Elephants, these iconic, highly intelligent, and beautiful creatures, are now in grave danger because of the soaring demand for ivory in Asia. African elephants are being poached at unsustainable levels: in 2011 alone, over 25,000 elephants were killed (out of the total estimated population of about 500,000) and the rates of poaching are increasing. Recent paper by Meisels and 59 co-authors, published in PLoS One, estimates that the population of the African forest elephants declined by a staggering 62% between 2002 and 2011.
In early 80’s, when the high demand for ivory in the West and in Japan brought sharp decline in elephants’ population, public campaign against buying ivory was one of the major factors that reduced ivory trade and allowed the elephant populations to start recovering. It can be done again, but we need to spread the word about the brutal price the elephants are paying for the human appetite for ivory and the danger of extinction they are facing now.
A new UCSD students-faculty organization “Stop Blood Ivory” is organizing two events in the next few days:
Wed., May 30th (all day) information booth at the Library Walk
Mon, June 3th 5-6:30PM: Talks and discussion panel in the Great Hall in the International House.
On behalf of the “Stop Blood Ivory” organization, I would like to invite you to these events and also ask you to share the attached flier with your friends and peers.
For more information about the elephants crisis:
Maisels F et al., (2013) Devastating decline of forest elephants in central Africa. PLoS One. 2013;8(3):e59469. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0059469. Epub 2013 Mar 4.
Collection of articles and videos on elephant slaughter recently published by the New York Times:
“Elephants in peril”