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Australian Environment Department policy on rhino imports

Trade in Rhinoceros Specimens

All species of rhinoceros are listed under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). An Appendix I listing applies to all five species with the exception of populations of the southern white rhinoceros (Ceratotherium simum simum) from South Africa and Swaziland which are listed on Appendix II. While trade in hunting trophies and live animals is allowed in certain circumstances for populations listed on Appendix II of CITES, Australia has introduced measures to restrict trade in rhino specimens, including rhino horn hunting trophies.

These measures include:

  • permits will no longer be issued to import hunting trophies of Appendix II listed southern white rhino
  • rhino hunting trophies are no longer allowed to be imported as personal and household effects
  • radiocarbon dating is required to conclusively prove the age of vintage rhino horn for export.

Two orphaned rhinos’s faces hacked for horns – unspeakable cruelty to animals

Photos from Saving the Survivors: Saving the Survivors is a field-based South African non-profit conservation organization that aims to maintain biodiversity by caring for and rescuing threatened and endangered wildlife species, by partnering with governmental, non-governmental, community and private stakeholders.16425733_1397059887001981_2263119326893666909_n16508803_1397059923668644_626305947747910066_n

German marine biologists describe plastic pollution inside stranded Sperm Whale stomachs

Press release of the Ministry of Energy, Agriculture, Environment and Rural Areas in Schleswig-Holstein

Environment Minister Robert Habeck and Gerd Meurs-Scher show garbage dumps found in the Pottwalm saws.

Environment Minister Robert Habeck (left) and Gerd Meurs-Scher show garbage, which were found in sperm whale stomachs. | © Claussen / LKN.SH

During the investigation of sperm whales stranded in Schleswig-Holstein large amounts of garbage have been discovered. Four of the 13 whales had large amounts of plastic waste in their stomachs. This was not the reason for the beaching and the death of the animals, but reflects the situation on the open sea. Veterinarians and biologists suspect that the most affected animals would have suffered major health problems from the remains of the garbage. This became apparent during the presentation of the results of the investigation on 23 March 2016 in the Multimar Wattforum in Tönning.

The most striking pieces of garbage are the remains of a 13-meter-long and 1.2-meter-wide net used in crab fishing, a 70-cm-long plastic cover from the engine compartment of a car and the sharp-edged remains of a plastic drum. “These findings show us the impact of our plastic society: animals inadvertently ingest plastic and other plastic waste, suffer from it, in the worst case, some starve to death, which is an urgent reminder to tackle garbage in the sea now,” said Environment Minister Robert Habeck.

Sperm whale pod beached themselves – then died of heart and circulatory failure

The 13 whales were stranded in January and February on Schleswig-Holstein’s North Sea coast. Professor Ursula Siebert, director of the Institute for Terrestrial and Aquatic Wildlife Research at the Tierärztliche Hochschule Hannover (ITAW), examined the sperm whales with her team. All animals were young, not yet sexually mature bulls, 10 to 15 years old and 12 to 18 tons. They were all in good health and nutrition. Their hearing, which is important for the orientation of the animals, showed no signs of a acoustic trauma and the infestation in the different organs with parasites was normal.

All the animals had stranded into the shallow waters of the Wadden Sea. There, lying on the ground, the weight of her body pressed their blood vessels, the lungs and other organs together so that the animals died of acute cardiovascular failure.

In their stomachs, Dr. Uwe Piatkowski, a marine biologist from Kiel’s GEOMAR Helmholtz Center for Ocean Research, discovered with his students a total of over 110,000 squid parts, such as the indigestible upper and lower jaws of squid. These species are mainly found in the Norwegian Sea, the Barents Sea and the Icelandic waters, the main wintering areas of the sperm whales. In a stomach, the beaks of 21,000 of the squid up to 35 cm in length were found, which corresponds to a live weight of about 4.2 tons.

Last food intake probably in the Norwegian Sea

Siebert and Piatkowski suspect that the endangered whales had last eaten in the Norwegian Sea. The first group with three animals had probably only been staying for a short time in the North Sea, the second with ten animals probably a little longer. In some of their stomachs were found bones and other remains of North Sea fish such as monkfish, cod, whittling and sea bunny.

