One of the world's largest and most significant elephant translocations kicked off earlier this month within Liwonde National Park in southern Malawi.
A surge in wildlife crime is fuelling criminal syndicates, perpetuating terrorism, and resulting in the loss of major revenues from tourism and industries dependent on iconic species while also endangering the livelihoods of the rural poor.
But this surge in wildlife crime is not only threatening iconic species, which include elephants, rhinos and tigers, but also lesser-known animals that are also on the brink of extinction.
Of the endangered species listed for protection under the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS) a great many are forest dwellers – West African elephants, gorillas, bats and many birds.
A distance of nearly 9,000 kilometres separates Malaysia from Africa, but that hasn’t stopped the Southeast Asian nation from becoming a key staging post in the illegal trade of ivory from Africa to China.
More civil unrest in Africa, another coup d’état, more reports of child soldiers in the front line, involvement of foreign troops, the poorest of the poor losing what little they have – and all the while the proceeds of a country’s wealth are diverted from much-needed social and economic development to financing death and destruction.
With 2011 marking the deadliest year for poaching-related elephant deaths in Africa since an international ivory ban went into effect in 1989, a new investigative report released here Friday points to the ongoing impact of religious custom as well as the newfound economic might of China.