Forty-four years of global trade in CITES-listed snakes: Trends and implications for conservation and public health

Author links open overlay panelFleurHierinkab1IsabelleBolona1Andrew M.DursoadRafaelRuiz de CastañedaaCarlosZambrana-TorreliocEvan A.EskewcNicolasRayabShow morehttps://doi.org/10.1016/j.biocon.2020.108601Get rights and content

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0006320720306595

Highlights

Trade in CITES-listed snakes is dominated by commercially purposed pythons.•

Live snakes are mainly exported by Ghana, Indonesia, Togo and Benin, and imported by China and the USA.•

Traded snakes are increasingly reported as being sourced from captivity rather than the wild.•

Potentially invasive snake species are heavily traded as pets.•

Traded venomous snakes are mainly wild-caught, potentially increasing snakebite risk.

Abstract

Trade in venomous and non-venomous snakes can negatively impact wild snake populations and may drive snakebite risk for people. However, we often lack sufficient trade data to identify where the potential risks for snake population decline and snakebite are highest. Currently, the legal, international trade of 164 snake species is regulated by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). We analyzed CITES-listed snake trade from 1975 to 2018 using the recently released shipment-level CITES Trade Database to identify spatiotemporal trends of snake trade and generate insights regarding snake conservation and potential public health risks from snakebite. Commercially purposed pythons dominated the global snake trade, comprising 38.8% of all traded snakes. Live snakes were mainly exported by Ghana, Indonesia, Togo, and Benin, and imported by China and the USA. Venomous snake trade comprised 10.8% of all traded snakes, and over 75% of wild-sourced venomous snakes came from Indonesia. Although traded snakes in recent years are increasingly comprised of captive-bred animals, the majority of snakes are still wild-sourced (> 60% between 2015 and 2017), including IUCN-listed species, with potentially detrimental impacts on conservation status. Further, the CITES Trade Database reveals geographic regions where venomous snakes are sourced from the wild, posing potential risks to snake catchers, traders, and pet owners. The database also documents the movement of non-native snake species through trade, with implications for conservation of native species. This study represents the first global analysis focused specifically on CITES-listed snake trade using the CITES Trade Database.

State-space models reveal a continuing elephant poaching problem in most of Africa

Scientific Reports volume 10, Article number: 10166 (2020) Cite this article

Abstract

The most comprehensive data on poaching of African elephants comes from the Monitoring the Illegal Killing of Elephants (MIKE) program, which reports numbers of illegally killed carcasses encountered by rangers. Recent studies utilizing MIKE data have reported that poaching of African elephants peaked in 2011 and has been decreasing through 2018. Closer examination of these studies, however, raises questions about the conclusion that poaching is decreasing throughout the continent. To provide more accurate information on trends in elephant poaching, we analyzed MIKE data using state-space models. State-space models account for missing data and the error inherent when sampling carcasses. Using the state-space model, for 2011–2018, we found no significant temporal trends in rates of illegal killing for Southern, Central and Western Africa. Only in Eastern Africa have poaching rates decreased substantially since 2011. For Africa as a whole, poaching did decline for 2011–2018, but the decline was entirely due to Eastern African sites. Our results suggest that poaching for ivory has not diminished across most of Africa since 2011. Continued vigilance and anti-poaching efforts will be necessary to combat poaching and to conserve African elephants.

Introduction

Beginning around 2007, a wave of poaching for ivory affected populations of savannah elephants (Loxodonta africana) and forest elephants (L. cyclotis) across Africa1. The total population of savannah elephants decreased by 30% between 2007 and 20152, and an estimated 100,000 elephants of both species were poached between 2010 and 20123. In some countries, elephant populations declined by over 50% in under 10 years2. With elephant populations and ranges already greatly reduced from pre-colonial levels, such losses put many populations at risk of extirpation4,5.

Recent reports, however, indicate that elephant poaching may be abating6,7. Since 2016, some African parks have reported reductions or even a halt in elephant poaching8,9. Likewise, global ivory prices appear to have peaked and may have begun to fall, perhaps as a result of bans on ivory sales10. Accurately determining whether or not poaching is diminishing is critical for evaluating the success of ivory trade bans and other anti-poaching measures. Controversially, several African countries have proposed selling stockpiles of ivory11. Such sales may not be justifiable if elephant poaching is continuing at the high levels of the early 2010s.

