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Kruger rangers arrest members of armed poaching groups

Six alleged poachers have been arrested in Kruger National Park, following the detection of three heavily armed groups by rangers, says South Africa National Parks’ spokesperson, Reynold Thakhuli, Wildlife Extra News reports.

Mr Thakhuli says these follow the arrests of two SANParks employees on 7 April 2014 on suspicion of poaching, bringing a total of arrests relating to suspected poaching to eight this last month.

The incidents took place in the southern part of the park in the areas Crocodile Bridge, Kingfisherspruit, Tshokwane and Stolsnek.

The SANP spokesman says more arrests could be made as follow up investigations are underway.

“This is a clear indication that resilience and patience pays off and we are grateful that no lives were lost during an encounter with these heavily armed suspected poachers.”

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Seaspray on my windscreen

Click on this screen saved image to link to ABC Open and watch the audio slide show about the day.

Click on this screen saved image to link to ABC Open and watch the audio slide show about the day.

Burleigh Heads. 6.30am. March 16.

The surf is seven to eight foot, with even bigger sets.

Whether it’s the cardiac jump off the rocks, the tsunami sweep, the northerly wind or the dugong size chop in the waves, nobody on the hill is waxing up their board to surf out there.

In the head of every surfer, the risk assessment score of a mangled jump off, being swept to oblivion, or a late-take-off-board-flicking-monster-drop in front of a crowd of hundreds is somewhere between 9.4 and 9.6.

The prospect of making a very public balls-up on these feral monster waves is almost as scary as being the first man on the dance floor at a nightclub.

The packed hill of onlookers can see two guys out there in the morning glare, floating far out over the wave tops where the clean-up sets break.

The surfing websites have tracked these swells since they were whipped up by Cyclone Lusi in Vanuatu, so the 3G-literate crowd on the hill watch like it’s Sochi.

Baby rhino: too cute to kill

baby rhino

Click on the image above to watch the Youtube.

Arrests of rhino poachers in South Africa have more than doubled since 2010.

343 were arrested in 2013 compared to 165 in 2010.

Distressing videos of rhinos that have been shot with tranquilizer darts, their horns chainsawed off , then regaining consciousness have appeared on the internet since then.

Click on the image above to go to the Smithsonian Channel to see what has happened to this baby rhino.

Total arrests related to rhino poaching so far in 2014 are 54.

TOTAL ARRESTS ASSOCIATED WITH RHINO POACHINGS IN 2014: 54

 

 

Seagrass: Bringing dugongs and turtles to the seaway

This dugong from the Moreton Bay herd has been captured for a few minutes to collect valuable data to aid in dugong conservation. Photo supplied by Janet Lanyon

This dugong from the Moreton Bay herd has been captured for a few minutes to collect valuable data to aid in dugong conservation. Photo supplied by Janet Lanyon

Try and gauge the age of the green sea turtle that divers rescued in the Gold Coast seaway recently.

This is what we know:

Before the Sea World Rescue and Research team released him, Dale the South Straddy water taxi operator saw the turtle and guessed he was about 70 cm long

According to “Dugong and Marine Turtle Knowledge Handbook” green sea turtles measure a measly 5cm when they are born. As soon as they hatch they head out to the open sea, where it takes them five to seven years to grow to 30 or 40 cm, eating small marine animals near the surface.

Green sea turtle in Gold Coast seaway. Photo by Shona Pinkerton

Green sea turtle in Gold Coast seaway. Photo by Shona Pinkerton

Around the young age of seven this little sea turtle that Sea World called Twiggy travelled from the open ocean and began “foraging on the sea floor among habitats containing seagrass or seaweed”. Eventually it appears he found the seagrass in the seaway and made it home. The southern area of the Broadwater has about 340 hectares of seagrass.

Green sea turtles don’t reach breeding age till about 35 years old and they measure a metre when they are fully grown.

So it’s a fair guess that Twiggy is about 20 years old.

To read the rest of the article click here to go to Blank Magazine

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Busiest Year ever for Currumbin Wildlife Hospital

By Mic Smith for Gecko Leaftales (The newsletter of Gecko Gold Coast and Hinterland Environment Council)


Gecko Newsletter

 

Travelling to Vietnam for ANZAC Day and the ANZAC Friendship Match

Originally posted on Vietnam Swans:

Dick Johnston (far right) at last year's ANZAC Friendship Match with fellow veterans, Ron Vernon (centre) and Stan Middleton.

Dick Johnston (far right) at last year’s ANZAC Friendship Match with fellow veterans, Ron Vernon (centre) and Stan Middleton.

Mark, who was over here in 2008, is coming over to Vietnam for the ANZAC Friendship Match.

Mark’s travelling in a group of four who will all attend the Match and the McMillan Dinner (where Alex Jesaulenko shall deliver the Middleton Address).

He’s also travelling with another group of 10 which will include some veterans. Perhaps as many as six from the group will attend the Match and Dinner.

Mark then writes,

“When I was lodging our passports for the Visa at Vietnam Consulate in Perth recently, I bumped into an older Vet doing the same. We started chatting about the trip etc. Turns out he played in the Australian Army team at the original Lord Mayor’s Oval (he is a regular to Vietnam and is a sponsor of Swim Vietnam…

View original 117 more words

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Autumn Swell Burleigh and Kirra, March 15

March 15. All photos by Mic Smith. Black and whites taken during second last and last heat of the day at Kirra Teams Challenge as swell began to increase.

Some quotes from the day:

The Kirra Chiropractor

I surfed Snapper but my karma is gone

No honor at Snapper.

Elbows and everything

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Autumn waves Burleigh

All photos by Mic Smith
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Vietnam CITES to oversee district jurisdiction under PM’s wildtrade directive

Prime Minister of Viet Nam Nguyen Tan Dung,© World Economic Forum / Creative Commons

Prime Minister of Viet Nam Nguyen Tan Dung,© World Economic Forum / Creative Commons

Vietnam Prime Minister Nguyen Van Dung has issued a directive to prioritise enforcement of the illegal trade in rhino horn and ivory.

The Directive requires the transfer of seized wildlife specimens on the CITES appendices to the Viet Nam CITES Management Authority, to centrally coordinate the current system of seized wildlife specimens being held at the district and provincial level across the country.

He has ordered more interagency cooperation including NGOs, a tougher judiciary, and coordinated border control efforts.

The announcement follows the Prime Minister’s commitment to the London Declaration at the Conference on Illegal Wildlife Trade hosted by the UK Government.

Wildlife NGOs have called the directive an important turning point in fighting the increasing wildtrade.

Indonesia’s top clerical body forbids wildlife trafficking

The Indonesian Council of Ulama, the country’s largest clerical body, has issued a fatwa or call to action to Indonesia’s 200 million muslims to take an active role in protecting and conserving endangered species.
According to National Geographic journalist, Bryan Christy, the fatwa was inspired when a villager asked Muslim leaders on a field trip about the status of wild animals in the Islaamic faith.

The Muslim leaders replied: “They are creations of Allah, as we are. It is haram to kill them, and keeping them alive is part of the worship of God.”

The fatwa states that you can escape government regulations but not god’s. Under the fatwa governments would review permits for companies harming the environment and do more to conserve endangered species.

In a related story a woman in the Muslim nation of Malaysia is facing wildtrade charges following the airing of Al Jazeera documentary.

Cheah Bing Shee, recently featured in Return of the Lizard King, an expose on the post-prison activities of convicted wildlife smuggler Anson Wong, appeared in a Penang sessions court yesterday where she faces charges of illegal posession of totally protected tortoises.

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