Sturgeon and paddlefish—freshwater fish that have existed for hundreds of millions of years—now face extinction due mainly to the illegal trade in wild-caught caviar and meat. The world’s first comprehensive assessment of the species in over 13 years, released today by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), confirmed that all 26 remaining species are now threatened with extinction.
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.
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.
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 elephant ivory trade.
An enormous machine roared to life pulverizing more than one ton of illegal elephant ivory tusks, trinkets and souvenirs in the heart of New York City today. The ivory crush in Times Square sent a dramatic message to the world that the United States will not tolerate elephant ivory trafficking.
Several countries, including China, have recently joined the US in publicly destroying their illegal elephant 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 elephant 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.
Thailand has until the end of March 2015 to take measures to shut down domestic trade in illegal elephant ivory or it will face trade sanctions under the Convention on the International Trade of Endangered Species (CITES), which met in Geneva last July.
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