Chris R. Shepard
Speech on illegal wildlife trade.
NPR/NGS Radio Expeditions
9 Sep 2003
- 13.74067 100.52538
2 channel mono
Show: Thailand Wildlife Trade
Log of DAT # 3, Lectures and Questions: Chris Shepherd and Tony Lynam
Recorded in MS (actually this is 2 channel mono)
Engineer: Charles Thompson
Date: September 7, 2003
Chris Shepard: (?) ...being seized. China has seized shipments of scales alone that weigh two tons. That's a lot of pangolins (?)
By the way, sorry, this is Singapore, and this is Malaysia. Singapore obviously this is re-export, a lot from Saba and a lot from Indonesia.
It's in demand for meat and medicine. There's some uses for magic. People in north Sumatra carry the dried tongue of a pangolin around in their pocket...protects you from curses. But it's not a big threat to the pangolins. It's a threat to that pangolin, but it's not a huge demand. Um, meat and medicine, the medicine coming from the scales is the big demand.
The source, same as the fresh water turtles, started up here near the china border, china being the market, and it slowly vacuumed out the south east asia. The trade seems to be increasing dramatically. The shipments going out, the size of the shipments are growing. This is a map of some of the trade routes. It's not all the trade routes used.
But this is one of the main routes with Malaysia being a collection point for Malaysian pengalins as well as Sumatran. And then from there is goes by road. Up through Thailand, Lao, Vietnam and into China. Vietnam remains the major gateway to southern China. And our biggest problem is what's happening to wild pangolins. I've seen one wild pangolin ever. Where they're getting them from is the most common question that people ask.
It's probably like the turtles where everybody who works in a rural situation or in the forest knows that if you find one you can sell it. So one collector might only get one every two or three months, but when you have two million of these collectors out there, it adds up. But what's happening to wild population. We have no idea.
It's a slow breeding animal. So it's obviously not a sustainable trade. But we don't know where we are. Because it's going to disappear very soon or what's happening. We don't know.
Ok, CITES appendix two zero quota should be the most strict international legislation you can get. CITES one you can still collect and sell for non comm...or...sorry...you can still collect and export for non commercial purposes. With this you can't. However they are the most heavily traded. 15,000 individuals seized in Thailand in 2002. These were all seized on the Malaysian border in Southern Thailand.
A little about the population. But what the major challenge is is how do we get things happening. We can talk about this when I'm finished my presentation and the questions. But what's gonna happen with the pangolins. It's illegal everywhere in every country represented here it's protected. But every country represented here has massive trade with the exception of the Phillippines. So it's something that has to be dealt with.
Ok fresh water turtles. It's a similar issue just larger volumes. More species. More than 30 species have been listed on CITES two since 2000. In 1999 a number of organizations met in Cambodia and presented a number of startling facts of what was happening with the south east Asian turtles. This was followed up by another meeting in KunMing and a lot of research by a lot of organizations and individuals pushing for better protection.
And listing them on CITES, that's great, but CITES is only as good as the country makes it. So we now have the tools to protect them it's a matter of doing something with these tools. China is a major consuming market. China was also the proposal co-sponsor for all of the appendix listing proposals that were submitted at the last COP. The last conference of the parties for CITES.
However capacity to implement and enforce is a problem. Species identification is a problem. Some are protected. Some aren't. How many people can actually tell them apart? This is a problem. And motivating political will. Having somebody in the right place at the right time to tell everyone else to do something about it is a challenge.
We've got these massive shipments going out and not a lot being done about it. In 1999-2000 I did research in northern Sumatra and found 20-25 tons being exported per week. This is one days shipment of orlitia bernitsas It's a totally protected species in Indonesia. It's endemic to Southern Malaysia, Borneo, and Sumatra.
There's virtually nothing known about this species and yet they're being traded at this level. You can imagine how long they're gonna last. I met with the dealers in Madan last year and asked them why. They said the shipments are down to 7-10 tons a week I asked them why. They all said ¿surabis¿ which means they're already finished.
And I've met with people who say well you know it's they're livelihoods, they need to do this. They need to make a living. First of all the people, the guys that own this place, probably have more money than the rest of us here put together. They own a number of businesses including car dealerships and all of these.
They're not hurting. And everyone I talk to, I talked to some turtle dealers in Burma who had run out of turtles, and they said well it's ok because we sell snakes now. Virtually all species of turtles are being exported. They're being flown in large quantities from Indonesia to Malaysia. As I mentioned.
And then on by land. Very few seizures have been made. Now some seizures have been made there was a seizure of 10,000 turtles in Hong Kong. Uh, a few weeks ago, or a month ago. There has been some seizures, I'm not saying nothing's happening. But tip of the iceberg stuff. When you're dealing with quantities this big 10,000 turtles isn't really that many.
What needs to be done- increased enforcement and cooperation within the countries. Indonesia for example...
FX- from now on only in one side of headphones
Fresh water turtles if they're listed on CITES are the responsibility of the forestry department. If they're not listed on CITES then it's fisheries. If they're already in custody of a dealer then it's agriculture. But if they're in the airports then it becomes the veterinarian department. None of them know what the other ones are doing in a lot of places. It's coordination problem. And this isn't endemic to Indonesia this problem. This is a global problem. Agencies within country often have a communication or a cooperation deficiency. And then inter....between nations. Malaysia and Indonesia, for example, there's agreements in place that could be utilized to stop this trade.
Thailand and Malaysia have a bilateral CITES agreement. That means every year they're supposed to meet, sit down, talk about the CITES issues, the enforcement problems and come up with a plan to do something about it. Um, these agreements are great, and they're great potential if they're properly utilized. That's it for turtles.
