Tag Archives: extinction

Jane Goodall – Why hasn’t Canada banned the elephant ivory trade?

Thanks to the amazing Jane Goodall for her op-ed in today’s Globe and Mail in honour of World Elephant Day. Please sign our petition or write your MP to end the legal trade of ivory in Canada today.

OPINION

Why hasn’t Canada banned the elephant ivory trade?

by Jane Goodall – The Globe and Mail

My fascination with and love for elephants began when I first encountered a herd. I was on foot in the forests on the rim of Ngorongoro Crater, and I was able to spend time with these magnificent beings in Tanzania’s Ruaha National Park. I was there with my late husband, Derek Bryceson, who was the director of Tanzania National Parks at the time. We had arranged training workshops for park rangers who would follow individuals and record their activities using techniques similar to those we developed in Gombe to monitor chimpanzee behaviour.

Although I could not be there often, I got to know a number of elephants individually. There was Fred, a juvenile male. He was a real show-off and would chase almost anything – antelopes, warthogs, cattle egrets – trumpeting fiercely, ears spread. I even saw him charge a butterfly.

One individual I especially loved was a very old male, Ahmed. His ears drooped and his skin was loose, hanging in folds around his ankles. He moved slowly and deliberately and often stood in the shade by himself, his trunk draped over one of his tusks.

Elephants are highly intelligent. During dry periods, the older members of the herd remember the locations of water holes they visited years before. They form strong social bonds and have emotions similar to our own. If danger threatens, the adults will circle the mothers and calves protectively and are ready to charge. They care for adults of the herd as well: One researcher observed three male elephants attempt to revive a dying matriarch, lifting her body with their tusks as they tried in vain to get her back on her feet.

On World Elephant Day, we pay tribute to these wise, gentle giants who so perfectly represent the natural wonders of the world.

But today is not a time for celebration. This magnificent species, which once roamed across Africa in great herds, has been pushed toward extinction. In 1930, as many as 10 million elephants inhabited the continent. Today, there are only some 400,000 left. This decrease is almost entirely the ugly result of poaching, which is backed by criminal cartels to satisfy the demand for ivory. How shameful that human greed threatens these majestic, intelligent beings, slaughtering them for their tusks.

If we are to save this species, the demand for ivory – and other elephant parts – must end. In 2016, at the most recent conference hosted by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, the African Elephant Coalition (which comprises 29 countries representing the overwhelming majority of range states in which African elephants are found) called on countries around the world to close their markets for commercial trade in raw and worked ivory. The proposal was supported through a unanimous resolution.

Canada – along with Japan, Namibia and South Africa – has refused to do so. Unlike China, once the largest single market for the buying and selling of legal and illegal ivory, Canada continues to sanction a domestic marketplace for elephant ivory.

As a policy, Ottawa has banned sales of ivory from elephants killed post-1990. But because ivory is extremely difficult to date, illegally harvested supplies enter the Canadian market with little or no difficulty. (Canada has also expressed concern that banning elephant ivory could affect the well-regulated Inuit trade in worked narwhal and walrus ivory, although no evidence has been cited to support this claim.)

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Canada also permits the importation of elephant trophies. Between 2007 and 2016, Canada allowed the legal importation of more than 400 elephant skulls and 260 elephant feet, according to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, which tracks the movement of animals and animal parts.

Hunting causes terrible suffering to thousands of individual elephants. Moreover, profits from poaching fund criminal cartels, destabilize communities and feed corruption. Park rangers, on the front lines of protecting all wildlife, also pay a high price: In 2018, at least 63 African game rangers died in the line of duty, often leaving their families without support. And a number of people working to bring the ivory barons to justice have been brutally murdered.

On World Elephant Day, the Ivory-Free Canada coalition, of which the Jane Goodall Institute of Canada is a member, is calling on Canada to ban the trade in elephant ivory. With its partners, – Elephanatics, Humane Society International-Canada, World Elephant Day and Global March for Elephants and Rhinos-Toronto – the coalition is asking Canada to join other responsible countries in the fight to save these iconic animals from extinction.

When I see elephant tusks or elephant ivory trinkets, I see the suffering and brutal death of the individual to whom they once belonged and the terror and heartache of the others in the herd.

But together we can change this. I choose elephants, not ivory. I choose an Ivory-Free Canada.

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2016 Mardi Gras for Elephants and Rhinos: A celebration 4 life

12734243_10153776260215358_6944977851216971239_n.jpgAs some of you may know I work to raise awareness of the issues facing the world’s remaining Asian and African elephants. I am part of a group based in Vancouver called Elephanatics. We are a conservation group that does educational outreach, action and advocacy in Canada on behalf of elephants.

