Wandering Eye: Blog https://www.wanderingeye.net/blog en-us (C)SASanderson [email protected] (Wandering Eye) Mon, 16 Mar 2020 07:31:00 GMT Mon, 16 Mar 2020 07:31:00 GMT https://www.wanderingeye.net/img/s/v-12/u905144661-o530161989-50.jpg Wandering Eye: Blog https://www.wanderingeye.net/blog 90 120 Under African Skies https://www.wanderingeye.net/blog/2018/10/under-african-skies Under Africa Skies, an exhibit of my photographs from Botswana, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe, was on display at the Orinda Library Art Gallery for the month of September 2018. I am very grateful to the Lamorinda Arts Council and to curator Maggie Boscoe for allowing me to exhibit my work. It was my hope that many of the visitors to the Library, most of whom had probably not visited Africa before, would be interested in seeing the incredible landscapes of Southern Africa and some of the animals which call it home. Many friends and other visitors to the exhibit made generous donations to African conservation organizations in response to the exhibit. I would like to thank my very dear photography friends Joanna Culbertson, Dawn Frider, and Lorna Hart as well as my husband, Bob, for their support and their help with so many aspects of the exhibit, not least of which was the Artists' Reception on September 9.


[email protected] (Wandering Eye) https://www.wanderingeye.net/blog/2018/10/under-african-skies Tue, 02 Oct 2018 18:29:00 GMT
Namibia Book https://www.wanderingeye.net/blog/2017/3/namibia-book


My book, The Namib Desert, is a coffee table book with an imagewrap hard cover, 13" x 11", printed on Blurb's best photographic paper. It includes a selection of photos from my 2016 trip to four areas of the Namib Desert of Namibia – the Skeleton Coast, which boasts a surprising variety of desert-adapted wildlife, the Kunene region (home to the Himba people), Sossusvlei's famous red dunes, and the ghost town of Kolmanskop. To see a preview of the book's entire contents click image of the book cover. Clicking on the "i" or the cart will bring up the Blurb sales page. The book is being sold at cost, with no markup or profit. Discounts are periodically available on the website.

[email protected] (Wandering Eye) https://www.wanderingeye.net/blog/2017/3/namibia-book Wed, 22 Mar 2017 17:40:46 GMT
“A Bit of a Thing for Elephants” https://www.wanderingeye.net/blog/2015/2/-a-bit-of-a-thing-for-elephants Elephant Orphans

Since this blog was first published, the links to CBS videos have been placed behind a paywall. They are still worth watching, but viewing them will cost you.

With the death of CBS’s Bob Simon, wild animals have lost a passionate advocate. Much of the reaction to Simon’s death in an automobile accident last week has focused on his work as a war and Middle Eastern correspondent and a longtime 60 Minutes reporter. But Simon’s wildlife stories were an especially important part of his body of work, stories that were clearly very personal for him as detailed in this interview: http://www.cbsnews.com/videos/bob-simons-wild-kingdom-50107954/

Among the many wildlife reports that Simon did for 60 minutes are two that are meaningful for me. Both deal with special places for elephants, places I have been privileged to visit. First is the rainforest of the Dzanga Sangha Reserve in the Central African Republic where researcher Andrea Turkalo studies Forest Elephant communication. Second is Daphne Sheldrick’s Elephant Orphange in Kenya. Both of these reports are well worth watching.




[email protected] (Wandering Eye) https://www.wanderingeye.net/blog/2015/2/-a-bit-of-a-thing-for-elephants Tue, 17 Feb 2015 01:20:34 GMT
Nations Reach Illegal Ivory Trade Deal, Classify Wildlife Trafficking A 'Serious Crime' https://www.wanderingeye.net/blog/2013/12/nations-reach-illegal-ivory-trade-deal-classify-wildlife-trafficking-a-serious-crime  

Delegates to the African Elephant Summit from 30 countries agreed this week to take measures to protect elephants and to try to end the illegal ivory trade. A report from the Huffington Post summarizes the agreement, which as attended by delegates from African countries with large elephant populations, and Asian ivory transit and destination countries. The article describing the agreement can be found at Nations Reach Illegal Ivory Trade Deal, Classify Wildlife Trafficking A 'Serious Crime'. It reads as follows:

Delegates from 30 countries gathered at the first ever African Elephant Summit this week to discuss urgent measures to protect elephants and agreed to try to put an end to the illegal ivory trade.

The elephant population has plummeted in recent years as poaching has led to the deaths of hundreds of elephants in African countries. To curb further population loss due to poaching, nations from Kenya to China agreed to certain crucial measures, such as taking a zero tolerance stance on illegal ivory trade.

Wildlife trafficking involving organized criminal groups will now be considered a "serious crime" subject to international law enforcement, summit organizer International Union for Conservation of Nature said in a statement.

Other measures included increasing interagency cooperation, strengthening national laws governing wildlife crime and mobilizing financial and technical resources to better combat the illegal ivory trade.

Key African and Asian countries attended the summit, which was convened by the government of Botswana and IUCN, held in Gaborone over several days. Attendees including African countries with large elephant populations (Gabon, Kenya, Niger and Zambia), ivory transit states (Vietnam, Philippines and Malaysia) and destination states (China and Thailand).

While all 30 countries agreed to the urgent measures proposed Tuesday, only six signed the illegal ivory trade deal, the Agence France-Presse notes.

"Our window of opportunity to tackle the growing illegal ivory trade is closing and if we do not stem the tide, future generations will condemn our unwillingness to act," Botswana President Ian Khama said during the summit, according to the Associated Press. "Now is the time for Africa and Asia to join forces to protect this universally valued and much needed species."

The illegal ivory trade has become a serious problem in recent years, as African countries have seen a considerable rise in elephant poaching. A recent report released by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species notes that as many as 20 percent of Africa's population of elephants could be killed in the next decade if poaching continues at the current rate. In 2012, an estimated 22,000 elephants were illegally killed across the continent, the report states.

"Enduring poverty and rampant corruption, fueled by an increasing demand from Asia, are creating an impossible situation for Africa's elephants," IUCN Director General Julia Marton-Lefevre said during the summit, according to Xinhua News Agency.

"We must address the issue of organized crime in ivory trafficking, and help to ensure that those responsible are apprehended and held accountable for their crimes," she added.

[email protected] (Wandering Eye) elephant enforcement poaching https://www.wanderingeye.net/blog/2013/12/nations-reach-illegal-ivory-trade-deal-classify-wildlife-trafficking-a-serious-crime Thu, 05 Dec 2013 04:50:03 GMT
A Major World Religion in Need of Attitude Readjustment https://www.wanderingeye.net/blog/2013/6/major-world-religion-in-need-of-attitude-readjustment

Come to think of it, more than one major world religion needs an attitude readjustment on this issue.


[email protected] (Wandering Eye) signage https://www.wanderingeye.net/blog/2013/6/major-world-religion-in-need-of-attitude-readjustment Fri, 07 Jun 2013 19:18:36 GMT
Summer's HERE https://www.wanderingeye.net/blog/2013/6/summers-here _D7E0003

[email protected] (Wandering Eye) fawn https://www.wanderingeye.net/blog/2013/6/summers-here Fri, 07 Jun 2013 19:12:05 GMT
Some good news https://www.wanderingeye.net/blog/2013/4/some-good-news  

Forest Elephants

In the past month, there has been some good news amid continuing reports of rampant elephant poaching in Africa. First is an all-too-rare effort to deal with the demand side of the trade in illegal ivory. At the CITES conference in Bangkok, Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra promised to end ivory trade in Thailand, a hub for the ivory trade. No dates for the ban were offered, nor was it clear whether both domestic and international trade would be covered. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/04/world/asia/prime-minister-of-thailand-promises-to-end-nations-ivory-trade.html

The UN Office on Drugs and Crime called on member states to increase penalties for illegal trade in endangered species. However, the head of that Office, Yury Fedotov, placed sole responsibility on its member states and did not offer UN assistance in combating the international criminal organizations that are engaged in poaching. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/04/23/ivory-rhino-horn-demand-asia_n_3140543.html

I would have been happier to see a UN anti-poaching mission, similar to a peacekeeping mission.

