News Brief (E416, May 12, 2011)
Hanoi: Illegal transportation of leopard cat and other wildlife
On May 9, Hanoi’s Environmental Police found a number of wild animals including a frozen leopard cat (Prionailurus bengalensis), a masked palm civet (Paguma larvata) and 10 coucals. The subject involved admitted he had bought the wildlife from an ethnic minority in Tuyen Quang and had transported them to Hanoi to sell. A number of the wild animals have been transferred to the Institute of Environmental Ecology and Biological Resources for preservation in accordance with the law. The case is under further investigation.
Leopard cats belong to group IB of Decree 32/ND-CP - the group of rare wild animals forbidden to be exploited or used for commercial purposes.
Da Lat: Wildlife kingpin untouchable
An article in Thanh Nien Weekly online newspaper reported that Tu Loan, a woman living in Da Lat, is regarded as the head of perhaps the largest wildlife trade network in town. However, provincial police and prosecutors, all speaking on condition of anonymity, insist that her case remains “under investigation” and declined to provide further details. According to the local authorities, Tu Loan is the infamous wildlife kingpin from a very well-known wildlife trading family with links to trafficking rings in Africa, Myanmar and the USA. As a result of her connections to local officials this criminal is still able to escape conviction each time the authorities investigate her establishment.
Hai Phong: Ivory discovered in containers
On May 05, Hai Phong Customs department discovered a container full of ivory that had come by ship from Africa to Hai Phong port. Goods in the container were identified as belonging to Tien Hoang Company Ltd, based in Mong Cai town, Quang Ninh Province. Authorities opened the container and found the ivory hidden in barrels amongst scrap metal. The amount of ivory in the container is being tallied by the authorities. .
Lam Dong: Suspects detained and prosecuted for elephant death
On May 10, Lam Dong provincial authorities detained and prosecuted two suspects related to the elephant slashed to death in Da Lat (reported in ENV’s weekly News Bulletin E414). The subjects stole the tusks from the dead elephant then attempted to sell it. This behavior violated the regulations on the protection of animals on the list of endangered and rare species with priority protection. Authorities are investigating further to find the mastermind behind the killing of these elephants.
Report on bear bile trade in Asia
On May 11, the wildlife trade monitoring network (TRAFFIC) launched a report on illegal bear bile trade in Asia. In 13 countries/territories which Traffic surveyed, bear bile products were found on sale in traditional medicine outlets in most of these countries, with the exception of Macao. Several of the countries/territories surveyed were either producers or consumers of bear bile products and in some cases both. Domestic trade of bear bile is legal under strict regulation within mainland China and Japan but is illegal in Cambodia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand and Viet Nam.
An analysis of the origin of bear bile products found in these surveys makes it clear that import and export regulations are commonly flouted. This demonstrates a failure to effectively implement CITES requirements to stop illegal international bear bile trade and protect bears from exploitation.
The study also found that the vast majority bears on farms surveyed in Lao PDR, Myanmar and Viet Nam were captured from the wild.
The full report will be available for download at:
Quang Nam: Green sea turtle released in Cu Lao Cham island
A green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas), weighing about 10 kg, was released into the sea by the management board of Cu Lao Cham island‘s Marine Protected Area (MPA). On May 9 the turtle was caught by a local fisherman.
According to MPA staff, sea turtles have been appearing in the island more recently than in the past. When turtles are caught, local residents often release them or report to authorities to protect the sea turtles from extinction.
12 endangered Sumatran tigers captured on film in Indonesian rainforest
Film footage of 12 endangered Sumatran tigers (Panthera tigris sumatrae) has been recorded in Bukit Tigapuluh forest in Indonesia, an area that is about to be cleared by loggers. These giant cats are on the brink of extinction because of the destruction of forests, poaching and clashes with humans. Their numbers have dwindled to about 400 today from 1,000 in the 1970s.
The area where the scientists recorded images of the tigers has seen rampant deforestation for palm oil and paper plantations. The habitat of the tigers is shrinking so rapidly here that they are being forced into sharing smaller and smaller areas of forests. In the last 50 years, Indonesia has lost both the Bali tiger (Panthera tigris balica) and Java tiger (Panthera tigris sondaica).
Nguyen Bich Ngoc
Education for Nature - Vietnam
No. 5 Ngo 192 Thai Thinh
PO Box 222
Dong Da district
Phone/fax: +84 4 3514-8850
www.savingvietnamswildlife.org (English wildlife trade website)