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Project Updates November 2009 - February 2010      
HSI

INTERNATIONAL PROJECT UPDATES NOVEMBer 2009 to february 2010

Regional

Indonesia
  • On the 5th November 2009, the East Java Police Department, with assistance from ProFauna Indonesia and HSI, arrested a wildlife trader and seized dozens of rare wildlife in Ngawi City, East Java. The rare animals included 21 slow loris (Nycticebus coucang), 15 Javan langurs (Trachypithecus auratus), a White-bellied Sea eagle (Haliaeetus leucogaster) and a leopard cat (Felis bengalensis).
  • HSI support funding is assisting project partner ProFauna Indonesia in conducting training workshops for police to help them identify the wildlife species being illegally traded.
  • HSI together with the Born Free Foundation (BFF) and the Animal Defence Trust have again partnered to fund the operational cost of the ProFauna Bali Office project ' “ ProFauna Bali Office and Marine Turtle Campaign 2009-2011. This support will ensure that ProFauna is able to continue to carry out its important wildlife conservation programs, in particular the marine turtle program that has been running since 1999 and the ongoing monitoring of the Satria animal market in Denpasar, Bali, where ProFauna records the species, numbers and prices of protected wildlife being traded.

Africa 

Zimbabwe
HSI continues to provide financial support towards the Painted Dog Conservation project in Zimbabwe. These unique animals, also known as African Wild Dogs, are one of Africa's most endangered species with population estimates at only 3,000 individuals and Zimbabwe's population representing one of the species last strongholds.

HSI helps to support anti-poaching units, a rehabilitation facility, re-introduction of rescued animals and ongoing monitoring of painted dog packs, gathering vital information for the species conservation.

Latest News: While the project suffered some terrible news late in 2009 with the separate deaths of 2 dogs from the Bambanani pack due to collisions with motor vehicles, a new pack of 7 individuals (3 females, 1 already collared and 4 males) to the area has been discovered. The PDC team have since been able to fit one of the males with a GPS collar and are now following the movements of the ' Kutanga'  (which translates to ' something new' ) pack.

Zambia
HSI was able to support the Born Free Foundation's Lunga Luswishi Wildlife Project and the Zambian Munda Wanga Trust, in translocating 200 primates from the grounds of the State house of the President of Zambia. So far 64 of the animals have successfully been relocated and released back into the wild as part of integrated social groups. Additional groups of the remaining animals will now be staggered in their relocation and release also.

South East Asia 

Vietnam
HSI is pleased to be able to continue offering financial support to Education for Nature Vietnam's (ENV) Wildlife Crime Unit incorporating a national toll free hotline to facilitate public reporting of wildlife crimes. Information received via the hotline is forwarded to the appropriate authorities for investigation. Jointly funded by HSI, the Whitley Fund for Nature the MacArthur Foundation, and SeaWorld and Busch Gardens Fund, the project aims to encourage public participation in efforts to stop illegal wildlife trade and to work with local authorities tasked with combating wildlife crime.

Latest News: Following is a summary of some of the activities investigated and recorded by the ENV Wildlife Crimes Unit in 2009. The Crime Unit documented 488 wildlife crimes between 1 January 2009 and 30 September 2009 including:

  • April 23: following a tip from a local resident police raided a local house in Dien Bien and confiscated an Asiatic black bear cub;
  • June: 2 separate instances of lorises being confiscated following public information received via the Wildlife Crime Hotline. 1 loris was confiscated at the Bac Ha markets and another 2 taken from a shop in Bac Ha town;
  • July 16 and 21: Traffic police confiscated 24 bear paws in two separate incidents in Quang Nihn province;
  • August 20: Traffic police discover 17 elephant tusks hidden in a car in the Thanh Hoa province;
  • September 11: 849 Hawksbill turtles are discovered following inspections of ten houseboats in Nha Trang province, The Police and fisheries officers released the turtles back into the ocean;
  • During the first 9 months of 2009 ENV also recorded 14 cases of voluntary transfers of wildlife to rescue centres including 3 bears, 26 turtles and a leopard.

To read more on A day in the life of the Wildlife Crimes Unit click here.

