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Joint force uses Google Earth to find elephant poaching camps in Mozambique ...Mongabay.comOn Monday, September 22, two ivory poachers were arrested in Mozambique during a late-night raid near Niassa National Reserve. The arrest followed on the heels of nearly two-dozen reported kills in the reserve in just the first two weeks of the...
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Kathryn Bigelow's 'Last Days' PSA Tackles Ivory Poachingmxdwn.comOn Saturday feature film director Kathryn Bigelow (Zero Dark Thirty, The Hurt Locker) showed off her new three-minute PSA entitled Last Days at the New York Film Festival. Followed by a panel on ivory poaching, the short film details the bloody path ...Kathryn BigelowIndie...
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Two Ivory Poachers Arrested Near Elephant Stronghold in MozambiqueNewswise (press release)Newswise — Two known ivory poachers were arrested and five illegal firearms seized on Monday, September 22nd near Niassa National Reserve by a joint force including Niassa Reserve scouts from WCS and the Ministry of Tourism, supported by the...
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Poisoned by poachers: Gentle giants suffer agonising death after elephant ...Daily MailBecause the price of 'blood ivory' - illegally poached tusks – is spiralling, poaching gangs are developing fresh techniques to slaughter animals in huge numbers, such as food poisoning. The demand for ivory, also referred to as white-gold, is at...
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Kathryn BigelowIndie WireThe PSA deals with the urgent issue of elephant poaching and the illegal ivory trade, which is predominantly funding many terrorist organizations in Africa. The PSA, made in collaboration with Scott Burns and Megan Ellison, is an aesthetic achievement ...The African Elephant's "Last Days"Huffington PostKathryn...
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Angelina Jolie Tackling Ivory Poaching Drama AFRICAMovies.ie“I've felt a deep connection to Africa and its culture for much of my life, and was taken with Eric's beautiful script about a man drawn into the violent conflict with elephant poachers who emerged with a deeper understanding of man's footprint and a ......
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The African Elephant's "Last Days"Huffington PostThe African elephant is a magnificent creature, but its time on earth is rapidly coming to an end. The African elephant population has decreased by more than 60 percent over the past decade. Just in the past three years, ivory-seeking poachers have ...Kathryn Bigelow decries 'Last Days'...
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Angelina Jolie to direct new film about ivory poachingWildlife ExtraLeakey is the former head of the Kenya Wildlife Service, and is renowned for being an instrumental force in stemming the illegal ivory trade. He took extreme measures to tackle poachers, including sending helicopter gunships into Kenya's national parks ...and more »...
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Angelina Jolie Latest News: Actress To Direct Ivory Poaching Movie 'Africa ...KDramaStarsEven while filming her latest team-up with husband Brad Pitt, an intimate drama called By The Sea, which she also directs, Angelina Jolie has signed on for another directing project. Working on an ivory poaching movie is what we found out in...
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Angelina Jolie to direct ivory poaching filmBreakingNews.ieAngelina continued: “I was taken by Eric's beautiful script about a man drawn into the violent conflict with elephant poachers who emerged with a deeper understanding of man's footprint and a profound sense of responsibility for the world around him.”.Angelina...
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Angelina Jolie to direct ivory poaching filmIrish ExaminerThe Oscar-winning actress will take the reins on Africa, which will focus on the former head of the Kenya Wildlife Service and his measures to stem the illegal ivory trade, said The Hollywood Reporter. “I've felt a deep connection to Africa and its ...Angelina Jolie to...
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Angelina Jolie to direct Richard Leakey biopic about ivory poachingThe IndependentAfrica will focus on Leakey's fight against ivory poachers in the 1980s when he was the head of the Kenya Wildlife Services (KWS). During his time as the Chairman of the KWS he ordered rangers to shoot any poachers they found and controversially burned...
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Angelina Jolie to direct movie about ivory poaching 'Africa'Express.co.ukThe mother-of-six has signed up to a film entitled 'Africa', which tells the story of conservationist Richard Leakey's battles with ivory poachers. Leakey is the former head of the Kenya Wildlife Service and was crucial to stemming the trade in illegal ......
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Angelina Jolie to direct ivory poaching movieDigitalJournal.comLos Angeles - Angelina Jolie is to direct "Africa," a movie about celebrated conservationist Richard Leakey's battles with ivory poachers. The feature will be Jolie's fourth directorial effort. Richard Erskine Frere Leakey is a Kenyan politician and ......
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Angelina Jolie to direct ivory poaching tale 'Africa'BBC NewsAngelina Jolie has signed up to direct Africa, a film about celebrated conservationist Richard Leakey's battles with ivory poachers. The screenplay has been written by Eric Roth - who won an Oscar for Forrest Gump. Leakey is former head of the Kenya ...Jolie to direct sweeping...
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Jolie to direct sweeping Africa epicNEWS.com.auKenya's elephant and rhino populations recovered from the brink of disaster, but more than two decades later, the east African nation is once again facing soaring levels of poaching. The new movie for Skydance Productions will be produced by Jolie ...Angelina Jolie To Direct Elephant Poaching Tal...
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Angelina Jolie continues directing streak with elephant poaching drama 'Africa'HitFixAccording to Deadline, Jolie has signed on to helm "Africa," a drama based on paleo-archaeologist Richard Leakey's fight against ivory poachers in Kenya. Oscar-winning screenwriter Eric Roth ("Forrest Gump," "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button")...
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Angelina Jolie To Direct Elephant Poaching Tale 'Africa' For SkydanceDeadline.comThe actress and now busy helmer has signed on to for Africa, an epic tale for David Ellison's Skydance Productions. Written by Oscar winner Eric Roth, the pic is based on paleo-archaeologist Richard Leakey's late-'80s battle with ivory poachers in ...Angelina...
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Central Africa: Ivory, Insurgency and Crime in Central Africa - the Sudans ...AllAfrica.comAt the beginning of August, the minutes of a meeting of intelligence chiefs from African states were released, revealing the extent to which poaching and the smuggling of ivory and rhino horn were being used to fund insurgent groups in South Sudan, ......
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OPINION: Can Elephants Survive a Continued Ivory Trade Ban?National GeographicThey were probably also the biggest buyers of poached tusks. As calls for more controls on ivory trade escalated in the 1980s, and CITES imposed a quota system on raw ivory exports, elephant poaching increased. With increased poaching, calls began for ....

Save The Elephants  have an excellent news service run by Melissa Groo that you may subscribe to through this page. This service provide downloadable news about wild elephants from media around the world, in addition to available papers. A new technical platform for this service was introduced in June 2014. Due to this the start date of the continuesly updated archives linked below is 12 June 2014.

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To combat terror, Pentagon should help fight Africa poaching, ex-general saysChristian Science MonitorThe Pentagon should join the battle against the illegal wildlife trade amid evidence that terror groups are profiting from poaching, the former head of US Africa Command said at a Captol Hill briefing.and more »...

ElephantVoices Year End eNewletter 2013

eNewsletter heading

Dear Friends of ElephantVoices,

Petter Granli and Joyce PooleThis has been another busy and exciting year for ElephantVoices - below you'll find some highlights taking you from Kenya to Mozambique and Brazil! To start, take a look at our redesigned ElephantVoices.org where you will also see our new logo.

Interacting and sharing ideas and data with people, via social media, citizen science or mentoring is fundamental to what we do - for conservation efforts to succeed we must ensure that those who live with elephants are actively engaged.

In December last year we wrote that poaching was spiraling out of control. Sadly, the killings of elephants has continued unabated, though momentum for action and change is increasing by the day. The demand must be reduced and, preferably eliminated. The EU has just called on all Member States to introduce moratoria on all imports, exports and domestic sales and purchase of ivory. We urge anyone with influence to add their voice for the closure of all ivory markets, with China top of our list.

Our work is dependent on your generous support - please include ElephantVoices in your annual giving. Please visit this page for other ways to donate, or click on this link for a more mobile-friendly donation-option. Naming an elephant supports scholarships and outreach in the Maasai Mara, Kenya, and makes a perfect gift! Every contribution counts!

A warm THANK YOU to all supporters and collaborators - foundations, organisations, media and individuals.

Best wishes and Happy Holiday Season,

Joyce and Petter

Link to ElephantVoices donation page on Network for Good

ElephantVoices' Mara initiative - Elephant Partners

In early November we prepared our new equipment (read new "Bush Internet") for our second long Mara field season of the year, and created version 2.0 of the Mara EleApp to permit the collection of elephant signs as well as sightings and mortalities. In the Mara we spent time with several of our "citizen scientists" who are collecting data for Elephant Partners. Maasai Mara elephants. Photo: ElephantVoices.We met David Kimutai, a Kenya Wildlife Service Research Scientist who is doing his Masters project with us; Alfred Kiprotich Bett, a ranger working in Mara Conservancy; Saitoti Silantoi, a warden working on Olare Orok/Motorogi Conservancy. And we extended our outreach to include new people on Motorogi, Siana and Olarro Conservancies. The latter two are key areas for elephants moving from the Maasai Mara toward the Naimena Enkiyio Forest. We also participated in EcoStorm Maasai Mara with fellow stakeholders to brainstorm on the topic, "Creating Space and Generating Benefits."

We have now made our Mara Quarterly Reports available for download, if you want to read about our findings. Our results are based on the 1070 adult elephants we have registered in the Mara Elephants Who’s Who and the 2259 elephant group sightings uploaded by over 250 participants to the Mara Elephant Whereabouts.

One of our many citizen scientists is a young Maasai student, Alfred Mepukori, who interned with us this summer as part of his diploma in tourism and wildlife management at Maasai Mara University. We encouraged him to write an article for Izilwane: Voices for Biodiversity about his experiences growing up by the Naimina Enkiyio Forest (literally, the Forest of the Lost Child) and his recent work monitoring elephants in the forest for our project. He wrote a beautiful piece which has just been published in two parts. If you enjoy reading about Maasai culture you will love his story, part 1 and part 2.

Our 2013 field season in Gorongosa National Park, Mozambique

Gorongosa elephants. Photo: ElephantVoices.We spent October studying the elephants of Gorongosa National Park, Mozambique. The research combines building up baseline data on the population that was ravaged by the 20-year civil conflict and studying their aggressive behavior. Protecting the biodiversity of Gorongosa is dependent on revenue from tourism and, therefore, ensuring that elephants are habituated to approach by vehicles is of fundamental importance. Our work aims to combine the study of elephant behavior with practical input for conservation management and local capacity building.

This year a film team from PBS/National Geographic International followed our work as part of a six episode series on Gorongosa, which will air in 2015. So, in addition to our own data collection and still photographs, we had the benefit of three cameramen (well, one was a woman) to help us document the complex signals between elephants - and we had two vehicles to negotiate "Ambush Alley" and to navigate "Gauntlet Gully". There were some adrenaline pumping moments, but we do feel that the elephants we observe regularly are becoming calmer.

Joyce Poole before lecture in Beijing organised by IFAW.

The ivory trade, the poaching, the way forward

Poaching and the ivory trade has loomed larger than ever this year. To counter it ElephantVoices initiated Every Tusk Costs a Life Campaign and Joyce travelled to China to lecture and speak to the authorities about the poaching of elephants. You can read her reflections in this ElephantVoices blog post.

Joyce's visit to Hong Kong spurred the formation of an anti ivory trade group that spearheaded an October 4th March for Elephants (part of the global campaign and march initiated by The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust) and an AVAAZ petition aimed at the Hong Kong Government asking for the destruction of the confiscated ivory stockpiles held in HK and the closing of its domestic ivory market.

Nellie Shute (11) in Hong Kong making and selling postcards to help elephants. Joyce's Hong Kong visit caught the attention of 11 year old Nellie Shute who, encouraged by the response to our post on ElephantVoices Facebook page about her interest in making a difference, has started her own campaign, Nellie for Ellies. Nellie made the press again recently by taking a strong stand in favor of the destruction of Hong Kong's huge pile of seized ivory.

Nellie is one of the increasing number of young people speaking out loud for elephants. We are happy to promote her and others like her.

While educational outreach is key to reducing the demand, domestic trade bans in China, Thailand, the United States and other key countries are necessary to stop the ongoing slaughter of elephants.

Sceenshot from National Geographic's A Voice for Elephants, April 2013. Photo: ElephantVoices.

Outreach and science through National Geographic media

We worked with National Geographic to publish five articles on our elephant work. The topics ranged from our efforts to stop the ivory trade, elephant gestural communication, how to identify elephants as part of our citizen science project in the Maasai Mara, Kenya and research on the anthropogenic impacts on elephants.

You can read these stories via the following links:
Harmonizing Elephant Deaths,
Little Fellow Knew Nothing About CITES,
Elephants Communicate in Sophisticated Sign Language, Researchers Say,
Name that Elephant and
Orphan Elephants Lack Social Knowledge Key for Survival.

The latter was based on the recent scientific publication, Effects of social disruption in elephants persist decades after culling, on which Joyce is a co-author. The results of our research should act as another argument against the trade in elephants and their body parts.

Joyce was featured in the National Geographic Earth Explorers Exhibit, which is being held at the Science Center of Iowa through early 2014. Her Explorers Journal includes photos of her early childhood and her pen and ink drawings of elephants.

A brighter future for captive elephants

In October Global Sanctuary for Elephants and Elephant Sanctuary Brasil were launched, inspired by ElephantVoices continuing efforts to improve the well being of elephants held captive.

Developing an elephant sanctuary in Brazil/South America is made possible by ElephantVoices' team of enthusiastic and well connected volunteers in Brazil. Here is the page on ElephantVoices that presents these exciting new initiatives.

You may also enjoy reading what we wrote about the arrival of Toronto Zoo elephant, Toka, at Performing Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) in San Andreas, California. What we saw was a demonstration of the intense social nature of elephants. You'll find the related video clips via the PAWS site.

Despite the tragedy unfolding for free-ranging elephants, our attention and compassion will also continue to be with those suffering in captivity.

Sceenshot from ElephantVoices on Facebook.

Follow ElephantVoices through social media

ElephantVoices Facebook page is nearing 25,000 followers and we use it daily to educate and spread the word - with our goal being to encourage our followers to spread our messages even further. If you are on Facebook and like elephants please "like" us! You can also follow us on Instagram and Twitter, and via ElephantVoices Brasil on Facebook if you prefer Portuguese.

ZoomInto: Pictures, Images and Photos
 
ZoomInto: Pictures, Images and Photos
 
ZoomInto: Pictures, Images and Photos
 
ZoomInto: Pictures, Images and Photos
 
ZoomInto: Pictures, Images and Photos
 
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imageCapital FM Kenya
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Six arrested in ivory poaching ringBayoubuzzMaputo (AFP) - Wildlife campaigners in Mozambique say police have cracked an ivory poaching ring believed to be responsible for the deaths of at least 39 elephants. The Wildlife Conservation Society said six suspects were arrested in Niassa National ...Beauty and BloodHuffington Posta...
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Oscar de la Renta and Hillary Clinton Raise Awareness for Ivory PoachingWomen's Wear DailyTHE ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM: Committed as Hillary Clinton is to trying to protect elephants from ivory poaching, she wasn't the one who sprang for the toy tuskers that were given to guests at Oscar de la Renta's show Tuesday. Each attendee went home ...and...
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Moz cracks ivory poaching ringIndependent OnlineMaputo - Wildlife campaigners in Mozambique say police have cracked an ivory poaching ring believed to be responsible for the deaths of at least 39 elephants. The Wildlife Conservation Society said six suspects were arrested in Niassa National Reserve ...Beauty and BloodHuffington...
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Mozambique cracks ivory poaching ringPhys.OrgThe park is "on the front line of the crisis in ivory," Samper said. The remote park is twice the size of South Africa's Kruger National Park and poachers have to hike for days to reach it. Poaching in Mozambique had for a long time gone unpunished ...Beauty and BloodHuffington Postall 3 news...
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Chinese complicit in ivory poaching and elephant deaths. So are Americans.Christian Science MonitorFor the first time more elephants are dying than being born each year due to poaching, with elephant herd leaders being a special target. China may be the No. 1 ivory market, but America is No. 2....
imageYahoo News
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Mozambique cracks ivory poaching ringYahoo NewsThe park is "on the front line of the crisis in ivory," Samper said. The remote park is twice the size of South Africa's Kruger National Park and poachers have to hike for days to reach it. Poaching in Mozambique had for a long time gone unpunished ...Beauty and BloodHuffington Postall 6...
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Mozambique cracks ivory poaching ringYahoo News UKWildlife campaigners in Mozambique say police have cracked an ivory poaching ring believed to be responsible for the deaths of at least 39 elephants. The Wildlife Conservation Society said six suspects were arrested in Niassa National Reserve at the ......
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Four suspected poachers arrested, Sh15 million ivory recovered in Tharaka NithiThe StarThe ivory worth Sh15 Million, suspected to have been poached from national parks around the country, was recovered in a semi-permanent house belonging to a man named David Njeru in Marimanti market, Tharaka constituency. Confirming the incident ...and...
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Major Ivory Poaching Arrest in MozambiqueNewswise (press release)Newswise — Marrupa, Mozambique, Sept. 8, 2014 – A significant arrest of six suspected poachers took place here on Sept. 7 in a joint operation conducted by the Mecula District police, Luwire scouts and Niassa National Reserve WCS scouts. The arrests ......
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Man gets 10 years for ivory possessionIndependent OnlinePaul Gildenhuys, head of the biodiversity crime unit at CapeNature, told the court ivory poaching and smuggling were carried out by international crime syndicates. Although only three elephants had been poached in South Africa in the past 10 years ...and more »...
imageIndependent Online
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Hefty jail term for ivory smugglerIndependent OnlineIOL pic jun5 KENYA-POACHING-_0605_11 Reuters A policeman arranges seized elephant tusks to be inspected at Makupa police station in Mombasa, Kenya. Picture: Joseph Okanga. Cape Town - The highest penalty ever imposed in South Africa for the ...and more »...
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Yao Ming Works to Save Africa's Elephants and Rhinos from PoachingMashable"That's what we're here for: film this, bring it back home ... and show everybody the reality [of poaching]." Ivory, which comes from the elephant tusks, is considered a valuable status symbol in China. As the country's middle class grows, the demand ...and more »...
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South Africa tries gunfire location system to catch rhino poachersReuters UKSouth Africa is the epicenter of the poaching surge because it has the vast majority of the world's rhinos. Elsewhere in Africa, elephants are being poached relentlessly for the ivory in their tusks. The latest census from Kruger shows it has between 8 ...South...
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How the Ivory Trade Could be Ended by Shutting Down Transit RoutesOne Green PlanetBorn Free estimates that 103,821 elephants have been poached since January 2012. Elephant poaching is at a crisis level not seen since before the 1989 commercial ban on elephant ivory trade was instituted by the Convention on International Trade in ......
imageYahoo News
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Kenya poaching crisis a 'national disaster'Yahoo NewsIn a rare common call, top newspapers said more action had to be taken and they accused the KWS of sleeping on the job and trying to cover up the real extent of the poaching problem. "Poaching is a national disaster," The Standard newspaper said in its ...Poaching crisis a 'national...
imageThe Guardian
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South Africa tries gunfire location system to catch rhino poachersThe GuardianRhino poachers in South Africa now risk giving themselves away when they shoot thanks to a high-tech, gunfire-detection system being piloted in the country's flagship Kruger National Park. The stakes are high, for rhinos are being slain in escalating ...S.Afri...
imageThe Guardian
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S.Africa tries gunfire location system to catch rhino poachersReutersElsewhere in Africa, elephants are being poached relentlessly for the ivory in their tusks. The latest census from Kruger shows it has between 8,400 and 9,600 white rhinos and there are plans afoot to move 500 of them out of the park and hopefully out ...Gun-fire...
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Yao Ming aims to save Africa's elephants by persuading China to give up ivoryWashington PostAlthough China allows a small, legal trade in ivory from old stockpiles, this provides the cover for a vast, illegal trade that has fueled a new wave of poaching in Africa, experts say. Such are the financial incentives that hundreds of poachers and ...Retir...
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Retired NBA star aims to stop poachingPress HeraldIn the past three years alone, about 100,000 elephants have been poached for their tusks, according to a new study – a mass slaughter propelled by an ever-rising Chinese demand for ivory from an ever-richer nation. Yet the player once nicknamed the ...and more »...
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To Protect African Elephants, Kill Demand for IvoryAllAfrica.comThe real tragedy is that this poaching epidemic is not driven by a need for basic human requirements -- food, water, shelter. Instead, African elephants are being massacred in the name of greed and vanity -- the desire to have an ivory trinket, no ...and more »...
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God's Ivory: The Role of Religion in the Elephant Poaching CrisisHuffington PostMost ivory objects are religious objects, with extraordinary sculptures fetching six figure price tags -- but clearly there is a disconnect between the craft and where the ivory comes from. Every day nearly 100 elephants are brutally killed in Africa ......
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States are eyeing stiffer ivory laws amid a surge in elephant poachingLos Angeles TimesIn an effort to stop a recent surge in elephant poaching, states are moving to impose stricter bans on the sale of ivory, building on federal administrative actions taken this year. New York and New Jersey have already taken steps recently to tighten ...OPINION:...
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Cameroon Seizes 200 Elephant Tusks Bound for AsiaBig News Network.comTheir tusks are highly valued for jewelery and other ivory products in Asian markets because of the quality of their tusks. Issola Dipanda said if the current wave of poaching continues, the extinction of the forest elephant may become a reality. He ...and more »...
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Cameroon Seizes 200 Elephant Tusks Bound for AsiaVoice of AmericaYAOUNDE—. Some 200 tusks from elephants slain in Cameroon and Gabon have been intercepted at the Yaounde-Nsimalen International Airport. They were bound for Asia - where a high demand for ivory has sparked the illegal slaughter of elephants in ...and more »...
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OPINION: New Jersey leads the way on ivory banMyCentralJersey.comIn June, the state Legislature — at the urging of the Humane Society and other animal conservation groups — passed a bill to prohibit ivory and rhino horn trade. Gov. Christie signed it into law on Aug. 5. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a similar ...and...
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'Go after poaching kingpins'Independent OnlineUsing the example of the legal trade of ivory first discussed in 1998, she said it took the government five years to finalise legislation on the matter and during this time ivory poaching soared as the international community was told it was legal, but ...and more »...
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Target Shipping to Beat Illegal Ivory Trade, Report SaysNewsweekIn China, ivory wholesales at $2,100 per kilogram. Tanzania was described as the “epicentre” of the current poaching crisis and as being tied to high-level corruption, whereas poaching in Kenya was linked to domestic corruption, organized crime and ......
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Photographs give insight adorable family of elephants saved from poachers by ...Daily Mail'Sadly Africa's elephants are under threat from poachers for their ivory. Each of the 101 elephants rescued and in the care of the DSWT has been orphaned, but they have been afforded a new herd in the form of our unusual human-elephant...
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British charity has taken the young elephants into care at its special ...Daily Mail'Sadly Africa's elephants are under threat from poachers for their ivory. Each of the 101 elephants rescued and in the care of the DSWT has been orphaned, but they have been afforded a new herd in the form of our unusual human-elephant family.' ...and...
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Can Elephants Survive a Legal Ivory Trade? Debate Is Shifting Against ItNational GeographicTo some conservationists, these sales were disastrous, spurring the current poaching frenzy by keeping the markets active, confusing consumers as to what was legal versus illegal ivory, and offering a loophole for laundering illegal ivory i...
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Byers: New Jersey first to ban ivory tradeHunterdon County DemocratIn June, the state Legislature – at the urging of the Humane Society and other animal conservation groups – passed a bill to prohibit ivory and rhino horn trade. Gov. Christie signed it into law on Aug. 5. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a similar ......
imageExaminer.com
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Kenya Wildlife Services officers possibly involved in ivory poachingExaminer.comWhile working to uncover the corrupt work of government officials, Muslims for Human Rights discovered Wildlife Services officers are possibly murdering poachers to cover up working with them on the illegal ivory trade. According to a report from ......
imageNewsweek
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Kenya rangers murder ivory poachers - reportNews24Poaching deaths of elephants to meet demand for ivory in China is an escalating crisis across Africa. A report last week by Africa's leading elephant experts, including Save the Elephants, estimated that poachers killed 100 000 elephants between 2010 ...Leakey's Last Stand: The Final Battle...
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Kenyan rangers reportedly murder ivory poachers to cover up their collusionThe Japan TimesRangers committed the murders to cover up their involvement with the poachers in killing elephants for their ivory, according to the report, which interviewed Kenya Wildlife Service rangers whose identities were not revealed. Muslims for Human Rights ....
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Report: Kenya rangers murder ivory poachersAiken StandardPoaching deaths of elephants to meet demand for ivory in China is an escalating crisis across Africa. A report last week by Africa's leading elephant experts, including Save the Elephants, estimated that poachers killed 100,000 elephants between 2010 ......
imageCP24 Toronto's Breaking News
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Kenya wildlife rangers murder elephant poachers to cover their own tracks: reportCP24 Toronto's Breaking NewsRangers committed the murders to cover up their involvement with the poachers in killing elephants for their ivory, according to the report which interviewed Kenya Wildlife Service rangers whose identities were...
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Corrupt Kenyan Rangers Murdered Poachers To Cover Up Ivory Trafficking ...Huffington PostPoaching deaths of elephants to meet demand for ivory in China is an escalating crisis across Africa. A report last week by Africa's leading elephant experts, including Save the Elephants, estimated that poachers killed 100,000 elephants between 2010 ......
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Kenya Rangers Murder Ivory Poachers: ReportABC NewsPoaching deaths of elephants to meet demand for ivory in China is an escalating crisis across Africa. A report last week by Africa's leading elephant experts, including Save the Elephants, estimated that poachers killed 100,000 elephants between 2010 ...and more »...
imageYahoo News
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Kenya rangers murder ivory poachers: reportYahoo NewsRangers committed the murders to cover up their involvement with the poachers in killing elephants for their ivory, according to the report which interviewed Kenya Wildlife Service rangers whose identities were not revealed. Muslims for Human Rights is ...Kenya Wildlife Services...
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Kenya rangers murder ivory poachers: reportWCBDNAIROBI, Kenya (AP) - Corrupt Kenyan wildlife rangers are killing poachers to cover up the officers' collusion with the criminals slaughtering the country's elephants, a rights group alleges. The disappearances of 18 suspected poachers were documented ......
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Kenya rangers murder ivory poachers: reportWJTVNAIROBI, Kenya (AP) - Corrupt Kenyan wildlife rangers are killing poachers to cover up the officers' collusion with the criminals slaughtering the country's elephants, a rights group alleges. The disappearances of 18 suspected poachers were documented ...and more »...
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Yao Ming challenges illegal ivory tradeNBA.com (blog)The former Rockets All-Star center is promoting a documentary film designed to convince people to stop buying ivory and end the slaughter of elephants and rhinos as poaching reaches its highest levels ever. Estimates say 33,000 elephants are killed ......
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Africa: Groundbreaking Report Commissioned By Born Free USA Uncovers Ivory...AllAfrica.comThis information comes four months after the groups' shocking report, Ivory's Curse: The Militarization and Professionalization of Poaching in Africa, which detailed the poaching crisis and its links to violent militias, organized crime, and government ......
imageTreehugger
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WildLeaks: a whistlebower platform for poaching and wildlife crimesDeutsche WelleWe've received leaks about the poaching of tigers in northern Sumatra; the smuggling of apes, in particular chimps, in Central Africa; elephant poaching and ivory trafficking; illeg al logging in central Mexico, Malawi, Russia; illegal fishing off the ...Whis...
imageThe Independent
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Q&A: Landmark Report Reveals Crucial Links in the Illegal Ivory TradeNatGeo News Watch (blog)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...
imageNBCNews.com
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Ivory Atrocity: Asian, African Crime Groups Speed Elephant SlaughterNBCNews.com“Poaching and trafficking in ivory is at the highest level in 25 years,” driven by skyrocketing prices for elephant tusks, said the report, published Wednesday by the wildlife conservation group Born Free and the data analysis nonprofit C4ADS. In...
imageNational Geographic
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Q&A: Landmark Report Reveals Crucial Links in the Illegal Ivory TradeNational GeographicWhile 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...

