Re: Elephant Poaching in Africa (Kenya, Tanzania, ...)

Sat Aug 06, 2016 10:17 am

Just is horrific!! O/ O/ :-(

Re: Elephant Poaching in Africa (Kenya, Tanzania, ...)

Thu Sep 08, 2016 1:53 pm

How could we ever face our children if we allow the world’s elephants to be massacred?



An elephant at the Tsavo east national park in Kenya. Elephant populations on African savannahs have decliend by 30 per cent, largely due to poaching Credit: Tony Karumba/AFP/Getty

Amid all the talk of Brexit plans, our future immigration system, nuclear power and the many preoccupations of the new Cabinet, there is a vital commitment in the manifesto of the Conservative Party that must not be forgotten.

This is the promise to “continue to lead the world in stopping the poaching that kills thousands of elephants each year,” and to “press for a total ban on ivory sales”. It is now essential that this commitment is honoured in full.

African elephants at sunset in the Okavango Delta, Botswana Credit: Frans Lanting/Alamy

The census of African elephants published last week demonstrated the scale and urgency of the crisis. It found that in just seven years, 30 per cent of the entire population of savannah elephants had been eliminated, equivalent to the slaughter of over 20,000 a year. The rising prosperity of people in countries such as China and Vietnam has fuelled the demand for ivory in recent years, producing a catastrophe on the ground in parts of Africa, with massive poaching linked to corruption and organised crime.The reasons why this should be unacceptable to the whole of humanity hardly need stating. The massacre of elephants will severely damage the ecosystems of some of the world’s best remaining habitats, and it undermines the future sustainability of their local communities. But most of all, it is morally indefensible. That magnificent creatures who, left to themselves, lead long lives in close-knit families, should be murdered wholesale, their younger ones orphaned and their babies abandoned is repugnant to anyone who cares about the natural world. How would we ever explain to a future generation that we stood by while the elephants were destroyed?
In the last few years many people across the world have decided they have to do something about this, me included. As Foreign Secretary, I worked with the then Defra secretary, Owen Paterson, to convene a global conference of governments at Lancaster House in 2014. No fewer than three princes, the Prince of Wales, the Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry, came to impress on the world’s ministers that action was needed. We assembled four African presidents to sign the Elephant Protection Initiative, which is now African-led, with 14 countries working with Stop Ivory and private donors to conserve their elephant populations and close their domestic ivory markets.

Since I left government I have been chairing a group of airline and shipping companies, at the request of the Duke of Cambridge, to work out how to intercept and prevent shipments of ivory. We are making progress on sharing crucial information and spreading an attitude of zero tolerance towards wildlife crime, and Chinese state agencies have signed up to our recommendations.

William Hague with the Prince of Wales at the Illegal Wildlife Trade Conference at Lancaster House on February 13, 2014

My own efforts are just a tiny part of the race to save the elephants. Great work is done by many British and global organisations – the World Wildlife Fund, Tusk, Stop Ivory, the Wildlife Conservation Society and many more. Brave rangers risk, and lose, their lives fighting poachers. Vietnam is hosting the next intergovernmental conference in the series we started. And the United States has weighed in, securing agreement with the Chinese President last year to “halt the domestic commercial trade in ivory”.

The decisive battle against the ivory trade will be won in China and the rest of the Far East, through changing attitudes. The growing readiness of the Chinese authorities to give a lead and clamp down on ivory dealers is of huge importance. In the rest of the world, we have to do everything we can to help with that.

This is where the Conservative manifesto comes in. We British have been at the forefront of this fight. But now, in the absence of government action to close our ivory market, we are in danger of lagging behind. The UK is, embarrassingly, among the largest remaining ivory markets in the world. We still allow domestic trade in ivory with a certificate, as well as the trading and exporting of ivory said to originate before 1947, without any official certification.

Scientists with Great Elephant Census fly over Botswana, Africa, 2014 Credit: Great Elephant Census/AP/Vulcan

The trouble is that well-intentioned but complex rules are difficult to enforce and easy to circumvent. Worldwide, a substantial legal trade is used to cover the illegal ivory trade. Studies by the International Fund for Animal Welfare have found that Britain has been the third-biggest source of intercepted illegal ivory entering the US, and that most ivory sold in antique shops and fairs is done so without the required proof of age. Internet sellers of ivory showed little awareness or care about existing laws. The certificates are often forged.

