The lack of markets to supply raw materials for Cuba’s new private sector, along with the poverty in isolated rural communities, is fuelling the poaching of endangered species of flora and fauna.
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.
The extinction of a single species (a fish off the coast of Cuba, a bird in the Brazilian forest) creates a void that can trigger a whole series of repercussions, from the alteration of ecosystems to increased hunger.
Efforts to protect the critically endangered Iriomote wildcat, a spotted, shy, feral creature native to the tiny Iriomote Island that forms part of the Okinawa Prefecture in southern Japan, are becoming a highly respected model of conservation here, where the government’s uneven track record in protecting imperiled species has frustrated wildlife activists for decades.
Environmentalists on Monday filed a petition with the U.S. government requesting regulatory safeguards for 81 particularly vulnerable marine wildlife species, from corals to sharks.
The immense scale of the Pacific Ocean, at 165 million square kilometres, inspires awe and fascination, but for those who inhabit the 22 Pacific island countries and territories, it is the very source of life. Without it, livelihoods and economies would collapse, hunger and ill-health would become endemic and human survival would be threatened.
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.
Migratory birds, which play an important role in the complex web of life known as ecosystem services, are under threat as never before, with some species facing extinction within the next decade.
Mining and port development coupled with decreasing water quality along Australia’s north-eastern coast are threatening the continent’s World Heritage-listed tourist drawcard, the Great Barrier Reef.
Australia’s iconic marsupial is under threat. Formerly hunted almost to extinction for their woolly coats, koalas are now struggling to survive as habitat destruction caused by droughts and bushfires, land clearing for agriculture and logging, and mining and urban development conspire against this cuddly creature.
The year 2013 opened on a disastrous note for the one-horned rhinoceros of the northeastern Indian state of Assam. At the beginning of April, officials in the Kaziranga National Park (KNP), one of the last retreats left in South Asia for these endangered creatures, reported that 17 rhinos had been poached.
While the Taliban’s military activities continue to plague Pakistan’s northern Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), the incessant violence has been a blessing in disguise for one creature: the falcon.
Every year, between November and January, the Indus Flyway bears witness to a migration of an endangered bird species – the houbara bustard – from Central Asia to the deserts of Pakistan.
Conservationists see the decimation of pangolins (scaly anteaters) in Pakistan as a sign of the callousness with which this country’s rich biodiversity is being traded away for commercial gain.
El Salvador’s Jiquilisco Bay, a tiny hidden corner of the Pacific Ocean, is becoming a haven for endangered sea turtles.