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ENVIRO ARTICLES

 

ADAM CRUISE IN THE WORLD:. ENVIRONMENTAL ARTICLES & PAPERS
This is where I pin my colours to the mast.  My aim as a wildlife journalist is to batter away at the accepted establishment until our (humans) respect for things that are beyond selfish pursuits becomes entrenced into our collective psyche. The articles are published with the environment and (other) animals in mind.
 

EXCLUSIVE: FOOTAGE SHOWS YOUNG ELEPHANTS BEING CAPTURED IN ZIMBABWE FOR CHINESE ZOOS

Co-published with Christina Russo in The Guardian on 3rd October 2017

Rare footage of the capture of wild young elephants in Zimbabwe shows rough treatment of the calves as they are sedated and taken away...READ MORE

 

ELEPHANTS AND MANGO CROPS SAVED IN DIFFICULT RESCUE NEAR KRUGER

Published in News24 and IOL on 12th September 2017

Three bull elephants were saved from being shot and further damage to mango orchards averted after the bulls broke through the fences of a game reserve bordering the Kruger Park, raiding local farms and affecting human infrastructure...READ MORE

 

LION TROPHY HUNTING: THE DEATH OF XANDA IN ZIMBABWE

Published in News24, SABreaking News, The Star and eTurbo News on 1st August 2017

The death of Cecil’s son, Xanda at the hands of trophy hunters on 7 July is mired in confusion. He was shot just outside Zimbabwe’s Hwange National Park, near the spot his father had been killed by American bow hunting dentist, Walter Palmer...READ MORE

 

DOZENS OF LAOTIAN ELEPHANTS ILLEGALLY SOLD TO CHINESE ZOOS

Published in The Guardian on 25th July 2017

Dozens of elephants from Laos are being illegally bought by China to be displayed in zoos and safari parks across the country, according to wildlife investigator and film-maker, Karl Ammann...READ MORE

 

MOLEWA'S LION BONE QUOTA SENDS THE WRONG CONSERVATION MESSAGE

Published in the Daily Maverick on 7th July, 2017

The Minister of Environmental Affairs, Edna Molewa, has permitted an annual sale of 800 skeletons of captive-bred lions. Conservation organisations say the quota has been instituted without proper scientific investigation into the potential negative impact on wild lion populations...READ MORE

 

SA IGNORES OUTCRY AND GIVES GO AHEAD TO SELL 800 LION SKELETONS TO ASIA

Published in News24 on 27th June 2017

The South African Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) has blatantly ignored public opinion by formally approving the export of 800 lion skeletons to Asia this year. This in spite of international condemnation from conservationists and local stakeholders...READ MORE

 

MORE ELEPHANTS POISONED IN ZIMBABWE'S HWANGE NATIONAL PARK

Published in News24 on 22nd June, 2017

More than 14 elephants, including a mother and her young calf, have been poisoned in and around Zimbabwe’s premier game reserve, Hwange National Park. Most of the poisoned elephants died near the south of the park. Some had their tusks hacked off. The others were found outside the northern sector of the park in state forestry land...READ MORE

 

TEN MORE ELEPHANTS POINSONED BY POACHERS IN ZIMBABWE

Published in The Guardian on20th June 2017

Ten elephants, including a mother and her young calf, have been found poisoned in and around Zimbabwe’s premier game reserve, Hwange national park. Six of the animals died in the south of the park last week; some had their tusks hacked off. The others were found outside the northern sector of the park in state forestry land...READ MORE

 

HOW A REMOTE INDONESIAN ISLAND IS RECLAIMING ITS FISHING HERITAGE BY RESTORING RUINED CORAL REEFS

Co-published with Leila Ezzat in National Geographic on 14th June 2017

Along with the spectre of global warming and ocean acidification, decades of dynamite fishing, the use of chemicals, sewage and agricultural run-off, plastic debris and poor or inactive governance are decimating coral reefs within the world’s epicentre of marine biodiversity known as the Coral Triangle...READ MORE

 

SECTERT FOOTAGE OBTAINED OF THE WILD ELEPHANTS SOLD INTO CAPITIVITY IN CHINESE ZOOS

Co-published with Christina Russo in The Guardian on 6th April 2017

 

Last year more than 30 young elephants were captured from the wild in Zimbabwe and flown by plane to China. The elephants – some reported to be as young as three – were dispersed to a number of zoos throughout the country, including the Shanghai Wild Animal Park, the Beijing Wildlife Park and the Hangzhou Safari Park, according to conservationists.