Worst of all, there is evidence that Britain still plays a part in feeding demand in the East. The 2012 Environmental Audit Committee Report found that antique ivory products were being illegally shipped from the UK to China and South East Asia. Between 2009 and 2014, 40 per cent of all the illegal wildlife products seized by the UK Border Force were ivory. And penalties imposed by our courts have been light or non-existent.

The UN Office of Drugs and Crime is in no doubt that “the trade in illicit ivory is only lucrative because there is a parallel licit supply, and ivory can be sold and used openly”.

A Kenya Wildlife Services (KWS) officer stands near a burning pile of 15 tonnes of elephant ivory seized in kenya at Nairobi National Park on March 3, 2015 Credit: Carl de Souza/AFP Photo

This is why many countries, like Botswana and India, now implement a total ban on all trade in ivory, no matter how old. In July, the US banned all foreign commerce and interstate sales of ivory, with narrow exceptions for items a century old. China has tightened import rules and is contemplating its next step.

As the CITES conservation conference assembles in South Africa later this month, the UK should send the strongest possible message and close its ivory markets without delay. EU single market law makes this complicated, but France has just banned all sales of raw ivory and strengthened other rules. Virtually all certificates for the trade could be refused immediately, and new regulations brought forward to match the US’s actions. Such moves would encourage further action by China, and help suppress this evil trade.

The mass killing of some of the world’s most revered animals is an outrage; a manifestation of human selfishness, stupidity and greed. In Britain we have done a great deal to prevent it, but now another step is needed. Often we wait five years for a manifesto promise to be fulfilled: the elephants don’t have that much time.

Read the full story: ... be-massac/

Re: Elephant Poaching in Africa (Kenya, Tanzania, ...)

Mon Mar 06, 2017 2:55 pm

Giant elephant Satao 2 poached in Tsavo, 6 super tuskers left

Posted on 6 March, 2017 by Africa Geographic Editorial

SATAO 2 is dead, and another of the last tuskers left in Africa has been poached, leaving only 6 of these giants in the Tsavo Conservation Area in southern Kenya. This is a devastating blow to elephant conservation and to super tusker genes.

Satao 2 carcass, discovered with tusks intact. © Tsavo Trust

SATAO 2 was named after SATAO, the iconic giant who was poached in 2014 and was one of the largest tuskers left on Earth. A ‘tusker’ is an elephant whose tusks each weigh in excess of 100 lbs / 45,45kg. The tusks of Satao 2 weighed 51kg and 50.5kg.

Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) rangers discovered the gruesome kill site before the poachers had the time to remove the tusks. Although not totally certain, indications are that SATAO 2 was killed by a poison arrow. In subsequent investigations, two people have been apprehended and weapons seized. KWS continues to work hard to rid Tsavo of poaching teams that roam the reserve.

Satao 2 © Dex Kotze

The massive 44,000 km² Tsavo Conservation Area (twice the size of South Africa’s Kruger National Park) is home to the highest population of large-tusked elephants in the world, with 6 ‘super tuskers’ (of approximately 25-30 in the whole of Africa) and 15 emerging tuskers (young bulls who have the genes and potential to become tuskers). There are also 7 cows with tusks reaching the ground that are being monitored.

Elephant populations in the area crashed due to poaching from the highs of 45,000 in the early 1970’s to fewer than 6,000 in 1989. Since then the population has recovered to 11,000 (last aerial census in 2014) due to the formation of the KWS and the international ban on ivory trade – although there has again been an increase in poaching since then. For further information see our magazine issue The Silent Giants of Tsavo.

The tusks from Satao 2, recovered from his carcass by KWS rangers. © Tsavo Trust

The Tsavo Trust operates the Big Tusker Project in conjunction with KWS and focusses on aerial and ground surveillance and data capture, backed up by the KWS’ rapid reaction teams that deal with poaching incidents.

SATAO 2’s death, and the recent spike in poaching, represent a significant threat to the world’s last-remaining tuskers and to Tsavo’s precious elephant population. PLEASE consider supporting the Tsavo Trust in their brave battle to keep these elephants safe from the ruthless poaching syndicates.

Tsavo Trust CEO Richard Moller would like to see one or two of the iconic Tsavo super tuskers enjoy a Presidential Security Decree, as was the case with the famous tusker called Ahmed of Marsabit National Park in Kenya in the early 1970s. If successfully repeated, this will be a momentous achievement in conservation leadership by an African president.

The Tsavo Trust urgently requires your financial support. To find out more and donate please visit their website

Satao 2 © Dex Kotze

Re: Elephant Poaching in Africa (Kenya, Tanzania, ...)