Since the beginning of the year, 30 sperm whales were stranded alive or dead on the North Sea coast in the UK, the Netherlands, France, Denmark and Germany. In addition, strandings in the northern and eastern seas of Denmark and Germany included sword whales, fin whales and minke whales. Pig whales and a blue-and-white dolphin were found live on the coasts of Schleswig-Holstein in February, but were brought back into deep waters except for the dolphin.

The cause of the large number of strandings is unknown according to the statements of the two scientists. Unusually high temperatures and particularly strong storms registered in the north-east Atlantic in recent weeks could have pushed water masses from the Norwegian Sea southwards into the North Sea – and the squid with them. Possibly the sperm whales followed their main food and so, like other whale species, entered the North Sea. A plausible explanation, which is not proven however.

Siebert and Piatkowski, however, made it clear that the occurrence of sperm whales in the North Sea is not extraordinary. All migratory species occasionally appear outside their actual distribution area. They open up new habitats and adapt to new conditions. Since the 16th century, more than 200 strandings on the North Sea coast have been documented, among them 21 animals that were stranded in the mouth of the Elbe at Neuwerk in 1723.

The males of this population spend the winter in the North Atlantic. On their migrations, individual animals enter the shallow and low-nutrition North Sea. With their acoustic sense of orientation, they can be misdirected there.

Special exhibition on the stranded sperm whales in the Multimar Wattforum

The spectacular finds of the whales, their recovery, separation and analysis are from now on in a special exhibition at the National Park Centre Multimar Forum presented. Gerd Meurs, head of the Multimar Wattforum who helped in the preservation of the animals, will also prepare a lecture series. Whale experts will present details of the whale beachings from May onwards. Environment Minister Habeck will address the public on August 11th.

Habeck: “Rescue of the whales was a logistical masterpiece”

In January, three sperm whales were driven by Helgoland and the Schleswig-Holstein Wattenmeer National Park near Dithmarschen. Since they constituted a dangerous obstacle to shipping, they were salvaged by ships of the Federal shipping administration and state coastal protection authority and national parks and marine protection Schleswig-Holstein (LKN.SH).

At the beginning of February, eight sperm whales were washed in the Wattenmeer National Park near the Kaiser-Wilhelm Koog as well as two animals on sandbanks at Büsum. They were examined by the same whale experts near the port of Meldorfer.

The skeletons of five animals were sent to the University of Giessen and Rostock, the Stralsund Marine Museum, the Tierärztliche Hochschule Hannover as well as to the Nature Protection Association Öömrang Ferian on Amrum and are to be exhibited there.

Recovery, decomposition and investigation of whales have cost about 250,000 euros. The costs are borne on a pro rata basis by the federal government (70 per cent). In addition, the LKN.SH has around 2,200 hours of work done by employees, as well as the use of LKN ships and other equipment. This has resulted in some 160,000 euros in internal costs for the LKN.

Background to the garbage in the sea

In Schleswig-Holstein, the issue of “garbage in the sea” in 2015 was a focus of the state government and was accompanied by an intensive awareness campaign and public relations work. The joint Fishing for Litter initiative with the NABU, along with the support of plastic-free model regions and garbage collections are already helping to draw attention to the problem. The Cabinet has recently agreed to a comprehensive list of measures for the protection of the sea, which should also be applied to the source of waste, in the manufacturing industry. The implementation of these measures will be coordinated in the future at the federal level through a round table of different stakeholders.

“Schleswig-Holstein will work for necessary legal regulations at federal or EU level, also for a ban on microplastics,” Habeck said.

(Press release of the Ministry of Energy, Agriculture, Environment and Rural Areas in Schleswig-Holstein)

Tigers and Elephants in the Vietnam War

https://spotlights.fold3.com/2011/10/31/elephant-air-drops-in-vietnam/

https://warisboring.com/battle-of-the-dumbos-elephant-warfare-from-ancient-greece-to-the-vietnam-war-ca62af225917#.h561i59yk1-ubxjs2tbt93vjb3xk7ociarl05_jpgcaptain-mccahan-with-elephantrl04_jpgtranquilized-elephant

Journalist investigates the details of death of Vietnam’s last rhino

In this BBC story linked to here, Chris Baraniuk talks to the people present at the forensic investigation into the death of Vietnam’s last rhino in Cat Tien National Park near HCMC. In 2011 I spoke with one of the scientists Ulrike Streicher for some quotes for The Saigon Horn: Part 1  and Part 2. Streicher said the rhino’s leg had gone septic and it had most probably fallen into the gully. Picture by Ed Newcomer.

