Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Critically endangered pangolins rescued, then sold as food

The pangolin is one of the most threatened mammals on the planet - with over one million lost within one decade.
Emma Bryce 
The Hindu
February 23, 2015

Police in Vietnam’s northern Bac Ninh province recently seized 42 live, critically endangered Sunda Pangolins from poachers, fined the culprits, and delivered the animals to forest rangers for safekeeping — at which point those forest rangers proceeded to undo all this valiant action by selling the animals off to local restaurants. They secured almost $12,000 for the illegal meat, leaving the creatures to have their tongues cut out and their scales plucked off.

That’s the fate of poached pangolins, also known as ‘scaly anteaters.’ Although, perhaps surprisingly, many people don’t seem to know what these creatures are, the prehistoric-looking mammals feel the brunt of a trade that makes them the world’s most trafficked mammals on earth, says the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Over a million animals have been taken from the wild in a decade, upholding a thriving trade primarily in China and Vietnam, that continues to supply chefs with the animal’s meat.

Marketable delicacy

Armed with our bottomless appetites, humans have converted every feature on this animal into a highly marketable delicacy: The pangolin’s tongue is incorporated into special soups, its blood is drained for drinking, and some animals are preserved whole in alcohol, used to brew a kind of tonic wine. Finally, the scales, which give the animal its almost mythical body armour, are sold on the black market for traditional medicine, or as jewellery. The pangolin’s body parts, which can fetch hundreds of dollars per kilo, are believed to have a range of (scientifically unproven) qualities, from nourishing the kidneys, treating psoriasis, and, of course, working as an aphrodisiac. Last year, the IUCN issued a report on pangolin poaching and found that as a result of this enthusiastic appetite, the creature “is literally being eaten out of existence.”

That brings us back to the Vietnamese officials who capitalised on that appetite instead of trying to plug it. According to Thanhnien News, the head of Bac Ninh’s forest management department vouched for the forest rangers by saying that the animals were too weak to be rescued anyway. Besides, the official reasoned, limited trade of pangolins is allowed in Vietnam — although it turns out that he was citing an old law that changed over a year ago. Until recently, it was legal for registered traders or government authorities to auction off some pangolins, like those seized from poachers. But that changed in November 2013, when a new law was ushered in to completely rule out the hunting, trade, and consumption of any of Asia’s four pangolin species. Now they’re afforded the highest degree of protection, says Dan Challender, co-chair on the IUCN’s Pangolin Specialist Group, which addresses threats to the world’s eight pangolin species. It’s not totally clear whether negligence or cash motivated the forest rangers’ trade. “It’s difficult to say without having specific details whether the forest rangers just weren’t aware of the new law,” Challender says. “But one can make the assumption that rangers were likely aware of the new legislation, so this could well be corruption.” Nguyen Thi Phuong Dung, deputy director of a conservation organisation called Education for Nature-Vietnam, spoke out against the officials’ activity, saying to Thanhnien News, “Any violations regarding the animals should receive criminal punishment. We also can’t treat them simply as evidence of a crime and then trade them.” The group expressed concern that money changing hands via such official channels would form a link between the authorities and poachers that could encourage the trade. As is evident in the $12,000 price tag on those 42 pangolins, they aren’t an affordable delicacy for most. In fact, the animals’ meat, blood, and other products are enjoyed only by the wealthy, as an edible token of status and success. Challender has observed moneyed restaurant patrons paying up to $700 for just two kilograms of the meat. “In some restaurants it can be the most expensive meat on the menu.” Dining on the animal can also be a theatricaland deeply morbid — affair. “I’ve seen it happen. They will club the pangolin until it’s unconscious and then they they will cut its throat with some scissors,” Challender recounts. For wealthy patrons wanting to display their status, buying this expensive wild meat is a sure way to do it, he says.

Two of the Asian pangolin species, the Sunda and Chinese Pangolins, are now critically endangered thanks to the high status of their meat. So with fewer of those available to poach, traders are increasingly turning to Africa, where four species reside. Just this week, customs officials in Hong Kong uncovered a one ton shipment of pangolin scales which had arrived from Kenya, the second major African shipment that’s been uncovered there in five months. “There needs to be a focus on Africa just as much as there is on Asia,” Challender says

But there’s also room for hope. Last year, the IUCN Pangolin Specialist Group launched the first ever global conservation plan for these animals, Mr. Challender says. It puts a spotlight on the pangolin’s plight, with core aims of reducing consumer demand and protecting pangolin strongholds in the wild.


Yet another animal that Chinese and southeast Asians like to eat no matter the cost or impact... and another animal they believe consuming will cure ailments and make their lacking sexual performance better. Also, the irony that February 21 was World Pangolin Day is beyond sad... and no one likely heard a peep about it.

I want to know how those involved were held to account. Maybe it's time poachers are faced with more than fines?


Similar posts:

Poachers targeting rhino calves in Zimbabwe

Sumatran Tiger numbers have declined 60% in thirty years

There is more to the west's 'involvement' in Ukraine...

