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Nijman V.,Oxford Brookes University | Zhang M.X.,Chinese Academy of Sciences | Shepherd C.R.,TRAFFIC
Global Ecology and Conservation | Year: 2016

We report on the illegal trade in live pangolins, their meat, and their scales in the Special Development Zone of Mong La, Shan State, Myanmar, on the border with China, and present an analysis of the role of Myanmar in the trade of pangolins into China. Mong La caters exclusively for the Chinese market and is best described as a Chinese enclave in Myanmar. We surveyed the morning market, wildlife trophy shops and wild meat restaurants during four visits in 2006, 2009, 2013-2014, and 2015. We observed 42 bags of scales, 32 whole skins, 16 foetuses or pangolin parts in wine, and 27 whole pangolins for sale. Our observations suggest Mong La has emerged as a significant hub of the pangolin trade. The origin of the pangolins is unclear but it seems to comprise a mixture of pangolins from Myanmar and neighbouring countries, and potentially African countries. Myanmar, on the basis of its geographic position, size and weak government, has emerged as an important transit country for the smuggling of pangolins to China. Data from 29 seizures from Myanmar and 23 from neighbouring countries (Thailand, India, China) implicating Myanmar as a source of pangolins or as a transit point for pangolins sourced in other countries, in the period 2010-2014, illustrate the magnitude of this trade. Combined these seizures amount to 4339 kg of scales and 518 whole pangolins, with a retail value in Myanmar of US$3.09 million. Trade in pangolins, their parts of their derivatives is illegal in Myanmar and CITES II listing with a zero-quota preclude international trade in them. We urge the Myanmar government to liaise with regional authorities to curb the trade in pangolins and recommend that the Myanmar and Chinese CITES authorities in particular come together urgently as to resolve the illicit trade of pangolins and their parts across their borders. © 2015 The Authors. Source


Stephenson P.J.,WWF International | Burgess N.D.,UNEP WCMC | Jungmann L.,WWF Market Transformation Initiative | Loh J.,Zoological Society of London | And 4 more authors.
Biodiversity | Year: 2015

If parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and their partners are to report effectively on progress against national, regional and global biodiversity conservation goals, data will need to be collected at multiple levels. Global data sets, many gathered using remote sensing, offer partial solutions but need to be complemented by field-level observations to provide the resolution necessary to track conservation measures in a meaningful way. This paper summarises efforts made by the conservation organisation WWF, working with partners, to integrate 10 indicators of relevance to CBD parties into its global monitoring system and to use global data sets and data from field programmes to determine progress against multi-level goals and to assess programme performance and impacts. Integration of in-situ and ex-situ data into reporting dashboards tailored to WWF’s needs allowed some degree of assessment of progress and adaptive management of the programme portfolio. Indicator trends were most favourable (on track) for protected area (PA) coverage and market share of sustainable commodities, and least favourable (worsening) for species offtake, species populations, wildlife trade, habitat fragmentation and Ecological Footprint. The most useful indicators – which could be disaggregated to provide trends at local levels relevant to WWF field programmes – were species populations, habitat cover and fragmentation, PA coverage and PA management effectiveness. However challenges remain if local and global monitoring objectives are to be aligned, including the need for increased collection of data by field projects, improved harmonisation of indicators, and greater sharing of data in formats of use to practitioners. We advocate wider adoption by governments and civil society organisations of indicators with the dual function of tracking delivery of CBD Aichi Targets as well as monitoring national, regional and ecoregional level conservation programmes, and urge more NGOs and academic bodies to support capacity building and data collection. © 2015 Biodiversity Conservancy International. Source


Jacoby D.M.P.,UK Institute of Zoology | Casselman J.M.,Queens University | Crook V.,TRAFFIC | DeLucia M.-B.,The Nature Conservancy | And 8 more authors.
Global Ecology and Conservation | Year: 2015

