Nigeria risks losing all its forest elephants – what we found when we went looking for them
The Conversation » Ivory Trade
by Rosemary Iriowen Egonmwan, Professor of Environmental Physiology of Animals, University of Lagos, Bola Oboh, Professor of Genetics, Department of Cell Biology and Genetics, University of Lagos
3M ago
Nigeria is one of 37 African countries where elephants are found in the wild. Savannah elephants (Loxodonta africana) can be found in the north and forest elephants (Loxodonta cyclotis) in the south. It’s not clear how many elephants there are in Nigeria. Eighteen years ago, the African Elephant Study Report estimated that there were just 94 elephants left in the country. In 2021, it was estimated that there could be about 400 elephants in areas not systematically surveyed. What we do know, however, is that the numbers and ranges of elephants in Nigeria have declined greatly over time. The mai ..read more
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UK ivory trade ban extended to five more species – here's why we think it will be ineffective
The Conversation » Ivory Trade
by Elliot Doornbos, Senior Lecturer of Criminology, Nottingham Trent University, Angus Nurse, Head of Criminology and Criminal Justice, Nottingham Trent University
1y ago
The import of ivory into the UK from five more species, including walruses, has been banned. Ondrej Prosicky/Shutterstock The loss of nature is one of the many environmental crises facing our planet. And a key challenge in addressing this is halting the poaching and trafficking of wildlife, which is often driven by demand for ivory. In a bid to protect animals from poaching, the UK government has strengthened legal protections for five more species. Trading in ivory from hippos, walruses, narwhals, killer whales and sperm whales is set to be prohibited under the extended provisions of the Ivor ..read more
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Japan's ivory market is no longer a threat to elephant populations – here's why
The Conversation » Ivory Trade
by Laura Thomas-Walters, Postdoctoral Scholar in Fisheries and Wildlife, University of Stirling, Bob Smith, Director, Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology, University of Kent, Diogo Veríssimo, Research Fellow in Conservation Marketing, University of Oxford, Takahiro Kubo, Senior Researcher in National Institute for Environmental Studies (NIES) & Visiting Researcher in ICCS, University of Oxford
1y ago
Ivory poaching is threatening regional elephant populations. MPH Photos/Shutterstock Elephants feature heavily in mythology, religion and popular culture. Yet they are hunted for their ivory tusks. Ivory poaching has led to a 70% decline in African elephant numbers over the past 40 years. Ivory has always been a prized commodity. It has served a variety of purposes, from use in traditional medicines to musical instruments. More recently, ivory is carved into jewellery and ornaments and used primarily for decoration. But the international ivory trade was banned under the Convention on Internati ..read more
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The ban on ivory sales has been an abject failure. A rethink is needed
The Conversation » Ivory Trade
by Marshall Murphree, Professor Emeritus and Director of the Centre of Applied Social Sciences, University of Zimbabwe
2y ago
The fate of elephants ultimately lies in the hands of humans and a continued ban will not solve the poaching problem. Shutterstock The issue of trade in African elephant ivory will dominate the 2016 CITES Conference of the Parties meeting. Debate will revolve around maintaining or lifting the ban on trade, but with little chance of addressing the overarching human element. For example, what impact has the trade ban had on local communities? And what is the relationship between their livelihoods and elephant protection and poaching? There has been vocal support for maintaining a ban on the trad ..read more
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Rhino horn and conservation: to trade or not to trade, that is the question
The Conversation » Ivory Trade
by Keith Somerville, Visiting Professor, University of Kent
2y ago
White rhino on Lake Nakuru in Kenya. Shutterstock Africa’s rhinos are seriously threatened by poaching, which feeds the demand for rhino horn in Vietnam and China. Rhino horn is a long-used ingredient in Chinese traditional medicine and is now even more eagerly sought after in Vietnam. It is a lucrative business. Rhino horn can fetch up to US$60,000 per kg on the illegal market and is worth more by weight than diamonds or cocaine. Over the past nine years 5,940 African rhinos have been killed for their horns. Massive poaching over decades had reduced the black rhino in Africa from 65,000 in 19 ..read more
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African countries square up for battle over future of ivory trade ban
The Conversation » Ivory Trade
by Chris Alden, Professor of International Relations, London School of Economics and Political Science, Ross Harvey, Senior Researcher in Natural Resource Governance (Africa), South African Institute of International Affairs
2y ago
Elephant numbers across the continent declined by roughly 70,000 between 2006 and 2013 Shutterstock Three countries in southern Africa have banded together to press for the ban on the international trade in ivory to be lifted. South Africa, Namibia and Zimbabwe have submitted a joint proposal to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). They are asking for permission to trade in ivory without which, they argue, there are no positive incentives to conserve elephants or their habitats. CITES is an international agreement between governments that ..read more
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EU's new stand on ivory trade upsets East Africa ahead of key decision
The Conversation » Ivory Trade
by Keith Somerville, Visiting Professor, University of Kent
2y ago
Kenya burned 105 tonnes of ivory confiscated from smugglers and poachers, an action denounced by Bostwana as wrong and wasteful. Reuters/Siegfried Modola Opening skirmishes are taking place more than two months before a major conference in South Africa that will determine the future of ivory trade and elephant conservation. Such conferences have since the late 1980s been the main battleground for the opposing camps. As such, the Conference of the Parties of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES)link in Johannesburg will be no exception. The ..read more
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Elephant ivory: DNA analysis offers clearest insight yet into illegal trafficking networks
The Conversation » Ivory Trade
by Jason Gilchrist, Ecologist, Edinburgh Napier University
2y ago
Plavi011/Shutterstock Poaching rare wildlife for teeth, tusks, fur, horns and other body parts is a crime which threatens many species with extinction, but the evidence which could incriminate traffickers is often difficult to access, hard to interpret, or piecemeal. To discover more about the criminal networks sustaining this trade, researchers in the US, Kenya and Singapore have extracted as much data as possible from the products of illegal elephant ivory trafficking in Africa. The new study analysed the DNA of tusk ivory seized from 49 large shipments impounded in African ports between 200 ..read more
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How Tory U-turn on the antique ivory trade will threaten elephants in the wild
The Conversation » Ivory Trade
by Caroline Cox, Senior Lecturer in Law, University of Portsmouth
2y ago
The tusks in these ornamental elephants are real ivory. William Warby, CC BY-SA Back in January I wrote an article for The Conversation applauding China’s announcement to close its ivory trade and processing activities by the end of 2017. A shocked but delighted conservation lobby hailed the move as a potential turning point in the protection of wild elephants. But now the UK Conservative party has quietly dropped a manifesto commitment to ban the ivory trade. I am as concerned today as I was happy back in January. China’s announcement followed a major global conference in September 2016. CITE ..read more
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Why China's ivory ban is a mammoth step towards saving the elephant
The Conversation » Ivory Trade
by Caroline Cox, Senior Lecturer in Law, University of Portsmouth
2y ago
Ivory owner. Shutterstock At the end of last year, China announced a complete ban on its ivory trade and processing activities by the end of 2017. The news, a late Christmas gift to many conservationists, was greeted as a “game changer” by groups including the World Wildlife Fund, which says around 20,000 African elephants are being killed every year for their ivory. As the world’s largest consumer of ivory products, Chinese demand has seen poaching increase and ivory prices rise. The country has had a seemingly insatiable appetite for so-called “white gold”. At a meeting of the Convention on ..read more
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