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Biodiversity and Conservation

, Volume 27, Issue 10, pp 2767–2775 | Cite as

Conserving elephants depend on a total ban of ivory trade globally

  • Achyut AryalEmail author
  • Craig G. Morley
  • Ian G. McLean
Letter to the Editor
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Biodiversity exploitation and use

Abstract

Despite the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) 1989 ban on trading ivory internationally, poaching for ivory has intensified in both Africa and Asia. Populations of African elephant (Loxodonta spp.) and Asian elephant (Elephas maximus) have declined drastically. In response to the rapid decline, the USA and some other CITES countries have banned commercial ivory trading in ivory. The country with the highest ivory consumption, the People’s Republic of China, recently shut down its legal ivory trade at the end of 2017. Nepal has turned the tide of elephant poaching, with no loss of elephants in the last 4 years. This remarkable success has been achieved by imposing a total ban on trade in ivory, supported by strict national legislation that includes significant fines and incarceration for poachers, traders and officials. Elsewhere, elephant poaching continues to increase despite the numerous disincentives already in place. Thus, we propose a global ban on trade in ivory as the only realistic solution to the current unsustainable rate of loss of elephants. The ban should be extended to trade in all products from endangered wildlife.

Keywords

African elephant Asian elephant Poaching Conservation Ivory Illegal trade 

Notes

Acknowledgements

We would like to dedicate this paper to Wayne Lotter and all the other men and women who have given their lives to serve and protect elephants and other wildlife around the world. We would like to thank to KNCF, Japan for their financial support to work in elephant in Nepal.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Achyut Aryal
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    Email author
  • Craig G. Morley
    • 1
  • Ian G. McLean
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Forest and Resource ManagementToi Ohomai Institute of TechnologyRotoruaNew Zealand
  2. 2.Faculty of Science, Charles Perkins Centre, School of Life and Environmental SciencesThe University of SydneySydneyAustralia
  3. 3.Nature First NepalKathmanduNepal

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