Associated Press reports: “A new study released Monday Aug. 18, 2014, by lead author George Wittemyer of Colorado State University, found that the proportion of illegally killed elephants has climbed to about 65% of all deaths.” Poachers killed an estimated 100,000 elephants across Africa between 2010 and 2012.
The reason ? Huge spike in demand for ivory from China and other Asian nations.
The highest death rates are in central Africa, with East Africa — Tanzania and Kenya — not far behind.
This is a peer-reviewed study that appears in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (Aug 18 2014).
What can you do?
- Educate yourself ! Read the Green News story from March 2014
- Read the official White House policy statement on the import, export and sale of new and antique ivory.
- Never buy ivory – whether you are traveling or at home, whether it’s new, old or antique jewelry, trinkets or other items.
- Support organizations such as Save the Elephants and the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, which work on-the-ground to save orphaned baby elephants and educate local populations.
Ian-Douglas Hamilton, founder of Save the Elephants, who has devoted his life to the study of elephants and their preservation, sums it up: “The current demand for ivory is unsustainable.”