Helminas (?)...I've chosen the helmina as a case study because it's very heavily traded. Very popular in international pet trade. Was listed on CITES in 1998. Um, on CITES 2. So we have data. We actually have data from before 1992 because a lot of countries report whether it's CITES or not which is very nice. Um, pink is Malaysia. We're looking at, this is export from the Asian countries to the international market. Green is Vietnam, yellow is Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia. Indonesia is actually an importer of helminas now. I'll tell you why in a minute.
Now, well I'll tell you why now. Indonesia has in a lot of places lost their helminas. In Sumatra, most of the birds for sale in the markets are actually from Vietnam. One of the biggest exporters of helminas right now is Vietnam and a lot of these are probably Cambodian birds. So this is from Vietnam exported. Vietnam sourced birds. Whether they're from Vietnam or Cambodia they legally came out of Vietnam. Re-exported again by Singapore which is the pink one and Malaysia which is the blue one. Between 1992 and 2001. You can see a possible decline in the birds in Vietnam.
Again there's not much happening. These are the top five importing countries globally. Germany is the blue one. Italy, yellow is Japan. This is Malaysia. Malaysia doesn't have a huge demand for helminas. So this is re-export. Mostly supplying Indonesia who have lost their market. I'm sorry this purple is Singapore. And Singapore has dropped a lot because the individual in Singapore um has basically been taken over by a very active dealer in Kuala Lumpur. He gives a better price to the Vietnamese exporters.
Import destinations of the helmina with Vietnam as the country of origin. Ok, as reported by the re-exporting or exporting countries. So these are all Vietnamese birds. And these are the destinations. If you compare what's being exported to a country to what's actually being imported by a country, it's quite interesting. A lot of these birds go missing.
Ok, just quickly to cap things off with a little bit of a discussion and then I'd like to open the floor to questions. And I hope we can have some discussion on this. I think we have time? Ok the international wildlife trade is an enormous problem in South East Asia. Um, habitat loss is wiping out or damaging a lot of species, but the trade for a number of species is the sole killer. Trade happens within South East asian countries. Indonesia moving species to Kuala Lumpur, back and forth, all these things. It's happening within South East Asia but it's also happening globally. If you go to bird markets anywhere in the world you can find Indonesian birds.
Enforcement is lacking. Often it's the capacity that's lacking, the people are there, it's training. Some cases it's in an area where there's no enforcement. Some cases the enforcement is great but it's still just not enough. Um, especially in the key trade hubs and trade notes (?) like international airports. I can't emphasize enough how important it would be to clamp down on the illegal trade going through airports. It's been something that's been largely ignored in this region. The airliners are people that should be brought in as stakeholders or as training workshops.
I've talked to a number of airline representatives. Often they don't know that it's illegal, they don't know that it's a problem. For a lot of airliners, wildlife trade is the number one revenue earner for their cargo. So you have that to take into consideration as well. The only way this is going to be dealt with is international cooperation. This is why it's great that all of these countries and all of you are here at workshops and training courses like this. Not only to receive your training, but also to meet your counterparts in the other countries and have time to hash out some ideas and some plans.
Thank you very much. I hope that was interesting. It was sort of a whirlwind. It's a lot of discussion packed into an hour. But if we have any questions...please
CS: Tod, you can have a question...yes
Tod (?): You mentioned that there are certain airlines who are making a lot of money from cargo, from shipping wildlife, can you name some of those?
CS: Ok, (laughing in background) the airliners carrying the fresh water turtles from Sumatra on, Malaysian airlines carries the most. Singapore airlines and South China airlines. The only reason I'm naming those three coming out of Madan is because those are the only three coming out of Madan. Um, for Malaysian airlines, from that particular airport their largest quantity of cargo is fresh water turtles. Um, a lot of this, and that's not, some of that is legal, some of the species aren't protected. But if you were to open up a crate, for one thing none of them follow ¿yeta¿ (?) the regulations on how to transport these things.
Um, but you'll find a lot of protected species in these shipments. Um, I cant think of any airlines in the region that don't carry wildlife. Even domestic airliners in Indonesia, Garuta airlines (?) from Madan to Jakarta carries birds daily. So, it's, all the airlines are involved, at some level.
Ok, any other questions...yes, Rob
Rob: I'd like to follow up on that last one, you said that, um, you said that shipping wildlife is the primary source of income for most airlines today, did I hear that incorrectly?
CS: Not, no I, yeah you heard that incorrectly, um, for certain airlines, especially the ones coming out of Madan, ok, the cargo, their number one cargo earner there, revenue earner is fresh water turtles. In 2000. As these um quantities decrease they're gonna be replacing it with others, so the value obviously goes down as the quantities go down. Other airlines in the region will handle wildlife trade on a different level, different scale, and I'm sure it's not the number one revenue earner for all of them.
Rob: Have you done a study on this, is there a report available?
CS: On the airlines involvement itself?
CS: No, uh we've met with Malaysian airlines and with the authorities in Malaysia to deal with this, and they are taking steps towards addressing it. There was a number of problems encountered in this, for example authorities, inspecting authorities and enforcement authorities were not allowed to look in cargo if it was in transit. Um, there wasn't actually a communication flow set up between the different agencies. These are all things that are being taken care of with Prahilitan (?) taking the lead on addressing this. So, steps, you know it's in motion to do something about this but it's not as easy as it might sound...Yes
Question: So just for clarification, the largest revenue earner on that group of cargo liners or in general?
CS: No, no, on that, sorry I guess I should be very clear on this, on the route from Madan...
Question: One particular route?
CS: Yeah, and this is according to Malaysian airline staff in the cargo holding, in the cargo business in Indonesia, I can show you more information, we have a report of the species that are exported and the quantities per week for the year 2000. Um, I have that report with me, I have one copy of that report with me. You're welcome to look at it, um, we can discuss that further, yeah.
Question (an unidentified woman): Chris, could you go back to the data that shows the trade for pangolin?
CS: The pangolin data?
CS Where would you like me to stop? This one?
Woman: Ok, um from Malaysia in 1998,99, and 2000 it shows that a number of...pangolins being spotted out of Asia...
CS: 1998, 99, and 2000? Yeah this is exported out of Malaysia
Woman: To be more specific, where does the pangolin come from....
CS: Saba had one exporter who was exporting from one skin dealer in Saba to a snakeskin importer in Singapore. And he was exporting 35,000 skins a year. Um, which didn't all get declared. So I'm assuming a large percentage of this is from Saba. Sarawak's don't show any, Peninsula's records for these years, I cant remember off the top of my head if they have any large scale or not.
Woman: ....it's a totally protected species
Woman: So there shouldn't be any...
CS: Since which year, 1991, right? Or 92?
Woman: Since 72 (?)
CS: Ok, well then it's probably mostly Saba
Woman: (can't hear what she's saying)
CS: Maybe I'll clear up the situation a little bit for everyone about Malaysia. Malaysia operates effectively as three different countries when it comes to wildlife trade. Saba, Sarawak, and Peninsula Malaysia have independent wildlife legislation, and they implement CITES independently. And they create CITES, export annual reports independently. Um, this is from CITES data. CITES views Malaysia as one country. So it's a little bit confusing. When we get information like this about Malaysia, this takes into account all three. Um but the problems in implementing and enforcement in Malaysia is when you come down to the actual country level you have to divide it into three.
So while this looks like Malaysia as a problem, it may only be Saba, or it may only be peninsula, or it may only be Sarawak. It's difficult to deal with. However if one of those three portions don't submit their annual reports, or don't, or have large problems implementing CITES, the whole country gets banned. Or the whole country gets a slap on the wrist. So it's very difficult to differentiate what's actually happening but this is probably all Saba in this case. Any other questions?
Unidentified Man: (cannot hear the question)
CS: Ok, how are birds...from the Philippines. Ok there's from fishing boats into Indonesia is a common one. And they've been going both directions. Eastern Indonesia and southern Philippines there's birds on fishing boats. The recent seizures of marine turtle eggs in Saba from Philippine boats have all been fishing boats.
Question: Saba is closer to...(cant hear)
CS: Right, the turtle islands, ok, on the west, sorry on east coast of Saba there's a group of islands known as the Turtle islands. Some of these are Malaysian islands, some of them belong to the Philippines. Eggs are collected on both by both countries illegally. Um, so it's happening in both countries. But the eggs that are collected by either the Philippines or by Malaysia on those islands, the eggs usually come into Santa Kan, in Saba, and then onto Kuala Lumpur in Peninsula Malaysia. The recent prosecutions, there's been two, there were two people on a Philippine owned fishing vessel. Ms. Lia can maybe correct me I think there was a seizure in April this year?
CS: Marine turtle eggs coming into Saba, I think it was April, and there was another large shipment last year. And now whether, why they were both fishing boats from the Philippines and why the Saba fishing boats haven't been seized I don't know, but in those two cases it was in the Philippines. The Philippine sides of the uh, they were acting on tip offs from people who saw the eggs being collected.
Question: We are asking...(?)
CS: Ok, well if that's the case I have the uh, great, I have the media reports. And I have the contacts for the person in the Saba wildlife department who can give you all of the case. Because both cases were prosecuted and there was penalties given in both cases. I can give you the contact details for the prosecuting officer, Augostine, and he can provide you with more details. Talk to about that afterwards, it'd be great.
CS: Yes, Patch (?).
Patch: Uh, yeah, you've got a lot of interesting information and I guess probably a lot of the...come from dealer, is that correct?
Patch: I guess my question is like...?....maintain the level of relationship with the dealer...?...arrest him or something. Of course they don't tell you some interesting information....?...another thing that you mentioned about internet, like the news on internet, can it lead to arresting?
CS: Ok, those are good questions. Um, collecting information from wildlife dealers, this is a long discussion. I'll just, briefly, if it's a long term monitoring situation, for example I monitored the bird market in Madan in north Sumatra once a month for five years. Um, the dealers, of course I get to know everybody, but there's no enforcement in that market. So even if I told them what I was doing it wouldn't really bother them one way or another. Other markets, Promoka and Jakarta, if you were, Madan I take pictures of everything. If I pulled out my camera in Jakarta they'd probably beat me with it. Um, it depends on the market and it depends on what you're doing. If it's an enforcement agency monitoring the markets, this is something when we're doing enforcement training that we discuss a lot.
There's a number of ways of doing this. It depends what you're monitoring for and how much enforcement is happening. You don't use the same people, you don't use, but you use the same methods to make sure your information is standardized. You don't follow a time schedule where every Thursday at 10:00 o'clock you and five other guys in uniforms go in and count things. It doesn't take long before people figure these things out. But maintaining relationships with dealers is something you would only do if you are absolutely trying to get information. If it's just counting things in the market there's no need to get to any risky level.
Um, has that answered that question?...Not really I can tell. Um, yeah it depends on what level of information you're trying to get. It depends on what the purposes of the monitoring is. What level you should take a relationship with wildlife dealers if you're an enforcement agency or a monitoring agency. The other question about the internet. Catching people on the internet is extremely difficult. Um, it has been done. People have been, the US fish and wildlife and actually I attended a course in Canada in Vancouver at the justice institute and they have a department set up that monitors internet for crime. The only ways they can do this is sting operations. You lure something through the internet to a place physically and sometimes arrest them.
This is really difficult. You have two people operating on basically anonymous addresses with fake names in countries you don't know, you don't where they are, using words that you don't understand. It takes a long time to crack any of this. And it's done but it's becoming, the more the dealers are using the internet the more difficult enforcement it getting....I cant think of any, has there been any internet crime solved in Singapore?...No. Singapore actually a website on wildlife trade. The dealers there have set up a website. And you can, what is it? Singnet. You go onto Singnet, you into Pets, and you can find all kinds of things, including the tiger parts that I mentioned earlier. Um, but it's, you could tell everybody how difficult it is. It's virtually impossible at this stage to do anything about it.
