July 2015 - Conservation News

Tanzania's elephant catastrophe: 'We recalculated about 1,000 times because we didn't believe what we were seeing'

Tanzania has lost two-thirds of its once mighty elephant population in just four years, writes Aislinn Laing

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Is this finally the first real sign of the ending of the ivory trade?

China's recent promise to end the ivory trade in China has been strengthened by yet another ivory crush in Beijing demonstrating their resolve to end the ivory trade. As Iain Douglas-Hamilton recently stated “ The Chinese concept of ecological civilisation is becoming reality for elephants. New data suggests that the price of ivory in China may have already begun stagnating in 2014 amid the first significant reduction in the number of licensed ivory factories and retail outlets”. Ivory prices held stagnant in 2014 as opposed to the tripling of price between 2010-2013. Ivory carving and retail outlets have also decreased substantially since licensing was introduced. In February this year, the Chinese government made a 1 year ban on the import of ivory into China. In May this year, Zhao Shucong, minister of the State Forestry Administration, stated, ‘We will strictly control ivory processing and trade until the commercial processing and sale of ivory and its products are eventually halted’. This is long-awaited and very positive news.

PAMS Foundation (pamsfoundation.org) latest: More arrests of poachers in South Tanzania

The RUVUMA Elephant Project in South Tanzania brought about the arrest a few weeks ago of a poacher with rifle and ammunition in a village close to the RUVUMA river which borders Mozambique. This followed another arrest of 2 poachers in the same area who were discovered with locally made weapons. Well done – keep up the good work !

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