tv Click - Short Edition BBC News February 6, 2022 10:45pm-11:01pm GMT
this week, lara's doing something unusual. she's left the city to join someone special on a walk. she's in the new forest national park with wildlife tv legend chris packham. what a beautiful scene. tell me about this area. well, we're in the new forest national park here, which is famous for various habitats, its valley moors, its sandy lowland heath, but also, its ancient woodland, and there are a number of veteran trees here, a significant number, so we're talking about trees that are 5, 6, 6.5, maybe even 700 years old, and because there's been woodland here for that amount of time, it means that it supports a lot of other life — there is a great richness of biodiversity.
the bird fauna here is really important too — we've got a number of national rarities. you can hear the birds — this isn't a sound i'm used to living in the city! no, what we got? hold on. we've got a bit of robin going. a blue tit. yeah, there's blue tits and great tits calling. i mean, it's a lovely, sunny, pre—spring day. they're loving the sunshine and they're pumping out some song. but unfortunately, not all birds are left alone in their natural habitats, and wildlife trafficking, mainly perpetrated online, is having a major impact on the world's biodiversity crisis. carl miller has been looking at the problem. we've had catastrophic declines of whole suites of bird communities. without large tracts of forest, they're silent — they're silent forests, because the birds have been trapped out of these environments.
so trapped out, in fact, that 40% of all bird populations in the world are now in decline. to find out a bit more, i came to london zoo, where some of these species have found a home. we have our blue—crowned laughingthrushes, you know, which are a species from china. there's less than 250 of those birds left in the wild. we actually have more in captivity. the species is more threatened than the giant panda because of the trapping for the pet trade. the illegal pet trade is a major factor in declining bird numbers. what may come as a surprise to many is that most endangered of all groups of birds are parrots. what would be less surprising, though, is that the pet trade is a major factor in their decline. einstein could sure fit the bill because she loves to dance. can you get down? laughter let's get down for everybody. come on now. she's gonna make me do it too. imitates dance music
ooh—ooh! this is an african grey parrot, famous for its intelligence and the most popular one to be kept as pets. even though many are bought in legitimate ways, their popularity fuels the illegal trade too. these birds have been almost wiped out in some of their native countries. so, five years ago, they were given the highest category of international protection. it means all international trade of any wild african grey became illegal, and there were serious restrictions on any transaction involving captive—bred birds as well. in short, it became illegal to capture and sell african greys. so we went undercover to investigate how online trafficking still carries on under the radar, particularly on social media. we followed one of these ads, which took us to bangladesh — one of the major hubs in south—east asia for the trafficking of african greys. we set up a meeting with faiz ahmed,
a trader whose social media led us to investigate possible illegal activity alongside his legitimate business. we operated under the pretext of wanting to start a breeding farm. the conversation started over legal captive—bred parrots, but faiz was also prepared to sell us wild african greys. he was confident that he would be able to get around customs import restrictions, and also advised it would be a lucrative business.
recently, a global initiative was set up to understand the scale of the problem and a new system was designed to give conservationists a data—driven view of possible illegal trades online. no—one is able to give us an authoritative answer to how much of this is online and everywhere that it is occurring — it's too dynamic, the online space is too fragmented. the system's mission is to identify online trading hot spots in the hope of disrupting a business that's worth £15 billion a year. although many online sites have worked to remove illicit content, the system's found around 10,000 classified ads all over the world for the sale of potentially endangered species and their parts. we showed our film to rowan martin of the world parrot trust, whose expertise in parrots and trafficking is helping the project's researchers.
so, rowan, that was obviously undercover filming that colleagues of ours did in bangladesh. what do you think of all that? a lot of those would be endangered species, but it might not necessarily be illegal trade. the conversation switches from this sort of legal side of things to more grey areas, where he is offering up or explaining how he can import large wholesale quantities of wild core african grey parrots into bangladesh. and that would be illegal under international law? yeah, that would be illegal under international law. back in bangladesh, faiz was getting cold feet. he told us the authorities were getting stricter, so the birds could still be imported but he couldn't take responsibility for them at airport customs. when later called up by the film's producer in the uk,
faiz at first denied offering to trade african greys, and then claimed he didn't know that their import was now illegal. our reporter contacted other sellers based in africa and asia and secured promises of shipments via transit countries. but for every one of these traders who we have highlighted, there are countless others using tricks online to avoid detection. they use clever things like sharing memories of something that maybe happened back when it was legal, but that might then stimulate a discussion amongst traders about whether or not something was still available. so they might not have been directly advertising, butjust indicating that these things are available. or, more specifically, school people within these groups about how to talk about the trade without it being flagged. this is all made worse by the way in which social media allows pockets of communities to form, who actively evade any enforcement efforts that do exist.
they are using sort of new private channels which might only be viewable to friends and only available for a short period. these platforms aren'tjust sort of passively hosting a problem, they're actually acting to amplify that problem. that's where the system is aiming to outwit illegal sellers by figuring out the tactics being used in specific markets. on these indonesian posts, for example, it's cracked a code of letters and numbers used by sellers to represent the asking price for each bird. and in other cases, it's found a slang familiar to enthusiasts which might be used in possible sales, such asjitot for a bird which is fully tamed, and raw for those that are wild and in plentiful numbers. we showed some of the posts selling endangered birds to the platforms hosting them, pointing out that in many cases, their existence was breaking their own site guidelines and policies. of those that responded, meta, the umbrella company of facebook and instagram, said that they...
people are not going to huge lengths to hide behind tor browsers and on the dark web, because they don't need to. and i've seen it for myself in these birds that often get mutilated. they're crammed in these really crowded boxes, dying of dehydration. it's a slow, painful, miserable death for a lot of these birds. lara: back in the new forest, i asked chris about the wider impact of the illegal wildlife trade. we are in the middle of a climate and biodiversity crisis, which is really, really seriously impacting on our lives — even if we haven't felt it here in uk yet — so stamping out illegal wildlife crime is absolutely critical. the principal culprits here for me are not those poachers — sometimes, people living in poverty that can't do anything but capture birds in the forest
to feed their family — and tackling that part of the crime would be extraordinarily difficult. the easier part would be dealing with those platforms. they have the technological capacity to stop this, i believe, overnight if there was a will. what do you feel that conservationists could do to help with this cause? frankly, i can't write code, i don't understand algorithms. i understand birds and birdsong. but in order to protect those birds and that birdsong, i need young, smart people with their fingers on the buttons of that technological capability to act in our interest. i mean, frankly, if i had my finger in the conservation purse at the moment, i'd spend a lot more money on buying more nature reserves, so on and so forth. i'd spend certainly a significant sum on tackling these tech—led issues because we are underestimating how much damage they're doing and we've got to change that. and that's it for the shortcut of click for this week. of course, the full—length version is waiting for
you on right now on iplayer. and you can keep up with the team on social media. find us on youtube, instagram, facebook and twitter — @bbcclick. thanks for watching. we'll see you soon. bye— bye. hello there. a quieter end to the night to come, wintry showers easing away, as are the winds. we are having a little ridge of high pressure building in. not only are the winds easing but as the showers die down, the cloud is breaking and temperatures tumbling away. close to freezing in many parts
by dawn, so a cold start by monday morning and potentially an icy start. it will be close to freezing on the roads. you can stay up—to—date with the warnings on our website. for the day ahead, we have got further weather fronts coming in and fairly brisk winds, but not as windy as it has been, and as those weather fronts come in further south, there will not be that much rain but they will introduce much milder air through the day. there could be some snow on the edge of that weather front as it moves into the hills of scotland, but it will turn back to rain quite quickly. we will find the sunshine will tend to fade as the cloud comes in, still quite dry and bright, but drizzly rain and hail fog across western and northern areas, more significant rain for the highlands and islands and the temperatures, 10—12 celsius. there will be a stronger wind to the north—west, milder air to the south of the weather front, and that continues through monday
night into tuesday. some wintry showers in the north, not as cold as it has been, and much milder a might for many as we go into tuesday, when we have that weather front straddling the country. the dividing line between that mild atlantic air and lots of dry weather but cloudy weather in the south, and brighter but showery weather for the north. we will see sunshine breaking through in the south, and it will be very mild on tuesday, 13s and 14s. still relatively around normal in the north in the colder air. that battle continues in the week, with the weather front straddling central areas, not producing that much rain, but giving a lot of cloud, whilst we could see a spell of windy of windy weather midweek, but then high pressure builds towards the end of the week, for a lot of dry, bright but chillier weather.
welcome to newsday, reporting live from singapore, i'm karishma vaswani. the headlines. queen elizabeth marks the 70th anniversary of her reign — the first time the milestone has been reached by a british monarch. india mourns the loss of lata mangeshkar — the legendary singer who made her name in bollywood. she's died at the age of 92. as the diplomacy continues to avert an invasion, we're in eastern ukraine where government forces are battling russian separatists. this entire village is a casualty of the conflict. it is extraordinary that anyone still lives here. the