imageTimes LIVE
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Wildlife 'WikiLeaks' targets poaching eliteTimes LIVEPoaching has risen sharply across Africa in recent years, fuelled by rising demand in Asia for ivory and rhino horn, coveted as a traditional medicine and as a status symbol. Crosta is fervent in his belief that the online platform can be part of the ......
imageBusiness Insider
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WildLeaks Whistleblower Website Fights Poaching in AfricaHeadlines & Global NewsSince its launch in February, WildLeaks has received close to 45 tips, 28 of which have been useful in combating poaching. Tips sent to the website covered elephant poaching in Africa, illegal ivory trading in Hong Kong, illegal logging and imports...
imageAsiaOne
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Anonymous Tips Sent to WildLeaks Fuel Fight against PoachingRIA NovostiWildLeaks was launched on February 7, and has received about 45 tips since then, 28 considered useful to the war on poaching. According to The Guardian, tips sent in to WildLeaks include information regarding elephant poaching in Africa, illicit ivory ...Wildlife...
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Wildlife 'Wikileaks' targets Africa poaching eliteTimes LIVEPoaching has risen sharply across Africa in recent years fuelled by rising demand in Asia for ivory and rhino horn, coveted as a traditional medicine and a status symbol. Interviewed in the lobby of an upmarket hotel in Tanzania's main city Dar es ...and more »...
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Wildlife 'tip-offs' targets Africa's poaching eliteeNCA"We got, for example, a very interesting leak on a very powerful individual in Kenya, linked to the government, who is behind the ivory trade," said founder Andrea Costa, a former security consultant and long-time conservationist. This kind of person ...Africa's Poaching Elite The...
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Elephant poaching at genocidal levelsNews24Wittemyer and his colleagues use rather sobering language, explaining that “overharvesting” and current levels of “ivory consumption” are “not sustainable”. The bottom line is clear: if elephant poaching continues at current rates, the chances of long ...Our...
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Africa's Poaching Elite The Target Of WildLeaksmalaysiandigest.comPoaching has risen sharply across Africa in recent years fuelled by rising demand in Asia for ivory and rhino horn, coveted as a traditional medicine and a status symbol. Interviewed in the lobby of an upmarket hotel in Tanzania's main city Dar es ...and more »...
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Wildlife 'WikiLeaks' targets poaching in AfricaBusiness InsiderPoaching has risen sharply across Africa in recent years fuelled by rising demand in Asia for ivory and rhino horn, coveted as a traditional medicine and a status symbol. Interviewed in the lobby of an upmarket hotel in Tanzania's main city Dar es ...Anonymous Tips Sent...
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Wildlife 'WikiLeaks' targets poaching in AfricaYahoo NewsPoaching has risen sharply across Africa in recent years fuelled by rising demand in Asia for ivory and rhino horn, coveted as a traditional medicine and a status symbol. Interviewed in the lobby of an upmarket hotel in Tanzania's main city Dar es ...and more »...
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Wildlife 'WikiLeaks' targets poaching in AfricaYahoo News UKPoaching has risen sharply across Africa in recent years fuelled by rising demand in Asia for ivory and rhino horn, coveted as a traditional medicine and a status symbol. Interviewed in the lobby of an upmarket hotel in Tanzania's main city Dar es ...and more »...
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The Elephant Whisperer: Meet the Nairobi man single-handedly protecting 21 ...Daily MailHis job is to raise the young elephants that have been orphaned or abandoned, often due to ivory poaching. Morning: Mbulu will feed his elephants before taking them to Nairobi National Park. Protection: The calves are kept warm and protected by a ...an...
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“This is a war”: A conflict photographer takes on the rapidly escalating ...SalonUnfortunately, there has typically been a great deal of corruption in a number of African countries helping to facilitate the trafficking of ivory and rhino horn. You've had very lax penalties for poachers and people who are in possession of ivory and...
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Elephant crisis: Ivory poachers are killing animals faster than they are being ...The IndependentSatao, Kenya's largest elephant, died in June 2014 after being shot by poachers. This surge, which appears to have started in 2008, correlated with a rise in ivory prices in 2009 as well as a rise in seized trafficked ivory shipments...
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Where Have All The Elephants Gone?FiveThirtyEight (blog)In 2008 and 2009, though, that shifted, and the majority of the ivory started flowing to China. That's when we saw this exponential growth in the illegal killing rate and an exponential growth in the local poachers' price for ivory and this disaster ...Poachers in Africa Killed 100000...
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Poachers in Africa Killed 100000 Elephants in Just Three YearsTakePartAccording to the Animal Welfare Institute, a poacher can earn $36 per pound of ivory, or $800 for a typical elephant that carries 22 pounds of ivory. (In Kenya, the average monthly wage is $76.) It then makes its way to China, where people will pay $1 ...Unsustainable...
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Unsustainable Elephant Poaching Killed 100K In 3 Years by Sebastian MartinezNewsyWildAid is one of a handful of organizations aiming to combat poaching by addressing the consumption of poached goods, such as ivory in China. It's employed Chinese stars Jackie Chan and Vincent Zhao as well as Ming. WILDAID: "You don't have to...
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Study: Illegal poaching could drive African elephants to extinctionVoxThe illegal poaching of elephants for their ivory tusks has soared dramatically in recent years, with some 100,000 African elephants killed between 2010 and 2012, according to new estimates published in the Proceedings of the National Academies of ......
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Poaching could drive elephants to extinction in decadesSalonTwo or more dead elephants in one place means one thing: poaching by professional killers. Another tip-off is the lack of a face, as poachers hack off the tusks to be sold for ivory. That ivory is then made into valuable trinkets in Asia or even parts ......
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Ivory trade: Why elephant poaching is still rampantCBC.caIn some countries, the idea of cherishing anything made of ivory has become repugnant, especially given that an elephant had to die — usually at the hands of poachers — before any elaborate carving of its tusks could be done. In areas such as China ...100000...
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How illegal poaching could exterminate the African elephant 'in 100 years'Washington PostIn 2011 alone, when 40,000 elephants were poached, the species likely shrank by 3 percent, researchers said. “These results provide the most comprehensive assessment of illegal ivory harvest to date and confirm that current ivory consumption is...
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Poachers kill 100000 African elephants in 3 years 3:12CBC.caPoachers killed an estimated 100,000 elephants across Africa between 2010 and 2012, a huge spike in the continent's death rate of the world's largest land mammals because of an increased demand for ivory in China and other Asian nations, a new study ......
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Why elephant poaching is still rampantCBC.caIn some countries, the idea of cherishing anything made of ivory has become repugnant, especially given that an elephant had to die — usually at the hands of poachers — before any elaborate carving of its tusks could be done. In areas such as China ......
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Africa Faces Unsustainable Levels of Ivory PoachingEnvironmental News NetworkWhen it comes to illegal wildlife trade, one thing has always puzzled me ... Why is the demand for ivory so high? While I may not come across the black-market demands or understand the cultural or historical needs for these rare animal teeth, one thing ......
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CSU study links poachers to 100K elephant deathsThe ColoradoanPoachers hunting for ivory illegally killed more than 100,000 elephants in Africa in a three-year period, a new CSU study says. Scientists say it's the first time they've ever been able to provide such a specific number of illegal elephant killings ......
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Demand for ivory fuels dramatic surge in elephant poachingNET Website100,000 elephant have been illegally poached in the past three years, a rate that could lead to extinction, says a new study published Monday. Photo by flickr user Matt Biddulph. As global demand for black-market ivory soars, the number of elephants ......
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Poachers Killed More Than 100000 Elephants in 3 YearsMyArkLaMiss(FOX) -- The insatiable demand for ivory is causing a dramatic decline in the number of African elephants. Poachers are hunting the animal faster than it can reproduce, with deaths affecting more than half of elephant families in the Samburu National ......
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Poachers killed more than 100000 elephants in 3 yearsFox NewsThe insatiable demand for ivory is causing a dramatic decline in the number of African elephants. Poachers are hunting the animal faster than it can reproduce, with deaths affecting more than half of elephant families in the Samburu National Reserve in ......
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Elephant Poaching Results in 100000 Deaths Over Three YearsGuardian Liberty VoiceAccording to a new study over the span of three years, poachers have killed 100,000 elephants in their search for Ivory. In 2011, it is believed that per every twelve African elephants one was killed by a poacher. The most popular place for poache...
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Elephants may soon face extinction, thanks to rise in illegal poachingTech TimesElephants, as a species, have survived similar poaching trends, both in the 1970s and 1980s. However, the current situation depends on the demand for ivory going down, more poachers being caught and prosecuted, and China cracking down on the illegal ......
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Poachers Exhausting Elephant PopulationU.S. News & World ReportIncreasing demand for ivory, especially in China, is speculated to be at the heart of the elephant poaching epidemic. Wittemyer said rising black market ivory prices are leading poachers from Africa and abroad “to take the criminal risk on and kill ......
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Illegal poaching may wipe elephants out THIS CENTURYMirror.co.ukEvery year up to 40,000 elephants in Africa are killed by poachers for their ivory. At that rate the entire species will be extinct within 100 years. A study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences estimates that poachers are killing as ......
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Poachers Killed More than 100000 Elephants in 3 YearsYahoo! VoicesThe insatiable demand for ivory is causing a dramatic decline in the number of African elephants. Poachers are hunting the animal faster than it can reproduce, with deaths affecting more than half of elephant families in the Samburu National Reserve in ......
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Poachers kill 100000 African elephants in 3 years, study saysCBC.caPoachers killed an estimated 100,000 elephants across Africa between 2010 and 2012, a huge spike in the continent's death rate of the world's largest land mammals because of an increased demand for ivory in China and other Asian nations, a new study ......
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100000 African Elephants Poached Since 2010, Study FindsNational GeographicIvory-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 ......
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Ivory poachers killing elephants faster than they are being bornAl Jazeera AmericaAfrican elephants are being pushed over the tipping point, a new study said, with more being killed by poachers for their ivory than are born each year. “We are shredding the fabric of elephant society and exterminating populations across the continent ......
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Elephant poaching out of controlYahoo News UKIf we weren't aware already, a new study has hammered it home: elephant poaching is getting wildly out of control. Tens of thousands of these beautiful creatures - Earth's biggest land mammals - are killed every year for their ivory. And if we don't ......
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Poaching leads to '63% fall' in central African elephant numbersIrish TimesOver that period alone an estimated 6.8 per cent of the continent's elephant population was wiped out by the illegal ivory trade, say scientists. In central Africa, the worst affected region, poaching led to a 63.7 per cent fall in elephant numbers ......
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Poaching threatens future of African elephantRTE.ieOver that period alone an estimated 6.8% of the continent's elephant population was wiped out by the illegal ivory trade, scientists say. In central Africa, the worst affected region, poaching led to a 63.7% fall in elephant numbers between 2002 and 2012....
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Ivory poaching puts existence of African elephant under threatHerald ScotlandThe team led by Dr George Wittemyer, from Colorado State University, conducted a survey of elephant carcasses in Kenya's Samburu National Reserve and found poaching rates were strongly associated with local market prices for ivory and a rise in of ......
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More evidence that Chinese demand for ivory is destroying African elephant herdsQuartzPoaching across Africa is killing off elephants at an unsustainable rate, as Chinese demand for ivory rises, according to the the most comprehensive analysis of contemporary poaching rates to date. It's difficult to account for how many elephants die ......
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Poachers blamed for widespread elephant killingsUSA TODAYPoachers hunting for ivory illegally killed more than 100,000 elephants in Africa in a three-year period, a new study says. Scientists say it's the first time they've ever been able to provide such a specific number of illegal elephant killings, and ......
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100000 elephants killed by poachers in Africa, study findsFox NewsNAIROBI, Kenya – Poachers killed an estimated 100,000 elephants across Africa between 2010 and 2012, a huge spike in the continent's death rate of the world's largest mammals because of an increased demand for ivory in China and other Asian nations, ......
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Poaching Could Drive Elephants Extinct in DecadesScientific American (blog)Two or more dead elephants in one place means one thing: poaching by professional killers. Another tip-off is the lack of a face, as poachers hack off the tusks to be sold for ivory. That ivory is then made into valuable trinkets in Asia or even...
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Demand for ivory fuels elephant poachingStuff.co.nzPoachers killed an estimated 100,000 elephants across Africa between 2010 and 2012, a huge spike in the continent's death rate of the world's largest mammals because of an increased demand for ivory in China and other Asian nations, a new study has ...Chinese ivory trade blamed as p...
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Elephants Gets Poached More After Illegal Ivory Is Seized By PoliceBusiness Insider AustraliaAnd there was more poaching when the price of ivory increased following confiscation by police of hauls of illegal ivory. The covert nature of illegal elephant killings makes it difficult to quantify the contribution of poaching to elephant population ......
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Elephants Could Go Extinct If Ivory Trade Isn't Stopped, Experts SayLiveScience.comThe insatiable demand for ivory is causing a dramatic decline in the number of African elephants. Poachers are hunting the animal faster than it can reproduce, with deaths affecting more than half of elephant families in the Samburu National Reserve in ......
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100000 Elephants Killed by Poachers in Just Three Years, Landmark Analysis ...National GeographicIvory-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...
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Chinese ivory trade blamed as poachers drive down elephant population by 2 ...The IndependentThe researchers were able to show a link between the rate of killing by poachers and the black market price of ivory, which is used in Chinese traditional medicine as well as for the trade in ornamental carvings based in East Asia. The...
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Surprise! Science Shows That Elephant Poaching Is UnsustainableSmithsonian (blog)It's no secret that illegal wildlife hunting threatens the existence of many species, including the iconic African elephant. Shockingly, however, the magnitude of the threat has remained elusive, in large part because of the covert nature of poaching....
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Antique Shops Threaten to Flee New York Over Ivory BanBusinessweek12, is intended to halt the trade in illegal ivory that encourages poaching endangered species. It prohibits the sale of ivory that's less than 100 years old and also bans the sale of antiques in which ivory makes up more than 20 percent of the total ......
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Chelsea Clinton Wants You to Help End Elephant PoachingGotham MagazinePoachers took down Satao, who weighed an estimated seven tons, with a single poisoned arrow to his flank. His signature ivory tusks, which weighed more than 100 pounds each, had been hacked off. The Tsavo Trust, a conservation group that monitors the ......
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Chelsea Clinton Wants You to Help End Elephant PoachingLos Angeles ConfidentialPoachers took down Satao, who weighed an estimated seven tons, with a single poisoned arrow to his flank. His signature ivory tusks, which weighed more than 100 pounds each, had been hacked off. The Tsavo Trust, a conservation group that monitors the ......
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Poisons and Poaching: A Deadly Mix Requiring Urgent ActionNational GeographicElephant and rhino poaching is at record levels due to the insatiable demand for ivory and rhino horn from the Far East. It is set to get a whole lot worse now that poachers have turned to poisons. The time is now for African governments to enforce ......
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Legal ivory sale will create grey marketIndependent OnlineAlso, mounting concern about ivory poaching has been fuelled by confirmation by SA National Parks in May that the first elephant poached for its tusks “in well over 10 years” had been killed in the Kruger National Park, followed by a second last month ...NRA...
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SA's legal ivory sale will create grey marketIndependent OnlineAlso, mounting concern about ivory poaching has been fuelled by confirmation by SA National Parks in May that the first elephant poached for its tusks “in well over 10 years” had been killed in the Kruger National Park, followed by a second last month ...NR...
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NRA Pushing Bill to Legalize Ivory Trade, Protect Right to Hunt Endangered ...Ring of FirePoaching elephants for the illegal collection and sale of ivory continues to be a huge problem globally. Last year, the US. Fish and Wildlife Service destroyed nearly six tons of illegal ivory it ha obtained through custom seizures and criminal ......
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Ending the Sale of All Ivory May Be the Only Way to Save Africa's ElephantsPacific StandardAs demand for ivory continues to skyrocket, poaching and illegal trafficking follow. The ivory trade has more than doubled since 2007, and the Wildlife Conservation Society now believes an estimated 96 African elephants die daily as poachers fuel ...Researche...
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Focus: Poachinggulfnews.comIt could be that it's an Irish thing or dare I say maybe even a 'Western' thing but I was more or less completely unaware that ivory poaching has become a growing trend. I would have thought, in this day and age, that awareness of species going extent ......
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Former Rocket Yao joins push against ivory salesChron.comFormer Houston Rockets star Yao Ming stars in a film designed to persuade people to stop buying ivory and end the slaughter of elephants, as poaching reaches its highest levels since the initial ivory ban in 1989. The value of the scarce material has ...and more »...
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Former Rocket Yao joins push against ivory salesHouston ChronicleFormer Houston Rockets star Yao Ming stars in a film designed to persuade people to stop buying ivory and end the slaughter of elephants, as poaching reaches its highest levels since the initial ivory ban in 1989. The value of the scarce material has ...Houston an...
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Houston an epicenter in fight against global elephant slaughterChron.comFormer Houston Rockets star Yao Ming is starring in a film designed to persuade people to stop buying ivory and end the slaughter of elephants as poaching for ivory reaches its highest levels since the initial ivory ban in 1989. In recent years, the ......
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Mock ivory burn sends clear signal to South AfricaeTurboNewsAll over the world yesterday people who care were paying homage to the greatest of earth's animals, the elephant. The ivory poaching crisis is sweeping through Africa and slaughtering thousands of elephants in its wake. At least 20,000 elephants were ......
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OPINION: My Offer to Help Kenyan Authorities Catch an Ivory Kingpin Is SpurnedNational GeographicI had to stop him mid-sentence to tell him we weren't there to talk about the poaching but to talk about Feizal Ali Mohamed, a notorious suspected ivory trafficker. I reminded him that Kenya holds the dubious position of being number one in the world .....
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New York enacts law banning elephant ivory tradeTech TimesAccording to data from the Wildlife Conservation Society published online, wildlife trafficking and illegal poaching is the fourth biggest transnational crime, with the trade of ivory, also called as “the white gold of jihad,” funding military ......
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Despite severe poaching, hopeful signs on World Elephant DayAnchorage Daily NewsThe animals are dying at a rate of 35,000 a year due to the lucrative growing market for ivory-coated trinkets, which are made from the elephants' majestic tusks and teeth. Criminal cartels export the luxury good – worth more than $1,000 a pound –...
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Illegal Ivory Trade: US Authorities Target American Auction HousesInternational Business TimesPoachers are killing a record number of elephants every year to obtain the ivory from their tusks, in high demand around the world for its use in everything from medicine to fine jewelry. The United States is the second-largest...
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For World Elephant Day, zoo draws attention to poaching crisisFOX 13 Tampa Bay, WTVT-TV“Ninety-six elephants are poached per day. So we're just trying to make people aware of the legislation that's going on in Florida about the ban of ivory. So we just want to get people out here, have some fun with our elephants in the back and educate ......
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12 Shocking Numbers That Reveal Grim, Gruesome Truth Behind Elephant ...Huffington PostFor a person in the U.S., Europe or elsewhere, the poaching crisis may seem like a problem reserved for Africa or Asia, where ivory is coveted as a luxury good; but illegal ivory is found all over the planet. (Did you know that the U.S. is one of the .....
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Cuomo signs bill cracking down on illegal ivory tradeAlbany Times Union (blog)“The law now acknowledges the significant impact our state can have on clamping down on illegal ivory sales a continent away in order to save elephants from the ruthless poaching operations run by terrorists and organized crime which threaten their ......
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South Africa to combat poaching by moving 500 rhinosBDliveIts street value is estimated by some conservationists at $65,000 a kilogramme, making it more valuable than platinum or gold. Elsewhere in Africa, elephants are being poached at an alarming rate for the ivory in their tusks, while another species, the ...South Africa To...
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Kenyan elephant activist wants an ivory arrestThe MercuryA member of the veterinary team from the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) shouts to others to clear the area as they prepare to revive a tranquilized wild elephant during an anti-poaching elephant-collaring operation near Kajiado, in southern Kenya. A ......
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Stable Botswana stands up for elephantsWashington PostSuch joking wouldn't be possible in many other parts of Africa, where ivory poaching — illegally killing elephants for their ivory tusks — is on the rise. Poachers killed more than 20,000 elephants in 2013, conservationists say. The tusks are usually ......
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South Africa to combat poaching by moving Kruger rhinosYahoo NewsPRETORIA (Reuters) - South Africa plans to move up to 500 rhinos from its flagship Kruger National Park to counter a wave of poaching of the animals for their horns, highly prized in newly affluent Asian countries as a sign of wealth. Officials said on ...Hundreds of Kruger...
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South Africa To Combat Poaching By Moving Kruger RhinosBusiness InsiderPRETORIA (Reuters) - South Africa plans to move up to 500 rhinos from its flagship Kruger National Park to counter a wave of poaching of the animals for their horns, highly prized in newly affluent Asian countries as a sign of wealth. Officials said on ...South...
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World Elephant Day 2014: Conservationists Try to Capitalize to Bring Awareness ...University HeraldElephant Tusks (Photo : Reuters) One of elephant conservationists' main objectives is to put poachers out of a job by reducing the demand for ivory. On World Elephant Day, many activists are making the effort to bring attention to...
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State Warns PoachersAllAfrica.comMr Evans said the Government was concerned that illegal wildlife crimes such as poaching and illegal trade in ivory were posing serious threats to biodiversity, nature tourism and foreign investment. He was speaking in Livingstone on Sunday afternoon ...and more »...
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More needs to be done to combat poachingStarPhoenixLast week's indictment of a Canadian man in New York City, in connection with the poaching and smuggling of ivory and other wildlife products, serves as a reminder of how poaching is becoming a major industry in the criminal world - with Canada and ......
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A Plea to Shun the Ivory Trade From Yao MingNew York Times (blog)More recently, he has taken up the cause of elephants and rhinos, which are hunted for their ivory and horns. In August 2012, he traveled to the African savanna for the first time to witness the destruction wrought by poaching, and returned last year ...and more »...
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Pittsburgh Zoo at forefront of effort to bolster elephant populationPittsburgh Post GazetteIn the last decade in Africa, ivory poachers have eliminated some 70 percent of the wild elephant population. In zoos around the world, natural reproduction and artificial insemination are difficult. But at zoos in Austria and England,...
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Ivory link to rhino killersTimes LIVESince the day's launch in 2012, the world's elephant populations have come under ever more pressure from ivory poaching, especially in Africa. Quirimbas National Park is not alone. The Selous National Park, which holds 40% of Tanzania's elephant ...Hundreds of Kruger National Park rhinos to be...
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Celebrate World Elephant Day With 5 Great Organizations Working to Save ThemCare2.comThe DSWT also sponsors the iWorry campaign, which works to raise awareness of the illegal ivory trade. iWorry urges world governments to focus more resources and energy on this problem, getting its message out by sharing evidence of poaching via...
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NC Zoo plan to destroy ivory, rhino horn postponedNews & ObserverA plan by the North Carolina Zoo to incinerate about 200 pounds of elephant ivory and rhino horn as a statement against animal poaching has been delayed while lawyers study the rules on the destruction of state property. The zoo had planned to burn the ......
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10 adorable photos (and a video) celebrating World Elephant DayTampabay.comAccording to the zoo's press release, although international ivory trade has been banned since 1989, poaching elephants throughout Africa is at unprecedented levels and most large herds are trending toward extinction by 2020. Tampa's Lowry Park Zoo has ......
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Crossbow deer stalking and duck stamping among wildlife crimesTelegraph.co.ukIn just a three month period between July to September last year the UK Border Force seized 228 items of ivory and across last year recovered live tortoises, wild cats and seahorses as well as hundreds of accessories made from crocodile and alligator ...Wild...
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Burning of elephant ivory, rhino horns at NC Zoo postponedmyfox8.comSince about 2000, 60 percent of the elephants have been killed, mostly by poachers. If these levels of poaching continue, elephants will no longer be in the wild and that would be a major tragedy,” said Zoo Chief Veterinarian Dr. Mike Loomis last week....
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Leaders share five big ideas to save elephantsNew Zealand HeraldAs an independent writer, and now full-time correspondent on the poaching crisis, my personal contribution is to research and investigate all possible solutions to combat this vile, illegal trade - including by interviewing some of the world's most ...and more »...
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World Elephant Day - a time to reflect on the illegal ivory tradegulfnews.comHe explained that every seizure of ivory represents the slaughter of elephants wherever they live, but most elephants are in Africa, “in countries where poverty and political insecurity make it possible for poachers and trafficking cartels to operate ......
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Never forget the elephant: Photographer's plea to care for animals endangered ...Daily MailTheir plight has never been so desperate - the African elephant is hurtling towards extinction as a result of mass poaching, according to campaigners. It is estimated that more than 20,000 were killed on the continent last year for their ivory tusks ......
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Stopping the elephant slaughterNew York Daily NewsThe illegal ivory trade has more than doubled since 2007 and is now more than three times greater than it was in 1998. Some 35,000 elephants were killed in 2012 for their ivory, and poaching rates remain unsustainably high. Forest elephants in Central ......
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Hundreds of Kruger National Park rhinos to be moved - reportFair Lady"The fight against rhino poaching has equipped us with the necessary skills." The WWF last month raised the alarm over plummeting elephant populations in Mozambique after an aerial survey showed ivory poaching was decimating herds in the country.and more »...
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Legal ivory trade fuels demand for black-market poachingThe ConversationBanning the ivory trade and destroying ivory stockpiles is the only effective way to save elephants from extinction, according to new research. The peer-reviewed paper, produced by the Wildlife Conservation Society, looked at the corruption index of ...Stopping the...
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Obama administration cracks down on ivoryThe Hill (blog)But FWS says the rules are necessary to reduce demand, because some wildlife traffickers will pretend that the ivory they got from poaching elephants is antique, when in fact it is not. Therefore, FWS says it will prosecute those who try to sell ......
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Training an army to save the African elephant from illegal poachersYahoo NewsAnd at the same time, most of these nations do not have the resources to combat the poachers, who are often trained and heavily armed former soldiers being paid large sums of money to slaughter the elephants for their ivory tusks. To counter the ...NC Zoo...
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NJ law will cut into profits of ivory poachersVineland Daily Journal“The Poach Patrol,” he said. “They camp out for two weeks and wait. When they encounter poachers there always is a fire fight. A patrol leader told me last year he personally killed 33 poachers.” Ever the journalist, I asked what happens next, did they ......
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NJ law will cut into profits of ivory poachersVineland Daily Journal“The Poach Patrol,” he said. “They camp out for two weeks and wait. When they encounter poachers there always is a fire fight. A patrol leader told me last year he personally killed 33 poachers.” Ever the journalist, I asked what happens next, did they ......
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Heading off ivory poachersNew Zealand HeraldSuch joking wouldn't be possible in many other parts of Africa, where recent years have yielded dire news about ivory poaching. Poachers killed more than 20,000 elephants in 2013 amid rising demand for their tusks in Asia, particularly China, according ...NJ law will...
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Tanzania officials in Dallas say lifting ivory import ban would actually help ...Dallas Morning NewsOfficials from Tanzania visited Dallas on Thursday to discuss the country's issues with poaching, including the U.S. ban on imported ivory. Lazaro Nyalandu, Tanzania's minister of natural resources and tourism, and several other officials met...
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Death of the Kings - Gone but not forgottenNews24While the poaching of rhinos is getting a lot of press, the current destruction of Africa's elephants is arguably more worrying. The high prices of rhino horn and ivory is driving the killing, and crime syndicates and militias like the Lord's ...4 African Leaders Discuss Elephant Poaching On...
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African Leaders: We Need High-Tech Help To Stop Elephant PoachingTexas Public Radio"The elephants are killed in Tanzania," said Kikwete, "but the consignment [of ivory] came from Kampala, Uganda. And moved through Mombasa," the main port of Kenya. "So there is definitely need for working together." Kikwete, one of more than 40 ...and...
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Elephants thrive in Botswana, a rare bright spot on a continent hit hard by ...Fox NewsSuch joking wouldn't be possible in many other parts of Africa, where recent years have yielded dire news about ivory poaching. Poachers killed more than 20,000 elephants in 2013 amid rising demand for their tusks in Asia, particularly China, according ......
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The Elephant in the Room: Ivory Ban Seeks to Curb PoachingThe National Law Review3. elephant ivory where transfer of ownership is for education and scientific purposes including to a museum authorized by a special charter from the legislature. 4. elephant ivory where transfer is by inheritance to a legal beneficiary of a trust or ......
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African Elephants May Be Extinct By 2020 Because People Keep Eating With ...Huffington Post... poachers on the ground; it takes an education system to teach the people -- kids in the schools, the villagers -- telling them it's wrong. The same applies to people in Asia, who are buying the stuff," said Young. "It shouldn't be easy to buy ivory...Taki...
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South African elephants face new poaching onslaughtTimes LIVEThe WWF last month raised the alarm over plummeting elephant populations in Mozambique after an aerial survey showed ivory poaching was decimating herds in the country. Elephant poaching is also rife further north in Kenya, Tanzania and Zimbabwe.South Africa Fights the PoachersN...
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Wiping out species can push people into slaveryNew Scientist... Duffy at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London and Freya St John at the University of Kent in Canterbury, UK. They cite ivory poaching by Uganda's Lord's Resistance Army in the neighbouring Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).and more »...
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Sen. Alexander: Ivory ban could 'take away our guns'The HillAlexander is concerned about the Fish and Wildlife Service's (FWS) controversial ivory ban, which aims to stop African elephant poaching, but could have the unintended consequence of restricting the trade of antique guns that contain small amounts of ......
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Illegal Wildlife Trading: The Global ResponseScoop.co.nzNew Zealand signatory to the letter Dr Gareth Morgan, said that “The priority is to get rid of demand for the ivory that poachers bring to market. One way to help raise the awareness amongst the public is for governments to send strong reminders of the ......
imageTimes LIVE
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Chinese man arrested in Zimbabwe over ammunition haulNewsDayOfficer Commanding Harare province Senior Assistant Commissioner Clement Munoriyarwa said the suspect, Wongai Huo, was also found in possession of three kilogrammes of gold coated with silver and processed ivory packed in chess boxes. Police said ...Zimbabwe arrests Chinese man...
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Internet Company Wanted for Selling Ivory ProductsNature World NewsA Japanese-based Internet company is wanted by several international organizations for selling ivory products, seemingly backing the illegal poaching of African elephants, according to reports. Rakuten, the sixth largest e-commerce company in the world ...African...
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Rachel Hunter And Jane Goodall Want New Zealand To Ban Ivory TradeLook To The StarsWith an in-depth knowledge of the elephant poaching crisis and witness to the effects of the illegal ivory trade on the ground in Africa, these conservation agencies are calling upon New Zealand to take further steps to support international ...and more »...
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Govt Committed to Taking Stand Against Illegal Ivory TradeAllAfrica.comLuanda — The Ministry of Environment reiterated Friday the Angolan Government's efforts to implement the Strategic Plan in Conservation Areas, deploring recent news in which illegal trade of Ivory and other items from poaching are taking place in Angola....
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Elephants: For our respect, not our amusementMinneapolis Star TribuneWhile ivory poachers are massacring wild elephants at the rate of one every 15 minutes so that humans can own ivory trinkets, trophy hunters shoot elephants for entertainment and elephants in captivity face the kind of prolonged cruelty that might ...and more »...
imageBBC News
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US tech company Airware partners with Kenya's Ol Pejeta Conservancy to ...The Weather NetworkIn the fight against poaching new technology is proving to be helpful in eliminating one of the world's oldest crimes. Kenya's Ol Pajeta Conservancy, a 90,000-acre reserve ... “Trying to find the small shape of a poacher in a 90,000-acre park...
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For China's Newly Rich, The More Endangered, The BetterRadio Free AsiaThe lack of public awareness of the effects of certain types of trade has also been exported to other countries, where Chinese demand is blamed for fueling elephant poaching for illegal ivory. While Nigeria and Angola are home to less than 3,000 ......
imageBBC News
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Can Drones Save Kenya's Elephants From Poaching?RYOTWhile drones will help, they're not the end all answer to the poaching problem. The real solution is to quell people's desires for ivory, and to assist those who feel that ivory trading is their best option for survival. Still, the drones will be a ...Can drones help tackle Africa's...
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Worldwide rhino horn trade continues unabatedDeutsche WelleBetween 1990 and 2007 poachers killed on average 14 rhinos a year in South Africa. Last year it was more than one thousand and this year a new record could be reached. By mid-July 558 rhinos had perished already in South Africa, killed for their horns ...and more »...
imageBBC News
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Can drones help tackle Africa's wildlife poaching crisis?BBC News"Security is a very significant part of our operating budget and this has escalated over the last two years because of increases in the price of ivory and rhino horn. "We estimate we've had to spend an additional $2m to protect the rhino that we have ...and more »...
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How to save both elephants and the ivory tradeLos Angeles TimesToday's poaching problem has its roots in East Asia, where there is still a strong demand for and an active trade in new ivory objects. Demonizing older ivory objects to discourage possession of newer versions of similar items will not bring back the ...LETTERS: Ivory exacts a heavy...
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Rhino poaching still booming in South AfricaDeutsche WelleBetween 1990 and 2007 poachers killed on average 14 rhinos a year in South Africa. Last year it was more than one thousand and this year a new record could be reached. By mid-July 558 rhinos had perished already in South Africa, killed for their horns ...and more »...
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Will New Zealand Ban the Ivory Trade? Jane Goodall and Helen Clark Speak OutHuffington PostJamie Joseph is a writer and an environmental activist currently based in New Zealand. She will be returning to her African homeland in October to join the war on poaching. Follow the campaign to ban all ivory trade @ savingthewild.com - every voice ......
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Conservationists hope to raise awareness with anti-poaching walkCoastweekLAIKIPIA (Xinhua) -- A team of wildlife conservationists have embarked on a three-week walk that kicked off on July 1 to raise awareness on the rampant poaching in the country. The awareness campaign dubbed "Ivory Belongs to Elephants" is being carried ...and...
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Elephants – a World ConcernThe Island.lk (subscription)Driving their decimation is desire: in Africa for ivory, most of which ends up in China, fetching fifteen hundred dollars a pound. We have ... Poachers cut of f his tusks leaving his face so mutilated that it took Kenyan authorities ten days to confirm ......
imageRadio New Zealand
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Call for urgent ban on all ivory tradingHawke's Bay TodayLast year, an Auckland man was the first New Zealander convicted for illegally trading in ivory. With such indications that New Zealand has a direct link to the illicit trade and the poaching of African elephants, the world's conservationists are ...Open Letter to New...
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Number of elephants, rhino killed increasesThe StarHowever, the number of elephants and rhinos poached in the agency's game reserves and national parks are equally high. Last week, four black rhinos were killed at Ol Jogi conservancy in Laikipia bringing the number of ... Kiprono said in the last month ......
imageRadio New Zealand
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Open Letter to New Zealand Government: Ivory TradeScoop.co.nz (press release)With such indications that New Zealand has a direct link to the illicit ivory trade and the poaching of African elephants, and an Open Letter illustrating significant if not unprecedented national and international support for New Zealand to take ...Promin...
imageRadio New Zealand
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Prominent NZers urge govt to ban ivory tradingVoxyWith an in-depth knowledge of the elephant poaching crisis and witness to the effects of the illegal ivory trade on the ground in Africa, these conservation agencies are calling upon New Zealand to take further steps to support international ...Call for urgent ban on all ivory tradi...
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Bushmeat Trade Now Bigger Than Elephant Poaching in KenyaAllAfrica.comThe problem is now as serious as poaching for ivory. Bush meat consumption in Kenya dates back to the pre-colonial times when there were plenty of animals to be hunted. The trend is still going on with the few remaining wild animals getting caught in ......
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LETTER: N.J. must crack down on ivory tradeCherry Hill Courier PostThe devastating impact of the ivory trade goes beyond the possible extinction of elephants. Terrorist groups and armed militias in Africa have engaged in elephant poaching and used the profits from sale of elephant tusks to fund their atrocities. Sadly ...and more »...
imageVancouver Sun
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LETTER: Christie should sign bill to fight ivory tradeAsbury Park PressDuring the past few decades, elephant populations in Africa have decreased by 50 percent, with market demand for ivory fueling elephant poaching. The ivory trade also has devastating economic, social and political impacts on the local communities in ...6 Awesome...
imageEarthweek - A Diary of the Planet
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Cyanide Used by Poachers to Kill Zimbabwe ElephantsEarthweek - A Diary of the PlanetAccording to authorities, a well-coordinated poaching syndicate, targeting the animals' ivory tusks, laced water and salt licks with the poison at main drinking sites for the animals. While elephant populations have dropped sharply...
imageOne Green Planet
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Google Elephant system made by BC man helps fight poachingCBC.ca"We're also very concerned with elephant poaching for ivory, so one of the algorithms I designed looks at whether an animal has stopped moving for a given period of time, which would signal that the animal has been killed." The system alerts a network ...LETTER:...
imageCanada.com
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6 Awesome Celebrities Fighting to End the Illegal Wildlife TradeOne Green PlanetOther WildAid ambassador and retired basketball star Yao Ming travelled to Africa to document the poaching of rhinos and elephants. “When people in China know what is happening to the ivory trade, they will say no to these products,” he said at a...
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NRA warns ivory ban will make gun owners 'criminals overnight'The HillBut critics say the rule unfairly limits the sale of antique items, such as guns and musical instruments, that were made with ivory long before elephant poaching was outlawed in 1976. They argue that trading the antiques does not contribute to the ...and more »...
imageDaily Mail
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Thai ivory poachers kill 50-year-old elephant that featured in royal ...Daily MailPolice believe that the poaching gang were amateurs as they failed to remove all of the tusk. It is understood they used an electric power saw to cut through the ivory. The facility's manager Laithongrian Meephan admitted that the animal was...
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Poachers kill four rhinos at Ol Jogi bringing number of rhinos killed this ...The StarTwo armed gangs killed four rhinos for their horns in Ol Jogi private ranch near Nanyuki this week in possibly the worst rhino poaching incident in the country in more than 25 years, the spokesman for Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) said on Friday. The ...Kenya...
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Thailand faces trade ban over ivory failings: CITESThe NationThailand faces an international wildlife trade ban unless it reins in its ivory sector, which is a magnet for traffickers, global regulator CITES said on Friday. "There have been years without any real action on the ground when it comes to controlling ...Thailand faces trade...
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Last chance for Thailand to tackle illegal ivory tradeWWF International... network TRAFFIC, found the availability of ivory for sale in Bangkok has tripled since Thailand pledged to eradicate its domestic ivory market in 2013. The latest CITES figures show that more than 20,000 African elephants are killed by poachers...Thailand faces...
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Elephant Featured In Film 'Alexander' Killed By Thai PoachersWWNOAs NPR's Christopher Joyce has reported recently, demand for ivory has spiked in China, sparking an increase in poaching in Africa. Poaching Asian elephants is also a problem, according to the World Wildlife Fund, although most of the illegal ivory...and more »...
imageNational Geographic
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Global Wildlife Summit: Fight Against Illegal Ivory Stalled in ThailandNational Geographic(See a graphic of elephant poaching in Africa.) The officials demanded that the "Gang of Eight," as they called these countries, outline specific action plans to address the ivory trade—or potentially face trade sanctions. This week,...
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Tusks for Terrorists: Ivory, Elephant Poaching and the War on TerrorWhoWhatWhyThe kind of people you'd expect to be talking about terrorists—instead of animals—are urging more military, law enforcement and intelligence efforts to stop the poaching of elephants for ivory. And for good reason. Evidence that at least two groups ....
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African Elephant Poaching Soars as Value of Ivory Skyrockets in ChinaAtlanta Black Star9135390062_862135491d_z The price African ivory fetches in China has tripled in the past four years, causing the dissident militias and organized crime groups that monopolize the trade to ramp up illicit poaching, according to a report released on ...Th...
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Thailand: Ivory Market Boom 'Fuelling Poaching of African Elephants'International Business Times UKThailand's unregulated ivory market has boomed in the last 12 months and is fuelling Africa's elephant poaching crisis, conservationists have warned. According to a report by wildlife group TRAFFIC, the number of ivory p...
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Museums, Musicians, and Antiques Dealers Resist Harsh New Ivory RestrictionsHyperallergicWe have one goal: to shut down the illegal trade in ivory that is fueling the poaching crisis facing African elephants today. By implementing a near complete ban on trade in elephant ivory, we are effectively closing loopholes and eliminating the cover ...Ann...
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Elephant DNA forensics to be used to trace ivory and tackle poachingDescrierThe shocking news that Satao, the much-loved African Elephant who lived in Kenya's Tsavo East National Park, has been killed and butchered for his tusks highlights once again the terrible and unsustainable toll of poaching elephants for their ivory.New elephant poac...
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Angola's largest ivory marketNews24The international ivory trade is threatening to wipe out Africa's elephants. Tens of thousands of elephants are being killed for their ivory tusks each year continent-wide. While experts say there has been a decline in elephant poaching, they say more ...and more »...
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Paying the Ivory Price: Elephant Icon 'Satao' Killed by PoachersNature World NewsThe animal kingdom lost a beloved friend when poachers in Kenya killed the world famous elephant named Satao solely for his ivory - a "monumental" loss, experts say. At around age 45, Satao was considered by some to be the largest and oldest...
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Satao the elephant killed by ivory tusk poachers, bull elephant missed in KenyaExaminer.comIn order to take his prized tusks, the ivory poachers had hacked off his head and left his carcass to rot in the summer heat. Such a cruel crime has caused the world to gain a renewed interest in animal poaching this week, though this is not the...
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Beloved African Elephant Killed for Ivory—"Monumental" LossNational GeographicOne of Kenya's most adored elephants, who had giant tusks and was known as Satao, has been killed for his ivory—a "monumental" loss, experts say. Poachers shot the bull elephant with a poisoned arrow in Tsavo East National Park, waited for...
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Satao The Elephant Killed By Poachers In Kenya (GRAPHIC VIDEO, PHOTOS)Huffington PostNow, Satao is dead, slain by ivory poachers who used poison arrows to bring the great elephant down. Once Satao was in their clutches, the poachers hacked off his legendary tusks and much of his face, the Tsavo Trust announced on Facebook and Twitter....
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Satao, one of Africa's largest elephants, killed by poachers for ivory tusks ...National PostOne of Africa's last “great tuskers,” elephants with ivory weighing more than 45 kilograms, has been poisoned by poachers in Kenya. The bull, named Satao, and likely to have been born in the late 1960s, succumbed to wounds from...
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UN: Alarmingly High Levels of Elephant Poaching in AfricaScoop.co.nz (press release)“Africa's elephants continue to face an immediate threat to their survival from high-levels of poaching for their ivory and with over 20,000 elephants illegally killed last year, the situation remains dire,” said John E. Scanlon,...
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World Famous Elephant 'Satao' Killed By Poachers In KenyaForbes“Today it is with enormous regret that we confirm there is no doubt that Satao is dead, killed by an ivory poacher's poisoned arrow to feed the seemingly insatiable demand for ivory in far off countries. A great life lost so that someone far away can ......
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New Elephant Poaching and Ivory Smuggling Figures ReleasedAllAfrica.comGeneva — Poaching levels remain alarmingly high at over 20,000. More large ivory seizures in Africa than Asia for the first time. Over 20,000 African elephants were poached across the continent in 2013 according to a report released on Friday by...
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One of the World's Largest Elephants Killed by Ivory Poachers in KenyaMashableIf you so much as kick a dog or cat in many nations, you would likely have to answer to local authorities. But in Africa, the venerable elephant — long considered one of the most intelligent animals on earth — still suffers at the hands of brutal ......
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Poachers kill one of the world's largest elephants in KenyaTelegraph.co.ukOne of Africa's last 'great tuskers', elephants with ivory weighing over 100lbs, has been poisoned to death by poachers in Kenya after years of adapting his behaviour to hide himself from humans. The bull, named Satao and likely born in the late 1960s, ......
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Nearly 70 elephants slaughtered by poachers at national park in Africa: officialsNew York Daily NewsIn addition to Congolese and park forces, units from the U.S. military's African Command are supporting the anti-poaching efforts, African Parks said. In recent years, the U.N. has warned that armed groups in Africa have been turning...
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More Than 20000 Elephants Poached In Africa Last YearVoice of AmericaHe says Africa's elephants continue to face an immediate threat to their survival from high levels of poaching for their ivory. “We are still seeing the elephant populations in decline, which means that the levels of illegal killing are exceeding the ...Poach...
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Poachers massacre 68 elephants in Congo parkKSWOIn addition to Congolese and park forces, units from the U.S. military's African Command are supporting the anti-poaching efforts, African Parks said. In recent years, the U.N. has warned that armed groups in Africa have been turning to ivory poaching...and more »...
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Efforts to Curb Ivory Trafficking Spreading, but Killing ContinuesNational GeographicVanity Fair ran "Agony and Ivory," a story that brought the elephant poaching crisis to a broad audience. The following year, Jeffrey Gettleman of The New York Times told the story of the links between ivory trafficking and terrorist groups in...
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Kenya's biggest elephant killed by poachersThe GuardianKWS is fighting furiously for funds to strengthen anti-poaching efforts, and massive ivory seizures also continue to snatch headlines, but according to official figures and statements, there is no elephant poaching crisis. The appalling news of Satao's ......
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Africa elephants 'face survival threat' from poachingBBC News"Africa's elephants continue to face an immediate threat to their survival from high levels of poaching for their ivory," said Cites Secretary-General John E Scanlon. The report also documented an increase in the number of large seizures of ivory - of ...More Than 20000 Elephants...
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Punishing Ivory Owners Rather Than Saving Elephants: When Ideologues Take ...ForbesWrote economist Brendan Moyle in a new study for the Ivory Education Institute: “the increase in poaching has bypassed the U.S. market completely.” Instead, the increased “raw ivory exports … are heading mostly to East...
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UK troops sent to Kenya to fight ivory poaching by Al Qaeda terror group Al ...Daily MailBecause the price of 'blood ivory' - illegally poached tusks – is spiralling in Africa, poaching gangs are developing fresh techniques to slaughter animals in huge numbers, such as poisoning watering holes. It is estimated that Al Shabaab can...
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US Ivory Dealer Victor Gordon Sentenced to 30 Months for SmugglingNational Geographic"Elephants are now on the brink of extinction due to poaching and ivory traffickers like Victor Gordon," said Edward Grace, Deputy Assistant Director for Law Enforcement. "This sentence demonstrates our resolve to shut down the U.S. market for...

