In the news: May 2020

Wildlife markets are the tip of the iceberg and not just in China

In the heart of central Jakarta, about 20 minutes from Joko Widodo’s Presidential Palace, the Pramuka Bird Market is open for business: Today, Vonis, a local trader who uses just the one name, is holding forth about the origins of the coronavirus that has infected nearly 6 million people … “It’s hoax. It is not true that bats caused COVID-19. I’ve been selling this [bats] for many years, nobody gets sick here. No one. Also, many Indonesians eat bat meat and nobody is sick. I myself healed my asthma after consuming bat. It happened when I was around 25 years old. I’m a bit over 40, I am healthy now,” he says.

Stop the Wildlife Trade: Descriptions of new species in research can help traffickers find them

Scientific research that heralds the discovery of new species can have an unintended but potentially devastating consequence: providing a roadmap for wildlife traffickers.

By Louise Boyle, Independent, UK. 31 May 2020

First Koala of the season born named Ash!

We have a very special announcement… Our very first koala of the season has popped out of Mums pouch to say hello! [VIDEO]

By Australian Reptile Park, YouTube. 27 May 2020

Israel seals bat caves [from] visitors to shield endangered species from virus

[Israel] Nature and Parks Authority on Tuesday banned the entry of visitors to a host of caves across the country that serve as a natural habitat for bats, due to fear humans might transmit coronavirus and harm the flying mammals.

By Ynet News, 26 May 2020

Claudia Karvan joins last-ditch campaign to save unburnt bushland from development

Residents say South Coast site saved from bushfires by volunteer firefighters should be preserved for threatened species.

By Anne Davies, The Guardian. 25 May 2020

Angle Vale [Adelaide] bird rescuers left ‘traumatised’ as hundreds of corellas drop dead from the sky

Wildlife rescuers say they have been left traumatised by the carnage as hundreds of birds dropped dead from the sky in Adelaide’s north.

By Emily Ollie, 7 News. 20 May 2020

Victorian duck shooter’s guns seized and licence suspended after drone spies suspect behaviour

A Melbourne duck shooter has had his guns seized and gun license suspended after being caught with illegal drugs on the opening weekend of duck season.

The man was filmed by an animal welfare campaigner’s drone, who contacted police after seeing what they believed to be a duck shooter snorting drugs off a camping table before hunting.

By Ben Knight, ABC News, 20 May 2020

Australia Fires: Rescue dog ‘Bear’ saves scores of koalas

An Australian Koolie dog who was abandoned by his family has been rescued and retrained to detect koalas. [Watch video via link on headline.]

Bear has been following the aftermath of Australia’s bushfires since January, finding sick, injured or starving koalas that otherwise would have perished. He has now found more than 100.

By Isabelle Rodd, BBC News. 15 May 2020

Inspiring stories of protecting wildlife

The COVID-19 pandemic has devastated Africa’s national parks and local communities. With most of Southern and East Africa on lockdown, tourism and local revenue is plummeting. During this time of financial hardship, national parks across Africa are seeing a rise in poaching events and wildlife crime.

IFAW-supported rangers in Kenya, Zimbabwe, Malawi, and Zambia are on the frontlines, protecting wildlife during the COVID-19 pandemic. They are the first line of defense against poachers, ensuring that Africa’s beautiful national parks remain safeguarded and rich with biodiversity.

By James Isiche, ifaw. 13 May 2020

Fears for endangered species as housing development continues to destroy habitats

Housing development on the fringes of Australia’s cities is destroying hectares of habitats needed for endangered animals, experts warn.

Analysis of satellite images of urbanisation in Harrington Grove in NSW, Craigieburn in Victoria and Springfield in Queensland show hectares of natural habitats eliminated by spread of the cities’ urban footprint.

By Jim Malo, Domain. 10 May 2020

Fear of flying foxes: coronavirus is topping off a bad year for Australia’s bats

They’ve faced drought, extreme heat and bushfires, and now they have to deal with a new paranoia courtesy of the pandemic.

By Graham Readfearn, The Guardian. 9 May 2020

How COVID-19 is linked to the way we treat animals

SARS, swine flu and COVID-19 all have something in common: these viruses crossed to humans from animals. “Wet markets”, factory farms and slaughter practices are pieces of the puzzle — globally. So how can we reduce the risk of future pandemics, to help people and animals?

By Animals Australia. 15 May 2020

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