Wildlife Conservation

Science • Animals
Botswana: Mysterious death of hundreds of elephants
Botswana: Mysterious death of hundreds of elephants
Credit: Bernard DUPONT (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 2.0)

Botswana reports the death of hundreds of elephants since May. The cause of their death is still unknown, and Anthrax poisoning has been ruled out. Elephants were found with their tusks, so poaching was also ruled out. Authorities have collected samples which will be tested in Canada, South Africa and Zimbabwe.

"We have had a report of 356 dead elephants in the area north of the Okavango Delta, and we have confirmed 275 so far," reports the director of the Department of Wildlife and National Parks Cyril Taolo.

Science • Animals
Endangered smoky mouse that had been feared to be extinct discovered alive

After the Australian bushfires in the beginning of 2020 the critically endangered smoky mouse had been feared have become wiped out. Now the New South Wales Office of Environment has spotted multiple of them alive in the Australian Kosciuszko national park. Matt Kean the New South Wales environment minister has stated that "We are relieved and delighted by this news as we were fearing the worst as more than 90% of their habitat was burnt".

Climate & Environment
Trump re-allows previously banned hunting methods

While the Obama administration had banned multiple hunting methods such as the use of doughnuts soaked in bacon grease to bait grizzly bears, the Trump administration has now reversed those bans. The new rules that are stated in the Federal Register and published by the National Park Service policy now state that the practices will be allowed again in 30 days.

Science • Animals
First brown bear sighting in Spain National Park in 150 years

Documentary makers captured footage of a brown bear, an extremely rare and protected species since 1973, in the Invernadeiro National Park in Northern Spanish. The park's rangers believe the bear has spent the last couple of months in the park and has probably migrated from the Sierra del Caurel mountains which do have a small brown bear population.

Science • Animals
No whales will be killed in Iceland in 2020

Both of the Icelandic companies that hunt and kill whales have announced that they'll forgo killing whales in 2020. This makes the first time in 17 years that no whales will be killed during the summer season in the waters around Iceland. Thee general manager of IP-Utgerd, one of the two companies, has said that the hunting has become more expensive due to an extension of a no-fishing zone near the coasts of the island. Instead the company will focus on fishing sea cucumbers.

Science • Animals
After Australian wildfires: first koalas released back into nature

After being rescued from the wildfires that destroyed large parts of nature in Australia, 12 koalas have been released back into nature, their natural habitat in the Blue Mountains. The Taronga Zoo in Sydney had taken care of the animals and "while they have coped well in care, we are delighted to finally send our koalas home", said Dr. Kellie Leigh the executive director of the Science for Wildlife organization.

Science • Animals
97 endangered sea turtles hatch on a Brazilian beach

The 91 hawksbill sea turtles have hatched on a beach in Paulista in the state of Pernambuco. Only government workers have witnessed the hatching and successful walk of the endangered seat turtles into the Atlantic ocean.

Science • Animals
Colorado Wild Animal Sanctuary has rescued 39 tigers from zoo shown in "Tiger King" on Netflix

The staff of the Wild Animal Sanctuary in Colorado has rescued 39 tigers and three black bears from the roadside zoo shown in the Netflix documentary "Tiger King". The Chief Science and Welfare Officer at the sanctuary, Becca Miceli, has said how difficult it was seeing the exploitation of the animals with them being held in "small enclosures, the indiscriminate breeding" and other forms of abuse. After rescuing the animals the sanctuary now provides them with large open spaces for the animals to run and decide what they want to do for themselves.

Business • Economy
Wet markets in China have reopened

The wet markets in China, where scientists believe that Covid-19 has first been transferred from a bat to another animal and then to humans, have reopened. The markets are guarded to prevent pictures from being taken.

Business • Economy
China and Vietnam are planning to impose ban on wildlife trade

Following the worldwide spread of the coronavirus, originating from a "wet market" in Wuhan on which live animals were bought and sold, China and Vietnam are planning to impose a ban on such markets. The formal bans are expected to be signed into law later this year.

Science • Animals
Endangered African Black Rhino population is slowly increasing

The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) published an update of the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. In the statement, they announced that the number of the endangered Black Rhino population has grown from an estimated 4,845 to 5,630 wild animals between 2012 and 2018. According to the IUCN, the main reasons for the increase are "continuing law enforcement efforts and successful population management measures". Even though the numbers have increased and further population growth is estimated, the Black Rhino stays endangered.