Chthonic Wildlife Ramblings

The Missing Ivory Puzzle

Brendan Moyle Feb 04, 2014

Poaching levels of African elephants have surged to an appalling level.  Since 2007 the illegal traffic in ivory has more than doubled [1].  By 2011 the numbers of elephants killed annually was estimated to be 25,000 animals [1]. The increase in poaching is reflected in the seizure rates of raw ivory.  This seizure metric is supported by evidence from shrinking … Read More

Time on the beach

Brendan Moyle Jan 22, 2014

One of the consequences of our fondness for beaches is pressure on native birds that live there.  Whilst sea gulls may seem very robust, other birds are less so.  One is the endangered NZ dotterel or tūturiwhatu.  There's only about 1700 birds left of this species, and the North Island populations are only found in the upper north.  … Read More

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A rational look at rhinos, Namibia and sport-hunting

Brendan Moyle Jan 17, 2014

One of the points about conservation that seems to elude many, is that conservation isn’t about imposing your values on others.  It is about increasing the populations of endangered species.  This conflict came to head with the forthcoming auction of a hunting-permit for one black rhino in Namibia. The idea of sport hunting is an anathema to many.  The outrage … Read More

The 25,000 elephant question

Brendan Moyle Dec 08, 2013

Poaching levels for African elephants have now accelerated to a point where about 25,000 are being killed a year.  The population in Africa is projected to decline by 20% in the next decade.  This is starting to get people very worried. The illegal trade in elephants has several important features.  The first is that there is a separation between final … Read More

Conservation gains from hunting: The Markhor

Brendan Moyle Nov 20, 2013

Recent days have seen an outpouring of invectives against game hunters on social media.  Much of this outrage misses some vital points about conservation.  Sometimes, sport hunting generates significant conservation benefits.  The reason is that sport hunting isn’t a wild west of killer-shooters ranged against helpless endangered wildlife.  Rather it is often a tightly regulated business that creates benefits for … Read More