WildlifeDirect News – No. 17, February 2010

We have finally launched our redesigned website and despite a few technical hitches at the beginning, we can proudly say that we are making progress. We switched to the modern look and tech platform because the old system did not allow us to add new services that would enrich your visit to the site. We invite you to visit the site and explore and tell us what you think.

As we were doing the site, conservation challenges and successes did not stop happening to our bloggers. Limbe Wildlife Center for instance recieved 1000 rescued parrots. The ivory question, as it always does, has again entered center stage as the date of the 2010 CITES (CoP15) meeting draws near.

In the list of links that will give you a glimpse into what you may have missed from the site are various good and bad news. We like to serve a good mix of news. But we serve it as it happens.

Read on for what we gathered from the conservation frontline.

WildlifeDirect Completes Web Redesign

WildlifeDirect Homepage

The much anticipated redesign of the WildlifeDirect website has been completed. It is indeed a milestone as we have been working on the redesign for months. This is a completely new website and as is usually the case with changes that involve tinkering with the technological end of things, we had a few hitches. Most of these have now been resolved and our dedicated team of techies are working daily to make the ride as smooth as possible for you.

There are many new features that we believe will be useful to you and to the bloggers. New features such as the WildlifeTrackers, the MyWLD forum, Resources, and Multimedia will enrich your experience in the web once they become fully operational.
We thank you all and especially those of you who gave us feedback soon after launching the site. We hope you will be able to go in and explore the new features, enjoy and give us your input.

For a more detailed explanation of what is in the new site go read this post on Baraza blog

Getting Ready for The Battle for the Elephant

Conservationists prepare to oppose Tanzania/Zambia propoIllegal ivory in Kenyasals.

The 15th Conference of Parties to CITES (CoP15) promises to bring the same fireworks that each of the many previous meetings have brought as the ivory question again takes center stage. The Battle for the Elephant this time will be between the perennial brawler Kenya and its allies on the one hand and the two new rivals Tanzania and Zambia on the other hand.

Zambia and Tanzania have each submitted separate proposals to the CITES Secretariat asking for the down-listing of their elephants from Appendix I to Appendix II of the CITES Red List thus allowing them to trade in their stockpiled ivory. Kenya as usual is against any trade in ivory and has submitted a proposal to extend the moratorium on trade from the 9 years agreed on in CoP14 in 2008 to a longer 20-year no ivory trade period.

Kenya is leading a large group of African Elephant range states including Congo, Ghana, Liberia, Mali and Sierra Leone in their proposals. African states supporting the no-trade proposal are more than these six and have formed the African Elephant Coalition (AEC) that will vote yes to the no-trade proposal and no to the Zambia/Tanzania proposals.

Kenyan conservationists have formed the Kenya Elephant Forum to work together with the AEC to lobby global CITES representatives to vote for no-trade.

The battle lines are drawn – get ready for some bruising

Follow the unfolding story on Baraza and on our new Ban Ivory blogs.

Massive Smuggling of African Grey Parrots

Cameroonian authorities confiscate1000 parrots in Douala

Confiscated parrotsAt Douala Airport on 1 February 2010 some 1000 African Grey Parrots were confiscated on transit to Kuwait and Bahrain with an Ethiopian Airlines way bill. This is the largest consignment of parrots ever nabbed in Cameroon in what officers at the Limbe Wildlife Center perceive to be an escallating illegal trade racket.

The parrots were transferred to Limbe on 2 February for care and rehabilitation before being released back into the forests of Cameroon. This is not the first consignment of confiscated parrots that Limbe has recieved. Recently, in November and December, hundreds of confiscated parrots were brought to Limbe with the December batch consisting of 503 parrots. It’s only on 29 December 2009 that they released the first batch of 45 rehabilitated parrots.

Before they could release the rest, or even clean out the feathers and poop, from the rehab cages, 1000 more arrived. The good people at Limbe are frustrated by the scale of smuggling going on in Cameroon. They are also feeling the strain of taking in the poor birds and they need all the help they can get to feed and care for the new birds.

You can support Limbe’s work by donating in their blog.

News Snapshots

Things you need to know

  • Rhino poached in Kenya
  • Volcano erupts near home of mountain gorillas
  • Head count for Zimbabwe’s Wild Dogs
  • How your donations helped CERCOPAN in 2009
  • What lies ahead for the Maasai
  • Bushmeat in the City – Nairobi’s ‘nyama choma’ risk
  • Two of the ‘Kivu four’ chimps join the main group
  • Five lions moved to Gonarezhou, Zimbabwe
  • Stay up to date – check what’s happening in the new WildlifeDirect Breaking News page. It’s new – but we’ll keep it up to date.

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