann’s Bristlefront. The initiative will provide essential information to inform national species conservation efforts, by focusing effort on the last remaining habitats of endangered species.”

Neville Ash, UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre Director,said:“Working with the GEF and other partners, this UNEP project is the first global effort to integrate AZE as a distinct priority into conservation planning at the national level. It will scale up best practices on effective and equitable management of the world’s ecological safety nets, and has potential to have a major long-term reduction of global extinction rates, directly contributing towards CBD’s Aichi Targets 11 and 12.”

Braulio Dias, Executive Secretary of the Convention on Biological Diversity,stated:“Protecting the last remaining habitats for critically endangered species is a vital strategy for preventing extinctions. The CBD Secretariat welcomes this initiative as a contribution towards global species conservation efforts.”

Diego Flores Arrate, Ministry of the Environment, Government of Chile,said: “In Chile, the initiative seeks to create conditions for the survival of three amphibian species, by protecting their habitat and reducing impacts from farming, ranching, and logging activities, considering a participatory approach with different stakeholders.”

Paola Mosig Reidl, CONABIO, Government of Mexico,stated:“Mexico is a strong supporter of the Alliance for Zero Extinction. As host of the CBD COP this year, Mexico welcomes the role of the AZE initiative in informing global species conservation efforts.”

Michael Parr, Chairman of AZE and Chief Conservation Officer for American Bird Conservancy,said: “AZE presents an ambitious but realistic plan to address Earth’s pending extinction crisis. This is a team effort that ultimately needs to involve all of us. The time for action is now.”

Pepe Clarke, Head of Policy, BirdLife International,stated:“This initiative is particularly important as it links local conservation action to national and international policy. We are truly honoured to be working with the Governments of Brazil, Chile and Madagascar.”

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Oakland, CA –  Oakland Zoo’s zookeepers collaborate with Buffalo Zoo, Queens Zoo, and Omaha Zoo on a highly-detailed fertility plan to produce, ship,  and release tadpoles into El Convento Natural Reserve, operated by Para la Naturaleza, located in the southern portion of Puerto Rico.

The specific breeding plan for the Puerto Rican crested toads is taking place within an eight-week window, which involves selecting prime breeding toads, creating specific temperature controlled environments, selecting eggs for fertilization, utilization of a rain chamber, antifungal treatments, and hormone injections. Since tadpoles morph into frogs about two weeks after hatching, the precise time of everything must be perfectly synchronized at all four zoos. Delicate fertility procedures were conducted by zookeepers and required careful coordinating and timing with specified dates. “We are so honored to be a part of this program,” stated Margaret Rousser, Zoological Manager at Oakland Zoo. “Being able to contribute to the conservation of a species is what zoos are all about.” If all goes as calculated, the four zoos will have had tadpoles hatch on the same day, timing a flight to Puerto Rico on week ten of the fertility calendar. The precious cargo will be packed up and shipped to arrive in Puerto Rico on October 22, 2015. On the same date of delivery, thousands of tadpoles will be released into their new habitat by partners in Puerto Rico.

The Puerto Rican crested toads were the first animals to be housed in Oakland Zoo’s Biodiversity Center, which opened in August of 2013. For the past two years, Oakland Zoo has been in close communication with the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ Species Survival Plan, waiting for word that Oakland Zoo toads are recommended to breed. “We are delighted that the staff at Oakland Zoo has been able to successfully reproduce this critically endangered species,” said Diane Barber, Puerto Rican Crested Toad Species Survival Plan Coordinator. “Their efforts are directly contributing to the establishment of a new population of crested toads that will ensure their survival and eventual recovery in the wild.” The toads and tadpoles are housed in a quarantined lab at Oakland Zoo, being carefully monitored by zookeepers named on a special permit.

These toads are critically endangered in their homeland of Puerto Rico. According to the AZA, in the 1980’s, Puerto Rican Created toads (only native toad in Puerto Rico) were thought to be extinct. At this time, AZA collected and mobilized a group of toads, bringing them into captivity for breeding. The toad extinction in the 1920’s is believed to be caused by the introduction of the cane toad, which was introduced in the country to eradicate mites, which were ruining the sugar cane crop. This farming solution caused a domino effect; the new frogs soon out competed the native frogs for food, causing Puerto Rican Crested toads to be in dire straits. However, thanks to AZA breeding programs at zoos across the United States, more than 350,000 tadpoles have been released into their native Puerto Rican forests.

ABOUT OAKLAND ZOO’S BIODIVERSITY CENTER:

Oakland Zoo’s Biodiversity Center opened in August of 2013. The Biodiversity Center is an important contribution to the global efforts to preserve our planet’s rich and diverse wildlife through conservation, research, education, and public participation. The Biodiversity Center directly supports critically endangered species both through captive breeding and by head starting. Animals bred in the Center will be introduced to wild habitats. Juveniles vulnerable in the wild are brought to the Center’s labs during their developmental period and returned to the wild once they are past their most vulnerable period. The Center’s research labs house and display current and ongoing research activities and programs focused on the study, management, protection, and restoration of threatened and endangered species, such as the Puerto Rican crested toad and Sierra Nevada mountain yellow-legged frog.  

ABOUT OAKLAND ZOO:

The Bay Area's award-winning Oakland Zoo is home to more than 660 native and exotic animals. The Zoo offers many educational programs and kid's activities perfect for science field trips, family day trips and exciting birthday parties. Oakland Zoo is dedicated to wildlife conservation onsite and worldwide. Nestled in the Oakland Hills, in 500-acre Knowland Park, the Zoo is located at 9777 Golf Links Road, off Highway 580. The East Bay Zoological Society (Oakland Zoo) is a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization supported in part by members, contributions, the City of Oakland and the East Bay Regional Parks.

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