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  • Baby gorillas have figured out how to dismantle hunting snares

    In the forests of Rwanda, mountain gorillas sometimes get caught in snares that were intended for game like antelopes. Adult gorillas can often escape; younger ones aren’t always so lucky. But staff at the Karisoke Research Center recently observed young gorillas finding and dismantling the traps before anyone could get caught, reports National Geographic News: […]

  • Finally, a good use for drones: Catching poachers

    Conservationists are taking a page from the U.S. government in the fight against poaching — they’re sending in the drones. Already in use in Indonesia and soon to be in the air in Nepal, the drones can monitor protected areas where endangered species are hanging out. If they see a poacher, they leap into action. […]

  • Shark massacre reported off of Colombian coast

    Off the coast of Colombia, as many as 2,000 sharks in a wildlife sanctuary have been massacred, says the Colombian government. A team of divers first alerted the government to the killings, according to the Guardian:

    [The divers] saw a large number of fishing trawlers entering the zone illegally," [environmental minister Sandra] Bessudo said. The divers counted a total of 10 fishing boats, which all were flying the Costa Rican flag. 

  • How to save rhinos and tigers: Shoot the crap out of poachers

    In India's Kaziranga National Park, rhinos and tigers are thriving, because poachers are dying instead. When it comes to poachers, the park's rangers have a license to kill, and they do. It gets results:

    In 2010, only five rhinos were shot in Kaziranga, while nine poachers were killed, the first time poacher deaths surpassed rhinos. (For comparison, in South Africa, where rangers fire only in self-­defense, five poachers were killed in 2010, while 333 rhinos were poached.)

    These guys were breaking the law and killing endangered species. But the moral calculus here isn't so clear-cut. In the park's region, jobs are scarce. Park animals eats crops and kill farm animals, and poaching pays better than any other pursuit. Shooting poachers on sight is apparently the most effective way to conserve the park’s threatened animals, but how does that stack up against human injustice? It’s a complicated calculation.