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Hong Kong Intercepts Massive Shipment of Suspected Pangolin Scales

Three of 259 bags with suspected pangolin scales seized by Hong Kong Customs (Photo: Hong Kong Customs)

Also known as “scaly anteaters,” pangolins are small insectivores from Asia and Africa 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. In fact, the pangolin is considered by many to be the most-trafficked mammal on earth: All eight pangolin species are at risk of extinction.

According to a government press release issued Tuesday, officials seized 259 bags containing about 7 tons of suspected pangolin scales — more than the weight of the average African elephant. The scales were found via routine random inspection of a shipment arriving from Nigeria that had been falsely declared as “660 bags of recycled plastic particles.”

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Saving Injured Sea Turtles in Ecuador

The Machalilla Wildlife Rehabilitation Hospital in Ecuador

We’re excited to announce that WildAid has now partnered with the Machalilla wildlife hospital in Ecuador to provide comprehensive protection for sea turtles.

Another Tool in the Fight Against Illegal Fishing

Commercial fishing vessel coming to port.

More than 2.5 billion people—approximately one-third of the global population—depend on fish for food and nutrition. That number is expected to double by 2050.

Unfortunately, 85% of the world’s oceanic fisheries are fully exploited, over-exploited, or depleted. Additionally, illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing (IUU) takes as much as 33% of the world’s total legal fish catch, costing us as much as $23 billion annually, which further threatens future productivity of the world’s fishing stocks.

Many countries employ different tools to combat IUU, including setting catch limits and quotas for fisheries, providing bycatch reduction gear, zoning their marine areas, satellite monitoring and enforcement.

Recently, the United Nations made a historic first step in combatting IUU through the ratification of the Port State Measures Agreement. Originally signed in 2009 by the FAO, the Port State Measures Agreement required a minimum of 25 countries to ratify the agreement for it to take effect.

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Hong Kong Protesters Target FedEx Over Shark Fin Shipments

Alex Hofford/WildAid

HONG KONG (July 3, 2016) — Activists dressed in blood-stained shark costumes demonstrated Saturday outside a FedEx depot in Hong Kong to protest the shipping continued shipments of cruel and unsustainable shark fin.

With over 100 million sharks slaughtered annually, in large part driven by the demand for shark fin soup in Hong Kong and China, many shark species are being driven towards extinction. Over the past 15 years, Hong Kong has accounted for 50% of the global shark fin trade. 

“Logistics companies like FedEx provide critical links in a long supply chain from the illegal fishing boats in far away oceans to the mouths and throats of Hong Kong consumers,” said WildAid Hong Kong’s Alex Hofford. “We urge FedEx to do the right thing, and take a bold step to protect sharks – just as its industry competitor UPS did so in 2015, and Hong Kong's flag carrier Cathay Pacific did last month.”

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WildAid and Panthera Launch Lion Campaign, 1 Year After Cecil

NEW YORK (June 30, 2016) — A year ago this week, the illegal killing of Cecil the lion in Zimbabwe galvanized international outrage against an American trophy hunter, and a new awareness of the plight of the African lion. Beyond Cecil: Africa’s Lions in Crisis published today by Panthera and WildAid, with Oxford University’s WildCRU, exposes the gravest threats that, one year later, place the African lion in an ever tighter race against extinction, and outlines a roadmap to save the species. 

In a new partnership, Panthera and WildAid launched an online campaign today coinciding with the report, one that calls upon the global community to "Stand with Africa to Let Lions Live” at LetLionsLive.org

Over the past two decades, the African lion population has declined by an estimated 43%, with only 20,000 lions remaining across the entire continent. Habitat loss, bushmeat poaching and conflict with livestock owners are the primary killers of Africa’s lions today. Compared to trophy hunting, these threats combined are estimated to kill 5-10 times as many lions each year. 

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