Wildlife & Biodiversity

Global Eco Watch: Major ecological happenings of the week (June 10 - June 16)

Down To Earth brings you the top happenings in the world of global ecology

By DTE Staff
Published: Sunday 16 June 2019
A Sun Bear. Photo: Wikimedia Commons
A Sun Bear. Photo: Wikimedia Commons A Sun Bear. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Malaysian singer arrested for keeping sun bear cub in her apartment

A Malaysian singer has been arrested by the Department of Wildlife and National Parks Peninsular Malaysia and accused of illegally keeping a sun bear cub in her apartment in Kuala Lumpur. Zarith Sofia Yasin later told a Malay daily that she had found the bear cub at night in a weakened state near Bukit Ampang, a tourist attraction. She had thought it was a dog. According to a media report, someone later filmed the bear sticking its head out of the window of her apartment and posted the video online where it became viral. Subsequently, the singer’s flat was raided by the Department of Wildlife and National Parks Peninsular Malaysia, who recovered the cub and later arrested her, accusing her of running an illegal trade in endangered wildlife. The sun bear (Helarctos malayanus) is a bear species occurring in the tropical forest habitats of Southeast Asia. It is listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List.

CITES Colombo meet will now be held in Geneva in August

The 18th meeting of the Conference of the Parties of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), which was to be originally held in Colombo from May 23 to June 3, would now be held in Geneva from August 16 to 28, according to a media report. The change in venue comes after Colombo was rocked by attacks on Easter Sunday (April 21, 2019) in which three churches and an equal number of five-star hotels were bombed, killing 254 people including nearly 50 tourists. Following the attacks, CITES had postponed the meeting indefinitely, pending a decision on the change in venue. The CITES conference will discuss sustainability of trade in wildlife.

Zero poaching in a year in one of Africa’s largest game reserves

One of Africa’s largest game reserves has seen a year without a single elephant of its being poached, according to a media report. The last time an elephant was slaughtered in the Niassa reserve in northern Mozambique was May 17, 2018. This has been reported by the New York-based wildlife conservation group, Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), which manages the reserve. The turnaround has been caused by a rapid intervention police force and more assertive patrolling and response by air at the personal behest of Mozambican president Felipe Nyusi. Rampant poaching had caused the number of elephants in the reserve to reduce from 12,000 to a little over 3,600 in 2016. Currently, WCS estimates there are around 4,000 elephants in the reserve.

Indian grey wolf seen inside Bangladesh after 70 years, beaten to death

After 70 years, an Indian grey wolf was seen in Bangladesh, only to be beaten to death by farmers who were furious at it killing their livestock, according to a media report. Locals in Taltali town in the Sundarbans, captured and killed the animal in early June. The grey wolf was last seen in Bangladesh in 1949, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature. It used to be found in north and northwest Bangladesh in the 1940s, from where it has disappeared now.

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