Born Free USA Blog
by Will Travers,
Chief Executive Officer
What can you say about a big-hearted bloke who has rescued dolphins, tigers, elephants and more and whose parents once helped a lion cub from a department store by caring for him in their backyard and engineering his rightful return to Africa? You can safely say that he's got great animal instincts! In 1984, Will Travers joined his parents — "Born Free" film stars Virginia McKenna and Bill Travers — to form what became The Born Free Foundation. With knowledge, passion and compassion dripping from his every word, Will's blogs are sure to make you embrace our crusade to Keep Wildlife in the Wild ®.
Parties remember "the little guy"
It's not all charismatic megafauna at CITES meetings — the 3,000+ tigers left clinging to survival in the wild; elephants, our largest land mammal, assaulted for their tusks; bluefin tuna, a single specimen of which can yield more than a hundred thousand dollars!
Sometimes the little guy takes center stage — AND WINS!
On Sunday the pet trade took a beating and the frogs and lizards of the world won the day.
Several species of stunning tree frogs found in the Central and South American forests were successfully listed on Appendix II of CITES, which will help regulate trade to prevent over-exploitation. They are traded live as pets to America, Europe, and Japan.
The Kaiser's Newt was proposed for listing on Appendix I of CITES, prohibiting commercial trade. It is only found in four streams in a single catchment area in the Zagros Mountains of Iran. Their full range is less than ten square kilometers (one-sixth the size of Manhattan)! This critically endangered species needed CITES protection desperately — they can even be purchased on the Internet for a few hundred dollars! Iran proposed the listing, supported by the US (showing that conservation can overwhelm political disputes between nations).
All wild life is valuable and should be preserved no matter the size or volume of international media attention. I'm glad CITES is paying attention and that the delegates are spending some of their valuable time saving species in need.
Of course, tomorrow, it's back to it ... elephants and the great bloody ivory debate will be heard!