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Protecting Marine Wildlife in an Ecuadorian Sanctuary

Humpback whale breaching in Santa Elena MPA (Ecuadorian Ministry of Environment).

WildAid is visiting Ecuador’s coastal marine protected areas (MPAs) this week, where we’ve been working for the past year and a half with Conservation International. One of these sites is Santa Elena MPA, the western-most point of Ecuador and home to hundreds of species including humpback whales, sea turtles, sharks, mantas, albatrosses, pelicans and 86 fish species.

We developed an enforcement plan for Santa Elena that focuses on conservation priorities of the area. As per the plan, Santa Elena park wardens carry out both preventive and control measures to protect the reserve’s marine wildlife.

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Fighting the Ivory Trade, 365 Days a Year

Create your own "herd" photo at JointheHerd.net

It's a simple, grim fact: Up to 33,000 elephants are killed each year to satisfy the demand for ivory products in China, Hong Kong, Thailand, the United States and other major markets.  

WildAid is working to end the ivory trade and protect elephants. With your support, here's what we're doing to fight for Africa's elephants, 365 days a year:

 

1. Exposing illicit ivory markets.

 

Our investigations have uncovered overwhelming evidence of ivory traders in Hong Kong flouting licensing regulations and routinely replenishing their stocks with ivory laundered from recently poached African elephants. WildAid is a leading voice in urging Hong Kong policymakers to shutter the local trade. (Click here to view undercover footage from the investigation.) 

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Ecuadorian Courts Sentence Local Illegal Fisher to 3 Years in Prison

Galapagos National Park rangers sorting through the confiscated sea cucumbers (DPNG).

An Ecuador court sentenced a Galapagos resident to three years in prison, earlier this month, for the illegal trafficking of sea cucumbers.

This particular conviction is a victory for the local community and authorities as it serves as an important deterrent for those considering carrying out illegal fishing and trafficking of protected species. Historically, the legal system tended to be more lenient towards local perpetrators; however, this verdict goes a long way in showing that wildlife laws are applied equally to all, regardless of origin.

After two days of deliberation, the Seventh Tribunal in Guayas unanimously sentenced a Galapagos resident to three years in prison for trafficking 3,712 sea cucumbers (181 lbs). The sea cucumbers were discovered January 2016 during a routine search by Galapagos National Park and National Police officers at the Baltra island airport. The trafficker had attempted to smuggle the sea cucumbers inside three cartons, where fish were used to hide the dried and salted sea cucumbers.

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WildAid Vietnam Launches Campaign to Protect Pangolins

In Hanoi, WildAid ambassadors add cardboard "scales" to a symbolic pangolin at the launch of the new campaign / from left: John Baker (WildAid), Miss Universe Vietnam 2015 Pham Huong, Hong Hoang (WildAid/CHANGE), singer Thu Minh and comedian Tran Thanh

HANOI (July 29, 2016) — Celebrities and leaders from across Vietnam are speaking out to save pangolins, the world’s most-trafficked mammals, with the launch of a new WildAid campaign to be broadcast throughout the nation.  

Native to Asia and Africa, pangolins are small insectivores that are unique among mammals for their large, overlapping scales made of keratin — the same protein found in human hair and fingernails. Consumer demand for pangolin scales (used in Traditional Chinese Medicine) as well as pangolin meat have led to rampant poaching to meet consumer demand in China and Vietnam. 

Using WildAid’s proven strategies to reduce consumer demand for shark fin, elephant ivory and rhino horn, the new campaign features a coalition of celebrities, government representatives, diplomats, business leaders and media partners who speak out against the pangolin trade and urge consumers not to buy pangolin products.

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Chinese Conglomerate COSCO Shipping Bans Shark Fin Shipments

HONG KONG (July 24, 2016) — China COSCO Shipping Corporation Ltd., one of the world’s largest cargo carriers, has announced that it will ban all shark fin shipments, joining a growing number of transport and logistics companies standing up against a brutal trade that kills millions of sharks annually.

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