PRESS RELEASE 2 JUNE 2014

EUROPE - AN OPEN MARKET FOR THE IVORY TRADE?

Conservationists urge the EU - the biggest exporter of so-called “old” ivory – to ban all ivory trade

Brussels/2 June 2014. On the eve of inter-governmental meetings in Brussels and Geneva in June and July to debate the fate of elephants, a group of conservation organisations requests all EU governments to urgently halt all commerce in ivory and to destroy all remaining stockpiles. New data shows escalating exports of ivory from the European Union to China and worldwide. The organisations warn that any legal loophole in ivory trade creates the opportunity to launder poached ivory into “legal” trade and thus fuels the killing of elephants.

"Weak European laws on ivory trading are a clear and present danger to Africa’s elephants, and a gift to poachers and smugglers who feed almost limitless demand for ivory in East Asia", says Daniela Freyer of Pro Wildlife.

Mary Rice, of the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA), added: "We are calling on EU countries to halt all ivory trade within, to and from the EU and strengthen enforcement. This includes measures to destroy their stockpiled ivory – both carvings and raw tusks - irrespective of its source and alleged age. We will only be able to end the elephant poaching crisis when the trade fuelling it is banned and demand curbed.”

Increased Exports of Ivory from Europe

Although the EU prides itself on supporting elephant conservation, recent figures show that the ivory trade is alive - and expanding. In 2012, ivory was second among smuggled wildlife goods in the EU and accounted for 14 per cent of all wildlife seizures. But there is also a burgeoning export of allegedly legal ivory, supplied with EU documents certifying it as ivory acquired before trade rules of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) applied - so-called “pre-Convention ivory”.

New figures prepared by Pro Wildlife from CITES data reveal the EU as the biggest exporter of such ivory, which is feeding the escalating demand. More than 20,000 carvings and 564 tusks were exported with official EU documents during the period 2003 and 2012, with the UK being the major exporter of carvings and France the major exporter of tusks, followed by Italy, Austria and Germany; 56 per cent of the tusks and almost 25 per cent of the carvings were exported to China and Hong Kong, the main markets for legal as well as illegal ivory. A comparison of import and export figures found import figures from China are much lower and do not match the EU export figures, casting grave doubt on the country's controls over the ivory trade.

Why all ivory trade has to stop

Sally Case, of the UK-based David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation, says "Clearly, the legal and illegal ivory trade go hand in hand. Fresh ivory carvings are virtually indistinguishable from “antique” ones, thus making it easy to launder poached ivory into the “legal” trade with the help of legal loopholes. We are shocked that the UK turns out to be the biggest exporter of ivory carvings from Europe. This trade has to stop".

It is unclear how EU authorities can ensure the veracity of the documents they issue for "old" ivory. Moreover, traders in importing countries could re-use such documents to launder freshly poached ivory into trade.

 "The US, as a major exporter and importer of ivory traded under the "pre-convention" loophole, has announced new rules to halt this trade and destroyed its seized ivory. It is high time for the EU to show similar leadership,” say DJ Schubert (Animal Welfare Institute)

All markets with high ivory flows need to be closed down to end the killing of tens of thousands of elephants each year - -and the EU should lead by example,” adds Andrea Crosta (Elephant Action League).

Ivory auctioned for record prices in France

"Despite being one of the three countries in Europe which have destroyed seized ivory stockpiles in recent months, France is a hub of trade in tusks", states Charlotte Nithart of Robin des Bois. The French CITES authorities have provided certificates for the sale of 1.4 tonnes of "pre-Convention" ivory at two large auctions in March and May 2014. The ivory achieved record prices of up to €1000 per kilo. Buyers included Chinese citizens, which directly conflicts with assurances given to the EU that China did not accept imports of raw pre-Convention ivory. At the same time, evidence accepted by the EU’s own regulatory wildlife trade committee shows that forgeries of French CITES certificates were confirmed to be in circulation. 

European Ivory Trade Companies

Other EU countries are also seeing a revival of the ivory trade. European companies based in Germany and The Netherlands openly advertise services to buy and sell so-called pre-Convention ivory “with legal permits”, with China a major importer. A Danish auctioning company was fined for having illegally put elephant tusks up for sale in January 2014. 

In addition, there is an extensive individual trade in ivory in the EU via the internet. During a survey period of two weeks in 2013, a joint INTERPOL/International Fund for Animal Welfare investigation found 660 advertisements for ivory on 61 auction sites, accounting for 4,500kg (4.5 tonnes) of ivory valued at about €1.45 million. Most of the ivory was destined for East Asia. The report noted that only one EU country - the Czech Republic - has implemented national legislation on e-commerce for CITES protected species. Conservationists are demanding that the other EU countries agree to take similar measures when their wildlife trade officials meet in Brussels on 11 June.

Upcoming EU and international Meetings

On June 3, the EU Commission has invited stakeholders from conservation and trade organisations to a meeting in Brussels in preparation of the EU position for the CITES Standing Committee meeting. On June 11, representatives from CITES authorities of EU Member States will meet to discuss “Intra-EU trade and re-exports of ivory” and the EU position on elephants at the annual meeting of the CITES Standing Committee, convened by the UN in Geneva from July 7-11.

Chad, an African elephant range state, has submitted proposals, supported by The Philippines, calling on CITES to address the conservation crisis for elephants by taking tough new measures to destroy all ivory stockpiles and close existing loopholes such as exemptions for trade in ivory traded as pre-Convention or "personal effects", which fuel trade and may allow poached ivory to be laundered with CITES certificates.

 

Contacts:

Paul Newman, Environmental Investigation Agency, 44 (0)20 7354 7960
Charlotte Nithart, Robin des Bois, 33 1 48 04 09 36

 

Issued by: Amboseli Trust for Elephants, Animal Welfare Institute (AWI), Ateneo de Manila University School of Government, Conservation Justice, David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation (DSWF), EAGLE (Eco Activists for Governance and Law Enforcement), Elephant Action League, ElephantVoices, Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA), Franz Weber Foundation, Hong Kong for Elephants, Pro Wildlife, Rettet die Elefanten Afrikas, Robin des Bois, Wild Africa

ivory-trade-press-release-EU.jpg   

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Background information:

The international trade in ivory was banned by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) in 1989. However, since then CITES has permitted two "one-off" sales from legal government stockpiles in Southern Africa in 1999 and 2008. While the first sale went to Japan only, in 2008 China was for the first time permitted by CITES to import 68 tonnes of ivory, arguing that this would actually deter illegal trade and protect elephants in the wild.

However, recent data on ivory trade and elephant poaching show that the opposite has happened: African elephants are now being slaughtered for ivory on a scale that hasn’t been seen since the 1980s. More than 44 tonnes of ivory was seized by enforcement authorities worldwide in 2013 - the highest figure for 25 years. Up to 50,000 elephants are killed by poachers each year and populations in several regions are collapsing. Local and even global extinction of African elephants is facing us now, as a consequence of human demand for ivory. China is today the world’s biggest consumer of legal as well as illegal ivory.

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Premier Commits To Carry On Fight Against Poaching And Ivory TradeChinatopixChina is serious in its commitment to protect wildlife and will do everything within its power and capability to fight poaching and ivory smuggling, according to Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on Saturday. The premier voiced China's commitment to support ......
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Li vows to combat poaching, ivory smugglingecnsVisiting Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said in Nairobi Saturday that China is strongly committed to protecting wildlife and will spare no effort in combating poaching and ivory smuggling. [Special coverage]. The premier made the remarks to Chinese and ...China to combat poaching, ivory smuggling: LiIA...
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Chinese premier vows to combat poaching, ivory smugglingCCTVNAIROBI, May 10 (Xinhua) -- Visiting Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said here Saturday that China is strongly committed to protecting wildlife and will spare no effort in combating poaching and ivory smuggling. Chinese Premier Li Keqiang (L front) speaks ...China to combat poaching, ivory...
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China to combat poaching, ivory smuggling: LiZee NewsLast Updated: Sunday, May 11, 2014, 03:49. Nairobi: Visiting Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said here Saturday that China is strongly committed to protecting wildlife and will spare no effort in combating poaching and ivory smuggling. The premier told ...Li vows to combat poaching, ivory smugglin...
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Poachers take chunks from California redwoods, put majestic trees at riskCNN(CNN) -- Tree poaching conjures up the lawless Amazon jungle, but America's magnificent redwood forests now face a piecemeal but steady assault by poachers too, California officials say. Thieves are cutting massive chunks from the base of the champion ...Poachers take...
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Poachers fund terrorism in kenya - reportThe StarThe report, Ivory's Curse :The Militarization and Professionalisation of Poaching in Africa was published by Varun Vira and Thomas Ewing. It's a joint effort by the conservation group Born Free USA and C4ADS, a non-profit organisation that analyses the ...Tourism Expert Criticises SA...
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Tourism Expert Criticises SA Minister's Views on Ivory TradeAnnamiticusAddressing a crowd at a ceremony to sign an anti-poaching agreement between South Africa and Mozambique in the Kruger National Park this April, Edna Molewa, South Africa's Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs, mentioned in a speech signifying ......
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The war on poaching cannot be won in the field unless we take on high-level ...The GuardianA recent, widely publicised report by Born Free: “Ivory's Curse: The Militarisation and Professionalisation of Poaching in Africa”, details the web of corruption linking crime cartels to government officials, army officers and...
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Elephant advocates raise awareness for ivory poaching crisisNews1130VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – Music, dancing, and bright elephant ear hats made this flashmob look like a party. But the group got together in front of Pacific Centre mall downtown to bring awareness to a serious issue – the elephant poaching crisis in Africa....
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World News: Korean Ferry Bodies; Ukraine Latest; Al-Qaida Leader Killed; Ivory...WTVY, DothanNAIROBI, Kenya (AP) -- Kenyan wildlife authorities say two police officers have been arrested transporting illegal elephant ivory as the government cracks down on poaching of the country's endangered elephants and rhinos. Kenya Wildlife Service...
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2 Kenyan police arrested transporting ivorySioux City JournalNAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — Kenyan wildlife authorities say two police officers have been arrested transporting illegal elephant ivory as the government cracks down on poaching of the country's endangered elephants and rhinos. Kenya Wildlife Service said ...and more »...
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2 Kenyan police arrested transporting ivoryLompoc RecordNAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — Kenyan wildlife authorities say two police officers have been arrested transporting illegal elephant ivory as the government cracks down on poaching of the country's endangered elephants and rhinos. Kenya Wildlife Service said ...and more »...
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2 Kenya police officers arrested in gov't poaching crackdownFox NewsNAIROBI, Kenya – Kenyan wildlife authorities say two police officers have been arrested transporting illegal elephant ivory as the government cracks down on poaching of the country's endangered elephants and rhinos. Kenya Wildlife Service said Saturday ......
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Marine from Tampa starts group to stop elephant slaughterMyFox Tampa BayThe goal: to save elephants from poachers who slaughter them for their ivory. The killings are happening in such large numbers, it is entirely possible elephants will be extinct within the next decade. And yes, you read that correctly -- around 35,000 ......
imageEnvironment & Energy Publishing
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Veteran FWS official serves as US eyes, ears in poaching crackdownEnvironment & Energy PublishingHe has seen their faces sliced off by poachers harvesting ivory, and he knows that many of the elephants from his younger days have all met a grisly end. Ruggiero and chimp. Ruggiero comforts Tonique, a...
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China moves to protect endangered speciesKTUU.com(CNN) -. Curbing China's appetite for wild game is just the beginning of the war against illegal poaching, say conservationists. ... Ivory costs up to $1,000 per pound, while rhino horn is more valuable than gold or platinum, according to the report ...and more »...
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Conflict, Crime, and Corruption: The Illicit Brutality of the Ivory TradeOne Green PlanetBefore 1989, elephant poaching for ivory decimated the continent's population from an estimated 1.3 million animals to fewer than 600,000. After the ban, poaching diminished, populations stabilized, ivory prices bottomed out, and markets dried up....
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Four calves among six elephants killed in Kenyan national parkThe GuardianThe incident in Tsavo East national park on Thursday, described by conservationists as demonstrating the "inhumanity" of the illegal wildlife trade, is part of a wider wave of animal deaths in Africa, driven primarily by demand for ivory and rhino horn ...Kenya: 4...
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Four young elephants killed by poachers were slain 'in revenge attack'Telegraph.co.ukIf the poachers “were just pursuing ivory, they would have no reason for killing juveniles. They are trying to hit back at the authorities,” the official said. The adult elephants had their tusks removed. A statement issued by Kenya...
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Manhunt! Kenya Poaching Patrol Seeks Killers of Six ElephantsTakePartWorldwide, 35,000 elephants were killed last year for their ivory, according to Save the Elephants. The Tsavo region of Kenya, where the incident took place, is home to an estimated 11,000 elephants; 71 have been killed this year, according to Xinhua ...Hunt launched for...
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Kenya Is Deploying Drones Nationwide to Drive Out Ivory PoachersMotherboardKenya will deploy small-fry spy drones in all 52 of its national parks and reserves to sniff out ivory poachers. The $103 million initiative will roll out through the end of 2014, as the Guardian reports, and comes on the heels of a pilot program that ...Four...
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Three suspected poachers arrested with ivory worth 3MThe Standard Digital NewsAccording to the area KWS Game Warden Erick Aduda, it is believed that the trio were among suspects behind the raising cases of poaching and ivory trade in the area . “We believe that the trio is among a notorious group of people who are behind the ...3 Suspected Po...
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Abalone Poacher Faces Stiff SentenceSanta Barbara IndependentHowever if you recall from the example I gave, if there were people raising elephants for ivory then the need to poach the wild elephants would decrease and so the wild population would increase as well. In the late 1800s tens of millions of buffalo in ...and more »...
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Ukip MEPs Voted Against Ivory Trade Clampdown In European ParliamentHuffington Post UK... as ivory and live animals" and implored them "to introduce moratoria on all commercial imports, exports and domestic sales and purchases of tusks and raw and worked ivory products until wild elephant populations are no longer threatened by poaching"....
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Born Free USA publishes Africa's poaching list of shameeTurboNewsA hard-hitting and no-word-mincing report launched earlier this week, titled 'Ivory's Curse: The militarization and professionalization of poaching in Africa' has named not just countries but also individuals alleged to be involved up to their necks in ......
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Report confirms militarisation of poachingNew Zimbabwe.comA NEW report says organized crime, government corruption and militias are all linked to elephant poaching and the illegal ivory trade. It says poachers in Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Sudan and Kenya move across borders with near impunity. The report is called ...Federal...
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Report: Militarization of PoachingVoice of AmericaThe report provided regional case studies of the ivory trade. For example, in Sudan, the report said “government-allied militias complicit in the Darfur genocide fund their operations by poaching elephants.” But it goes on to state that poaching occurs ...Report confirms...
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APNewsBreak: Zimbabwe could open up to poachers as elites grab land set ...Minneapolis Star TribuneWASHINGTON — Political and military elites are seizing protected areas in one of Africa's last bastions for elephants, putting broad swaths of Zimbabwe at risk of becoming fronts for ivory poaching, according to a nonprofit research group's...
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APNewsBreak: Elephants endangered by land grabsCT PostWASHINGTON (AP) — Political and military elites are seizing protected areas in one of Africa's last bastions for elephants, putting broad swaths of Zimbabwe at risk of becoming fronts for ivory poaching, according to a nonprofit research group's ...and more »...
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APNewsBreak: Elephants endangered by land grabsSFGateWASHINGTON (AP) — Political and military elites are seizing protected areas in one of Africa's last bastions for elephants, putting broad swaths of Zimbabwe at risk of becoming fronts for ivory poaching, according to a nonprofit research group's ...and more »...
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Federal government 'poaching' vintage instrumentsThe Columbiachronicle“However many elephants are getting killed in Africa every year, [that ivory] really is not coming in here,” Dolak said. “But we, as a developed country, and Europe, we're really taking the lead to [stop poaching]. [The new regulations are]...
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Land Grabs Threaten Africa's Last Bastions for ElephantsNBC Bay AreaPolitical and military elites are seizing protected areas in one of Africa's last bastions for elephants, putting broad swaths of Zimbabwe at risk of becoming fronts for ivory poaching, according to a nonprofit research group's report that examines ...and more »...
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From poop to ivory, how science can stop poachingSeattle GlobalistThe trading of poached ivory is a very lucrative crime that effectively carries little risk of prosecution for poachers. The ivory trade is the world's largest transnational organized crime, involving complex networks of suppliers, smugglers, corrupt ......
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US ivory ban intended to protect elephants affects sale of pianos, moreHunterdon County DemocratElephants must be killed to get at their ivory tusks; they don't shed them. Conservationists fear that Earth's largest land animal is headed to extinction, largely because of poaching to feed the world ivory market. According to the federal U.S. Fish ......
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Run For The Wild In Bronx Zoo Aims To Save Elephants From PoachingCBS Local“That works out to 96 elephants a day, and one every 15 minutes. “The bottom line is what's happening right now is there's a tremendous poaching crisis. And why people are purchasing elephants: their ivory. … Frankly, if you just go one block from ......
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BirdLife Partner NABU engages in Africa against ivory poachingSurfbirds News (blog)NABU, BirdLife Partner in Germany, is warning of an increase in poaching in African national parks where poachers are killing around 100 elephants a day. In the 1970's there were still some 1.2 million elephants living on the continent; today there are ......
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Malawian man convicted for ivory export to ChinaNyasa TimesDirector of Wildlife Brighton Chinthere applauded the Police for apprehending the culprit saying illicit ivory trade was a serious offence. Chinthere said poaching for ivory threatened the already low population of elephants. “Malawi has low population ......
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Kenya wildlife officials suspended over poaching crisisThe New Age OnlineLast month veteran conservationist Richard Leakey -- himself a former KWS boss -- said a core group of just 20 to 30 poaching bosses were operating with "outrageous impunity" and that Kenya was now the global hub of ivory smuggling. He said that ...Kenya...
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NRA gunning for more than just right to bear armsAl Jazeera AmericaWhen the Obama administration announced plans to halt the domestic sale of most elephant ivory, the National Rifle Association urged its members to mobilize against the ban. While the NRA said it agreed with the goal of ending endangered elephant ......
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Poaching crack-downThe Register StarThe US is cracking down on the sale and purchase of ivory and also stopping illicit poaching that threatens to wipe out the elephants species of Africa. Wildlife advocates worry that without forceful Global action elephants and rhinos face extinction.Stop Elephant Poaching!Huffington PostGift...
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Another Country Takes a Symbolic Stand for Elephants by Crushing IvoryCare2.comThis week Belgium took a symbolic stand for elephants by crushing its entire stockpile of confiscated ivory in a move that condemns poaching and the illegal trade in wildlife. The event was hosted by Belgian Vice Prime Minister Laurette Onkelinx, who ...Belgium Destroys...
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Let New York act to ban ivory tradeAlbany Times Union (blog)The state Department of Environmental Conservation and the federal government have demonstrated that New York's legal ivory market has been exploited by criminals. These individuals launder illicit ivory from recently poached elephants into the trade ...Belgium Destroys Ivory to Publicize...
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Kenya suspends wildlife officials in poaching crackdownBBC NewsKenya has been facing growing condemnation over its failure to tackle an apparent rise in poaching. Veteran conservationist Richard Leakey, a former boss of the Kenyan wildlife service, said last month that the country had become a global hub for ivory ...The Kenyan...
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Kenya wildlife officials suspended over poaching crisisYahoo NewsLast month veteran conservationist Richard Leakey -- himself a former KWS boss -- said a core group of just 20 to 30 poaching bosses were operating with "outrageous impunity" and that Kenya was now the global hub of ivory smuggling. He said that ...Kenya gov't to...
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Stop Elephant Poaching!Huffington PostTen years ago, there were 1.5 million elephants in Africa. Today, there are 470,000. Many native Africans feel that it is their birthright to kill elephants for their ivory tusks -- for which they'll be paid $2,000 to $3,000, mainly by the Chinese. If ...and more »...
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Kenya wildlife officials suspended over poaching crisisGlobalPostLast month veteran conservationist Richard Leakey -- himself a former KWS boss -- said a core group of just 20 to 30 poaching bosses were operating with "outrageous impunity" and that Kenya was now the global hub of ivory smuggling. He said that ...Kenya gov't to...
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The Kenyan Government is Finally Kicking Into Overdrive to Stop PoachingRYOTKenya has said that demand for Ivory had been fuelled of the partial lifting of an international ban on ivory trade to allow some countries that have accrued stockpiles elephant tusks to sell them off. - TAKE ACTION ON Anti-Poaching -. Say NO To Ivory.Kenya...
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The Kenyan Government is Finally Kicking Into Overdrive to Stop PoachingRYOTKenya has said that demand for Ivory had been fuelled of the partial lifting of an international ban on ivory trade to allow some countries that have accrued stockpiles elephant tusks to sell them off. - TAKE ACTION ON Anti-Poaching -. Say NO To Ivory.Kenya...
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Kenya arrests officials for poachingeNCALast month veteran conservationist Richard Leakey -- himself a former KWS boss -- said a core group of just 20 to 30 poaching bosses were operating with "outrageous impunity" and that Kenya was now the global hub of ivory smuggling. He said that ......
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Kenya gov't to oversee wildlife authority operations to stop poaching of ...Minneapolis Star TribuneOmondi is a leading international campaigner against the trade in elephant ivory and rhino horn. The Kenya Wildlife Service's intelligence unit will be restructured and 50 four-wheel drive vehicles added to the fleet to increase mobility of rangers ....
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Kenya gov't to oversee wildlife authority operations to stop poaching of ...The RepublicNAIROBI, Kenya — Kenya's central government will oversee the running of the country's wildlife authority for the next three months in a bid to stop poaching of the country's elephants and rhinos, an official with the Ministry of Environment...
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Vow to prevent legalising rhino horn tradeeNCA"We need to learn lessons from the ivory trade debacle," said the agency's Mary Rice. "You don't legalise a high-value product like ivory and put it in the hands of hundreds of millions of people and then wonder why elephant poaching has gone off the ...and more »...
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KWS suspends six top officers over poachingThe StarKWS said 59 rhinos and 302 elephants were killed last year. Activists say some of the illegal ivory dealers are well-known and KWS is deliberately protecting them. KWS director William Kiprono said they have sacked 17 employees over poaching since 2009 ...and more »...
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US Marines Headed To Chad Park To Fight PoachingDefenseNews.comAn increase in poaching in Zakouma has led to a sharp decline in the elephant population — from 4,000 in 2005 to 450 just five years later — according to the African Parks conservation group. In February, authorities incinerated a ton of ivory...and more »...
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US Marines headed to Chad park to fight poachingZee NewsAn increase in poaching in Zakouma has led to a sharp decline in the elephant population -- from 4,000 in 2005 to 450 just five years later -- according to the African Parks conservation group. In February, authorities incinerated a ton of ivory......
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US Marines headed to Chad park to fight poachingBusiness StandardIn February, authorities incinerated a ton of ivory confiscated from poachers in the park. The price of a kilogram of ivory has surpassed $2,000 on the Asian black market, with demand constantly rising, according to several conservation groups. Central ...and more »...
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Scientists wage war on wildlife poachersEdinburgh Evening NewsOn the surface, at least, it seems a very long way from the bloody horrors of the illicit poaching trade, the vile business in which elephants' tusks are ripped from their skulls to create ivory trinkets or rhinos are callously slaughtered for their ......
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Stiff Penalties for Poaching in New Bill On ConservationAllAfrica.comSo ivory or rhino poachers, if caught, are looking at a prison term of 12 years and a fine of almost 90,000 dollars). Those who degrade ecosystems through deforestation, fire “or any other voluntary act” will be obliged to restore the area to its ...Stiffer penalties...
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Stiffer penalties proposed for Mozambique's poachersWildlife ExtraMuaria said that over the last six months (October 2012-March 2013) Mozambique´s largest conservation area, the Niassa Reserve, had lost two to three elephants to poachers a day. Mozambique is also used as a corridor to smuggle ivory and rhino horns ...Stiff Penalties for...
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1.7 tonnes of illegal ivory crushed in BelgiumTODAYonlineElephant ivory is seen as a symbol of wealth in many Asian countries but conservationists said elephant populations can no longer sustain the poaching. Trade in illegal ivory has trebled since 1998. The Belgian government's decision to crush the ...Belgium crushes 1.5 tons of...
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Tracking elephant poachers through tusksDailyuwUsing 16 genetic markers — three more genetic markers than for humans — scientists can compare DNA from seized ivory to the baseline scat DNA in order to determine a map of hot spots where poachers work. After killing an elephant, poachers and ......
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Belgium destroys entire illegal ivory stockpileChannel News AsiaElephant ivory is seen as a symbol of wealth in many Asian countries but conservationists said elephant populations can no longer sustain the poaching. Trade in illegal ivory has trebled since 1998. The Belgian government's decision to crush the ...1.7 tonnes of illegal ivor...
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Mozambique considers law to fight big game poachingYahoo NewsMozambican authorities last year said illegal hunters had wiped out rhino populations, with ivory poaching in the remote northern part of the country also on the rise. Tourism Minister, Carvalho Muaria said the bill, which was introduced to parliament ...and more »...
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Belgium Crushes its Elephant Ivory As Europe Takes Harder Look at Wildlife ...National GeographicAfter Kenya burned its ivory in 1989, it voted to ban all international trade in ivory. According to Christy, the question to ask countries destroying their ivory stocks today is, What steps are you also taking to stop poaching,...
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Online ivory sales driving illegal elephant poaching: reportABC Online... it's whaling program in the Southern Ocean. But meanwhile ivory, most likely sourced from the illegal poaching and killing of African elephants, is still being sold online by Rakuten Global with over 28,000 ads for elephant ivory products on it's ......
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How NY can save the elephantsNew York Daily NewsNinety-six African elephants are killed by poachers every single day, slaughtered for their ivory tusks and left to rot in the continent's forests and savannahs. That works out to four elephants per hour, every day, around the clock, all year, every ...and more »...
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Tanzania to launch new anti-poaching operationEast African Business WeekIn the late 1980s, Tanzania, home to Africa's second-largest elephant population, led the war on poaching and championed the international ban on ivory trading that was adopted in 1989. Today, it is the epicentre of the poaching epidemic sweeping ...and more »...
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Pittsburgh Zoo Joining Cause To Save Elephants From Ivory TradeCBS Local“Kind of died off for a while, but now they have realized poaching has increased, so they are getting back on top of it again and I think really making some good strides,” said Willie Theison with the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium. The poachers target ...and...
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'Wild' Run Through Zoo To Help Save ElephantsRidgewood Times Newsweekly96 Elephants is working to: secure moratoria on the sale of ivory; bolster protection of African elephants; and educate the public about the link between ivory consumption and the elephant poaching crisis. The sixth annual 5k-run/walk takes place on ...and more »...

We are posting the speech by Professor Edward O. Wilson at the Opening of Laboratory of Biodiversity of Gorongosa in deep respect for Greg Carr, the Mozambiquen Government and the whole team of people working to protect Gorongosa National Park. The long-term, holistic approach taken by the Gorongosa Team working to restore an amazingly biodiverse ecosystem is admireable from many perspectives - and provides a model for other priceless habitats and species. What we will learn from Gorongosa may have an impact far and beyond, well symbolised through the Laboratory of Biodiversity just opened. 

We, admittedly, wish we were in Gorongosa for this milestone - and we really look forward to continue our elephant work there later in the year. We are proud to be part of the Gorongosa Team.

Joyce and Petter


A WINDOW ON ETERNITY

Edward O. Wilson

The development of these wonderful facilities, along with the earlier inclusion of Gorongosa Mountain into the park and the rebuilding of the megafauna back to its pre-war strength, has been made a reality by Greg Carr and the government of Mozambique. It represents an advance not only in this country and Africa but the entire global environmental movement.

Edward O. Wilson examines an orb weaver spider web while collecting insects in Gorongosa National Park. (©Bob Poole)In essence, what it has achieved is to give a broader role in the global movement to the world’s nature parks and other natural history reserves. This development will help bring life back to humanity’s environmental conscience. Why do I put it this way? The world is becoming green. Environmental awareness has grown dramatically during the past several decades. However, the focus has fallen increasingly on the non-living part of the world, in other words on climate change, pollution, and the exhaustion of irreplaceable resources. At the same time attention has slipped away from the living part of Earth, called the biosphere, a layer of living organisms so thin it cannot be seen from the side by an orbiting space vehicle in orbit. The biosphere still has plenty of biomass, in other words the sheer weight of living tissue. Most of it is in the farms and timberlands that sustain the human species. What is declining is biodiversity, the variation of living organisms. Biodiversity exists at three levels: first, the ecosystems such as the lakes, streams, savanna, and dry forests of the Rift Valley and Cheringoma Plateau; then the species of plants, animals, and microorganisms that make up the ecosystems; and finally the genes that prescribe the traits that distinguish the species that make up the ecosystems. National Parks like Gorongosa play a major role in preserving the world’s biodiversity, and now, increasingly, by learning how to save it everywhere around the world.

How much biodiversity exists? To date two million species of plants, animals, and microorganisms have been discovered and given descriptions and formal names by biologists. Estimates, however, place the actual number at closer to ten million. When bacteria and other microbes are added, the number will soar much higher. Humanity, to put the matter as simply as possible, lives on a little known planet. We lack a sound idea of what our activities are doing to it.

This brings me to another important point relevant to this park. Gorongosa is so far, I believe, the only park in Africa, and one of only several in the entire world, to undertake a complete study to discover and identify all of the species of plants, animals, and microbes that make up its biodiversity—not just the mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and fishes, and vegetation, but all of the insects, spiders, and other invertebrates as well. This project, led by Piotr Naskrecki, and utilizing the expertise of Marc Stalmans, has already turned up many new species, especially of insects. As it expands, the number of animal and plant species is bound to increase dramatically. As a comparison, consider the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in the United States, where a similar effort has brought to light approximately 18,000 species.

We should learn as much as we can about these smaller creatures that I like to call “the little things that run the world.” Elephants, lions, and other mammals of course play vital roles in the ecology of Gorongosa, but they live upon a living platform of other, usually neglected plants and animals. I strongly believe that we should extend the term “wildlife” to cover all of the animals, large and small, that make up the ecosystems.

There is so much to learn for scientists and amateur naturalists at Gorongosa National Park of ecology, physiology, and other aspects of biology, and the physical environment of the park as well. This is an ideal place to pioneer the concept of nature parks throughout the world as centers for research and education. The center will be an asset not just for visitors but increasingly in time, of great value to the people of Mozambique. I’m proud to be a part of it, and I congratulate those who have created the center and now are set to make it an example for the rest of the world to follow.

Read more on Blog da Gorongosa - Edward O. Wilson Biodiversity Lab Opens.

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Zambezi's ivory poaching exposedInformanteAN investigation by the Oxpeckers Centre of Investigative Environmental Journalists revealed that the Zambezi Region, where five SADC countries, Angola, Botswana, Zambia and Zimbabwe intersect with Namibia is a smuggling hotspot. With more than 9 ......
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Two Ivory Poachers Killed By Wildlife Officials After Slaughtering Rhino In ...Design & TrendThe Indian rhino, which the second largest animal in Asia behind the elephant, has been the target of intense poaching in recent years due to the growing demand for ivory in Asia. Wildlife reserves are designed to alleviate the...
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Kenya to use drones to fight elephant, rhino poachersReuters"We attribute the problem of poaching in Kenya and other African states to growing demand and high prices offered for rhino horn and elephant ivory in the Far East countries," William Kiprono, Kenya Wildlife Service's acting Director General told a ...Kenyan...
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Pictured: Poaching horror laid bare as pregnant elephant speared to death by ...Mirror.co.ukPictured: Poaching horror laid bare as pregnant elephant speared to death by ruthless ivory hunters. Mar 21, 2014 20:00; By Josh Layton. Brutal ivory trade threatens to wipe out majestic creatures in Kenya and even wildlife rangers are not safe...
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Limits on Ivory Sales, Meant to Protect Elephants, Set Off Wide ConcernsNew York TimesBut he said the efforts by some smugglers to disguise recently poached ivory as antique material have made the additional restrictions necessary. The new rules will also apply to rhino horn, whale teeth, walrus tusks, tortoise shell and certain woods ...The...
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Armed guards on patrol 24/7 at rhino sanctuary as poaching reaches ...Express.co.ukThe far east is no longer the sole focus of the fight against illegal ivory, with experts warning that the UK is increasingly becoming a “major hub” for the contraband. Simon Burns MP believes an "unprecedented spike in the illegal wildlife...
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Japanese appetite for ivory fuels poaching epidemicHealth24.comOnline selling and weak controls on domestic ivory sales in Japan are spurring illegal international trade in elephant tusks and contributing to a steep rise in poaching, activists said. A lack of rules regulating the registration of raw ivory and the ...Major Online Retailer...
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The Amazon.com of Japan is the world's biggest online retailer of elephant ...QuartzAs elephant poaching hit catastrophic levels in the 1980s, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) instituted a global ban on the elephant ivory trade. That made ivory prices drop sharply and...
imageThe Week Magazine
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The tragic price of ivoryThe Week MagazinePoachers are now slaughtering up to 35,000 of the estimated 500,000 African elephants every year for their tusks. A single male elephant's two tusks can weigh more than 250 pounds, with a pound of ivory fetching as much as $1,500 on the black market.and more »...
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The gin that helps protect elephants from poachersThe GuardianThe final push to do it came about after I spent a few months travelling around South Africa, working with elephant foundations that try to protect against ivory poaching. After returning to London a few months later and settling down, I realised that ......
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Horford joins campaign to stop poaching in AfricaAtlanta Journal ConstitutionAs it turns out, Al Horford's offseason trip to South Africa for Basketball Without Borders became about more than just sports. The Hawks center has joined five other players in support of NBA Cares 'No Hype' campaign to reduce the demand for ivory and ...Al...

Maasai Mara elephants. Photo credit: ElephantVoicesWe have received your message, and will look into it as soon as we're able to if that is required.

Thank you for writing!

Petter,
ElephantVoices

imageWashington Post
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In Africa, agony and ivoryThe Globe and MailIt's estimated an elephant is killed in Tanzania every 15 minutes for its ivory. The rampant poaching is hard to stop because high government officials profit from the trade. Across Africa, as many as 35,000 elephants are being slaughtered each year ...We all have a role to play in ending...
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NRA Campaigns Against The Plan To Save The World's ElephantsThinkProgressAn Enough Project report from last year also found that Joseph Kony's Lord's Resistance Army has begun poaching ivory from elephant tusks to fund the group's activities, which include abducting children and forcing them into sex slavery.Virginia Zoo Joins...
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Stepping up the fight against elephant poachersCBS News"Ninety percent of the ivory being picked up in Nairobi Airport, or Kenya's port of entry and exit, is with Chinese nationals." Despite laws banning the harvest and sale of ivory, it remains a powerful status symbol in China and the Far East, where it ...and more »...
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Bloody battle to save Congo elephants from ivory poachersChannel 4 News... save Congo elephants from ivory poachers. Tweet. As a conference on wildlife trafficking opens in London, Congo conservationists claim Chinese in the country are boosting the supply of AK47 bullets to poor communities to encourage elephant poaching....
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New thinking needed in the war on ivory poachersITV NewsWayne Lotter, director of Tanzania's PAMS Foundation and Vice President of the International Ranger Federation, writes about the onngoing challenge of tackling poaching of the country's elephants. It is hard to describe the exact feeling, but my ...and more »...
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Four African nations pledge to end all sales of ivoryUPI.comThe leaders of Botswana, Gabon, Chad and Tanzania said at the symposium -- held at the Zoological Society of London -- they would not act on an option to sell from their ivory stockpiles, in an effort to protect elephants from poaching, the BBC ...Four African nations spurn ivory s...
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Kenya gets tougher on ivory poaching, but harsher measures still neededGlobal Times... Miscellany · Rugby World Cup · METRO · Metro Beijing · Metro Shanghai · ODD · COMMUNITY · Beijing · Shanghai · Xi'an · Tibet · Xinjiang · Learning Chinese · 25 Latest...
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Do Ivory Crushes Actually Help End Illegal Poaching?One Green PlanetIn the beginning of this February, set beneath the iconic view of the Eiffel Tower, the French government pulverized over one million dollars worth of illegally poached ivory. The crushing of this prolific stockpile of confiscated contraband was meant ...WWF urges Zambia to...
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Why America's ivory ban won't help elephantsSpectator.co.ukBut his advisers should have been quicker to dissuade him from one aspect of his campaign: the threat to dispose of his grandmother's ivory collection. That Africa's elephant population is in peril from poachers is not in doubt. Of a total of 400,000 ......
The GuardianPrince William, Destroying Ivory Art Won't Stop PoachingMotherboard (blog)I'm all for symbolic actions to show resolve in the face of tragic environmental issues, but there's good symbolism and there's pointless symbolism. In the case of Prince William's desire “to see all the ivory owned by Buckingham Palace destroyed ...Prince...
Telegraph.co.ukDuke of Cambridge wants to destroy royal ivory in fight against poachingTelegraph.co.ukThe Duke of Cambridge has spoken out against elephant poaching after he said he wants to destroy all the ivory from Buckingham Palace, it has been reported. The Duke is a strong supporter of fighting against the illegal trade of animals, having ......
eTurboNewsTanzania president says poaching boom threatens elephant populationReutersThe president announced plans to call for a global ban in the trade of ivory and rhino horn, as a new wave of poaching is threatening its elephant and rhino populations. "There is every sign that this animal (elephant) will become extinct in the near ...Tanzania's...
Men's JournalThe Ivory HighwayMen's JournalThin and jittery and wearing a Minnesota Timberwolves jersey, Pierre was a Cameroonian contract poacher. We had agreed to meet at a seedy hotel in Bertoua, a city in the country's sparsely populated southeast and a major ivory-smuggling hub, to discuss ...US launches crack down on Africa's $10bn a...

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For Immediate Release February 11, 2014

Ivory Trade Ban Essential to Save Elephants

As world leaders gather in London on 13 February to attend a summit – hosted by UK Prime Minister David Cameron and attended by Prince Charles and Prince William – to confront the escalating poaching crisis decimating the world’s iconic wildlife, 23 environmental, conservation, and animal welfare groups from 14 countries in Asia, Africa, Europe, and North America demand a permanent ban on both domestic and international trade in ivory and the destruction of all government-held stocks.

Experts estimate approximately 50,000 elephants were killed in 2013 to satisfy the demand for ivory – largely from China. This level of poaching has not been seen since the 1980s. Without urgent action to end the ivory trade now, elephants may soon become extinct in parts of their range in Africa and Asia. The poaching is also devastating rural communities, sustaining terrorist groups and armed militias, and driving domestic conflict. Tragically, more than 1,000 rangers have lost their lives worldwide in the fight against poaching over the last decade, with untold impacts on their families. The human toll does not stop there. Vulnerable communities are being exploited by traffickers and drawn into criminal activities, while tourism is being compromised amid the decline in security.

Over the past six years, enforcement authorities in Africa, Asia, and elsewhere have intercepted massive amounts of illegal ivory. In 2013 alone, at least 45 tonnes were seized. But considering that law enforcement experts estimate that 10 percent of illegally traded ivory is seized, far more has slipped through the net. Most of the illegal ivory is ending up in China to be sold as chopsticks, jewelry, and carvings. Japan also remains an important consumer of illegal ivory tusks through a government “registration” process, which every year legalizes tonnes of ivory of unknown origin.

Demand for ivory has been stimulated by two “experimental, one-off” sales approved by CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) – of 49 tonnes in 1999 and 108 tonnes in 2008, all from government stocks in southern Africa. Despite strong opposition by many non-governmental organizations, the 2008 sale allowed China to purchase 62 tonnes, fueling demand for ivory among increasingly affluent Chinese citizens, driving prices up, and facilitating the laundering of massive quantities of illegal ivory as “legal”.

“There is broad agreement that legalizing ivory trade to China and Japan has been a huge mistake. We need to learn from history and permanently shut down all ivory trade – international and domestic”, says Mary Rice, Executive Director, Environmental Investigation Agency.

A 1989 ban on ivory trade largely halted the slaughter of elephants by slashing the price of ivory and substantially reducing poaching – allowing elephant populations to recover. However, this successful policy has been undermined not only by the two stockpile sales, but also by persistent discussions in CITES aimed at legalising trade over the long-term.

Reducing demand for wildlife products is one of the stated goals of the London summit on illegal wildlife trade. A parallel legal trade in ivory, however, will negate demand-reduction efforts.

“If world leaders are serious about ending the illegal ivory trade, they need to urgently implement an ivory trade ban. This includes closing down domestic ivory markets around the world, especially in China and Japan, and stopping the ongoing debate about legalizing ivory trade”, states Sally Case, Chief Executive Officer, David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation. “Anything else will only add to the elephant body count, and drive the African and Asian elephants closer to extinction, fuel more conflict, and sacrifice the lives of more rangers”. The legal domestic ivory market in China is considered to be the greatest threat to elephants.

The elephant poaching crisis has not gone unnoticed by governments. In the last three years Gabon, the Philippines, and the United States have destroyed confiscated ivory stockpiles. In January 2014, China destroyed a portion of its stockpile. France crushed 3.4 tonnes in February 2014. And Hong Kong, a key destination and transit country for illegal ivory, is set to follow suit, with plans to crush more than 28 tonnes of ivory. Moreover, in an attempt to address the crisis, there have been numerous discussions and high level meetings held, new initiatives announced, and commitments and declarations issued.

Yet, the poaching of elephants will continue as long as ivory is a legal commodity, driving demand. “No amount of rhetoric, money, or enforcement actions will save elephants unless there is an immediate, permanent, and comprehensive ban on the trade in ivory”, declares Charlotte Nithart, Director of Robin des Bois.

Contacts:

Mary Rice, Environmental Investigation Agency, +44 7810 640 532

Vicky Flynn, David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation, +44 (0) 1483 272323

Alex Kennaugh, Natural Resources Defense Council, +44 795 041 6353

Charlotte Nithart, Robin des Bois, +33 1 48 04 09 36

Supporting organizations:

Amboseli Trust for Elephants

Animal Welfare Institute

Ateneo School of Government

Conservation Justice

The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust

David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation

Eco Activists for Governance & Law Enforcement

Elephant Action League

Elephant Family

ElephantVoices

Environmental Investigation Agency

Foundation Franz Weber

Hong Kong for Elephants

International Ranger Federation

Last Great Ape Organization

Natural Resources Defense Council

Projet d’Appui a l’Application de la Loi sur la Faune Sauvage

Pro Wildlife

Robin des Bois

The Thin Green Line Foundation

The Tsavo Trust

WildlifeDirect

Youth for Conservation

Telegraph.co.ukBotswana's rhino sanctuary leading the fight against ivory poachersTelegraph.co.ukThe maximum fine for poaching in Kenya was, until recently, £300. The Kenyans have just overhauled their Wildlife Act, significantly deepening punishments. Last month, a Chinese man found with 7.5lb of raw ivory was sentenced to seven years in a...
The GuardianAs ivory poaching returns to Africa's plains, campaigners pin hopes on curbing ...The Guardian"To stop the poacher, the trader must also be stopped; and to stop the trader, the final buyer must be convinced not to buy ivory," said Daniel Arap Moi, Kenya's then president. "I appeal to people all over the world to stop buying ivory."...
MetroRoyal father and son unite to bring down the ivory poachersTelegraph.co.ukThe Prince goes on to say that “the rising and apparently insatiable demand, much of it from Asia” has caused poaching to become criminalised, with gangs using helicopters, night vision equipment and assault rifles to slaughter big game. The Duke says...
RFIThe ivory tradeThe EconomistHopes are high that a conference on the illegal wildlife trade in London on February 13th will give the coalition against ivory poaching new impetus. Links between ivory traffickers and African militias such as the Lord's Resistance Army, a thuggish ...France crushes ivory in anti-poaching moveRFIFrance destroys...
Evening StandardEXCLUSIVE: Ivory poaching funds terrorism across Africa, warns HagueEvening StandardWhen people are willing to pay more for ivory than for gold, this is inevitable and we can't ignore it.” Until recently, the ivory trade was believed to be mainly driven by opportunistic poachers or demand from buyers of illegal goods in the...
Telegraph.co.ukOne man's war on the ivory poachers of GabonTelegraph.co.ukIn the past decade as many as 15,000 of its 22,000 forest elephants have been slaughtered; destroyed by China's lust for ivory and the avarice of its African accomplices. They have been killed by poachers with the help of illegal goldminers and Baka ......
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Kenya has passed it and now poachers face life in prison and very strong financial fines. Even if our poaching numbers are low, and I applaud law enforcement and UWA for that success, Uganda's name keeps coming up as a transit country for blood ivory ...Touris...
imageOrganized criminal networks are cashing in on the elephant poaching crisis, trafficking ivory in unprecedented volumes and operating with relative impunity and with little fear of prosecution,” says Tom Milliken, an expert on ivory trade...
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Police are said to be investigating an incident in which four people were allegedly shot and killed by suspected poachers in Binga, Matebeleland North. The dead are believed to be illegal ivory buyers who were killed following a dispute over the price ...and...
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Rangers in the Garamba national park in CAR have had running battles with Kony rebels as they try to poach. The rangers say that when hunting ivory, the resource-poor LRA uses ammunition unsparingly – an indication that the tusks are very valuable...
 
But Mathieu Eckel, head of the park's anti-poaching unit, knows that is quickly changing. For the past year, Eckel has been gathering evidence of Chinese involvement in ivory poaching, carving and trafficking right along the very same road. He now ...and more »...
The demand for it in China is growing and is causing poaching cases to rise, with criminal gangs in Sub-Saharan Africa routinely slaughter elephants for ivory markets in Asia, conversation groups have claimed. But activists have said the country's ......
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China destroys 6 tons of illegal ivory to prevent elephant poaching. Published January 06, 2014. Associated Press. China Ivory Destructi_Leff.jpg. Jan. 6, 2014 - Workers destroy illegal ivory in Dongguan, southern Guangdong province, China. China ...Opinion: China's Ivory Crush...
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The poachers are usually hiding firearms in the fishing camps," Mathieu Eckel briefs us as his anti-poaching unit's shaky metal boats speed down one of the rivers that snakes it way through the ...VIDEO: Elephant Poachers Become...
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In his desire to sell its meat and obtain ivory to sell to the poaching syndicates wreaking havoc across Africa, he lost his life – leaving his wife without a husband and his children fatherless. This happened two decades ago, but...
imageWhile most cases in Britain involve deer poaching, hare coursing and badger baiting, Dr Webster worked on an ivory case earlier this year which centred on species identification. The case ended up in court, but only because it was not known if the ...30 Nations...

As many of our supporters know, for the last couple of years ElephantVoices has been working with team members in Brazil to promote and support progressive legislation to end the antiquated practice of performing elephants. A connected strategy has been to explore the development of an elephant sanctuary in Brazil. Many captive elephants in Brazil and other South American countries are in dire need of better welfare and living conditions. To help put an end to their suffering, a sanctuary in Brazil is urgently needed.

Recently, Scott Blais, co-founder of The Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee, and his partner, Katherine Blais, have established a new non-profit entity, Global Sanctuary for Elephants (GSfE), with financial and other support from ElephantVoices.

Dedicated to the development and support of progressive, holistic, natural habitat elephant sanctuaries internationally, GSfE will spearhead the exciting and, for elephants, important effort in Brazil. Brazil is for many reasons a well suited location for a sanctuary - with the climate, available habitats permitting natural foraging and social behavior, the potential of progressive policies and a our established team of enthusiastic volunteers being just a few.

A collaborative initiative with ambitious goals

Joyce (far left) and Petter with Ana Zinger and Junia Machado, ElephantVoices Brasil. Photo: ElephantVoices. With their vast experience with captive elephants, Scott and Katherine will take the lead on this initiative working closely with ElephantVoices Brazil, while ElephantVoices Directors, Petter Granli and Dr. Joyce Poole, will continue to provide advice and consult on all major developments. ElephantVoices Brazil, the team of volunteers led by Junia Machado, will coordinate all on-the-ground activities, working with Brazilian officials, investigating new opportunities including exploration of possible properties to develop, and they will continue to build the fundamental, professional relationships so essential to moving this project forward. Together we have agreed that Elephant Sanctuary Brazil (ESB) will be fostered under the guiding principles previously established by ElephantVoices and available on Sanctuary for Elephants - Overall Principles.

ElephantVoices cares deeply about the long-term health and welfare of captive elephants. We feel confident that under the direction of Scott and Katherine, Elephant Sanctuary Brazil will transform the future for elephants in South America while also serving as an international benchmark for other sanctuary-initiatives to emulate. To see ESB up and running will be like a dream coming true.

Lots of hard work ahead - Brazil has highest priority

As we now set out on the long road forward, several phases need to be developed and substantial funds need to be raised to bring Elephant Sanctuary Brazil to fruition. The first phase of development is for Scott and Kat to join ElephantVoices team members on the ground in Brazil to finalize plans moving forward, and to gather the basis for a sanctuary prospectus. While in Brazil, they will assess identified properties for potential development, meet with key government officials and Brazilian stakeholders and investigate construction options that will allow us to formalize the long-term financial needs and to formulate land acquisition and construction budgets.

In addition to human resources, ElephantVoices has committed $10,000 toward the $30,000 budget needed to fund this first phase and we have already received another $3,500 from supporting animal welfare groups. Now the project team will be working to secure the remaining $16,500 to expedite the first phase toward helping elephants in South America walk and live in sanctuary.

 

We urge you to consider supporting ESB and/or GSfE

For the past 20 years we have witnessed the tremendous impact of two iconic elephant sanctuaries in North America, The Elephant Sanctuary (TES) and Performing Animal Welfare Society (PAWS), as they have transformed the lives of those lucky enough to find sanctuary. You can be a part of making that dream a reality for elephants throughout South America. With your support of Elephant Sanctuary Brazil, together we can ensure that those elephants who have already served a life sentence performing, can soon find the peace, space and autonomy they need and deserve. We request the help of everyone (individuals, companies and animal welfare agencies alike) committed to working for a better quality of life for elephants to help raise the funds needed to move this pivotal first phase forward.

Please donate online through one of the links below:
Global Sanctuary for Elephants
Crowdfunding campaign for Elephant Sanctuary Brasil
ElephantVoices. If you donate through ElephantVoices, be certain to designate your funds for the Elephant Sanctuary Brazil Project on the dropdown menu.

Poor Semba passed away - we need to move forward NOW

Late elephant Semba.Over the past few weeks we’ve learned that Semba, a circus elephant who spent her life on the road across South America, and who we hoped would one day find freedom at Elephant Sanctuary Brazil, passed away without warning. We don’t know any details about her cause of death, but we do know that her life will not be forgotten as we push forward with greater urgency to ensure that other captive elephants are offered a freedom Semba was denied.

Follow us on Facebook to hear more about the latest developments toward a compassionate future for elephants in Brazil and throughout South America. You'll find more information on:

- ElephantVoices
- Global Sanctuary for Elephants
- GSfE on facebook
- Elephant Sanctuary Brazil

For inquires or offers of assistance please contact:
in the U.S. – Scott Blais
in Brazil – Junia Machado

Since the origin of elephants, about 60 million years ago, the order Proboscidea has included at least 160 species in 39 genera, in an extraordinary array of forms. The African and Asian elephants existing today are the sole remnants of that spectacular radiation, and they, too, may be close to the end of their time on earth.

It was with decades of experience studying elephant communication and behavior and an equal number of years witnessing, firsthand, the suffering of elephants, that we envisioned something along the lines of a Bill of Rights for elephants. It seemed that, no matter where we turned, there were issues related to the treament of elephants. management practices, poaching for ivory, capture of elephants for captivity, and the holding of elephants captive led us to ask: How should we treat these extraordinarily complex, intelligent, social beings? What rights to exist or to be given fair treatment should they have in our anthropocentric world? The Elephant Charter, written in 2007, was the result.

As initiators of the Elephant Charter we wish to share with you its preamble, which resonates even more powerfully today than when it was written in 2007. The Elephant Charter has per September 2013 been signed by well over 50 elephant biologists, more than 130 elephant professionals and over 1,400 friends of elephants. Please join us by signing The Elephant Charter and helping to change the way people think about our planet and all of its inhabitants.

The preample to the Elephant Charter begins:

"For thousands of years, people have praised and punished, elevated and degraded, revered and feared elephants. Now, the earth’s largest living land mammal is under threat, and with it a host of ecosystems. The destruction of elephants and their habitats has annihilated entire populations and pushed others close to the brink of extinction. Furthermore, the regular exploitation and abuse of individual elephants is a source of preventable suffering.

The preservation of elephants is vital to the health of the natural world and to the heritage of future generations; mistreatment of them is unworthy of our species. We, the undersigned scientists and conservationists, affirm that elephants are unique, important and irreplaceable. We, therefore, hereby introduce an Elephant Charter to promote the protection of all elephants from human conduct and institutions that cause their needless suffering or loss of life.

We recognise the right of people to go about their daily activities and economies without threat to life or livelihood from elephants. Nevertheless, when human endeavours threaten the future survival of elephants, people must examine their collective behaviour in relation to the needs of other species. We have reached such a time...."

