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The Asian Trade in Bears and Bear Parts: Impacts and Conservation Recommendations

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Abstract and Figures

The trade in bears and/or bear parts for use in traditional medicines, in cuisine, and as pets is widespread in Asia. The value of certain bear parts by weight, in some Asian countries, exceeds many times the price of gold, creating a market that effectively places a price on the head of every wild bear. The bile from bear gallbladders is an especially coveted medicine in China, Korea, Taiwan, and Japan, where it is used to treat a variety of serious ailments. Bear paws are considered both a "tonic" food and a gourmet delicacy in these populous and wealthy nations. Current levels of trade in bears and bear parts, coupled with ongoing habitat loss throughout Asia, suggests a continuing decline in the sun bear (Helarctos malayanus), the Asiatic black bear (Ursus thibetanus), the brown bear (Ursus arctos), and the sloth bear (Melursus ursinus). To prevent the decline and possible extinction of Asian bear populations, management and education efforts must address this trade at both supply and demand levels. Int. Conf. Bear Res. and Manage. 9(1):161-167 Five bear species are found in Asia. These include the Asiatic black bear, brown bear, sun or honey bear, sloth bear, and giant panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca). All Asian bears are thought to be in decline due to habitat destruction and fragmentation caused by timber harvest, agriculture, and human settlement. An additional and increasing challenge to the viability and survival of Asian bears is the commercial trade in bears and their parts. There is commercial demand in Asia for bears as pets, gourmet cuisine, and traditional medicine. Discussion of the giant panda trade is excluded from this paper, as the trade in pandas primarily involves a black-market demand for skins (Low 1991). Significant amounts of forests have been lost throughout the range of Asia's bear species. As of 1986, tropical Asian countries with bear populations had lost an average of 64% of their wildlife habitat
Content may be subject to copyright.
THE
ASIAN
TRADE
IN BEARS
AND
BEAR
PARTS:
IMPACTS
AND
CONSERVATION
RECOMMENDATIONS
JUDY
MILLS,
School
of
Forestry,
University
of
Montana,
Missoula,
MT
59812
CHRISTOPHER
SERVHEEN,
IUCN/SSC
Bear
Specialist Group,
NS
312,
University
of Montana, Missoula,
MT
59812
Abstract:
The trade in bears
and/or
bear
parts
for use in traditional
medicines,
in
cuisine,
and as
pets
is
widespread
in Asia. The value
of
certain
bear
parts
by
weight,
in some Asian
countries,
exceeds
many
times
the
price
of
gold,
creating
a market
that
effectively
places
a
price
on
the
head
of
every
wild
bear. The bile
from bear
gallbladders
is an
especially
coveted
medicine
in
China, Korea,
Taiwan,
and
Japan,
where
it
is
used to
treat a
variety
of serious ailments.
Bear
paws
are considered
both
a "tonic" food
and a
gourmet
delicacy
in
these
populous
and
wealthy
nations.
Current levels
of trade in bears and
bear
parts,
coupled
with
ongoing
habitat
loss
throughout
Asia,
suggests
a
continuing
decline
in
the sun bear
(Helarctos
malayanus),
the Asiatic
black bear
(Ursus thibetanus),
the brown
bear
(Ursus arctos),
and
the sloth bear
(Melursus
ursinus).
To
prevent
the decline and
possible
extinction
of Asian
bear
populations,
management
and education
efforts
must address
this
trade
at both
supply
and demand
levels.
Int.
Conf.
Bear Res.
and
Manage.
9(1):161-167
Five bear
species
are
found
in Asia.
These
include
the Asiatic black
bear,
brown
bear,
sun
or
honey
bear,
sloth
bear,
and
giant panda
(Ailuropoda
melanoleuca).
All
Asian
bears
are
thought
to
be
in
decline due to
habitat destruction
and
fragmentation
caused
by
timber
harvest,
agriculture,
and
human
settlement.
An
additional and
increasing
challenge
to the
viability
and
survival
of
Asian bears
is
the commercial trade in
bears
and their
parts.
There
is commercial
demand
in
Asia
for bears as
pets,
gourmet
cuisine,
and
traditional
medicine. Discussion of the
giant panda
trade is
excluded from this
paper,
as
the trade in
pandas
primarily
involves
a
black-market demand
for skins
(Low 1991).
Significant
amounts of forests
have
been
lost
throughout
the
range
of Asia's
bear
species.
As
of
1986,
tropical
Asian countries with
bear
populations
had
lost an
average
of
64%
of
their
wildlife
habitat
(McNeely
et al.
1990).
Much
of
this habitat
loss is
permanent,
as felled
forests are
replaced by
large-scale
cash-crop plantations
and
human
communities or
simply
not
replanted
(Collins
et
al.
1991).
Forest
destruction,
agriculture,
and
human
settlement
draw
bears into
conflict with or
within
close
range
of
humans.
These
encounters
usually
result
in
bears
being
killed
as
"pests"
(Duff
et
al.
1984)
or taken
from the
wild
for
their
economic value
as
pets,
food and/or
medicine
(Davies
and
Payne
1982,
Mills
and
Servheen
1991).
Keeping
bears as
pets
is
popular
in
Thailand,
Malaysia,
Taiwan,
and
other
Asian
countries.
Bears
are
usually
brought
into
homes as
cubs,
then
resold
once
they grow
into
unwieldy
and
dangerous
subadults.
It is
at
this
time
that
these
pet
bears
commonly
enter
the
food and
medicine
markets
of
Asia.
"Bear's
paw
is
probably
the
most
celebrated
exotic
ingredient
in
the
history
of
Chinese
food"
(Lai
1984).
Bears
appeared
on
Chinese
menus as
far
back
as
the
Ming
Dynasty,
dated
1368-1644
(Chang
1977).
China's
emperors
favored a
banquet
of
100
dishes,
among
which bear
paw
was
always
found
(Wong
1986).
As affluence
has
grown
among
Asia's industrial
giants,
imperial
tonic foods
such
as bear
paw
have
experienced
a
renaissance in
popularity.
The use
of bear
fat as
a medicine dates
to 3494
B.C.
(Ma 1986).
Bear
gallbladder
may
have entered
the
Chinese
pharmacopeia
as
many
as
3,000
years ago.
Prescriptions
for bear
gall
first
appeared
in
writing
in
the seventh
century
(Bensky
and
Gamble
1986).
A
bear's medicine
parts
include
its
fat,
meat,
paws, gall,
spinal
cord, blood,
and
bones
(Read
1982).
Today's
traditional Asian
practitioners
consider
bear
gall
one of
the most
potent
of "herbal"
medicines,
prescribing
it
for
serious liver
diseases,
heart
disease,
hemorrhoids,
and
myriad
other
life-threatening
or
painful
maladies
(Mills
and Servheen
1991).
