PROJECT HISTORY & AIMS
TRAFFIC was formed in 1976 to perform what remains a unique role as a global specialist, leading and supporting efforts to identify and address conservation challenges linked to trade in wild animals and plants.
TRAFFIC’s vision is of a world in which trade is managed at sustainable levels without damaging the integrity of ecological systems and in such a manner that it makes a significant contribution to human needs, supports local and national economies; and helps motivate commitments to the conservation of wild species and their habitats.
Asia’s tigers face devastating snaring crisis
TRAFFIC urging tiger range governments to strengthen anti-poaching efforts and crack down on a severe wildlife snaring crisis that is threatening wildlife across Asia.
Of particular concern is the threat indiscriminate snares pose to the world’s remaining wild tigers, which number in the region of 3,900.
Easy to make from widely available material such as bicycle cable wires and quick to set up, wire snares are deadly traps that are fast becoming the plague of Asia’s forests. Driven by the growing illegal wildlife trade and demand for illegal wildlife products across Asia, poachers are increasingly using snares to trap wild tigers, elephants, leopards and other wildlife.
Over 30,000 snares were confiscated in Cambodia last year alone and it is likely that many more remain undiscovered.
As snares can maim or kill any animal that activates them wild tigers are dealt a double blow, as the prey base they need to survive and reproduce are reduced also.
Within the Tropical Rainforest Heritage of Sumatra, a UNESCO World Heritage site and the only place on Earth where wild Tigers, orangutans, elephants and rhinos are found in the same habitat, snare traps are estimated to have doubled between 2006 and 2014.
Yet, many of such critical habitats lack adequate resources for protection. In nearby Rimbang Baling, one of several protected areas in Sumatra, only 26 rangers patrol over 1,400 square kilometres, an area equivalent to nearly twice the size of New York City.
Study on the wild bird trade in Viet Nam.
A new study warns that Viet Nam’s sizeable trade in wild birds is going unchecked and could harm wild populations if not managed.
During a three-day survey, TRAFFIC researchers found 8,047 birds of 115 species offered for sale by 52 vendors in the country’s largest cities: Ha Noi and Ho Chi Minh City.
Of the thousands of birds observed in April 2016 over 99% were of species native to Viet Nam, while regulations governing the trade exist for only some 771 (10%) of the total: indeed, nine of the top 10 most abundant species recorded during the survey were not subject to any trade controls under Vietnamese legislation.
“The survey findings are consistent with a thriving demand for native birds within Viet Nam. However, as trade in most of the species seen is not regulated by law, it means large numbers of birds are being extracted with no oversight of sustainability or how severely it will impact wild populations,” said Kanitha Krishnasamy, Acting Regional Director for TRAFFIC in Southeast Asia.
Seven species recorded in the two cities in Viet Nam match those recognized in the Conservation Strategy for Southeast Asian Songbirds in Trade as being directly threatened by trade in the region. The seven are white-rumped shama Copsychus malabaricus, oriental white-eyes Zosterops palbebrosus, oriental magpie-robin Copsychus saularis, silver-eared Mesia Leiothrix argentauris, common hill myna Gracula religiosa, Java sparrow Lonchura oryzivora and Asian fairy bluebird Irena puella.
The report recommends improved monitoring and regulation of the harvest and trade of wild caught bird species to ensure it does not negatively affect wild populations.
The release of this report coincides with the launch of ‘Silent Forest’, the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria’s (EAZA) new campaign to address and mitigate the songbird extinction crisis in Asia and increase awareness within and beyond the zoo community.
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Photos courtesy of TRAFFIC