Elephants are getting more and more attention. From Obama’s call for action to Hillary Clinton today announcing her focus on them. The more I learn about these fascinating creatures, the more I want to know. But I admit that the more I know, the more disheartened I am by the poaching crisis currently going on.…

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You know it’s bad when….I find it extremely hard to believe that poaching has extended to Botswana, where I spent almost a couple years doing my dissertation research. During the week of May 17th, 5 elephants were found killed with trunks and tusks cut off (likely with a power saw). They were ambushed on a…

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John Scanlon, Secretary-General of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), provides his perspective on the major outcomes of CITES 16th Conference of Parties, which was held in Bangkok, Thailand from March 3-14, 2013. The conversation covers overarching issues, such as enforcement, financing and political engagement, as well as species-specific items, including timber,…

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The Namib desert is a remarkable but fragile ecosystem, containing many endemic species. One of these is the desert plant Welwitschia mirabilis, one of the longest lived organisms on the planet,with a lifespan of 500 to 1500 years.       In 2012, areas of the Dorob and Namib Naukluft National Parks were utilized as…

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    On March 26, a Chinese man (Tian Yi) admitted smuggling 439 pieces of ivory from Democratic Republic of Congo to Hong Kong via Nairobi. He was caught at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport on March 10, 2013 while in transit from DRC to Hong Kong. According to the Kenya Wildlife Service, the contraband…

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    On March 26, a Chinese man (Tian Yi) admitted smuggling 439 pieces of ivory from Democratic Republic of Congo to Hong Kong via Nairobi. He was caught at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport on March 10, 2013 while in transit from DRC to Hong Kong. According to the Kenya Wildlife Service, the contraband…

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Great news! Thailand’s Prime Minister pledged to end ivory trade in Thailand. The announcement was made at CITES COP16 which opened today, Sunday. This follows a massive petition drive urging and ivory ban. Thailand is currently the largest illegal ivory market behind China. However, work still needs to be done to monitor the situation. The…

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John Scanlon, Secretary-General of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), reflects on the 40th anniversary of CITES, provides an overview of what to look for at the 16th Conference of Parties, and discusses species-specific issues, with an emphasis on elephants, rhinos and sharks.

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  At age 23, Iain Douglas-Hamilton pioneered the first in-depth scientific study of elephant social behavior in Tanzania’s Lake Manyara National Park. During the 1970s he investigated the status of elephants throughout Africa and was the first to alert the world to the ivory poaching holocaust. He and his wife have co-authored two award-winning books…

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  Fourteen-year-old Celia Ho from Hong Kong recently launched a campaign to stop the ivory trade after becoming inspired by Bryan Christy’s “Blood Ivory” article in National Geographic magazine. Her young voice represents a new hope for elephants that is increasing throughout Asia while her story illustrates how one person can make a difference.

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