Tod: I know it gets a little complicated, but do you have an example, maybe a quick example of a re-export permit being used? Uh...an example where a re-export permit is used to get around the difficulty of exporting a prohibited species.
CS: Uh, yes, I can give you some examples. I'm gonna use hypothetical things in this example, ok? Um, if country A has a quota for a CITES II species, and they've already met their quota, they still have stock. Let's say their quota was 100,000 animals, they've already exported that and they still have another 50,000. They cant get CITES permits for these because they've already met their quota. So they can go to country B and get country B to issue export permits for the species. The paperwork says that country B exports them to country C. So country C receives a shipment of animals where there's actually no animals, there's just paperwork saying that this is happening. They get the paperwork, the don't, there's no country in the world that inspects every single shipment.
They get the paperwork, looks fine, it's been exported from country B that has the species. They give a re-export permit and it's re-exported back to country A. Now country A has paperwork that says they've just imported all of these specimens from country B and now they can re-export them because they're not actually their animals. So it' been a papertrail until it's come back to country A. And now country A has these permits saying they imported them, they can re-export them because that doesn't affect their quota. You're quota does not include re-export animals. Your quota is what is sourced in your own country.
So it kind of goes in a circle, and this is quite common. It's difficult to deal with. The only way to deal with this is some countries, if you get airway bills that match your CITES permits, and the airway bill shows that 0 kilograms of cargo sent, or you look at the, you go to the revenue department and find out how much certain countries charge an import tax, all countries charge an import tax, so if you to the records and take this CITES permit number, and find out how much import tax was charged on the weight of the import, which was a piece of paper, it's not going to be very heavy. So you, this happens a lot. It's very effective, countries that have massive export use it. But it's very hard to do anything about.
Tod: So it's legal to import appendix 2 even if you're over the quota.
CS: Yeah, yeah. Your quota, a quota is what can be harvested from your country
Tod: Right, right.
CS: for domestic use and export, and taking into consideration your mortality rate. That should be a quota. Now what's imported and re-exported doesn't come into your harvest quotas, because you're not harvesting it.
Tod: Ok, last question, sorry, last question.
CS: No, no problem.
Tod: So the country C has to issue the import permit prior to the export from country B. Correct?
CS: No, because CITES 2 there isn't an import permit. The only, CITES one has import/export permit, CITES 2 it's just an export permit. Is that what that means? Yes? Last question.
Question: My question is could you tell me what's the different price of pangolins, pangolins, along the trade routes. For example in Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam.
CS: I'm sorry, I cannot answer that question right now. Not that I'm not allowed to, I just don't know. I'm sure that somebody from each country in this room could tell you what the going price in their country, but I don't know off the top of my head for pangolins. Sorry, it's obviously at every level the price goes up because every dealer is taking a chunk of the money. As it goes up, but I don't know the exact dollars and sense on it.
Unknown: Um, a partial answer to that question is that in Thailand one price for Pangolins is about 2,500 bat (?) per kilogram or about 50 something dollars a kilogram.
CS: Ok, that's an answer to your question for Thailand, It's about 50 dollars US. In Thailand it's about 50 dollars US per kilogram. Is that meat or scales? Scales. 50 dollars US for the scales. Interestingly the skins are actually showing up in Mexico, just out of interest for the pangolins. And other countries that have leather tanning industries.
Ok, thank you very much.
(Talking in background)
Liz Bennett: Thank you very much indeed Chris, for that, that was extremely enlightening and Chris will be around all week. He'll be giving further talks later in the week. So please feel free to talk to him about any of these other issues any time during the week. It's now tea time. We allocated half an hour for tea, we've slightly run over. Can we please come back on schedule here at 3:20. Uh, and we will then have the last session of the afternoon, thank you very much.
LB: The translators have asked can people not walk around at the back very much during the lectures because they need to be able to see the powerpoint slides, we tend to think of that as the back of the room. It's not the back of the room, the back of the room is behind the translators and they cant read the powerpoint slides, so can we please the people at the back stay seated during the talks as much as possible. Thank you very much. Ok the last session of the afternoon, the first talk in this is by Doctor Anthony Lynam, known to everybody as Tony. Tony is the director of the WCS Thailand program. He joined WCS in 1996 based in Bangkok here where he conducts field research and conservation training programs with the government of Thailand, but also other countries in Southeast Asia. He's been in Thailand a lot longer than that, he came to Thailand in 1989 to do his PhD here.
He's Australian originally, he got his first degree, his first class degree from, um, dum dum dum, western Australia Museum, and then went and did his PhD at the university of California in Davis, but studying animals here in Thailand for that. And he is basically now doing training and surveys throughout much of the region. He was asked to write the Tiger action plan for Myanmar and is doing a lot of work both surveying tigers, He's done a lot of work particularly surveying tigers in Southern Thailand. And is now running training programs on Tiger surveys and on other wildlife survey techniques throughout much of the region, in Cambodia, in Thailand, in Myanmar, and in Laos, and he, as I say he runs our Thailand program. So without further ado can I hand over to Tony who is going to talk about wildlife trade routes in Southeast Asia.
(Talking in Background)
Tony: Good afternoon, can you hear me?
Audience member: Not yet
Tony: Not yet, let's life this up just a little bit further, how about there? How about there? Can you hear me now? Is that clear?
There we go, how is that, can you hear me? Can the translators hear me? Ok, well Chris Shepherd had introduced the dynamics of wildlife trade in Southeast Asia. And he's covered a lot of ground, including some of the ground that I had hoped to cover. So part of my lecture will be looking at the trade routes, from, that wildlife takes in going from the forest to the marketplace, Chris has already talked a little about the trade routes that wildlife takes from going from marketplaces across country borders. So I'll just touch a little bit on that second topic.