 

But what are their lives like now?...READ MORE

 

 

FROM HI-TECH TO THE ECCENTRIC: KRUGER PARK PULLS OUT ALL THE STOPS TO COMBAT POACHING

Published in National Geographic on 31st March 2017

Vultures wheel in the hot humid air. The sighting is followed by the smell of rotting flesh. We are getting close. The African bush is dense at this time of year after a season of summer rains making progress difficult. The thick foliage increases the danger of a sudden wild encounter too. Elephants and buffalo were seen earlier and aggressive black rhino are known to charge out of the bush seemingly from nowhere...READ MORE

 

GOOD NEWS FOR ELEPHANTS: CHINA'S LEGAL TRADE IN IVORY IS 'DYING' AS PRICES FALL

Published in The Guardian on 30th March 2017

The wholesale price of raw legal ivory has dropped by almost two thirds since China, the world’s largest ivory importer and trader, announced plans to close down its domestic market, according to new research...READ MORE

 

MORE QUESTIONS THAN ANSWERS AS THE KRUGER PARK CONTINUES SHOOTING ITS BUFFALO

Published by Times Live, SA Breaking News, Bulawayo24, and more on 13 March 2017

Confused explanations at a public meeting in Skukuza on Saturday are concerning stakeholders as the Kruger National Park forges ahead with its program of shooting buffalo as part of a sustainable offtake program that does not appear to have clear objectives...READ MORE

 

DOES LONG-OVERDUE RHINO POACHING STATS RELEASE POINT TO BIGGER ISSUES?

Published in News24 20th February 2017

The fate of South Africa’s rhinos continue to hang in the balance as the South African government dithers over releasing rhino poaching statistics...READ MORE

 

ELEPHANTS IN CRISIS: MP'S ACCUSE GOVERNMENT AND EUROPE OF DRAGGING THEIR FEET OVER IVORY BAN 

Published in The Guardian on 8th February 2017

The UK and EU, the world’s largest exporters of legal ivory, have been accused of not doing enough to save Africa’s fast disappearing elephant populations...READ MORE

 

GOVERNMENT TIGHT-LIPPED ON RHINO POACHING STATS

Published in News24, SA Breaking News on 6th February 2017

The Minister of the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA), Edna Molewa, has been tight-lipped about rhino poaching statistics for 2016, amid claims of rhino horn trafficking within her own government. Minister of State Security, David Mahlobo, who runs the country’s intelligence services, was implicated in trafficking rhino horn late last year...READ MORE

ARMED HERDERS INVADE KENYA'S MOST IMPORTANT WILDLIFE CONSERVANCY

Co-published with Bibi Van Der Zee in The Guardian 2nd February 2017

Thousands of heavily-armed herders are invading conservancies, private properties and smallholdings in Laikipia, one of Kenya’s most important wildlife areas, as they search for pasture for their cattle...READ MORE

 

US HUNTERS AUCTION BIG FIVE HUNTS FOR FUNDS TO LOBBY TRUMP FOR PRO-HUNTING STANCE

Published in News24 31st Janauary 2017

Safari Club International (SCI), America’s most powerful hunting lobby group, will auction the lives of 280 South African animals to raise funds to lobby the Trump Administration against measures protecting threatened species like elephant, rhino, lion, buffalo and leopard...READ MORE

 

WILDLIFE TRAFFICKING: THE SORDID CONNECTION

Published in Daily Maverick 10th January 2017

 

The shadowy collusion of South Africa with Mozambique, Laos and Vietnam is satiating Asia’s great thirst for illegally trafficked wildlife...READ MORE

 

ZIMBABWE SHIPS LIVE ELEPHANTS TO WILDLIFE PARKS IN CHINA

Co-published with Christina Russo in The Guardian 23rd December 2016

More than 30 wild elephants were being readied on Friday evening for an airlift from Zimbabwe to captivity in China, according to wildlife advocates. The founder of Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force, Johnny Rodrigues, said on Friday that their plane was still at Victoria Falls airport because officials could not find scales big enough to weigh the animals, which were confined inside heavy crates. But once that was accomplished, he added, “they’re gone”...READ MORE

 

MIXED FORTUNES FOR MARINE SPECIES AT CITES CONFERENCE

Published by Submerge Magazine December/January edition

At the triennial two-week summit of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) held in Johannesburg in September/October this year, there were mixed fortunes among proposals to protect certain marine species...READ MORE

 

McDONALDS NOW LOVES CAGE-FREE EGGS

Published on IOL on 29th November 2016

Following an online petition of over 18 000 concerned customers and additional pressure from a number of local animal protection groups earlier this year, McDonald's South Africa has announced plans to switch to eggs from 100 percent cage-free chickens by 2025...READ MORE