A
resurgence
in
the use of
traditional
medicines such
as
bear
gall
has
accompanied
the
rapid
increase
in
wealth
ongoing
in
certain Asian
countries such as
Taiwan,
Japan,
and
South
Korea
(Mills
and
Servheen
1991).
Prices
and
demand
for
bears and
bear
parts
have
escalated at a
rapid
rate,
especially
in
affluent
countries
(Fig.
1).
In
response
to a
shortage
in
the
supply
of
gallbladders
from
wild
bears,
China and
South
Korea
are now
farming
bears
commercially
in
order
to
extract
bile from
the
gallbladders
of live
Asiatic
black and
brown
bears
(Mills
and
Servheen
1991).
STUDY
AREA
AND
METHODS
Limited
reports
on
the
bear
trade
have
been
published
by
Domalain
(1977),
Davies
and
Payne
(1982)
Milliken
(1985),
Caldecott
(1988),
Santiapillai
and
Santiapillai
(1988,
1989),
Servheen
(1990),
Low
(1991),
and
Mills
(1991).
However,
prior
to
this
study
162
Int.
Conf.
Bear
Res. and
Manage.
9(1)
1994
BEAR
GALLBLADDER
PRICES PER
GRAM
Maximum
Prices,
U.S.
Dollars,
1990-91
Nepal
$3
Thailand
_$10
Malaysia
$14
Macau
$21
China
$27
Taiwan
$30
Hong Kong
$30
Singapore
j$33
Japan
1$84
South Korea
$210
$0
$50
$100
$150
$200
$250
Price
in
Dollars
Fig.
1.
Retail
prices
per
gram
for
bear
gallbladders
in
east and
southeast Asian
countries.
no
one had conducted a
systematic
survey
of
the
Asian
trade
in
bears and
bear
parts
in
order to
assess
the
magnitude
of its
implications
to
conservation of
the
world's 8 bear
species.
A
preliminary
survey
of
the
bear
trade
in
Thailand
in
1989 led to
the
launching
of
this
project
in
1990,
which extended
the
investigation
to
10 other Asian
countries
including
China,
Hong
Kong,
Japan,
South
Korea,
Laos, Macau,
Malaysia,
Nepal,
Singapore,
and
Taiwan.
Observation and
interview
methods
were used.
Written
queries
about the bear
trade were
first sent
to
government
and
conservation
officials of each
country
in
order to ascertain
local
understanding
of
the
bear
trade.
Upon
arrival in
each
country,
traditional
Asian
medicine stores and
clinics,
restaurants,
pet
stores,
pet
owners,
animal
wholesalers,
and
open-air
markets
were
visited in
order to assess the
extent of
the
trade
firsthand.
Whenever
possible,
government
and
conservation
officials were
interviewed in
person.
Interpreters
were
used when
necessary.
We did
not
impersonate
law
enforcement
officers
nor
pose
as
smugglers
or brokers of bear
parts.
We
simply
presented
ourselves as
individuals with a
special
interest
in
Asian medicine or
as
potential
consumers
of
pet
bears,
bear-paw
cuisine,
or
bear-based
medicines.
When
speaking
with
government
and
conservation
officials,
we
clearly
identified
ourselves as
persons
interested in
the trade
in
bears
and bear
parts
and
in
conservation of Asian bears.
RESULTS
Bears as
Pets
Pet bears were
observed in
Laos, Taiwan,
and
Thailand.
Keeping
bears
as
pets
was also
reported
in
China,
Hong Kong,
and
Malaysia.
Species
observed
as
pets
were sun bears and
Asiatic
black bears.
In
Laos,
an
Asiatic black
bear cub
approximately
3
to
4
months old was seen for
sale
in
an
open-air
market
outside Vientiane
for
$180.
The seller
said her
father
had
taken
the cub from
the forest while its
mother
slept.
An adult
Asiatic
black bear and a sun bear
cub
were seen
living
in small
cages
behind a tourist hotel
in
Vientiane. A
villager
from
the north of Laos
reportedly
had
brought
the sun bear
cub
in
and sold it to the
hotel
for
$100.
The
Asiatic black bear had been
brought
in
by villagers
8 months
before.
A
person
interviewed
in
Vientiane
reported being
offered 6 or 8 sun bear
cubs,
ranging
in
price
from
$10
to
$100,
during January
and
February
of 1991.
Approximately
140 bears
are
registered
as
pets
in
Taiwan,
of which about
120 are
nonnative
sun bears
(H.
Chen,
Institute of
Biological
Science, Taiwan,
pers.
commun.,
Jun
1991).
Two of
these
pets,
sun
bears
living
in
a
shop-house
in
downtown
Taipei,
were
visited.
Both of
these bears
were
purchased illegally
from
pet
stores for
$1,800
and
$2,600
respectively.
Pet dealers at that time were
paying
hunters
nearly
$2,000
for
Asiatic black bear
cubs from Taiwan forests
THE
ASIAN
TRADE IN
BEARS
AND BEAR
PARTS
*
Mills
and
Servheen
and
selling
them
retail
for more
than
$5,500
(H.
Chen,
Institute
of
Biological
Science,
Taiwan,
pers.
commun.,
Jun
1991).
In
Thailand,
2
pet
Asiatic
black
bears
were
observed
in a
private
home and a
pet
sun bear
was
seen
at
a
Buddhist
monastery.
In
1988,
hunters
were
getting
approximately
$120
for Asiatic
black
bear
cubs
and
$320
for
adults,
while cub
and adult
sun bears
were
bringing
$120
and
$280
respectively
(B. Dobias,
World
Wide
Fund for Nature
[WWF],
International,
pers.
commun.,
Jan
1989).
According
to
a
Bangkok
wildlife
dealer's
price
list,
Asiatic
black
bears
were
retailing
for
$950
and
sun bears
for
$900.
In
1989,
the
same
dealer
confirmed he was
selling
sun bears from
Laos
but
refused to
quote
a
price.
Another wildlife seller
at
an
open-air
market
in
Bangkok
said a
sun
bear
cub
would
cost
$400
and
take several weeks to
smuggle
from
Laos.
Except
in
rare
instances,
pet
owners
become
disenchanted with their
bears
once
the animals
enter
adulthood. At
this
point, pet
bears are
usually
sold
to
suppliers
of the
restaurant and
medicinal
markets
(Mills
1991).
Bears as
Food
The
availability
of
bear-paw
or
bear
meat
at
restaurants
was
confirmed in
China,
Hong
Kong,
Japan,
Singapore,
South
Korea,
and
Thailand.
Bear-based
cuisine was
also
reported
in
Malaysia
and
Taiwan.
In
China,
bear
paws
were
sold
openly
in a
shop
opposite
one of
Chengdu's
largest
tourist
hotels for
approximately
$24
each.
A
large
tourist
hotel
in
Harbin
sold
bear
paw
in
its
restaurant
and
advertised
the
fact
in the
lobby
with
a
snapshot
of
an
uncooked
paw
on a
plate
with
a
label
stating
that the
bear
came
from
Harbin's
Heilongjiang
Province.
Two
restaurants
in
Hong Kong
confirmed
that
they
sold
bear
paw.
At
one
restaurant,
an
entree
consisting
of 2
bear
paws
sold
for
$380.
The other
establishment
refused
to
quote
an
exact
price,
but
said
the raw
paws
cost
between
$146
and
$162
per
kilogram.
Japan
imported
1,000
kilograms
of
bear
meat
in
1988
and
18,000
kilograms
in
1989
(Ministry
of
Health
and
Welfare
statistics,
quoted
in
Yominri
Shinbun,
25
August
1991).
Bear
steak
was
openly
advertised
on
a
highway
sign
outside
a
restaurant in
northern
Honshu
for
approximately
$15
per
serving.
Canned
bear
meat
is
commonly
seen in
tourist
gift
shops
on
Hokkaido,
selling
for
approximately
$7.50
per
105-gram
tin.
Bear
paws
were
available
in
the
freezer
section
of
a
Chinese
grocery
in
Yokohama's
Chinatown.
A
850-
gram
frozen
paw
sold
for
$254.
A
Yokohama
restauranteur
said
he
could
serve a
bear
paw
entree
for
$236
but
that
it
would
take
him
as
many
as
10
days
to
obtain
the
paw.
Another
restaurant
owner
said
that
he
had
stopped serving
bear
paw
because
prices
had
skyrocketed
with
a
government
prohibition
on
the
import
of
bear
paws
from
China.
With 4
days
advance
notice,
a
bear-paw
entree
was
available
at a
large
Singapore
tourist
hotel
for
$170
per
dish.
Bear
paw
was
also
available
at
a
traditional-
medicine
restaurant,
where
a
dish
serving
10
people
was
priced
at
$230.
In
South
Korea,
braised
bear
paw
was
printed
on
the
menu
at
a
restaurant
in
the
Seoul
Hilton,
priced
according
to
market
prices
at
from
$492
to
$562
per
dish.
Another
Seoul
restaurant
required
3
days
notice
to
prepare
a
bear-paw
entree
for
$700.
A
serving
of
bear
paw
was
priced
at
between
$500
and
$600
in
Bangkok
in
1989.
It is
popular
for
Korean
tourists to
arrange
banquets
at
which a
live
bear is
killed in
front
of
the
diners
and
cooked
to
order
after
the
gallbladder
is
removed.
The
price
of
a
whole
bear
of
unknown
species
for
this
purpose
was
approximately
$2,000
in
1989.
In
July
1991,
Thai
police
raided
a
farm
south
of
Bangkok,
where
they
found
4
freshly
slaughtered
bears,
several
live
bears,
and
48
bear
paws
in
the
refrigerator,
along
with
about
40,
mostly
Korean,
tourists
on
the
premises.
The
farm
had
sold
bear
cuisine
and
gallbladders
and
was
advertised
as
a
tourist
destination
in
both
South
Korea
and
Taiwan.
Bears
as
Medicine
The
sale
of
bear
gallbladders
as
medicine was
widespread
and
observed
in
10
of 11
countries visited.
Because
high
demand
and
exorbitant
prices
for
bear
gallbladder
are
what
drive
the
commercial
market for
bears,
this
study
focused
primarily
on
this
aspect
of
the
trade.
Seven
factories
in
China
produce
56
different
medicines
made with
bear
gallbladder.
In
1990,
prices
for
bear
gallbladders
ranged
from
$3,200
to
$5,000
per
kilogram
(Newsletter
of
the
Heilongjiang
Bear
Association
1990).
In
1991,
gallbladders
from
wild
bears
were
offered
for
$9
and
$12
per
kilogram
in
Chengdu.
At
an
open-air
food
market
in
Shenzhen,
traffickers
offered
to
sell
a
live
bear
delivered
to
Hong
Kong
and
killed
on
site
to
ensure
the
authenticity
of
its
gallbladder
for
between
$1,400
and
$2,700.
In
Hong
Kong,
21
traditional
medicine
shops
were
queried
regarding
availability
of
bear
gallbladder.
Of
those,
20
claimed
they
sold
bear
gall.
Prices
ranged
from
$1
to
$30
per
gram.
Of 16
shops
that
specified
163
164 Int.
Conf.
Bear Res. and
Manage.
9(1)
1994
the
origin
of their bear
galls,
14
cited
China,
2 the
former Soviet
Union,
2
India,
and
1 Thailand.
Pure bear
gall
is
sold
as medicine
by
42
Japanese
pharmaceutical
companies
and
is listed
as
an
ingredient
in
95
heart
medicines,
16 stomach
medicines,
1
digestive
aid,
and several
famous
children's medicines
(E.
Nozaki,
Hakusan
Nature
Conserv.
Cent.,
Japan,
pers.
commun.,
Aug
1990).
Bear
gall
that
comes
primarily
from
imports
is used
in the
manufacture of
these medicines
(H.
Nishimiya,
Environ.
Agency
of
Japan, pers.
commun.,
Aug
1990).
Between 1981
and
1991,
Japan
imported
1,674
kilograms
of bear
gall
worth
nearly
$10
million
from
Canada, China,
Hong
Kong,
India,
North Korea
and
South
Korea
(Mills
and
Servheen
1991).
In
Tokyo,
bear
gall
generally
retails
for
about
$28
per
gram
(E.
Nozaki,
Hakusan
Nature
Conservation
Center,
Japan,
pers.
commun.,
Aug
1990).
Because
the
sale of
bear
gallbladders
is
legal
in
Japan,
little time
was
spent
documenting
its
sale
for
this
study.
One
Tokyo
pharmacy
had
6 whole
galls
on
hand,
priced
at
$30
per
gram.
Japanese
bear
hunters
reportedly
are
paid
between
$800
and
$2,500
per
gallbladder
(S.
Ohdachi,
Hokkaido
University, Japan,
pers.
commun.,
Jul
1990).
The
highest
prices
for
bear
gallbladders
documented
by
this
study
were
found
in South
Korea.
Only
10
to
20
of South
Korea's
native
Asiatic
black
bears
are
left
in the
wild.