SPECIES AND HABITAT PROTECTION

Forests
Continued to support legal action in Papua New Guinea, providing funds to the PNG Eco-Forestry Forum, fighting illegal forest activities over concession rights for approximately 5 million hectares of forest.

Working with the Friends of the National Parks Foundation (FNPF) in Indonesia, HSI helped to purchase a small rainforest block on the island of Nusa Penida, off the coast of Bali to establish the Bali Bird Sanctuary (formally the Nusa Penida Bird Sanctuary). This will be a safe release site for the highly endangered Bali Starling. Already as a result of the Bali Starling Program, the recorded number of Bali Starlings is at 84 with the potential for numbers to be closer to 130 based on sightings of hatched fledglings in the wild. In addition, FNPF continues to expand its tree planting program, with an additional 26,000 seedlings comprising more than 18 native species being planted.

Turtles
HSI continues to support the marine turtle conservation program being run by project partner ProFauna Indonesia's Bali Office. The program, that has been operating since 1999, and safely relocates nesting turtle eggs to safer ground around the Balanese coastline.

As part of its education and awareness program, ProFauna is conducting training of travel and tour guides in Bali on sea turtle protection efforts, as well as involving local celebrities in efforts to spread the word about the threats facing sea turtles.

ANTI-POACHING

Wildlife Protection Units, Bukit Tigapuluh National Park, Sumatra
HSI has provided funding towards the establishment, training and maintenance of ranger units to secure the welfare of a released Sumatran orang-utan population and its habitat in the Bukit Tigapuluh National Park. The Wildlife Protection Units (WPU) current body consists of 22 WPU rangers, 2 management staff and 1 staff member for special operations. WPUs patrol on a routine basis, collecting information about illegal activities (mainly forest encroachment, illegal logging and poaching), patrols to secure the Open Orangutan Sanctuary, wildlife monitoring and map updating.

WILDLIFE REHABILITATION

Bali Wildlife Rescue Centre (BWRC)
HSI funds a major wildlife rescue and rehabilitation centre in Indonesia, the Bali Wildlife Rescue Centre (BWRC). The BWRC is a vital link in the process of returning distressed wildlife back to their natural homes. Traumatised animals rescued from illegal traders, or handed in by the public, are assessed, given medical treatment and quarantined at the BWRC before a safe release back to the wild or to a sanctuary. Read more on Wildlife Rescue in Bali.

Latest News: As at October 2009, the BWRC was caring for 41 birds and 6 primates, consisting of 12 species. Between April ' “ October the Centre received 17 animals as a result of confiscation, 1 from a voluntary handover and 2 resulting from eggs that hatched at the Centre. Much of the wildlife brought to the centre was treated for stress, malnutrition, dehydration and some had received injuries from previous handling, transport or confinement in captivity.

As HSI reported on its website at the time, in October 2009, the Forestry Department Unit of Bali (BKSDA Bali) successfully confiscated 16 animals from a house being rented by Japanese nationals in Denpasar. The animals including an Eurasian otter, a barred Eagle owl, 2 Spotted wood owls, 3 individuals from the Accipitridae family, 5 Moluccan Kestrels, 1 Javan Hawk-Eagle and 3 Changeable Hawk-Eagles, had been packed into PVC pipes and boxes and were being prepared to be sent to Japan via Bali's Ngurah Rai Airport.

Then the BWRC was able to step in. Following assistance from staff of the BWRC and HSI's partner organisation in Indonesia, ProFauna, the animals were successfully evacuated. 3 local smugglers and 2 Japanese nationals were detained and the Bali Police Department is working on the case.

Environmental enrichment activities including the placement of branches, wood, fruit, and leaves etc, are continually being enhanced at the centre in order to maintain and improve the natural behaviours of the animals while they are in care.

In April, completion of 3 new pools in the raptor cage occurred, allowing staff to assist in the retraining of hunting (diving) behaviours of Fish eagles before they are moved to the habituation cages at the designated release site.

Preparations continue for the translocation and eventual release of 2 White-bellied Sea Eagles, 2 Pig-tailed Macaques and 1 Coucang with the construction of purpose built transport cages.





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