karl ammann
bushmeat activist, wildlife photographer, author;

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the early days correspondence project reports scientific articles karl's notes photographs dna evidence bili coffee project 2010 bili update
contact us:
email: photo inquiries
email: karl directly
in USA: 301-854-0388

present features:

As CITES annual conf.
nears Karl expounds on
CITES double standards.

Karl's exposition of the
real Ivory price
in China.

Christopher Hasslet's
incredible report on the
illicit online ape trade.

An open letter regarding
developments in Guinea

concerning the illegal
export of great apes.

karl's recent Report on
, its permitting
system, with clear
evidence of its
failure to police
the trade in live animals
of endangered species

karl discusses how
disappearing wildlife,
worldwild, reappears
in Chinese Zoo and
Safari Park facilities

karl interviewed by
Southeast Asia Globe
reveals his trade secrets;
staying out of trouble,
disillusion w/progress
on illicit animal trade

CITES 2011 Guinea
Mission Report

karl comments on
Apparent drop in
rhino horn demand

karl wins another
SAB environmental
media award

Commercial Exploitation
and Cites

karl ammannn

Overwhelmed U.S. port
inspectors unable to keep up
with illegal wildlife trade
Darryl Fears (in Wash Post)

African fraud, local market
exacerbate illegal primate

Global Times

Media Report (in Chinese)
Southern China Weekly

the Conakry Connection
very detailed report on
great ape smuggling in Guinea
provides insight into the
worldwide animal trade.
karl ammann and others

latest (9-14)Conakry
Connection update

karl ammann and others

latest (1-14)Conakry
Connection update

karl ammann and others

Cites and the Shanghai 8
exporting illegal wild apes
claiming them captive bred
karl ammann

Cites and the Taiping4
more on the export
of illegal wild apes
claimed as captive bred
karl ammann

Karl's blogs for
National Geographic
tiger Trade, china's chimp
smuggling, ivory tracking,
rhino poaching and more.

Tiger farming in
SE Asia

karl ammann

more on the China-
Gorilla story

karl ammann

Cites and the illegal
trade in wildlife

karl ammann

emails/letters/issues ignored
bonobos to Armenia

GRASP correspondence on
illegal animal trade

allegations of a coverup at the
CITES secretariat

karl ammann

a fairy tale of ivory:
the ongoing tragedy of
incompetence, slaughter,
and lawlessness.
karl ammann and others

for details see this
transcript with NBouke.
karl ammann and others

the Rhino & the Bling - the
inside mechanics of the
rhino horn trade.
karl ammann

karl's latest elephant
poaching video

Millions spent on ape
conservation and where
are the results?

karl ammann

an interview with Karl
on the state of conservation,
poaching, trafficking
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

Where Did All
the Tigers Go?

karl ammann

the detailed report on
The Cairo Connection:
Ape Trafficking

karl ammann

the updated report on
The Cairo Connection:
Ape Trafficking in Egypt

karl ammann

Tiger, Lion bones
and rhino horn

another piece in Swara

karl ammann

Tiger cake & rhino horn
from Swara, a magazine of the
East African Wildlife Society

karl ammann

Into the Asian Underworld
in Africa Geograpic's
Rhino Watch
(page 3)
karl ammann

karl speaks at Foreign
Correspondents' Club of
Thailand - International
Trade in Reptile Skins

rhino versus ape

karl ammann

the rhino horn story
at consumer end
karl ammann

the latest horrors of
Poaching in
karl ammann

addendums to
elephants and elephant
conservation in the DRC

karl ammann

Our reptile skin trade
is now online.

Rhino Files: 333 rhinos
killed by poachers in
barbaric fashion

karl ammann
bernadette cook

Cites and the diplomatic
approach: these videos
say it does not work

karl ammann

Karl wins another
Genesis award

notes on Orang conservation
in Kalimantan - a sad story

errol pietersen

despite illegally held apes
CITES action minimal

karl ammann

asia geographic on
illegal wildlife trade

dale peterson
karl amman

africa geographic
reports on karl's
smuggling studies

karl ammann

Karl's German site

of interest

karl nominated for
zoological society medal

'Canned hunting': the
lions bred for slaughter

The Guardian

Seven rhinos killed ...
Kenya's bloodiest week

The Guardian

Forestry Education info
chase g

Not on Animal Planet
karl ammann

2010 Bili-Uere Update
karl ammann

more on wildlife
trafficking from Boten -
bears, leopard, tiger cubs

karl ammann

"horrific slaughter of
elephants ... butchered
in the Central African
Republic ... "

from BBC Newsnight

HIV ignored in Natl
Geographic article on
disease transmission

karl ammann

The Protein Gap
A misleading article

karl ammann

Mass Gorilla Execution
Can we learn from it?

karl ammann

Hundreds of Elephants
killed in DRC Park

from radio Okapi

Hunting Report take
on Chimp escape

karl ammann

US Wildlife Agency
provides a bandaid

karl ammann

open letter to CITES
re: wildlife export

karl ammann

important books

elephant reflections
dale peterson
karl ammann

eating apes
dale peterson
karl ammann

consuming nature
anthony rose
karl ammann

Letter to New Sudan (newspaper published in Nairobi)
re: Rescue of Sudanese Chimp Orphans

Southern Sudan has still some patches of forest and according to the director of Southern Sudan Wildlife there are still three areas with small populations of chimpanzees. Actually, the schweinfurthii subspecies was typed from specimens which were collected in Southern Sudan.

