I wanted to raise awareness about the good work IFAW and Elephant family are doing to try to stop the illegal, and immoral, ivory trade.
Passion seems to be a key ingredient to getting things done in most walks of life and there is plenty of passion within IFAW and The Elephant family.
The rapid decline in numbers of these magnificent creatures around the world has caused a lot of concern and, whilst strides are being made to protect the species, the illegal trade of Ivory and subsequent culling of Elephants still has a big impact on the numbers.
IFAW and The Elephant Family recently came into Parliament to shed light on the situation as it stands at the moment in regards to Elephant conservation in Asia and Africa.
The overview is discouraging in many respects but there’s a silver lining, Elephant numbers across Africa have halved since the 1970, whilst that may seem like a lot, in comparison to Asian elephants they’re still deemed to be vulnerable, with a ratio of 10 African elephants to every 1 Asian Elephant, leaving Asian elephants being classed as Endangered. Numbers continue to drop too because of the imbalance that poaching brings to the Elephants sex ratio, with only the male elephants being killed for their tusks.
The root of this problem isn’t easy, growing population numbers and increased levels of agricultural industry, highways and mineral mining have led to Elephants and people crossing paths more frequently with a large amount of these resulting in clashes, with Elephants becoming more volatile too, despite their passive nature.
Thankfully despite so many intrusions into the numbers the conservation community including IFAW and The Elephant family are coming together to create sustainable co-existence schemes. IFAW have themselves started working with the Indian Government and started to acquire the 88 “corridors” they’ve earmarked as routes commonly used by Elephants to be protected conservation areas, purchasing their first one recently.
Strides are also being made within the Chinese educational infrastructure to help raise awareness among students with question related to Ivory and animal welfare being trialled in a Chinese province through school curriculum and in exams, with estimates claiming over 300,000 high school graduates learning about the Ivory trade.
And there lies part of the problem, a lot of Chinese people don’t apparently know where Ivory comes from, the literal translation is Elephant tooth, which they associate with as something that naturally drops out, and because it’s never been questioned/taught otherwise it’s always been assumed. Thankfully though this means there is light at the end of the tunnel, not only are passionate conservationists and NGO’s alike tackling this issue through collaborations with Governments and governmental organisations but there seems to be a much clearer course of action.