Aug 202017
 
POLL: Should Japan be sanctioned for allowing the ivory trade to continue?

Thousands of jewelry, seals, scrolls and other items made of elephant ivory continue to be sold online in Japan each week, concludes a new report by TRAFFIC, the wildlife trade monitoring network. In just four weeks in May and June, 2017, nearly 10,000 ivory items were sold on Yahoo Auction, one of Japan’s largest e-commerce […]

Aug 162017
 
POLL: Should the export of "legal ivory" be made illegal?

The United Kingdom ships more legal ivory beyond its borders than any other country, according to an analysis released today by the London-based NGO Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA). The announcement comes two days before World Elephant Day on Saturday. Globally, elephant numbers are falling, down 30 percent between 2007 and 2014 — a decline driven […]

Aug 092017
 
POLL: Does destroying ivory save elephants?

The owners of an antiques shop in Manhattan, New York, pleaded guilty on July 26 for trying to sell $4.5 million worth of illegal elephant ivory from a back room. On Thursday, some of that confiscated Manhattan ivory and more will be crushed in Central Park as part of a public event organized by the […]

Jun 042017
 
Why has Theresa May ditched a pledge to ban ivory trading?

Strange news: Theresa May has decided to drop a Tory pledge to push for a total ban on ivory trading (only the sale of ivory items produced after 1947 is prohibited). Why would she do that? Doesn’t she need votes? I thought nearly everyone loved elephants – who votes for helping to wipe them out? […]

Feb 252017
 
POLL: Should the resale of antique ivory be banned?

The cover of the Lorsch Gospels is one of the most unexpected beauties in any of our museums. This yellowish-white carving comes from the depths of the dark ages, when Europe was supposedly a primitive and barbaric place – yet it is a delicate and subtle artistic masterpiece. It was made in Aachen, Germany, in […]

Jan 112017
 
POLL: Should the slaughter of Borneo's pygmy elephants be stopped?

Even the planet’s smallest elephants, tucked away on the island of Borneo, are no longer immune to the global poaching crisis for ivory. On New Year’s Eve, wildlife officials in Sabah, Malaysian Borneo, found the bones of a beloved male elephant, nicknamed Sabre for his unusual tusks that slanted downwards like the extinct sabre-toothed tiger’s […]

Jun 262016
 
POLL: Should Zimbabwe and Namibia be allowed to sell their ivory stockpiles?

A huge legal sale of ivory intended to cut elephant poaching instead catastrophically backfired by dramatically increasing elephant deaths, according to new research. The revelation comes just months before a decision on whether to permit another legal sale and against a backdrop of more African elephants being killed for ivory than are being born. In […]

May 022016
 
POLL: Should all ivory stockpiles be destroyed?

We are often told that wildlife conservation should make economic sense, and so it should. In my previous article I outlined some of the economic arguments in favour of burning ivory stockpiles. Wildlife conservation should make moral sense as well. Winning the moral argument is probably even important than good economics for saving elephants and […]

Jan 222016
 
POLL: Should the ivory trade in South Africa be legalized?

This week, representatives from countries around the world are gathered in Geneva to discuss the wildlife trade. The agenda ranges from rhinos to totoabas, but one of the hottest topics is ivory: Some 30,000 elephants are slaughtered for their tusks each year. One thing that came up at the 66th meeting of the Standing Committee […]

Dec 202015
 
Will 2016 Be a Breakthrough in the Fight to Save Elephants?

Just outside Arusha High Court in northern Tanzania one morning in November, the five men waited for the magistrate to call their names. All had been charged with killing elephants. This was the fourth preliminary hearing for a suspected head poacher and his accomplices since their arraignment more than a year ago. The younger ones […]

Dec 162015
 
POLL: Should Japan be sanctioned for fueling the slaughter of elephants?

Before Chinese demand for ivory began driving the black market and illegal killing of tens of thousands of elephants each year, it was Japan’s market for hanko, personal seals used to sign contracts, that fueled the ivory trade. For at least a thousand years, they’ve been made in Japan out of a variety of materials. […]

Nov 302015
 
POLL: Could a referendum to ban ivory sales be a model for other countries?

Voters in Washington state sent a strong message to the world on November 3 when they passed the country’s first ever comprehensive state ban on commerce in endangered animal species. The Washington Animal Trafficking Initiative 1401 (I-1401) prohibits the purchase, sale, and distribution of ten endangered species groups and their parts. It includes not only […]

Nov 222015
 
POLL: What should China do with its ivory stockpile?

After years of defending and supporting a legal domestic trade in ivory, China made a big announcement in September: It’s shutting down the trade. The United States is, too. Together, the presidents of both countries have made an unprecedented public pledge to put a stop to all ivory trading—legal and illegal. The U.S. is on […]