Mon Mar 06, 2017 3:15 pm

The world is getting worse by the day 0*\ How can anybody kill a fabulous animal like a big tusker :no:

Re: Elephant Poaching in Africa (Kenya, Tanzania, ...)

Mon Mar 06, 2017 7:54 pm

0= 0= 0=

Re: Elephant Poaching in Africa (Kenya, Tanzania, ...)

Wed Apr 19, 2017 9:31 am

New study shows elephant numbers down by 75%

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Virginia Keppler

Zimbabwe has in recent years exported elephants in a bid to raise funds and cut the ballooning population

It is estimated that protected areas have just a quarter of the elephants they should have, mostly due to pervasive poaching.

Approximately 730 000 elephants are missing across the 73 protected areas in southern Africa, according to a new study from the Conservation Ecology Research Unit (CERU) at the University of Pretoria (UP).

It is estimated that the protected areas have just a quarter of the elephants they should have, mostly due to pervasive poaching.

Now for the first time ever, there is knowledge on which areas deserve priority for elephant conservation.

The study used remote sensing of the most important resources for elephant (vegetation and water), poaching data and the largest population database for any mammal species to model the density at which individual populations should stabilise.

The study’s lead author, Ashley Robson, said: “While the magnitude of loss due to poaching is devastating, I don’t see our work as more doom and gloom.

“On the contrary, we provide ecologically meaningful goals for elephant conservationists to work toward. It’s a positive step for elephants.”

Rudi van Aarde, supervisor of the project and chairperson of CERU at UP, said elephants thrive in a huge variety of conditions from deserts to lush forests, so elephant density varies according to local resources.

“There is no single ideal elephant density. Ecologists have known this for a long time, but it’s never been quantified until now. Improved remote sensing, decades of count data and a huge effort from my research team have enabled us to estimate benchmarks for elephant populations. The current study is the culmination of a decade of work,” he said.

He added that the historical trade in ivory and the renewed poaching onslaught against elephants across the continent masked the relationship between population size and environmental conditions.

According to Robson, elephants play a major role in shaping the savannas that in Africa cover as much land as the continental United States of America and Europe combined.

“Losing elephants is detrimental to our savannas and the species that rely on them. While the conservation targets are a positive step, our study is a wake-up call. Around 70% of the current distributional range of African elephants falls beyond protected areas. That elephants aren’t doing well, even where protected,” Robson said. ... own-by-75/

Re: Elephant Poaching in Africa (Kenya, Tanzania, ...)

Wed May 10, 2017 12:21 pm

Maybe there is still hope.......

Saving Elephants Is Good For Business



The success of Kenya’s development vision, and the responsibility of balancing rapid economic growth with the integrity of the ecosystems that support it, now rests increasingly on community and private landowners. The proportion of illegally killed elephants in north Kenya’s community lands has dropped 52% since 2012.

Picture Kenya. You’d be forgiven for defaulting to mainstream media imagery of people in poverty – starvation, flies, and sprawling slums. Or perhaps you picture an open savannah at sunset, the red glow silhouetting a herd of elephants as they move slowly across the horizon.

Both are a reality in this country of contrast, but there is a new kind of savannah emerging here that disrupts these conceptions as much as it promises to marry the two for mutual benefit. The new savannah has been born from Kenya’s booming manufacturing, agro-processing, tourism, finance, and tech sectors creating a hub for economic development and foreign investment. This is Africa’s Silicon Savannah – home to an expanding middle class, tech innovations, rapid urbanization and service sector growth. According to the World Bank, Kenya’s economic growth is among the fastest in Africa . In 2016, reports the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics, the country’s economy expanded by 6.2% in Q2 compared to 5.9% in the same period in 2015.

In its national long-term development plan, Vision 2030, Kenya aims to transform itself into a newly industrializing, middle-income country. Agriculture continues to provide the foundation for this. Tourism too, to a lesser, but perhaps more publicized, extent. These two sectors rely on Kenya’s incredible, but increasingly threatened, natural resources. The pressure on the grasslands, forests and fisheries from population growth and a changing climate hits hardest at the grass-roots level – the same demographic with the highest potential to affect change. The success of Kenya’s development vision, and the responsibility of balancing rapid economic growth with the integrity of the ecosystems that support it, now rests increasingly on community and private landowners.

I remember talking to Jeremy Bastard, the manager of a successful safari lodge in the remote Mathews mountains in northern Kenya. ‘Ten years go, no one cared about the elephants being injured, or killed for their tusks,’ he said. ‘The elephants were considered a nuisance. Herders spend many long, hot hours digging wells to water their cattle, and the elephants would come at night and destroy the wells in search of the same water. Now, they always leave some in the trough for the elephants to share. Now, because of community conservation, they see value in those elephants, their elephants.’