For the last two years we have organized a event in Vancouver that is part of a global, grassroots initiative called The Global March for Elephants and Rhinos. Last year over 140 cities organized worldwide. This year we hope to have even more cities participate. Our goal is put continued  pressure on governments and policy makers worldwide to end the ivory and rhino horn trade and to save many of Africa’s endangered species by moving them to Appendix 1 under the convention of the international trade in endangered wildlife and fauna known as CITES.

We are encouraging people in cities around the world to organize events large and small (last year two elderly women organized an event on their street corner which was completely inspiring!)

Without global action elephants and rhinos will be extinction with 10 to 25 years.

On September 24th events will be held worldwide for the opening day of CoP17 in Johannesburg.

Vital decisions on elephants, rhinos and lions are to be made at CoP17 by 181 members of CITES. Our objectives are to halt all trade and to get governments (who are CITES members) to change laws, have political will to stop the trade.

Last year over 50,000 people marched to raise awareness and to demand an end to the poaching crisis that is pushing them rapidly towards extinction.

The poaching of elephants and rhinos has reached unprecedented heights in recent years as the demand for ivory and rhino horn has soared in China and other mainly Asian markets.

An elephant is brutally killed every 15 minutes – 35,000 every year.

A rhino is poached every 11 hours with an estimated 24,000 left in the world. Over 1,000 rhinos were poached last year alone, compared to 13 in 2007.

Speakers at Vancouver’s events this year are:

Patricia Sims –  Co-Founder of the annual World Elephant Day, a global awareness campaign that brings attention to the critical threats facing elephants. The campaign reaches millions of individuals across the globe through events, traditional media, and social media outreach.
She produced, directed and wrote the documentary When Elephants Were Young,  narrated by William Shatner which won best documentary awards in both the Whistler Film Festival and Palm Springs FF..

Paul Blackthorne is an English Actor for film, television, and radio. He is currently a lead actor in the series “Arrow” which is filmed in Vancouver BC. Over the past three years he has collaborated with different conservation organizations to help raise awareness about the poaching crisis facing the African elephant and the rhino. He has run two successful t-shirt campaigns: One in Vietnam for the rhino with the slogan “Keep Rhinos Horny” and another for the elephant “Poach Eggs Not Elephants”.He is a committed social activist for wildlife conservation and has implemented a range of activities calling for joint global efforts to save wild animals, especially the elephant and rhino.

Mike Farnworth is the current NDP MLA for Port Coquitlam.
He serves as Opposition Spokesperson for Justice (Public Safety and Solicitor General).

Mike has been adamant in trying to fight a loophole in Canadian law that allows rhino horn to be sold if it can be proven to be obtained before 1975. Illegal horn is easily mixed with legal horn and thus forms a loophole. He recently tabled a private members bill at the legislature to outlaw the sale of ivory and rhino horn.
Join us on Twitter: @condofire @elephanaticsBC
Vancity_GlobalMarchElephants Instagram

Here is a short informational video about the ivory trade:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HfooocokOr4&list=UULXXG0683FswkRlXk4CTjFQ

www.elephanatics.org

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The Importance of an Ivory Burn

The Importance of an Ivory Burn

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Some people ask what the reasoning is behind an ivory burn. Some have suggested that flooding the market with ivory would help drive down prices and demand or that a one-time sale of this ivory could fund conservation efforts.

Discussion was further fuelled by Kenya’s recent ivory burn that took place in Nairobi National Park on April 28th, 2016. With eleven pyres of the tusks of roughly 8,000 elephants, as well as rhino horns and animal skins, this was the largest burn every to take place.

Many nations, including the US and Kenya have publicly destroyed ivory contraband to stop the trade. (Ivory Stockpile Burns 1989 – 2016)

Here are some reasons why the ivory burn was the right decision.

  • The ivory is illegal to sell as per CITES Appendix I and many nations’ laws;
  • Previous one-off sales of ivory have resulted in dramatic increases in poaching; and its sale would be morally reprehensible.
  • Countries who destroy ivory show that they value the whole elephant, that ivory belongs only on them, and it’s valuable ONLY to living elephants.
  • If Kenya’s 105-tonne ivory stockpile had legally entered the market, it would have provided a conduit for laundering the vast amounts of illegal ivory that are smuggled out of Africa and into Asian nations, funding terrorist groups like Boko Haram and al-Shabab.
  • History has shown us that after CITES listed the African elephant on Appendix I and banned the international trade in ivory in 1989, poaching levels dropped, elephant populations began to recover and flourish again, and the illegal trade slowed dramatically.
  • The two legal CITES one-off sales of ivory stockpiles, to Japan in 1997 and Japan and China in 2008, had disastrous consequences for African elephants.
  • China’s ivory carving factories fired up and the poaching crisis exploded.
  • More than 100,000 African elephants have been slaughtered in recent years, with approximately 90% of tusks successfully smuggled through transit nations and into the vast black market. The New York Times reported in 2012 that 70% of illegal ivory was being smuggled into China. Legal trade fuels poaching and increases demand for more ivory.
  • China’s population is 1.408 *billion* people. Even if only 1% of the Chinese people purchased ivory, that’s still 14 million people demanding it. With only about 450,000 elephants at most still existing on the African continent, the species would be wiped out with legal trade and an escalation in demand.
  • It’s estimated that only 10% of illegal tusks are intercepted and seized. Imagine how immense Kenya’s burning stockpile would have been if all illegal ivory had been recovered.

