Jail time for jaguar traffickers

The top stories from our Spanish-language service, Mongabay Latam, looked at jail sentences for wildlife traffickers in Bolivia; conserving river dolphins in Venezuela and culling lionfish in Colombia; and shark bycatch in Chile.

Jaguar-tooth traffickers get up to four years’ prison in Bolivia

A Bolivian court has set a legal precedent by sentencing traffickers in jaguar parts to up to four years in prison. While prosecutors failed to convince the panel of judges of the magnitude of the case, they plan to present a wider legal reform next year. A prosecutor said the government would seek new charges against the convicted traffickers, who are Chinese nationals resident in Bolivia, for illegal enrichment and treason, which carry higher sentences.

The largest jaguar teeth can cost 250 to 300 soles ($75 to $90) each, while the smallest fetch around 100 to 150 soles ($30 to $45). Image by Charles J. Sharp via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 4.0).

Venezuela creates action plan for river mammals

Venezuelan researchers have created a 10-year strategy to conserve river dolphins and other aquatic mammals in the Orinoco and Amazon regions. Almost 10 years ago, a group of researchers from Ecuador, Bolivia, Peru and Venezuela met to formulate a regional plan for the conservation of river mammals. Given the exodus of environmental researchers from the country, Venezuela was the last to present its plan. Five mammal species inhabit its rivers, including the Amazon river dolphin (Inia geoffrensis), Guiana dolphin (Sotalia guianensis), giant otter (Pteronura brasiliensis), neotropical otter (Lontra longicaudis) and West Indian manatee (Trichechus manatus).

Amazon river dolphins, also known as pink river dolphins. Image courtesy of the Omacha Foundation.

Colombia tries fishing tournaments to control lionfish invasion

Colombian national parks are launching fishing tournaments to control the invasion of lionfish in their Caribbean coasts. The coral-dwelling red lionfish (Pterois volitans) reproduces rapidly, threatening hundreds of native species. Populations of its natural predators, such as the Atlantic goliath grouper (Epinephelus itajara) and sharks, have decreased. And without a market for lionfish, there’s little economic incentive to catch these venomous fish.

Red lionfish caught in a fishing tournament. Image courtesy of the National Natural Parks of Colombia.

Deforestation in Peru accelerated in past two decades: study

A large proportion of the more than 61,000 square kilometers (23,000 square miles) of primary forests that Peru has lost was cut in the last two decades alone, a new study shows. Almost 20,000 square kilometers (8,000 square miles) of forest have disappeared since 2000, largely due to illegal mining and logging, monoculture plantations and highway construction.

The Monitoring of the Andean Amazon Project analyzed deforestation in three critical Peruvian rainforest zones. Image by Diego Pérez

Chile’s shark bycatch hits vulnerable species

While Chileans don’t eat all that much shark, thousands are caught accidentally every year. Of the 56 shark species in Chilean waters, only shortfin mako (Isurus oxyrinchus) and blue (Prionace glauca) sharks are eaten — marketed as albacore tuna. While these two species account for the bulk of bycatch, other species are also netted, including common threshers (Alopias vulpinus), dogfish (Squalus spp.), porbeagles (Lamna nasus) and smooth hammerheads (Sphyrna zygaena). All of these are listed as vulnerable by the IUCN. Porbeagles and hammerhead sharks are included in Appendix II of the CITES Convention.

Mako shark. Image courtesy of Oceana Mexico

Read these stories in their entirety in Spanish here at Mongabay Latam.

Banner image of a tucuxi dolphin (Sotalia fluviatilis), also known as the gray bufeo, that lives in the northern and eastern tributaries of the Amazon. Image by Fernando Trujillo/Omacha Foundation.

This story first appeared on Mongabay

South Africa Today – Environment

This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

You may republish this article, so long as you credit the authors and Mongabay, and do not change the text. Please include a link back to the original article.

Disclaimer: The views of authors published on South Africa Today are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of South Africa Today. By viewing, visiting, using, or interacting with SouthAfricaToday.net, you are agreeing to all the provisions of the Terms of Use Policy and the Privacy Policy.