The scene of the crime (Credit: Ed Newcomer)

big game hunting in Vietnam

Hanoi Ink

On my recent visit to Quang Huy bookshop in Ho Chi Minh City I came across a copy of the book Chasses et Faune D’Indochine (Hunting and Wildlife of Indochina) by Henri de Monestrol, published in Saigon by A. Portail in 1952.

According to the inscription, Henri de Monestrol was a hunter in the service of H.M. Bảo Đại, the last emperor of Vietnam. His title is given as Lieutenant louveterie, an old official French title for those responsible for wild animals, which was originally conferred on wolf hunters. Henri de Monestrol dedicated the book to Emperor Bảo Đại.

The book runs to 356 pages. It is quite possibly an expanded version of earlier works by the same author that were published under the same title by the Imprimerie d’Extreme Orient in Hanoi in 1925 (167 pages) and 1931 (132 pages).

The first part of the book covers general…

View original post 170 more words

Vietnam a transit hub into China for rhino horn, Mongabay reports.

nhi-khe

Clik here to read Mongabay story and see WJC undercover video pictured above.

An NGO source says that substantial portions of major shipments of rhino horn coming into Vietnam are destined for China and not for consumption in Vietnam. The trade to China exploits lax customs inspections at the road border crossing on Highway 18.

Netherlands-based NGO Wildlife Justice Commission (WJC) executive director Olivia Swaak-Goldman told Mongabay they had uncovered a major trade in rhino horn.

“It’s just so substantial that it has a major impact on the world trade,” Ms Swaak-Goldman said.

The WJC undercover operation was able to document up to 579 rhinos, equivalent to around half of the rhinos poached in south Africa in a village near Hanoi called Nhi Khe, she said.

Technical advisor for Hanoi-based NGO Education for Nature-Vietnam Douglas Hendrie told the environmental news organisation that while enforcement against the illegal wildtrade in Vietnam was not good, it had made a lot of progress in recent years.

Hendrie says the trade of rhino horn into China transiting through Vietnam explains the large shipments of the horns that have been busted at ports.

“Nobody really knows what percentage of it targets Vietnamese consumers and what percentage of it is then transited.

“Literally, the consigning company puts the stuff on a truck in the Vietnamese port in Haiphong or elsewhere, and off it goes up Highway 18 right to the border of China,” Hendrie told Mongabay.

“So, it clearly is a weak link or a back door, you could say, to China.”

 

 

 

Image

Wildaid and Change NGOs do theatre to reduce demand for rhino horn (sung te giac) in Vietnam

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Vietnam legislation on rhino horn possession strengthens jail time and fines.

Translation of Articles 234, 242 and 244 (Penal Code 2015)

Penal Code No. 100/2015/QH13, with the expected effective date in 2017, stipulates stricter criminal punishments to wildlife offenses under Article 234, 242 and 244. Apart from acts of hunting, catching, killing, rearing, caging, transporting and/or trading of endangered, precious and rare species, their body parts and products, the revised Code also includes possession as a criminal offense, closing a critical loophole that previously allowed criminals to escape with fines for keeping tigers, rhino horns, other endangered species and their products.

July-6-2016-Penal-Code-2015

 

 

Furthermore, the new Code also affords greater protection to species not listed on either Decree 160 or Appendix I of CITES, permitting authorities to impose criminal punishments on offenders in case of infringements involving large quantity of animals. Last but not least, Penal Code 2015 also allows the courts to sentence individual offenders to jail with a term of up to 15 years. Organizations committing wildlife will also be subject to a criminal fine of up to 15 billion VND (~ $675,000 USD) or permanent suspension of operation. This is a substantial increase comparing to previous versions of the Code.

