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WWF’s Ming Yao on why China’s ivory trade ban matters

WWF spoke with Ming Yao, a member of WWF’s wildlife conservation team who has worked closely with ivory demand reduction projects, to learn more about her point of view on China’s ivory ban and how it has influenced consumer behavior in her country.
  • The status of Asian elephants

    WWF Magazine: Winter 2018
    More than 100,000 Asian elephants may have existed at the beginning of the 20th century, roaming from the Persian Gulf to India and China. But their numbers have dropped in the past three generations.
    elephants in Kaziranga
  • The status of African elephants

    WWF Magazine: Winter 2018
    In 1930, as many as 10 million wild elephants roamed huge swaths of the African continent. But decades of poaching and conflict have since decimated African elephant populations.
    feature illus african elephantherd winter2018
  • How many muscles does an elephant’s trunk have? And 6 other elephant facts

    August 10, 2018

    Elephants, found in both Africa and Asia, are vital to maintaining the rich biodiversity of the ecosystems that they share with other species. Here's a snapshot of what you should know about them.

    African elephant portrait
  • Collaring elephants in one of Africa's last great wildernesses

    April 03, 2018

    Thanks to satellite collars, 60 elephants will be monitored for better protection against poaching in one of the last great African wildernesses, Tanzania’s Selous Game Reserve.

    elephant in Selous
  • New US elephant ivory market study helps agencies better regulate trade

    WWF Magazine: Spring 2018
    In 2016, the US government imposed a “near-total ban” on imports, exports, and domestic trade of African elephant ivory. The findings led to recommendations that could help the US regulate the trade.
    African elephant on a white background
  • Celebrating the biggest conservation wins of 2017

    December 13, 2017

    As 2017 comes to a close, we’re taking a moment to highlight some of our biggest conservation successes of the year. And we couldn’t have done it without your support.

    Myanmar Elephant Restricted Campaign
  • Most Chinese consumers support an upcoming ban on elephant ivory in China—if they know about it

    By the end of December, it will be illegal to sell or buy elephant ivory in China. But will the new and critical ban succeed in a country that’s home to the largest legal ivory market in the world?

    elephants stand close together
  • The right to roam: elephant encounters at a wildlife corridor

    August 24, 2017

    Wildlife roam large areas and do not recognize human-imposed boundaries. They need help doing things like crossing busy roads. This incredible elephant encounter emphasized how important movement corridors are for wildlife. 

    elephants in Kaziranga
  • Supporters help WWF launch emergency plan to stop Myanmar’s elephant poaching crisis

    August 10, 2017

    Amid a dire poaching crisis, wild Asian elephants in Myanmar received swift and essential aid from thousands of WWF supporters committed to protecting this iconic species. More than 3,000 people donated $263,211 in less than four weeks to fund an emergency action plan to train rangers and get boots on the ground to fight wildlife crime.

    Tusked elephant
  • In a disturbing new trend, poachers are killing Myanmar’s elephants for their skin, teeth, and tails

    June 06, 2017

    In a disturbing and growing new trend, Asian elephants of all ages are being slaughtered in Myanmar for their skin and other body parts. WWF is launching an emergency action plan to train, equip, and deploy 10 anti-poaching teams to the most vulnerable areas, and implementing a thorough plan to stop the slaughter. 

    Elephant and calf in river
  • Helping people and wildlife thrive together

    May 12, 2017

    Human-wildlife conflict is a major issue for many poor people who live near forests in rural areas of Nepal. That’s one of the reasons why WWF and other partners in conservation launched the Hariyo Ban (Green Forest) program to find lasting solutions that protect people’s lives, livestock and crops and prevent the retaliatory killing of wildlife. 

    Newly installed fence in the Karnali corridor
  • World Heritage sites, strongholds for tiger and African elephant populations, endangered by illegal harvesting of species

    April 18, 2017

    A new report by WWF reveals that World Heritage sites are especially vulnerable to illegal harvesting of species listed by CITES, including tigers and African elephants.

    Sumatran tiger
  • Tracking elephant migrations

    WWF Magazine: Summer 2017
    In the first project of its kind in Kenya’s Maasai Mara National Reserve, WWF—along with the Kenyan Wildlife Service and Narok County Council—is now collaring elephants.
    A recently GPS collared, matriarch African elephant stands with it's herd
  • Tracking elephants in Kenya to prevent human-wildlife conflict

    January 26, 2017

    WWF is partnering with the Kenyan Wildlife Service and Narok County Council to collar matriarch elephants in the Maasai Mara reserve to track them as they move inside and outside of the reserve, in order to better understand how to mitigate human wildlife conflict and to maintain vital wildlife corridors.

    African elephants in the Masai Mara reserve, Kenya
  • A monumental win for elephants: China will ban ivory trade by 2017

    December 30, 2016

    Today, we celebrate another big win for elephant conservation with China’s game-changing decision to end domestic ivory trade by 2017. The new regulations come as part of the government’s efforts to reduce demand for elephant ivory and help end the global elephant poaching crisis.

    African elephant
  • Celebrating the biggest conservation wins of 2016

    December 01, 2016

    The past year has shown us that when we work together, we can challenge the threats to nature and help ensure its ability to provide—for the sake of every living thing. Take a look at 2016 in review.

    Elephants close
  • New research shows investing in elephant conservation is smart economic policy

    November 01, 2016

    WWF’s African Elephant Program funded a research project that used techniques from economics and statistics to better understand the value of elephant conservation to local economies in Africa.

    tourists watch an elephant
  • 6 things to know about Tanzania’s largest protected area—and why we need to save it

    Selous Game Reserve, one of Africa’s oldest reserves and Tanzania’s largest protected area, holds vast potential, but it also faces a number of threats. By bringing together governments, local communities, industry and civil society groups, we can transform Selous into a success story.

    Sunset over Selous Game Reserve in Tanzania
  • CITES: Big steps for wildlife

    October 01, 2016

    During the world’s largest ever wildlife trade meeting—the 17th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (CoP17) to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES)—governments united behind a series of tough decisions to provide greater protection to a host of threatened species and bolster efforts to tackle soaring levels of poaching and wildlife trafficking.

    Head portrait of a Sumatran rhino
  • Huge drop in African elephant population as poaching crisis continues

    September 25, 2016

    Africa’s elephant population has crashed by an estimated 111,000 in the past decade primarily due to poaching, according to the IUCN’s African Elephant Status Report.

    Elephants walking in KAZA
  • Why CITES matters

    September 23, 2016

    One of the best tools we have for fighting the illegal wildlife trade that threatens many of the world’s most endangered species is CITES—the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species.

    Siberian tiger walking in snow
  • Rampant poaching threatens former elephant stronghold in Tanzania

    June 15, 2016

    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.

    an elephant in Selous reserve
  • New US ivory regulations mark a victory in the fight to save elephants

    June 02, 2016

    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.

    African elephant
  • What is ivory and why does it belong on elephants?

    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?

    elephant standing in field