Elephant population surveys tend to be infrequent, so our main source of information on poaching rates is the Monitoring the Illegal Killing of Elephants (MIKE) program, administered by the Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). Accordingly, rangers at sites across African gather data on the cause of death for elephant carcasses encountered during patrols12. The proportion of carcasses killed illegally, as opposed to deaths due to natural causes, legal hunting, or killing of problem animals by wildlife authorities, is known as “PIKE” and is considered an index of poaching rates3. PIKE data are typically aggregated to estimate regional or continental poaching rates. For all of Africa, estimates using the MIKE program’s methodology show a 31% reduction in PIKE between 2011 and 2018 (see Results). The program recently reported that PIKE has exhibited a “steady downward trend” since 20116.

CITES estimates PIKE values for Africa as a whole via general linear models, treating region and year as fixed effects so that

More: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-020-66906-w#Sec3

Botswana rhinos face total wipe-out as poachers run amok

https://southerntimesafrica.com/site/news/botswana-rhinos-face-total-wipe-ou
t-as-poachers-run-amok

BySouthern Times —

Nov29,2019 — Mpho Tebele

Gaborone – Rhino poaching has become rampant in Botswana as six endangered
black and white rhinos were killed by poachers in the Okavango Delta in a
short period of less than two months between October and November.

According to the latest information reaching The Southern Times, the
Southern African nation poaching epidemic has escalated as the latest
figures have surged from nine in April to 15 rhinos killed this year.

This was confirmed by the rhino coordinator at the Department of Wildlife,
Dr Mmadi Reuben. “Since the last time we issued a statement in October about
the increasing number of rhinos killed by suspected poachers, we have
recorded at least six incidents of rhino poaching which brings the number of
rhinos killed since April from nine to 15,” he said.

He said they were monitoring rhino movements through darting and tagging
rhinos.

“If we were not monitoring their movements, we would not have known about
these incidents,” he said.

He said going forward, there was a need to adopt a solution that was
multifaceted.

Reuben said there was a need to sensitise communities living along the delta
so that they could report suspicious people in their localities to law
enforcement agencies.
“We also have to intensify monitoring of these animals so that they are all
accounted for,” he said. He said in the past, Botswana did not have large
numbers of rhinos and following relocation of rhinos from her neighbours,
this could have triggered a surge in poaching of the endangered species.

“The private partnership that we have also needs to be intensified. The
value these animals have in diversifying the economy cannot be
underestimated. Those who have these species should ensure that they are
protected and not decimated,” he said.

Reports indicate that poaching is escalating in the region, driven by demand
for rhino horn in Asian countries, and authorities are overwhelmed.

Botswana is home to just under 400 rhinos, according to Rhino Conservation
Botswana, most of which roam the grassy plains of the northern Okavango
Delta.

In collaboration with government, Rhinos Without Borders and Wilderness
Safaris, Rhino Conservation Botswana recently completed a large operation to
dart and tag previously untagged wild rhinos in the Okavango Delta.

The team darted rhinos and fitted each rhino with a tracking device, taking
body measurements and a DNA sample, as well as clipping ear notches onto the
rhinos ears which serve as easy to identify unique identification marks.

Last month, the Ministry of Tourism raised alarm that a rhino was killed on
2 October, following a recorded poaching incident on 27 September in the
core rhino range in the Okavango Delta.

According to a statement issued by the ministry, the poaching incident at
the time brought the number of rhinoceros poached this financial year alone
from 1 April 2019 up to now to nine, an unprecedented number.

The ministry expressed concern that the increased poaching of rhinos was
deeply worrying in a country that has over the last few years received
rhinos in an effort to safeguard and revive rhino populations.

“Botswana does not have many wild rhinos, our population is relatively
small,” said Reuben at the time.
“We have been losing about a rhino a month to poaching; losing two in one
week is unacceptable. If the poaching continues at this rate there will be
no rhinos in Botswana in a year or two, especially the black rhino, a
critically endangered species.”
The ministry said this would be a huge loss for the country with a strict
and strong anti-poaching policy, which the government had committed immense
resources.

Poaching ring suspects killed hundreds of animals for ‘thrill of the kill,’

https://www.cnn.com/2018/05/18/us/poaching-ring-charges-trnd/index.html

Poaching photos had been posted on text messages and social media.

