Police in South Africa are trying to crack down on heavily armed poachers of abalone, a shellfish prized in China, Taiwan, and Japan as an aphrodisiac. Some marine scientists warn that South Africa’s abalone population could be virtually wiped out within five years. Meanwhile, investigators in China have broken up a massive smuggling ring that trafficked in skins and other parts of endangered species, distributing them via the nation’s postal service. Authorities seized a half-ton of animal parts in the southwestern province of Yunnan, including monkey skulls, elephant tusks, and skins from tigers, leopards, and cobras.