- In June, the Center for Biological Diversity petitioned the US Fish and Wildlife Service to reclassify African elephants as two separate species — the savannah elephant and the forest elephant — under the Endangered Species Act. CBD’s Tara Easter notes that both species are disappearing at an alarming rate, including a larger than 60 percent decrease in forest elephants, a trend sparked by the illegal ivory trade.
- A recent Forbes article shone a spotlight on international sales of ivory, reporting that the trade rakes in billions of dollars each year. Among other disturbing facts, the piece said Tanzanian poachers “can sell one elephant’s incisors for what often amounts to nearly three months of wages–$300 USD a kilo.”
- And last Friday, the India Times posted a report on a £20 million initiative by five NGOs to secure 100 elephant corridors in India by 2025. The impetus for the move is the increasing fragmentation of forests and rising conflicts — illegal poaching still goes on there — between humans and elephants in the East Asian nation. The article says 400 people and 50 elephants are estimated to be killed in India every year due to these conflicts.
And then there is this from the World Wildlife Fund:
On Friday, June 19, the United States government crushed one ton of ivory. The ivory that was destroyed was comprised of full and carved tusks and hundreds of ivory trinkets that was seized from a single store in Philadelphia in 2009. Crushing ivory ensures that stockpiles of seized ivory will never again be sold.
We must put an end to the senseless killing of wild elephants.
WWF says that behind every piece of ivory is a dead elephant and that each purchase of ivory only fuels the current poaching crisis. With that in mind, the organization asks that we sign a petition thanking the US Fish and Wildlife Service and the Obama administration for their demonstrated commitment to end the devastating slaughter of elephants for their ivory and to double down on making sure that the US does not participate in or drive the illegal wildlife trade.
Get busy: Sign the petition.