(CNN)The suspects documented their kill in graphic photos — grinning near slumped over carcasses, posing with a decapitated elk head and taking a selfie with animal blood splattered over one of the alleged poacher’s face.

Over text messages and social media, the poaching suspects boasted about the animals they illegally slaughtered, authorities say. Some of them even called themselves the “kill ’em all boys,” said Captain Jeff Wickersham from the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.
The suspects were part of a massive poaching ring in Oregon and Washington, who were altogether charged with more than 200 misdemeanors and felonies, authorities say. They are accused of killing more than 200 animals including deer, bears, cougars, bobcats and a squirrel.
Twelve people were charged in Oregon this week. In 2017 and earlier this year, 13 people were charged with misdemeanors and felonies in the state of Washington. Some of the suspects face charges in both states.
Dogs surround a bloody bear.

“A part of it was the thrill of the kill,” said Lt. Tim Schwartz from the Oregon State Police Fish and Wildlife Division. “For some of them, it was a competition to see who could kill the most. I think the social media aspect — they were posting this [their kills], getting the attention.”
The suspects bragged about it on Facebook and Snapchat, authorities said.
They “made de facto trophies out of these events” on social media and text messages, said Wickersham. But that ultimately became used as evidence against them, authorities say.
Investigators used the geo-tagged photos to track down the kill sites and find skeletal remains of the animals.
03 thrill for kill poachers

“There is nothing legitimate about the activities these individuals were conducting,” Wickersham said. “They are simply killers. They knew what they were doing. They were not out there for recreation, but to kill things, and that’s what they wanted to do.”
Oregon State Police began its investigation in November 2016 after finding two decapitated deer carcasses. Officers began putting up surveillance cameras to track the suspects.
“This was one of the biggest cases in the state ever, as far as the amount of people involved, amount of violations and number of wildlife taken, “Schwartz said.
He described the case as sickening.
“One of the hardest things for me, as a hunter myself, it was the waste. They (suspects) weren’t making any attempt to remove meat. These guys — it was all about the killing. That’s what was probably most disturbing to us.”
At least five of the suspects appeared in court Thursday, reported CNN affiliate KOIN. They face penalties ranging from fines to jail time depending on their individual charges.

Why poachers persist in hunting bushmeat — even though it’s dangerous

(jbdodane/Flickr)
(jbdodane/Flickr)

The illegal hunting of bushmeat, or game meat, has long distressed wildlife conservationists. It has persisted in sub-Saharan Africa, attracting international attention and debate. Enforcement by authorities and community-based initiatives have been tried as anti-poaching approaches, but with mixed results. Overall, wildlife populations have continued to plummet.

Why has poaching refused to go away? The answer, as suggested by poachers themselves, is simple: because poaching pays.

We conducted a study with poachers in western Tanzania. Our findings shed new light on what motivates people to poach and shows that poachers benefit considerably while the costs are negligible. The study also knocks down the general perception about who poachers are – they’re not necessarily the poorest of the poor. Rather than hunting for basic subsistence, they take risks to widen their livelihood options and improve their situation.

Our research therefore suggests that current approaches to dealing with poaching are misplaced for a simple reason: poachers vary widely. Bottom-up, or community-based, interventions like providing meat at a reduced cost, are unlikely to work unless the benefits can offset what they gain through poaching. And for those who are poaching out of necessity, top-down measures, like longer prison sentences or greater fines, are unlikely to be effective because they don’t have alternative ways to make an income.

Cost benefit analysis

Our study focused on individuals who lived in villages that bordered two premier national parks in Tanzania: Serengeti National Park and Ruaha National Park.

We interviewed 200 poachers, asking them questions about their lives, livelihood alternatives and motivations for poaching. Respondents volunteered information freely and were neither paid nor given incentives for their participation.

We found that illegal hunters are making rational decisions. They earn far more through hunting than through all the other options combined for rural farmers. Over a 12-month period, poachers on average generated US$425. This is considerably more than the amount earned through typical means – such as trade, small business, livestock sales and agricultural sales – which amount to about US$258 each year.

Obviously, benefits are meaningless unless compared to the costs involved. Hunting large animals in the bush carries economic and physical risks. Hunters could get injured, risk imprisonment or lose the opportunity to farm or do other forms of legitimate business.

