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What Do Namibian Giraffes Have To Do With the Chinese Economy? Ask Weibo

A post by the U.S. embassy in China about the use of GPS to boost giraffe conservation in Namibia became the unlikely location for a collective freakout about the Chinese economy. By Monday, the post received about 166,000 comments, many bemoaning ...

How Chinese Demand for African Pangolins Worsens Security in Cameroon

The African pangolin is a small mammal covered in hard scales. These scales are used in Chinese traditional medicine, fueling an illegal global trade that is driving these shy animals to extinction. Pangolins are now the most poached animal on earth, with one being killed every three ...

Vietnamese Authorities Seize Tons of Ivory, Most Likely Bound for China

Vietnamese customs authorities in the northern port city of Hai Phong intercepted a massive seven-ton shipment of illicit ivory that originated in Angola and traveled via Singapore. Inspectors discovered the contraband on Monday after seeing a discrepancy in shipping documents that listed ...

Rhino Poaching Rates in Africa and Asia Have Plunged by Half, Says New Report

Poaching rates for both African and Asian rhinos have been steadily falling for the past three years and are now at their lowest rates in almost a decade, according to the findings of a new report by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and the wildlife conservation ...

Week in Review: Pangolins, Power and Payments

Nigerian customs authorities at the port of Lekki sized a record 7.1 tons of pangolin scales on Wednesday and arrested three suspects. A fourth, believed to be the smuggling kingpin is still at large. The endangered pangolin is now the most hunted mammal on earth and a seizure ...

Analysis from Cobus van Staden

Misadventures in the Skin Trade

This week I spent a few days in Cape Town, in time for a minor, if telling, crisis in international agricultural trade. A ship crammed with 19,000 (mostly still living) cows was stuck in Cape Town harbor, en route from Brazil to the Middle East.
As South African animal welfare authorities scrambled to inspect the horrors on board, the city was enveloped in a powerful farmyard funk. The entire episode can ...

How COVID-19 is Impacting the Africa-Asia Wildlife Trade

Amid the shutdowns in both Asia and Africa due to the COVID-19 outbreak there've been serious disruptions to the illegal wildlife trade between the two continents. But even though it's been harder to get African wildlife products to markets in China, ...

CITES Under Pressure to Crack Down on Elephant Trade and Loosen Restriction on Ivory Sales

Wednesday marked World Elephant Day (yes, apparently elephants also have their own day) and that sparked a heated discussion over the African ivory trade and Zimbabwe's controversial sales of young elephants to China. While conservationists and those who advocate for more relaxed wildlife trade regulations ...

COVID-19 is Changing the China-Africa Wildlife Trade

The COVID-19 pandemic is having a significant impact on the China-Africa wildlife trade. In response to the outbreak that was first detected in a wet market that sold live animals in Wuhan, the Chinese government has introduced a number of new ...

The Chinese Embassy in Malawi Showcases White Hunters in its Appeal to Crackdown on the Illegal Wildlife Trade

Given China's outsized role in the illicit African wildlife trade, it's interesting to note the imagery that the Chinese embassy in Malawi selected in their Tweet today to denounce illegal poaching.

COVID-19 and the Crisis of National Development

COVID-19’s rapid move from warning sign to global pandemic has yanked the spotlight onto a number of questions humanity has been uneasily avoiding for years. Beyond the human-focused ones like how to keep a global economy running when flights are shut down, it has also drawn attention ...
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