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An elephant in the Okavango Delta, Botswana, on June 15, 2018. Michael Levine-Clark / Flickr

Botswana held its first auction of licenses to hunt elephants Friday since President Mokgweetsi Masisi lifted a five-year ban on the controversial practice in May of 2019.

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Nearly $1 million worth of shark fins were seized by wildlife inspectors in Miami, Florida. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

U.S. government officials found 1,400 pounds of shark fins worth $1 million hidden in boxes in Miami, Florida, according to CNN.

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Rangers said burning poisoned vulture carcasses removes the poison from the ecosystem. Wildlife ACT / Mongabay

By Fred Kockott

Another mass vulture poisoning incident has ended the year on a sour note for Wildlife ACT rangers in the South African province of KwaZulu-Natal.

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The world's oldest known living black rhino has died at age 57.

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An elephant in Botswana. Mario Micklisch / CC BY 2.0

Two hunters who shot and killed a research elephant in Botswana and then destroyed its collar to hide the evidence have been banned from further hunting in the country.

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A tiger looks out from its cage at a new resort and zoo in the eastern Lao town of Tha Bak on Dec. 5, 2018. Karl Ammann believes the "zoo" is really a front for selling tigers. Terrence McCoy / The Washington Post / Getty Images

Are tigers extinct in Laos?

That's the conclusion of a detailed new study that found no evidence wild tigers still exist in the country.

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Kandukuru Nagarjun / CC BY 2.0

By John R. Platt

Earlier this month a team of scientists announced they've developed a high-tech way to help save rhinos from poachers: They propose fabricating fake horns out of horse hair (which is also composed of inert keratin, like human fingernails) and then flooding the illegal market with their products, thereby lowering the price of powdered rhino horns so much that no one will ever want to kill another rhino again.

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An illegally trafficked tiger skull and pelt. Ryan Moehring / USFWS

By John R. Platt

When it comes to solving problems related to wildlife trade, there are an awful lot of "sticky widgets."

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Scientists have developed an innovative way to protect endangered rhinos from poaching: flood the market for rhino horn with a cheap, fake alternative.

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The UK instituted the world's toughest ban on ivory last year which eliminated all sales of ivory and rankled collectors and dealers. Antique dealers sued in court to be able to continue to sell existing ivory and argued that the ban violated European law. The high court in the UK, however, struck down that argument earlier this week and said the UK's ban is fully legal, as The Guardian reported.

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A jaguar in Mato Grosso Sur, Brazil. Steve Winter / National Geographic

By Mike Gaworecki

Jaguars face a number of threats, from habitat destruction and fragmentation for agriculture to poaching, trophy hunting and retaliatory killings by ranchers. The cats are estimated to have lost nearly half of their historic range and to have declined by as much as 20 to 25 percent over the past three generations, which is why the species is listed as nearly threatened on the IUCN Red List.

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