But, in places like rural Tanzania, the benefits outweigh these costs.

Where farming is the main income generator, there is lots of time available to hunt between planting and harvesting seasons. And with high formal unemployment, labour in a typical household is rarely a limiting factor. We compared poaching and non-poaching households and found that the opportunity costs forfeited by poaching households amounted to just US$116, far below the amount gained through bushmeat sales of US$425. Because other income generating opportunities are few and pay little, poachers have little to lose by poaching.

Other economic costs may come in the form of arrests, imprisonment and subsequent fines. Each time a poacher entered the bush, he faced a 0.07% chance of being arrested. Once arrested, poachers may be fined, imprisoned, beaten or let off. Two-thirds of poachers had never been arrested. Those who had spent just 0.04 days in prison when averaged over a career of 5.2 years. Of those arrested, just over half (56%) had been fined, with fines averaging US$39. For every trip taken, poachers paid just two cents when averaged over their career.

The story here is simple. The majority of poachers never get arrested. And those who do pay a penalty that is paltry compared to the income typically earned.

Physical costs, including injury and possibly even death, have been far more difficult to assess. Outside Serengeti National Park, dangerous wildlife was frequently encountered in the bush and one-third of the poachers questioned had been injured during their hunting careers. Recovery times averaged slightly more than a month. But when averaged over the number of days a poacher spends in the bush (1,901 days), the likelihood of being injured on any given day was remarkably low, just 0.02%.

Still, poaching isn’t easy. Eight in ten respondents claimed it was a difficult activity and that they did it primarily because they didn’t make enough money from legal activities.

Moderately poor

Poverty has long been assumed to be a primary driver of poaching activities, however it may not be that poachers are the poorest of the poor.

Our analysis of poachers living along the borders of Ruaha National Park, revealed that they are poor, but not absolutely poor. In the language of the economist Jeffrey Sachs, many poachers may be “moderately poor”. They are unlikely to go hungry in the short term and are able to focus more on expanding their livelihood options.

Regarding their economic self-perception, these poaching households were similar to non-poaching households. Over half (54%) of poaching households considered themselves economically “average” rather than “poor”.

So, if poachers don’t consider themselves to be poor and consider poaching difficult, why do they do it? The answer may lay in a concept that the Nobel Peace Prize winner Amartya Sen has called“capability deprivation”.

Many poachers lack choices by which to improve their lives. They lack access to income which reduces their chances for further education or entrepreneurial opportunity. Deprived of capabilities to make a better life, many poachers —- at least in Tanzania —- continue to poach to gain agency, rather than just to make ends meet.

One respondent, outside Ruaha National Park, stated that after poaching for six years, he gave it up. His livestock numbers had grown enough to ensure sufficient income the whole year through. This poacher’s story reveals that some threshold of affluence is attainable for longtime poachers to curb illegal activity.

Results here present a new twist for those seeking to protect dwindling wildlife populations. It means that strategies to stop poaching can no longer focus merely on the poorest of the poor. Without other ways to improve their livelihoods, even poachers who can meet their basic needs will continue poaching. For one really simple reason: it pays.

Eli Knapp, Assistant Professor of Intercultural Studies, Biology and Earth Science, Houghton College

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

Six park rangers killed in ambush in DRC’s famed Virunga gorilla park

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/04/09/six-park-rangers-killed-ambush-drcs-famed-virunga-gorilla-park/

Five wildlife rangers and a driver guarding one of the world’s most important refuges for mountain gorillas and other critically endangered species have been killed in an ambush.

Authorities in the Virunga National Park, the Democratic Republic of Congo’s famed haven for gorillas, said the men were gunned down by militia men early on Monday near the border with Uganda.

“Virunga National Park is deeply saddened to confirm reports of an attack on our staff today,” the park said in a statement.

The Virunga National Park 
The Virunga National Park  CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES

“Five Virunga rangers and a staff driver were killed during an ambush in the Central Sector of the Park. A sixth ranger was also wounded.”

Joel Malembe, a park spokesman, said the team had been driving through the bush between the sectors of Lulimba and Ishasha when a group of militia men opened fire on their vehicles at about 6 AM local time.

