Washington, DC--Scientists have published DNA barcodes of frequently traded species that can be used to identify and crack down on the illegal trade of bushmeat. A grim and growing market, the illegal bushmeat trade is valued at some $15 million a year.
Wildlife and customs officials can use the barcodes to determine whether luggage, handbags and clothing, and meat products were harvested from species embargoed from international trade.
VIRUNGA HEARTLAND--The forest fire which raged through Rwanda's Volcanoes National Park and Uganda's Mgahinga National park on the two countries' borders was completely extinguished by the end of last wek. A team of 4,000 mobilized to battle the blaze on its final day, assisted by military helicopters dumping water on its hotspots from above. The sectors of the two National Parks on the border between Rwanda and Uganda were not prime gorilla habitat, and all known gorilla groups are reported to be safe.
Virunga Heartland--The Rwanda National Park Service, local authorities, community members, police and a cadre of soldiers are battling a fire in Volcanoes National Park thought to be accidentally set by a local beekeeper. Dry conditions and a strong wind fueled the flames, which have crossed the Rwanda border onto the Uganda side of Mount Muhabura, which sits in Mgahinga National Park. An estimated 100-200 hectares of land have been burned over the past two days.
LOS ANGELES, CA--Gorillas--98.6% Human won the Audience Award for Best Documentary Short at the 2009 Annual Maui Film Festival. explore, a multimedia organization that documents leaders around the world who have devoted their lives to extraordinary causes, showcased six short films at the Maui Film Festival. Following on the heels of explore's Guardians of the Sea win in 2008, this is the first time any filmmaker has won two years in a row.
ASPEN, COLORADO--The Aspen Institute held its fifth annual celebration of ideas from June 29 -- July 5 in Aspen, Colorado. Dr. Patrick Bergin, CEO of the African Wildlife Foundation (AWF), was among the more than 175 leaders from the fields of arts, science, culture, religion, philosophy, economics and politics featured at the Festival.