Environment Forum

Suspected smuggler of rare Sumatran tigers arrested in Indonesia

wwfid-518Indonesian wildlife officials have arrested a suspected smuggler of critically endangered Sumatran tigers after a two-day stakeout, World Wildlife Fund reports. There are believed to be fewer than 400 of these rare big cats in the wild.

The arrest was made by Indonesia’s Natural Resource Conservation Agency in Riau and West Sumatra provinces, with support from World Wildlife Fund-Indonesia’s Tiger Protection Units. The authorities also seized the skin of a Sumatran tiger they believed was poisoned.

After hearing of the poisoned tiger, the authorities staked out a poacher, which they believe led to a high-level wildlife smuggler, WWF said in a statement.

When they arrived at the suspected smuggler’s house, investigators located the tiger skin by following the smell of chemicals used to preserve animal parts. The tiger’s bones, valued on the black market for their supposed medicinal value, were not found. They did find a live python, parts of a Southern Serow (a kind of mountain goat) and a muntjac, or barking deer.

wwfid-517Authorities tracked a vehicle they suspected of picking up the skin and bones from the poached Sumatran tiger to Balung, a border area between Riau and West Sumatra. The driver of the vehicle was then seen handing over the tiger skin to the suspect, who is in police custody in West Sumatra.

eBay bans ivory sales; should the world follow?

Young male elephants lock tusks in battle on the plains at the foot of Mount Kilimanjaro in Amboseli national park, southern Kenya, November 12, 2006. The United Nations, hosting November 6-17 climate talks in Nairobi, reckons blame for the vanishing snows of Kilimanjaro lies closer to hand — with global warming linked to human use of fossil fuels. REUTERS/Finbarr O’Reilly (KENYA)eBay says it is going to ban all sales of ivory by Jan. 1 in good news for elephants after a conservation group found more than 4,000 ivory listings on the online auction site.

It’s a rare example of a company imposing tougher rules than permitted by international trade rules. Should the world follow suit?

Ivory trade has been banned since 1989 but some stockpile exports from Botswana, Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe have been legal under the U.N. Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species.