Sniffer dogs—with their remarkable sense of smell—are increasingly part of a global effort to intercept illegal wildlife and wildlife products like ivory, rhino horns, sea turtles and pangolins smuggled through airports, shipping ports and public transportation centers.
The governments of CITES took strong and decisive action in Geneva last week. They laid out timelines and concrete deliverables for countries most complicit in the illegal ivory trade. In particular, they laid down a strict timeline for Thailand to take the necessary steps to rectify the problems that have facilitated its rise to becoming the world’s largest unregulated ivory market. Thailand has until March 2015 to deliver, or they face sanctions.
Thailand has until March 2015 to take measures to shut down domestic trade in illegal elephant ivory or it will face trade sanctions under the Convention on the International Trade of Endangered Species (CITES), which met in Geneva this week.
The United States imposed one of the longest sentences for a wildlife trafficking on Zhifei Li, the ringleader of an illegal wildlife trafficking operation that spanned the US and China, on May 27, 2014.
This move indicates efforts by the Hong Kong government to combat the illegal ivory trade, which is fueling an elephant poaching crisis. Last year, an estimated 30,000 elephants were slaughtered to feed the black market trade in ivory.
The world has never before rallied together to stop wildlife crime like they did this week in London. Heads of state, ministers and other high-level representatives from 46 countries—including those most heavily impacted by poaching and illegal trade of wildlife—signed onto an extraordinary joint declaration.
As wildlife crime sweeps through Africa and Asia, WWF joined wildlife advocates, conservation orgnizations and concerned citizens gathered at the first public meeting of President Obama's Advisory Council on Wildlife Trafficking in Washington D.C
Rotiken Denis, warden for the Maasai Mara Rhino Monitoring Team in Kenya, is a Maasai with a background in wildlife management. He is responsible for preventing rhino poaching in the Maasai Mara National Reserve in Narok County, Kenya.
Abeng, coordinator of WWF’s Tiger Protection Units in Indonesia, has lived on the island of Sumatra his whole life. He leads our efforts to protect last wild tigers in Tesso Nilo-Bukit TigapuluhBukit Tigapuluh, or “30 Hills.”