To me, this epitomizes the reason why curbing elephant poaching in north Kenya has not only been a conservation success, but a social and economic success too. The proportion of illegally killed elephants in north Kenya’s community lands has dropped 52% since 2012.

North Kenya is inhabited largely by semi-nomadic cattle herders, and has a history characterized by ethnic conflict, elephant poaching, land degradation and extreme poverty. While elsewhere in the country, economic growth has been tangible to the urban majority, in the remote north development has been hindered by these challenges. In 2004 however, all this began to change – with the birth of the community conservation movement.

Supported by the Northern Rangelands Trust (NRT), there are now 33 community conservancies across 17,000 square miles of northern and coastal Kenya. These are areas of land managed by the indigenous pastoralist, farming or fishing communities to provide an engine for peace, physical security, good governance, natural resources management, and economic opportunity. In a historically lawless landscape – these conservancies are transforming lives and well-governed community institutions are reversing the ‘tragedy of the commons’.

NRT was created as the umbrella organization to support its members, offering financial and technical support, governance oversight, conflict resolution and investment opportunities. NRT itself receives significant financial support from the United States and the Danish Agencies for International Development (USAID and DANIDA), as well as The Nature Conservancy (TNC).

To strengthen the investment opportunities NRT can bring, NRT Trading Ltd. was established in 2014 to focus on conservation business. NRT Trading is a for-profit social enterprise owned by NRT, with a mission is to identify, incubate, pilot and grow sustainable businesses within the conservancies – one of these is tourism.
In 2015, tourism revenues to NRT conservancies from entry and bed-night fees totaled over US$ 410,000 – a really significant income for these remote and marginalized communities, derived from their wildlife. Two safari lodges – Sarara and Il Ngwesi – are actually owned by the community, who contract operators to manage them. Wildlife tourism revenues are split 40/60 – with 40% going toward annual conservancy operating costs (like ranger salaries and vehicle fuel) and 60% going toward development projects deemed a priority by the constituent community at their Annual General Meetings. Most commonly the communities decide to spend these funds on educational bursaries for the poorest family, health care support, and water supplies to reduce the burden on women from collecting water from afar.

Making the link between protecting wildlife and improving livelihoods has been the catalyst for bringing local communities to the forefront of conservation . In addition to providing security for wildlife, community operated sanctuaries in three conservancies are among only a handful in Africa, and are playing a significant part in endangered species protection. Black rhino, hirola (the spectacled antelope) and nubian giraffe are all benefitting from targeted intervention from conservancies, who in turn stand to benefit from ecotourism – not to mention the pride they feel in being at this forefront.

Indeed Saruni, a portfolio of luxury safari properties in Kenya, opened ‘Saruni Rhino’ in February 2017 – partnering with Sera Community Conservancy to invest in a property that will give guests access to the only community-run black rhino sanctuary in East Africa, and one of only a few places where visitors can track them on foot.

As conditions for business improve, solar and mobile technologies are providing momentum. Rangers are able to take photographs of field activities on their affordable smart phones, and instantly message them to a central control office. Solar panels are starting to provide electricity to conservancy headquarters that wouldn’t stand a chance at being on the grid any time soon.

Further capital investment is needed in the NRT landscape for this eco-tourism model to go to full scale – currently just 7 out of 33 conservancies host tourism facilities, and benefit from the employment and service businesses that come with them. And there is still a long way to go for many of these institutions. Infrastructural, cultural and environmental challenges will demand significant sweat equity from even the most experienced investor right from the start. But the social and environmental returns on investment here are significant – and will be a sustainable link from authentic savannah to ‘Silicon Savannah’ for marginalized communities in the north.

In this relatively small corner of Africa, big ideas are pioneered, tested and proven; cutting-edge science and business-minded conservation are married with traditional African ingenuity to solve problems that have been perceived as intractable for generations . And from this special place, these pragmatic, bold solutions are already flowing out to other places in Africa, taking hold organically. This is why this is different: for generations, well-meaning outsiders have brought ideas and money, and tried solving challenges from the top down, often with little luck or staying power. But this revolution, like any revolution that actually works, is from the grass up. This is why investments in NRT are durable.

Read original article: ... -business/

Re: Elephant Poaching in Africa (Kenya, Tanzania, ...)

Wed May 10, 2017 12:39 pm