Poachers targeting rhino calves in Zimbabwe


Mail & Guardian 
February 23, 2015

Poachers in Zimbabwe are targeting small rhino for their horns, a ranger said on Monday.

Two calves were among the five black rhino killed by poachers in the south of the wildlife conservation region Save Valley Conservancy last year, Bryce Clemence of Anti-Poaching and Tracking Specialists (ATS) told the South African Press Association.

The two calves were siblings. One was around nine months old, the other about three years old, Clemence said. Both were males, the offspring of a female rhino known to locals as “Diana”.

“[The poachers] shot her calf ... Diana ran off with the other calf. They found her with the little one, opened fire on both, and killed the little one,” he said. The poachers then cut the horn off the calf.

“His horn was about 40 grams; there was hardly anything,” Clemence said.

The fact that the poachers took it showed just how much it was worth in the illegal international rhino horn market.

Mother deteriorated
Rangers found where the calves had been killed and tracked the wounded mother. A veterinarian was brought in to treat Diana’s wounds.

“She made quite a quick recovery,” said Clemence. But then her condition began to deteriorate.

Seven months after the February attack that killed her babies, Diana too died. It was later found that she died of a bone marrow infection in her leg, which was traced to one of the bullets lodged in her leg.

“She was a beautiful rhino,” Clemence said.

Clemence, his wife Lara, and his team of trained rangers have been operating in the private Save Valley Conservancy since April 2012.

Cause for hope
While losses like that of Diana and her babies were real setbacks, Clemence said there was cause for hope.

The number of rhino losses had declined. In the four months before Clemence began working in the Save Valley, there were 14 rhino losses. “At one point 10 rhino were lost in 10 weeks,” he said.

He and his men’s job involved a considerable amount of danger as they tracked and tried to apprehend armed poachers. “Our value is in our men,” he said. “We train them to very high standards.”

“We are driven by the same drive – we don’t want to see the rhino extinct.”

There are fewer than 500 black rhino left in Zimbabwe. Many of the black and white rhino left are guarded round the clock in intensive protection zones, such as in the Kyle Recreational Park in southern Zimbabwe and the Matobo National Park near Bulawayo.

Last year, Environment Minister Saviour Kasukuwere said the number of rhino killed by poachers across Zimbabwe was on the decline. It was down from 52 in 2010 to 16 in 2013.

“We are very optimistic,” said Clemence. “This is a complete life dedication.” – Sapa


Oh, fear not... Last June the mighty British military has sent a whopping 25 soldiers to Africa to train rangers. This is surely going to be a devastating blow to poaching activities throughout the continent. [/sarcasm] This is the same nation that went to war a few decades ago over a tiny island off the coast of Argentina... and has no issue sending troops into globalist forays. Then again, hardly any other nation seems to give a damn. It really is a shame that Kickstarter and such is used to fund some, often goofy, aspirations... but never to help fund the people trying to prevent atrocities like species becoming extinct by human hand.


Similar posts:

Rhino Found With its Horn Hacked Off

Six Elephant Poachers Caught in Mozambique Reserve

Experts plead for Australian food manufacturers to reject palm oil

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Sumatran Tiger numbers have declined 60% in thirty years

Bryan Douebleu 
Clinical Cynic 
February 19, 2015 

... and you just might have unknowingly contributed to their demise.

In 1978 a consensus on the Sumatran tiger population, the populations numbered some 1,000 cats; it is currently believed that those numbers have now dipped down to about 400 individuals. Sumatra, an island in Indonesia, along with Malaysia, are the primary suppliers of palm oil... an industry that is responsible for tremendous deforestation and habitat loss. The island of Sumatra alone has lost roughly 50% of its forests. In addition to the palm oil industry is the operations of Asia Pulp & Paper, a supplier of toilet paper and paper towels in the United States, which has had even more negative effect on Sumatran habitat. APP owns the brands Paseo and Livi - read labels and start voting with your wallet. Also, please increase your awareness regarding palm oil... and stop buying it if you can. This takes work on your part, as you must do some digging into the products you purchase; this is why issues like this continue to go unaddressed - people simply have no idea. Even if they are informed, will they care enough to trouble themselves with a little bit of inconvenience?

Palm oil plantation in Sumatra.

While it's great that there has been recent Sumatran tiger births in zoos, the efforts taken by zoos on behalf of increasing tiger numbers has had little benefit to wild tiger populations - the battle must be won at the source of what has caused the issue to begin with. It is my opinion that any tiger in captivity should be part of a proactive breeding effort - this means even tigers at facilities like Big Cat Rescue in Florida... and private "ownership" and zoos should be relocated in a serious attempt to address threats to the species.

Deforestation of Sumatra.