 

 

The purpose of The Elephant Charter is to provide a set of guiding Principles, based on elephant biology, to form a touchstone for anyone needing to address elephant interests. Buttressed by its Appendix, The Elephant Charter represents a consensus of the nature of elephants. It is intended to promote scientifically sound and ethical management and care of all elephants, providing guidance to law and policy makers, enforcement agencies and the courts, organizations, institutions and international bodies, as well as to managers of wild and captive elephants.

Link to The Elephant Charter, Signatory Section The Elephant Charter is independent of any particular group or institution. Rather, its force comes from the expertise and stature of the elephant biologists who are its signatories. Its authors, Joyce Poole, Cynthia Moss, Raman Sukumar, Andrea Turkalo and Katy Payne are eminent elephant field biologists representing the longest studied populations of African savannah, Asian and African forest elephants: the elephants of Amboseli, Mudumalai and Dzanga Bai. With four decades of groundbreaking research on wild elephants, together with the research of our many colleagues, we are collectively in a position to speak with confidence about the interests of elephants wherever they may be.

We urge you to visit The Elephant Charter, and to Join as a Signatory either you are an Elephant Biologist, Elephant Professional or Elephant Friend.

Our individual and collective voices are vital to the future of elephants!

Long-term studies of animals in their natural habitats have led conservationists to recognize that the well being of individual animals has an impact on the survival of entire societies. The lives of individual animals matter, because what we do to them has consequences for their well being and for the health of the complex societies in which they live. The continued existence of populations of social species, like elephants, is dependent upon the endurance of friendships and the integrity of families and clans.

Individual elephants are the building blocks of elephant families and it is the relationships within and between families that makes a functioning society. Yet, in the name of conservation and "sustainable utilization" these individual building blocks of societies are often forgotten, purposefully ignored and disposed of as organizations and nations barter away lives to supply the ivory trade, provide for a hunter's bullet and supply captives for zoos, circuses and elephant-back safaris.

The committment of individual people to individual animals lies at the heart of the newly recognized field of Compassionate Conservation - an approach that has always formed a foundation of ElephantVoices. We work toward a day when individual animals, their habitats and ecosystems are protected and sustained by individual people, their families and entire communities. Through our citizen science projects, Facebook, ElephantVoices.org and other outreach, we endeavor to link elephants and people across countries and continents.

The presentation embedded below was given at the Compassionate Conservation conference held at University of Oxford in September 2010. There were 150 participants from 22 countries representing all continents. The recognition of compassionate conservation was long overdue.

During coalitions, following a successful, collective rout of an adversary or a predator (often people), the participating elephants may come together in an exuberant display to celebrate their success. The elephants vocalize loudly,  secrete Temporin, while Tail-Raising, Spinning and High-Fiving one another. A more subtle form of this behavior may sometimes be observered prior to a Group-Advance or Group-Charge and appears to be a call to targeted action among family members.
During coalitions, following a successful, collective rout of an adversary or a predator (often people), the participating elephants may come together in an exuberant display to celebrate their success. The elephants vocalize loudly,  secrete Temporin, while Tail-Raising, Spinning and High-Fiving one another. A more subtle form of this behavior may sometimes be observered prior to a Group-Advance or Group-Charge and appears to be a call to targeted action among family members.
During coalitions, following a successful, collective rout of an adversary or a predator (often people), the participating elephants may come together and, standing face to face, they may raise and intertwine their trunks, open their mouths and vocalize. In extreme cases they may even press their open mouths together. A more subtle form of this behavior may sometimes be observered prior to a Group-Advance or Group-Charge and appears to be a call to targeted action among family members.
During coalitions, following a successful, collective rout of an adversary or a predator (often people), the participating elephants may come together and, standing face to face, they may raise and intertwine their trunks, open their mouths and vocalize. In extreme cases they may even press their open mouths together. A more subtle form of this behavior may sometimes be observered prior to a Group-Advance or Group-Charge and appears to be a call to targeted action among family members.
During coalitions, following a successful, collective rout of an adversary or a predator (often people), the participating elephants may come together and, standing face to face, they may raise and intertwine their trunks, open their mouths and vocalize. In extreme cases they may even press their open mouths together. A more subtle form of this behavior may sometimes be observered prior to a Group-Advance or Group-Charge and appears to be a call to targeted action among family members.
An elephant walking perpendicular to a predator, but with the head held high and turned slightly toward its adversary. This behavior is a good predictor of a real charge.

Reports in the media have raised concerns that poachers may be using social media to track down and kill elephants. Members of the public have echoed these concerns. Since ElephantVoices conservation project in the Maasai Mara, Kenya, Elephant Partners, involves participation by the public and the sharing of data on elephants we wish to contribute our perspective on this serious and important topic.

There are many online sources where relatively precise information about elephant locations can be found, and it is impossible to keep such information out of the public domain. Visitors to elephant habitats inside and outside protected areas use their GPS-enabled cameras and phones, and they post on Facebook, blogs, Flickr, Google Earth and elsewhere. The sharing of information in our digital age is increasing and is without boundaries or limits, and this we cannot control.

In the Mara ecosystem elephants are being killed with spears, arrows and guns as well as through other methods. These killings are mostly carried out by individuals from the local community who don't need the help of social media to find elephants. In the real and gruesome world of poaching, the whole chain of buyers, smugglers and middlemen including crime syndicates involved, rely on the knowledge and willingness of local people to track down elephants. Middlemen could, in principle, ask these individuals to source ivory from specific areas that they feel might be lucrative. The possibility that these traders might use social media is obviously of concern.

Our perspective is that unless we are going to keep elephants behind secure fences, the sharing of knowledge and the engagement of people in conservation is the only way we will be able to protect elephants in the long term. Social media, such as Facebook, can be instrumental in creating awareness globally and for engaging members of local communities in conservation. Information shared can include news, the exchange of ideas and views, solutions to problems, poaching incidents and the movements of wildlife. Such information sharing, and the compassion, knowledge and understanding it leads to, is the key to wildlife sustainability and protection.

Unfortunately elephants cannot hide anymore, and we shouldn't try to hide them - we need to know them, share their stories and protect them where they are. That said ElephantVoices will not in any way risk that the data we collect might be used by criminals to source elephants. Since our databases were launched in 2011 we have had in place a time delay on locational data. However, in 2012, with poaching escalating and the Mara seeing increasing numbers of elephants being killed, we implemented password-protection of the databases. Those wishing to use them must register by providing some personal information, and be approved by ElephantVoices.

ElephantVoices, September 2012

In June, faciliated by the Humane Society International, I was invited by the Chinese Association of Zoological Gardens (CAZG) to attend a two day meeting of 47 Chinese Zoo Directors in Shenzhen, China. My invitation followed the bad press that China received in relation to the importation of baby elephants from Zimbabwe late last year. At least one of these babies died and another became seriously ill. Zimbabwe had earlier given assurances that it would stop the capture of baby elephants for captivity and the news of the shipment and deaths and rumour that more babies were awaiting capture and export, prompted an international outcry.

The CAGZ was eager not to be caught up in such exposure again and I was asked to give a 90 minute presentation on the topic of "The Importance of Animal Behavior in Import Decisions". The trip to China offered an excellent opportunity to also speak about another topic involving elephants and China and Petter and I decided that I should extend my stay to include Hong Kong and Beijing to talk about elephants, poaching and the ivory trade.

I arrived in Hong Kong on the afternoon 14 June and that evening gave a lecture on elephants and the ivory trade at the Royal Geographical Society and an interview with Jennifer Ngo of the South China Morning Post (click for headline). Jennifer’s article was picked up by The Daily Mail and also the New York Times and Asia News.

The following morning, 15 June, I was interviewed by freelance journalist, Kate Whitehead, and by Joyee Chan, who wrote an article for the Young Readers edition of the South China Morning Post published on 2 July.

That afternoon in a Starbucks in Kowloon was the first meeting of a loose group of people who are keen to do something to stop the trafficking of ivory through Hong Kong and into China. In the photographs below from left to right Christian Pilard (Eco-Sys Action Foundation), Joyce Lau and Victoria Chin (both Jane Goodall Institute), Alex Hofford (Conservation Photo journalist), Joyce Poole (ElephantVoices) and Iris Ho (Humane Society International). Alex took some photos while showing me a couple of ivory outlets in Hong Kong - I wasn't amused.

Celia Ho, the "Elephant Girl" arrived soon afterwards and we had a really nice meeting just the two of us, in which she presented me with an origami elephants with the words “Every Tusk Costs a Life, Don’t Buy Ivory” written on it.

The following morning, 16 June, Iris Ho and I took the train to the border and crossed into mainland China and on to the Zoo Director’s meeting in Shenzhen. I spoke to the Directors on 18 June, using the occasion to introduce the audience to elephant society and behavior, why the capture and importation of baby elephants is a very bad idea and why elephants don’t do well in captivity. You'll find my summary slide here. I also asked the Zoo Directors to educate their visitors not to buy ivory - but it is fair to say that they didn't particularly like the Every Tusk Costs a Life campaign artwork I showed them. I was forgiven, one of them said, for not knowing that the artwork spelled China in Mandarin...

On 19th I flew from Shenzhen in southern China to Beijing, where I spent the last four days of my China trip, primarily in the care of IFAW and, most particularly, Qi Zhang, or “Sabrina”. She came to meet me at my hotel that evening and took me on my only real touristic experience, which was a delicious meal at a classic Chinese restaurant, a visit to Tianamen Square and a drive through a hutong by bicycle rickshaw.

On the morning 20th I was met at my hotel by Chunmei Hu, a young Chinese student who has just graduated from Veterinary School and hopes to work in an animal rescue center. I had "met" Chunmei via email earlier in the year when the news of the death of the Zimbabwean baby elephant broke in China and made waves around the world. Chunmei and I have been corresponding since then about the plight of elephants in Chinese Zoos, and she wanted me to speak at a symposium of Zoo Watch China. She took me out to lunch prior to the gathering where I met some of her animal welfare colleagues including Prof. Ping Mang from the Academy of Chinese Culture.

Professor Mang coordinated the symposium which included several presentations on the state of elephants in Chinese Zoos as well as some of the legal problems related to the law - or lack thereof - for animal protection. The photographs and videos that were shown were completely heartbreaking. It may be a good thing that I didn’t see them before I gave my talk to the Zoo Directors. I had been given clear instructions not to mention any Chinese elephant welfare examples, to avoid embarrassing the Directors, but I don’t think I would have been able to keep silent had I seen the images first. The symposium was well attended by journalists and I gave a couple of interviews after the Symposium including with China Daily, also covered in it's US version and the Global Times.

The schedule of 21 June began at 10:00 a.m. with a meeting with the Head of the Department of Wild Animal Protection and the Head and Deputy Head of the Division of Wild Animal Conservation and Management to discuss the ivory trade. It took quite a bit of effort to achieve the meeting and I had been forewarned that this Ministry, which is home to both the CITES Managament Authority and the CAZG, is known for being very conservative on issues related to animal welfare and ivory trade. When I broached the topic of China’s involvement in the illegal ivory trade they responded with a list of arguments that can only be read as denial.

For example, I was told that since 1900 colonials killed 8 million of Africa’s elephants; that some 800 tons of ivory is being traded on the Internet by the United States and other countries masquerading as pre-ban ivory; China has very good law enforcement/regulations and, therefore, it is not China that is at fault, but her neighboring countries; rumors of the hoarding of ivory and rumors of high prices are killing the elephant, not China (i.e. it is rumor-mongering that is leading to escalated poaching not facts); and when I asked how they were going to meet CITES recommendation to reduce demand, I was told that China has good education to restrict people to purchasing just legal stock.

The meeting was useful in that I learned that to change the status quo we cannot rely on bureaucrats associated with China's CITES Management Authority. I was reminded again that CITES is an international body mandated to regulate trade in wildlife products; it is not a wildlife conservation body. These individuals are too pro trade to be able to admit that their Ministry is failing to control the ivory trade, nor to be able to see that that failure is ruining China’s reputation in the eyes of the world.

The meeting was followed by four interviews all organized by IFAW China - the first with CCTV, followed by a radio interview with China Radio International, then another with China Daily and, finally, an unusual and interesting interview with an engaging journalist, Gao Wenxing, of the China Philanthropy Times, which falls under the Ministry of Civil Affairs.

In the meantime, on the same day, far away in the Philippines, the crushing of a five-ton ivory stockpile was underway. This event was covered by the New York Times, which made mention of my trip.

On my last day in Beijing, 22 June, I gave a final lecture which was held in the Auditorium of the National Academy of Sciences. The event was organized by IFAW and their team coordinated by Sabrina did a fantastic job. Imagine my surprise when we pulled up to the Academy of Sciences and there, attached securely to the side of the building, was the most enormous banner announcing the lecture with pictures of elephants and me:-).

As I was speaking to the interpreter in a side room, the air suddenly began to vibrate with the sound of “Ele-Beats”. Sabrina had found it on our website and downloaded it for people to listen to as they registered. There was no need to check the sound system – the woofers were certainly fit for low frequency elephant rumbles! When I walked into the 300-seat auditorium I had my next surprise. The screen was enormous – stretching the entire width of the room and Sabrina and the IFAW team had put together a slide show of elephants and the history of Joyce. I was astonished!

As “Ele-Beats” played on and on (and on!), the auditorium gradually filled up with parents and small children, primary school and secondary school students, teachers, scientists, professors, members of the press and Li Bingbing’s assistant, Eline, whom I had been looking forward to meeting. And then it was time to speak to this vibrant crowd.

Grace Gabriel had organized a panel discussion afterwards and time for Q&A. So when I had finished speaking Grace, Jie Yu of the Nature Conservancy (who co-sponsored the talk with IFAW) and CCTV Host, Yue Zhang, (introduced to me as "China’s Oprah Winfrey" as I was to soon understood why!), joined me on stage. Yue Zhang spoke passionately about elephants and other animals and did a fantastic job of leading the questions and keeping the discussion lively. That hour-long Q&A was my next China surprise. I was blown-away by the caliber of questions from the audience – from both young and old, layman and professional. I have given many talks, but this was the most intelligent and compassionate audience I have ever had the pleasure to engage with.

So what did I learn and ElephantVoices achieve? And what can YOU do? I went to China not knowing what to expect. I, admittedly, went in despair over the elephant poaching horror and China's key role in it confirmed by facts and figures of ivory shipments from well reputed sources. The sad situation simply cannot be denied, even though many government officials are trying to do so. I am more convinced than ever before that ALL trade must be banned, to send the clear signals so much needed.

It is obviously impossible to know if my lectures, meetings and the many headlines that have followed have made any impression on those in power. However, having met so many outward and forward looking, curious people who care deeply about the world they inhabit, I have come away with more optimism.

We all know that the effort to educate people about the connection between the purchase of ivory and the killing of elephants needs to be widespread and massive. And we urgently need the Chinese government to be loud and clear in communicating that it is shameful and embarrassing for China to be seen by the global community as responsible for the buying of body parts that, accumulated, leaves tens of thousands of elephants dead in Africa every year. As a colossal investor in Africa, China has a lot to lose if the death and destruction continues. We can only dare to hope that those behind China's new "soft power" approach will take the lead in turning the fate of elephants around. We will all lose part of our pride, and our soul, if the killing of elephants doesn't stop.

You can be part of the tsunami needed to create change - to save elephants. You may not be able to inspire more diplomatic approaches, but you can write on Facebook, get a friend to post on Weibo, contact your politician, talk to a journalist - and participate in upcoming marches and other arrangements focusing on the ivory trade and what urgently should be done. In any way you can, try to ensure that the message is shared in a medium that can reach someone in China. Please include information that people should know about in that regard in the comment field below this blog post. Your suggestions and thoughts are welcome!

I'd like to send a warm Thank You to all my new friends in Hong Kong and mainland China - the hospitality and kind and efficient efforts by so many made a huge difference to my busy program. A special thank you to Jacqueline and William Furniss for hosting me in Hong Kong, and to the Humane Society International and International Fund for Animal Welfare for inspiration and support.

Trumpets,
Joyce signature.

Two days after an upsetting e-mail about the slaughter of a pregnant female elephant from our long-time friend and Kenya Elephant Forum collegaue, Kuki Gallmann, we received another. A second pregnant female elephant has been killed for her ivory. She was shot on 22nd, but survived another two days. We are talking about tiny tusks. Males with big tusks are rare to see in Laikipia these days. Elephant poached on 22 June 2013 - died on 24 June.We are talking about a wonderful, intelligent creature and her unborn baby, killed because of greed; supplying what the market is willing to pay for. A long chain from the killer, to the unscrupulous local middleman, through the big-wigs greasing the wheels of corruption (likely public servants on both side of the ocean) to the dealer and into the hands of the uncaring or ignorant buyer, most likely in Asia. Kenya's heritage, tourism and work places are not factors. Nor is the suffering of the young female and her unborn child.

Joyce is just back from China, a growing super-power which, based on reliable facts and figures from CITES, accounts for 40% of the illegal ivory trade. China should be embarrassed by these photographs which represent the reality of the demand for ivory as a status symbol among the country's growing middle class. Meanwhile, those of us in Africa continue to be confronted with the daily brutality, trauma and death among the declining elephant populations in many elephant range states. Official mortality figures don't include the deaths of the orphaned babies who cannot cope without their mothers. In the case of a pregnant elephant the result is obvious and heart-wrenchingly sickening. Read Kuki Gallmann's words to us as part of the Kenya Elephant Forum. The world must wake up - NOW!

Dear Friends,

With a sinking heart I report from the field:
Birds waking up in the garden, festive dogs, promise of sunshine, work to do. One early morning like many others. Then... Radio call, phone calls, phone messages, all at once. Another elephant found. Dam Kiboko. Dead in the water. Tusks intact. Pitiful tusks. Rangers deployed, KWS deployed and I drive there, with Sveva.

Official facts and figures:

  • Elephant: Female
  • Estimated age: 20
  • Cause of death: Shot by poachers
  • Date of incident: 21/6/ 2013
  • Date of death: Night between 23/24 /6/2013
  • Location gps: 37N 0202345 UTM 0055820
  • Location-found: Dam Kiboko. Time: Today 24th, 7 am
  • By: Driver Wilson Chelule
  • Tusks: Retrieved.
  • Weight: 2 kg and 2.1 kg = total 4.1 kg
  • Shot by: Same three men as report 21/6/2013; they wounded her
  • Comments: Pregnant and about to calve

This is the second elephant female we find in two days; the second casualty overall in 2013. Shot in same incident, at dusk. Wounded, she survived two days. Very pregnant. Very young: first calf. Conceived here, she was born here, grown here to follow her mother and family, migrating periodically to the Aberdares through increasingly fragmented dangerous land, back here every June in the migratory season along their now interrupted migratory routes. Back here again to be bred in the mating season: and now back to give birth, in what used to be their safe heaven. She died in the water. She died in a dam with pelicans, where elephant play; in a forested area they love, where they used to be secure.

Kiboko Dam, April 2012. Photo: Bianca Notarbartolo di Sciara.
Kiboko Dam, April 2012.

Kiboko Dam, 24th June 2013. Photo: Sveva Gallmann.
Kiboko Dam, 24th June 2013.

What did she die for? Three dead elephants in two days. Two here one at Mugie, next door. But all pregnant females, dead are the calves. Six dead. What has changed after a peaceful year? Why now? The Rift Valley dealers are back.

Young pregnant females are giving birth, now, here. THEY ARE COMNG BACK FROM FAR. WE SEE NO MALES. THOSE HAVE BEEN KILLED LONG AGO, IT IS THEIR CALVES THAT ARE BORN TWENTY-TWO MONTHS LATER. We need more rangers to look after them, and we need help.

Kuki, Sveva and Team in Ol ari Nyiro,
Laikipia Nature Conservancy
On the Great Rift Valley of Kenya, on a SAD SAD SAD 24th June 2013
https://www.facebook.com/KukiGallmann -  www.gallmannkenya.org

After a tractor pulled the dead elephant out of the water, the rangers removed the tusks and slit the stomach for the predators to speed up the recycling process. Photo: Sveva Gallmann.
After a tractor pulled the dead elephant out of the water, the rangers removed the tusks and slit the stomach for the predators to speed up the recycling process. Photo: Sveva Gallmann.

When this is posted Joyce is on her way to China. A couple of hours after her arrival in Hong Kong tomorrow afternoon (14th June) she will hold a lecture at the Royal Geographical Society. During her 10 day visit to Hong Kong and mainland China - to Shenzhen and Beijing - she will hold 4 lectures and several meetings. She will also meet up with representatives of the Chinese media - all with the objective to spread the word about what is happening to Africa's elephants and promoting the need for superpower China to be part of the solution.

She will furthermore talk about why the export of baby elephants from Africa to zoo's around the world is a very bad idea. China has a lot to gain by helping Africa to protect its wildlife, particularly as a big investor on the African continent. The economy and stability of many African countries are threatened along with their elephants - tourism, work places and biodiversity will be severely impacted if the killings of elephants continue. ElephantVoices' goal during Joyce's visit is not to throw accusations - but to share the facts about the dramatic increase in demand for ivory and the disastrous consequences for the forests and savannas of Africa.

Joyce will also talk about ElephantVoices ivory trade campaign - Every Tusk Costs a Life. She is bringing with her the campaign posters. We would be very grateful if during her stay in China you would share our campaign with friends - and we would be thrilled if you used the campaign material on top of your Facebook page from Friday 15 June and the rest of the following week. The 6 versions of the artwork are all prepared in the correct size - you can download them all either below or "take them" from ElephantVoices on Facebook!

Act NOW. The writing is on the wall for elephants!

icon EVERY TUSK COSTS A LIFE - FACEBOOK DAY 1 (81.95 kB)

icon EVERY TUSK COSTS A LIFE - FACEBOOK DAY 2 (42.31 kB)

icon EVERY TUSK COSTS A LIFE - FACEBOOK DAY 3 (81.95 kB)

icon EVERY TUSK COSTS A LIFE - FACEBOOK DAY 4 (41.83 kB)

icon EVERY TUSK COSTS A LIFE - FACEBOOK DAY 5 (93.73 kB)

icon EVERY TUSK COSTS A LIFE - FACEBOOK DAY 6 (48.69 kB)

You can download all the original campaign files via this link, and use them for any non-commercial purpose meant to reduce the global trade in ivory and poaching of elephants. Read more about the campaign and the artwork by Asher Jay on this page.

Tusk USA is generously organizing a reception for ElephantVoices at the Explorer's Club in New York City on Wednesday 15th May, where Joyce will be holding a lecture: An Elephant Network: Conservation and the Power of the Crowd in the Maasai Mara. The funds raised will go toward Elephant Partners, ElephantVoices' citizen science-based conservation initiative for the Maasai Mara ecosystem. You'll find more details about the venue on the invitation card - click on it to enlarge - and visit Eventbrite to secure your attendance.

To reach our ambitious goals for this project we are looking at a three-year horizon (to end 2015), with our own time, the running of our old Toyota Land Cruiser, equipment, lodging and material for educational outreach in the Mara, as primary cost components. We will be spending six months of each year in Kenya. Elephant Partners engages guides, scouts, researchers, photographers, tourists, and people of the Maasai Mara ecosystem in the monitoring and protection of elephants through the use of unique cellphone- and web-solutions developed by ElephantVoices. Using the Internet and social and educational media, and hands-on training, we are developing a community of Elephant Partners who are sharing their knowledge of the Mara elephants and working together to protect them. Come and hear what we have learned about the elephants through the eyes and ears of many.

Please RSVP through http://tuskusa-joycepoole.eventbrite.com - and share this page (upper right corner) with others who may be interested in attending! If you cannot attend, but want to support, please check out our dedicated page on Crowdrise or visit our donation page on ElephantVoices.

We look forward to seeing you at the Explorer's Club!

Trumpets, Joyce and Petter

The powerful, thought-provoking HBO-documentary An Apology To Elephants debuts on Earth Day on HBO & HBO GO' in the US, Monday 22 April, 7:00-7:45 ET/PT. The film explores the beauty and intelligence of elephants, and tells the troubling story of their exploitation in captivity.

An Apology to Elephants is a call for compassion and better treatment, and a plea to save what's left of the wild in our world.

ElephantVoices' Joyce Poole are among those presenting what elephants are about, and why they don't thrive in captivity.

You can watch the trailer for An Apology to Elephants through this link, or at the bottom of this page, read the synopsis here and set a reminder by clicking on the screenshot to the right. You should know that all these pages may take quite a few seconds to load.

This is what The Hollywood Reporter wrote about the film - "A succinct, graceful argument to save an endangered species."

The film will be aired also in some countries outside the US, and we will update this page when we have more information.

 

 

ElephantVoices has launched a campaign against the ivory trade based on the creation of two powerful pieces of graphic art by New York artist, Asher Jay. The artwork with the slogans, EVERY TUSK COSTS A LIFE; DON'T BUY IVORY and EVERY TUSK COSTS A LIFE; STOP THE TRADE target the both potential buyers, and decision-makers, expressing our view that the only way to stop the wanton slaughter of elephants is to choke demand for ivory and stop all trade. There are English versions of both artworks/slogans, and Chinese versions of the artworks with the DON'T BUY IVORY slogan. You can see all versions in a slideshow by clicking on one of the artworks.

The whole chain of countries and people involved, from the buyer of ivory to the poacher on the ground, have to be inspired and forced to stop the killings. As a new superpower, and currently consuming a huge volume of ivory, China has a special responsibility to ensure that the killing stops.

With help of collaborators, ElephantVoices is trying to reach out around the world with these messages. We need your assistance, too. Millions of people, potential buyers of ivory, don't know that elephants are dying in record-high numbers for trinkets and decorations. We urge any and all to spread these messages far and wide.

Please go to ElephantVoices Document Center to download the appropriate files. Keeping the artist's name and ElephantVoices intact, in due respect of copyright, spread the message in every way you can. Share on your Facebook page and on social networks in Asia and elsewhere. Make T-shirts, bumper-stickers, posters, and banners. Wear them, give them to friends, put them on your house, your car, your backpack. Arrange walks, meetings, contact your local media, discuss with your friends. Act NOW. The writing is on the wall for elephants.

You can check out all files available via this link, and download the file(s) of your choice for any non-commercial purpose meant to reduce the global trade in ivory and poaching of elephants.

Artwork 1: Yellow Stars Shed Light (Note that the elephant in Chinese characters, spells China).

There are too many people buying ivory in too many countries. The current demand for elephant tusks is unsustainable and is swiftly mining Africa's elephants. The largest demand is in China and, hence, the Chinese government and her people have a special responsibility for taking a lead to end the decimation of elephants. China was permitted to buy a restricted amount of ivory from stockpiles, a decision by the international community that has caused immense harm to elephants. Ninety percent of the ivory available in China is from slaughtered elephants, illegally sourced, traded and sold. Chinese buyers deserve to know that tens of thousands of elephants are being killed to supply them with ivory. Every tusk costs a life.

China has the ability to raise public awareness and to enforce their strict laws to quickly strangle the trading, buying and poaching. China can stop her countrymen causing the destruction of Africa's heritage and biodiversity, while concurrently protecting her enormous investments on the African continent. We urge China to take action now to end any trade in ivory - we cannot afford to lose Africa's keystone species. 中国 Zh

PRESS RELEASE 18TH MARCH 2013

ElephantVoices is launching a campaign against the ivory trade, which is causing the slaughter of tens of thousands of elephants every year. Elephant expert and Co-Founder of ElephantVoices, Dr. Joyce Poole, observes, "It is with a sense of déjà vu and deep sorrow, though little surprise, that following the torpedoing of the 1989 ban by the 'one-off' sales of ivory stockpiles, we find ourselves living through, and battling against, another elephant massacre." Two weeks before the delegates to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) meet in Bangkok, Thailand, to discuss the fate of elephants once more, ElephantVoices reminds the world that each new tusk on the market means more death, trauma and destruction.

"We are asking people to help us reach out to potential buyers of ivory who don't realize that elephants are dying in record-high numbers for trinkets and decorations. The only way to stop this wanton slaughter of elephants is to choke demand for ivory and stop the trade," states Joyce Poole.

ElephantVoices is basing its campaign on two powerful pieces of graphic art by New York artist, Asher Jay. The artworks, with the slogans, EVERY TUSK COSTS A LIFE; DON'T BUY IVORY and EVERY TUSK COSTS A LIFE; STOP THE TRADE, target potential buyers and decision-makers, and are also specifically directed toward a Chinese audience. "ElephantVoices is doing something unique by making the graphic art available online in several versions, so they can be shared on social networks and be used for T-shirts, bumper-stickers, posters and banners", says Executive Director, Petter Granli.

"We urge people to share these messages far and wide, making them go viral. The poaching is endangering elephants, jeopardizing biodiversity, and threatening tourism, people's livelihoods and stability in elephant range states. The writing is on the wall for elephants and we must act now", says Joyce Poole.

Yellow Stars Shed Light

There are too many people buying ivory in too many countries. The current demand for elephant tusks is unsustainable and is swiftly mining Africa's elephants. The largest demand is in China and, hence, the Chinese government and her people have a special responsibility for taking a lead to end the decimation of elephants. China was permitted to buy a restricted amount of ivory from stockpiles, a decision by the international community that has caused immense harm to elephants. Ninety percent of the ivory available in China is from slaughtered elephants, illegally sourced, traded and sold. Chinese buyers deserve to know that tens of thousands of elephants are being killed to supply them with ivory. Every tusk costs a life.

China has the ability to raise public awareness and to enforce their strict laws to quickly strangle the trading, buying and poaching. China can stop her countrymen causing the destruction of Africa's heritage and biodiversity, while concurrently protecting her enormous investments on the African continent. We urge China to take action now to end any trade in ivory - we cannot afford to lose Africa's keystone species. 中国 Zh

The plight of Shankar in Delhi Zoo, the lone African elephant from Zimbabwe, continues to baffle and amaze wildlife lovers and animal welfare/rights activists nationally and internationally. Three years after highlighting his plight here on ElephantVoices, Shankar is still chained, still beaten and has no company of his own species. The best option is for the Indian government to send Shankar away to a wildlife refuge in Africa, in Kenya preferably where he can live among his own kind. To achieve that there has to be a way to overcome the halo surrounding his status as a diplomatic gift.

Shankar's plight illustrates the sordid state of African Elephants in captivity in India, with the two animals in deplorable conditions in Mysore Zoo as other grim examples, says Shubhobroto Ghosh, author of The Indian Zoo Inquiry(1.14 MB). In this synopsis (1.36 MB) Ghosh describes the fortunes of African elephants in Indian Zoos and in particular a pair from Zimbabwe that were given in 1998 as a diplomatic gift to the Indian President. We urge all friends of Zimbabwe to do what they can to convince the Government that what they are doing is of disservice also for their tourism industry and their own people.

In the synopsis Ghosh strongly urges range states to leave free-ranging African and Asian elephants strictly where they belong - in the wild. In late 2009 India took the enlightened step of banning elephant from zoos - applauded from around the world.

Zoo elephants shunned of basic needs

Dr. Sunil Srivastava, a veterinary doctor with 25 years experience and Delhi representative of international animal rights organisation Animal Equality says, “In the wild animals have their roles and jobs to fulfill. The natural behaviour exercised by them provides the required physical and mental stimulation. But zoo elephants are shunned of their basic needs and Shankar is no exception to this. During my early days when I volunteered with the Delhi zoo, I noticed deep bruises on the ankles of elephants, a result of their struggle to get out of the chains. One of the Delhi zoo keepers agrees that elephants are chained during the period of musth.

Dear Friends of ElephantVoices,

Petter and JoyceWe are pleased to share our elephant news with you once again. During a time when every new day brings headlines about the devastating poaching crisis, we are non-the-less making positive steps forward in our work for elephants. We are delighted to report that we have received a three year grant from JRS Biodiversity Foundation for our elephant conservation initiative in the Maasai Mara, Kenya. We think the potential in a citizen science and web-based approach to elephant conservation is substantial, and we are using some of the same tools in the project we are developing in Gorongosa, Mozambique.