Cosma Wilungula, the director of the DRC’s national parks, said the attackers were from one of the country’s “Mai Mai” militia groups, which were initially founded in the 1990s to fight cross-border attacks from Rwanda.

More than 150 rangers have been killed protecting the Virunga national park, which covers an area three times the size of Luxembourg, over the past twenty years.

Virunga was established established in 1925 and describes itself as Africa’s oldest national park.

Covering more than 3000 square miles of wilderness on the Rwandan and Ugandan border, it is one of Africa’s most diverse habitats and is home to about a quarter of the world’s surviving 880 mountain gorillas.

Emmanuel de Merode, the Belgian director of the Virunda national park, was wounded in an ambush in 2014
Emmanuel de Merode, the Belgian director of the Virunda national park, was wounded in an ambush in 2014 CREDIT:  JEROME DELAY,/AP

It is also a refuge for significant populations of eastern lowland gorillas, chimpanzees, okapis, lions, elephants and hippos.

But it has been ravaged by the unrest sweeping Congo’s troubled North Kivu province, with dozens of armed groups preying on the local population and battling for control of rich reserves of timber, gold and other resources.

They also often poach animals in the park for bush meat.

Ranger outposts are regularly attacked and it not unknown for rangers and militias to fight battles with automatic weapons to for several hours. Emmanuel de Merode, the park’s Belgian director, was shot and wounded in a road ambush between the park and Goma, the capital of North Kivu, in 2014.

The Democratic Republic of Congo has seen increasing instability of the past year, after Joseph Kabila, the president, refused to step down at the end of his term in 2016.

Refugees from Tchomia in the Democratic Republic of Congo arrive on boat in Uganda
Refugees from Tchomia in the Democratic Republic of Congo arrive on boat in Uganda CREDIT: JACK TAYLOR/GETTY

Mr Kabila has agreed to fresh elections in January, but the United Nations and aid agencies have warned that escalating violence and lawlessness threatens to spiral out of control.

Violence has escalated in the east of the country in particular since February, raising fears of a return to the horrific civil wars that claimed millions of lives in the region between 1998 and 2008.

A Mai Mai militia was blamed for shooting dead a Catholic priest in North Kivu over the weekend.

The United Nations has said over 5.1 million people have been displaced in recent years and 13 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance, putting the scale of the crisis on a par with Syria.

The national government has rejected that description of the situation and has said it will not attend a United Nations pledging conference to raise money to deal with the crisis in Geneva on Friday.

The United Nations has 15,000 peace keepers in the Democratic Republic of Congo, making it the largest peace keeping mission in the world.

SMART MOUNTAIN GORILLAS HAVE LEARNED HOW TO DISMANTLE POACHERS’ TRAPS

Smart Mountain Gorillas Have Learned How to Dismantle Poachers’ Traps

Researchers working in Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park in 2012 witnessed just how intelligent mountain gorillas are when they observed them dismantling traps laid by poachers.

Only days after a young gorilla died after being caught in one of these snares, two four-year-old gorillas were filmed working together to disassemble similar traps.

“This is absolutely the first time that we’ve seen juveniles doing that … I don’t know of any other reports in the world of juveniles destroying snares,” said Veronica Vecellio, gorilla program coordinator at the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund’s Karisoke Research Center. “We are the largest database and observer of wild gorillas … so I would be very surprised if somebody else has seen that,” Vecellio added.

Rangers patrol the forest daily, removing snares in continued efforts to protect the critically endangered mountain gorillas. It was on a routine patrol in 2012 that tracker John Ndayambaje saw two juvenile gorillas: a male named Dukore and a female named Rwema, rapidly destroy two traps.

“Young Dukore and Rwema, as well as Tetero with a black back, ran to the trap and destroyed together the branches used to hold the rope,” said Vecillio. “They saw another trap nearby and, as quickly as before, they destroyed the second branch and pulled the rope to the ground. They were very confident. They saw what they had to do, they did it, and then they left.”

Snares are a common occurrence in the national park, home of the mountain gorillas, and although they are intended to catch antelope and smaller species, they can also ensnare the great apes. Adult gorillas can generally free themselves, but a younger animal may not be so lucky, as seen in the case of an infant named Ngwino who died from injuries after being caught in such a snare – she had dislocated her shoulder trying to escape and developed gangrene from open wounds where the rope cut into her leg.

