Satellite Collars to Help Boost Protection for Nigeria’s Largest Remaining Elephant Herd

Collaring elephants in Nigeria Yankari National Park.jpg

Satellite Collars to Help Boost Protection for Nigeria’s Largest Remaining Elephant Herd

In early October, the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) fitted six elephants in northern Nigeria’s Yankari National Park with satellite collars. The collars will help WCS, which works with the Bauchi state government to manage the park, better monitor and protect Nigeria’s largest remaining herd of elephants.

“The elephants’ collars are quite valuable, not just for protection and for research, but also to reduce human-elephant conflict and promote tourism,” Andrew Dunn, Nigeria director of WCS, told Mongabay.

“It will allow us to know where the elephants are and to make sure our rangers know where they are, watch them closely and make sure the elephants get close protection.”

Dunn said rangers can now track the elephants’ movements and location better and react more quickly when the elephants are in danger or move closer to the edge of the park.

Elephants once ranged from the tropical swamps and rainforests of the south of Nigeria to the savanna in the north, but a combination of poaching, human-elephant conflict, and deforestation from logging for timber and expanding agriculture have diminished these populations.

Why We Need to Protect the Extinct Woolly Mammoth | A CITIES Conference Update

THE  VENUS OF BRASSEMPOUY  (FRENCH:  LA DAME DE BRASSEMPOUY , MEANING "LADY OF BRASSEMPOUY", OR  DAME À LA CAPUCHE , "LADY WITH THE HOOD") IS A FRAGMENTARY IVORY FIGURINE. IT WAS DISCOVERED IN A CAVE AT  BRASSEMPOUY , FRANCE IN 1892. ABOUT 25,000 YEARS OLD, IT IS ONE OF THE EARLIEST KNOWN REALISTIC REPRESENTATIONS OF A HUMAN FACE. THE VENUS OF BRASSEMPOUY WAS CARVED FROM MAMMOTH IVORY.  VIA WIKIPEDIA FRANCE.

THE VENUS OF BRASSEMPOUY (FRENCH: LA DAME DE BRASSEMPOUY, MEANING "LADY OF BRASSEMPOUY", OR DAME À LA CAPUCHE, "LADY WITH THE HOOD") IS A FRAGMENTARY IVORY FIGURINE. IT WAS DISCOVERED IN A CAVE AT BRASSEMPOUY, FRANCE IN 1892. ABOUT 25,000 YEARS OLD, IT IS ONE OF THE EARLIEST KNOWN REALISTIC REPRESENTATIONS OF A HUMAN FACE. THE VENUS OF BRASSEMPOUY WAS CARVED FROM MAMMOTH IVORY. VIA WIKIPEDIA FRANCE.

Why We Need to Protect the Extinct Woolly Mammoth | A CITIES Conference Update

By Zara Bending, Associate, Centre for Environmental Law, Macquarie University. First published on The Conversation.

An audacious world-first proposal to protect an extinct species was debated on the global stage last week.

The plan to regulate the trade of woolly mammoth ivory was proposed, but ultimately withdrawn from an international conference on the trade of endangered species.

Instead, delegates agreed to consider the question again in three years, after a study of the effect of the mammoth ivory trade on global ivory markets.

Why protect an extinct species?

The Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) is an international agreement regulating trade in endangered wildlife, signed by 183 countries. Every three years the signatories meet to discuss levels of protection for trade in various animals and their body parts.

The most audacious proposal at this year’s conference, which concluded yesterday in Geneva, was Israel’s suggestion to list the Woolly mammoth (Mammuthus primigenius) as a protected species.

Specifically, it aimed to list the woolly mammoth in accordance with the Convention’s “lookalike” provision. Once woolly mammoth ivory is carved into small pieces, it is indistinguishable from elephant ivory without a microscope. The proposal is designed to protect living elephants, by preventing “laundering” or mislabelling of illegal elephant ivory.

Had it passed, it would have been the first time an extinct species has been listed to save its modern-day cousins. Most populations of woolly mammoths went extinct after the last ice age, 10,000-40,000 years ago.

Debunking Myths about the Impact of Elephants on Large Trees

Marula-tree-South Africa.jpg

Debunking Myths about the Impact of Elephants on Large Trees

By Ross Harvey, Independent Economist; PhD Candidate, University of Cape Town. First published on The Conversation.

Elephants are often accused of being responsible for the unsustainable loss of large trees in protected areas. This is because they strip bark and break branches. They can also have a heavier impact through uprooting trees or snapping stems. They have forage preferences too. Marula, knobthorn and red bushwillow are among their favourites.

This type of behaviour has raised concerns over the effects of elephants on large trees in protected areas such as South Africa’s Kruger National Park. As a result, elephant populations have been managed to preserve trees and the environment in a static state.

Researchers Dr Michelle Henley and Robin Cook recently set out to establish whether elephants are in fact responsible for large tree mortality.

They did this by reviewing the science and evaluating how effective past strategies have been at mitigating large tree loss, given that such loss was typically attributed to high elephant densities. These strategies usually focused on controlling elephant numbers lethally, through either culling or hunting.

Prince Harry, Nat Geo, Steve Boyes Take Us 'Into The Okavango' A Fragile Ecosystem We Simply MUST Save

Prince+Harry+by+Alexi+Hay+for+Town+&+Country+Okavango+Documentary.jpg

Prince Harry, Nat Geo, Steve Boyes Take Us 'Into The Okavango' A Fragile Ecosystem We Simply MUST Save

Prince Harry, the Duke of Sussex, discussed his ‘20 year connection’ with Angola and Botswana, posting a heartfelt Instagram message on Thursday. The tribute was created in conjunction with a fundraising event promoting National Geographic’s ‘Into The Okavango’ documentary film.

Harry explained that he is ‘grateful’ to see National Geographic partnering with both the Angolan government and The Halo Trust to promote the sustainable management of the Okavango Delta’s resources.

Criminals Will Not Leave 500,000 Tons Of Woolly Mammoth Ivory Tusks Buried In Arctic

WoolyMammothHeader-12018.png

Criminals Will Not Leave 500,000 Tons Of Woolly Mammoth Ivory Tusks Buried In Arctic

The upcoming CITIES conference, taking place in Sri Lanka from May 23 to June 3 and attended by 183 countries, will consider the Israeli proposal to give protection status to the woolly mammoth, a species extinct for 10,000 years.

Supporters of the Israeli proposal argue that affording the prehistoric mammoth Appendix II protection under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES)could play a vital role in saving elephants who are being poached at the rate of around 30,000 animals a year.

Many argue that banning woolly mammoth ivory will only drive the excavation of woolly mammoth ivory into organized crime syndicates. A ban on woolly mammoth ivory will surely drive up the price of ivory, making it impossible to believe that the estimated 500,000 tons of mammoth tusks buried in the Arctic will remain there untouched.