Thursday, February 07, 2013

African tragedy: Elephant poaching zooms again

A decade or so ago, conservation authorities thought a ban in trading ivory had helped them get a handle on African elephant poaching.  Sadly, it didn't last.  Concentrating on the forest elephants of Gabon, whose hard, pink-tinged ivory is in (mostly illegal) demand in Asian markets, poachers have killed 11,000 elephants in the last eight years. In the protected national park of Minkebe, 44 to 77 percent of the elephants have been wiped out. (Forrest elephants are hard to count precisely, being smaller than their savannah cousins and residing in, of course, forests.)

The World Wildlife Fund has asked people to sign this petition. I have always been unsure of the impact of such petitions, but it's worth a try. Scientists hope an upcoming CITES meeting will be persuaded to close loopholes allowing the ivory trade to ocntinue.

No comments: