Paying for wildlife crimes by fighting wildlife crimes. Oregon is sentencing wildlife traffickers to hefty fines plus a novel form of restitution: helping to catch others trying to commit similar crimes. NatGeo reports that offenders scour Facebook, WeChat and other media for ads for prohibited wildlife—like the eastern box turtles, above, that were being smuggled to China—and wildlife products and report them to researchers at the University of Maryland. (More on wildlife trafficking from Conservation Frontlines.)
VIDEO: Spotted hyenas have been translocated to Mozambique’s Gorongosa National Park, re-establishing a vital scavenger/predator that disappeared from the ecosystem in the 1980s. Gorongosa, one of Southern Africa’s great conservation successes, now has its full natural complement of carnivores, all thriving: lions, leopards, painted wolves and hyenas. Furthermore, from collar fit and immobilization (above) to crowd control, the video shows what biologists say is top-notch animal handling.
VIDEO: Bison roam England for the first time in thousands of years. On July 18, three females, above, from wildlife parks in Scotland and Ireland, were released into the countryside in Kent, where they will eco-engineer 200 hectares (500 acres) of commercial pine forest into a natural woodland. Bisons’ taste for bark will kill some trees and their trails and wallows will open up areas for new plants, insects, lizards and birds. This month they will be joined by a bull from Germany. Bison, Europe’s largest land animal, existed on the continent only in zoos a century ago; today bison are being re-established in Poland, Bulgaria, Belarus, Lithuania, Romania, Switzerland and Germany.
VIDEO: Rare footage of a mother tiger and four cubs, grabbed by a trail camera last month, shows more than 3% of Malaysia’s remaining tigers. According to the World Wildlife Fund, patrolling more than 450 square miles (1,165 sq km) of that nation’s habitat has reduced tiger poaching by almost 98%. This month a new National Tiger Task Force, backed up by stricter conservation laws and stiffer penalties for poaching, will take effect. WWF says this shows that under the right conditions the endangered cats can repopulate a once thriving tiger landscape.