Archive for Ivory Trade

Are elephants an ‘African natural resource’ or of deeper value?

Posted in Africa: Elephants with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 27, 2010 by kendickjerkins

Following the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species on Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) held in Qatar, Botswana has threatened to pull out of the convention, and remove elephants from the list of species under protection. As expected, the elephants issue dominated this year’s CITES debate and further divided African countries. It has also emerged that Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries are unhappy with CITES. The convention banned the ivory trade. Pulling out, which is defined as reservation by species, has been mooted as a possibility, which will allow the countries to sell their ivory stockpiles.

SADC states, including Botswana, South Africa, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe, will meet throughout April, in Malawi to work out a strategy. The possibility to go into reservation follows on the proposal backed by 23 other elephant range nations that would have extended the trade moratorium on ivory trade to 20 years, from the current nine years.

Botswana has about 18 tonnes of legal ivory in its stocks and spends over P700 000 annually to secure the stock. At the last sale the country earned over US$7 million. The decision by CITES to reject Zambia’s proposal has been described as “a ban on the use of African natural resources”. According to the IMWC World Conservation Trust, these decisions mean that “significant ivory stocks will now be left in storage instead of generating revenue for use in elephant conservation. Africans are effectively being barred from utilizing their own natural resources.”

As the war on poaching rages on and the subject of ivory remains highly controversial many questions are raised regarding the fate of elephants. Are they, as some say a natural resource…better yet a national resource or do elephants hold a higher, irreplaceable and invaluable spot in this world?

(Credit: Chas Rob)

(Credit: Miha Krofel)

To read the full article, click here

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Africa’s Lost Eden: A Rare Yet Hopeful Success Story

Posted in Africa: Elephants, Africa: Lions, Africa: Primates, Africa: Rhinos, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 14, 2010 by kendickjerkins

Mozambique was torn apart by civil war in 1977.  During that war, 1,000,000 people died as well as almost the entire zebra, buffalo, and hippo population due to cross-fire killing. About 95% of the large animal population was decimated in Gorongosa National Park in addition to the rampant poaching to fund the war effort.  This in turn drastically affected the overall ecology of the region as some of the major players were no longer there: vegetation grew, birds lost their nesting habitat, fires began much more common, etc.

The park was shut down and abandoned in 1983 as clashes between opposing forces waged on for another decade. However, a relocation program was implemented in which elephants, buffalo and hopefully soon, other animals will be reintroduced into the Gorongosa National Park.  A group of scientists are trying to save this park and the species that used to be there so that another chunk of their only remaining  territory is not lost. Led by the US based Carr foundation, in collaboration with the government of Mozambique, the foundation invested about $10 million into the parks restoration between 2004-2007. Due to the rapid success of the three year project the government of Mozambique and the Carr foundation agreed in 2008 to sign a 20-year agreement to restore and co-manage the park. Today thousands of visitors visit the park annually which is open from 6am – 6pm.

Lioness in Gorongosa National Park

Urema Lake in Gorongosa National Park

A hippo and wading birds back in Gorongosa National Park.

National Geographic Wild has aired a 1 hour special on Gorongosa National Park titled ‘Africa’s Lost Eden’

To read the full article click here

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Chad’s New Elephant Guardians…

Posted in Africa: Elephants with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 13, 2010 by kendickjerkins

Keeping to his promise to ensure that Chad’s elephants fate will not become the same as in its neighboring countries, President Idriss Deby has deployed a highly trained military unit from the Chadian armed forces to aid in the protection of Zakouma National Park and its flora and fauna. This unit is working in conjunction with the existing ranger teams that are currently on the ground.

President Idriss Deby Burying poached Ivory


The legendary Zakouma National Park
was created in 1963, and was Chad’s first national park, it has an area of almost 3000 square kilometres (1200 square miles) and  is entirely surrounded by the
Bahr Salamat Faunal Reserve, which is a conservation area of roughly 20,600 square kilometres.

