News Releases


Illegal Wildlife Trade


PHOTO RELEASE: The Turtle that Almost Went Extinct, Now Ready for Its Close-up
The Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) and Turtle Survival Alliance (TSA) released a series of images showing hatchling Burmese roofed turtles (Batagur trivittata) – considered one of the most endangered turtles in the world. 
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MEDIA STATEMENT: WCS Commends Congolese Justice System on 30-Year Sentence of Notorious Elephant Poacher and Ivory Trafficker in Republic of Congo

“This unprecedented conviction in the criminal court is a major milestone in the protection of wildlife in the Republic of Congo and in upholding the rule of law. It sends an extremely strong message that wildlife crime will not be tolerated.” – Dr. Emma Stokes, WCS Regional Director for Central Africa 

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Has Vietnam banned the wildlife trade to curb the risk of future pandemics?
On July 23rd 2020 the Vietnamese Government released Prime Minister’s Directive No. 29 on urgent solutions to manage wildlife. This has been largely reported in the global media as a widespread ban on wildlife trade in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Wildlife Conservation Society welcomes the Prime Minister’s Directive and the renewed attention it will bring to combating illegal trade and consumption of wildlife. However, there are a number of points that have been mis-reported in the global media and areas we think require greater attention to reduce the risks of future zoonotic pathogen outbreaks
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New study highlights emerging trends from the illegal wildlife trade in Central America
Wildlife trafficking is devastating many species across the globe, while undermining local livelihoods, weakening the rule of law, exacerbating corruption and organized crime, and emerging as a growing threat to national security.
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Viruses from Field to Fork: Study Finds That Wildlife Supply Chains for Human Consumption Increase Coronaviruses’ Spillover Risk to People

A new study found that animals sampled in the wildlife-trade supply chain bound for human consumption had high proportions of coronaviruses, and that the proportion of positives significantly increases as animals travel from traders, to large markets, to restaurants.

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Twenty-Three Royal Turtles hatch on Cambodia's Sre Ambel River – more than the three previous years combined

Twenty-three Royal Turtles hatched from nests on the Sre Ambel River this year. This is more than the total number hatched in the previous three years combined.

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End the Trade: New Coalition Invites Global Community to Take a Stand Against Future Pandemics
The global trade in wild animals has produced the conditions for disastrous and deadly pandemics, including COVID-19. To prevent the next pandemic, the Coalition to End the Trade is calling for the permanent end to the commercial trade and sale in markets of terrestrial animals for consumption, particularly birds and mammals. 
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COVID-19 is a disease caused by the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2.  Although COVID-positive people can infect tigers and lions in zoos by close contact involved with caring for them, cats are not easily infected, and SARS-CoV-2 is not known to occur in any population of any wild cat species in nature. It is extremely unlikely that wild cats can transmit the virus that causes COVID-19 to humans.
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An excerpt from testimony by Dr. Christian Walzer, Executive Director of WCS’s Health Programs, who is speaking today before the bipartisan leadership of the International Conservation Caucus.

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COVID-19 FUELING AN UPTICK IN POACHING: Three Critically Endangered Giant Ibis – Cambodia’s National Bird – Killed in Protected Area

In a single deliberate poisoning event, three Giant Ibis, equivalent to 1-2 percent of the global population, have been killed – part of a disturbing global trend where conservationists are noticing increases in hunting of protected species since the spread of coronavirus began to disrupt traditional economic and social systems in rural areas.

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