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Sun 25 Sep 2011
Seminars this week: Ivory Trade, Tigers and Wildlife rescue in Cambodia
Category : talks
Mon 26 Sep 2011: 2pm - 4pm [poster]: "The Ivory Story: African elephant poaching for the illegal ivory trade in Japan and China" by Dr Tomo Nishihara. Venue: Lee Sheridan Conference Room, Eu Tong Sen Building, Faculty of Law, National University of Singapore, 469G Bukit Timah Road
Abstract - In the Central Africa region, forest elephant poaching for ivory has been increasing recently, making it a major threat to forest elephants. In the case of the northern region of Republic of Congo, this is related to the expansion of logging roads around protected areas as well as national road improvements between the Capital and the region, which increases the ease of access for human populations. The increased accessibility has led to an invasion of poachers and weapons for poaching in the region.
Japan and China are the largest ivory consumers in the world. China has larger ivory markets than Japan in terms of quantity of traded ivory. There are several reports of seizures of illegal ivory shipments destined for China. The current large population of Chinese in Africa also drives illegal ivory trafficking from Africa to Asia. There are differences in the quality of ivory in demand in China and Japan. While China can use any quality of ivory, including cracked ones either from savanna elephants, from forest elephants, even from mammoths, the demand in Japan is uniquely for forest elephant ivory. Further, there are significant differences between the ivory management systems and national policies between China and Japan.
This presentation aims to illustrate the current situations of ivory demand and status both in Japan and China, along with the reality of forest elephant populations, poaching and ivory trade in and around northern Congo. I will discuss ways to determine the mechanisms by which ivory is illegally trafficked from Africa to Asia within an inter-continental conservation context.
Tue 27 Sep 2011: 4pm [poster]: "Taking the measure of conservation: evaluating efforts to bring tigers back from the brink" by Emma Stokes. Conference Room 1, Department of Biological Sciences, National University of Singapore [map]
Abstract - Wild tigers are in a precarious state with less than 3200 individuals remaining. Breeding populations of wild tigers are scattered across their current range in only around 40 source sites; effective management of these sites is key to stabilizing and recovering wild tigers. Dr Stokes will talk about current efforts of the Wildlife Conservation Society and partners to recover wild tigers in a number of source sites across their range, focusing in particular on the development, implementation and application of a monitoring program designed to inform these efforts.
She will discuss the ‘what, where, how and why’ of designing efficient and useful monitoring programs, drawing on new technical and scientific tools, and providing a number of case-studies from tiger sites to illustrate how standardized monitoring can be implemented under very different ecological and logistical contexts. Finally, she will discuss how the results of monitoring can be best applied to improve management practice at both the site-level and for the species as a whole.
Fri 30 Sep 2011: 6.00pm [poster]: "Wildlife Rapid Rescue Team: Combating Cambodia’s illegal wildlife trade" by Mr Nick Marx & Ms Amy Van Nice. Venue: SDE3-04 Rm LR424, School of Design and Environment, NUS
Abstract - Wildlife Alliance partnered with the Cambodian government in 2001 to create a special wildlife crime investigation and counter-trafficking unit known as the Wildlife Rapid Rescue Team (WRRT) dedicated to fighting the illegal wildlife trade in Cambodia. WRRT travels around the country rescuing illegally trafficked wildlife. The team solicits tips from informants, conducts undercover operations, investigates trafficking networks, intercepts shipments of wildlife along borders, sets up vehicle inspections along major highways, and conducts regular inspections and raids of markets, restaurants, and houses of suspected and known wildlife traders. WRRT provides humane care to confiscated wildlife and, if deemed suitable, immediately releases them back to their natural habitat in an appropriate and safe location. Wildlife which are injured, sick, or habituated to humans are transported to the Phnom Tamao Wildlife Rescue Centre.
The WRRT has rescued more than 46,000 live animals and confiscated 30 tons of wildlife products in Cambodia since 2001. Some 90% of restaurants in Phnom Penh have stopped serving wildlife dishes and the wildlife trade in Cambodia has been disrupted by up to 75%. Traders are either arrested and sent to prison or handed down hefty fines. In 2010, the WRRT was named Cambodia’s national task force for ASEAN-WEN, the Wildlife Enforcement Network aimed at promoting regional cooperation to suppress cross-border wildlife trade throughout Southeast Asia.