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.
We all know the usual suspects when it comes to animals that swim: whales, dolphins, sea turtles, tuna. But what about land mammals that need to travel across a body of freshwater, or simply go for a dip to cool down?
Custom officials in Macao, China grew suspicious when they saw 15 boxes of unusually heavy chocolate in a set of luggage. After soaking in warm water, the chocolate melted away to reveal 583 elephant tusks.
Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra pledged to start a legislative process to end ivory trade in Thailand, seizing a key opportunity to stem global wildlife trafficking at the opening of the Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species of Fauna and Flora (CITES) in Bangkok.
WWF has launched a global petition asking Thai Prime Minister to ban all ivory trade in Thailand in order to curb the illegal killing of African elephants. Thailand is the biggest unregulated ivory market in the world and a top driver of poaching and illegal trade.
Now available for free in the iTunes App Store, ‘WWF Together’ is a unique interactive experience that brings you closer to the stories of elephants, whales, rhinos and other fascinating species. Discover the animal’s lives and the work of WWF in a way you’ve never seen before. Try out “tiger vision,” stay as still as the polar bear during a hunt, and chop the panda’s bamboo.
WWF’s campaign to stop wildlife crime gained a powerful champion—U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. On November 8, the U.S. State Department held an unprecedented event on illegal wildlife trafficking and conservation. In her remarks, Secretary Clinton called for an end to illicit wildlife trafficking, which she emphasized as a major foreign policy and security issue.
Crawford Allan, Regional Director, TRAFFIC North America, has translated his passion for the natural world into a long and fulfilling career. While he has seen the impact of illegal killing of rare species first hand and uncovered illicit wildlife trade in blackmarkets in dozens of countries, he remains hopeful.
The maize harvest is a crucial source of food for the Kakwenga family in but erratic rains and raids by elephants make a good harvest problematic. Farmers can’t guard their crops twenty-four hours a day so they have started using chili bombs—a mixture of ingredients which give off a spicy, pungent smell that offends elephants’ sensitive trunks and drives them away from crops.