Citing data from the southeast African nation’s largest game reserve, Niassa, an advisor to the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), Carlos Pareira, said “in the first two weeks of September alone we counted 22 elephants that had been killed.
He was speaking at a meeting of Mozambican officials, law enforcement agents and diplomats in the capital
Until recently poaching was not considered a crime and those arrested often got off with a fine for illegal weapons possession, frustrating conservation efforts.
A new law passed in June toughens penalties for poachers, including hefty fines and jail terms of up to 12 years for killing protected species.
The two-day seminar organised by the national prosecution office is aimed at educating magistrates, police commanders and prosecutors on the new legislation.
Likening the crisis to a “national disaster,” the WCS, a New York-based environmental group, warned that organised crime syndicates were killing between 1,500 and 1,800 elephants a year, mostly in northern
The vast Niassa reserve, in the north, is twice the size of
"The poachers use automatic weapons and high-calibre hunting rifles. But spikes concealed in the bush had also been used to wound animals in the coastal Querimbas reserve, causing them slow and agonising deaths from gangrene"
In the northern Tete province, poachers poison drinking water sources, killing not only elephants.
“The killing of elephants in the north of
Although the new conservation law was approved in June, it will only go into effect at the end of the year, officials said.