The gorillas observed on this occasion are a subspecies of the eastern gorilla: Gorilla beringei beringei. There are only an estimated 680 mountain gorillas left in the wild, in two separate small populations, so every life is precious.

Smuggler of Monitor Lizards Sentenced

LA Lizard Smuggler Gets Taste Of His Own Medicine A judge ordered a man convicted of smuggling monitor lizards in boxes to serve house confinement for his animal cruelty.
By SoCal Patch, News Partner | Mar 29, 2018 4:31 pm ET LA Lizard Smuggler Gets Taste Of His Own Medicine

LOS ANGELES, CA — An Inglewood man was sentenced Thursday to six months under house arrest for smuggling five monitor lizards into the United States — two of which died while they were being shipped.
Gayle Simpson, 34, was also ordered by U.S. District Judge Manuel Real to serve three years of federal probation. Simpson pleaded guilty in September to a single federal count of smuggling monitor lizards that were shipped from the Philippines.

“We hope this sentence sends the message that these actions have consequences,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Erik Silber said, adding that the case was one of three involving monitor lizards prosecuted by his office since last winter.

The case against Simpson stems from a package intercepted by U.S.
Customs and Border Protection last spring. The package, which was labeled “speakers” and was addressed to Simpson’s son, contained five monitor lizards: three spiny-necked water monitor lizards, one Samar water monitor lizard, and one Palawan water monitor lizard, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Two of the monitor lizards arrived dead, and a third had suffered a crushed foot. All five are protected under CITES, an international agreement which aims to ensure that international trade in wild animal and plant specimens does not threaten their survival.

A subsequent search warrant executed by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service at Simpson’s home resulted in the seizure of four yellow-headed water monitor lizards and two spiny-necked water monitor lizards, prosecutors said.
Silber said the death and injury suffered by the reptiles during shipping illustrates the cruelty of animal smuggling, for which profit is the usual motive. The monitor lizards in the Simpson case were worth an estimated $1,500 to $2,000, authorities said.

https://patch.com/california/los-angeles/la-lizard-smuggler-gets-taste-his-own-medicine

Police nab five poachers with trapping nets, weapons

https://www.nyoooz.com/news/bareilly/1069233/police-nab-five-poachers-with-trapping-nets-weapons/

  • By TOI
  • | Wednesday | 28th March, 2018

The spot where they were caught is a part of Kishanpur wildlife sanctuary in Kheri district. According to station house officer (SHO) RK Bharadwaj, police chased the poachers in the late hours of Tuesday following a lead. Pilibhit: Five poachers were arrested from the forest area near Sultanpur village on Wednesday morning by a police team of Seramau North police station, Pilibhit. Two trapping nets, one spear, a poleaxe and three daggers were seized from them. An FIR has been lodged in the matter and the accused have been jailed.All the accused are residents of Haripur Kishanpur village under Seramau North police station.

Pilibhit: Five poachers were arrested from the forest area near Sultanpur village on Wednesday morning by a police team of Seramau North police station, Pilibhit.

Two trapping nets, one spear, a poleaxe and three daggers were seized from them.

An FIR has been lodged in the matter and the accused have been jailed.All the accused are residents of Haripur Kishanpur village under Seramau North police station.

The spot where they were caught is a part of Kishanpur wildlife sanctuary in Kheri district.

According to station house officer (SHO) RK Bharadwaj, police chased the poachers in the late hours of Tuesday following a lead.

hunters fined $2,000

 

Two Sault Ste. Marie men were fined a total of $2,000 for an illegal deer hunt.

Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry received a complaint about two men hunting illegally on St. Jospeh Island in October 2016.

An investigation found Cameron Tucker and Evan Thorne were hunting a white-tailed deer when Tucker shot and killed a buck deer without a licence. The pair took the deer to a nearby camp to process. Tucker repeatedly gave false information to a conservation officer, a release says.

Tucker was fined $500 for unlawfully hunting a deer without a licence and $500 for obstructing a peace officer.

He was also handed a two-year hunting prohibition in addition to a three-year ban for another hunting offence.

Thorne was fined $1,000 for unlawfully possession an illegally killed deer.

Justice of the Peace James Bubba heard the case in Ontario Court of Justice in Sault Ste. Marie on Aug. 9.