Did you know?
Global seizures of illegal ivory suggest that some 25,000 to 50,000 elephants were slaughtered in 2011 alone to furnish demand in major markets around the world.
The message is simple: Stop Wildlife Trafficking.
And to highlight it, the United States destroyed tons of elephant ivory it has seized over the years — and will pay out $1 million to make sure it doesn’t happen again. Hours before the destruction of the stockpile in Colorado Thursday, Secretary of State John Kerry announced the reward money to help dismantle elephant and rhino trafficking syndicates. It’s the first time the United States has offered such a reward, he said. The ivory was seized and maintained as evidence until court trials were completed. Once the cases were concluded, some of it was used for training law enforcement officers. “Over the past 25 years, we have accumulated far more elephant ivory than we can use for these purposes, and decided to destroy this material as a demonstration of our commitment to combating wildlife trafficking,” the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said. “We want to send a clear message that the United States will not tolerate ivory trafficking and the toll it is taking on elephant populations, particularly in Africa.” The illegal ivory trade has doubled worldwide since 2007, with the United States the second-largest retail market for illegally acquired ivory. China is the largest market.
An unprecedented demand for ivory today has resulted in the slaughter of elephants throughout their range. It is estimated that 96 elephants were killed in Africa each day during 2012. That translates to four elephants an hour or one elephant every 15 minutes. In scarcely more time than it takes to read this commentary, one more elephant will be dead.
Fueling this devastation are greed for a rare commodity, local poverty and social disorder. Wracked by civil strife, central Africa presently finds itself amidst political chaos that has enabled people to profit from the looting of natural resources, including wildlife. At present rates of decline, forest elephants could go extinct within a decade.
– How many elephants are left on earth?
– Are elephants endangered species?
There are about 600 000 African elephants, and between 30 000 and 50 000 Asian elephants. (Approximately 20% are in captivity) It´s difficult to estimate their numbers exactly. The Africans dropped by 50%, from 1.3 millions to 600 000, between 1979 and 1989, because of poaching. About 8 elephants an hour (70 000/year) were poached during this period, until the CITES Ivory ban 1989.
The CITES ((Washington)Convention of International Trade In Endangered Species) regard both species as so threatened, so they are included an appendix 1. (the red list) In the Cites conference 1997, populations in Zimbabwe, Botswana, and Namibia were downlisted to appendix II. This means that limited trade with ivory on quota, to Japan is ok.
If a population is undisturbed, it grows with only 6% a year according to the IUCN (International Union of Conservation of Nature) elephant specialist group.
Won’t you help us? Through December 31, 2013 you can purchase this gorgeous necklace and earring set, When Elephants Dream, designed by Belle Roussel, owner/designer of Chop Zuey Couture Jewelry, and 100% of the proceeds will go to the World Wildlife Foundation. Let’s stop wildlife trafficking.
A special thank you to Hezabel Blackheart for being kind enough to gather the information found in this post.
*Reference Sources for this information: