Like many terrorist organizations in Africa, Boko Haram—who just abducted 200 girls in Nigeria—is funded by sales of illegal ivory. According to a recent report from Born Free USA and data analyst C4ADS, ivory has become the "bush currency" militants, terrorists, and rebels use to buy weapons and fund operations. Government corruption is thought to play its part, too.
Link: New Scientist
OR-7, a long-wandering wolf, left his pack in northeast Oregon and traveled to California to seek new territory—and a mate. Now, it seems he may have met his match. If he has procreated, this would be the first known wolf breeding in the Oregon Cascades since the early 1900s.
Four elephants are killed in Africa every hour for ivory. Highly organized transnational crime syndicates and militias run the poaching operations and reap the lion’s share of the profits, fueling terrorism and war. Born Free USA commissioned C4ADS to write Ivory’s Curse, a detailed report that reveals the complexities of this web of slaughter, conflict, and corruption.
Link: New Scientist
South Dakota game officials are pushing to outlaw the use of live mammals—including domestic cats, rabbits, and birds—as bait to trap coyotes and bobcats. Luckily, representatives from trapping and fur-harvesting organizations agree. The South Dakota Game, Fish & Parks Commission proposed a ban this month, and a public hearing on the proposal is set for June 5.
Link: Rapid City Journal
When West Hollywood, California banned the sale of all animal fur products in 2013, animal advocates rejoiced—but fur industry representatives and retailers complained. One particular retailer, Mayfair House, even filed a lawsuit against the city. Thankfully, Mayfair’s challenge has just been struck down.
Link: One Green Planet
On Illinois Voices for Animals Day (May 7), a coalition of four animal advocacy organizations—including Born Free USA—mobilized approximately 100 people to speak with legislators in opposition to H.B. 4226, which would allow bobcat hunting in Illinois for the first time in more than 40 years. Kate Dylewsky, Program Associate at Born Free USA, explained that this event “presents an opportunity for constituents to connect with their legislators on issues that really matter to them.”
A limited spring bear hunt began in Ontario last week, but a Sudbury biologist doesn’t think this is needed to reduce the bear population in the north. He says there’s little evidence to indicate that the reinstatement of a limited spring bear hunt will reduce problems with nuisance bears, and believes that the hunt is more of a political management tool. Be sure to listen to the audio in the link below.
Link: CBC News
Battle lines are being drawn after the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s announcement last month to suspend import of elephant trophies from Tanzania and Zimbabwe for the remainder of 2014. Adam M. Roberts, CEO of Born Free USA, says the new rules represent “common sense limits. Trophy hunting that threatens endangered wildlife is not real conservation.” But, he adds, the government is giving a contradictory message in terms of the overall ivory ban and its public stance against elephant poaching. “A poacher is not allowed to kill an elephant and shop the ivory overseas. But an American hunter is allowed to engage in the same slaughter and movement of ivory? The goal should be no more killing. Full stop.”
Link: National Geographic