Compiled and edited by Katarzyna Nowak
I present comments from 24 authorities who lay out the flaws in pro-trade thinking, as recently elocuted in Daniel Stiles’s essay “Can Elephants Survive a Continued Trade Ban?” written in response to Christina Russo’s article “Can Elephants Survive a Legal Ivory Trade? Debate Is Shifting Against It.” These experts work in diverse fields, from anthropology, ecology, and conservation biology to law, journalism, politics, and economics. They voice their individual opinions, based on personal experience and research. As such, there is no suggestion that the commentators agree with each other, or are otherwise acting jointly.
James Howard “Billy” Williams, the son of a mining engineer from Cornwall, in England, seems to have stepped straight out of the pages of The Jungle Book, by Rudyard Kipling. Employed as a forest manager with a British teak company in colonial Burma, he was captivated by the strength, the intelligence, and even the sense…
The remarkable story about a large tusker who was rescued from a slow, poisonous death.
By Alex Hofford
It is a little known fact that the blame for the elephant poaching crisis of the 1980s, which resulted in the global ivory ban of 1989, can be laid squarely at the feet of the Hong Kong ivory traders. And now they’re at it again.
By Grace Gabriel, International Fund for Animal Welfare
The ivory trade does not follow a neat economic model, and calls for a regulated legal market are naïve and misguided.
By John F. Calvelli
Shortly after the initiation of CGI’s Partnership to Save Africa’s Elephants one year ago, WCS launched the 96 Elephants campaign, named for the estimated number of elephants killed illegally in Africa every day. The campaign has focused on securing effective U.S. moratorium laws, bolstering elephant protection with additional funding, and educating the public about the link between ivory consumption and the slaughter of elephants.
By Katarzyna Nowak
On August 21, Zambia was reported to have “lifted its hunting ban,” announcing that a ban on hunting big cats—leopards and lions—would remain. One week later, an addendum was issued by the Zambian Wildlife Authority (ZAWA), clarifying that the hunting ban would remain in effect for elephants too.
However, confusion endures in the media, such as in a September 9 article on Mongabay: “Zambia ends trophy hunting ban, elephants fair game.”
Was there ever a hunting ban in Zambia, has Zambia resumed hunting, and will elephants be hunted?
Daniel Stiles, a member of the IUCN/SSC African Elephant Specialist Group, discusses whether there should be a legal trade in elephant ivory, and proposes elements that could be included in a legal trade. The outcome, he believes, will be a significant reduction of elephant killing for ivory.
The Niassa National Reserve is as remote as it gets in Mozambique. The size of Tennessee or three times the size of the Serengeti, Niassa is the home of one of the last stands for the African savannah elephant. Estimates indicate there are 13,000 elephants left, down from 20,000 at their recent highest.
OKAVANGO DELTA, Botswana—”Fifteen elephants right!” ecologist Mike Chase shouts above the roar of the single-engine Cessna. The plane swoops low over the herd of gray bodies as they wade single-file across the floodplain below. We’re flying over the channels and islands on the western periphery of the vast Okavango Delta, as part of the Botswana leg…
It’s one of the more incendiary questions discussed in wildlife conservation circles: Should there be a legal trade in elephant ivory? This debate has been waxing and waning since at least 1989, when the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) voted to “ban” the international trade in ivory after a ferocious wave of poaching in…
While positive steps have been taken by governments to protect elephants and their ecosystems, private hunting companies are working hard to undermine the potential gains.
While there are effectively unlimited numbers of poachers and consumers fueling the lucrative illegal ivory market, a new report suggests that nearly all the ivory shuttled from Africa to Asia—the biggest market—is confined to as few as 200 shipping containers a year.
Ivory-seeking poachers have killed 100,000 African elephants in just three years, according to a new study that provides the first reliable continent-wide estimates of illegal kills. During 2011 alone, roughly one of every twelve African elephants was killed by a poacher.
Elephant and rhino poachers are increasingly turning to poisons with devastating consequences. If the tide is not stemmed soon, many species will be utterly destroyed by the demand for their parts in East Asia.