 


 

Translation-of-Articles-234-242-and-244-Penal-Code-2015

* Unofficial translation by ENV based on Penal Code No. 100/2015/QH13 approved by the National Assembly on November 27, 2015

Article 234: Violating regulations on the management and protection of wildlife species

1. Those who commit the following acts that do not fall into the cases specified under Article 242 and Article 244 of this Code shall be subject to a fine of between 50,000,000 VND and 300,000,000 VND, a non-custodial reform for up to three years, or imprisonment with a jail term of between six months and three years:

a) Illegal hunting, catching, killing, rearing, caging, transporting, trading of endangered, precious, and rare species of Group IIB or Appendix II of CITES valued from 300,000,000 VND to less than 1,000,000,000 VND, or other normal wildlife valued from 500,000,000 VND to less than 1,500,000,000 VND;

b) Illegal possession, transportation, trade of individuals, body parts, or products of endangered, precious, and rare species of Group IIB or Appendix II of CITES valued from 300,000,000 VND to less than 1,000,000,000 VND, or other wildlife species valued from 500,000,000 VND to less than 1,500,000,000 VND;

c) Crimes involving individuals, body parts, or products of species valued less than the minimum level regulated under point (a) and point (b) of this clause, but the offenders have already been subject to administrative penalties or convicted of similar crime without clearance of criminal records yet commit recidivism.

 

2. [Those who] Commit crimes under the following cases will be subject to a criminal fine of between 300,000,000 VND and 1,500,000,000 VND or imprisonment with a jail term of between three years and seven years:

a) Organized crime;

b) Abuse of position, power or abuse of the names of agencies or organizations;

c) Usage of prohibited hunting tools or methods;

d) Hunting in prohibited areas or during prohibited times;

dd) Illegal cross-border transporting/trading;

e) Infringements involving endangered, precious and rare species of Group IIB or Appendix II of CITES valued from 1,000,000,000 VND to less than 2,000,000,000 VND, or other normal species, their body parts or products valued at 1,500,000,000 VND and upwards;

g) Gain of illicit profits ranging from 200,000,000 VND to less than 500,000,000 VND;

h) Dangerous recidivism.

 

3. [Those who] Commit crimes under the following cases will be subject to imprisonment with a jail term of between seven years to twelve years:

a) Infringements involving endangered, precious and rare species of Group IIB or Appendix II of CITES, their body parts or products valued at 2,000,000,000 VND and upwards;

b) Gain of illicit profits of 500,000,000 VND and upwards;

 

4. The offenders may also be subject to a criminal fine of between 50,000,000 VND and 200,000,000 VND, or a ban from holding certain posts, practicing certain occupations, or doing certain jobs from 1 to 5 years.

 

5. Legal entities committing a crime defined under this Article shall be subject to sentences as follows:

a) If committing a crime under clause 1 of this Article, a criminal fine of between 300,000,000 VND and 1,000,000,000 VND;

b) If committing a crime under clause 2 of this Article, a criminal fine of between 1,000,000,000 VND and 3,000,000,000 VND;

c) If committing a crime under clause 3 of this Article, a criminal fine of between 3,000,000,000 VND and 5,000,000,000 VND or a temporary suspension of operation from six months to three years;

d) Permanent suspension of operation if the crime falls into cases prescribed in Article 79 of this Code;

dd) Legal entities shall also be subject to a criminal fine of between 50,000,000 VND and 200,000,000 VND, a prohibition from business, a prohibition from operation in certain domains or a prohibition from capital mobilization from one to three years.

 

Article 242: Destroying fishery resources

1. Those who violate regulations on protection of fishery resources under the following cases, which cause damage to fishery resources of between 100,000,000 VND and less than 500,000,000 VND, or which results in the amount of confiscated aquatic products valued from 50,000,000 VND to less than 200,000,000 VND, or in which the offenders were subject to administrative penalties or convicted of similar crimes without clearance of criminal record and yet commit recidivism, are subject to a criminal fine of between 50,000,000 VND and 300,000,000 VND, a non-custodial reform from up to three years or imprisonment with a jail term from six months to three years:

a) Usage of poisonous, explosive and other chemical substances, electricity or other prohibited methods and fishery tools to exploit or destroy fishery resources;

b) Exploitation of a fishery in prohibited areas or areas with prohibited terms under the laws;

c) Exploitation of aquatic species prohibited from being exploited under the laws;

d) Destruction of residences of aquatic species belonging to the list of endangered, precious and rare species under the laws;

dd) Injuries or damage to other people’s health resulting in a physical damage from 31% to 61%;

e) Violation of other provisions on protection of fishery resources.

