Wildlife Conservation News

Wildlife and our last remaining wild places are being destroyed because of human action or inaction and because of our own short –term greed.

Peter Fearnhead, CEO, African Parks Network, South Africa


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Category: Big Cats Conservation

  1. Can you spare £3 to help the Sumatran tiger?

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    Sumatran tigers are trapped and dying.


    Question:  Why?


    Answer:   snares. 

    So why are Sumatran tigers trapped and dying from snares? 


    It’s because snares are brutal and the perfect thing for poachers to use in their quest to take down the beautiful Sumatran tiger.


    Bali tigers and Javan tigers died this way.   And the need to change the status of the Sumatran tiger is urgent.  For the Sumatran tiger, the smallest of all the tiger sub-species, is going the same way.


    There are less than 400 Sumatran tigers living in the wild – that’s an estimate.  These cats are generally shy, and keen to avoid people.  The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species lists them as Critically Endangered.


    Why are their numbers so low?

    • Poaching
    • Habitat loss
    • Human-wildlife conflict


    Kerinci Seblat National Park and the Ulu Masen and Leuser ecosystems of Aceh on the Indonesian island of Sumatra are global priority areas for tiger conservation.

    Please help Sumatran tigers with a £3 donationPlease help Sumatran tigers with a £3 donation

    So what can we all do to help?

    In an email today that I received, Fauna and Flora International are asking Care2 members to donate £3 today to help equip their highly trained rangers.

    The rangers will work closely with networks of informants who will guide them to active poaching efforts – meaning they can get rid of the snares.


    Please donate today


    Who are Fauna and Flora International?

    FFI is an international wildlife conservation organisation, with a science-based approach to conservation.  Founded, in 1903, they have saved species from extinction over the last 100 years and – helped by their Vice President, Sir David Attenborough – they have helped bring mountain gorillas back from the brink.  Their mission is to conserve threatened species and ecosystems worldwide, choosing solutions that are sustainable, based on sound science, and which take into account human needs.  They have over 140 conservation projects around the world and they work in over 40 countries. 

    Visit FFI's website here



  2. US government programmes helping to conserve endangered species under threat.

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    WCS (that’s the Wildlife Conservation Society) has emailed to warn that US government programmes helping to conserve species such as tigers, elephants, rhinos and others are under threat.

    WCS works to save wildlife and wild places in nearly 60 countries and across the ocean.

    Trump’s Administration is looking at cuts to programs that protect wildlife.

    WCS need as many people as possible from the US to urge their Congress members to support international programmes.

    These include programmes such as the USAID Biodiversity Program and the Multinational Species Conservation Fund. Key efforts at USAID and the Department of State fight international wildlife trafficking programmes.  The Global Environment Facility which plays a key role fighting the wildlife trafficking which is driving the slaughter of elephants and rhinos.  Programmes that conserve vulnerable species in the wild and protect the last wild places on earth are at risk. 

    If you are in the US, Please tell Congress right now: stand up for wildlife.

    If you are not living in the US and don’t have a Congress member, please share, share, share, the message people can sign.  Sharing is vital because it spreads the word.

    You could also donate here


  3. Don’t miss: Tigers – Hunting the Traffickers on BBC2 on 4 March 2020 at 9pm

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    For anyone concerned about the illegal wildlife trade, this surely is a must-see programme – especially so if you’re a big cat or tiger lover.

    Aldo Kane reports on the illegal tiger trade in south east Asia in an episode for BBC2’s Natural History series

    The big cats are trafficked for products such as wine and glue, made from their bones.

    Aldo Kane is a formal commando.  He now trains African anti-poaching teams.   And he spends time in Thailand, Laos and Vietnam following the route of trafficked animals which end up as tiger bone medicine or aphrodisiacs for Chinese and Vietnamese customers.  He shows how the breed is on the brink of extinction – there are about 4,000 tigers left in the wild – and almost 8,000 held captive in zoos, breeding units and basement cages across south east Asia.

    The breeding and farming of captive tigers drives consumer demand for tiger products and in turn fuels wild tiger poaching.

    Aldo Kane gets into farms by breaking in or posing as a tourist or customer, and gathers evidence, aided by local colleagues, which he presents to CITES in Geneva.  CITES is short for the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species.  

    Tigers – Hunting the Traffickers is on BBC2 on Wednesday 4 March 2020 at 9pm.  It will be available shortly after broadcast for viewing.

    Visit the programme’s website here.

    Risking life and limb on the hunt for the tiger traffickers


    Please take a look at Education for Nature – Vietnam.   They are working to educate people in Vietnam and further afield and in so doing, to tackle the illegal wildlife trade. 

