Thousands of Elephants Killed

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  1. AfricaHunting.com

    AfricaHunting.com FOUNDER AH Ambassador

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    Thousands of Elephants Killed - U.S. Research
    by Paul Redfern

    Nairobi — Tens of thousands of elephants on the Tanzania-Mozambique border have been killed for their ivory tusks in the past five years, says new scientific research which has been able to trace the origin of ivory sales now booming again in East Asia.

    The DNA research by the US-based Center for Conservation Biology uses two methods to track where elephant tusks are being smuggled from.

    Firstly they test the tusks seized from smugglers which is ground up and its DNA carefully extracted.

    Then samples of elephant dung are collected from a variety of sources across Africa. Each mound of dung contains plentiful amounts of DNA from cells.

    A match can then be made and the results are startling.

    They show that for the period studied in 2006 that virtually all the recent seizures of tusks can be traced to animals that had grazed in the Selous and Niassa game reserves on the Tanzania and Mozambique borders.

    The discovery suggests that only a handful of cartels are responsible for most of the world's booming trade in illegal ivory and for the annual slaughter of tens of thousands of elephants.

    The tusks seized come from separate raids on docks in Taiwan, Hong Kong, Vietnam, the Philippines and Japan.

    So far more than 11 tonnes of tusks were found in containers in raids on Taiwan and Hong Kong docks in July and August 2006.

    About 1,500 tusks were discovered and all were traced to elephants from the Selous game reserve, a Unesco heritage site in Tanzania, and the nearby Niassa game reserve in Mozambique.

    These were aimed at satisfying the Far East's growing appetite for ivory, a new status symbol for the middle classes of the region's swelling industrialised economies.

    The UK-based Observer newspaper says that the result of rising demand has meant ivory prices have soared from $200 a kilogramme in 2004 to more than $6,000.

    The result has also been a surge in ivory poaching with scientists estimating that between 8 per cent and 10 per cent of Africa's elephants are now being slaughtered each year to meet demand.

    "The vast majority of poaching is being carried out by a few big organisations that are targeting one area and then hammering its elephants. It is grim, but it also suggests we can target our anti-poaching efforts very specifically by focusing efforts on these regions," said Professor Sam Wasser, director of the University of Washington's Centre for Conservation Biology, where the DNA elephant map was developed.

    Source: The East African
     
  2. Calhoun

    Calhoun AH Enthusiast

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    ...It's very sad that this poaching stuff keeps going on!! I'm glad to see that there are people out there trying to prevent this! At the percentages of the animals being killed in the Selous in a few short years there will be no elephants if these poachers aren't stopped.
    as they were saying with the Rhino horns, I think Cites permits are going to have to be banned to Asia & the far East to make it that much tougher on the poachers/smugglers to get their product to the final destination & then maybe it will curtail the poaching to a lesser degree! Thumbs up to the people who are after these poachers & hopefully they are all caught & given the stiffest penalties allowed by LAW!
     
  3. trigger creep

    trigger creep AH Enthusiast

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    I hope they are caught and punished.:mad:
     
  4. Macs B

    Macs B AH Veteran

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    How involved are the outfitters and PHs getting when it comes to working against these types of organized poaching activity? I know that some outfitters run frequent military style patrols throughout the hunting areas to discourage poaching, but what happens when the poachers are better organized and equipped? How far do the civilian efforts go. Are we seeing violence between the civilian hunters and the poachers? The more I read about this the more it seems that the governments really need to step up and take a more active role in these operations. I know that the outfitters are doing the right thing and they are fighting the good fight, but how far can you legally go when the poachers decide not to run off?
     
  5. M'bogo hunter

    M'bogo hunter AH Senior Member

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    :mad::(!!!This is very sad.For any true hunter,conservation is a major concern.I believe that hunting is among the best ways to generate funds which would in turn help to run anti-poaching activities.Even worse is the fact that most of the the poached ivory comes from a world heritage site!A place thats supposed to be well protected and frequently patrolled.Thanks to people who helped track down the origin of the ivory b'se their info raises the awareness of the concerned authorities.I think CITES permits to the whole of asia should be banned so that things may be tougher to the smugglers.
     
  6. Shallom

    Shallom AH Enthusiast

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    Very distressing for us Tanzanians but a truth revealed nevertheless... IMO, the findings are 'to-the-point FACT'. I have personally alerted the government to this matter over a period of many years now, yet nothing SIGNIFICANT has been done. Some elephants from my area are almost deinately in those confisicated piles and it drives me crazy that little is being done in terms of curbing the problem. The problem arises when the matter becomes an INSIDE job. My 'very well informed "instinct" is that the very people paid to protect wildlife are involved in this slaughter'. Every year there are government vehicles seized with ivory in them and the cases are either dismissed or "pending" due to lack of evidence. As i type, there are probably elephants being taken down ilegally and that is the sad reality of it. This year more than usual due to less legal hunting presence in many areas! The governments definately need to take action and the international comunity needs to assert the pressure. At this rate, we will go back to the dark years when elephants were at the risk of being killed-out in some areas and that would not go down well for the hunting community as most of the poaching is being done in and around hunting concessions and not so much National Parks & Game Reserves. It is the corridor between Niassa (Mozambique) and Selous (Tanzania) that is most severely hit. You will note that those areas (Tourist Hunting Blocks) have been either returned to the government or are being utilised very minimally by legal hunters.
     

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