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OPINION: Hong Kong’s Infamous and Shadowy Ivory Trade

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.

OPINION: Elephants Are Not Widgets

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.

Protecting African Elephants: What a Year Can Accomplish

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.

Zambia’s Hunting “Bans”—Shedding Light on a Complicated History

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?

OPINION: Can Elephants Survive a Continued Ivory Trade Ban?

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.  

It’s the Wild West in East Africa

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.

Aerial Census of Africa’s Elephants Aims to Help Conservation, Anti-Poaching Efforts

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…

Can Elephants Survive a Legal Ivory Trade? Debate Is Shifting Against It

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…

Opinion: Hunters’ Demand for Elephant Trophies Should Not Take Precedence Over Government Accountability

Katarzyna Nowak

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.

Q&A: Landmark Report Reveals Crucial Links in the Illegal Ivory Trade

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.

100,000 African Elephants Poached Since 2010, Study Finds

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.

Poisons and Poaching: A Deadly Mix Requiring Urgent Action

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.

OPINION: My Offer to Help Kenyan Authorities Catch an Ivory Kingpin Is Spurned

World Elephant Day was celebrated around the world yesterday, with pageantry, song and dance, events and activities. Everyone was wearing grey. But for award-winning conservationist and CEO of WildlifeDirect Paula Kahumba, Elephant Day could hardly be described as “fun.” “I sat for nearly nine hours with my team in a government waiting room at the office of the Chief of Police, in Nairobi to deliver a letter…an offer to raise funds to help in the arrest of suspected ivory kingpin Feizal Ali Mohamed, who has been a fugitive since June 1.” Has her offer fallen on deaf ears?

A tribute to elephants

One of Earth’s most influential keystone species may be disappearing at a rate of one every 15 minutes. This is a tribute to these giants and the way they have touched the lives of those of us lucky enough to have watched the water spill from their trunks and heard their gentle thunder. Let us…

Elephants’ Last Chance

My assignment is a mammoth one: Go to Kenya and photograph African elephants – a vulnerable species currently losing ground as 35,000 elephants are killed a year.