Poaching IS spiraling out of control and only the entire world acting together will save the planet's remaining elephants. YOU can contribute by spreading the word through your network to every corner of the globe - elephants are in serious trouble and the world needs to ACT NOW: STOP the BUYING and SELLING of IVORY!

We still have a ways to go to cover our funding requirements for 2012 and 2013, so if you like what we do please remember ElephantVoices in your annual giving - and thank you for following us!

Best wishes, for the elephants,

Joyce and Petter

ElephantVoices' Mara conservation initiative - Elephant Partners

We recently returned from a very informative field trip to the Mara, where we expanded the range of our project beyond the Maasai Mara National Reserve and its neighboring conservancies to encompass the Loita Hills and the Naimena Enkiyo Forest - translated from Maa as the Forest of the Lost Child. With the help of people we met on our way we hope to establish the routes used by elephants to and from the Mara.

Looking for elephant signs at salt lick near Walking with Maasai/Olkoroi Camp, with Amos Munai and Parit Kashu.The project encompasses an incredibly biologically diverse landscape, and presents us with both logistical challenges and exciting opportunities. Thanks to a grant received from the JRS Biodiversity Foundation in June this year, we now have the core funding to develop and expand this unique project. We plan to be in the Mara ecosystem for up to 6 months each year for the next three years, with our next field trip planned to run from late November 2012 through mid March 2013.

We now have 796 adult elephants registered on the Mara Elephants Who’s Who and 966 elephant group sightings uploaded to the Mara Elephants Whereabouts. Learn about how our project works and how you can participate by watching Joyce’s 15 minute presentation at the National Geographic Explorers’ Symposium. And if you live in or plan to visit the Mara and neighboring areas please join us! All you have to do is to get yourself a smartphone based on Android, download the Mara EleApp from Android Market and get started. Name an elephant or contribute data. We look forward to see you online!

ElephantVoices launches Gorongosa project

Gorongosa elephants. Photo by Andreas Ziegler.At the invitation of the Gorongosa National Park, ElephantVoices is initiating a new elephant monitoring and conservation project in this wonderful part of Mozambique. The project aims to establish baseline data on the elephant population for the national park wildlife management team to best protect it. We will be gathering data to establish the size of the elephant population, its structure, association patterns, the proportion of tuskless individuals, as well as habitat occupancy and human-elephant conflict. And we will be looking at behavior. To do this we will be getting to know each of the elephants individually.

The first set of data on the elephants were collected in August/September 2011. We are returning this year for an intense three-week field trip during which we will be both collecting data and training others. Follow our progress via ElephantVoices on Facebook.

Blood Ivory - poaching out of control

2012 is déjà vu for Joyce. It’s a recurring bad dream. In the late 1980s when elephants were being slaughtered at an unprecedented rate, she carried out surveys on east african elephant populations to document the impact that poaching was having on their reproductive and social behavior. And she helped write the proposal that led to the international ivory trade being banned in 1989. In the 17 years that followed she watched elephant populations recover numerically and socially. Until, 2007, when the international body that regulates trade in endangered species, CITES, permitted the export of ivory from five southern Africa countries and included China as a trading partner. Goodness, killed in August 2012. Photo: Gina Poole.Then we watched the inevitable happen - hell began to break loose. In 2010 we voiced our grave concern in a paper published in Science (395.07 kB) and we spoke at CoP15 in Qatar against any further trade. At that time the authorities poo-pooed our concern. Not now. With the killing totally out of control, the UN recently noted elephant poaching as a threat to global security.

In the Maasai Mara ecosystem, where we work, elephants are partly protected by the presence of tourists. But, in the first three months of 2012 some 42 elephants were illegally killed there. In a spate of more recent slaughter our beloved “Goodness

Gorongosa National Park, in Sofala Province, Mozambique, is the location of ElephantVoices' latest elephant monitoring and conservation project. In 2011 ElephantVoices was invited to Gorongosa to assess the elephants and to begin a process of habituation so that encounters between elephants and visitors can be peaceful. Habituating elephants to tourist vehicles is important because without income earned from visitors, this beautiful, biodiverse habitat cannot be protected. With today's pressure on natural resources, and ivory poaching at a new peak, ensuring the survival of Gorongosa is imperative.

Understanding and respecting the signals of elephants

In 1972 Gorongosa was home to over 2000 elephants, but between 1977 and 1992 civil conflict took the lives of most of these individuals. Elephant meat was used to fed soldiers and ivory was sold for the purchase of arms and ammunition. By the time peace was restored less than 200 individuals remained. Today, thanks to intervention by the Mozambican Government and the Gorongosa Restoration Project, there are roughly 300-400 elephants in Gorongosa, and their numbers are gradually increasing. Yet, the survivors haven't forgotten their gruesome experiences and they are still, understandably, wary of people and they continue to avoid large areas of the national park.

Gorongosa sign

We habituate elephants to vehicles by approaching them slowly and turning off the car engine at the first signs of fear or aggression. By doing so we show them that we understand and respect their signals, that we mean them no harm and that we are not afraid of their bravado.

Elephants are the quintessential drama queens; they revel in making a big deal about almost anything. And they display some of the most dramatic and terrifying defensive behavior. This makes for good television and some of our initial encounters with elephants in Gorongosa were filmed for National Geographic's documentary, {noembedvideo}War Elephants. It is fair to say that the editing of the film overdramatized our interactions for the TV audience. In reality we met very normal elephants behaving much as we expected them to, thinking about their history. And the many elephants that we have met on more than one occasion are learning that we do not represent a threat.

Gorongosa Elephants Who's Who & Whereabouts

In October 2012 we began working with the Gorongosa elephants in earnest. We are using a customized version of the Who's Who & Whereabouts databases developed by ElephantVoices for our Mara elephant conservation initiative, Elephant Partners.

With these tools we register each elephant and collect observations in a systematic and efficient way. In collaboration with the Gorongosa Restoration Project and the National Park management we may, in time, make the Gorongosa Elephants Who's Who & Whereabouts Databases available to the public to explore, learn from and contribute to.

Each elephant in a population is an important individual and we are identifying and registering elephants, one by one, and populating the Gorongosa Who's Who Database with photographs, physiognomic characteristics, and life history information. Along the way we are learning who is fearful, who is aggressive and we are spending extra time with these individuals to build their trust.

As we accumulate knowledge of individuals and their families, we are working toward estimating the size and structure of the population. For example, what proportion of the population is male and female, young and old? Since this population has come through a period of extreme ivory poaching, a large portion of the population is tuskless. How many tuskless elephants are there? What are their ages and what does demographic pattern reflect about their past and mean for their future survival?

More knowledge as basis for better protection

Observations of individuals and families are being uploaded to the Gorongosa Whereabouts Database so that we can understand the patterns that define this population, allowing management to better protect them. For example, we need to know who spends time with whom, where they go, when and why.

As we get to know the elephants we will be training rangers and guides how to collect elephant data and how to approach elephants, with both the interest of people and elephants being a priority. Based on what we learn, we will be engaging with other Gorongosa research scientists and the management team to determine possible future elephant studies and conservation strategies.

A landmark 1989 decision banned the international trade in elephant products, placing the African elephant alongside the highly endangered Asian elephant on Appendix I of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). For close to a decade following the ban, the African elephant retained its overall Appendix I status; poaching for ivory in most African elephant range states remained at relatively low levels and many populations began a slow recovery.

Controversial downlisting contributing toward current crisis

In 1997, however, the Convention voted to allow three African countries - Botswana, Namibia and Zimbabwe - to down-list their countries' elephant populations to Appendix II and permitted a one-time sale from existing legal raw ivory stocks. Then, in 2000, CITES voted to allow South Africa to down-list her elephant population to Appendix II. The resulting "split-listing" (Appendix I, banning trade, and Appendix II, allowing limited trade) and partial reopening of trade has been associated with the last few yeards renewed spike in the seizures of illegal ivory.

The big battle at CITES in March 2010

The 15th meeting of the Conference of the Parties was held in Doha from 13-25 March 2010. ElephantVoices attended as part of the Kenya Elephant Forum team supporting the African Elephant Coalition. The day before the vote, ElephantVoices' Joyce Poole joined Iain Douglas-Hamilton and Sam Wasser to give a presentation on the illegal trade and its impact on elephant populations. Some 350 CITES participants squeezed into the meeting room with tens more having to be turned away at the door for lack of space. The presentation generated heated debate from the proponents of trade and many delegates commented that the data presented regarding the scale of the problem was an eye opener. It is probably fair to state that the presentation had a significant impact on what transpired the following day when the proposals from Tanzania and Zambia requesting down-listing from Appendix I to Appendix II and sale of their stockpiles were rejected.

The nine-year moratorium on trade (effective from November 2008) remains still in place though the Secretariat was reluctant to clarify whether the moratorium applies to all range states or only to those who traded in 2008. Our interpretation and that of the African Elephant Coalition is that there is a resting period on all stockpile sales until 2017. But the amibiguity caused by the Secretariat may lead to battles ahead. Whatever transpires, there will be no let up on poaching. Until the demand in Asia and elsewhere can be stemmed, poaching will have a life of its own. Several large seizures took place in the month following the meeting - and those confiscated are just the tip of the tusk of the illegal trade. 2011 was the worst year so far in terms of seizures, and the situation have worsened in 2012 and 2013.

Bangkok 2013 - careful steps forward but demand left in peace

The Sixteenth meeting of the Conference of Parties of CITES was held in Bangkok, Thailand, March 3-15, 2013. CITES entered its 40th year with many important issues to address, the decimation of African elephants among them. The worldwide concern for elephants was reflected in many of the opening presentations, which highlighted the mass poaching crisis, which is fueled by the international ivory trade. Presenters on the issue included the Executive Director of the UN Environment Programme, Achim Steiner, and the Secretary General of CITES, John Scanlon [1, 2]. Steiner recommended addressing cross-border crime syndicates, law enforcement, and supply chain issues related to the poaching crisis. Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, addressed attendees via video, emphasizing the threats to African elephants and rhinoceroses, and encouraged the parties to work together to address these critical issues [2, 3]. On March 4th, Iain Douglas-Hamilton of Save the Elephants, presented the documentary, “White Gold,” which highlighted the decades’ long battle against poaching in Tsavo, Kenya’s largest national park [4].

There were some positive outcomes of CoP16, including the African Elephant Action Plan, which was a plan of action to protect African elephants across 38 range states. Additional measures to protect elephants included an agreement to conduct DNA analysis on confiscated ivory in quantities greater than 500 kg, and to provide greater support to law enforcement. Also, Tanzania withdrew its proposal to sell their ivory stockpiles, reducing tensions with countries who oppose stockpile sales [1]. The potentially contentious discussion of whether there should be a trade in ivory, or the “Decision-Making Mechanism” for future trade in ivory, was delayed until the next meeting, in 2016. Thus, the ban in ivory trade remains in place [2,3]. However, some note that even the discussion of a future Decision-Making Mechanism risks driving up the demand for ivory, as it sends the message that ivory trade might eventually be legalized [5].

Another positive development was the commitment by the Cites Secretary-General to cooperate with the UN Office of Drugs & Crime regarding the close connections between elephant killing, illegal ivory smuggling, and national security implications. However, a proposal to take national security implications to the UN Security Council failed [1].

Despite its successes, CITES CoP16 failed to address an extremely important issue: demand. It is widely recognized that global demand for ivory is fueling the poaching crisis, yet CITES did nothing to hold accountable the three main ivory consumer states, China, Japan and Thailand, who have failed to address the illegal ivory trade in their countries for years [5].

ElephantVoices standpoint is that all elephants should be on Appendix I of CITES, and that commercial trade in ivory should not be allowed.

Today, 2 August, marks five years since Aaron Leider and Robert Culp, the late world renown actor, filed a case against Los Angeles Zoo and its director, John Lewis. It has been a long battle, but the ruling from 23 July shows it was worth it. Even though the court didn't close down the LA Zoo elephant exhibit, the ruling is highly critical of both the staff and so-called experts from LA Zoo and AZA.

Billy in LA Zoo. (©ElephantVoices)We are gratified that the landmark ruling for animals in captivity states that evidence presented by ElephantVoices' Joyce Poole was "the most credible testimony". The main point, though, is that a dedicated team, with attorney, David Casselman, at the helm, did a great job preparing and in court. Elephants need people to fight for a better tomorrow - the LA Zoo case demonstrates clearly the suffering caused by human ignorance, lack of competence and straight out cover up of the real issues concerning elephants in captivity.

From the perspective of elephants and their interests, there are many highlights in the ruling. While it is our opinion that the evidence presented offers a strong basis for closing down the exhibit, it also inspires us to further define scientifically sound arguments for why elephants don't belong in urban zoos. The headline, above all others, is the lack of space.

For the benefit of LA Zoo's elephants Billy, Tiny and Jewell, The Court has:

  • Banned the use of bull hooks and electric shock;
  • Ordered the City of Los Angeles and the Zoo Director to roto-till the exhibit regularly, consistent with the standards and recommendations of Dr. Oosterhuis and Jeff Andrews
  • Ordered the City of Los Angeles and the Zoo Director to exercise the elephants at least two hours a day, unless weather or emergency conditions make it impracticable.

We urge you to read the ruling, which is educational in itself.

Two quotes from the ruling speak volumes to the elephant cause - and there are many others:

  • "Contrary to what the zoo's representatives may have told the Los Angeles City Council in order to get the construction of the $42 million exhibit approved and funded, the elephants are not healthy, happy, and thriving".
  • “Captivity is a terrible existence for any intelligent, self-aware species. To believe otherwise, as some high-ranking zoo employees appear to believe, is delusional. And the quality of life that Billy, Tina, and Jewel endure in their captivity is particularly poor.

Identifying elephants isn't difficult, but it requires using powers of observation and it takes a bit of practice. There are many different characteristics that you can use to identify an elephant: sex; body size; shape; length and configuration of the tusks; size and shape of the ears; ear venation patterns; notches, tears, holes in the ears. ElephantVoices has developed eight educational modules explaining how to recognize these characteristics, which is the basis for the unique databases we're populating and using in our current field projects in the Maasai Mara, Kenya, and Gorongosa National Park, Mozambique.

You should start by determining whether the elephant you are trying to identify is male or female. We'll hope you enjoy learning some more about elephants - good luck!

Our eight educational modules are linked below.

The National Geographic documentary War Elephants is due to air in most countries in Europe and Africa on Sunday 3rd June 2012, on National Geographic Wild. The US premiere was on 22 April. A Nat Geo Live! premiere screening took place in Washington DC on 14 March 2012, also announced on National Geographics Explorers Journal. The documentary led to several other media activities, such as an interview on Animal House and a live conversation on National Geographic Facebook page on 13 March, embedded at the bottom of this page. You can see a clip from the film through this link - with Joyce "Talking To The Elephants".

A few days after the screening on 14th March the documentary won a prestigous award in Sun Valley Film Festival - ONE IN A MILLION. This award honors feature length stories made for under a million dollars. War Elephants furthermore received merits for cinematography and wildlife behavior at the International Wildlife Film Festival in Montana. On 20th April Bob Poole talked about War Elephants on ABC Nightline. You may want to visit The Independent's Traveller's Guide: Mozambique, to read more about this fascinating country.

About War Elephants on National Geographic's website:
"In Mozambique’s Gorongosa National Park, elephants are in crisis: Years of civil war and ivory poaching have left them frightened and hostile toward humans. In a new National Geographic Television film, the world’s foremost elephant researcher Dr. Joyce Poole, in a documentary by her brother, cameraman Bob Poole, works to build trust and retrain the animals away from their violent behavior."

Below you will find when War Elephants will be shown in different countries. The following countries are included under "Nat Geo Wild HD Eur Intl Feed", air time 3 June at 15.00: Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Faroe Islands, Finland, Greece, Georgia, Greenland, Hungary, Iceland, Israel, Italy, Kazakhstan, Kosavo, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lichtenstein, Lithuania, Macedonia, Malta, Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sub-Saharan Africa (Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Republic of the Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Cote d'Ivoire, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon, The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, South Africa, South Sudan, Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe), Sweden, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan

War Elephants air time
Air time War Elephants - National Geographic Wild

People from 55 countries joined Joyce and Meigan Goodyer Henry in a live conversation on National Geographic Facebooks page, Tuesday, March 13, 2012.

People could ask questions during the conversation - or post them on a National Geographic blog post.

Elephants in the classroom

On 11th May 2012 ElephantVoices had a Skype conference based on our Elephants in the Classroom: Meet ElephantVoices initiative. Joyce Poole met up with students from Boynton Middle School in Ithaca, New York. Teacher Corinne Morton was the one behind this educational meeting through cyberspace.

Corinne has written this summary from an online gathering Joyce enjoyed very much. Keep up the good work, Boynton Middle School!

Petter

I am a sixth grade science and humane education teacher at Boynton Middle School in Ithaca, New York. We are located in the heart of the fingerlakes and our school is about ten minutes from Cornell University. As an educator, my passion is exposing students to all sides of situations so that they may make informed decisions about how they spend their money and what they do or do not support.

I have always been interested and involved in elephant conservation and education, especially regarding life for these creatures in zoos and circuses. I often do curriculum work tied in with the Cornell University Lab of Ornithology and have exposed my students to the research being done on elephant communication. I love to think of myself as Global Educator and link my students to scientific events worldwide as well as locally. We had the pleasure of having Melissa Groo come in to our classes to do a presentation on her experiences with the Elephant Listening Project at Cornell and elephants in general. I had also exposed my students to ElephantVoices and the work Joyce Poole has done over the years in elephant research. I thought it would be a wonderful experience to have my students Skype with her after seeing it on the website.

The students were beyond excited and still talk about the experience they had skyping with Joyce! I had a total of 120 students come up with questions for her and those students were split into four class periods to Skype. I was able to let small groups of students take turns in front of the camera asking their questions while I projected Joyce on the large screen for all students to watch. It all worked wonderfully!

My students wrote some reflective pieces on their experience skyping with Joyce and below you'll find a few.

From the sixth graders ( age 11-12):

"I learned a lot and it made me want to do something and inform other people about elephant voices!" Imaan Gruel.

"I love the skype effect...I thought Joyce Poole was funny and at the same time it was enlightening." Dylan Davenport.

"It was the best ever science lesson. I love skyping with Joyce Poole." Brian Conuel.

"I learned a lot from the questions you answered and thought it was cool that you were across the world talking to us! Thank you". Danielle Hemly.

"It was cool to meet one of the leading elephant scientists in the world! It also made me want to boycott animal circuses." (Not signed)

"I am Max and I speak for the elephants! I am convinced that poaching and circuses are horrible." Max Milton.

"I really enjoyed skyping with you. You gave many facts and a few stories that made us laugh. Skype was a great way to talk with you. I want to spread the word about ElephantVoices." Andreas Lambrou.

"I know that elephants are important to the world." Mohammed Williams.

"Joyce Poole, you are awesome, I like that you help elephants." Tysheem Randall.

"I learned a lot skyping and it made me realize how awesome elephants are." Dylan Morse.

"I learned elephant circuses are not for elephants or for any other animals." Shayla Szeto.

"Thanks for everything... I have actually been to Africa...I got to see a lot of wild animals. Elephants and other animals belong in the wild." Mariya Mayu.

"It was a very informational experience. For example, I learned that elephant tusks extend far into their skulls." Ben Carver.

"Thank you for skyping, it was a wonderful experience. Elephants are a great subject to research and I bet it is very interesting to spend so much time with them. I hope we meet again." Adelaide Tracey.

"It was very cool talking to you!" Thea Clarkburg.

Through Junia Machado and other good elephant friends in Brazil, ElephantVoices is working hard for the best interest of elephants in this progressive country. Our main objectives are

To create awareness about elephant conservation and the welfare needs of captive elephants in Brazil, and to secure that a sanctuary for elephants is established as soon as possible.

To get such a sanctuary in Brazil off the ground is key to discussions about getting elephants suffering in circuses and bad zoos moved to a new home. Without having a good alternative in place for abused elephants, it is difficult to get the political process regarding elephant welfare moving forward. Junia and others are currently learning as much as possible about the captive elephants in Brazil - many kept under terrible conditions. ElephantVoices believe there are 25 elephants in Brazilian zoos, and 6 in circuses or chained on rural properties, but are still working to get these figures and details related to each elephant confirmed.

Consulation with The Elephant Sanctuary (TES), Performing Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) and individuals with sanctuary experience is obviously on the agenda to be able to bring plans for a sanctuary in Brazil forward, and all efforts are based on Sanctuary for Elephants - Overall Principles (148.66 kB), developed by ElephantVoices. During PAWS Summit for Elephants in California in March 2012 ElephantVoices also met with Elephant Haven, an initiative meant to lead to a much needed elephant sanctuary in Europe (France).

Junia Machado's interest in elephants was triggered when she was eight years old, and when she saw Teresita in São Paulo Zoo some years ago, she decided to do her best for elephants and contacted ElephantVoices. Since then she has built up a network of people volunteering time and energy for elephants. Together with co-volunteer Ana Zinger in Rio de Janeiro and Ticiana Carneiro in São Paulo she has started blogging on ElephantVoices Brasil and also launched ElephantVoices Brasil on Facebook. In addition to news related to captive elephants in Brasil, and hand-picked news from around the world, Junia and her Brazilian team post material and news from ElephantVoices.org, all translated into portuguese.


Junia and Ana have met up with Petter and Joyce in Kenya and the Maasai Mara twice, and in March 2012 they joined at PAWS Summit for Elephants hosted by Oakland Zoo. Junia and Ana are also contributing work and data to ElephantVoices' conservation initiative for the Mara elephants, Elephant Partners.

Our main collaborators in Brazil, in addition to Junia Machado and Ana Zinger, are Maria Cristina Mullins, Teca Franco, Martha Toledo, Tiago Esteves Carvalhaes, Andrea Schmidt, Mayara Barbi and Carol Toledo. There are also other volunteers supporting their efforts on specific issues, like Mario Duarte, Luciana Dallari, Ticiana Carneiro, Felicia Mendonça, Sabrina Cury, José Licciardi and Marcos Marcello. Two agronomists, Cesar Frizzo and Vanessa Rizzi, are currently checking land-related issues and possibilities in connection with a future sanctuary.

ElephantVoices Brasil is also networking with a substantial number of people working for elephants in other countries in South-America, and aims to contribute ideas and the sound science-based knowledge of ElephantVoices wherever it can be of help. Get in touch with Junia if you want to join ElephantVoices Brasil in their efforts!

Through Junia Machado and our many elephant friends in Brazil, ElephantVoices is working hard for the best interest of elephants in this progressive country. Our main objectives are:

To create awareness about elephant conservation and the welfare needs of captive elephants in Brazil,
and to ensure that a sanctuary for elephants is established
.

One might ask, Why Brazil?

Brazil offers: a perfect climate for elephants; the possibility of obtaining a suitable sized parcel of land with habitat permitting natural foraging and social behavior; the potential to provide a home to the many elephants who are suffering in South America; a team of energized, committed people who want to do something for elephants.

The dire need for an alternative to life in circuses

To establish a sanctuary in Brazil is key to discussions about moving elephants suffering in circuses and bad zoos to a new home. Without a good alternative in place for abused elephants, it is difficult to move the political process forward. Junia and her team keep learning as much as possible about the captive elephants in Brazil - many of whom are kept under terrible conditions. ElephantVoices believes that there are about 24 elephants held in Brazilian zoos, and a few held in circuses or chained on rural properties, but we continue to confirm the correct figures and details. One of the performing circus elephants, Semba, died in 2012. Another, Lady, was more recently donated to a small zoo, due to the increasing pressure against the use of animals in Brazilian circuses.

In consultation with Scott Blais (Co-Founder of The Elephant Sanctuary), The Elephant Sanctuary (TES), Performing Animal Welfare Society (PAWS), Elephant Nature Park, Cambodia Wildlife Sanctuary and other with sanctuary experience we have for some time been moving forward toward bringing an elephant sanctuary in Brazil to fruition. With the establishment of Global Sanctuary for Elephants in late 2013, where ElephantVoices is a founding partner, a major step has been taken toward this important goal. A sanctuary in Brazil will operate with the Sanctuary for Elephants - Overall Principles (148.66 kB), developed by ElephantVoices, as a foundation.

Triggered by the faith of Teresita

Junia Machado's interest in elephants was stimulated as a child of eight years old. She began to take photographs of elephants in 2005 to call attention to their plight. When Junia saw Teresita in São Paulo Zoo some years ago, she made up her mind to do her best for elephants and contacted ElephantVoices. Since then she has built up a network of people volunteering time and energy for elephants. Together with co-volunteer Ana Zinger in Rio de Janeiro and Ticiana Carneiro in São Paulo she started blogging on ElephantVoices Brasil in 2010 and then launched ElephantVoices Brasil on Facebook. In addition to news related to captive elephants in Brasil, and hand-picked news from around the world, Junia and her Brazilian team post material and news from ElephantVoices.org, all translated into portuguese.


Junia and Ana have met up with Petter and Joyce in Kenya and the Maasai Mara on a couple of occasions, and in March 2012 they all joined the PAWS Summit for Elephants hosted by Oakland Zoo. Petter has also met with Junia, Ana and other team members in Brazil. Junia and Ana are furthermore contributing data to ElephantVoices' conservation initiative for the Mara elephants, Elephant Partners.

Collaboration and networking

Some of our collaborators in Brazil are Luciano Tessare Bopp, Teca Franco, Celia Frattini, Adriana Greco, Junia Machado, Ruby Malzoni, Daniel Moura, Maria Cristina Mullins, Carol Toledo, Martha Toledo, João Paiva and Ana Zinger. There are also other volunteers supporting our efforts on specific issues.

ElephantVoices Brasil is also networking with a substantial number of people who work for elephants in other countries in South-America and elsewhere, and aims to contribute ideas and the science-based knowledge of ElephantVoices wherever it can be of help.

Get in touch with Junia if you want to join ElephantVoices Brasil in their efforts!

On April 22nd 2012, Gay Bradshaw posted an article in her blog in Psychology Today critiquing War Elephants and Joyce Poole's role in it. Here is Joyce's response to it.

Dear Gay,

I awoke this morning to an email from a colleague who has done more to highlight the plight of elephants than almost anyone I know. It read: "I presume you saw this. I am so sorry. How ignorant of her. If it makes any difference, I saw the NGS film and was proud to know you. Hang in there.” Then I read your critique of War Elephants and my role in it and realized how little you understand of who I am and what I stand for. Gay, you and I hold many of the same perspectives on elephants, we have published together, and I admire and respect you for the work you have accomplished. If you had concerns, why didn't you get in touch so that, as colleagues, we could try to find common ground? Why torpedo an elephant spokesperson if you have the best interests of these incredible animals at heart?

We will not be able to save all of Africa’s elephants from the onslaught of poaching and conflict, but by using our collective intelligence and experience we can work together toward a kinder future for those who live in places where they have a chance to survive. I choose to be part of a solution, to put my long experience in Africa and with elephants to work. While I would be so glad if elephants everywhere could be left in peace, doing what they like, in the real world we need to find ways for elephants to survive despite human intervention and encroachment. To habituate elephants to friendly visitors is one way to do that - and done with knowledge and respect, elephants are intelligent enough to adapt and thrive as we have seen in Amboseli, the Mara, Samburu and elsewhere. Elephants learn quickly and they easily can discriminate between their human friends and foes.

Gorongosa National Park and its elephants had been given up for lost, but thanks to the Mozambican Government and the Gorongosa Restoration Project, these elephants have a chance. Their future, though, depends on tourism revenue and I was invited to Gorongosa to assess the elephants and to begin a process of habituation, so that visitors can have peaceful encounters with them. This work would have happened with or without cameras present, but National Geographic expressed an interest in documenting the habituation process and the Gorongosa Restoration Project felt a film would help to highlight the work they are doing and the particular plight of these (and many other) elephants who have survived war.

I approached the Gorongosa elephants as I would any elephants: slowly, and when I saw signs that they were concerned I turned off the engine and sat quietly. The concept is to gain trust by respecting their boundaries. Sometimes I talk to elephants; I always have done and I make no apologies for it. My conscience is totally clear regarding my strategy and my actions. I would never do anything to harm or harass elephants. There were no guns in the car; the incident you mention occurred on the main road on a game drive, coincidently with a ranger in the car, long after the film crew and I had departed. The incident only serves to highlight the necessity of gaining, in a systematic way, these elephants' trust.

Other than charges by some individuals, my experience was that the Gorongosa elephants were, surprisingly, calm. Editing weeks, indeed months, of footage and compressing it to 50 minutes gives the impression of relentless agonistic interaction. The use of long lenses, the pace, the timing, the selection of scenes, their repetition, the script and the music all interact to exaggerate the drama. But that is TV - film production and editing is not my expertise.

I played calls to the elephants for a reason. I have been asked if there is a way to encourage the elephants to use parts of the park that they abandoned years ago. The elephants are needed to open up habitat and kick-start the grazing succession for other species. Our hope is that if elephants hear others on the distant bank of the river they may feel that it is safe to venture there themselves. The calls I played to them were the sounds of normal elephants doing normal elephant things - in this case adults threatening a lion and calling for recruits. I played those particular calls for a purpose - because I thought they were most likely to attract a family group. The elephants responded with excitement and curiosity, not with fear and agitation. And again: I would have used this technique whether a film crew was there or not.

ElephantVoices will be returning to Gorongosa later this year, and in the years to come, and we will use all of these techniques and others to try to secure a future for these elephants. War Elephants gives a tiny window into who these elephants are and through a monitoring and research program we will learn much more. We will continue to do all we can to make sure that there are other places in the wild for elephants, and to work toward an end to the ongoing poaching-crisis. It can be hard going, and full of heart-break, but I believe if we all work together there will still be free-ranging elephants for my great-great grandchildren to experience. At a time when elephants are under tremendous threat, Gorongosa is a place of hope. It is also a place where a team of dedicated conservationists, scientists and filmmakers are coming together to give this small population of elephants a chance. We are proud to be among them.

Joyce Poole signature

Joyce H. Poole, PhD
Co-Director, ElephantVoices

The National Geographic documentary War Elephants is due to air in the US on National Geographic Wild on Sunday, 22 April 2012, at 8 p.m. ET/PT. A Nat Geo Live! premiere screening took place in Washington DC on 14 March, also announced on National Geographics Explorers Journal. The film led to several other media activities, such as an interview on Animal House and a live conversation on National Geographic Facebook page on 13 March, embedded at the bottom of this page. You can see a clip from the film through this link - with Joyce "Talking To The Elephants".

A few days after the screening on 14th March the documentary won a prestigous award in Sun Valley Film Festival - ONE IN A MILLION. This award honors feature length stories made for under a million dollars. War Elephants furthermore received merits for cinematography and wildlife behavior at the International Wildlife Film Festival in Montana. On 20th April Bob Poole will talk about War Elephants on ABC Nightline. You may want to visit The Independent's Traveller's Guide: Mozambique, to read more about this fascinating country.

About War Elephants on National Geographic's website:
"In Mozambique’s Gorongosa National Park, elephants are in crisis: Years of civil war and ivory poaching have left them frightened and hostile toward humans. In a new National Geographic Television film, the world’s foremost elephant researcher Dr. Joyce Poole, in a documentary by her brother, cameraman Bob Poole, works to build trust and retrain the animals away from their violent behavior."

Below you will find when War Elephants will be shown in different countries. The following countries are included under "Nat Geo Wild HD Eur Intl Feed", air time 3 June at 15.00: Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Faroe Islands, Finland, Greece, Georgia, Greenland, Hungary, Iceland, Israel, Italy, Kazakhstan, Kosavo, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lichtenstein, Lithuania, Macedonia, Malta, Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sub-Saharan Africa (Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Republic of the Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Cote d'Ivoire, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon, The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, South Africa, South Sudan, Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe), Sweden, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan

War Elephants air time
Air time War Elephants - National Geographic Wild

People from 55 countries joined Joyce and Meigan Goodyer Henry in a live conversation on National Geographic Facebooks page, Tuesday, March 13, 2012.

