By Steve Galster This week’s public auction of John Hume’s stockpiled rhino horn in South Africa may look like a well-intentioned, smart move to relieve pressure on endangered wild rhinos by flooding the market with horns, while generating funding to protect remaining animals from poachers. But in reality, this week’s controversial sale puts rhinos around […]
Freeland helped to run and support a youth camp for 60–plus students in Khao Yai National Park. The many dangers posed by climate change, air and water pollution, deforestation and the greatest mass extinction of species since the age of the dinosaur, have brought our natural world to a decisive tipping point. If this generation […]
“พระบาทสมเด็จพระปรมินทรมหาภูมิพลอดุลยเดช” หรือที่พวกเราเรียกพระองค์จนติดปากว่า “ในหลวง” นั้น ไม่ได้ทรงเป็นเพียงแค่พระมหากษัตริย์ แต่ทรงเป็น “พ่อ” ของพสกนิกรชาวไทยทุกคนไม่ว่าจะอยู่ในเมืองหรือตามที่ห่างไกลทุรกันดาร พระองค์ทรงปฏิบัติภารกิจเพื่อพัฒนาบ้านเมืองและดูแลชีวิตความเป็นอยู่ของประชาชนอย่างไม่เห็นแก่ความเหน็ดเหนื่อยมากว่า 70 ปี […]
Despite record seizures and unprecedented levels of poaching, there are still talks of legalizing the trade of some of the most threatened wildlife species. Photo: Freeland MESSAGE TO CITES: DON’T FLIRT WITH DISASTER, AGAIN ANY LEGAL TRADE IN ENDANGERED SPECIES FACILITATES AND STRENGTHENS CORRUPTION By Steven Galster, Director of Freeland In order to slow Earth’s […]
Next week will prove vital to the survival of a number endangered, heavily traded species. Representatives from over 180 countries will meet in Johannesburg, South Africa, to decide whether to ban, restrict – and in some cases reopen – trade in certain rare animals and their parts. The congregation consists of countries that have […]
There’s no denying it anymore; Thailand’s ‘zoos’ are synonymous with illegal wildlife trade.This has become painfully clear in recent months, with the infamous Tiger Temple being granted a zoo license in April, and shortly thereafter being the centerpiece of a now-notorious raid. Here, authorities found 40 frozen tiger cubs, all under a week old, that had been dead for just […]
Today is Shark Awareness Day, but it may well turn out to be the year of the shark with so much activity rallying around shark conservation. The following are three ways you can get involved, and make some noise on behalf of these impressive, silent, kings of the sea. 1. Pressure governments to establish Marine […]
Can you tell a Red-eared Slider from a Hamilton’s Turtle? How about a Bengal Slow Loris from a Javan one? Or a critically endangered Bali Myna bird from the White-bellied Myna, found in abundance throughout Indonesia?
An app developed with support from USAID is making wildlife protection officers more effective in their efforts to combat wildlife trafficking in Southeast Asia.
“Before using the WildScan application, we identified species by using photos from magazines and the news,” said Pham Tien Thinh, who works for the Forest Protection Department of Vietnam.
On Saturday, April 30th, Kenyan officials will set ablaze 105 tonnes of “blood ivory”, tusks brutally extracted from butchered elephants and intended for trade – a practice prohibited for 27 years.
Marking 10 years in existence, the meeting celebrated milestones achievements in the region’s fight against wildlife crime and discussed means of maximizing the effectiveness of ASEAN-WEN – a now well-established entity.
Eight undercover officers scope out an upmarket apartment block on the outskirts of Bangkok. It’s early morning, Thursday March 3, and after tailing their suspect for 300 kilometers the day before, police are certain he’s inside.
We are talking about winning hearts and minds. In the world of wild animal conservation, the game is demand reduction and behavior change. Specifically: reducing commercial demand for wild animals that drives the poaching in the first place.
Technically, sharks are less ‘fearsome’ and ‘powerful’ than mosquitos, and serving their fins to show status is quickly becoming outdated. Demonstrate insight by going Fin Free this Chinese New Year.
Prison visits remind us how lucky we are right now. The tall walls, barbed wire, and guards on patrol may or may not be correcting those unfortunate souls inside, but they sure send a message to the rest of us: Enjoy your freedom, within the law.
Imagine the multitude of containers, bags, and boxes stuffed with illegal wildlife parts that cross international borders undetected every day. Interpol estimates that seizures represent just 10% of the total underground trade, meaning that the tusks and horns seized in these three busts in Vietnam are just a small, visible fragment of the 1,000 elephants and 300 rhinos that were being slaughtered, smuggled and sold at the exact same time.
When a young male rhino and its heavily pregnant mother were poached at a friend’s reserve in South Africa, these sisters decided enough was enough.
The rhinos at Mount Camdeboo private game reserve lived a quiet and relatively safe life. Mothers and their babies roamed the vast expanse of land undisturbed – as they had done thousands of years before.