Illegal wildlife trade routes link the source to the end destinations. They link the poachers who are the people that take the wildlife from the forest to the middlemen, who are the people that buy the wildlife from the poachers and sell on to other people. To the buyers, who are the end destination of the wildlife that come from the forests. Now, why is knowledge of wildlife trade routes important? The knowledge of trade routes helps us pinpoint places where enforcement efforts need to be made. For example, outside of parks and sanctuaries and protected areas, information on trade routes helps enforcement staff get to places where the wildlife trade is happening and conduct their enforcement.
Inside protected areas, parks and sanctuaries, information on trade routes helps wildlife management efforts. Efforts that are made by forestry and wildlife departments. It helps management of pinpoint areas that are problem areas for, for a park or a sanctuary. I would like to talk about the routes and the trafficking points for wildlife in coming from the forest to the marketplace. In this first part of my talk. Firstly, how does wildlife come out of the forest? It comes out with poachers. This is a photograph taken with a camera trap, which is device that's used to monitor wildlife. We've been using camera traps in many parts of southeast asia to get an idea of the richness and the diversity of wildlife and at the same time get information on the people who are moving around inside the forest conducting illegal activity.
This is a photograph taken from the Thai/Cambodia border. You can see clearly what these people are doing. A man with a homemade gun. Another man with a rifesack on his back. These people are poachers. So poachers collect wildlife and take it out of the forest on foot. And in the past this was the way that poaching was always done. You carried, you shot or you trapped or you snared as much as you could carry and no more. So a poacher could carry ten to fifteen kilograms on his back. And that was it. But today, the situation is different. Because we have roads and transportation networks that penetrate into the habitats where wildlife lives and makes it easier for people to bring out wildlife in larger volumes.
At the same time, as these travel routes, these roads and trails and transportation networks penetrate into the habitats, uh, they are fragmenting the wildlife habitats, making it more difficult for animals to exhibit their normal behavior patterns. They get killed when theyre hit by trucks, their breeding and normal reproduction is disturbed. And their populations become diminished. So, roads are making it easier for wildlife to come out of the forest. Now what I'd like to do in the next few minutes is to raise some examples of the problems that we're facing in addressing the issue of animals, wildlife coming out of forested areas.
I'd like to examine the local trade networks, or trade routes that are coming out of forests. And I'd like to raise three examples from southeast asia, one from Thailand, and one from Cambodia, and one from Myanmar, and these are three countries that I've worked in over the last few years. First of all, Kalyai national park, which is the place that you'll being going next week with wild ed (?) this is Thailand's first national park established in 1962. It's beautiful park, it's about 2,100 square kilometers in size. It's the third largest protected area in Thailand, one of 250 in the system. Here is where Kalyai is located, it's 2 ½ hours north of Bangkok in central Thailand. It's loosely connected with forests to the east that extend all the way to the border with Cambodia.
And on this slide you can see the extent of the national parks and sanctuaries in Thailand. I'll be coming back to this slide a little bit later on in my presentation. Kalyai's wildlife- there are a range of globally threatened species that make this park an important one for conservation. Makaks, wild dog, tiger, sambar, and gibbon. Another species that is found in the park that's an important species is Asian elephant. This is what the park looks like. You can see it is an island. And this island is surrounded by human settlements and by agriculture. It is completely surrounded by people. It's an island.
The black flags around the edge of the park are indicating the location of substations. There are 21 substations, and the park headquarters is in the center of the park, right here, there we go. So, there is an infrastructure for doing protection. But this park is an island. Now there are roads that penetrate the park coming up from the south through the center of the park and out to the top through this check point here. And there are also roads that come in from different directions all around the park, right to the edge, and those roads serve as local communities, where people live.
There are many ways in which wildlife can come out of this park. And then from Kalyai to the markets in Bangkok it's just two hours drive. So this is a very typical situation for a Thai park. The threats to wildlife in Kalyai are very similar to the threats facing wildlife in other protected areas. Poaching is a key threat. Poaching that's done for local consumption and poaching that's done for commercial trade. There's also habitat disturbance due to encroachment, due to the cutting of timber, and non timber forest products. Also there are problems facing wildlife that are due to these roads accessing the forest. And also because Kalyai is one of Thailand's most popular parks there is a problem of having perhaps too many people and there is a management problem in that people have to be managed.
There are over 1.4 million people that come to Kalyai every year. That's a large number of tourists to have to manage and that's consequently a problem for wildlife. So, what I'd like to talk to you about is the problem with poaching. What's happening here? Here's the park and these black lines that go around here represent the abundance of one species of animal that's a target for the trade and that is Sambar, in Thai that's Yuanbar, or Rusa in Malay or Indonesian. Now, Sambar are an increasingly threatened species, not just in Kalyai or Thailand, but across the range. Let's see what's happened here. Because people can come in from all directions into the park. Walking in along natural trails of which there are innumerable trails, around the edge of the park the densities of Sambar are very very low. It's only the center of the park where the headquarters is located and where the protection is greatest that you have the highest concentrations of Sambar.
Right in the center of the park there your likelihood of running into a Sambar is very very high. Now, a species that's depended upon the Sambar is the tiger. Tigers are only found in the center of the park now, whereas they used to be found all across the park. But there's no food on the edges of the park. And so the tigers are all in the center here. So what's happened is no food for the tigers at the edge of the park, and lots in the center near the park headquarters. So we have this strange distribution. And this is a result of hunting. So, I wont talk too much about Kalyai because this is the subject of next weeks part of the training. But I'd like to deal, just address a couple of problems that maybe can be talked about or discussed over the next couple of days and week. Um, and this is a general problem.
