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Strengthening Collaborative Efforts to Combat Wildlife Trafficking in Liberia

In a significant stride towards protecting Liberia’s wildlife, Technical Advisor Danny Murphy recently took part in a pivotal 2-day event organized by the Wild Chimpanzee Foundation, Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB), and the Society for the Conservation of Nature of Liberia (SCNL). The event served as a platform to showcase the impactful work undertaken by Focused Conservation and the Liberia Special Wildlife Investigations Unit (SWIU). By presenting to a diverse audience including NGOs and law enforcement partners, the session fostered crucial dialogue aimed at bolstering cooperation to tackle illegal wildlife trafficking in Liberia.

Since its inception in May 2023, the Liberia Special Wildlife Investigation Unit (SWIU) has emerged as a formidable force in combating wildlife crime in the region. The team’s efforts have yielded remarkable outcomes, with numerous endangered and protected species, including chimpanzees, slender-snouted and dwarf crocodiles, lesser-spot nosed monkeys, sooty mangabees, pangolins, and African grey parrots, being seized as part of successful operations. The collaborative workshop not only highlighted these achievements but also laid the groundwork for enhanced collaboration, promising even greater success in safeguarding Liberia’s wildlife.

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Saudi Arabia’s Efforts Highlighted on International Day of the Arabian Leopard

In a bid to draw attention to the plight of the critically endangered Arabian leopard, Saudi Arabia successfully advocated for the United Nations to designate February 10, 2024, as the International Day of the Arabian Leopard. With only an estimated 200 of these majestic creatures left in the wild, the Arabian leopard stands as one of the rarest big cats globally, known for its smaller size compared to its African counterparts and its historic habitat spanning Saudi Arabia, Yemen, and Oman.

On this significant day, His Excellency the Ambassador from the Saudi Embassy in Kenya joined forces with conservation organizations like Focused Conservation and Catmosphere for a groundbreaking initiative in Kenya’s Kanura Forest. Named the “Catwalk,” this symbolic 7-kilometer walk aimed to raise awareness about the Arabian leopard’s endangered status. Organized by Princess Reema Bandar Al-Saud’s non-profit foundation, Catmosphere, the event garnered international attention, amplifying the global call for the protection of big cats. Princess Bandar, also serving as the Saudi ambassador to the United States, has emerged as a vocal advocate for preserving the Arabian leopard and its habitat.

With historical records indicating a decline in Arabian leopard sightings, including the last recorded sighting in Saudi Arabia in 2014, the urgency to conserve this species has never been greater. Today, as we commemorate the International Day of the Arabian Leopard, we honor its legacy and renew our commitment to ensuring its survival for generations to come.

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Hippos in Uganda

Hippo poaching has recently intensified within some of Uganda’s 10 national parks, according to new evidence. Ranger reports and a new aerial survey show hippo numbers have dropped, and the bodies are often missing—telltale signs of poaching. The findings raise new concerns for the safety of the vulnerable animals.

Read the article in National Geographic by Dina Maron.

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