Rampant ivory poaching has reduced the elephant population in Tanzania’s oldest and largest protected area by 90 percent in fewer than 40 years. WWF is sounding the alarm for urgent action in combating wildlife crime in the reserve.
Setting an example for the world in the fight to save elephants, the United States has finalized new regulations that will help shut down commercial elephant ivory trade within its borders and stop wildlife crime overseas.
We’ve all seen photographs of majestic elephants sporting long, off-white tusks on either side of their trunks. This ivory is both beautiful on the animals and essential to the species’ survival. But what exactly is it?
Leto, a WWF Global Ambassador, spoke out against wildlife crime as part of a World Wildlife Day event on March 3, co-hosted by WWF President and CEO Carter Roberts. The event brought together local supporters, partners and influencers to raise awareness and support for combatting the poaching crisis.
In a significant blow to the illegal ivory trade in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), authorities dismantled a major elephant ivory trafficking syndicate thanks to a law enforcement supported by WWF and partners.
In a landmark move for elephants, the government of Hong Kong is actively exploring phasing out domestic ivory trade. The government is also set to strengthen efforts to tackle the illegal ivory trade.
An unprecedented chorus has spoken for the world’s elephants: More than one million people signed a WWF petition supporting a new proposed rule from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) to prevent illegal African elephant ivory from being imported and sold in the US.
Over two tons of elephant tusks, carved ivory, and trinkets in Thailand—most of it from elephants poached a continent away in Africa—made its way into a machine that ground the ivory into chips. The solemn ceremony to destroy Thailand’s illegal ivory follows a number of important laws the country passed to crack down on the illegal ivory trade.
The Indonesian island of Sumatra—one of the most biodiverse places on the planet—has lost more than half of its forest cover in the last thirty years. But there are stands of amazing, still-intact forest in Sumatra, and Thirty Hills is one of them.
New draft ivory regulations will significantly curtail the sale of commercial ivory in the United States and help stop wildlife crime worldwide. President Obama announced the long-awaited regulations—along with the formation of an ambitious new United States Wildlife Trafficking Alliance —on his first official trip to Kenya.
Several countries, including China, have recently joined the US in publicly destroying their illegal ivory stockpiles—a powerful act demonstrating that a country will not tolerate wildlife crime. The act ensures that stockpiles of seized ivory will never again be sold and affirms that ivory is only of value if it remains on elephants as nature intended. And these burns and crushes also bring global attention to a problem threatening not only elephants and other wildlife, but also national development and regional stability.
With demand for ivory at an all-time high, the campaign asks people to imagine a life without elephants by publicly removing the Thai letter representing elephants—“Chor Chang”—from their names. The Thai word for elephant, “Chang,” starts with the letter in the Thai alphabet called “Chor”. By removing Chor Chang from their names, Thai people are making a statement that they want the illegal trade in ivory to stop or their beloved national animal—the elephant—could disappear.
WWF works in a number of countries in Asia to prevent and mitigate human-elephant conflict. In addition to monitoring elephant movement to understand where they travel, what they encounter and their habits as they pertain to crop raiding, we help communities employ a variety of methods to keep elephants out of human settlements and safe in the wild.
We’re celebrating a year since Betino’s birth at the Flying Squad in Indonesia’s Tesso Nilo National Park! This lively little female calf was born on Aug. 9, 2013, to a critically endangered Sumatran elephant trained to help reduce human-elephant conflicts.
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