How do we stop wildlife leaving the forest? Now in Kalyai, we have this problem of there being a park edge, with people living around the edge. People can come in from all sides. We need to be doing surveillance and monitoring. And wild aid and WCS starting in 1999 started a training program for park rangers training park rangers how to identify the problems facing wildlife and how to address those problems by doing patrolling and by doing monitoring and surveillance of illegal activity. There are human trails that crisscross the forest. Those human trails are being monitored by park rangers. When you go to Kalyai you will see this in action. There is also a problem with the main road that goes through the park being an exit route along which wildlife is trafficked. And road blocks are one of the things that needs to be done is Kalyai to stop wildlife coming out.
Also, heightened vigilance by park staff at the park entrance gates. And also, as you will see in Kalyai, coordination with police and provincial authorities is very important. Another thing that we have done is to address the problems of poaching by getting the people who are doing the poaching to help us do the conservation. For example people like Mr. Perwin Glinklay (?) who was a professional poacher ten years ago. Mr. Perwin was Kalyai's most famous elephant hunter and allawood collector. He's been all over the region collecting allawood. And he was a problem in himself having him poaching. Now we've been able to turn him around and convince him that not poaching is worth his while. Instead of poaching he is now a conservationist and a trainer.
He helps train park rangers in how to track wildlife and how to set up camera traps. And he's given up his gun for a stable job with a secure salary and support from conservation organizations. So this is one of the techniques that we're using not just in Thailand but in other parts of the region to address the threat of wildlife trade. The second place that I want to talk about today is in eastern Cambodia. And this is a very important place on the border with Vietnam. This is called the Calseymar Biodiversity Area. It's an important area because there are many globally threatened and endangered species. Such as tiger, green peefowel (?), and this bird which many of you would not recognize, but it's a giant Ibis. This was actually caught with a camera trap. Now this is a very important area. It's a 1600 square kilometer area of forest and it was formerly a forestry concession. And now there is no more logging going on and so there is a project to protect the wildlife and what is going on is addressing the threat of poaching.
This is the most important threat to wildlife, not just in Calseymar but all throughout Cambodia. And part of the problem is once again increased access to the forest because of the development of a transportation system. There are logging roads that go through the forest in many different directions. There is a national highway that goes through the forest linking Pinoping with the provincial capitol. The same routes that people use to drive into and out of the forest are the same routes that poachers use to either walk or drive motorcycles or other vehicles into the forest and take out their wildlife. So, how do we stop wildlife from leaving the forest? It's a complex issue in this situation because many agencies are involved. Part of the problem is that wildlife is often moved out of the reserve and across the border into Vietnam, across natural trails in the forest which are incredibly difficult to find and difficult to monitor.
So, one of the things that needs to happen is for there to be better control of what's going on along the border. Along the roads within the biodiversity area, there is an effort that's been established now for about 18 months involving local forestry, uh, provincial forestry, and central forestry department and army and police. And the project is now working with provincial police and forestry rangers and these people are conducting vehicle patrols along the access routes and they're also conducting foot patrols to try to, uh, encounter poachers and get them out of the forest. So there's coordination with a number of different agencies. All with the goal of trying to stop wildlife from leaving the forest.
The third area that I'd like to talk about today is a very very interesting area in northern Burma, in Cachin state. Now this is a country, Myanmar is a country, uh, that has incredible biodiversity, and in the north of the country there is a large area of forest that is essentially intact and part of that forest is now being protected as the Hukong valley wildlife sanctuary. Now this sanctuary is about 6,400 square kilometers in size. And it lies adjacent to three or four other protected areas in northern Myanmar. And it also lies adjacent to forests on the other side of the India border. Together, this forest complex represents the largest intact habitat for wildlife anywhere in mainland asia. It's a huge amount of forest. Over 60,000 square kilometers in size. Right at the core is this sanctuary.
What happens here? Well let's first look at some of the wildlife. There are tiger, there are deer, there are gauwa, there are water buffalo and there are a number of species of birds that we've identified and probably many more species that are yet to be identified that will make this place an even more important place in terms of it's biodiversity conservation value. Now the problems that we have identified, and here is the sanctuary here, related to poaching. Seasonally, when the waters subside and the rivers drain off the water. This area becomes dry and people can walk in along the stream beds. There is an incredible diversity of large mammals. There are, and so there is a lot of poaching going on. Now the poachers come down from the hills here, and these poachers are mostly ethnic Lisu people. They come down here for six months of the year and they hunt animals like Serow.
Serow hunted from the Hukong valley, take into local factories where their bones are boiled and glue is made out of the Serow bones. And also other products that are mixed with herbs to make herbal medicines. So serow are threatened. Other animals that are traded, unfortunately because I've taken this slide from a mac to a PC it's turned it around, but if you turn your heads you'll see that this is a picture of a wildlife market. And at the wildlife market which are located here, right here and here, there are a number of different kinds of things traded. Ranging from sambar, wild boar, barking deer, and other animals. This is the Lido road here and this is road that was built during the second world war. It is now the most important route along which wildlife trafficking takes place. It's the only way to get from the Hukong valley to the China border. And so one of the problems facing wildlife in the Hukong valley is that animals like elephants and tigers are being poached for the border trade with China.
This is a photograph taken in northern Burma showing another animal that's threatened by this commercial trade which is bear. We'll be talking about that in later discussions. Now from local market places across country borders there are a myriad of routes along which wildlife is trafficked. And what I've listed here is a table with some examples of what's happening in four different countries in southeast asia. Border crossings are one of the places where wildlife is moved. Now the official border crossings, there are just 10, 20, 30 of these in these four countries, Myanmar, Laos, and Thailand, Indonesia has 17,000 islands so there's really 17,000 ways in which wildlife can get out of Indonesia potentially speaking. So there's an incredible diversity of routes along which wildlife can be moved out of Indonesia to other places.