When
1 of
these
bears,
all of
which
are
strictly
protected
by
law,
was
illegally
killed
in
1983,
the
government
sold
the
bear's
gallbladder
at
auction
for
$64,000
(at
1991
exchange
rates).
At the
Talsong
Park
Zoo
in
Taegu,
zoo
officials
regularly
auction
the
gallbladders
of
resident
brown
bears
once
they
reach
maturity.
A
Talsong
Zoo
auction
in 1991
brought
nearly
$10,000
for
the
gall
bladder
of an
adult
female
brown
bear.
Trade
monitoring
records
show
South
Korea
imported
382
live
bears
between
1980
and
1984.
Between
1985
and
1990,
32.8
kilos
of bear
gall
were
reported
entering
South
Korea,
though
these
figures
are
likely
incomplete
as
South
Korea
is not
a
party
to
CITES
and
is
under
no
obligation
to
report
trade
in
bears
or bear
parts.
In
a
sampling
of more
than
50
traditional
medicine
stores
in
Seoul
and
Taegu
that
sold
bear
gall,
prices
for
gallbladders
ranged
from
$1
to
$210
per
gram.
The
stated
origins
of
these
galls
included
China,
Korea,
Mongolia,
North
America,
Siberia,
Tibet,
and
Vietnam.
Bear
bile
salts
were
also
sold
at Seoul's
Kimpo
Airport
pharmacy
for
$5
per
gram.
Bear
gallbladders,
loose
bear-bile
salts,
and
bear
paws
were
also
sold on the
streets and
subway
malls
of
Seoul
by
ethnic-Koreans
visiting
from China.
In an
informal
survey
of these
sidewalk
offerings
on
a
single
day,
136
bear
gallbladders
were
seen,
ranging
in
price
from
$700
to
$14,000
each. All
galls
were
said
to
come
from
China.
Among
6
medicine
shops
queried
in
Macau,
only
1
admitted
selling
bear
gall,
which
was
priced
at
$21
per
gram.
Of
13 traditional medicine
stores
surveyed
in
peninsular
Malaysia
and
Malaysian
Borneo,
9
brought
out
what
they
identified
as bear
gallbladders
from
Borneo,
China,
Nepal,
or Thailand.
The
4
shops
without
gallbladders
all sold
gelatin capsules
filled
with
what
were said
to be bear-bile
salts.
A
Chinese-made
hemorrhoid
ointment
that listed
bear
gall
as
an
ingredient
was
also sold.
Bear
gallbladders
were
not found
for
sale
in
traditional
medicine
stores
in
Kathmandu,
Nepal.
However,
through
word
of mouth
in the
Tibetan
community,
bear
galls
were available
at
$2
per gram.
Bear
gallbladder
was
requested
at 25
Chinese
medicine
stores
in
Singapore.
Of
those,
16
sold
what
were
purported
to
be bear
galls
from
Burma,
China,
Indonesia,
India,
Malaysia,
Nepal,
the Soviet
Union,
or
the
United
States.
The
other
9
shopkeepers
said
they
could
refer
us
to
shops
that
did sell
bear
gall.
Trade
statistics
show
Taiwan
imported
6,096
kilograms
of
bear
gall
from
Canada,
Hong
Kong,
Singapore,
Thailand,
and
"other
countries"
between
1979
and
1984.
Between
1979
and
1989,
it also
exported
nearly
500
kilograms
of bear
gall
to
Japan,
South
Korea,
and
West
Germany.
In
a
survey
of
34
traditional
medicine
stores
in
Taipei,
30
admitted
selling
bear
gallbladders
from
Borneo,
Burma,
Cambodia,
China,
Hong
Kong,
India,
Malaysia,
"Southeast
Asia,"
or
the
United
States.
Prices
ranged
from
$8
to
$30
per
gram.
Three
shops
in
Bangkok,
Thailand,
were
surveyed
in
1989.
Prices
ranges
from
$4
to
$10
per
gram.
A
travel
agent
confirmed
that,
for
$2,000,
a whole
bear
could
be
purchased,
killed
to
order
for
its
gallbladder
and
afterward
served
as
a
banquet.
The
bears
for
such
affairs
were
said
to
come
from
Laos,
but the
species
was
undetermined.
Bear
Parks
Japan
has
8
bear
parks,
a
ninth
under
construction
and
a
tenth
proposed.
Each
of
these
parks
is
made
up
of
large
cement
grottos
and
houses
from
58
to
more
than
400
bears.
A
total
of
more
than
1,000
bears
reside
in
these
parks,
including
all
species
except
the
THE ASIAN TRADE
IN BEARS AND BEAR PARTS * Mills and Servheen 165
giant panda.
Among
Japan's
8 bear
parks,
5 admitted
selling
bear
gallbladders.
Among
those
5,
some obtain
gallbladders
from
resident
bears
while others sell
gallbladders
of
Japanese
bears hunted in the wild
by
hunters. Prices
ranged
from
$1,000
to
$4,000
per
gallbladder.
During
January
through
March
1991,
more than 100 resident
park
bears
at
one
Japanese
bear
park
were killed for
their
parts,
the
gallbladders
of
which were
shipped
to
South
Korea
for at least
$4,000
each.
Bear Farms
China,
North
Korea,
and South
Korea now
farm
bears for their
bile,
extracting
the bile
liquid
through
a
fistula
surgically
implanted
in the
gallbladder.
As of
1989,
China
kept
as
many
as
8,000
bears
in
captivity
for this
purpose
(Newsletter
of the
Heilongjiang
Bear
Association
1990).
South
Korea
had
14
bear farms
with a total of
655 bears
in
1989
and
reportedly
more
than 36 bear
farms
with an unknown
number of bears
2
years
later
(Mills
and Servheen
1991).
The
purpose
of these farms
as stated
by
officials
is
to take
commercial
pressure
off wild bear
populations
and to
ensure a reliable
supply
of authentic bear bile for
medicinal
purposes.
Officials
in China claim
farm
bears now
supply
100%
of that nation's demand for
bear bile.
Three bear farms
in
China
were visited. The
largest
of these was near
Chengdu,
China,
and
contained 450
Asiatic black
bears,
150 of
which were
"milked"
for
bile at
any given
time. Another bear farm
visited near
Harbin, China,
used brown bears
as well
as
Asiatic
black
bears
and 1
hybrid
of
the
2
species.
Most
bears
used to start China's bile farms were
taken from
the
wild,
though
Chinese laws now
only
allow
the
extraction of bile from
second-generation
offspring
of
wild
bears
(Mills
and
Servheen
1991).
Retail
prices
for
dried
bile salts from farmed bears
were
approximately
$5
per gram.
The one
South Korean bile farm
visited
contained
approximately
23
bears,
4
of which
were
wearing
fistulas for
bile
extraction. Customers of
this bear
farm
are
allowed
to watch the
bile extraction
to
ensure
authenticity.
Bile salts were
sold in
their
liquid
form
for
approximately
$1,700
for a
10 to
20
milliliter
bottle.
DISCUSSION
Commercialization has
made
every
bear
on
earth
worth
far
more
dead,
or
at
least
taken
from
the
wild,
than
alive in
its
natural
habitat.
Escalation
of
the
prices
and
popularity
of bear
parts
as food
and medicine
have
made
the commercial
trade as
great
a threat to
the
survival
of
certain bear
populations
as habitat
destruction.
As illustrated in South
Korea,
the
economic
value of bear
parts
increases
exponentially
as
bears
diminish
in number. With less than
1
million
bears
worldwide
and more than
1
billion
potential
consumers
of their
parts,
the
potential
threat to bears is
obvious.
An
array
of
legal loopholes
conspire
to
make
the
policing
of the
bear trade
nearly impossible.
Enforcing
international
laws aimed at
controlling
the
trade,
specifically
CITES,
is
hampered by
the
fact that some
of
the
largest
consumer nations in the bear
trade,
such
as South
Korea
and
Taiwan,
are not
currently parties
to
the
treaty.
In the case of
other
signatory
nations,
monitoring
and
reporting
of the
bear
trade is
limited.
A
patchwork
of laws within nations or
among
neighboring
nations,
such as
Laos and
Thailand,
allow
the
laundering
of bears and bear
parts
across
adjacent
jurisdictions.
In
most countries visited in the
course of this
study,
any
effort on the
part
of law
enforcement
agencies
to
police
the trade
in
bear
gallbladders
was
hampered
by
the difficulties of
distinguishing:
(1)
a bear
gall
from
that of another
species
such as a
pig,
cow,
or
dog;
and
(2)
the
gallbladder
of a
protected
bear
species
from that
of a
nonprotected
bear
species.
Positive identification
of a bear
gallbladder
requires laboratory
testing,
while
distinguishing
between
protected
and
unprotected
bear
species requires
detailed DNA
analysis
that is not
easily
available.
Look-alike
pig
and
cow
gallbladders
are also
widespread
in
the
market.
Given that
there
are
decreasing
numbers of
bears and
growing
numbers of
potential
consumers
willing
to
pay
exorbitant
prices
for
bear
gallbladders
as
medicine,
the
introduction of fakes
is
understandable.
The
pervasiveness
of
fakes further
complicates
matters
to
the
point
that
policing
the
gallbladder
trade,
the
driving
force
behind the
commercialization of
bears,
is
difficult if
not
impossible.
Substitutions for
bear
gall
will
not
ease the
commercial
pressure
on
bears.
The active
ingredient
in
bear
bile is
ursodeoxycholic
acid
(UDCA).
Research
in
Asia,
Europe,
and
North
America has
shown that
UDCA
is
effective in
treating
certain
liver
ailments
and
in
dissolving gallstones
(Achord
1990,
Leuschner
and
Kurtz
1990).
While
found in
the
gallbladders
of
many
mammals
including
humans,
UDCA
is
found
in
significant
amounts
only
in
the
gallbladders
of
bears
(MacDonald
and
Williams
1985).
Japanese
chemists
began
synthesizing
UDCA
from
cow
gall
in
the 1955.
166
Int.
Conf.
Bear
Res. and
Manage.
9(1)
1994
Today, synthesized
UDCA is
widely
used in
medicine
around
the
world and is
available at
very
little
cost
without a
prescription
in
many
countries,
including
Japan
and
South Korea.
Traditional
medicine
practitioners
and
sellers
interviewed
in
the
course
of
this
study agreed
that
synthesized
UDCA
was not an
acceptable
substitution for bear
gallbladder
because it is
manufactured
in
a
laboratory
rather than
in
the
intestinal tract of
a bear.
By
definition,
traditional
Asian
medicine comes from
nature,
not
from a
test
tube.
Given the dedication of traditionalists to
the
use of
UDCA from
bears,
extracting
bile from
living
bears
would seem
like the most
viable
substitution.
However,
the
ongoing
trade in wild bears and bear
parts
found in
China
during
this
study
indicates
that
the
farming
of
bears for their bile
may
be additive to demand for wild
bear
gall.
This
farming
may
in fact boost and
foster
demand
for bear
gall.
When
parts
of a
vulnerable
species
are
openly
marketed at
high
prices,
an
infrastructure of
producers,
buyers,
processors,
consumers,
and black
marketeers
develops
(Geist
1988).
Such an infrastructure
not
only supplies
demand
but increases
demand
by
initiating
more
consumers
and
promoting
use of bear
gall.
This
phenomenon
was
documented
after
China
began
farming
the threatened
musk deer.
Despite
the
farms and
protective
legislation,
collection
of
musk deer
in
the wild
continued
in order
to meet
demand
(Green
1987).
In
addition
to
stimulating
the commercial
trade in
bear
gall,
Chinese
bear
farms
have
taken attention
away
from the
needs
of
wild bear
populations.
Many,
if
not
most,
Chinese
bear
biologists
have
been enlisted
in the
central
government's
effort
to increase
productivity
at
bear-bile
farms.
In
sum,
bear
farming
focuses
attention
on bears
as a
commodity
and
takes
already inadequate
scientific
attention
away
from
conservation
of
bears
in
the
wild.
RECOMMENDATIONS
The
only
hope
of
slowing
the commercial
trade
in
bears
and bear
parts
lies
in stricter
legal protection,
law
enforcement,
and
education.
Efforts
should
be
made
to
enhance
enforcement
of
CITES
and
monitoring
of
trade
in
bears
and
bear
parts.
Nonparties
to
CITES
that
are
eligible,
such as
South
Korea,
should
join
without
taking
reservations
on bears.
The
patchwork
of laws
within
and between
countries
should
be unified
to
prohibit
the
laundering
of bears and
bear
parts
across
adjacent
jurisdictions.
Law
enforcement
officers
should
be
better
versed
in the
bear
trade and
better
funded in
their
efforts
to
stop
it.
Laboratory
identification of
bear
gallbladders
should be
perfected
and
made
available to
law
enforcement
officers
worldwide.
Above all
else,
education
promises
the
most effective
tool
for
easing
the
commercial
demand
put
on bears
worldwide. "The
effective
reduction of
the wildlife
product
trade will
require
a
change
in
the
attitudinal
basis of consumer
demand"
(Kellert
1985).
Any
efforts
to
change
consumer
attitudes should
be
tailored to
each
of the different Asian
cultures
involved. A
message
that
reaches Taiwan
Chinese
may
not
reach South
Koreans. Education
efforts
should focus
not
just
on
bears
and the
need for
bear
conservation but on the
unreliability
of
bear
gallbladders
as medicine.
Laboratory
tests have shown
that bear
bile acid
pools
can contain
from zero
to
32%
UDCA
(MacDonald
and
Williams
1985;
E.
Espinoza,
U.S. Fish
and
Wildl.
Serv., Asland,
Oreg., pers.
commun.),
making
them
a
highly
unreliable source of
this chemical.
To
ignore
the Asian
trade
in
bears and bear
parts
and
allow
it to continue
unabated
will
hasten the extinction
of certain
bear
populations, particularly
those
among
the
little-known
Asian
species.
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V.
1988.
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M.J.B.
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Social
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J.
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I
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Manage.
Monogr.
Series
No.
2.
32pp.
WONG,
L.
1986.
Imperial
dishes
of
China.
Tai
Dao
Publ.
Ltd.,
Hong
Kong.
160pp.
167
... Asian countries including China, India, Bhutan, South Korea, Nepal and Japan have highest demand for wildlife species' parts traded for diet and medicinal purposes (Stoner and Pervushina, 2013). The number of brown bear in Mongolia, for example, is declining rapidly due to illegal hunting and trading to the neighboring East Asian countries where body parts are demanded for medicinal purposes (Mills and Servheen, 1994;Zahler et al., 2004;Pires and Moreto, 2016). There has been a significant increase in the market price for the body parts of wild animals. ...
... It was observed during the supplementary questions that the selected villagers had frequent encounters with hunters and potential traders during the winter season. The collected information from respondents was systematically and logically verified through proxy questions following the method suggested by (Mills and Servheen, 1994;Waseem and Ali, 2011;Ali et al., 2015;Abbas et al., 2015). ...
... It was found during the interviews with local respondents that the target of the hunters coming from the neighboring districts remains consistently on the cubs that requires them to kill the mother before taking them into custody. In addition to that, bears and bears' body parts such as gall bladder, skin and paws are also used for the treatment of various severe diseases (Mills and Servheen, 1994;Zahler et al., 2004;Pires and Moreto, 2016). Bear fats is also used for medicinal purposes and their fur are used for insulative purpose (Mills and Servheen, 1994;Pires and Moreto, 2016;Zahler et al., 2004). ...
Article
Full-text available
This paper assesses the vulnerability of Asiatic black bear to poaching in a key ecological zone in Northern Pakistan. Evidence about black bear hunting and cubs poaching were collected from Siran and Kaghan valleys of district Mansehra, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province through three different methods including participants’ observations, interviews from key informants and structured questionnaire. We find local community members of both valleys to be active observers of hunting and poaching in the study area. The structured interviews with locals of the study area revealed striking facts about ongoing trafficking by hunters and traders of the neighboring districts (i.e. Kohistan and Battagram). The study identifies a tribe known as Maddi Khel in the neighboring district Battagram the member of which regularly travel to the study area for hunting of black bear, pheasants, gray goral and snow leopard. According to interviews with the local people, hunters and traders in groups from 10 to 25 persons with their own poaching arrangements including guns, pistols and well-trained domesticated dogs were seen every winter. For hunters in the study area, the main target was the killing of female black bear because killing of mothers allows them to poach their cubs. We also identify the routes i.e. Raam Gali, Door Gali, and Kunda Gali through which hunters enter from the neighboring districts Kohistan and Battagram for the purpose of poaching. During each four months season (December to March), on average, approximately 2–5 mothers are killed that carry 12 to 20 cubs. The small cubs have higher black-market demand in different cities in Pakistan that motivates hunters to continue poaching in the study area. Despite the conservation claims by the government department in the province, the ground survey reveals severe risk to the population of black bear from hunting and illegal trafficking. The government’s wildlife department staff is less equipped to tackle with hunters in winter due to the extreme weather conditions in the area and their inability to stay for longer time.
... Asian countries including China, India, Bhutan, South Korea, Nepal and Japan have highest demand for wildlife species' parts traded for diet and medicinal purposes (Stoner and Pervushina, 2013). The number of brown bear in Mongolia, for example, is declining rapidly due to illegal hunting and trading to the neighboring East Asian countries where body parts are demanded for medicinal purposes (Mills and Servheen, 1994;Zahler et al., 2004;Pires and Moreto, 2016). There has been a significant increase in the market price for the body parts of wild animals. ...
... It was observed during the supplementary questions that the selected villagers had frequent encounters with hunters and potential traders during the winter season. The collected information from respondents was systematically and logically verified through proxy questions following the method suggested by (Mills and Servheen, 1994;Waseem and Ali, 2011;Ali et al., 2015;Abbas et al., 2015). ...
... It was found during the interviews with local respondents that the target of the hunters coming from the neighboring districts remains consistently on the cubs that requires them to kill the mother before taking them into custody. In addition to that, bears and bears' body parts such as gall bladder, skin and paws are also used for the treatment of various severe diseases (Mills and Servheen, 1994;Zahler et al., 2004;Pires and Moreto, 2016). Bear fats is also used for medicinal purposes and their fur are used for insulative purpose (Mills and Servheen, 1994;Pires and Moreto, 2016;Zahler et al., 2004). ...
Article
Full-text available
This paper assesses the vulnerability of Asiatic black bear to poaching in a key ecological zone in Northern Pakistan. Evidence about black bear hunting and cubs poaching were collected from Siran and Kaghan valleys of district Mansehra, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province through three different methods including participants’ observations, interviews from key informants and structured questionnaire. We find local community members of both valleys to be active observers of hunting and poaching in the study area. The structured interviews with locals of the study area revealed striking facts about ongoing trafficking by hunters and traders of the neighboring districts (i.e. Kohistan and Battagram). The study identifies a tribe known as Maddi Khel in the neighboring district Battagram the member of which regularly travel to the study area for hunting of black bear, pheasants, gray goral and snow leopard. According to interviews with the local people, hunters and traders in groups from 10 to 25 persons with their own poaching arrangements including guns, pistols and well-trained domesticated dogs were seen every winter. For hunters in the study area, the main target was the killing of female black bear because killing of mothers allows them to poach their cubs. We also identify the routes i.e. Raam Gali, Door Gali, and Kunda Gali through which hunters enter from the neighboring districts Kohistan and Battagram for the purpose of poaching. During each four months season (December to March), on average, approximately 2e5 mothers are killed that carry 12 to 20 cubs. The small cubs have higher black-market demand in different cities in Pakistan that motivates hunters to continue poaching in the study area. Despite the conservation claims by the government department in the province, the ground survey reveals severe risk to the population of black bear from hunting and illegal trafficking. The government’s wildlife department staff is less equipped to tackle with hunters in winter due to the extreme weather conditions in the area and their inability to stay for longer time
... Many wildlife species are facing an imminent threat from poaching and trafficking that has led to biodiversity loss (Broad et al. 2003;Mills and Servheen 1994;Sutherland et al. 2009). The vast number of species involved in this illegal enterprise calls for concentrated approaches to be implemented to disrupt said activities, particularly when they are organized. ...
