In Chad, on the night of March 14-15, poachers slaughtered 89 elephants, including over 30 pregnant mothers.
Eight Central African nations
announced on Saturday that they are sending a thousand soldiers and law-enforcement officials to start joint military operations to protect the region’s last remaining savanna elephants, threatened by the Sudanese poachers who are on a killing spree in the region.
The mobilization could be a sign that Central African countries are beginning to take elephant poaching, which has decimated populations across Africa, more seriously.
The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) reports that the group of heavily armored, horse-riding poachers are also believed to be responsible for killing some 30 elephants in the Central African Republic earlier in the year as well as 300 elephants in Cameroon’s Bouba N’Djida National Park in early 2012.
Savanna elephant populations in the Central African Republic – the country with historically the highest numbers of savanna elephants in the region – are believed to have plummeted from around 80,000 thirty years ago to a few hundred today.
Given the increasingly dire elephant poaching crisis, delegates at the 16th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to CITES, recently concluded in Bangkok, essentially sidestepped the issue, choosing to shy away from the controversial topic of elephants and ivory for fear of stressing relationships between countries.
Despite gripping speeches delivered about “the elephant poaching crisis” and the “unsustainable” levels of elephant mortality, and the fact that it is globally accepted that China is the single largest ivory consuming nation in the world, with an extensive and well documented legal and illegal ivory trade, there were no calls for China — or Thailand, also complicit in the ivory trade — to shut down their flourishing legal domestic markets for ivory. Incredibly, the specific roles of the two countries in fomenting the crisis was not even addressed.
The situation has been enabled by CITES parties themselves when they decided in 2008 to allow certain African countries to sell ivory to China in a “one-off” sale. A move which proved disastrous as it sent a strong signal to organized crime and poachers in the field that elephant ivory is a commodity of financial value to be traded.
Acceptance of the ivory trade is endemic in China, Vietnam and Thailand which are filled to the neck with illegal animal parts, with the police just walking by.
China’s illicit ivory trade has steadily grown in the last twenty years as the country’s emerging middle class has grown an appetite for luxury goods and ancient animal-based medicines. There are more tigers in tiger farms in China then there are in the wild. When asked to stop the practice of tiger farming, China legalized it.
It is estimated that 25,000 elephants were killed for their tusks in 2011. Over the next 3 years before the next CITES meeting, it is estimated that another 100,000 elephants will be killed.
The slaughter in Africa is increasingly in the world’s spotlight. Hopefully justice will prevail, the poachers will be caught and the message sent that the wanton slaughter of wildlife will not be tolerated.
Source: World Wildlife Fund
Shout out: Mongabay.com
What can these people have as alternatives for feeding their families? It’s rough there – no water, no crops. I have lived in Africa ( and not poorly ) and even would say an industrial ivory trade it is rising now parallel to the disruption in northern africa and the migration and desertification. In truth, many Africans pride themselves on their elephants and a few have no way to feed their families. Its a dual problem. The demand for ivory could not have suddenly have gone up in the last year – you see? It’s related to the wars happening now.Some of it is disgustingly political. From what I see, the last two years has been the most destructive world wide for all animals, including the weird dolphin killings.Sick of it too.
As for elephants and rhinos, organized crime plays a much much larger role than people imagine. Re the dolphins-that appears to be the work of a psycho.
I know – so why can’t they work on elephant farming? In all seriousness. I know they need to roam, and borders could be an issue. They have to do something before they ruin their own tourism and economic futures too.
Also, elephants can be destructive. Be wise to pay farmers that have had farms destroyed by big game. They have a system in place like that in north africa with rare Giraffes – where they reimburse farmers with seeds for looking after pesky animals.
But yes, in some cases, especially this one, its out of control.
So many sick people out there right now too…here people have no excuse for beating up on animals to ‘survive’. Thank you for your reply…it worries me all so much…
I want to add, I don’t see Elephants as pesky (!) I love them and I imagine they are smart enough to know they are being hunted. What a way to survive.
Reblogged this on Family Survival Protocol.
Reblogged this on Ann Novek–With the Sky as the Ceiling and the Heart Outdoors.
“China is the single largest ivory consuming nation in the world, with an extensive and well documented legal and illegal ivory trade…”
Do these people give a shit about anything? Their greed is destroying the planet! I say we send US troops over there to protect these precious animals.