U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services Praise Unorthodox Conservation Grants

One of the world’s most illegally trafficked animals, the pangolin. 
U.S. Fish and Wildlife
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

USA -(Ammoland.com)- Rats are smart animals with a keen sense of smell, and one species — the African giant pouched rat — is being tested to see if it can help detect illegal shipments of pangolins and hardwood timber in Tanzania.

Such innovative approaches to halt wildlife poaching and trafficking are being rewarded to the tune of more than $1.2 million in U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service grants for 12 projects in 11 countries.

This ability to sniff out illegal wildlife shipments also is being used to aid anti-trafficking efforts Kyrgyzstan and Malawi, with grant funding going to help replicate successful programs already underway in other countries, including the United States.

“These grants provide much-needed resources to support projects on the ground where wildlife trafficking is decimating some of the Earth’s most cherished and most unusual species,” said service director Dan Ashe. “These grant recipients are using pioneering approaches to address the illegal wildlife trade in the places where it starts and where demand for wildlife products feeds the criminal supply chain of illegal goods.”

Pangolins, the world’s most trafficked mammal, are often traded illegally for their scales and skin. Conservation of these animals are the focus of many of the grants, with projects funded in China, Cambodia, Indonesia and Vietnam.

In China, one project will lay foundations for reducing consumer demand for pangolins in three provinces that are major hubs for their consumption.

Grant dollars also will go to work to:

  • Address illegal rosewood trade in Belize.
  • Train law enforcement officers in Cambodia.
  • Help forest patrols reduce poaching threats to tigers and other species in Indonesia.
  • Use sniffer dogs to combat trafficking in saiga horn in Kazakhstan.
  • Generate new information on trafficking routes in Peru.
  • Use community-based conservation initiatives to combat timber trafficking in Madagascar.
  • Support conservation-religion partnerships to combat illegal wildlife trade in Malaysia.
  • Protect wild populations of cycads, an ancient group of cone-producing plants, in South Africa.

These grants support implementation of President Obama’s National Strategy for Combating Wildlife Trafficking.

The service is identified as a lead or participating agency in all 24 of the strategy implementation plan’s objectives, reflecting the commitment and history of the agency in the fight against the illegal wildlife trade.

For more information on the grants and projects, please visit: https://www.fws.gov/international/pdf/FY16-CWT-project-summaries.pd

About the U.S. Fish and Wildlife:

The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals, and commitment to public service. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit www.fws.gov.

For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit http://www.fws.gov/. Connect with our Facebook page, follow our tweets, watch our YouTube Channel and download photos from our Flickr page.