 

IVORY TRADING NATIONS EXPOSED

Published in iAfrica, SA Breaking News, Africa Geographic, Cape Argus, ENS News, News24 on 28th November 2016

The twenty-eight countries most responsible for the deaths of African elephants have been revealed in a new report, but other major offenders avoided censure as they failed to provide information or seize any ivory. Three years ago there were just eight but now the countries most implicated in the illegal ivory trade  have grown  almost fourfold...READ MORE

 

ZIMBABWE PLANS TO SELL ITS IVORY STOCKPILE, EXCEPT...IT CAN'T

Published in Business Day on 17th November 2016

 

Zimbabwe’s environment minister Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri wants to sell her country’s supposed $10bn ivory stockpile to China using a possible international legal loophole. However, experts say that not only is the minister misinformed that such a loophole exists, but her assessment of the size and value of her nation’s stockpile is grossly overestimated...READ MORE

 

BABY ELEPHANTS FROM ZIMBABWE HEADED FOR CHINESE ZOOS

Published in News24 on 7th November 2016

Thirty seven baby elephants forcibly taken from their mothers in the wild in Hwange National Park are about to be flown to Chinese zoos, despite an international outcry against previous exports. A number of the baby elephants from similar shipments in 2012 and 2015 died shortly after arrival and two of the elephants now awaiting shipment have already died...READ MORE

 

THE FATE OF AFRICAS ELEPHANTS HANGS IN THE BALANCE AFTER CoP17

Published in SA Breaking News 7th October 2016

A golden opportunity to stop the catastrophic decline of Africa’s elephants had been missed as CoP17 wrapped up in Johannesburg on Wednesday...READ MORE

 

EUROPEAN UNION ACCELERATES THE DEMISE OF AFRICAN ELEPHANTS

Published in SA Breaking News 4th october 2016

Despite a surprise endorsement from Botswana, a proposal for a permanent ban on international trade in elephant ivory was defeated by the crucial bloc vote of the European Union at the 17th Conference of the Parties (CoP17) of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES)READ MORE

 

BREAKING: PRO-IVORY TRADE COUNTRY'S CHANGE OF HEART UPENDS ELEPHANT DEBATE

Published by National Geographic 3rd October 2016

In a dramatic switch the country with the world’s largest population of elephants, Botswana, urges a ban on ivory trading...READ MORE

 

SAVING THE KING OF CARDINALFISHES

Published in Submerge Magazine Oct/Nov edition

 

The future of a beautiful coral fish from a remote archipelago in Indonesia will rest entirely on a decision made in Johannesburg in September/October. In February 1920, while on a three-year field expedition to the Celebes Sea, a Swedish zoologist by the name of Walter Kaudern collected two specimens of an exquisite little silver and black striped cardinalfish somewhere among the remote bays of the Banggai Archipelago off Sulawesi in Indonesia...READ MORE

 

IVORY TRADE MECHANISM REJECTED IN HEATED DEBATE AT CoP17

Published in Africa Geographic 27th September 2016

 

Yesterday Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe’s recommendation for the adoption of a Decision-Making Mechanism (DMM) for a future trade in ivory was roundly rejected by parties, led by outspoken opponents Burkina Faso, Kenya, Republic of Congo and Chad...READ MORE

 

NEW SURVEY OF AFRICA'S ELEPHANTS REVEALS CATASTROPHIC DECLINES

Published in ATC News 27th September 2016

 

Africa’s elephant population has declined by 110 000 in the last 10 years, mainly due to poaching according to a new report presented by African Elephant Specialist Group at COP 17. Africa now only has 415 000 elephants based on population estimates from a wide range of sources – including data from the pan-African survey on savanna elephants by the Great Elephant Census...READ MORE

 

MEMBERS OF THE US CONGRESS URGE US DELEGATES TO SUPPORT PERMANENT BAN ON THE IVORY TRADE

Published by ETN 24th September 2016

Fifty-four members from both houses of the US House of Representatives sent a letter today to Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell, urging the United States to vocally and strongly support the highest level of protections for African elephants at the upcoming Conference of the Parties to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) in Johannesburg, South Africa...READ MORE

 

PRINCE WILLIAM SAYS IT'S NO LONGER ACCEPTABLE TO BUY AND SELL IVORY

Published by Environment News Service on 23rd September 2016

In a live satellite feed from London to invited audiences in Johannesburg and Toyko ahead of the major Conference of the Parties to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species, CITES, which opens Saturday in Johannesburg, Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, said that the world has a chance to make a stand and “that it is no longer acceptable to buy and sell ivory.”...READ MORE