With broad distributions, diadromous fishes can be exposed to multiple threats at different stages of development. For the primarily catadromous eels of the family Anguillidae, there is growing international concern for the population abundance and escapement trends of some of these species and yet incomplete knowledge of their remarkable life-histories hampers management and conservation. Anguillids experience a suite of pressures that include habitat loss/modification, migration barriers, pollution, parasitism, exploitation, and fluctuating oceanic conditions that likely have synergistic and regionally variable impacts, even within species. In beginning to redress this rather fragmented picture, we evaluated the extinction risk of these species using the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species Categories and Criteria to infer population-wide trends from catch and monitoring data. Here we consolidate and build upon these species assessments by presenting an overview of the current state of global eel data and conservation, categorising the knowledge gaps and geographic regions where resources are needed and discussing future recommendations to improve our understanding of anguillids. We find stark disparity between the quality and length of data available to assess population trends and conservation priorities in temperate and tropical anguillids. Of the 13 species assessed, four were listed as 'Threatened' (Vulnerable, Endangered or Critically Endangered); four were Near Threatened, three were Data Deficient and two were deemed Least Concern. Comparing with other diadromous species, we examine the multiple threats that impact eels during their different life-history stages, highlighting the challenges of applying the Red List Categories and Criteria to geographically-expansive, catadromous and panmictic groups of species. © 2015 The Authors. Source


Nijman V.,Oxford Brookes University | Shepherd C.R.,TRAFFIC
Biological Conservation | Year: 2014

We report on the illegal trade in ivory and elephant parts in the Special Development Zone of Mong La, Shan State, Myanmar, on the border with China. Mong La caters exclusively for the Chinese market and is best described as a Chinese enclave in Myanmar. We surveyed the morning market, shops and hotels in February 2006, February 2009 and December 2013-January 2014. Trade in body parts primarily concerned dried elephant skin (4 pieces in 2006, 278 in 2009 and 1238 in 2013-2014), and to a lesser extent molars and bones. We found 3494 pieces of carved ivory (none in 2006, 200 in 2009 and 3294 in 2013-2014) and 49 whole tusks (all in 2013-2014) openly for sale, suggesting Mong La has recently emerged as a significant hub of the ivory trade. The origin of the ivory may constitute a combination of Asian elephant ivory from Myanmar and African ivory imported via China. According to local sources the carving was done by Chinese craftsmen, in Mong La as well as across the border in China, and was largely, if not exclusively, intended for the internal Chinese market. Based on asking prices of the most commonly offered items the retail value of the ivory on display in Mong La during the 2013-2014 survey totals an estimated US$1.2 million. Trade in elephant parts and elephant ivory is illegal in Myanmar and CITES I listing of elephants preclude international trade in them. Mong La is governed largely autonomously by an overlord and policed by an Eastern Shan State army. We urge both the Myanmar and Chinese governments to liaise with the Mong La rulers to curb the trade in ivory (and other high profile species), and recommend that the Myanmar and Chinese CITES authorities come together urgently as to resolve the illicit trade of ivory and elephant parts across their borders. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. Source


Maheshwari A.,TRAFFIC | Midha N.,WWF India | Paliwal A.,WWF India | Sharma B.K.,WWF India | And 3 more authors.
Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society | Year: 2013

We conducted extensive surveys for the Red Fox Vulpes vulpes and Tibetan Sand Fox V.ferrilata in the Greater and Trans-Himalaya of north and north-east India between 2008 and 2013, with opportunistic camera trapping done in Kargil, Jammu & Kashmir. In this paper, we provide an update on the distribution of V. v. griffithii in the Himalaya, discuss our observations on V. v. montana, and support the claim of the occurrence of V. ferrilata in India. We also discuss the distribution overlap of V. v. montana with V. v. griffithii in the Western Himalaya; V. v. montana with V.ferrilata in the Eastern Himalaya; and V. v. montana with Indian Fox V. bengalensis in the foothills of the Himalaya. Source

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