A Voice for Elephants

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…

Uncategorized

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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….

Wildlife

, , , ,

By Jan Vertefeuille and Zhou Fei On December 31, 2017, China instituted a national ban on the elephant ivory trade, marking an auspicious beginning to the new year for African elephants. Yet history tells us that criminals will continue to flout the law so long as there are customers for their products. Only by reducing…

Wildlife

, , , , , ,

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…

Changing Planet

, ,

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…

Human Journey

,

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…

Changing Planet

,

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…

Human Journey

,

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…

Changing Planet

, ,

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…

Changing Planet

, ,

  By Nicky Campbell At a time when as many 35,000 African elephants are being slaughtered every year for their ivory, the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust’s Orphans Project is a wonderful place. It’s a vital symbol of the elephants’ fight for their very survival as a species, and a cradle of hope in the horror of their…

Changing Planet

, ,

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…

Changing Planet

,

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…

Changing Planet

, , ,

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…

Changing Planet

,