Count sheep. That’s the advice given to people having trouble falling asleep—a clear indication that most don’t consider counting animals an exciting task. Yet the counting of animals is crucial to conservation efforts. Wildlife censuses help gauge population patterns and distributions across habitats and time.
This past Monday, July 28, AWF CEO, and member of the United States Advisory Council on Wildlife Trafficking, Patrick Bergin, model and AWF Trustee Veronica Varekova, and Marcus Asner, fellow member of the Advisory Council, joined Charlie Rose on his show to discuss the elephant ivory crisis.
Ivory taken from an elephant in Africa travels along an elaborate trade chain that spans countries, oceans, and continents—and comprises a network of poachers traffickers, fixers, kingpins, and consumers.
In 1989, after a decades-long spate of elephant poaching and failed regulation of the commercial trade in ivory, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) finally made the decision to ban international trade in African elephant ivory.
Dear friends, I am a Mars scientist—not a wildlife activist. But I have been horrified to learn of the recent poaching of Satao, the beloved Kenyan elephant pictured here. He was poached for his ivory. The picture of his mutilated body is beyond words.