Elephant advocate Ann Early made the point about today’s ivory burn in the most succinct statement we’ve read, and kindly gave her permission to share it:

“All day I’ve been defending the Kenya ivory cremation in comments on articles or posts from people who think the tusks should be put on the market to raise money for Kenya. it is hard for some people to grasp the moral contradiction of selling the tusks of poached elephants into the ivory market while decrying the destruction and unspeakable torment of this species by that very same trade.”

Kenya did the right thing and we applaud the Kenya Wildlife Service for their hard work and vision, as well as Dr. Richard Leakey and Dr. Winnie Kiiru who supervised the operation and the verification of inventory. Thank you to all the elephant researchers and conservationists who attended the ivory burn; as heartrending as these images are for those of us a continent and ocean away, we can only imagine how sorrowful it must have been for you to witness in person with the acrid smell of smoke and death in the air.

Someday future generations who will inherit the earth will look back at these times and the ghastly crimes against elephants and nature, which are also crimes against humanity, particularly the African people. Robbing a nation’s people of their wildlife – which provides tourism jobs and accounts for 12% of Kenya’s GDP – and killing the creatures who grow the forests and are intrinsic parts of their ecosystems is a crime against the nation’s people.

Humanity should collectively hang our heads in shame for the elephants’ unfathomable suffering and tortuous deaths. It’s a stain on our species that legal trade in ivory was ever allowed and that we have not yet stopped the poaching. It is our imperative to do so.

This is our last chance to save elephants from extinction. We don’t get a do-over once they’re gone, and if we allow elephants and rhinos to go extinct, it would be humanity’s unpardonable crime.

Photo credits:

First photo: Stand Up Shout Out

Text adopted from : ‪#‎GMFER core strategist Lori Sirianni, on behalf of the Global March for Elephants and Rhinos

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David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust Orphan’s Supporting the Global March for Elephants and Rhinos October 3rd and 4th 2015

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Today is World Elephant Day

Every day at the DSWT is World Elephant Day! But today is a chance for us to celebrate the species together and let the world know why they need our protection.

Watch as our Nursery Head Keeper, Edwin Lusichi, takes you on a journey in his life – caring for orphaned baby elephants in Nairobi, today and everyday.

For more ways to help today, please visit: http://www.dswt.org/WED

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Global March for Elephants and Rhinos – Vancouver 2015

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Please help spread the word and join the Global March for Elephants and Rhinos march. Last year 137 cities marched (50,000 people). This year already over 100 cities around the world are organizing to end the poaching war against elephants and rhinos. Find your city here.Learn more about the Global March here.

Oct 3rd – Vancouver Public Library – 350 West Georgia – North Plaza

12:00 pm  to 2:00 pm

Register here!

#March4ElesandRhinos #MarchAgainstExtinction

Find us at:  @condofire @elephanaticsbc

Speakers:

Dr. Jake Wall (Save the Elephants)
Dr. Hedy Fry – MP Vancouver Centre

Rosemary Conder – BC SPCA

Vancouver will once again be taking part in the Global March for Elephants and Rhinos to draw attention to the crisis facing these two species and to call for an end to the ivory and rhino horn trade that is pushing them rapidly towards extinction.

The poaching of elephants and rhinos has reached unprecedented heights in recent years as the demand for ivory and rhino horn has soared in China and other mainly Asian markets. The ivory trade is also fueling terrorist groups, transnational criminal gangs, and armed militias that are destabilizing African countries as well as posing serious threats to international security.

An elephant is brutally killed every 15 minutes – that’s around 100 every day, and at least 35,000 every year. With so few numbers left (some estimates put the figure as low as 250,000 for the entire continent), and with such a slow reproductive cycle, the outlook is looking tragically bleak for elephants. If we don’t take action now to stop this massacre, it will be too late to save them. They will vanish forever – in about 10 years.

A rhino is poached every 11 hours with an estimated 24,000 left in the world. Over 1,000 rhinos were poached last year alone, compared to 13 in 2007. If the rate of killing continues to rise, rhinos too face extinction within the decade.

Here is a short informational video about the ivory trade:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HfooocokOr4&list=UULXXG0683FswkRlXk4CTjFQ
Please help spread the word – Join the Vancouver march here! Join the march on FB.

