On Sunday, January 31 a total ban on Ivory in China was put into place. President Xi Jinping declared the import and export of elephant ivory to be illegal in the nation that has the world’s largest importer of elephant tusks for decades.
This ban will greatly reduce the number of elephants killed by poachers in Africa, which at one point was nearly 100 animals a day, over 30,000 annually. The partial ivory ban declared by China in 2017 helped reduce the number of elephants killed by nearly 40%. Now that a total ban is in place in China, conservationists hope this number will be reduced much further. The African Elephant population was near 10 million animals in 1900 and reduced to 1.2 million by the mid 1980’s. Today as few as 300,000 remain on the continent.
Poaching for ivory has been the biggest threat to the survival of the two species of Elephants in Africa, the Savannah and Forest Elephants. Loss of habitat and increased human population is another concern as urban development continues with the expansion of cities and roadways. The human population will soon reach 1 billion on the continent alone and this means less space for wildlife.
The establishment of wildlife corridors, connecting national parks and protected areas from one country to the next is the only hope for elephants, big cats, giraffes and of Africa’s wildlife both large and small.
Christopher J. Gervais, F.R.G.S.
Wildlife Conservation Film Festival
October 18-28, 2018 | New York, NY
LinkedIn: Wildlife Conservation Film Festival