At a conference in March, several central African states (eight of the ten members of the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS)) vowed to start joint military operations to protect their elephants. As reported by the World Wildlife Fund:

The high-level conference was held to stop what ECCAS said are about 300 heavily armed Sudanese poachers on horseback on the prowl for elephants in the savannas of Cameroon, the Central African Republic and Chad.

On the night of March 14-15, in southern Chad, these poachers killed at least 89 elephants in one night. Since the beginning of the year, they also slaughtered at least thirty elephants in the Central African Republic. They are believed to be responsible for the 300 elephants killed in Cameroon’s Bouba N’Djida National Park in early 2012, forcing the country to mobilize 600 elite soldiers to defend the country’s borders from these poachers.

Although precise figures are difficult to come by, savanna elephant populations in, for example, the Central African Republic - the country with historically the highest numbers of savanna elephants in the region – are believed to have plummeted from around 80,000 thirty years ago to a few hundred today.

The emergency plan, estimated to cost around 1.8 million euros, calls for the use of aerial support, land vehicles, the purchase of satellite phones, the establishment of a joint military command including real-time information sharing and analysis systems, as well as for sending a diplomatic mission to Sudan and South Sudan – where the poachers are believed to originate from.

Although the statement said ECCAS states would fund these operations themselves, they called on the international community to “mobilize and make available complementary funds” to sustain these efforts now and in the future.

… the ECCAS states reaffirmed their commitment to protect its elephants, which they said “belong to the natural universal heritage of humanity”.


It remains to be seen how a country like the CAR will be able to conduct a military mission to protect elephants when the country is in political turmoil. http://worldnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/04/26/17929024-activists-elephant-meat-sold-openly-amid-extensive-slaughter-in-central-african-republic?lite

[email protected] (Wandering Eye) elephant poaching https://www.wanderingeye.net/blog/2013/4/some-good-news Mon, 29 Apr 2013 19:34:58 GMT
Endangered Moon Bears Harvested for Bile in Vietnam https://www.wanderingeye.net/blog/2013/3/endangered-moon-bears-harvested-for-bile-in-vietnam  

My friend Brendan McCarthy, an Australian photojournalist, has been investigating the collection and sale of Moon Bear bile in Vietnam. Bear bile is marketed as a traditional Asian remedy for everything from impotence to cancer to hangovers. The bears are listed as endangered, by CITES, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora. It's aim is to ensure that such international trade does not threaten the survival of endangered species.

Brendan’s video report, The Bear Rescue Mission, details the work of the nonprofit Animals Asia to rescue and house the bears. It also covers the bear-bile “farmers” who claim to own the bears as “pets”. Here is the most up to date information on the status of the bears: http://newswatch.nationalgeographic.com/2012/12/21/moon-bears-bile-asiatic-black-bears/.

Naturally there is pushback from those who profit from the trade in bear bile. Whether the Animals Asia rescue center at Tam Dao National Park in northern Vietnam will be evicted by the authorities is still an open question, so stay tuned for developments.

[email protected] (Wandering Eye) bear bile https://www.wanderingeye.net/blog/2013/3/endangered-moon-bears-harvested-for-bile-in-vietnam Fri, 15 Mar 2013 15:17:52 GMT
Poaching Frenzy https://www.wanderingeye.net/blog/2013/3/poachingfrenzy  

Since this photo of a family of forest elephants greeting other elephants in the Central African Republic was shot in 2006, more than half of the forest elephants in western Africa have been slaughtered by poachers for their ivory. Elsewhere in Africa, elephant poaching is at epidemic levels, driven by an insatiable demand for ivory in China. In the past 6 months international media have focused on this situation, but poachers are better financed than those who work to combat it. To find out more, explore some of the links below.












[email protected] (Wandering Eye) elephant poaching https://www.wanderingeye.net/blog/2013/3/poachingfrenzy Sat, 09 Mar 2013 20:02:36 GMT