Zakuma’s Legendary Elephant Herds


For many years Zakouma was neglected during the period of civil conflict, but with the arrival of President Deby to power a restoration has began and is continuing to date. Zakuma boasts in rich  and diverse wildlife population that includes over 44 species of large mammals as well as many species of birds.

Zakouma National Park has been nominated to become a Unesco World Heritage Site.

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Pangolins….The Other Bushmeat

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 23, 2010 by kendickjerkins

Throughout much of Southeast Asia and countries like Vietnam there is still a thriving market for bushmeat and animal parts. The fact of the matter is that it’s still culturally acceptable in some of these countries to eat these animals and use their parts for medicinal purposes. Saturday, security staff at southern Ho Chi Minh City’s Tan Son Nhat airport on Saturday confiscated 33 live Pangolins, Tuoi Tre newspaper reported. The pangolins, also known as scaly anteaters, had been sold to customers in the country’s north at a price of one million dong (53 dollars) per kilogram, Tuoi Tre reported.

Demand for pangolin meat, with its supposedly medicinal and aphrodisiac qualities, is widespread in China and Vietnam. There is a high demand for pangolin scales for traditional medicines in many parts of the world. Meat is eaten by indigenous peoples and hides are also used to make shoes. One of the main importers of pangolin skins from 1980-1985 was the United States of America. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) list pangolins as endangered.

Separately, Vietnamese police have seized about 100 kilograms (220 pounds) of ivory near the border with China, a newspaper reported on Sunday. Traffic police made the discovery after stopping a car early Friday morning, said Tuoi Tre, which did not say if any arrests were made.

To Read The Full Article…Click Here

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It’s Official, Tanzania and Zambia’ Request to Sell Ivory Have Been Turned Down

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 22, 2010 by kendickjerkins

Today, the UN’s wildlife trade organizations have turned down Tanzania’s and Zambia’s requests to sell ivory. This is a great victory for conservationist and wildlife fans alike and a monumental step towards ending poaching. For the past month  we have been updating viewers about all that has been going on leading up to CITES CoP15, which has been going on for the past week. Through the awareness created, the numerous petitions that we’ve rallied and  our supporters who signed and spread the petition, a movement was created.

It is without a doubt that the public outcry that was created and the nearly 500,000 petition signatures shifted the decision made by the standing committee. However,  it doesn’t just end there,  stopping the legal sale of ivory stockpiles is one thing, but the illegal ivory trade still continues to flourish. We must continue to raise awareness about this issue and educate others. Laws and documents aren’t going to end poaching and stop the demand for ivory, educating the end user is what’s needed.

Below is a video created by the Environmental Investigation Agency into the illegal ivory trade in Tanzania and Zambia, the 2 countries who’s proposal to legalize ivory sale was just rejected.

To read the BBC article on the official news…click here

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Congo: An Elephant War Zone

Posted in Africa: Elephants with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 19, 2010 by kendickjerkins

The poaching of elephants in Democratic Republic of Congo has “dramatically increased” since 2006, a group of researchers said. The findings were based on data gathered from 11 parks and reserves throughout Congo and compiled by a group of American and Canadian researchers affiliated with the TL2 conservation project in central Congo.

Most elephant deaths came at the hands of organized armed groups, the researchers said in a statement on March 16. Congo is recovering from more than a decade of war that left millions dead, and armed groups in the east of the country still use national reserves as hideouts.“The large scale commercial based poaching exploded in 2009, and is comparable to levels in the 1980s which led to a major decline of Congo’s elephants,” the researchers said.

Congo’s elephant population is now around 20,000, down from an estimated 100,000 a decade ago, the statement said.