 

EUROPEAN UNION PUTS AFRICAN ELEPHANTS IN JEOPARDY

Publushed by ATC News 23rd September 2016

 The first act of the EU as a full member of The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), may well jeopardise the future of African elephants. At the 17th Conference of the Parties (COP17) which opens in Johannesburg on Saturday 24th of September, the European Union will not vote as individual member states but as a bloc which, according to a decision taken the European Commission on 1st of July, means they will oppose a total ban on international trade in ivory...READ MORE

 

 

THIS POPULAR AQUARIUM FISH MIGHT VANISH FROM THE WILD

Published in National Geographic 16th September 2016

The tropical setting is postcard perfect. A palm tree on a deserted white beach surrounded by turquoise water imprints itself on my mind as I roll backward off the boat in full scuba gear. Just six feet underwater a rich coral bed stretches out as I pass through clouds of multicolored reef fish...READ MORE

 

CAN CITES COPE WITH THE ILLEGAL WILDLIFE TRADE?

Published in Daily Maverick 12th September 2016

The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) is increasingly expected to control the estimated $19-billion illegal trade in endangered plants and animals. However, a recent paper for the South African Institute for International Affairs think tank notes that CITES is a treaty among nations, established to regulate legal trade, and is neither self-executing nor legally binding...READ MORE

 

GOOD NEWS FOR ELEPHANTS AS IUCN VOTES TO CLOSE DOWN ALL DOMESTIC IVORY MARKETS

Published in News24, Safarious & Africa Geographic 12th September 2016

Honolulu, Hawaii – On Saturday, September 10th world government and NGO representatives voted at the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) World Conservation Congress in Hawaii urging governments to close down their domestic ivory markets...READ MORE

 

ELEPHANT NUMBERS ACROSS AFRICA DECREASE BY A THIRD IN JUST SEVEN YEARS - SURVEY

Published in News24 31st August 2016

A pan-African survey of African savannah elephants has revealed declines of a staggering 30% – 144 000 elephants,  between 2007 and 2014 in the areas covered by the survey...READ MORE

 

 

WHY SOME COUNTRIES DON'T WANT TO DO MORE TO PROTECT ELEPHANTS

Published in National Geographic 24th August 2016

That African elephants are in deep trouble has been widely publicized in recent years. They’re being poached at an unsustainable rate, and their numbers have dropped from 600,000 a decade ago to some 400,000 today.That’s why next month’s meeting of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) is critical..READ MORE

 

 

SA WANTS TO RESUME THE TRADE IN IVORY

Published in Traveller24 8th July 2016

 

A working document requesting commercial exports of ivory will be submitted at the next Conference of the Parties (CoP17) of CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) to be held in September-October in Johannesburg...READ MORE 

 

SOUTHERN AFRICA HOLDS THE REST OF AFRICA TO RANSOM OVER IVORY TRADE

Published in Africa Geographic 30th June 2016

South Africa, along with Namibia and Zimbabwe, will not be joining 29 other African nations in calling for a total ban on ivory sales – in fact, they are about to do the opposite...READ MORE

 

IN FIGHTING ILLEGAL IVORY, EU LAGS BEHIND

Published in National Geographic on 17th June 2016

While China and the United States have taken steps in recent months to shut down their ivory markets, conservationists say that the European Union has been dragging its feet...READ MORE  

 

HOW A HUNTING RESERVE BECAME A SNOW LEOPARD SANCTUARY

Published in National Geographic on 15th June 2016

For the elusive snow leopard in Kyrgyzstan, a satisfying meal consists of an ibex or an argali. As it happens, these wild relatives of goat and sheep—bearers of spectacular, curved horns—are also the quarry of trophy hunters...READ MORE

 

SOUTH AFRICA AND KENYA SEEK CONSENSUS ON IVORY TRADE

Published in National Geographic on 3rd June 2016

South Africa and Kenya will hold talks with other African countries to find a common position on ivory trade ahead of the 17th Conference of the Parties of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) in Johannesburg in September-October...READ MORE

 

SAVING ELEPHANTS: IT'S NOT JUST ABOUT BURNING IVORY

 Published in News24 30th April, 2016

Kenya will burn 105 tons of ivory on Saturday 30 April – the largest destruction of ivory in Africa’s history and seven times the size of any ivory stockpile destroyed so far. This action is intended to send a strong message that ivory trade must be effectively banned in order to save elephants from the catastrophic effects of poaching experienced over the past decade...READ MORE

 

 

IS THE END FOR SOUTH AFRICA'S FAMED URBAN BABOONS?