The Asian demand for tiger parts appears to remain active; TRAFFIC (a global wildlife trade monitoring network) conducted a survey and found that poaching represented roughly 78% of all Sumatran tiger deaths. TRAFFIC averages that there are FORTY tigers, lost to poachers, on average, per year. This is another area where we can act; emails, phone calls, and letters can be sent to Chinese and Indonesian officials [see below]. And again, we can vote with our wallet by not buying Chinese (tiger parts demand) or Indonesian (tiger parts source) goods.

GloF-DAS alerts in Sumatra: Deforestation hotspots in Sumatra.

For those unconcerned about tigers; remember there are other species impacted by this such as elephants, orangutans, rhinos, and more. Once they are gone they're gone. There is even a component to deforestation that should concern anyone interested in climate change; decomposition releases enough CO2 to make Indonesia third, GLOBALLY, in carbon emissions. Last time I viewed a map Indonesia was comparatively quite ranking third is quite an achievement.

The Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia
2020 Massachusetts Ave NW
Washington, DC 20036
+1 (202) 775-5200
E-mail Them

Embassy of the People's Republic of China in the United States of America
3505 International Place, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20008 U.S.A.
Tel: +1-202-495-2266
Fax: +1-202-495-2138
E-mail Them

Click here to give Asia Pulp & Paper your thoughts.

Cease shopping at the following locations in the United States: Albertsons, Giant Eagle, Hy-Vee, IGA, Ingles, K-VA-T (Food City), Lowes Food, Marsh, Price Chopper, Roundy's Supermarkets, Save Mart, and Spartan Stores.


Similar posts:

Friday, February 13, 2015

There is more to the west's 'involvement' in Ukraine...

Wikimedia Commons
Bryan Douebleu
February 13, 2015 

... than many think [or are informed]. And it has nothing to do with protecting a sovereign nation; globalists couldn't give a damn about sovereignty.

Biotech corporations like Monsanto, and their government puppets in countries like ours [mine being the United States], are fiending over taking over and controlling Ukraine's agriculture. Ukraine has long been associated as a breadbasket... so much so it was coveted by the Nazis and Soviets prior.

Check this out:

What They’re Not Telling You About Monsanto’s Role in Ukraine 

The aim of US government entities is to support the takeover of Ukraine for biotech interests (among other strategies involving the prop-up of a failing cabalistic banking system that Russia has also refused with its new alignment with BRICS and its own payment system called SWIFT). This is similar to biotech’s desired takeover of Hawaiian islands and land in Africa.

What Do the World Bank and IMF Have to Do With the Ukraine Conflict?

Now the goal is to set policies that will benefit Western corporations. Whereas Ukraine does not allow the use of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in agriculture, Article 404 of the EU agreement, which relates to agriculture, includes a clause that has generally gone unnoticed: both parties will cooperate to extend the use of biotechnologies

Monsanto and Ukraine

But by November 2013, six large Ukrainian agriculture associations had prepared draft amendments to the law, pushing for “creating, testing, transportation and use of GMOs regarding the legalization of GM seeds.”

As Crisis Hits, Seed Giant Monsanto Sees Business in Russia and Ukraine

Genetically modified organisms (GMO) are not used in seed production in Ukraine and Russia, as is generally the case in the European Union, which has been historically hostile to biotech crops.

Will Monsanto's Ukrainian adventure be foiled by Russia's?

Last summer Monsanto's President and Managing Director for Europe, Jose Manuel Madero, told Reuters News Agency that the company is investing $300 million expanding its existing non-GMO seed production facilities in France, Romania, Hungary and Turkey, and has plans to spend a further "several hundred million dollars".

If you are a corporation that has continually sought to play Dr. Frankenstein with natural seeds and patent them, what better way to defeat the obstacles of your product than to take over and control its opposition from the inside? No doubt this is why Monsanto has taken steps in recent years to obtain control of non-GM seed in Europe... and now Ukraine.

Let's not forget that in nations like Russia GMO's are not accepted... while our benevolent rulers think you don't deserve to know what you and your kids are consuming. Also, let's not forget that our government condemns Russia for their actions [supporting separatists] while we have sponsored terrorists in places like Egypt, Libya, and Syria [Arab "Spring" anyone?].

A bit of history: Ukrainians have long been subject to manipulating foreign powers. The video below is an allied newsreel from WWII that is prefaced by pure propaganda. They state that Stalin united the Ukrainian people - maybe he did... but it was with threat. He also starved them and was responsible for atrocities there. Due to this fact, the Wehrmacht was seen as a liberating army by many Ukrainians - of which they were... only for Ukrainian patriots (nationalists) that resented the Soviets. After this they were subject to Soviet rule for another forty-six years (1945 to 1991). And here, some twenty-two years later, Ukraine is again torn in two by foreign powers... some believing that the intent of the western powers is benevolent. How wrong those individuals are.

Enjoy. Open your mind and remove the rose-colored glasses you may have been wearing. Share this information.


Similar posts:

Bono Teams Up With Monsanto

Pesticide ban call to save bees

Companies proclaim water the next oil in a rush to turn resources into profit