The rare Congo forest Elephants

Ranger displaying confiscated ivory

To Read the Full Article…Click Here

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Rhino Snipers…New Trend Emerges…

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 17, 2010 by kendickjerkins

In an unprecedented turn of events Rhino poaching has reached a new level. It is without a doubt that the war on poaching and wildlife crimes has escalated to such a point where organized crime syndicates are getting involved. These are not your typical locals using machine guns, snares and spears. They are highly organized, highly trained individuals from crime  syndicates using high-tech weaponry and vehicles. They have systematically planned missions to go in, kill, and take what they need and leave without a trace.

On Monday 8 March 2010 two female Rhinos were illegally killed on the Rietvlei Nature Reserve in South Africa. From the evidence collected at the crime scene it is apparent that the perpetrators used a dart gun to kill the animals and that they were in a helicopter. The rhinos were overdosed with tranquilizers and killed. The poachers cut off the horns and left the crime scene by helicopter. The carcasses of the two animals were discovered by Nature Conservation staff of the City of Tshwane.

To Read The Full Article…Click Here

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EXCLUSIVE: Sticking to his Guns – Chad’s President personally involved in the fights for brighter future of his country’s Flora and Fauna

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 12, 2010 by Dori G

Over a month ago we wrote about Chad’s President Mr. Idriss Déby and his personal involvement and commitment in saving Chad’s wildlife.

Sticking to his commitment for brighter future of Chad’s Flora and Fauna, we are pleased to inform you that we just found out that President Déby recently removed a cabinet minister as well as a high ranking army official, that were involved with  wanton destruction of Chad’s Flora and Fauna.

One of Zakuma’s Legendary Elephant herds

Saving Chad’s Elephants…..

Ivory Wars : Support Petitions to Ban Ivory

Posted in Africa: Elephants with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 10, 2010 by kendickjerkins

First off thank you to everyone who took the time to sign the petitions and voice their support for Elephants in these volatile and critical times.  It has been nearly a month since we first posted a petition in support of the ban on ivory. Now with CITES CoP15 drawing closer by the day the decision on whether or not ivory stockpiles will be sold comes even closer.

In the words of  Dr. Julius Kipngetich, from a speech last year,”everytime there is a CITES decision on Trade in Elephant Ivory, you always see a spike in poaching activities. The recent escalation is a direct result of CITES 2007 decision allowing 4 southern African states to trade in Ivory

Currently, the petition on saying NO to the decision to sell Ivory Stockpiles, by the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust is closed. The petition collected 11,615 signatures, which will be presented to all relevant contacts to each of the parties of CITES CoP15, 3 days from now. The other petition, which will be presented to the CITES Secretary-General, is currently ongoing and has amassed over 50,000 signatures thus far. You can find it here.

There is another petition, created recently by the organization AVAAZ, calling out all relevant parties of CITES to extend the ban on ivory for at least another 20 years. It has currently amassed over 220,787 signatures and is constantly increasing.

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about the things that matter”


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Support Petitions to Ban Ivory

Posted in Africa: Elephants with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 8, 2010 by kendickjerkins

It has been nearly a month since we first posted a petition in support of the ban on ivory. Now with CITES CoP15 drawing closer by the day the decision on whether or not ivory stockpiles will be sold comes even closer.  In the words of  Dr. Julius Kipngetich, from a speech last year,”everytime there is a CITES decision on Trade in Elephant Ivory, you always see a spike in poaching activities. The recent escalation is a direct result of CITES 2007 decision allowing 4 southern African states to trade in Ivory”

It is now imperative that people around the world voice their support for the ban on ivory because this meeting can and will decide the fate of elephants and other species in the future.

Help wildlife in Africa by taking a few minutes and signing the following petitions.

The first petition, found here is the initial petition we were promoting. It is sponsored by the Care2 petition site and is aimed at CITES Secretary-General Willem Wijnstekers. The second petition, found here, supported by the David Sheldrick  Wildlife Trust is a request urging members of the 15th Meeting of the Conference of the Parties of CITES to vote NO on the decision to sell ivory stockpiles.

No words needed……


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