Hosted by elephanatics BC – a  Vancouver based elephant advocacy group

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My nieces – wildlife advocates – collaborators – A plea to save Elephants and Rhinos from extinction

My nieces Ella and Taya have been great supporters of the Global March for Elephants and Rhinos. This post is a collaboration between the two. Ella wrote it in French and Taya translated, edited and added her editorial precision to the content of this piece.It’s a work of real collaboration.

My niece Ella she has been raising money, marching, and giving talks to her friends and fellow students about the crisis facing Africa’s wildlife. This was written after the girls visit with their family to Kenya this spring. I think they’re remarkable, Ella is 12 and Taya is 14.

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I’m asking you, if you love elephants, rhinos, and animals, are you doing everything you can to help them?

My family and I recently went on a trip to Africa. While we were there, we saw some amazing animals and surreal sights. Some of the most fascinating animals we saw were the eight elephant herds, and about twenty five rhinos. I find that it’s crazy to think that, at the rate we are going all the rhinos will be extinct in ten to fifteen years and that in fifteen to twenty years,elephants will be gone as well.

One of the worst things about this crisis is that we, as humans, are in full control over this problem and over their lives. The two main reasons for their disappearance are ivory poaching and habitat loss. Ivory poaching is what I find really astounding.  How could people want to kill these beautiful animals for their tusks? And then they use them as a symbol of their high social status, or to show people they have money. There is still hope of ending ivory poaching, but with every day that goes by, their chance for survival decreases.

Did you know that in the last one hundred years 95% of the elephant population was killed for their ivory tusks? And up to one-hundred elephants are killed each day. There are now only about 400,000 African elephants left in the world. Maybe this number seems big to you, but it is actually quite small compared to how it used to be. In 1940, only 75 years ago, there were about 3 to 5 million African elephants in the world.

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Rhinos are in greater danger because many they are rapidly approaching extinction. The main reason that rhinos are killed is because their horns are believed, by many countries, to be a cure for disease.  For example, in Vietnam, they believe that  rhino horn can cure cancer. However, their horns are made of the same thing as our nails, so biting our nails and using rhino horn for the treatment of diseases has virtually the same effect.

For some time, it appeared that there was hope for rhinos. In 2002, the number of rhinos killed was 25 which was surprisingly small. It kept improving each year, and in 2006, ten rhinos were killed. In 2007, that number went down to seven and it looked like an end to rhino poaching was approaching. However, since 2008, the numbers of rhinos killed each year has dramatically increased. The years following “the big improvement”, the situation has gotten worse, to the point where, in 2014, we have killed 1215 rhinos for their horns.

In Africa, we were able to see one of the five remaining northern white rhinos left in the world. We also saw the southern white rhino, and the black rhino. There is no hope for the northern white rhino, as they have tried to introduce them to each other and they will not mate, They will be officially extinct as soon as the five remaining rhinos die. The black rhinos are also endangered, with 4,848 rhinos left. The southern white rhino came back from an extremely close call with extinction and they now have a status of a near threatened species with 20,000 southern white rhinos left.

The poachers, even though they are the ones who kill elephants and rhinos for their ivory, are not the main reason for the approaching extinction of these animals. The big problem we face is the consumers. Their demand for ivory is the main reason these species are endangered, as without the high demand, the poachers have no reason to kill the elephants and rhinos.

In order to stop ivory poaching, we need to stop the consumers from killing elephants and rhinos. In a poll back in 2007, the IFAW (International Fund for Animal Welfare) discovered that 70% of Chinese, the largest consumers of ivory, weren’t aware that they had to kill  elephants in order to get their ivory. The word for ivory, in Chinese, means elephant teeth, so many thought getting ivory was similar to pulling out somebody’s teeth. As a result of this poll a campaign was launched to raise awareness of ivory poaching. The campaign was simple enough- a poster explaining ivory poaching and how they got the ivory. The advertisement done by JC Decaux, the biggest outdoor advertising company in the world,

The posters had an outstanding impact on people’s views of ivory. Another survey, this one in 2013, showed that the posters had been seen by 75% of the population, and the number of high-risk consumers of ivory (those who are most likely to buy objects made of ivory) had been cut in half. There is still hope for the animals if we act fast, and are committed to making a difference.

When my family and I were in Africa, we saw many incredible things, but there is one memory in particular that stands out. While we were driving through the plains, we came across a group of about eight rhinos. We drove a bit closer, and we saw eight piles of rocks there, under a tree. There was a sign beside the tree.  Ol PejetaThat was when you fully realize the effect of poaching on these animals. The rhinos had a life before they were poached; they had a family, friends, and others who would remember them, much like us.

Their death affected the other rhinos, just like the death of someone we knew and cared about would affect us for the rest of our life.

We need to save these animals while we can. There is still hope, but how long will it last?Rhino 2Elephant 1

Rhino 1

Elaphant 2

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