But looking at these three countries that are surrounded by land, in some cases there are border crossings that are known to officials but they don't have customs or immigration officials there. So that there's nobody to police and monitor those border crossings. For example in Thailand there are over 1,000 known border crossings, most of them are natural trails where people walk across mountains from Thailand into Myanmar, from Thailand into Cambodia, Thailand into Lao, Thailand into Malaysia. But only a few of those places actually are monitored by enforcement staff. So this is a big gap, this is a big hole for enforcement. We don't really know what the numbers of unofficial border crossings are into Myanmar and Lao but presumably they number into the hundreds. Now if we add to this the number of airports, sea ports, and major wildlife markets, we have varying numbers of wildlife trafficking nodes, or points at which wildlife traffic is taking
So you can see for some of these countries like Thailand and Indonesia the problem is immense. Now, another problem for us is that with advent of roads and transportation networks the trade is becoming increasingly efficient. And as forests are fragmented by roads, then it's easier to pull out wildlife. Enforcement capacity is another interesting thing that we should start talking about. And compared to the number of points at which wildlife is trafficked, remember these countries here, I've left Myanmar out because we don't have any information about the enforcement staff. But let's look at Loa, and Thailand and Indonesia, compared to the number of places where wildlife is moved out of the country, we have not that many trained personnel who can do wildlife enforcement.
The numbers of customs and forestry staff at these points are just a few hundred in the best places. So there's a big gap in the capacity to do the enforcement. Now potentially we can recruit other people to help in doing the suppression of wildlife trade. For example in Thailand, there are 12,000 border patrol police who are field staff. These are people that work along borders, that live in the forests or work at border crossings and these people are potentially people that we can involve in helping to monitor the illegal trade in wildlife. So what I'd like to do over the next 15-20 minutes is cover some of the trade routes going from inside countries across borders into other countries. As I said Chris has talked a little bit about this so I'm goingn to try to add some extra bits and pieces here.
And then what I'd like to do is open this up for a discussion. Now in Thailand as I showed you in one of the first slides, Thailand's protected area system is quite extensive. There's over 250 protected areas. But because there's roads going all across the country the forest has been fragmented and lost across much of the country. This means that it's easier for poachers to get into the forests and to bring wildlife out. If we add to this the fact that Thailand has got a very well developed international transportation system, with airports and roads that go off into other countries, wildlife can be moved into Thailand and smuggled out. And thai wildlife can be moved across country borders into other countries.
Some of the things that are happening are that exotic pets such as star tortoises are coming in from Myanmar, being flown into Bangkok airport and sold at the Bangkok weekend market. They're also being re-exported to Japan. And to other places. Along the border here with Myanmar, the border with Myanmar is 2,700 kilometers long. There are hundreds of points at which wildlife is being brought across from Myanmar into Thailand. Including tiger skins, uh, leapord skins, horns of wild cattle, live animals, birds, these things are coming across with poachers and traders, across the border. Another thing is allawood. Allawood is coming in from all of the countries in the region into Bangkok. It's coming in by road from Malaysia, it's coming by road from Lao, it's coming in across the boarders with Cambodia and Myanmar into Bangkok where it's sold in the middle of Bangkok and it's then traded with middle eastern and Japanese buyers who take it out of the country.
Another thing that's traded in Thailand is ivory. And I want to touch just briefly on this because Chris will expand on this in his talk about monitoring ivory trade. Thailand is one of the central trafficking points in the world for ivory. Of all of the southeastern asian countries, more ivory products are smuggled into, more ivory products are smuggled out of Thailand than in any other country. So ivory trade is a big problem. Indonesia. As I said, 17,000 islands, uh, pose a very very difficult problem for doing enforcement. There are 63 international, 103 national sea ports, 13 international, 10 national airports. More than 250 cities with wildlife markets. But there's only a handful of staff to cover the enforcement. So this is a big problem for dealing with the trade out of Indonesia.
Assam (?) in India. Animal products such as rhino horn are taken from India and they're smuggled into Nepal and Myanmar. Sometimes they come through Thailand on their way to Hong Kong and other points. There's also other animal products such as tiger skins and tiger products that come from India through Myanmar into Thailand and they're traded out of the country again. Here are some of the wildlife trade routes inside Myanmar. This is a photograph taken inside Myanmar in a shop where animals were being traded. Here is a big leapord skin. This is a hornbill. There's more skins of animals hanging up on the wall there. You can see here that in Myanmar there is quite an extensive network of trade routes. Now Myanmar is a country that has very poorly developed transportation networks but still wildlife is traded. It is brought out of forests in the west and in the north to central points such as Mandalay where it's then taken to the border with China and taken to the border with Thailand.
And it's smuggled into those countries. In the south wildlife is smuggled to the Thai border and is sold at a number of points along the border here. What's being traded along the border here included wild meat as well as trophies such as skins. The same things are also traded with China. Up in the far north this is where the Hukong valley is. And wildlife is coming out of the Hukong valley to the China border which is right there. And going across into China. Cambodia, Colin Pool will talk about the situation in Cambodia a little bit more, in more detail in a couple of days time. I'd just like to say that there are many points in Cambodia along the borders where wildlife is being traded.
Here is one of the small markets along the border with Thailand, this is Poypet, and this is a trader who's trading all kinds of things. He's trading skins...
(door squeaking in the background)
....He's trading horns of animals, this is a set of horns of a Serow, which is that goat-like animal that we saw that's being traded in Myanmar. There are all kinds of other products, animal products, that are being traded along this border. Some of the markets, permanent markets set up in the fresh produce markets. And some of the markets are actually in the backs of people's pick up trucks and they move around. So if the enforcement staff come they just drive away and then they come back later on. Wildlife is also taken out of the forests of eastern Cambodia directly into Vietnam and this is a big problem. And, uh, because they're, this area is very remote a lot of the wildlife is smuggled along natural trails where there is not much hope of being able to intercept what's going on.
In Lao, most of the wildlife that's hunted is going out of the country. It's going to Vietnam, to Hanoi, it's going into Thailand across a number of different points, official points like Chongmek, and uh across the border here from Winjung, and across other points which are unofficial or official border points. So there's a big problem with wildlife going out of Lao. And Chris has talked a lot about that already. Ok, in Malaysia a number of kind of things are exported from Malaysia including pangolins. Pangolins are coming up by road into Thailand. Right up through the peninsula of Thailand and up to Lao and out to Vietnam. And also there is allawood coming up along the same routes by road and actually on the backs of poachers, people are walking across the border and walking back with Allawood and lots of other products. And this is happening too from Sarawak and Saba, allawood is coming across from these states into places like Thailand.
Mr. Perwing, the person that I had mentioned who is our former poacher turned conservationist told me two weeks ago that there are maybe up to 1000 people from three villages where he lives who are actually inside Malaysia collecting allawood right now. So this is a big problem. Ok, Vietnam, wildlife is traded along a number of routes, sea routes and air routes, and road routes throughout the country. Pangolins are one of the key species involved. But there are a lot of other high value species that are involved in the trade. A lot of the wildlife is coming in from Cambodia, from Lao, from Thailand, and from further afield (?). Allawood is a key problem for conservation, not just because allawood itself is being poached, but because the people who are poaching allawood are killing other animals in the process.
So, there is a collateral damage, there is a problem for wildlife that is caused by this trade in allawood, this is something we need to talk about, we need to address. For example, a team of fifteen allawood collectors going into a forest in northern Thailand, may stay for one month and collect allawood. Each of them carrying out ten to fifteen kilograms or even more on their backs at the end of that period. But they don't carry much into the forest with them when they go in. And so what are they doing? How are they surviving in the forest while they're collecting allawood? To survive they need to hunt. And these people are hunting the species that animals like tigers are eating. They're hunting deer and wild boar, they're hunting porcupines, they're hunting other things like primate, gibbons, makaks. And they're cleaning out the forests.
And in some places in northern Thailand there are forests that are silent because they've been hunted out. And part of the problem is because of people collecting things like allawood. Because they're hunting everyday to feed themselves. So what I'd like to do now is close my presentation and open up to questions about wildlife trade routes. Thanks very much.
Are there any questions about wildlife trade routes, why they're important. What we, what do we do about stopping wildlife from being moved out of the forest...
...to the market place. Or from marketplaces across borders?
Unidentified woman: (Cannot understand question)
Tony: Yes, they're going to many places but Malaysia is one of them.
Woman: Uh, for us to carry out our enforcement work, information is very very important. So in this case, have you ever...(?)...that kind of information...(?)...I know that you mentioned this. Because unless we get that kind of information it is very difficult for us to take such actions. And we know that there are quite a number of Thai people coming into our national parks and collecting...(?)...and also with rifles and also AK47 to hunt elephants. So we are trying very hard to stop this from happening and we are asking the army to help. So if you could provide us with some information, I think we would really be able to...
Tony: Yes, ok, um I believe that we have a CITES official from the Padung Bessar station on the border with Malaysia. I just wanted to ask a question. Uh, do you see any of these problems at your border crossing, do you see allawood being traded or people trying to get allawood coming across into Thailand from Malaysia? Is this an issue for you?
Ambi- moving chair
Empassa tai garai, ka? (???)
CITES official speaking in a foreign language
Tony: Ok so his response was that he's responsible for, uh, wildlife but not plants, so he's not aware of what's happening in terms of allawood coming across. Clearly this is an issue, and it's something that we can talk about later on when we're all discussing, having an open discussion. Yes?
Another unidentified man speaking in a foreign language
Tony: His response, I will translate that for the class, his response what is your name sir?
Man: Mr. Pitiyah
Tony: Mr. Pitiyah, mentioned that it's legal to import allawood from other countries and there is a procedure for issuing permits for the import although it's illegal to actually harvest for national forests inside the country, you can bring it in from Malaysia and other countries. So his response is that as an official he's obligated to allow a quota to individuals wanting to bring this product in from other countries. And so it's difficult to enforce what happens with wildlife that might be associating with this trade.
Yes? What is your name?
Lina: Good afternoon, I'm Lina from the Philippines. I hope sir you wont mind if I ask you if you have once conducted an actual monitory and surveillance of wildlife in the forest.
Tony: Your question was monitoring the surveillance?
Lina: If you have once experienced an actual monitory and surveillance of wildlife in the forest.
Tony: Yes, in may parts of Thailand. The wildlife conservation society has been doing monitoring of wildlife. Kalyai is one place where we monitored wildlife for several years. We also have a monitoring program that's just starting in Gangrajan, which is another park. And in other parts of southeast asia we've been monitoring wildlife.
Lina: I am asking because as we have experienced, there are people who are in charge in policy making and they don't perform the...(?)....implementation. And they don't come up with a favorable result. They have different targets.
Tony: Ok, alright, thank you very much.
Ambi: (talking in background, taking off the mike)
LB: Since we don't seem to have any hefty smokers in the room...
...Um do we want a five minute break before the next one or shall we carry on through and then finish spot on time. Carry on through? Ok. You're a virtuous lot, I'm used to having people who are desperate to get out for a cigarette.
Sorry it just takes a while to boot up, my computer is so full it, eh, and this is a very large presentation because I have some fairly high resolution slides on it. So it takes a little while to get going. Uh, while this is booting up, maybe I can talk about what we're going to be doing this evening. This evening we thought what we would do is so far today you've heard an awful lot of us. You've heard far too much probably of us, we would like to hear from you. And so what we thought we'd do this evening is very informally, I mean people wear jeans t-shirts whatever you like, after dinner, just for one hour is get together so you can tell us more about yourselves. What you do, which agencies you're from, what problems you're f...