Archive for Lion
www.guardian.co.uk 12th December 2010
A united effort by police forces in Cameroon, Gabon, the Republic of Congo, and the Central African Republic (CAR) has broken up a highly organised smuggling ring that transported endangered species abroad. Key dealers were arrested and hundreds of kilos of ivory, turtle shells, and animal skins seized. The effort was orchestrated by the Last Great Ape Organisation, a wild-life enforcement NGO, and signals a new step in cross-border cooperation on the subject of endangered species protection. In Cameroon, three dealers were arrested with 17 turtle shells and a 1,000 African grey parrots destined for Nigeria. A policeman was also arrested in suspicion of receiving bribes of £2,000. In Gabon, 16 dealers were arrested with 150 kg of ivory, worth about £90,000. It is thought to have been headed for China, the largest market for such products. It is the first time ivory dealers have been locked away in the country. In the CAR, 7 leopard skins, 2 lion skins, and over 30 kg of ivory were discovered and one dealer taken into custody. Wildlife preservation in central Africa has been difficult in the past due to poor legislation and weak enforcement. Corruption has also been a big problem with all four of the countries fairing poorly in Transparency International’s monitoring of corruption issues.
www.telegraph.co.uk 21st September 2010
The government of Tanzania have approved the construction of 31 mile two-lane highway through the middle of the largest remaining mass-migration system on Earth. 27 experts have written, in the journal Science Nature, that the road will cause an ‘environmental disaster’ and disrupt the migratory route of 1.3 million wildebeest as well as zebra and antelope. These species maintain the vitality of the Serengeti’s grasslands and provide food for predators such as lions, cheetahs, and wild dogs. To prevent the migration would have a knock-on effect on these species. Construction of the road could start within the next 12 months and aims to connect the towns of Arusha, near Mount Kilimanjaro, and Musoma on Lake Victoria.
Biologists claim that the road would reduce the wildebeest population to 300,000 leading to more grassland-fires and turn the area into a CO2 emitter rather than absorber. They have proposed an alternative route for the road which would be 155 miles further South below the Ngorongoro Conservation Area.