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Helping Hand - Elephant Action League - Part One

courtesy of Nik Lacchin of luckydesigns.org

This week on Helping Hand, we begin a special two-part edition with innovative wildlife nonprofit Elephant Action League. Join HPR All Things Considered Host Dave Lawrence for a conversation with their Executive Director and co-founder Andrea Crosta who explains how they go undercover, including using Chinese operatives, to hunt down wildlife criminals. This week we're discussing the central role China and their rapidly growing middle class plays in the destruction of some of Earth's most iconic animals. Today learn about Operation: Fake Gold, their undercover mission to track the killing and smuggling of the critically endangered totoaba fish's swim bladder, in demand exclusively by Chinese consumers, the pursuit of which has led to an extinction-level threat for another critically endangered creature, the vaquita porpoise.

Tomorrow we'll continue with a wider look at how Chinese demand for illegal wildlife products is driving several species to extinction, and how several so-called 'transit countries' play a critical role in funneling things like elephant ivory, rhino horn and pangolin products from Africa into Asia, and in most cases, on to China. We'll also hear about many ways to support Elephant Action League in their effort to develop intelligence on wildlife traffickers, from reposting their social media material to utilizing Chinese and other Asian language skills to find online marketplaces where this stuff is sold.

Contact Elephant Action League:

Website: elephantleague.org

Email: info@elephantleague.org

Find them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Find all the previous Helping Hand segments.

View this post on Instagram (SWIPE LEFT FOR PART 2) WAN - World Animal News talks with @andreacrosta_official Executive Director of @elephantleague about the dire circumstances facing the critically endangered #vaquita porpoise, the rarest whale in the world. Less than 30 individuals are left in the Sea of Cortez, Baja California, Mexico. The vaquita is getting closer to extinction as a result of becoming caught in illegal gill nets as by-catch of the totoaba fish bladder trade, to China. #Elephant Action League recently conducted an investigation and intelligence gathering operation called #OperationFakeGold. After 14 months of work on two continents, #EAL mapped the entire illicit totoaba maw (swim bladder) supply chain. Learn more: https://elephantleague.org/operation-fake-gold/ Credit: @worldanimalnews @peace_4animals #protecttheocean #savethevaquita #wildlifecrime #intelligence #investigations #conservation #AndreaCrosta A post shared by Elephant Action League (EAL) (@elephantleague) on Dec 7, 2018 at 11:07am PST

A vaquita porpoise at sea:

Credit elephantleague.org

Dave Lawrence is the local host of All Things Considered, Road Stories (formerly Off the Road) and Stargazer.
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