Born Free USA Blog
by Adam M Roberts,
Chief Executive Officer
When it comes to animals, Adam Roberts not only talks the talk, but also walks the walk. Since beginning his animal advocacy career in Washington, D.C. in 1991, Adam's ambition, tireless involvement, and profound knowledge of conservation and wildlife issues have cemented him as a go-to voice for protecting animals — and he has elevated Born Free USA to the respected and impactful organization that we know today. Adam's compassionate, informed, and forward-thinking blogs will surely motivate you to join us in our fight to Keep Wildlife in the Wild.
Hunters often claim to be conservationists. Prove it.
Nevada has an estimated 200 to 300 black bears hugging a small amount of suitable habitat along the eastern Sierra, most being on Lake Tahoe’s eastern shore. By any reasonable standard the species is, at state level, endangered. But sport hunters want to hunt them, and the Nevada Department of Wildlife staff has been directed by the state wildlife commissioners to allow both a spring and fall hunt.
US & EU Soft on Ivory
Just hours after the ivory debates at the CITES conference here in Doha, 24 uncut ivory tusks have been intercepted by the Civil Guard in El Masnou, near Barcelona, Spain.
Spain is currently the President of the European Union, the 27 strong community of nations that holds such sway at CITES meetings. Until yesterday the EU's position on the two pro-trade ivory proposals (one from Tanzania and the other from Zambia) remained largely unknown.
(VIDEO) Doha Delivers for Elephants!
Just minutes before they entered the debating chamber, delegates from the African Elephant Coalition, representing the majority of African elephant range States, were inspired by the huge vote of support from 500,000 people around the world, organized by Born Free and Avaaz
Three hours later, the CITES votes had been cast and delegates had rejected proposals which would have permitted sales of thousands of kilos of stockpiled ivory. The voice of the people and the voice of Africa had been heard loud and clear!
Parties remember "the little guy"
It's not all charismatic megafauna at CITES meetings — the 3,000+ tigers left clinging to survival in the wild; elephants, our largest land mammal, assaulted for their tusks; bluefin tuna, a single specimen of which can yield more than a hundred thousand dollars!
Sometimes the little guy takes center stage — AND WINS!
On Sunday the pet trade took a beating and the frogs and lizards of the world won the day.
Pet Shop Cruelty Knows No Borders
We were given two days off from the Conference (a proper weekend, but because of the Muslim schedule it fell on Friday and Saturday) but this did not mean a holiday from cruel treatment of animals.
Some of my colleagues and I spent an afternoon in “the Souq”, a cascading labyrinth of shops selling Middle Eastern spices, rugs, coffee urns, traditional daggers, and souvenirs.
But amidst the shops was a long row of pet stores: stalls selling dogs, cats, fish, rabbits, chipmunks, hamsters, and birds. I’m still not quite sure who is purchasing these sad specimens from their constricting cages. Is it foreigners who live in Doha because their business has taken them to the city? Foreigners who have come here from India, Sri Lanka, or Bangladesh looking for work? Locals?
(VIDEO) End of the Line for Bluefin Tuna?
The Atlantic Bluefin Tuna suffers from overexploitation in legal trade and significant illegal, unregulated and underreported fishing.
This afternoon, CITES Parties overwhelmingly rejected a proposal to give the species much-needed protection in international trade — 20 for, 68 opposed, 30 abstained.
Where is the precautionary principle? Where are the visionaries? Will CITES really wait until the species is commercially extinct before they act? Shame.
Tigers, Trinkets, Soup, and Sushi. Tourism and the Wildlife Trade.
At London’s prestigious Royal Geographical Society on Thursday the 18th of March the Born Free Foundation is hosting an evening talk and discussion (sponsored by Land Rover) considering the interface between the tourism industry and wild animals, both in their natural habitat and in captivity.
Out here at the CITES meeting in Doha, Qatar, we are immersed in issues that concern the international trade in wildlife — ivory, tuna, sharks, and more.
It got me thinking about the species I am working to protect and tourism in the countries that are home to these wildlife populations. The more I thought about it the more clear it all became.
The Benefit of the Doubt
What is it with people appointed to "look after the interests of animals in international trade"?
It seems that whatever the evidence, it always ends up being about what people want, not what animals and species need. CITES can be a bit like that.