I found myself sitting next to the delegation from North Korea, thinking that not only does the world of anti-money laundering have some things in common with the counter trafficking world, it is also a really fascinating world in itself. There are these things called “Financial Intelligence Units” or “FIUs” that nearly every government –even North Korea—has or is forming. And they work closely with commercial bankers to make sure the banks are not providing financial services to ISIS or drug dealers or anyone else who is washing dirty money.
The conservation chronicle of the slow loris – a small, shy, primate found in Southeast Asia – is particularly tragic, and central to its story lies unfortunate misinterpretation, modern technology and senseless exploitation.
Does the airline put something in the ventilator to make us more sentimental? I asked myself that question again as I buckled in to the 8 hour flight from Nairobi to Bangkok following several wildlife protection training courses that Freeland just conducted with our new partners in Kenya, including a Wildlife Friendly Skies training with Kenya Airways, which I was now flying.
As I ran through another airport to catch another flight around another leg of this big, beautiful globe, my brain rushed along with all the people and air traffic around me, causing me wonderful stress and excitement. Adrenalin, for some reason, can cause epiphanies, and no doubt they are personalized. Mine this time was work-related: wildlife and human trafficking, I realized, remain two of the world’s most profitable criminal businesses because those tasked with stopping it are stuck in meetings.
This morning 14 orangutans were repatriated to their native Indonesia after a seven-year ordeal of poaching, abuse, and bureaucratic limbo.
The trafficked orangutans, two of which were infants, were contained in steel crates and loaded on to an Indonesian Air Force carrier along with banana supplies, two veterinarians, and members of Freeland partner organization Wildlife Friends Foundation Thailand (WFFT).
According to the International Air Transport Association (IATA), 3.1 billion passengers used airlines to travel in 2013 and more than 50 million tons of cargo was shipped through the air. With easier access to airlines, the relatively low cost and the quick travel times, wildlife traffickers are increasingly using airlines to smuggle illegal and often endangered wildlife.
Eleven weeks after the discovery of mass human graves along the Thai-Malaysian border, several factors driving success or failure in the ongoing fight against human slavery in Southeast Asia are becoming clear. The first is ‘face’ – saving it with risk and bravery instead of safety and denial. The second is data – how to convert it into power through proper analysis. And the third is the importance of good hearted, smart investigators from different walks of life – police, journalists, and NGOs – working closely together.
Seconds before our brush with death, I day dreamed about my imminent return to the bustling, concrete jungle of traffic-jammed Bangkok from this lush, easy going, traffic-jammed Nairobi. I was thinking about how I tolerate the serious congestion in both places for the same reason. Simply put: Kenyans and Thais are incredibly nice people.
Onkuri Majumdar, Juliana Machado Ferreira and Molly Ferrill share a passion for wildlife conservation and are all a part of the Freeland team, whether it is Freeland Bangkok, India or Brazil. Despite their similarities, together they are an amalgam of different disciplines and backgrounds that work towards one shared goal.
As I watched that naughty, furry, fanged baboon leap into the back seat of our car –pushing aside and scaring the hell out my friend, Tony–, I thought to myself: there’s no big city in the world quite like Nairobi, Kenya.
Traveling into new and different worlds awakens the mind and heart. That’s what I felt this morning as I exited Addis Ababa airport after snoozing through most of my 9 hour Ethiopian Airlines flight from Bangkok. I hailed a taxi that had “jalopy” written all over it, and scanned the mosaic of hills that form this rugged, colorful city (Addis Ababa means “new flower”).
Mr. Boonlert Sankhot is one such ranger working for Thailand’s Department of National Parks, Plant and Wildlife Conservation. He has been a forest ranger for more than 12 years. “I love the forest and nature” he says. “The work rangers do is for everyone because we all rely on the forest and need to live in a good and well-balanced natural environment. We work to keep the natural environment in balance.”
WildScan banner displayed at Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport Customs area. Throughout December, Freeland promoted WildScan, a species identification app to tourists visiting Thailand. Through public outreach events, Freeland encouraged the public to download the app and report wildlife crime, a serious issue in Southeast Asia with a global black market value of US$19 billion.
In 2006, the Vietnamese government legislated for the protection of the Asiatic Black Bear Ursus Thibetanus and Malayan Sun Bear Helarctos malayanus. This indisputably means that any hunting, trapping, possessing, killing, selling or advertising of these bears or their products in Vietnam is illegal.
Meet Tik, one of Freeland’s champions assisting conservation in the vulnerable Eastern Forest Complex of Thailand
Working closely with the Superintendent of Thap Lan National Park, Tik’s role is unique. She works under Freeland’s Surviving Together program to help park staff manage a comprehensive database of the rangers’ patrols through the park.
Thirteen year old, Phitchaya Thongthai, known to her friends as Inc, stood in front of more than 50 hotel representatives and made a strong case to stop serving shark fin soup in their hotels at an hoteliers event in Thailand’s resort town of Cha am.
On October 15th 2014, four Slow Lorises were turned into the Department of Natural Parks and Resources in Bangkok. Their future now remains in the hands of government wildlife facilitating centers, with limited hope of being reintroduced into the wild.