NY Antique Dealer Jailed for Rhino Horn & Ivory Products

This is indeed good news, but sadly still a drop in the ocean. A New York antiques dealer was sentenced on 5 December 2013 for conspiracy to smuggle Asian artefacts made from rhino horns and ivory.

The antiques dealer, Qiang Wang, was sentenced to three years and one month with a further three years supervised release by a United States federal court.

This followed his arrest  in February 2013 as a result of “Operation Crash”, an ongoing nationwide effort led by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS) and the Justice Department to detect, deter and prosecute those engaged in the illegal killing of rhinoceros and the unlawful trafficking of rhinoceros horns.

Wang worked with two Chinese nationals to source Asian artifacts made from rhino horn and elephant ivory from auction houses and galleries in the United States for the purpose of smuggling these items to China.

Wang sent these items using the U.S. Postal Service and express mail services. He made false customs declarations, and knowingly exported rhino horn and ivory without USFWS approval or valid CITES export permits.

In a statement released by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe:

This slaughter is fueled by illegal trade, including that exposed by Operation Crash.

We will continue to work relentlessly across the United States government and with our international partners to crack down on poaching and wildlife trafficking.

Article Source: Annamiticus

st lucia estuary zululand

iSimangaliso gets clean audit

The 2013 audit for iSimangaliso has been released, and the Auditor-General has given a thumbs up to a clean audit and performance review.

Covering a financial as well as performance review, the audit confirms iSimangaliso has achieved its objectives committed to in its business plan submitted to the Minister of Environmental Affairs and National Parliament.

Inscribed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site in 1999, the iSimangaliso of today is a far cry from its early beginnings in almost every respect.

The majority of land claims have been settled, eco-systems functioning has been largely restored and thousands of hectares of plantations removed, almost all previously existing species including the ‘Big 5’ have been reintroduced, extensive road and tourism facitlities developed and/or refurbished, and over 350 km of big game fencing erected.

This has been underpinned by significant job creation, skills transfer and above average tourism growth.

— iSimangaliso Wetland Park Authority

This has been achieved through a careful balance between conservation and development, ensuring the Park’s core universal values of eco systems, biodiversity and natural beauty are honoured.

iSimangaliso has shown us that at a time when conservation budgets are at their lowest, and there are so many other priorities globally, parks can still prevail.

–Dr Ian Player, renowned conservationist

Article Source: iSimangaliso Wetland Park Authority

Save The Rhino Fundraiser Dinner

Celebrate Life is hosting an evening of fine dining and live entertainment in order to raise funds to save the African Rhino from poaching.

visit Celebrate Life for more info

Funds will be donated to the Thula Thula Rhino Sanctuary

to help create a refuge in Kwazulu Natal where orphan rhinos from poaching

will be welcomed and cared for.


VENUE : Park Lane Sheraton Hotel, London

DATE : Friday, 27th September 2013

TICKETS : £1,800 per table of ten guest

GUESTS : Total of 250 guests

Protect Africa’s Oldest National Park

Virunga, Africa’s oldest national park needs your help. Today WWF has launched a global campaign to protect Virunga. We need to keep an oil company, Soco International PLC (Soco), out of the park and stop it from exploring for oil.

Add your name

We want to show Soco that the public won’t stand for any threats to the world’s most incredible treasures. You can help us by adding your name to show you draw the line at the exploitation of Virunga National Park.

Virunga, on the eastern edge of the Democratic Republic of Congo, is Africa’s oldest national park and is a World Heritage Site known for its unique biodiversity. It’s home to a greater variety of wildlife than any other park in Africa, including 216 species found in the region which are not found anywhere else on Earth. It is also the only protected area with 3 species of great ape – eastern chimpanzees, eastern lowland gorillas and mountain gorillas.

DRAW THE LINE – Add your name

We’ll use your name to tell business and government to draw the line on oil exploration in Virunga. Some places are just too precious to be exploited.

WWF Oil Exploitation

Wildlife Crime Scorecard

WWF has produced an infographic showing the commitment from countries to stop illegal wildlife trade, focusing on countries from Asia and Africa with the highest levels of illegal trade in elephant ivory, rhino horn and tiger parts.

The scorecard was produced to coincide with the 62nd Standing Committee meeting of CITES, the international endangered species trade convention, and evaluates each country’s progress since the last meeting. It measures progress towards compliance with and enforcement of CITES commitments for the three species groups.

International commercial trade of elephants, rhinos and tigers – and their parts and products – is almost universally prohibited by CITES, however the enforcement of this restriction remains weak. Illegal trade in ivory, rhino horn and tiger parts is of major conservation concern.

South Africa has made “some progress” towards fighting illegal trade of elephant ivory, however is “failing on key aspects of compliance and enforcement” with its rhino.

WWF wildlife scorecard

Goblin Sharks


Image Source: Mission Blue

Mitsukurina owstoni, or Goblin Shark, is the only remaining representative of the Mitsukurinidae family of sharks, that originated at least 125 million years ago, and often referred to as living fossils.The Goblin shark has only been encountered a few times and very little is known about it. What is known is that it is a slow moving deep sea shark that lives at depths of 1200m/4000ft in seas around the world. Goblin sharks have been observed in the western Indian Ocean, western Pacific Ocean and most of the Atlantic.

They are known for their strange specialized “catapulting” jaws, which almost looks like there is something that lives inside of the sharks mouth that explodes outward to catch prey before returning back into the mouth.

Article Source: Mission-blue.org