WWF Greater Mekong Programme

Bangkok, Thailand

WWF Greater Mekong Programme

Bangkok, Thailand
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Shepherd C.R.,TRAFFIC Southeast Asia | Gray T.N.E.,WWF Greater Mekong Programme | Nijman V.,Oxford Brookes University
ORYX | Year: 2017

The illegal trade in rhinoceros horn, driven largely by the demand from East and South-east Asia, is a major impediment to the conservation of rhinoceroses globally. We surveyed the town of Mong La, in eastern Myanmar on the border with China, for the presence of rhinoceros horn. No rhinoceros horn was observed in 2006 or 2009, and other African wildlife was rare or absent. During visits in 2014 and 2015 we observed two horns, presumed to be of the white rhinoceros Ceratotherium simum, and one horn tip, small discs from the horn core, horn powder and horn bangles. Shops selling rhinoceros horn all specialized in high-end and high-value wildlife, mostly for decorative purposes, including whole elephant tusks, carved elephant ivory, carved hippopotamus Hippopotamus amphibius canines, and tiger Panthera tigris skins. Organized criminal syndicates are involved in the wildlife trade between Myanmar and Africa, possibly via China. Mong La's geographical position on the border with China, limited control by the central Myanmar Government, and the presence of the Chinese entertainment industry provide ideal conditions for a global wildlife trade hub catering for the Chinese market. Solutions require more intense collaboration between the Myanmar and Chinese authorities to curb the trade in African rhinoceros horn in this part of Asia. Copyright © Fauna & Flora International 2017

Douven W.,UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education | Buurman J.,National University of Singapore | Beevers L.,UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education | Verheij H.,Deltares | And 5 more authors.
Journal of Environmental Planning and Management | Year: 2012

Engineering works in river basins that explicitly take into account floodplain hydraulic processes and dynamics, demonstrate a move towards more sustainable development in riparian areas. In this paper, this concept is applied to road planning and design in floodplains. The paper suggests that although a resilience strategy might require higher initial investments than a resistance strategy, in the longer term it will result in lower costs in terms of road damage and ecological damage. Results are presented from four cases in the Mekong floodplains where different strategies towards road planning, varying in resilience, have been assessed for their hydraulic, ecological, social and economic impacts based on a combination of modelling results, expert judgement and secondary data sources. The study finds that, with the exception of extreme cases, the impact of roads has a limited impact on the floodplain hydraulics. However, even small changes in flood dynamics (arrival of the peak, duration) may have large ecological impacts, especially if cumulative impacts of more road developments are taken into account. The results illustrate that road planning and design in floodplains is a complicated task that requires an integrated approach. © 2012 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.

Wikramanayake E.,World Wildlife Fund | Dinerstein E.,World Wildlife Fund | Seidensticker J.,Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute | Lumpkin S.,Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute | And 15 more authors.
Conservation Letters | Year: 2011

In an unprecedented response to the rapid decline in wild tiger populations, the Heads of Government of the 13 tiger range countries endorsed the St. Petersburg Declaration in November 2010, pledging to double the wild tiger population. We conducted a landscape analysis of tiger habitat to determine if a recovery of such magnitude is possible. The reserves in 20 priority tiger landscapes can potentially support >10,000 tigers, almost thrice the current estimate. However, most core reserves where tigers breed are small and land-use change in rapidly developing Asia threatens to increase reserve and population isolation. Maintaining population viability and resilience will depend upon a landscape approach to manage tigers as metapopulations. Thus, both site-level protection and landscape-scale interventions to secure habitat corridors are simultaneous imperatives. Co-benefits, such as payment schemes for carbon and other ecosystem services, should be employed as strategies to mainstream landscape conservation in tiger habitat into development processes. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Brook S.M.,WWF Vietnam | van Coeverden de Groot P.,Queen's University | Scott C.,Queen's University | Boag P.,Queen's University | And 9 more authors.
Biological Conservation | Year: 2012

Javan rhinoceros (. Rhinoceros sondaicus) is among the most threatened large mammal species in the world. Development of rigorous, non-invasive survey techniques is a high priority, to monitor populations and develop informed conservation management strategies. The critically endangered javan rhinoceros until recently survived in two separate populations, one in Vietnam and one in Indonesia, representing distinct subspecies. The range of the . annamiticus subspecies around Cat Tien National Park (CTNP) has declined significantly since its re-discovery in 1989, and no accurate estimate of population size had ever been obtained. We employed integrated survey techniques and analyses to determine the population status of the javan rhinoceros in Vietnam. We conducted a comprehensive field survey of the Cat Loc sector of CTNP using scat detection dogs to detect javan rhinoceros dung between October 2009 and April 2010. Twenty-two dung samples were collected for microsatellite DNA analysis, seventeen of which were of sufficient quality to be analysed. The genotyping work confirmed that only a single rhinoceros was present at the start of the survey in 2009 and that this was the same individual that was found dead in April 2010. Although far less definitive than host genotyping, stool bacterial diversity assays also supported the hypothesis that all samples collected by the survey were from one individual. This empirical data combined with field survey data indicate the extinction of the javan rhinoceros in Vietnam. We conclude by discussing the developmental progress of these non-invasive survey techniques to monitor other endangered rhinoceros populations. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.

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