People could ask questions during the conversation - or post them on a National Geographic blog post.

Link to War Elephants on National Geographic.comElephantVoices' Joyce and Petter will be "on the road" in the US for three weeks during March 2012, with a premiere screening of an upcoming National Geographic Wild documentary, and lectures and other events promoting elephants and the work of ElephantVoices, on the agenda. You will find more details about each open event and how to attend below. We hope to see many of you during our short 10th Anniversary Tour!

Premiere screening of "War Elephants", Washington DC, 14 March

National Geographic LIVE! invites for a premiere screening of "War Elephants" in Washington DC on Wednesday 14 March, an upcoming documentary featuring the elephants of Gorongosa, Mozambique, Joyce Poole and her brother, cinematographer Bob Poole. The screening in Grosvenor Auditorium (at 7:30 p.m.) will be followed by a discussion with the Pooles, NGTV Sr. Producer David Hamlin, and Mateus Mutemba, Gorongosa National Park Administrator. You can buy tickets via this page.

Benefit for ElephantVoices in Pacific Palisades, Los Angeles, Sunday 18 March

On Sunday 18 March Patty Shenker and Doug Stoll will very generously host a reception at their home once again. We invite you to a VIP Reception at 2:00 p.m., and an Event Reception & Presentation from 3:00 to 5:30 p.m. You will find an invitation with all necessary information on how to attend here.

ElephantVoices lecture in Sausalito, Sunday 25 March

Our enormously generous board member Coco Hall will host another event at her home in Sausalito on Sunday 25 March, 2:00 to 5:00 p.m. You will find an invitation with all necessary information here.

Lectures during PAWS Summit for the elephants, Oakland Zoo, 28 to 30 March

Oakland Zoo will host PAWS SUMMIT FOR THE ELEPHANTS 2012 from 28 to 30 March. Joyce Poole and Petter Granli will hold 3 lectures during the Summit - all 3 on the last day 30 March. You can go through the conference schedule here.

Lecture Colorado College, Wednesday March 28

On 28 March, 6:30 p.m, Joyce Poole will give a lecture at Colorado College, Armstrong Hall Theater. The title is: Nature's great masterpiece: Stories of elephants.

You can open a poster with further details by clicking on the image to the left.

 

Help SUPPORT and PROTECT the Mara elephants - NAME THEM!

By providing the possibility for the public to name elephants we hope to bind together a community of people who care for the Mara elephants - those people living in the Mara who are monitoring and protecting elephants and those who live far away whose donations support the project! Giving names to individual elephants helps people to remember who is who and fosters a heart-felt connection for individuals.

To name an elephant look through the Mara Elephant Who's Who database and choose an elephant, who has not already been named, and who you would like to name. Click the "I'd like to name this elephant" link on the ID card for that particular elephant. An approved name will appear in the Mara Elephant Who's Who database, and the name of the person having given the name will also show.

Educational outreach, including local scholarships, will be of high priority in the allocation of donations through the Name an Mara Elephant program.

Link to ElephantVoices - Name an Elephant

Click on image to read more - support the Mara Elephants!

Join us in the bushJoyce is from 19th February and for a 10 day period in Maasai Mara, meeting up with and training some of the people that are contributing elephant observations to the Elephant Partners initiative. On this page you will, with the help of a cellphone app and Google Earth, find out a bit more about where she is going, and what she sees together with our collaborators. The infrequent "reports" below are mainly meant to give you a peak, while we also gain some experience in new ways of collecting data and sharing field experiences with those interested. We will later post a more comprehensive report from Joyce's current field visit.

It may a bit of time before the page loads, depending on your connection speed. By clicking on each point on the map you will find a photo, with a caption. We hope you will enjoy being with us in the bush!


Joyce looking for elephant signs from Olerai to Enchorro Ololali - seeing many.


Wonderful day with Gini Cowell and David Kimutai starting from Siana through Ol Kinyei and on to Mara Naboisho where we picked up Derrick Nabaala. Saw perhaps 100 elephants and returned to Siana at end of day.

Dear Friends of Elephants,

Petter and Joyce

ElephantVoices has had another busy and eventful year and we look toward 2012 with eager anticipation and in the hope that you and others will help us to maintain and strengthen our voice!

Here is a sneak-peak at the first quarter of next year: In February: back to the Maasai Mara and to a meeting in Arusha of elephant projects being carried out along the Kenya-Tanzania "borderlands". In March: the premiere of a film in Washington DC, fund-raising visits to New York and California, a series of lectures at Colorado College and an elephant welfare summit organized by PAWS at the Oakland Zoo.

But before we get ahead of ourselves we have a short summary of the year coming to an end.

Best wishes, and peace for creatures great and small, Joyce and Petter

ElephantVoices Maasai Mara initiative - Elephant Partners

Our primary investment of time and energy this year has been to the elephants of the Maasai Mara ecosystem. By combining web-based technology, education and citizen science in the monitoring and conservation of elephants, a long-held ambition has come true: engaging individual people from all walks of life in the conservation and protection of individual elephants. It is from-the-heart, Compassionate Conservation, at work! It has been a pleasure to collaborate with our old friends at Verviant, Nairobi, during the challenging programming described below.

Mara Elephants Who's Who & Whereabouts

Using photographs of the Mara elephants taken by people from all over the world, we now have over 750 individual adult elephants described and registered in an online searchable elephant ID database: The Mara Elephants Who's Who.

Photographs together with the date, time, location and group size and composition have contributed to over 430 group "sightings", which have been uploaded by a growing community of people to a second searchable Whereabouts database. Together these two integrated databases are known as the Mara Elephants Who's Who & Whereabouts. A related Mapping function makes it possible to search for the location of elephant groups by group type and group size; you can even search for where an individual elephant has been seen or for your own observations. The resulting data are available for anyone to view and to use to toward the conservation of the Mara elephants.

The Mara EleApp

We developed the Android-based Mara EleApp so that anyone residing in or visiting the Maasai Mara can participate in the collection of data that will help to monitor and protect the Mara elephants. The data collected on elephant individuals and groups, on their wounds, injuries or illnesses, and on mortalities can be uploaded directly to the ElephantVoices server in the US.

The combined App and searchable databases make this project highly interactive. There is nothing quite like it available anywhere else and ElephantVoices is proud to have pioneered this new way to monitor elephants. Indeed, as we go to press Agness Kilena (pictured left) has uploaded an observation of an elephant birth!

Name a Mara elephant - Elephant Partners logo

Name and Protect an Elephant for Christmas!

Each Mara elephant is registered with a code number. You can contribute toward the project and the protection of the Mara elephants by Naming an Elephant. Naming donations will go toward supporting the project, providing scholarships and covering field costs.

Kerstin Bucher, a frequent visitor to the Mara from Germany, has named the beautiful matriarch f0115, "Sian", in memory of an orphaned elephant she fostered. She has also contributed quite a number of elephant photographs that we have used to augment the Whereabouts & Who's Who databases. One of our long supporters, Doug Aja, who earlier this year gave the name Tilly to f0303, has just now named a second member of her family, f0305, "Janis". Thank to both for kicking off the naming of elephants!

A special thank you to donors and collaborators!

ElephantVoices' Mara iniative would not be possible without financial and in kind support from those of you believing in what we do and in a position to contribute. And without our many collaborators inside and outside the Mara we wouldn't have been able to move forward. We are very grateful for your contributions! You may enjoy reading the report from ElephantVoices' Mara field trip October/November 2011.

Read more about Elephant Partners

The elephants of Gorongosa, Mozambique

In September Joyce traveled to Mozambique, to assess the behavior of the elephants of the Gorongosa National Park. During a civil war that lasted over 15 years, the warring sides, RENAMO and FRELIMO, slaughtered 95% of the elephant population, exchanging ivory for guns and ammunition. Almost two decades after the end of the war, the survivors are still caught between fear and fury: They either run from tourist vehicles or they charge!

Joyce traveled to Gorongosa at the suggestion of her brother, cinematographer, Bob Poole and at the invitation of philanthropist, Greg Carr, who is leading the restoration of the incredible Gorongosa National Park. Joyce had the pleasure to meet some extraordinary survivors and ElephantVoices is discussing future involvement to help these elephants to learn that the people they now meet inside the park come in peace.

Read more about ElephantVoices in Gorongosa

Book cover on Amazon.com - click to peak inside!Scientific publications - the book about the Amboseli Elephants

We are proud to announce several major publications together with our collaborator the Amboseli Trust for Elephants this year. As previously mentioned, ElephantVoices contributed six chapters to The Amboseli elephants: A Long-Term Perspective on a Long-Lived Mammal, which was published by University of Chicago Press in April. The book is a culmination of four decades of study of the Amboseli elephant population in Kenya.

Joyce was also an author on two other scientific publications. One, led by Patrick Chiyo, investigated the role that age and genetic relationships play in determining the patterns of association among males (229.86 kB), and another, led by Karen McComb, examined family leadership and the adaptive value of matriarchal age (335.01 kB).

Read more about leadership in elephants

Educating via the Senses: Sound, Photography, Paintings and Film

Through a variety of activities, ElephantVoices continues to be involved in the sharing of knowledge about elephants.

From our collections a number of elephant calls, images and video, have been used by the media this year. A series of photographs describing elephant behavior appeared as part of Japanese DVD-book, which has become very popular.

A video clip, a range of elephant sounds and a series of photographs will appear in two elephant films that are due to premiere in 2012. Two of our elephant recordings will appear in Muséum-Maison de l'Eau temporary exhibition on elephants next year. The Science Museum of Minnesota is using a series of photos taken by Joyce in 1980 of Tonie grieving over her stillborn infant, to explore the question, "What makes us human?" The exhibit, still in development, introduces the concept that other animals grieve, too.

Joyce and Petter used a month-long exhibition of elephant photographs (Petter's) and paintings (Joyce's) as an avenue for two lectures on elephant behavior, welfare and conservation.

Joyce worked on two different elephant film productions, one with HBO on elephant welfare and the other with National Geographic on elephant conservation. Both films will premiere in 2012 - we will keep you updated.

We're happy to see that the number of people following us on our different Facebook Pages and Causes are steadily increasing - ElephantVoices on Facebook passed 10,000 "likes" a couple of weeks ago. Please join!

Link to ElephantVoices document Sanctuary for Elephants - Overall PrinciplesCaptive elephant welfare - defining Sanctuary for Elephants

As more people recognize that elephants aren't suited to zoo environments, there is growing interest in the concept of sanctuaries.

To quote Jane Goodall in a letter included in a recent ElephantVoices news post about the Toronto elephants, "With their intense social bonds and need for large areas to roam, elephants should remain in the wild or when this is not possible, in a sanctuary that can provide them with adequate care, the chance to form natural bonds with other elephants, and large areas of natural habitat."

There is much talk about sanctuaries, yet there has been little discussion about what the word "Sanctuary" means for elephants. In line with our work on The Elephant Charter, we have, therefore, put time this year into defining the Principles of Sanctuary for elephants.

Read and/or download Elephants in Sanctuary - Overall Principles

The Elephant Charter - SIGN ON and spread the word!

Once again, we urge you to sign The Elephant Charter. It is easy to share the site via social networks and, using Google Translate, visitors can read the Charter in all major languages. Please share it with your friends in other countries!

If you aren't a signatory yet, please add your voice for elephants by signing on as an Elephant Biologist, Elephant Professional or a Friend of Elephants. Elephants need as many supporters as we can give them, so please help us get the word out!

The elephants of the Toronto Zoo - ElephantVoices' welfare work

ElephantVoices participated in the successful campaign to persuade the Toronto Zoo to close their elephant exhibit and send the three remaining elephants to PAWS; on 25 October the City Council voted overwhelmingly to do so. With the climate and conditions Toronto Zoo can offer - this was the only reasonable decision for the elephants in question. We are delighted to hear that the enormously generous Bob Barker is funding the transition of these elephants from Toronto to PAWS.

Being a small organisation our priority is to engage at the level of policy where we can have the broadest influence on elephant welfare. The development of statements on selected topics concerning the management and treatment of elephants is a primary goal for 2012.

Our intention is for individuals and institutions to make use of these expert statements in a range of more specific cases around the world. While we may take a decision to give advice or provide statements on specific cases, such as the Toronto Zoo, this will be the exception rather than the rule.

Check out some of the many articles about the Toronto Zoo elephants

Thank you for your continued support - elephants need you!

We truly appreciate your support for ElephantVoicesWe truly appreciate your support for ElephantVoices and your participation via ElephantVoices on Facebook and

We truly appreciate your support for ElephantVoices and your participation via ElephantVoices on Facebook and Elephant Partners on Facebook. Follow our work, get involved, donate if you are in the position to do so - help us make a difference!

In the spirit of The Elephant Charter, and global recognition of the need for elephant sanctuary, ElephantVoices has developed a short document describing our perspective on "sanctuary" for elephants, and the overall principles we believe such sanctuary must be based upon. You can read and download Sanctuary for Elephants - Overall Principles, on this page.

Although elephants are highly adaptable to a broad range of conditions in the wild, they are ill-adapted to captivity. Research into wild elephant biology has revealed the true range of elephant capabilities and the normal physical and social conditions in which elephants thrive. These conditions are rarely, if ever, met in traditional forms of captivity. While animal welfare is increasingly configured in terms of "5 Freedoms", for captive elephants two of them - freedom to express normal behaviour and freedom from fear and distress - are particularly problematic.

Elephants have been held in captivity for various purposes for thousands of years. They are seen by many as a natural resource to be exploited to meet human needs. Elephants are put to work in forestry enterprises, religious institutions, tourism, circuses and zoos, and serve as subjects for captive propagation programs. The failure to meet the physical, social and cognitive interests of elephants in captivity, is manifest.

ElephantVoices is frequently engaged with people and organisations wanting to provide rescue and sanctuary for elephants, as it relates to our mission and to the principles of The Elephant Charter, of which we are authors and signatories. The Sanctuary for Elephants document is meant to be of help to anyone involved in such discussions, where ever they may take place.

Kerstin Bucher is one of the first people to name a Mara elephant and, thereby, also supporting this ElephantVoices initiative in the world renown Maasai Mara. Kerstin lives in Germany, and has visited Kenya several times. We asked her to write about the background for her compassion for elephants, and how she chose to give the name "Sian" to f0115 in the Mara Elephant Who's Who database.

Thank you, Kerstin!

Petter


Article written by Kerstin Bucher

I have been interested in elephants, especially in African elephants, since I was a little child. I remember that I owned a book about animals, and there was a black and white photograph of a huge and magnificent elephant with beautiful tusks. The caption said that elephants will be extinct within a few years because of poaching. I was so sad and I never expected to see a wild elephant in its natural habitat as an adult.

Then, in 2004, I visited my uncle in South Africa, and we spent five nights in the Kruger National Park! The first evening, watching a big group of elephants at a waterhole in front of our camp, brought tears to my eyes. I will never forget the experience of watching them and hearing them trumpeting and rumbling!

Two years later I watched a heartbreaking documentary about elephant orphans in Kenya and I wanted to help them. In December 2007 I fostered my first elephant baby, called Dida. Since then I have fostered many of her friends, too. Several visits to Kenya intensified my wish to support elephants and to learn more about these gentle, gray giants.

In the beginning of 2010 I joined Facebook. Suddenly I met many like-minded people from all over the world. It was a fantastic feeling to communicate with them because my family and many of my friends couldn't understand my feelings for elephants and my wish to try to protect them. In my first months on Facebook someone attracted my attention! Her name was Joyce Poole. I remembered her name because just a few months before I had read an autobiography by Richard Leakey, "Wildlife Wars", about his time as the Director of the Kenya Wildlife Service in Kenya. He wrote about a young American woman working together with Cynthia Moss at Amboseli National Park who studied the famous elephants there. Her name was Joyce Poole. Joyce and I became friends on Facebook and I joined her group, ElephantVoices. On Facebook I learned that elephant poaching is increasing again in all African countries, including in Kenya.

During the last year many elephants were killed in the famous Maasai Mara, too, and people began to say that if nothing is done elephants will be in danger again to a frightening extent. This was a very disturbing feeling for me, especially as a fosterparent of many elephant orphans. How could we raise orphaned elephant babies to such an uncertain future!

I love the Maasai Mara and its wonderful and peaceful elephants. In the beginning of 2011 Joyce Poole and her husband, Petter Granli, started a new project in the Maasai Mara with the goal of protecting elephants and their ecosystem by involving people in the monitoring of elephants: Elephant Partners. As part of the project they have created a Who's Who of the Mara elephants!

Anyone can join this project by contributing pictures and observations of the Mara elephants! I was very interested in this initiative, but unsure if my pictures were good enough because I am not a professional photographer. I contributed some of my pictures to Elephant Partners and these have helped to build the Who's Who (for example, see the three-tusked female f0245) and the Whereabouts. I hope I can help to protect the Mara elephants. I like this project because I feel I am doing something active for the elephants - I am not only being a passive donor.

I met the lovely female f0115 in the Mara recently and decided to name her Sian. Why Sian? Sian is a Maasai name and one of my fostered elephants was called Sian. Sian was the daughter of an Amboseli elephant cow called Soila, who disapeared one day. Her little calf, Sian, was found abandoned. Soila was probably killed by poachers when she crossed the border to Tanzania. Sian was such a beautiful, gentle elephant, but she was too small and too thin for her age. She became weaker and weaker and died last year at the age of only five. She had a pulmonal malformation, and the more she grew the less oxygen her body received! For me she was a very special elephant and she touched my heart deeply. I am still crying when I look at pictures of her!

f0115 is a very beautiful and dignified female elephant! I had the possiblity to watch and follow her over many hours and days on my last stay at the Maasai Mara. She, too, touched me deeply and I enjoyed every single minute with her and her little family. I was thinking about many possible names for her, but finally I decided to name her Sian! Somehow I hope a piece of my little Sian is living on having named f0115 after her!

INTRODUCTION

Elephants have been held in captivity for various purposes for thousands of years. They are seen by many as a natural resource to be exploited to meet human needs. Elephants are put to work in forestry enterprises, religious institutions, tourism, circuses and zoos, and serve as subjects for captive propagation programs.

Although elephants are highly adaptable to a broad range of conditions in the wild, they are ill-adapted to captivity. There is now extensive evidence that in captivity elephants suffer from chronic physical and mental ill health often leading to premature death. Research into wild elephant biology has revealed the true range of elephant capabilities and the normal physical and social conditions in which elephants thrive. These conditions are rarely, if ever, met in traditional forms of captivity. While animal welfare is increasingly configured in terms of "5 Freedoms", for captive elephants two of them - freedom to express normal behaviour and freedom from fear and distress - are particularly problematic.

The failure to meet the physical, social and cognitive interests of elephants in captivity, is manifest. This situation raises challenges: How best to address the needs of elephants that have already been damaged, or run a significant risk of being so, by traditional captive conditions, but necessarily must remain captive, permanently, or for a period of time? How best to devise and manage "sanctuary" - truly safe places of refuge and comfort - for elephants coming from another form of captivity or from the wild as genuine orphans?

 

THE PURPOSE OF THIS DOCUMENT

ElephantVoices seeks to promote the protection and kinder treatment of elephants, wherever they may be. A primary goal of ElephantVoices' welfare work is to provide a touchstone for anyone needing to address the interests of elephants.

Link to ElephantVoices document Sanctuary for Elephants - Overall Principles ElephantVoices is frequently engaged with people and organisations wanting to provide rescue and sanctuary for elephants, as it relates to our mission and to the principles of The Elephant Charter, of which we are authors and signatories.

Two institutions in the United States have pioneered the concept of sanctuary for captive elephants. They have sought to create conditions in which individual elephants may recover a more naturalistic life in captivity, to the extent that they are capable of doing so given their history. Furthermore, there are a few institutions in elephant range states that provide refuge for elephants suffering the effects of long captivity. Others raise elephant orphans with the objective of restoring them to a life in the wild. Generally, however, the concept of sanctuary for captive elephants is only beginning to be explored in contexts truly free of traditional and cultural imperatives.

The word "sanctuary" is used in a variety of contexts for a variety of purposes; it may refer to roadside animal shelters, zoos, animal parks or centers, and relatively undisturbed habitat or wildlife refuges. The purpose of this document is to provide the ElephantVoices' view of what sanctuary for captive elephants should mean. In doing so we have sought the comments of many who are engaged in, or are seeking, sanctuary for elephants. We aim to reach anyone interested in ideas about providing sanctuary for captive elephants, but particularly those who seek to directly initiate or assist the development of captive elephant sanctuaries. Accordingly, we focus on the overall principles that we feel are appropriate for any facility or entity hosting elephants under the term "sanctuary".

This document is NOT an endorsement of captivity for elephants and NEITHER is it intended as a general guide to the management of elephants in captivity. We have deliberately avoided making detailed prescriptions for how sanctuary facilities should be designed and managed. Rather, we have set out what we feel are appropriate principles for anyone engaged in such work.

Aligning with the scientific framework of The Elephant Charter, we therefore present here a definition of sanctuary for elephants that:
  • Recognizes and reflects the pioneering work of existing elephant sanctuaries.
  • Establishes principles to guide the development of new elephant sanctuaries, wherever they may be.

Critical justification for the standpoints in this document regarding the interests and needs of all elephants can be found in The Elephant Charter.

 

DEFINING SANCTUARY

ElephantVoices holds that the concept of providing sanctuary for elephants involves, first and foremost, a deep understanding and acceptance of the capabilities and the physical, behavioral and psychological needs of elephants. The key to providing sanctuary is always to seek to identify and meet the needs of elephants as individuals. This is as much about a principled approach to engaging with individual elephants, as it is about the design and location of facilities.

ElephantVoices' vision of an elephant sanctuary is, a facility of security and comfort in which a captive elephant can express his or her natural physical, social and cognitive behaviour to the fullest extent possible.

We believe that the mission of any elephant sanctuary should be, to promote and assist the rehabilitation of captive elephants through provision of secure and naturalistic surroundings, social life and individually tailored care programs. The core focus is the physical and psychological wellbeing of individual elephants, both short- and long-term.

ElephantVoices therefore has identified the objectives that we believe any sanctuary should meet, in terms of welfare outcomes for any elephant in care, appreciating that the needs of elephants vary through time and according to their individual histories. These objectives enable us to derive Program Principles for the operation of elephant sanctuaries and, in turn, permit us to draw conclusions about the Physical Aspects - the environment and facilities - that sanctuaries should provide.

 

OBJECTIVES FOR ELEPHANT SANCTUARIES

ElephantVoices holds that the main objectives of any elephant sanctuary are to provide:

  • A management philosophy, facility lay-out and operational procedures based upon the physical, social and cognitive interests of elephants as documented by sound science and laid out in The Elephant Charter.
  • A place of refuge that seeks to restore and/or maintain the health and well-being of individual captive elephants.
  • Positive, flexible, nurturing care that seeks to fully recognise, understand and account for how the history of each elephant shapes its individual needs.
  • Environments and facilities in which individual elephants are helped to reach their fullest potential to lead a naturalistic life, following naturalistic rhythms.
  • A primary focus on developing and maintaining positive elephant-elephant social interaction through time.
  • Work practices for care givers that are safe, secure and fulfilling, yet follow the rhythms of elephant needs through each 24-hour cycle.
  • Facilities that allow for the careful introduction of elephants to each other, the continuous (24-hour) maintenance of social bonds and the careful separation and isolation of individuals when their individual welfare requires.

 

PROGRAM PRINCIPLES FOR ELEPHANT SANCTUARIES

ElephantVoices holds that elephant sanctuaries shall:

  • Have site-specific mission statements that incorporate welfare objectives.
  • Receive individual captive elephants or rescued wild orphans, who may need rest-of-life captive-care or who may be returned to the wild at an appropriate time and place.
  • Assess the individual needs of each elephant received and anticipate how these needs will change over time.
  • Develop a flexible management program for each elephant that accounts for its particular history, from before it is transferred to the sanctuary and until its release to the wild or its death.
  • Seek to establish a naturalistic social life for each individual elephant that builds, reinforces and maintains social competence, confidence and resiliency.
  • Ensure that all direct interactions between humans and elephants are designed to positively reinforce each elephant in the steps it takes toward a naturalistic life.
  • Provide a 24-hour care program for all elephants.
  • Deliver medical care as appropriate, with a holistic view of individual elephant health and wellbeing, addressing the underlying problems rather than the symptoms.
  • Employ caregivers sensitive to elephant needs, and ensure that training programs in elephant care and behavior are according to the best interest of the elephants.
  • Support the health and wellbeing of employees and their families, and recognise their dedication and service.
  • Implement site-specific codes of practice, including emergency response practices and practices to ensure elephant and human safety.
  • Develop site-specific business plans to support the financial and ecological sustainability of all sanctuary operations.
  • Use professionally recognised, legally compliant systems of sustainable human, financial and environmental resource management.
  • Use legally established systems of governance.

 

PHYSICAL ASPECTS OF ELEPHANT SANCTUARIES

ElephantVoices holds that an elephant sanctuary:

  • Is a facility designed to meet the changing needs of individual captive elephants over time.
  • Is a facility secured by appropriately constructed strong non-injurious barriers from the ingress of uninvited people and animals and the egress of elephants that ensure the safety and comfort of elephants and people.
  • Is located in a climate where elephants can remain comfortable out of doors, except in the event of extreme weather, throughout the year.
  • Encompasses areas of varied landscape that simulate natural elephant habitats in terms of topography and vegetation cover.
  • Encompasses areas sufficiently and appropriately varied to afford healthy elephants with mental and physical stimulation throughout each 24-hour cycle, according to natural rhythms indicated by wild elephant biology.
  • Encompasses a sufficient area to allow for a healthy elephant to obtain appropriate levels of physical exercise in pursuing food, water and social activity, throughout each 24-hour cycle without direct human mediation.
  • Encompasses sufficient habitat to permit the elephant inhabitants to obtain the majority of their nutritional intake from naturalistic foraging.
  • Provides elephants with a choice of shelter from extremes of climate and weather at all times.
  • Provides for securing individuals and groups of elephants in facilities that allow the safe introduction of individuals to each other and to groups; the safe introduction of groups to each other; the provision of medical treatment; and the isolation of individuals and groups for quarantine purposes.
  • Includes secure, safe, comfortable spaces, facilities and devices for the caregivers to deliver food, water, medical treatment and specific targeted elephant training that may be required to assist in rehabilitation.
  • Includes safe and secure facilities for the storage of supplemental elephant food and maintenance equipment.
  • Includes safe and secure facilities for the management of animal records and other administrative functions associated with operating the sanctuary.
  • Includes provision for heavy vehicle access to targeted points for targeted purposes.
  • Makes any provisions for guests secondary to the needs of the elephants, avoiding all potential conflict between elephant wellbeing and visitor safety.

This five freedoms were first formulated by the Farm Animal Welfare Council, a body set up by the UK government, in response to the Agriculture (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act of 1968:

  • Freedom from hunger and thirst - by ready access to fresh water and a diet to maintain full health and vigor.
  • Freedom from discomfort - by providing an appropriate environment including shelter and a comfortable resting area.
  • Freedom from pain, injury or disease - by prevention or rapid diagnosis and treatment.
  • Freedom from fear and distress - by ensuring conditions and treatment, which avoid mental suffering.
  • Freedom to express normal behaviour - by providing sufficient space, proper facilities and company of the animal's own kind.

Source: www.fawc.org.uk/freedoms.htm

Petter and I just returned from a fabulous field trip in and around the Maasai Mara. We had a wonderful time and we learned a lot, too! We had far too little time just being with elephants, but in the context of involving others in conserving the Mara elephants, that was ok. One main goal during our tour through the ecosystem was to present the unique Mara Elephants Who's Who & Whereabouts databases - developed as part of the Elephant Partners conservation initiative.

The Mara Elephants Who's Who is populated with over 750 elephants and the Whereabouts hold some 400 sightings of elephant groups; both are continuing to grow by the day. The Mapping functionality, which draws on both databases, is completely searchable and highly informative. With each additional sighting we learn something new - and we hope that you will, too.

Elephants respond rapidly to change

The Mara ecosystem represents a patchwork of different habitats, management strategies, and human interventions that create a mosaic of threats and opportunities for elephants. We are beginning to learn how elephants respond to these, and it is fascinating. Some areas are almost entirely occupied by family groups, while males prefer other areas. Although this is typical of elephants, the pattern in the Mara is, to a large extent, influenced by human activities. And these are in flux. The new conservancies are providing safe havens for elephants that didn't exist only a few years ago; migration routes have been blocked by settlement; agricultural areas are on the increase offering nutritious forage; and poaching is on the rise. The elephants are learning and responding rapidly.

The tour

We started our field trip in Mara Naboisho Conservancy on 6th October, where we joined a couple of Norwegian groups hosted by Basecamp Wilderness who had requested a special introduction to elephants. There we also continued our work with African Impact and their volunteers, and gave a lecture on elephants to the students at Koiyaki Guiding School (KGS). Founded seven years ago, KGS is a very successful endeavor - educating local youth for careers in the tourism industry. Through KGS the percentage of local employees in camps and lodges is growing. These students are important ambassadors for the Mara, for wildlife and for elephants! We also spent a day on Ol Kinyei Conservancy where we met with Jake Grieves-Cook, Porini Camps.

Between 13-19th October we worked in Nairobi with our programmers to perfect an Android-based mobile phone application, the Mara EleApp. The App allows for the collection and upload of field data on elephant group sightings, injury and sickness as well as detailed mortality information.

Diminutive female elephant on Olderikesi

On 20th October we drove to Olderikesi Conservancy on the eastern side of the Maasai Mara National Reserve. There we were generously hosted by Calvin Cottar at his 1920s Safari Camp and were introduced by Keith Hellyer to the challenges of the area. While there we were able to add 6 groups to the Whereabouts and 16 new elephants to the Who's Who, including a diminutive female elephant, f0341. The elephants on the eastern side of the Mara gather in large groups and two of those we observed were aggregations of at least 70 elephants.

We spent the next few days back on Mara Naboisho Conservancy in the company of three ElephantVoices donors/volunteers: Junia Machado and Ana Zinger from Brazil and Elena Fieni from Italy. During our stay there we had the pleasure of meeting a group of 85 elephants. Although we knew many of the individuals, about half of the families were new, including a right-one tusked female with an old wound on her right hind leg, probably caused by a spear years ago. We also spent more time with African Impact and introduced to field coordinator, Lincoln Njiru, one of the ten phones for data collection donated by IFAW.

More training of scouts and guides

On 26th October we drove west to Olchorro Conservancy where we stayed at Richard's Camp and met with Richard Roberts, Iain Douglas-Hamilton (Save The Elephants) and Mark Goss who are coordinating the new Mara Elephant Project (MEP). We also had the pleasure of flying with Iain and Richard to look for elephants and areas hit by poaching and conflict. We were introduced to some of the MEP scouts and had the opportunity to watch a parade by conservancy scout recruits.

After an entertaining stay at the camp of Warden, Marc Goss of Mara North Conservancy, we were hosted by Saruni Camp in the Lemek Hills. The MEP scouts were stationed nearby and we spent a day training them to use the Mara EleApp. Having left Saruni Camp we met up with Basecamp Wilderness guide Derrick Nabaala, who was on leave in the area. Sitting by the side of the road we went through the Mara EleApp with him, and left him with a phone.

On 30th we drove to Olare Orok Conservancy where experienced the kind hospitality of Ron and Pauline Beaton. While there we also met with Conservancy Manager, Rob O'Meara, and his wife, Sarah, and Warden, James Kaigil. Sarah shared her Olare Orok elephant photographs with us to help us build up the Mara Elephant Who's Who, and is also organising the use of a phone with the Mara EleApp on Olare Orok and Motorogi Conservancies.

In the hope of meeting new elephants we were taken to neighboring Motorogi Conservancy by the Warden. We were delighted to find a group of 30, which turned out to be Big Mama and her large family. It was wonderful to see her there - she has now been spotted in four separate areas of the Mara and our knowledge of her home range is expanding! We also stopped in to visit guides, Meshack Sayialel at Porini Lion Camp and Ping'ua Nkukuu at Mara Plains, to explain the functionality of the Mara EleApp and to encourage their participation.