    They have a number of videos (which they call public service announcements) they have put together to educate people about the illegal wildlife trade and to tell people not to get involved in it.   Take a look at the videos and share them if you can.

  4. IFAW team works to help jaguars and reduce human-wildlife conflict

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    A key way forward to ensure the survival of wildlife is to work with people. 

    And the work IFAW are doing for jaguars in the Americas is a great example. Joaquin de la Toore Ponce, Dr Erika Flores and Polen Cisneros are working right on the front lines to protect biodiversity in this part of the world.

    Jaguars are top predators in their environment.  They help maintain a balanced food web and promote biodiversity.  Lose the jaguar – and hundreds of other species could be threatened as well such as deer, peccaries and capybaras who would overpopulate without jaguars. This could have a devastating impact on landscapes and wildlife. 

    Jaguar numbers plummeted during the twentieth century, thanks to hunting and agricultural development.  They are an elusive big cat, so it’s difficult to know exact jaguar numbers – but one thing is for certain, conservationists are sure that the jaguar is at tipping point. 

    So how are IFAW helping jaguars? 

    They are working with people across the community to tackle problems:

    Working with local communities, to tackle the problem of local dogs attracting the jaguars

    The problem:
    Jaguars were preying on dogs on the outskirts of Playa del Carmen in Mexico.  The big cats were in search of land and food – deforestation, mining and development had damaged their natural habitat.

    As the jaguars attacked their dogs, so the people retaliated and killed the jaguars.   Human-wildlife conflict developed.  And there was the danger of the big cats getting deadly diseases such as canine distemper from dogs who weren’t vaccinated;  a dog killed by a jaguar and brought home to feed cubs on, could wipe out a jaguar family, if they had such a disease.

    Find out about how IFAW is helping jaguars

    The solution:

    Erika and Joaquin hired community members to build blue wooden dog-houses – and with good shelter, nutrition and better health, the dogs didn’t roam so much. IFAW’s local partner Coco’s Animal Welfare helped sterilise and vaccinate dogs, and their numbers stabilised.  Diseases fell.  The initiative spread to other towns.  Now Erika and the team from Coco’s Animal Welfare do wellness checks in communities; they supply dog houses, and make chicken coops predator proof; they offer free vet services.  And the animals and people are all co-existing.

    Working with law enforcement agencies to tackle the illegal wildlife trade

    The problem: 
    The illegal wildlife trade

    There’s a booming market in Latin America and Asia for jaguar fangs, pelts and claws – even though the jaguar is protected by CITES.   International trade of live jaguars and jaguar parts is illegal but the market still exists through networks of poachers and traders.

    The solution:
    Joaquin and Polen held a wildlife enforcement training session in Guyana, South America.  They united police officers, customs agents, airport authorities and park wardens to make them a stronger network who are united under the goal of protecting threatened species and enforcing repercussions for illegal wildlife trade.  They all support each other.

    Working with higher level officials to protect jaguars

    Joaquin has been able to strengthen the policies which provide greatear protection for jaguars.   Jaguars are now included in the Appendix I + II of the Convention of the Conservation of Migratory Species.  Members countries are committed to assuring that jaguar habitat and migration corridors are protected.

    There are certainly challenges ahead but the IFAW example shows how important it is for conservation organisations to work with every level of communities and how much local communities can be such a vital tool in successful wildlife conservation. 

    Find out more here from IFAW



  5. BBC Radio 4 Charity Appeal for Tigers for the EIA

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    On 23 February, there was a BBC Radio 4 Appeal by Angela Rippon – journalist and broadcaster – for EIA’s Tiger Campaign.

    And if you missed the broadcast, don’t worry – you can listen to it here:  And it’s being broadcast again on Radio 4 on Thursday 27 February at 3:27pm.  

    So who are the EIA?

    Find out more about it here.

    What's happening with tigers?

    There are only about 4,000 tigers in the wild because of poaching and habitat loss.

    Thousands more are captive in tiger farms, to meet rising demand for their skins, teeth, claws and meat.  Even dead tiger cubs born in commercial captivity are used to make tiger wine.

    In China, there’s a massive tiger farming industry.  Close to 6,000 are captive – their skins are used for luxury home décor, or they are used as ingredients in traditional Chinese medicine.

    Another 2,000 tigers are held captive in Vietnam, Laos and Thailand.  In Vietnam, adults and cubs are bred in cages in the backyards of ordinary houses – and they are sold by the kilo.

    How can you help?

    Donate to the BBC Radio 4 appeal  and help tigers and other threatened species a chance at a future, enabling EIA to continue their work exposing environmental crime.

    Visit the EIA here (that’s the Environmental Investigation Agency) to find out more about the work they do and to spread the word

    Visit the Programme’s website here – it has details of how to don