Poaching is driving elephants and other treasured African species to brink of extinction. Last week the US...
1) Hillary's Agenda* @HILLARYSAGENDA
@LowryParkZoo~If China's captive Falun Gong meditation captive prisoners are being killed in Chinese prisons,for organ transplants
2) Hillary's Agenda* @HILLARYSAGENDA
@LowryParkZoo~Chinese organ transplant folks also have the skills to transplant the Worlds elephants with artificial tusks so they can live
3) Hillary's Agenda* @HILLARYSAGENDA
@LowryParkZoo~The future International elephant population can obviously be saved using implanted tusks to replace valuable real ivory
4) Hillary's Agenda* @HILLARYSAGENDA
@LowryParkZoo~Once Ivory Tusks are acquired by Gov't agencies,they can be sold Internationally to help protect Gods other endangered animals
5) Hillary's Agenda* @HILLARYSAGENDA
@LowryParkZoo~Using Chinese transplant specialists to save World's Elephants,allows us 0 worries about China's endangered Falun Gong
BIODIVERSITY, ENDANGERED SPECIES ACT
U.S. Destroys Confiscated Ivory, Sends Message that Elephant Poaching,
Wildlife Trafficking Must be Crushed
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service | November 15, 2013 9:54 am
The U.S. yesterday destroyed its six-ton stock of confiscated elephant
ivory, sending a clear message that the nation will not tolerate
wildlife crime that threatens to wipe out the African elephant and a
host of other species around the globe.
The destruction of this ivory, which took place at the U.S. Fish and
Wildlife Service’s National Wildlife Property Repository on Rocky
Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge near Denver, CO, was
witnessed by representatives of African nations and other countries,
dozens of leading conservationists and international media
representatives. It is the latest in a series of actions by the Obama
Administration designed to crack down on international poaching and
illegal wildlife trafficking.
“Rising demand for ivory is fueling a renewed and horrific slaughter of
elephants in Africa, threatening remaining populations across the
continent,” said Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell. “We will
continue to work aggressively with the Department of Justice and law
enforcement agencies around the world to investigate, arrest and
prosecute criminals who traffic in ivory.”
“We encourage other nations to join us in destroying confiscated ivory
stockpiles and taking other actions to combat wildlife crime,” she
Some six tons of ivory were pulverized by an industrial rock crusher in
front of some of the world’s most influential conservationists.
Speakers included U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe;
Ginette Hemley, senior vice president of World Wildlife Fund (WWF);
Azzedine Downes, CEO of the International Fund for Animal Welfare
(IFAW); and Paula Kahumbu, executive director of WildlifeDirect.
Remarks were also provided by Robert Dreher, acting assistant attorney
general for the Environment and Natural Resources Division of the U.S.
Department of Justice and Judy Garber, principal deputy assistant
secretary, Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and
Scientific Affairs, U.S. Department of State.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service destroyed an ivory stockpile that
had been accumulated over the past 25 years, in undercover operations.
Photo credit: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service /Flickr
“By crushing its contraband ivory tusks and trinkets, the U.S.
government sends a signal that it will not tolerate the senseless
killing of elephants,” said Carter Roberts, president and CEO of WWF.
“Other countries need to join the U.S., Gabon, Kenya and the
Philippines to take a stand against the crime syndicates behind this
“The destruction of the U.S. ivory stockpile speaks loud and clear to
those who value ivory more than saving the elephant species from
extinction,” said Downes. “IFAW commends the government’s action that
underscores the critical role the U.S. can play in ending the illegal
Also present were representatives from other global wildlife
conservation organizations, members of the White House Advisory Council
on Wildlife Trafficking, actress and IFAW Ambassador Kristin Bauer van
Straten, actress and IFAW Ambassador Joely Fisher, and actress and
Patron for the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust Kristin Davis.
The destruction of the ivory follows an announcement by the President
establishing the first ever council to advise the government on ways to
improve coordination and implementation of domestic and international
efforts to fight poaching and illegal wildlife trafficking. Formation
of the council stemmed directly from his July 1 Executive Order
directing U.S. government agencies to ramp up efforts to stamp out the
illegal wildlife trade.
The Service accumulated the ivory destroyed yesterday over the past 25
years, seizing it during undercover investigations of organized
smuggling operations or confiscating it at the U.S. border. Although it
is difficult to put an exact figure on the number of different
elephants this ivory represents, it certainly numbers in the thousands.
Prior to being seized, most of this ivory was destined to be sold
illegally in the U.S. or overseas.
Elephant massacres have taken place in Chad, Cameroon and the Central
African Republic in the past year alone. Photo credit: U.S. Fish and
Wildlife Service /Flickr
“The U.S. is part of the problem, because much of the world’s trade in
wild animal and plant species—both legal and illegal—is driven by U.S.
consumers or passes through our ports on the way to other nations. We
have to be part of the solution,” Ashe said. “The species and habitats
of our planet support billions of people and drive the world’s economy.
We all have a stake in ensuring their survival.”
“Similar demand for elephant ivory in the past led to devastating
declines in the number of these giant animals, particularly in the
1970s and 1980s,” Ashe added. “Although many populations showed signs
of recovery due to increased protections in the 1990s, rising global
demand for ivory is erasing those hard-fought gains.”
In the last ten years, an estimated 11,000 forest elephants were killed
in Gabon’s Minkebe National Park alone. During that time period, the
total population of forest elephants plummeted by an estimated 62
percent across Central Africa. Elephant massacres have taken place in
Chad, Cameroon and the Central African Republic in the past year.
Well-armed and organized criminal enterprises have taken advantage of
insufficient protection capacity in remote areas.
African elephants are listed as threatened under the Endangered Species
Act and are protected under the African Elephant Conservation Act.
Trade in these animals and their parts is also regulated under the
Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna
and Flora—a global agreement through which the U.S. and 178 other
nations work to protect species at risk.
Although some African elephant ivory (including lawfully hunted
trophies and antiques that meet specific requirements) can still be
imported legally into this country with appropriate permits, the U.S.
generally prohibits commercial trade of both raw ivory and ivory
products. The service is currently evaluating ways to further
strengthen its elephant ivory trade controls.
African elephants, like Classic—an old, dominant bull in South
Africa—are listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act and
are protected under the African Elephant Conservation Act. Photo
credit: Michelle Gadd /USFWS
In addition to law enforcement efforts, the service also works to
support on-the-ground efforts to conserve elephants through the
Wildlife Without Borders African Elephant Conservation Fund and the
Africa Regional Program. These programs, in partnership with government
agencies, private organizations and local communities, are supporting
initiatives to conserve and manage African elephants through law
enforcement, habitat management, community initiatives and other
effective conservation methods.
In 2012, the service awarded grants for African elephant conservation
totaling ,397,916, which raised an additional ,606,004 in leveraged
funds. Grants supported field projects in 13 nations, focusing on the
protection of vulnerable elephant populations and increasing the
capacity of partner countries to prevent elephant poaching and ivory
The ivory fragments left by the crusher will be stored temporarily at
the Service’s National Wildlife Property Repository. The agency is
working with the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and other partners
to identify how best to use this material to increase awareness of the
global poaching crisis and commemorate this historic event.
Visit EcoWatch’s BIODIVERSITY page for more related news on this topic.