Article
Full-text available
The United States is among the largest markets of both legal and illegal wildlife in the world. Prior studies of wildlife seized at US ports of entry have demonstrated that a small number of flora and fauna species account for a disproportionate share of illicit wildlife seizures and that a select number of entry ports and export countries account for the large majority of these seizures. However, the distributional flow of wildlife entering the US – the patterns of where a particular wildlife originates and the port of entry it arrives at – remains unclear. Using a social network analysis to model 31,270 large-scale trafficking incidents between 2003 and 2012, we found that removing five ports from the network would disrupt over 66% of the illegal wildlife trade by each major mode of transportation (air cargo, mail, personal baggage, ocean cargo). Further, certain ports have emerged as important seizure hubs regardless of transportation modes, such as San Francisco and Los Angeles, while other US entry ports are highly dense and seized most illicit wildlife specifically by one transportation mode. On the exporter side, China, Mexico, and Southeast Asia had an outsized effect on network clusters and should be targeted for network fragmentation and anti-trafficking edu-cation campaigns.
... With <1,000 individuals remaining in Pakistan (Abbas 2013, Garshelis andSteinmetz 2016), the black bear is threatened by habitat loss, human conflicts, food depletion, poaching, and live captures for organized fights between bears and dogs (Sheikh andMolur 2005, Dar et al. 2009). The Asiatic black bear (hereafter referred to simply as bear) is distributed throughout several areas of southern Asia, northeastern China, Russia, and Japan (Mills and Servheen 1994). In Pakistan, it can be found in Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa, Gilgit Baltistan, and Azad Jammu and Kashmir, where it is distributed in the Neelum Valley, Jhelum Valley, Bagh District, and Machiara National Park (MNP; Dar 2006). ...
Article
Full-text available
Abstract: The Asiatic black bear (Ursus thibetanus) is threatened throughout its range and assessed as nationally vulnerable in Pakistan. Habitat degradation and loss, illegal exploitation, and human–bear conflict are key threats to the species, but there is a lack of empirical knowledge regarding its occurrence in Pakistan. In 2012, we conducted a sign survey study to classify Asiatic black bear presence in a little studied and isolated region of the KashmiriMountains in Azad, Jammu and Kashmir, northern Pakistan. We compared bear presence in 5 habitat types (agriculture, forest, pasture, plantation, and scrubland) across an elevational range of 910 to 2,990 m. We used hierarchical logistic regression analysis to identify whether elevation, habitat and/or the interaction between the two explained bear presence in the region. Type of bear sign was significantly associated with some habitats, although claw marks were not associated with any habitat type. The strongest positive predictor of bear presencewas the interaction between elevation and forest habitat, with greater presence (37.5%) in forest habitat at higher elevations between 1,890 and 2,855 m. The predicted likelihood of bears occurring in agriculture, plantation, and scrubland habitats was always <10%, regardless of elevation, and >30% in forest habitat. Our findings contribute to the national understanding of black bear presence and we provide recommendations for actions that support effective conservation management of the species in Pakistan.
... With <1,000 individuals remaining in Pakistan (Abbas 2013, Garshelis andSteinmetz 2016), the black bear is threatened by habitat loss, human conflicts, food depletion, poaching, and live captures for organized fights between bears and dogs (Sheikh andMolur 2005, Dar et al. 2009). The Asiatic black bear (hereafter referred to simply as bear) is distributed throughout several areas of southern Asia, northeastern China, Russia, and Japan (Mills and Servheen 1994). In Pakistan, it can be found in Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa, Gilgit Baltistan, and Azad Jammu and Kashmir, where it is distributed in the Neelum Valley, Jhelum Valley, Bagh District, and Machiara National Park (MNP; Dar 2006). ...
Article
The Asiatic black bear (Ursus thibetanus) is globally listed as “Vulnerable.” Here, we documented its current distribution and the human–bear conflict in Machiara National Park (MNP, northern Pakistan) from 2009 to 2013. Our observations indicated that this bear occurs in all areas of MNP, especially at elevations between 1,600 and 3,300 m above sea level. We recorded the greatest activity in May and September. Our questionnaire survey indicated that the majority of survey participants were not in favor of coexistence with this bear. The Asiatic black bear urgently needs effective management plans to guarantee its conservation in Pakistan.
... Reportedly the least studied of the bear species (Servheen, 1999), sun bears have been recorded in lowland tropical primary and secondary dipterocarp forests throughout Southeast Asia (Wong et al., 2004;Nazeri et al., 2014;Abidin et al., 2018), although population estimates are lacking throughout their range. The species is considered Vulnerable (Scotson et al., 2017) due to declining numbers as a result of habitat loss and hunting for use in the pet trade, food delicacies and traditional medicines (Mills & Servheen, 1994;Scotson et al., 2017). ...
Article
Full-text available
Well-conceived programmes for releasing wildlife are essential due to the growing numbers of animals confiscated from the illegal wildlife and pet trade. To support the development of such programmes, we describe experiences gained from the release of Malayan sun bears Helarctos malayanus in the Southern Cardamom Mountains of southwest Cambodia. Following rehabilitation and acclimatisation, three sun bears were released on two diff erent occasions. Prior to their release, the bears had been in captivity since infancy. Post-release monitoring with GPS collars showed that all three bears were capable of sustaining themselves unassisted and avoided human interactions after their release. However, all three encountered problems which later resulted in their recapture or death: two were caught in snares and one was killed by a wild resident. Our results demonstrate that sun bears can acquire the skills necessary for survival and that captivity need not be a barrier to successful release if the animals are provided with large forested enclosures that encourage 'natural' behaviours and human contact is minimised prior to release. Our experiences also emphasize the importance of considering hunting pressure and presence of conspecifics at release sites when developing release programmes.
... Bear bile in vodka is an unusual item, and this should be investigated further to determine if this is an emerging use for bear bile and what its purpose is. The demand for bear parts in traditional medicines, i.e., gallbladders and bile, is particularly significant in China and Vietnam (Mills and Servheen 1994;Shepherd and Nijman 2007;Foley et al. 2011;Burgess et al. 2014;Davis et al. 2016;Willcox et al. 2016;Gomez and Shepherd 2018). This demand has been the reported cause for bear declines in Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar and Vietnam (Nijman et al. 2017;Crudge et al. 2018). ...
