1 Tahrcountry Musings: Red Alert – African elephants facing uncertain future

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Red Alert – African elephants facing uncertain future

According to a new paper by Dr Samuel Wasser and associates, which has appeared in August Issue of Conservation Biology the elephants in Africa are being slaughtered at an unprecedented rate. If things go at this rate Elephants in wild state in Africa will be wiped out by 2020. What a shame!!
The death rate from poaching throughout Africa is about 8 percent a year. This is higher than the 7.4 percent annual death rate that led to the international ivory trade ban nearly 20 years ago. The poaching death rate in the late 1980s was based on a population that numbered more than 1 million. Today’s population is less than 470,000. The ban is not in force today.
Dr Wasser says "The elephants keep habitats open so other species that depend on such ecosystems can use them. Without elephants, there will be major habitat changes, with negative effects on the many species"
The major threat comes from growing markets in China and Japan, where ivory is in demand for carvings and signature stamps called hankos. Surprisingly Unites States is fast emerging as a major consumer of ivory where it is used to make knife handles and gun grips.
According to Dr Wasser public support stopped the illegal ivory trade back in 1989 and we need to do it again to save the species. Guys wake up and do your mite to save the African elephants. Use your blog posts to pressurize US, China and Japan to stop this senseless massacre of the elephants.

1 comment:

Latha S Nair said...

Yes, oh Yes, what a shame. Man's avarice, man's quest for a few dollars more, is driving a species to extinction. The whole world should wake up to this calamity. It is really sad that a country like US is sitting idle while it is a silent partner in this slaugher of the innocent