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|Ivory and Elephants|
Peter Matthiessen comments on ivory related deaths
Ian Parker offers another perspective
Japanese Wildlife Conservation Society ivory views
Recent Seizure of ivory bound for Japan
Ivory Markets of Africa
CITES Timeline on ivory
(Conference on the
International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora)
treaty approved and African elephants placed in Appendix II (allowing
monitored international trade in ivory and other products) and the Asian
elephant placed in Appendix I (no trade allowed in any products,
comments on ivory related deaths
He further commented
on the situation in Murchison Park,
in 1961 held 12,000 elephants - numbers reduced to 300 by 1986.
Thousands of elephants killed for ivory and possibly for food.
Matthiessen also noted that, "In 1970 in Kenya, there were 20,000 black rhino, by 1986 the number had fallen to 550.3
He also gives us the quote from Stanley after Stanley had been traveling with the Arab slave trader Tippu Tub into the heart of Africa:
Ian Parker is a former Kenya game warden, ivory consultant, and
entrepreneur. His book, Ivory Wars, was published in 1983.
He did not have the hindsight of Matthiessen, though I doubt that this
would have changed his opinions significantly. Parker argues that the elephant deaths attributed to the ivory
trade would have eventually occurred anyway, as a
result of declining elephant habitat. In addition, he sees "found
ivory" from natural deaths of elephants as too valuable a resource to be
ignored or controllable by legal means.
admits that poaching was active in Kenya and critically describes past
Kenya regulations which he said led early on to a poaching ethic in that
criticism is reserved for conservation organizations which he feels have
taken advantage of the blood and gore high profile aspect of elephant
poaching in order to raise funds. What concerns him is his opinion
that in doing this, the conservation message is glossing over the more
difficult issues of long-term elephant habitat loss and degradation.
The chart below (by Hank Hammatt9) is indicative of the basis of problems that Parker perceived as being even more significant than ivory poaching.
African Elephant Range Countries
These are very dramatic numbers. None of us want to see elephant poaching. But, with numbers like this, poaching may just be masking a much more serious long-term problem facing Africa's elephants.
Japanese Wildlife Conservation Society
Recent Seizure of ivory
bound for Japan
|Ivory Markets of Africa|
|A substantial and well documented report on the Ivory Markets of Africa, was recently funded by Save the Elephants and carried out by Esmond Bradley Martin and Daniel Stiles. Link here to see that report.|
Today, the south African nations continue to push for the re-opening of ivory trade so that they may utilize these monetary resources to continue to augment their successful elephant programs. The middle African nations (especially Kenya) fear that any ivory sales just open the potential for massive poaching in their areas. This hotly contested issue will be debated for years.
For additional perspectives, read our section on human-elephant conflict, and view statistics that have relevance to this issue.
reading: At the Hand of Man by Raymond Bonner
African Silences by Peter Matthiessen
Ivory Crisis by Ian Parker
Read these and other books to understand some of the different perspectives on this emotional and controversial issue
Matthiessen, Peter 1991 African Silences, Random House, NY p 120
2 ibid p 103
3 ibid p 122
4 ibid p 118
5 Parker, Ian 1983 Ivory Crisis, Chatto & Windus Ltd., The Hogarth Press,
London p 151
6 ibid p 120
8 Sakamoto, Masayuki 2000 ”Effect of Resumption of International Trade on
Japanese Ivory Market” Japanese Wildlife Conservation Society
9 Jan Lahmeyer, Population Statistics (was the source of the raw data) http://www.library.uu.nl/wesp/populstat/populhome.html
10 anon, BBC on-line Thursday, 11 July, 2002
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