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Campaigners welcome moves to ramp up protection on endangered species

The International Fund for Animal Welfare welcomed the new commitments to protect threatened species.

Moves to increase protection of species ranging from sharks to chimpanzees have been welcomed by wildlife campaigners.

Governments look set to agree to agree international collaboration to protect dusky sharks, angel sharks, the common guitarfish, white-spotted wedgefish and the world’s most heavily fished shark, the blue shark,

Countries taking part in the United Nations conference in the Philippines are also set to agree strict protection for whale sharks and their habitats.

And in a first for the Convention on Migratory Species, governments have voted in favour of a series of proposals, after failing to reach consensus, to improve protection for lions, leopards, chimpanzees and giraffes.

The International Fund for Animal Welfare (Ifaw) welcomed the new commitments to protect threatened species, which need to be formally agreed by a final session of the meeting on Saturday.

Matthew Collis, Director of International Policy at IFAW: “This new commitment by world governments to enhance protection for African wildlife couldn’t have come at a more critical time; lion, leopard, giraffe and chimpanzee numbers are plummeting across the continent due to habitat loss and fragmentation, poaching and conflict with humans.”

The moves mean that countries have committed to greater international co-operation on protecting the wildlife they share.

Chimps have received the highest level of protection under the convention, putting pressure on countries to ensure they enforce rules to prevent the capture or killing of the apes for the pet trade or bushmeat, and to protect their habitat from human encroachment.

Dr Collis also said: “Many of the world’s sharks are in desperate need of protection; over-fishing, the relentless demand for shark fins and bycatch are just some of the threats facing sharks.

“For years, regional fisheries bodies have failed to take action to protect shark species.

“We hope this new commitment by countries from around the world will signal the beginning of renewed efforts to control shark fisheries and trade.”

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