Top Spy Agencies Help Break Wildlife Trafficking Rings

Publication: NBC News   Date: April 21, 2015   View Article

Call them the spies who love elephants (or rhinos or tigers).

The top spy agencies in the U.S. are sharing intelligence and personnel to bust international wildlife trafficking rings, which rake in more than $20 billion a year in the trade of everything from elephant ivory and rhino horn to the bladders of a Mexican fish.

Without intelligence of the sort used to fight drug and sex traffickers, according to experts, some of the planet’s most iconic creatures face extinction.

“We didn’t have the same resources to fight this trade that other agencies had,” Edward Grace, the deputy chief of law enforcement for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, said. “That is a gap we are filling in now.”

Legal horn trade could save rhinos from cliff of extinction, experts argue

Publication: NBC News   Date: February 28, 2013   View Article

Surging demand for rhino horn to decorate daggers and treat everything from hangovers to cancer is driving the iconic animals to the brink of extinction. The only way to save them is to humanely harvest rhino horn and sell it legally, scientists argue in a controversial new paper.

Only 5,000 black rhinos and 20,000 white rhinos remain, mostly in South Africa and Namibia, the scientists note. The western black rhino was declared extinct in 2011.

The paper, published Thursday in the journal Science, is a bid to spark “serious discussions around establishing a legal trade” at an international conference on the trade in endangered species that starts Sunday in Bangkok, lead author Duan Biggs told NBC News.

Animal Photos Weekly: Moon Jellies, Green Macaws, More

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: October 1, 2008   View Article

Captions for photos of animals in the news. Shots include moon jellyfish, green macaws, sheep bound for Jordan, a rehabilitated eagle, and white rhinoceroses.

Animal Photos Weekly: Blind Ant, Lion Brothers, More

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: September 17, 2008   View Article

Captions for photos of animals in the news. Shots include an “ant from Mars,” a well-dressed camel, resting lions, a captured rhinoceros, and stranded fish in the wake of Hurricane Ike.

© 2008-2010 Collected Writings By John Roach