In March of 2003 I was contacted by a lady working for UNICEF in Yambio Southern Sudan, stating that there were 4 orphaned chimps (2 at Yambio and two with Mission people at Nimule) which needed a new home). As far as her two chimps were concerned she had been in touch with various parties and sanctuaries discussing an evacuation but nothing concrete had been accomplished. She was about to go on a long leave and expressed doubt that her two chimps would still be alive upon her return.

We then diverted one of our aircraft from Northern Congo via Southern Sudan to pick up the two in Yambio. I arranged for another aircraft to fly Annie Olivercrona from Sweetwaters to go to Nimule to pick up the other two. All four were meant to go to a well known chimpanzee sanctuary in Zambia. However Zambia in the end was not able to secure the import permits and so they ended up at the Sweetwaters chimpanzee sanctuary in Northern Kenya.

Then in October Annie told me of another 7 orphans at Yambio needing to be picked up (there was also talk about a baby leopard). I expressed my concern that something was not right. In all my time working on bushmeat and ape issues I had never come across a situation of 7 orphans ending up in the same place at the same time. While it is occasionally possible to get officials to carry out a confiscation, generally the word of such action spreads very fast and any other known chimps or gorillas tend to disappear overnight. It was also clear that these chimps could not all come from Sudan and that they most likely had all come in from the DRC. Being familiar with the Azande people living along the border and their means and techniques of hunting it was also clear that producing these kind of numbers of orphans, in such a short period, meant something had drastically changed in the supply/demand characteristic. (No geographically limited population could sustain this kind off take for long and as such this had to be a recent phenomena.)

The border area in question is only some three hundred kilometers east of our project area, where we have signed up three cheferies, buying their coffee at above market prices, in return for them stopping all the poaching of protected species. One such indicator, in our contract, is the appearance of any chimp orphans in any village. As such we had done an inventory of any existing orphans in the border area and as a result had a very good idea on how often chimps were hunted in the past and how often orphans ended up in villages. Therefore what was happening a few hundred kilometers further east was of great interest and concern to us.

In mid November we sent our head tracker and investigator to the Sudan border on a motorbike. I briefed him on the chimps which had been air lifted out of Sudan in the last 8 months and the possibility of some demand for orphans existing in or near Yambio. I asked him to talk to hunters and traders along the border and find out what he could about where these chimps came from and who hunted them and why. As long as there are still elephants in the area most commercial hunters concentrate on them, with the return per elephant being in the region of some U$ 250 whereas a chimp carcass would only fetch about a dollar or two.

When he returned he stated that he had interviewed two "agents": one a Sudanese by the name of Jon B. the other a Congolese named Banakos who informed him that they had already supplied four chimps to a white lady in Yambio. They stated they received U$ 50 per chimp. They also added that there were two more gents in the area doing the same thing for the same lady. They asked our man to bring any orphan he could and they would pay him some U$ 20 on the Congo side of the border.

When talking to the hunters he also established the earlier mentioned facts: The main commercial hunters were still mostly after elephants. The chimps were still hunted with the traditional Azande cross bow and poisoned arrow of which pretty much every adult male seems to have one. Chimps heard in fruiting trees are easy targets. The hunters surprise them and making a lot of noise on the ground they ensure they stay in the trees. The hunter can then pick a mother with an infant and wait for the poison to take effect which takes about 10-20 minutes until the mother falls out of tree. (When chimps are hunted with the 00 shot gun shells then the chance is very high that any baby clinging on to its mother will also be injured or killed by one of the 72 lead balls in these shells.)

Presenting the findings of this first investigative mission to the various parties involved created some controversy concerning accuracy. In April this year we sent back another party to the border area who this time found the Sudanese trader John B. who essentially confirmed all the above in a video taped interview.

I have very little doubt that the new demand pattern for chimp orphans on the Sudan side of the border resulted in additional hunting pressure on the DRC side of the border and the killing of chimps.

The transfer of the orphans across the border then clearly infringed on the CITES convention to which both nations are signatories.

None of this part of the story was told on the CNN or BBC pieces which went around the world when the second group of orphans were transferred to Kenya.

I do feel some lessons need to be learnt from the above and my suggestion would be that as a first step the Pan African Sanctuary Association (which includes all the major establishments dealing with orphaned\chimpanzees and gorillas) introduces a system where 'chimp donors' are asked to sign a statement to the effect that they did not pay for the ape in question (and if they did that they accepted the implications and would not do so again). This is something I also neglected to do when she asked for help with the first four chimps, assuming I was dealing with a party with some common sense. In addition any 'donor' should provide detailed information on how he or she ended up with the ape. Based on this the sanctuaries should accept the responsibility , if necessary, to follow up on any solid lead and try to assess and then deal with the more fundamental issue: Who was/is hunting the chimps and for what reason?.

Best regards
Karl Ammann
Nanyuki, Kenya

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