 

2. [Those who] Commit crimes under the following cases will be subject to a criminal fine of between 300,000,000 VND and 1,000,000,000 VND or imprisonment with a jail term of between three years and five years:

a) Damage to fishery resources of between 500,000,000 VND and less than 1,500,000,000 VND or the value of confiscated aquatic products ranging from 200,000,000 VND to less than 500,000,000 VND;

b) Injuries or damages to two persons’ health resulting in a physical damage of 61% and upwards to each person, or injuries or damages to four persons’ health resulting in a physical damage of 31% and upwards to each person;

c) Human death as consequence.

 

3. [Those who] Commit crimes under the following cases will be subject to imprisonment with a jail term of between five years and ten years:

a) Damage to fishery resources of 1,500,000,000 VND and upwards or confiscated aquatic products valued at 500,000,000 VND and upwards;

b) Death to two persons and upwards as consequence.

 

4. The offenders can also be subject to a criminal fine of between 20,000,000 VND and 100,000,000 VND, or a ban from holding certain posts, practicing certain occupations, doing certain jobs from 1 to 5 years.

 

5. Legal entities committing a crime defined under this Article shall be subject to sentences as follows:

a) If commit a crime under clause 1 of this Article, a criminal fine of between 300,000,000 VND and 1,000,000,000 VND;

b) If commit a crime under clause 2 of this Article, a criminal fine of between 1,000,000,000 VND and 3,000,000,000 VND;

c) If commit a crime under clause 3 of this Article, a criminal fine of between 3,000,000,000 VND and 5,000,000,000 VND or a temporary suspension of operations from six months to three years;

d) Legal entities shall also be subject to a criminal fine of between 50,000,000 VND and 100,000,000 VND, a prohibition from business, a prohibition from operation in certain domains from one to three years, or a prohibition from capital mobilization from one to three years.

 

Article 244: Violating regulations on the management and protection of endangered, precious and rare species

1. Those who violate regulations on management and protection of endangered, precious and rare species prioritized for protection, or endangered, precious and rare species of Group IB or Appendix I of CITES under the following cases shall be subject to a fine of between 500,000,000 VND and 2,000,000,000 VND or imprisonment with a jail term of between 1 and 5 years:

a) Illegal hunting, catching, killing, rearing, caging, transporting, trading of endangered, precious and rare species prioritized for protection;

b) Illegal possession, transportation, trade of individuals, body parts, or products of species prescribed under point (a) of this clause, ivory tusks weighing from 2 to less than 20 kilograms, and rhino horns weighing from 0.05 to less than 1 kilogram;

c) Illegal hunting, catching, killing, rearing, caging, transporting and/or trading of endangered, precious and rare species listed in Group IB or Appendix I CITES, excluding species that fall under Point (a) this Article, at quantities between 3 and 7 individuals of mammal species, 7 and 10 individuals of bird and reptile species, or 10 and 15 individuals of other classes;

d) Illegal possession, transport, trade of vital body parts of the same type of between 3 and 7 individuals of mammal species, 7 and 10 individuals of birds and/or reptile species, or 10 and 15 individuals of other classes that fall under point (c) of this clause;

dd) Illegal hunting, catching, killing, rearing, caging, transporting and/or trading of species, or illegal possession, transport, trade of their vital body parts of the same type at quantities below the minimum level given for specific species types in points (b), (c) and (d) of this clause, but the offenders have been subject to administrative penalties or convicted of similar crime without clearance of criminal records yet commit recidivism.

 

2. [Those who] Commit crimes under the following cases will be subject to imprisonment with a jail term of between 5 to 10 years:

a) Organized crime;

b) Abuse of position, power or abuse of the names of agencies or organizations;

c) Usage of prohibited hunting tools or methods;

d) Hunt in prohibited areas or during prohibited times;

dd) Illegal cross-border transporting/trading;

e) Infringements involving endangered, precious and rare species prioritized for protection or vital body parts of the same type of between 7 and 10 individuals for mammal species, 7 and 10 individuals for bird and reptile species, and 10 and 15 individuals for other classes that fall under the list of endangered, precious and rare species prioritized for protection;

g) Infringements involving endangered, precious and rare species prescribed under point c of clause 1 of this Article or vital body parts of the same type of between 8 and 11 individuals for mammal species, 11 and 15 individuals for bird and reptile species, and 16 and 20 individuals for other classes;

h) Infringements involving 1 to 2 elephant and/or rhinoceros individuals or their vital body parts of the same type, 3 to 5 bear and/or tiger individuals or their vital body parts of the same type; ivory tusk weighing from 20 kilograms to less than 90 kilograms; rhino horn weighing from 1 kilogram to less than 9 kilograms;

i) Dangerous recidivism.

 

3. [Those who] Commit crimes under the following cases will be subject to imprisonment with a jail term of between 10 to 15 years:

a) Infringements involving endangered, precious and rare species prioritized for protection or vital body parts of the same type of 8 individuals and upwards for mammal species, 11 individuals and upwards for bird and reptile species, and 16 individuals and upwards for other classes that fall under the list of endangered, precious and rare species prioritized for protection;

b) Infringements involving endangered, precious and rare species prescribed under point c of clause 1 of this Article or vital body parts of the same type of 12 individuals and upwards for mammal species, 16 individuals and upwards for bird and reptile species, and 21 individuals and upwards for other classes;

c) Infringements involving 3 elephant and/or rhinoceros individuals and upwards or their vital body parts of the same type, 6 bear and/or tiger individuals and upwards or their vital body parts of the same type; ivory tusk weighing at 90 kilograms and upwards; rhino horn weighing at 9 kilograms and upwards;

 

4. The offenders may also be subject to a fine of between 50,000,000 VND and 200,000,000 VND, or a ban from holding certain posts, practicing certain occupations, or doing certain jobs for 1 to 5 years.

 

5. Legal entities committing a crime defined under this Article shall be subject to sentences as follows:

a) If commit a crime under clause 1 of this Article, a criminal fine of between 1,000,000,000 VND and 5,000,000,000 VND;

b) If commit a crime under clause 2 of this Article, a criminal fine of between 5,000,000,000 VND and 10,000,000,000 VND;

c) If commit a crime under clause 3 of this Article, a criminal fine of between 10,000,000,000 VND and 15,000,000,000 VND or a temporary suspension of operations from six months to three years;

d) Permanent suspension of operation if the crime falls into cases prescribed in Article 79 of this Code;

dd) Legal entities shall also be subject to a criminal fine of between 300,000,000 VND and 600,000,000 VND, a prohibition from business, a prohibition from operation in certain domains from one to three years, or a prohibition from capital mobilization from one to three years.

Critical that solitary shearwater rests

img_4541

After a possibly a long flight from the feeding grounds in Alaska this shearwater (commonly known as muttonbird) rested on the Norther NSW beach where I found him. He made no moves to evade me as I approached so I sat beside him whereupon he ignored me.img_4559

I have had a little experience with shearwaters during the big wreck in 2013 (https://open.abc.net.au/explore/59026 – watch the video and read the user generated comments to get a sense of the extent of the 2013 wreck). I knew that I could help him by giving him some shade so I found a safe place and moved him there. He accepted my help with only little whinging and biting. img_4567

When I sat him under the tree he slowly turned to face the Easterly wind and proceeded to rest, continuing to ignore me except for an occasional wink.img_4575

I lay beside him on the shady dune and took these photographs as I contemplated his fate. I wonder if that’s what he was doing. The likelihood sadly is that nature took its toll and my new feathered friend is now dead, however a rest can do wonders so it’s possible he recuperated enough to resume his long flight to join his buddies. Next time I visit Broken Head I will check to see if his body is there. Here’s hoping I’ll find nothing which could mean that I was able to help him on his way.

http://www.parks.tas.gov.au/?base=5100

http://www.port-fairy.com/shearwaters.htm