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.
Most people are surprised to learn that there are an estimated 5,000 captive tigers in America’. That’s more than all wild tigers across Asia. Almost 95 percent are privately owned, often by people not trained to care for animals in general, let alone tigers. Alarmingly, there is no accurate record or system to determine the actual number of tigers in the country, where they are, or what happens after they die.