Elephants In Peril

Elephants are being illegally slaughtered for ivory, to meet surging demand in Asia.

Discover and share the latest expert knowledge and news.

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Poaching Problems

Even in protected areas where elephants should be safe, they are killed for their ivory. The scale of the killings is escalating.

  • Slaughter of the African Elephants

    Mar. 17, 2013 — New York Times

    There is nothing a mother elephant will not do for her infant, but even she cannot protect it from bullets. About a year ago, poachers attacked a family of forest elephants in central Africa. The biologist who witnessed the attack told us that wildlife guards were completely outgunned. In the end, an elephant mother, riddled with bullets and trumpeting with pain and fear, was left to use her enormous body to shield her baby. Her sacrifice was for naught; the baby was also killed.

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  • Even on Reserves, Scant Protection for Elephants:
Three Stories From One Region

    Mar. 16, 2013 — New York Times

    Like so many of Africa’s wilderness areas, the Buffalo Springs and Samburu reserves in Kenya are too cramped — smaller than the city of Detroit — for the majestic inhabitants they are supposed to protect. Every savannah elephant that dwells in these reserves also roams far beyond the invisible boundaries, along the well-worn paths of its ancestors in search of food and water.

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  • All eyes on countries fuelling illegal ivory trade

    Feb. 21, 2013 — TRAFFIC Press Release

    21st February 2012—The international body that regulates wildlife trade should begin proceedings to impose sanctions on the countries most complicit in the illegal trade of ivory, which causes the deaths of up to 30,000 African elephants each year.

    WWF and TRAFFIC are urging the 177 governments gathering in Bangkok early next month under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES)

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  • In Conversation with Iain Douglas-Hamilton on landmark Samburu study

    Jan. 17, 2013 — National Geographic in A Voice for Elephants

    Ivory Poaching Threatens ‘Elephant Memory’

    The large number of mature and experienced African elephants being killed illegally for their ivory is exposing younger surviving elephants to a higher risk of mortality from predation and other risks, wildlife conservationists said today.

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  • Landmark study shows disturbing impacts of poaching

    Jan. 16, 2013 — Save the Elephants

    Press Release

    Embargoed until 9 p.m. GMT (2pm Pacific Time, 5 p.m. Eastern) on January 16, 2013

    The devastating impacts of a recent surge in ivory poaching have been chronicled in detail by new research on one of Africa’s best-studied elephant populations.

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More available — Read all 18 articles about "Poaching Problems"

Demand Grows

Ivory is in huge demand in Asia, especially China. Many buyers are still unaware that ivory comes from dead elephants.

  • Time Running out to Save Elephants from Ivory Trade

    Jan. 31, 2013 — A Voice for Elephants blog, National Geographic

    An authoritative must-read on the current elephant crisis and the ultimate solution, by Save the Elephants Founder Iain Douglas-Hamilton.

    This came out in Swara magazine today, but National Geographic have picked it up and posted it on their blog in a format that's much easier to read online.

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  • Blood Ivory destined for Sri Lankan temples

    Jan. 25, 2013 — Ceylon Today

    A decision allegedly by the Presidential Secretariat to release the tusks confiscated by the Customs Department to the Dalada Maligawa has angered environmentalists and the signatories of the Lusaka Agreement as this is in violation of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES).

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  • Interview with Blood Ivory writer Bryan Christy

    Jan. 24, 2013 — mongabay.com

    By some estimates, more than 30,000 elephants were slaughtered across the savannas and forests of Africa and Asia for the ivory trade during 2012. The carnage represents as much as 4 percent of the world's elephant population. Accordingly, some conservationists are warning that elephants face imminent extinction in some of their range countries.

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  • Ivory smugglers find a home in city (South Africa)

    Dec. 13, 2012 — Cape Times

    THERE has been a upswing in ivory smuggling through Cape Town in the last few years as the city appears to have become an attractive point to export these illegal goods.

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  • Wildlife crime profound threat to nations, says report

    Dec. 12, 2012 — BBC News

    The global illegal trade in wildlife is worth $19bn (£12bn) a year and is threatening the stability of some governments according to new research.

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More available — Read all 20 articles about "Demand Grows"

Taking Action

Save The Elephants and many other organizations are coordinating increased efforts to stem the tide of poaching.

  • Cameroon: ECCAS Gets Emergency Combat Strategies for Elephant Massacre

    Mar. 24, 2013 — All Africa

    Ministers of Defence, Forestry and External Relations of the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) have adopted an emergency combat plan for growing poaching of protected and endangered animal species, especially elephant massacre that is disturbingly gaining grounds in the sub-region.

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  • CITES gets it right at last

    Mar. 21, 2013 — Nature

    Nature, perhaps the world's foremost scientific journal, hails the new resolve to protect wildlife witnessed at this year's CITES conference.

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  • Landmark IUCN report on elephants

    Mar. 6, 2013 — IUCN

    A report by the IUCN African Elephant Specialist Group is out today, showing a 'definite' continental population of 423,549 elephants. If all probable, possible and speculative figures added the total comes to 658,262. The Proportion of Illegally Killed elephants across all four regions of Africa was over 0.5, likely indicating an unsustainable level of elephant mortality.

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  • Thai PM opens CITES in Bangkok

    Mar. 5, 2013 — Save the Elephants

    Prime Minister of Thailand Yingluck Shinawatra's speech at the opening ceremony for the CITES 16th Conference of the Parties on March 3 in Bangkok, Thailand. She spoke of how the Thai people love and revere elephants as part of their culture; she promised to “work towards amending the national legislation with the goal of putting an end to ivory trade and to be in line with international norms.“

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  • Tusk tracking will tackle illegal trade

    Feb. 27, 2013 — Nature

    International treaties meant to protect elephants are not working. Researchers estimate that tens of thousands of African elephants are now being killed by poachers each year, from a total wild population of around 400,000.

    “It doesn’t take much math to show we have a serious, urgent problem,” says Samuel Wasser, director of the Center for Conservation Biology at the University of Washington in Seattle.

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More available — Read all 27 articles about "Taking Action"

Mapping the Problem