Published by National Geographic on 22nd April 2016

Few large cities in the world can boast such natural splendor as South Africa’s Cape Town—lauded not only for its dramatic mountain and coastal landscapes but also for the wildlife living in and around it. Some of its most visible and intriguing creatures are roughly 500 chacma baboons...READ MORE

 

ELEPHANTS WIPED OUT ON ALARMING SCALE IN SOUTHERN AFRICA

Published in National Geographic on 6th April 2016

A chunk of territory in southern Africa about the size of France has long been considered one of the last strongholds of the African elephant. The Kavango-Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area, better known as KAZA, straddles Angola, Zambia, Namibia, Botswana, and Zimbabwe and was believed to hold as many as 250,000 elephants...READ MORE

THE EFFECTS OF TROPHY HUNTING IN FIVE OF AFRICA'S ICONIC WILD ANIMALS IN SIX COUNTRIES

Published for Conservation Action Trust in April 2016

The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Species Survival Commission (SSC), states “that well-managed trophy hunting can provide both revenue and incentives for people to conserve and restore wild populations, maintain areas of land for conservation, and protect wildlife from poaching.”...READ MORE

 

LION CULLING: A PARADOX OF BANNING TROPHY HUNTING

Published in News24 and Annamiticus on 30th March 2016

Recent reports say that one of Zimbabwe’s largest private wildlife areas, Bubye Valley Conservancy, is suffering from an overpopulation of lions. The conservancy has more than 500 lions and has warned that its lion population has become unsustainable and that it may even have to cull around 200 individuals...READ MORE

 

WORLD WILDLIFE DAY: TACKLING TRAFFICKING

Published in News24, Africa Geographic and iAfrica 3rd March 2016

A child born today will see the last wild elephants and rhinos die before their 25th birthdays.” This was the statement made this week by Karmenu Vella, the European Union Commissioner for Environment, Fisheries and Maritime Affairs. “Wildlife trafficking is a major threat to our sustainable future, and we need to fight it on several fronts,” he said...READ MORE

 

MINING DIRECTOR BUSTED FOR ELEPHANT POISONINGS

Published in National Geographic on 27th February 2016

The managing director of a Zimbabwe mining company, Godfrey Nyakudya, has been fingered as the kingpin behind elephant killings with cyanide during the past three years. More than 300 animals died this way for their ivory in Hwange National Park between 2013 and 2014, and 100 more across the country last year. The effects of cyanide on elephants that drink water or eat food laced with it are horrific...READ MORE

 

IS WILDLIFE FARMING IN SOUTH AFRICA GOOD FOR CONSERVATION?

Published in SA Breaking News and Traveller 24 on 17th February 2016

An 18-month national study on the wildlife ranching sector of South Africa by the Endangered Wildlife Trust (EWT), an NGO that protects southern Africa’s threatened wildlife species, has found that wildlife farming as a whole is benefiting biodiversity in South Africa.But the study has highlighted some contentious conservation and livelihood outcomes within the industry as well...READ MORE

 

RHINO POACHING IN SOUTH AFRICA DECLINING, BUT TOO SOON TO CELEBRATE

Published in Annamiticus on 23rd January 2016

South Africa has announced its first decrease in rhino poaching since 2007: “We are pleased to announce that for the first time in a decade the poaching situation in South Africa has actually stabilised and considering that this is in the face of a relentless rise of poaching activity into protected areas – this is good news,” South Africa’s Minister of Environmental Affairs, Edna Molewa said...READ MORE

 

SA OPPOSES BURNING OF IVORY STOCKPILES

Published in News24 on 19th January 2016

 

South Africa opposed a resolution that lauded CITES for supporting the destruction of government stockpiles of ivory seized from poachers and traffickers. It asserted that CITES acted out of turn by encouraging governments to destroy their ivory...READ MORE

 

TRADE SANCTIONS FOR THREE COUNTRIES OVER ILLEGAL IVORY POACHING

Published in National Geographic on the 19th January 2016

 The international community has taken new steps to stem the illegal ivory trade, responsible for the killing of some 30,000 African elephants every year. Last week in Geneva the busiest ever meeting of the Standing Committee of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), the body that regulates the international trade in endangered species, concluded with concrete outcomes for combating the ivory trade...READ MORE

 

ARCHIVED ENVIRO ARTICLES