Article
Full-text available
There is a large demand for bear parts in the Czech Republic, and this drives legal and illegal trade in various bear species sourced from outside the country. From 2010 to 2018, the Czech Republic reported legal imports of 495 bear parts, mostly as trophies from Canada and Russia. Illegal trade in bear parts and derivatives for medicine as well as trophies persists as evidenced by the number of seizures made by the Czech Environmental Inspectorate during this same period. From January 2005 to February 2020, 36 seizures involving bears, their parts and derivatives, were made totalling 346 items. Most cases involved trophies (skins, skulls, taxidermies) predominantly from Canada, Russia and the USA, followed by traditional medicines claiming to contain bear parts mostly from Vietnam and China. Three cases involved souvenirs or jewellery, and one case involved live bear cubs. The greatest number of seizures made originated from Vietnam, followed by Canada and Russia. As all countries involved in these incidents are Parties to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), there is a mechanism in place to jointly tackle this illegal trade. International collaboration is essential if efforts to end the illegal international trade in bear parts and derivatives are to succeed.
Article
Full-text available
Across Southeast Asia and China, more than 17000 Asian bears are kept under suboptimal conditions and farmed for their bile to meet the consumer demand for traditional medicine products. Years of unsterile and repetitive bile extraction contribute to the development of chronic sterile or bacterial cholecystitis, a pathology commonly diagnosed in formerly bile-farmed bears. In both human and veterinary medicine, the diagnostic value of the macro-scopic bile examination for assessing gallbladder disease is unclear. The objective of this study is to identify the role of gallbladder bile color, viscosity, and turbidity, while comparing them with established markers of cholecystitis. Moreover, it aims to define the optimal duration of oral antibiotic treatment for chronic bacterial cholecystitis in bears associated with bile farming. Thirty-nine adult, formerly bile-farmed Asiatic black bears (Ursus thibetanus) were examined under anesthesia and underwent percutaneous ultrasound guided chole-cystocentesis. A total of 59 bile samples were collected with 20 animals sampled twice to evaluate the therapeutic success. All bile aspirates were assessed macroscopically and microscopically followed by submission for bacterial culture and antimicrobial sensitivity. In the majority of bears, samples with cytological evidence of bactibilia lacked inflammatory cells and did not always correlate with positive bacterial cultures. The most common bacterial isolates were Enterococcus spp, Streptococcus spp and Escherichia coli. Based on our findings, the optimal duration of antibiotic treatment for chronic bacterial cholecystitis is 30 days. Moreover, unlike Gamma-glutamyl Transferase (GGT) and gallbladder wall thickness, the organoleptic properties of bile were found to be reliable markers of chronic gallbladder inflammation with color and turbidity indicating cholestasis. The current study highlights the importance of cholecystocentesis for the management of gallbladder disease and provides initial results on the possible diagnostic value of macroscopic bile examination.
Article
Context Illegal wildlife trade (IWT) is a leading concern for conservation and biosecurity agencies globally, and involves multiple source, transit, and destination countries smuggling species on a transnational scale. The contribution of non-range countries for driving demand in IWT is often overlooked. Aims We analysed the dynamics (source, type and quantity) of bear seizures in Australia and New Zealand to gain a deeper understanding of the IWT, and to raise awareness among enforcement agencies for mitigating the international smuggling of bear parts and derivatives, and reducing the global threat to bears from illegal exploitation. Methods We collated biosecurity and conservation enforcement agency records of CITES seizures from Australia and New Zealand. All of the seizures were declared for ‘personal use’. Key results We report on 781 seizures of bear parts and derivatives in Australia and New Zealand from 33 countries over the past decade. The majority of seizures were medicinal (gall bladder and bile) products, but also included a range of body parts, hunting trophies and meat. China was the source of the greatest number of seizures, however, 32 additional source and transit countries/territories (from Asia, Europe, Americas, Middle East and Africa) were also involved in the seizures of bear parts and their derivatives. Conclusions The widespread trade of bears is an example of the far-reaching consequences commercial use can have on threatened species. Australia and New Zealand have no native bear species, and yet are frequently involved in wildlife seizures, and illegal bear trade continues to be an enforcement issue. Implications IWT has a detrimental impact on the conservation of bears. Conservation research in non-range countries needs to be conducted to determine the demand and threats from IWT, and to increase collaborative strategies to counter transnational smuggling.
Chapter
Bears have fascinated people since ancient times. The relationship between bears and humans dates back thousands of years, during which time we have also competed with bears for shelter and food. In modern times, bears have come under pressure through encroachment on their habitats, climate change, and illegal trade in their body parts, including the Asian bear bile market. The IUCN lists six bears as vulnerable or endangered, and even the least concern species, such as the brown bear, are at risk of extirpation in certain countries. The poaching and international trade of these most threatened populations are prohibited, but still ongoing. Covering all bears species worldwide, this beautifully illustrated volume brings together the contributions of 200 international bear experts on the ecology, conservation status, and management of the Ursidae family. It reveals the fascinating long history of interactions between humans and bears and the threats affecting these charismatic species.
Book
The first of a series designed to cover all tropical rain forests in the world. This is a visual portfolio of detailed maps of Asia, accompanied by a text which seeks to analyze the extent and causes of deforestation and to point a way towards sustainable forest development.
Article
The reintroduction of markets in wildlife meat and parts jeopardizes North America's system of wildlife conservation. This most successful of conservation systems is based on three fundamental policies: denial of economic value to dead wildlife, allocation of surplus wildlife by law, and nonfrivolous use of wildlife. These policies are being undermined by game ranching, market hunting, paid hunting and advertising of hunting as sport or competition, not harvest. Agriculture in Canada advocates raising wildlife for slaughter; in the United States it supports paid hunting. The policy of removing economic value from dead wildlife paid off in a $60 billion service and manufacturing industry based on living wildlife. Some understanding of the historical roots of American wildlife management is vital to nature conservation. Making all citizens de facto as well as de fure shareholders in wildlife deserves broad attention.
Article
The idea of biodiversity and its importance to the future of the world is outlined, paying particular attention to how it can contribute to development and be integrated into policies for resource use. The authors conclude by calling for action among businesses, institutions and individuals which benefit from the protection of biological resources. After a foreword and executive summary, there are nine sections concerning all aspects of biodiversity: what it is and why it is important; its direct and indirect values; how and why these resources are threatened; policies and approaches to its conservation; information required; establishing priorities; the role of strategies and action plans; how to pay for it; and enlisting new partners in the preservation of biodiversity. -J.W.Cooper