A Voice for Elephants

The Revival of Zakouma National Park’s Elephant Population: Interview with Rian Labuschagne

Zakouma National Park in Chad is one the last remaining intact Sudano-Sahelian ecosystems in Africa. During the mid-2000s, Chad experienced civil unrest and conflict with Sudan; rampant poaching had decimated Zakouma’s elephant population, which had once roamed free in herds of a thousand strong.  Seeking refuge from fighting, elephants would herd in Zakouma park, where…

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How engaging local communities helps a wildlife veterinarian save elephants

As amazing as it would be if they did, animals don’t help save animals. People do…or don’t. In Africa I have learned that working with communities alongside Mozambique’s Gorongosa National Park has led to some interesting experiments involving “spicy beehive fences” — and perhaps more importantly, a changing perception that there are ways for local people to help resolve their conflict with wildlife….

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The Time Has Come for an EU-Wide Domestic Ivory Ban

By Janice Weatherley-Singh The EU has traditionally been a global leader in tackling the problem of wildlife trafficking and in encouraging other countries to take action. Last year it published a far-reaching Action Plan against Wildlife Trafficking, which set out a comprehensive list of actions to address the problem. So why is it dragging its…

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It’s Japan’s turn to save the African elephant

By  Iris Ho, Humane Society International African elephants are in serious trouble. Every year poachers kill as many as 30,000 elephants to supply the global demand for ivory, and the species in Africa are inching towards extinction in the next few decades unless serious action is taken now. The dreadful decline is already happening; between 2007…

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How Saving Elephants Got One National Geographic Explorer Arrested

Nights in police custody, fake elephant tusks, and terrorist organizations are all just part of a day’s work for Bryan Christy, National Geographic Fellow and Chief Correspondent to the Special Investigations Unit. In 2014, Christy rigged two fake elephant tusks with GPS tracking technology and covertly injected them deep into the illegal ivory trade in Africa, but as…

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Ground-breaking initial success in protecting Mali’s elephants, but it must be sustained

Despite a surge in poaching combined with a deepening insurgency, Mali has deployed its first ever anti-poaching unit to protect the remarkable desert-adapted elephants. Although it is very early days, no poaching has occurred since. How did it happen and what does it take to sustain this success? The ability to protect Mali’s elephants took…

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China bans ivory, prices plummet. Will this really help save the elephants?

Co-authored by Erica Cirino In May 2015, China’s forestry agency crushed about 1,500 pounds of confiscated elephant tusks and ivory carvings and vowed to end the country’s ivory trade. And then in September 2015, Chinese President Xi Jinping issued a joint statement with Former President Barack Obama that he was dedicated to a crackdown on…

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Conservation Focus: Protecting the Critically Endangered Sumatran Elephant

By WCS Indonesia / Photos by Paul Hilton  While many rightly voice concern over the plight of African elephants that are undergoing a precipitous decline in number, Asian elephants are facing a catastrophic, yet less well documented decline of their own. The photographs on this page bear witness to the work of multiple conservation agencies working…

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China’s Ivory Ban Has Played a Significant Role in De-Valuing Ivory

By Aili Kang On December 30, 2016, the Chinese government announced that it would close its domestic commercial elephant ivory trade in 2017, in essence shutting down the world’s largest market for elephant ivory. As the government rolls out the closing of the market, WCS (Wildlife Conservation Society) is observing hopeful results as in the…

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PNAS Paper Suggests Global Ivory Sales Being Driven by New Ivory Rather Than Ivory Stockpiles

In the wake of publication of a new paper on ivory forensics in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), Wildlife Conservation Society Vice President for Species Conservation Dr. Elizabeth Bennett (not one of the study’s authors) provides commentary on the paper’s key findings in the video Q&A above, which is transcribed below. Liz, what is…

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Translating Survey Findings Into Effective Elephant Protection Results

By Paul Elkan and Simon Hedges The results of the ambitious, two-year-long Great Elephant Census (GEC) of the African continent’s savannah elephant populations were released in late August. The GEC team estimated a population of 352,271 savannah elephants in survey sites in 18 countries. Best estimates suggest savannah elephant populations have decreased by 144,000 from…

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CITES CoP17 Delegates Adopt Resolution Recommending Closure of Domestic Elephant Ivory Markets Globally

The following statement was released today by the Wildlife Conservation Society in celebration of the decision taken today by countries at CITES CoP17 to adopt a resolution recommending the closure of domestic elephant ivory markets globally: Johnanneseburg, South Africa Today, the delegates at CITES Cop17 adopted a resolution which “recommends that all Parties and non-Parties in…

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Researchers, conservationists, and others share stories, insights and ideas about Our Changing Planet, Wildlife & Wild Spaces, and The Human Journey. More than 50,000 comments have been added to 10,000 posts. Explore the list alongside to dive deeper into some of the most popular categories of the National Geographic Society’s conversation platform Voices.

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Voices director: David Braun (dbraun@ngs.org)

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