Meeting up with old friends - and making some new

We proceeded on to the western side of the Mara where we were guests of Sanctuary Olonana. There we met Marcus Westberg who shared his beautiful photographs of elephants in Mara Conservancy. On 4th November we met Asuka Takita at Mara Conservancy headquarters to catch up with her news and to explain to her the use of the Mara EleApp. From there we proceeded over Mara Bridge and through the Mara Reserve to Basecamp near Talek. Along the way we covered new ground and discovered "new" elephants. We were also pleased to meet a few individuals who were already in the Who's Who. Among others, we met the well-known asymmetrical tusk matriarch, f0576, as well as f0246 with a newly broken left tusk.

The following day we trained Basecamp Guide, Agness Kilena, to collect elephant observations and to use the Mara EleApp.

The end of a fascinating Mara tour

On 6th we proceeded to our final destination, Siana Conservancy, where we stayed with Nick, Betsy, Will and Gini Cowell. Siana has experienced substantial ivory poaching this year and it was not surprising to see that the elephants there were wary. Gini is now working with us, representing Elephant Aware, collecting vital data on the elephants who use this part of the ecosystem.

On our way out of the Mara we passed by Sekenani, to follow up our contact with Park Warden, James Sindyio. During an informative two-hour meeting we discussed all kinds of issues, and collected our permit to access the Reserve when needed. Approaching Narok we made one last stop at the Kenya Wildlife Service District Office to meet with KWS Veterinarian Dominic Mijele. Dominic treats many elephants in the Mara and beyond and we felt that he would be a good person to have the last phone.

Plenty of challenges ahead - join Elephant Partners!

The Mara ecosystem is facing plenty of challenges, with human population growth, poaching and over-grazing to name a few. The need to find ways for humans and wildlife to live in more harmony is ever more critical for all stakeholders - including elephants. Telling both sides of the story is what Elephant Partners is about. By engaging people in the lives of elephants, we are building a community of people that care. Together we'll ensure the survival of the Mara elephants and their habitat. Help us make Elephant Partners go viral - participation of many is key to the future of the Mara elephants! Join us on Facebook, and spread the word.

We deeply appreciate the support and collaboration of the many people and entities mentioned in this informal travel report - and we very much look forward to be back. Thank you!

Joyce and Petter

You need to be registered and logged in to get access to individual data in the databases, which you can do through this page. A statement regarding our policy in regard to access to the data you can read here.

We welcome the use of data contained in the Elephant Partners databases. Students working on class assignments may use the data with an acknowledgement to ElephantVoices. Those wishing to write a paper for publication please contact us. In such cases we would expect authorship and, depending on the nature of the investigation, may recommend other individuals whose contributions play a central role.

We applaud the decision by the Toronto City Council to send Toka, Iringa and Thika to PAWS! Having observed the elephants at PAWS and seen the positive changes in individuals who have been placed there, we have no reservations in saying that this decision is the right choice for Toronto’s elephants. Joyce joined Toronto City Councillor, Michelle Berardinetti, and Linda Bronfman of Everyone Loves Elephants on NEWSTALK 1010 on 23 November to call for the zoo to support the Council's decision. Jane Goodall, too, has added her support for the move. Click on the image to read her strong words regarding captive elephants.

Regarding the threats by the AZA over accreditation, we wish to state the following:

Accreditation is important - when it is used to ensure that the welfare of animals are protected; but accreditation by the AZA and CAZA also means abiding by rules that have nothing to do with the welfare of elephants; indeed some of these can be detrimental to them. When it comes to the daily well being of elephants, PAWS’ standards far exceed those of the AZA. Indeed, the standards required for accreditation by the AZA and CAZA fall far short of what is needed to meet the well being of elephants.

The bullying tactics by the AZA machinery consists of the same old tired rhetoric heard each time a zoo considers sending an elephant to one of the sanctuaries. This noise is not about elephant welfare, but about an institution feeling threatened by the winds of change. The continuing misinformation and, we're sorry to say this, outright lies, emanating from the AZA about captive and even wild elephants, is tiresome, and does nothing to improve the welfare of the elephants in their institutions nor does it help the conservation of wild elephants.

It is time that we all work together to do what is best for the individual elephants held captive and for the continuing protection of a species that should, actually, remain in the wild.

Joyce & Petter


A few related articles:

Identifying elephants isn't difficult, but it requires using powers of observation and it takes a bit of practice. There are many different characteristics that you can use to identify an elephant: sex; body size; shape; length and configuration of the tusks; size and shape of the ears; ear venation patterns; notches, tears, holes in the ears. ElephantVoices has developed eight educational modules explaining how to read and understand these characteristics, also used in the Mara Elephants Who's Who database.

You should start by determining whether the elephant you are trying to identify is male or female, and get help from How to sex African Elephants.

An elephant's tail can also be used to distinguish an individual. Learn more about a few of the more obvious features by clicking on the screenshot to the right, or on one of the links to photos below. You will then start a slideshow. The caption shown is equal to respective text on this page. You can go through slide by slide - or let it run through automatically. Learn more about elephants - enjoy!

What to look for when using the tail to identify African elephants

  1. Some elephants have what we call a "kinky tail" - this particular elephant also has a unusually "short tail". Photo H1
  2. Others have an unusually "short tail" - the tail of this particular elephant would also fit into the category "kinky tail". Photo H2
  3. A few have "half tails" having been bitten by hyenas when they were calves. Photo H3
  4. Still others have been bitten and left with "no tail" at all. Photo H4

Identifying elephants isn't difficult, but it requires using powers of observation and it takes a bit of practice. There are many different characteristics that you can use to identify an elephant: sex; body size; shape; length and configuration of the tusks; size and shape of the ears; ear venation patterns; notches, tears, holes in the ears. ElephantVoices has developed eight educational modules explaining how to read and understand these characteristics, also used in the Mara Elephants Who's Who database.

You should start by determining whether the elephant you are trying to identify is male or female, and will get help from How to sex African Elephants.

Just like people, some elephants are long and lanky, while others are short and round. Indeed, elephants come in all shapes and sizes, and once you are experienced it is possible to use body shape to ID an elephant. Learn more about a few of the more obvious features by clicking on the screenshot to the right, or on one of the links to photos below. You will then start a slideshow. The caption shown is equal to respective text on this page. You can go through slide by slide - or let it run through automatically. Learn more about elephants - enjoy!

What to look for when using body characteristics to identify African elephants

  1. Many elephants in many populations (like in the Mara) bear old abscesses from arrow and spear wounds that show up as "bumps/lumps" on their body. These old wounds make very useful identifying marks. Photo G1
  2. Some elephants are "permanently lame". Photo G2
  3. A few elephants have "radio collars." Photo G3

Identifying elephants isn't difficult, but it requires using powers of observation and it takes a bit of practice. There are many different characteristics that you can use to identify an elephant: sex; body size; shape; length and configuration of the tusks; size and shape of the ears; ear venation patterns; notches, tears, holes in the ears. ElephantVoices has developed eight educational modules explaining how to read and understand these characteristics, also used in the Mara Elephants Who's Who database.

You should start by determining whether the elephant you are trying to identify is male or female, and will get help from How to sex African Elephants.

Other characteristics include the appearance of the trunk and face. Learn more about these features by clicking on the screenshot to the right, or on one of the links to photos below. You will then start a slideshow. The caption shown is equal to respective text on this page. You can go through slide by slide - or let it run through automatically. Learn more about elephants - enjoy!

What to look for when using the trunk and face to identify African elephants

  1. Sadly, many elephants have wounds caused by people. Elephants whose trunks are caught in a snare frequently lose a portion of their trunks. Select "chopped trunk". Others may have a "slit cut trunk" from spear or arrow wounds. Photo F1
  2. If elephants are fortunate enough to have the snare removed by a veterinarian, the trunk still may show signs of damage, or "other trunk injury". Photo F2
  3. Elephants may have wart or bumps or old wounds on the trunk or face, of "wart/bump face". Many elephants in the Mara bear old abscesses from arrow and spear wounds that show up as lumps and bumps on their face or body. The herpes virus also produces wart-like bumps on the trunk. Photo F3
  4. Wrinkled skin on the forehead is typical of mountain elephants in Kenya. Many elephants in the Mara have "wrinkled foreheads", perhaps because they originate from the Mau Forest. Photo F4
  5. Some female elephants noticeably have a more "pointed forehead". Photo F5

Identifying elephants isn't difficult, but it requires using powers of observation and it takes a bit of practice. There are many different characteristics that you can use to identify an elephant: sex; body size; shape; length and configuration of the tusks; size and shape of the ears; ear venation patterns; notches, tears, holes in the ears. ElephantVoices has developed eight educational modules explaining how to read and understand these characteristics, also used in the Mara Elephants Who's Who database.

You should start by determining whether the elephant you are trying to identify is male or female, and will get help from How to sex African Elephants.

Elephant ears come in a variety of shapes and sizes, but it takes some experience to see the differences in this feature. Unless you feel you can really recognize these differences we don't suggest you use them to ID elephants. But with a little practice you will find that they are very useful features for telling elephants apart.

Learn more about these features by clicking on the screenshot above right, or on one of the links to photos below. You will then start a slideshow. The caption shown is equal to respective text on this page. You can go through slide by slide - or let it run through automatically. Learn more about elephants - enjoy!

What to look for when using ear lobe size and shape to identify African elephants

  1. The lobes of very "large ears" end way below the jaw line and the main body of the ear may droop down, flop over or hang in "drapes" with the weight of the ear. Photo E1
  2. The lobes of very "small ears" reach just at the jaw line. Photo E2
  3. Ear lobes may "curl outward". Photo E3
  4. Or they may "curve inward" and backward. Photo E4
  5. This may cause the ear lobe to "bulge". Photo E5
  6. The ear lobe may also "jut forward". Photo E6
  7. In some cases covering part of the elephant's face. Photo E7
  8. Ear lobes may be "rounded". Photo E8
  9. Or they may be "pointed". Photo E9
  10. Or the edge of the ear may have a wavy appearance. Photo E10

ElephantVoices' Mara EleAppThe Mara EleApp is a customized app designed by ElephantVoices in 2011 for the collection and upload of observations of the Mara elephants. The current 2.4 version built for Android-based cell phones was published 14 March 2014. Uploaded observations are stored in the Mara Elephant Who's Who & Whereabouts databases. You have to register and be approved to contribute data and/or to use the databases.

You can find the app on Google play, and download/install it directly on your device. You will there also find quite a few screenshots giving you some help in understanding how the Mara EleApp works. You may alternatively find the app by scanning the QR code on this page with a barcode scanner on your Android-based smartphone (the free Barcode Scanner works well).

A number of people living and/or working in the Mara have been trained to use this App to collect and upload elephant sightings. You can also contribute, as long as you have registered and we have approved you.

To retain the integrity of the dataset, ElephantVoices/Elephant Partners has the right to edit observations or to unpublish any we believe are irrelevant.

 

Join and contribute to Elephant Partners - You can do so in several ways. We are grateful for your comments about and observations of the Mara elephants. Read how to contribute below. You can also follow Elephant Partners on Facebook - where you will find posts about the Mara elephants by us or by others. You can even name an elephant - here!

We welcome your financial support, too! We are using Network for Good for processing credit card donations. On the donation form you can choose to contribute directly to Elephant Partners. Please click on logo to the right - it will take just a couple of minutes to make a difference to the lives of elephants - thank you!

How to comment on an elephant

If you want to comment on a particular elephant, or on observations that have been uploaded, you can do so on the elephant's ID card. Scroll down below the photographs and you will see all the observations of that individual and a place where you can add your comment. We look forward to hearing from you!

How to upload observation data through the web

We welcome your observations! If you have seen a group of elephants, or have photographs of Mara elephants and have been able to recognize them using the Who's who, please let us know. Go to the Whereabouts pageScreenshot The Mara EleAppand click "My observations". You will be taken to the login page where you will be asked to register. When we have approved your request, go to "My observations" and click "NEW OBS" to enter a new observation. A form will appear on will to enter the information to the best of your ability. You can later edit your observation, or add an image.

How to upload data from the cellphone app

A number of people living and/or working in the Mara have been trained to use a customized Android-based app (Mara EleApp) for the upload of elephant observations. You can also contribute, as long as you have registered and we have approved you. You can download the app from the Mara EleApp page, through the link or by scanning the QR code. Read other instructions on this page - it won´t take long.

To retain the integrity of the dataset, ElephantVoices/Elephant Partners has the right to unpublish any observation we think is incorrect and irrelevant.

Identifying elephants isn't difficult, but it requires using powers of observation and it takes a bit of practice. There are many different characteristics that you can use to identify an elephant: sex; body size; shape; length and configuration of the tusks; size and shape of the ears; ear venation patterns; notches, tears, holes in the ears. ElephantVoices has developed eight educational modules explaining how to recognize these characteristics, which have been used in the Mara Elephants Who's Who database.

You should start by determining whether the elephant you are trying to identify is male or female.

Our eight educational modules are linked below.

We're grateful to the organizations, companies and individuals below for making this project possible. We also greatly appreciate our collaboration with Kenya Wildlife Service, the Narok County Council, the Conservancies and Group Ranches, the Mara Elephant Project and other stakeholders of the Mara ecosystem and its elephants.

Financial supporters

In-kind supporters

Collaborators

Sightings & photo contributors

  • Doug Aja, Pat Awory, Kerstin Bucher, Gini Cowell, Bertrand Dumont, Ole Bernt Frøshaug, Marc Goss, Keith Hellyer, Dana Jones, Agness Kilena, Lynne Leakey, Junia Machado, Dominic Mijele, Alfred Mepukori, Divya Mudappa, Jonna Nielsen, Derrick Nabaala, Gina Poole, Linda Porter, Mike Rainy, Gordon Shaw, Amos Ole Tininah, Kalyan Varma and other individuals.

Identifying elephants isn't difficult, but it requires using powers of observation and it takes a bit of practice. There are many different characteristics that you can use to identify an elephant: sex; body size; shape; length and configuration of the tusks; size and shape of the ears; ear venation patterns; notches, tears, holes in the ears. ElephantVoices has developed eight educational modules explaining how to read and understand these characteristics, also used in the Mara Elephants Who's Who database.

You should start by determining whether the elephant you are trying to identify is male or female.

By clicking on the screenshot to the right, or on one of the links to photos below, you will start a slideshow - the caption shown is equal to respective text on this page. You can go through slide by slide - or let it run through automatically. Learn more about elephants - enjoy!

What to look for to sex an African elephant

  1. Focus on the general body shape, the shape of the head, the thickness of the tusks and the genitalia. From left to right you'll see: an adult male, an adult female and a juvenile female. Photo A1
  2. In some cases the sex is obvious. Photo A2
  3. For age, males are larger than females. By age 17, males are half their body weight but they are already as tall as the largest adult females. Photo A3
  4. Males have more massive and rounded foreheads, and thicker, more conical tusks. They have no breasts between their front legs. Photo A4
  5. Females have smaller more pointed or square foreheads and more slender tusks. Adult females have two breasts between their front legs. Photo A5
  6. Adult females have two breasts located between their forelegs. Photo A6
  7. Males tend to carry their heads higher than their shoulders; their abdomens slope downward from their forelegs to hind legs. Photo A7
  8. Females tend to carry their heads lower and their abdomens are more curved. Photo A8
  9. In males the penis shaft bulges out below the tail and curves forward. Photo A9
  10. In females the genitalia look like a funnel with the vulva opening pointing downward. Photo A10
  11. Younger elephants are harder to sex but again, check out the foreheads and tusk thickness. Both these elephants are females. Photo A11

Identifying elephants isn't difficult, but it requires using powers of observation and it takes a bit of practice. There are many different characteristics that you can use to identify an elephant: sex; body size; shape; length and configuration of the tusks; size and shape of the ears; ear venation patterns; notches, tears, holes in the ears. ElephantVoices has developed eight educational modules explaining how to read and understand these characteristics, also used in the Mara Elephants Who's Who database.

You should start by determining whether the elephant you are trying to identify is male or female, and will get help from How to sex African Elephants.

It helps to be able to put the elephant you are trying to identify into a size category. Size categories correspond to rough age ranges. The size categories we use are: Calf (0-4 years), juvenile (5-9 years), small adult (10-19 years), medium adult (20-34) and large adult (35 years+). Putting elephants into size classes takes a bit of practice and we don’t recommend using this characteristic to identify elephants until you have a lot of experience.

By clicking on the screenshot above right, or on links to photos below, you will start a slideshow - the caption shown is equal to respective text on this page. You can go through slide by slide - or let it run through automatically. Learn more about elephants - enjoy!

What to look for to find the age of an African elephant (Start slideshow)

  1. Remember that adult males grow to be twice the size of adult females so the relative sizes of small adult, medium adult and large adult are different depending upon which sex you are considering. Photo B1
  2. For example, by age 17 a male is a large as a 50-year-old female, so a small adult male may be larger than a large adult female. Young males lined up to drink - a full grown female on the far right. Photo B2
  3. We use the term infant for a calf under a year old. An infant has no tusks and is generally small enough to walk under the belly of a large adult female. The genitals must be used to sex an infant. Photo B3
  4. A calf's tusks appear just beyond the lip between 18 months and two years old. Rely on genitals to sex the calf. Photo B4
  5. By three years of age a calf's tusks extend about 8 cm beyond the lip. At this age, if the calf is a female, you may notice a slight knob on her forehead; but the genitals are still definitive for sexing. Photo B5
  6. Relative sizes of three calves from left to right: Two and a half year old, one-year-old, and four-year-old female (note the slightly pointed forehead and tusks about 10 cm long). Photo B6
  7. Relative sizes from left to right: Calf under age two, juvenile female (note pointed forehead and slender tusks) and young adult female (note pointed forehead and slender tusks). Photo B7
  8. Relative sizes in a family from left to right: Calf under age two, medium sized adult female, juvenile female (note slender tusks), infant, young adult female. Photo B8
  9. Relative sizes in a family unit from left to right: juvenile, calf, young adult female, young adult female, juvenile, juvenile, medium adult female, infant, medium adult female. Photo B9
  10. Relative sizes in a family from left to right: juvenile female, medium adult female, calf, juvenile female, small adult female, juvenile female, medium adult (with infant underneath her) calf, medium adult female, calf, small adult female, infant, juvenile, juvenile, large adult female. Photo B10
  11. Mother and daughter: note that the older female has a larger body, a relatively larger head and thicker tusks. And she just looks older. Photo B11
  12. Large adult females have relatively large heads, thicker tusks, longer bodies. The oldest females may become sway-backed. Photo B12
  13. Adult males and large adult females stand out in a crowd. Spot them! Photo B13
  14. An adult male dwarfs an adult female and her juvenile daughter. Photo B14
  15. By age 17 males are as big as a large adult female, yet only half the weight of a large adult male. Small adult males have relatively small heads, relatively thin tusks and the line from their eyes to their tusks is straight. Photo B15
  16. Small adult males have relatively small heads, relatively thin tusks and the line from their eyes to their tusks is straight. Photo B16
  17. Medium adult males have larger heads than small adult males and relatively thicker tusks. As the forehead expands and the tusks thicken, the line from the eye to tusk begins to curve. Photo B17
  18. Another medium adult male. Again notice that he has a larger head than small adult males and relatively thicker tusks. Photo B18
  19. Large adult males have massive heads and thick tusks that bulge out from the face. The wide forehead and ticker tusks create a line from eyes to tusks that has an hourglass contour. They have heavy muscular bodies. Photo B19
  20. Another large adult male. Notice again his massive head and big tusks. Photo B20

Identifying elephants isn't difficult, but it requires using powers of observation and it takes a bit of practice. There are many different characteristics that you can use to identify an elephant: sex; body size; shape; length and configuration of the tusks; size and shape of the ears; ear venation patterns; notches, tears, holes in the ears. ElephantVoices has developed eight educational modules explaining how to read and understand these characteristics, also used in the Mara Elephants Who's Who database.

You should start by determining whether the elephant you are trying to identify is male or female, and will get help from How to sex African Elephants.

Over time the ears of elephants may develop a wide variety of notches, tears and holes. And each ear has a unique pattern of veins that (in a good photo) are visible on its surface. These patterns are a very useful feature, particularly when two elephants are otherwise very alike. You can use a combination of these characteristics to ID an elephant.

The edges of the ears of elephants may be smooth or have any number of size and shape notches out of them, which together create a unique pattern. The notches and tears are caused by wear and tear, though elephants with thicker ears seem to be less prone to damage.

In order to use the database effectively you need to know what terms we use to refer to the many different types of tears, notches and holes.

By clicking on the screenshot to the right, or on one of the links to photos below, you will start a slideshow. The caption shown is equal to respective text on this page. You can go through slide by slide - or let it run through automatically. Learn more about elephants - enjoy!

What to look for when using ear notches and tears to identify African elephants

  1. The edges of an elephant's ear may be "completely smooth". Photo D1
  2. Or it may be "smooth with tiny nicks" or notches. Photo D2
  3. An ear with many tiny or small nicks and notches is "serrated". Photo D3
  4. Another example of "serrated". Photo D4
  5. While one with numerous medium and larger notches and tears is "ragged". Photo D5
  6. A "V-notch" is shaped like a V. Photo D6
  7. A "U-notch" is shaped like a U. Photo D7
  8. A "cup-notch" is shaped like a tea-cup - rounded but more shallow than a U-notch. Photo D8
  9. A "dip-notch", like a dip in the road, is even shallower than a cup-notch. Photo D9
  10. A "scoop-notch" is a wide scoop out of the ear - deeper than a dip but shallower than a cup and wider than both. Photo D10
  11. A "square-notch" has sharper edges, like a square. Photo D11
  12. A "wedge" is a triangular notch out of the ear, with one side longer than the other. Photo D12
  13. A "finger-flap" is a little finger like flap that sticks out from the edge of the ear - usually apparent when there are shallow notches on either side. Photo D13
  14. A "flap-cut" is a tear in the ear where a flap of skin remains hanging down. Photo D14
  15. An "outstanding notch or tear" is a really obvious rip or tear in the ear that really stands out and makes the elephant very easy to identify. Photo D15
  16. Another example of an "outstanding notch or tear". Photo D16
  17. Elephants often get holes in their ears. They may have only one "hole", Photo D17, or:
  18. "two or more holes". Photo D18
  19. Here's another example of "two or more holes". Photo D19
  20. Holes may also be elongated and are called "slit-holes". Photo D20
  21. Some ears have very "prominent veins" that are useful as identifying features. Photo D21
  22. An elephant may have a "damaged ear", perhaps caused by a fight with another elephant. Photo D22
  23. Or elephants may have a "flop ear". Photo D23
  24. Here is another example of "flop ear". Photo D24
  25. Some elephants "have droopy ears". Photo D25
  26. While still others may have a crease or "fold ear". Photo D26

Identifying elephants isn't difficult, but it requires using powers of observation and it takes a bit of practice. There are many different characteristics that you can use to identify an elephant: sex; body size; shape; length and configuration of the tusks; size and shape of the ears; ear venation patterns; notches, tears, holes in the ears. ElephantVoices has developed eight educational modules explaining how to read and understand these characteristics, also used in the Mara Elephants Who's Who database.

You should start by determining whether the elephant you are trying to identify is male or female, and will get help from How to sex African Elephants.

Tusks come in all shapes and sizes and there is a strong hereditary component to their appearance. Tusk configuration, shape and length can be helpful in identifying elephants. Remember, though, that tusks grow, change shape, break and re-grow surprisingly rapidly. If an elephant has recently broken a tusk it is likely not to be coded into the database. If you select shorter tusk and are not able to find the elephant you are looking for, try broken tusk as that may have been coded in.

If you don't find the elephant you are looking for, try searching without selecting a tusk feature. To search for elephants using tusk shape it is useful to know what these terms mean. To learn more about different tusk characteristics click on the screenshot above right, or on one of the links to photos below. You will then start a slideshow - the caption shown is equal to respective text on this page. You can go through slide by slide - or let it run through automatically. Learn more about elephants - enjoy!

What to look for when using ear notches and tears to identify African elephants

  1. Most African elephants have two tusks. Photo C1
  2. An elephant with only one tusk is known as a "one-tusker". Select from "one - right" or "one - left". Photo C2
  3. Elephants without tusks are "tuskless". Tusklessness is very rare in males, but more common in females. Tusklessness is inherited and the daughters of tuskless females are often tuskless. In the database select "no tusks". Photo C3
  4. There is one elephant in the Mara population with three tusks. Photo C4
  5. Elephants may break tusks in fights with other elephants or perhaps while digging for minerals or prying the bark off of a tree. You may select "broken left" or... Photo C5
  6. "broken right" Photo C6
  7. "two broken" Photo C7
  8. Grooves are sometimes worn on the tips of an elephant's tusk as a result of frequent use of that tusk to break branches. These change and break off. Photo C8
  9. Tusks come in different lengths. Tusk may be "equal length", Photo C9
  10. "shorter right", Photo C10
  11. "shorter left", Photo C11
  12. "long tusks", Photo C12
  13. "short tusks". Photo C13
  14. Tusks may be symmetrical and asymmetrical. Tusks that are horizontally even are "symmetrical". Photo C14
  15. Tusks that are horizontally uneven may be "higher left", or Photo C15
  16. "higher right", Photo C16
  17. Tusks may be "upcurved", Photo C17, or
  18. "straight". Photo C18
  19. Tusks that diverge from each other are "splayed". Photo C19
  20. Tusks that curve toward each other are "convergent". Photo C20
  21. Tusks that converge and cross each other are "crossed". Photo C21
  22. Tusks may also grow in unusual ways and may be "skewed". Photo C22
  23. Or they may be plain weird or "wonky". Photo C23

Dear Friends of Elephants,

Petter and JoyceIn this issue of our eNewsletter we share with you some of our achievements and activities of recent months. Since the scope of our little organization involves everything from scientific research, elephant conservation and welfare, as well as educating the public, our working days are lively and present us with diverse challenges. This variety is reflected in the items included below. The common denominator is our desire to make the world a better place for elephants - now and in the future.

Best wishes, Joyce and Petter

The Mara elephants and Elephant Partners

The Mara elephants are coming under increasing threat from the ivory poaching situation and conflict with people. Joyce and Petter spent January and part of February in the Mara getting a new elephant conservation initiative, Elephant Partners, off the ground. You can read a blog report from that trip here. To generate interest in the Mara elephants, and as a platform to exchange information about them, we have created a Facebook Page dedicated to this initiative. In half a year it has grown to close to 1,000 members. Some of our followers are quite active, often responding with useful information and about the elephants that they have seen and photographed. These records are helping us to follow the movements of some of the more charismatic elephants.

If you want to read more about the Mara elephants and some of our early reflections, you can browse through this note published on Elephant Partners Facebook page. Further down you will find a separate piece on the project's unique online interface.

We are pleased to report that the Liz Claiborne Art Ortenberg Foundation, the National Geographic Society's Conservation Trust, the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), the Moorhead Family Fund, Abercrombie & Kent Philanthropy, the Franz Weber Foundation, Friends of Conservation, as well as generous individuals are supporting this project. We warmly thank these organizations and individuals for making this project possible.

Read more

Bullhook - abusive tool for animal controlBIG VICTORY for elephant welfare!

We have worked hard with our many colleagues to persuade the AZA and individual zoos to drop the use of bullhooks. The AZA Board has just decided that all AZA institutions must make the change over to protected contact by 2014. Protected contact places elephants and their keepers in separate spaces and removes domination, discipline and bullhooks as methods of control and gives elephants more autonomy. An incident at the Toledo Zoo in August last year and a consequent news piece with links on ElephantVoices highlights the major issues surrounding free contact.

Book cover on Amazon.com - click to peak inside!The Amboseli Elephants - get the book today!

In February, after decades of observations, years of analysis and writing, and months of editing, the tome, The Amboseli elephants: A long-term perspective on a long-lived mammal was published by University of Chicago Press. The book is a culmination of four decades of study of the Amboseli elephant population in Kenya. Led by Cynthia Moss, the Amboseli Elephant Research Project is the longest study of elephants in the world and many individuals have contributed to this work.

ElephantVoices' Joyce Poole and/or Petter Granli are authors on six of the book's chapters covering such topics as acoustic communication, postural and gestural communication, leadership, male independence and sociality, reproductive success and musth, as well as ethics and elephant conservation. Get your copy - or click on book cover to peak inside.

Poaching and the ivory trade - the slaughter continues

The recent surge in the killing of elephants across Africa and Asia is being fueled by rising demand for ivory in the Far East. Anti-poaching, intelligence and law enforcement efforts simply must be increased. But, if we want to put an end to this senseless slaughter of elephants we must also tackle the demand for ivory. The single most important effort, in our view, is to educate would-be consumers. Ivory  message in English, Chinese and Japanese. (Photo/creation by ElephantVoices)One way we do this is by keeping dedicated pages on ElephantVoices up to date with relevant information. If you google the words ivory and poaching this ElephantVoices page comes high up, and the same with this one. Other related words and combinations of words keeps us high up on the list of search returns - we are proud that ElephantVoices is having an impact! Our hope is that the concern and voices of many will force China and others to act for the future survival of elephants. A recent meeting of the CITES Standing Committee indicates that the seriousness of the situation is understood - what remains is swift action among CITES members when it comes to controlling both demand and supply.

Follow some of the world-wide media coverage of the ivory trade and poaching here - and please let your voice against the ivory trade be heard when appropriate.

Scientific papers published

In March the Proceedings of the Royal Society published Leadership in elephants: the adaptive value of age (335.01 kB), a study led by Karen McComb. Joyce was one of the authors of this paper, which showed, once again, the importance of the presence of older leaders to elephant society.

Older elephants are often the targets of poachers bullets because they have larger tusks, and because they come to the fore in defense of their families. Protecting the lives of these wise leaders of elephant society is one more reason to put an end to the gruesome trade in the teeth of these intelligent animals.

Joyce was also an author in a publication (229.86 kB) resulting from a study by Patrick Chiyo of male elephant association patterns, published in Animal Behaviour in March. As Joyce noted in her 1982 Phd thesis (34.12 MB), Chiyo found that male elephants generally associate with others males in a rather random fashion, though they also show distinct preferences for a few valuable partners. Closer analysis by Chiyo uncovered that these networks of valuable “friendships

Giving names to individual elephants helps people to remember who is who and fosters a heart-felt connection for individuals.

Name a Mara elephant - Elephant Partners logoBy providing the possibility for the public to name elephants we hope to bind together a community of people who care for the Mara elephants - those people living in the Mara who are monitoring and protecting the elephants and those who live far away whose donations support the project.

Residents of the Mara: If you know and often see a particular elephant, and if you submit regular observations to Elephant Partners online databases, you may submit your suggested name for that individual.

Non-residents of the Mara: With a donation of $500 toward this ElephantVoices' project you may give a unique name to an elephant. Educational outreach, including local scholarships, that will support the goals of Elephant Partners, will be of high priority in the allocation of such donations.

To name an elephant, and to access the Who's Who & Whereabouts databases, you will first need to register and be approved. Having logged in you can look through the Mara Elephant Who's Who database and choose an elephant, who has not already been named, and who you would like to name. Click the "I'd like to name this elephant" link on the ID card for that particular elephant. This link is not available on ID cards of elephants who have already been named. Your donation will be processed safely through ElephantVoices on PayPal, and will go directly toward the Elephant Partners initiative.

Naming donor is shown in Mara Elephants Who's Who databaseAn approved name will appear in the Mara Elephant Who's Who database, and the name of the person having given the name will also show. You can follow "your" elephant(s) by checking the observations visible through the ID card, by entering the elephant´s name or ID Code on the mapping function, through updates and potential observations posted on ElephantVoices and Elephant Partners on Facebook.

ElephantVoices has the right to approve or decline any suggested name. If a name is declined (for instance because it already exists), you may select another. ElephantVoices will not in any way sell or allow others access to your personal information.