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Posts Tagged Elephant

Elephants are the pillars of Africa’s ecosystems and they need our support

Photo of a small herd of African elephants in open savanna grassland landscape in East Africa

   

As the largest of all land mammals, African elephants play an important role in balancing natural ecosystems. They trample forests and dense grasslands, making room for smaller species to co-exist. Elephants also create water holes used by other wildlife as they dig dry riverbeds when rainfall is low. Herds travel over vast rangelands, and they disperse seeds in their dung, which helps generate new green growth.

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Japan’s legal ivory markets are fueling the international ivory trade

Photo of illegal elephant tusk stockpile before ivory burn event in Kenya

  

The shutdown of ivory sales on Rakuten-Ichiba, one of Japan’s largest e-commerce platforms, in August 2017 blazed a trail for other online shopping sites selling and auctioning ivory. Some mall retailers even revised their policies to close shops trading ivory, but few online shopping sites have taken the same path as Rakuten — most notably Yahoo! Japan.

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Turning to Tsavo: why conservation needs to extend across large landscapes

Photo of herd of elephants in Kilimanjaro landscape

  

Space to roam. It is a must for the world’s largest land animal, but across the transboundary Kilimanjaro landscape straddling Kenya’s southern border — known for its sizeable elephant population — that roaming space is becoming harder to find.

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How to win the fight to save Africa's elephants and rhinos

Photo of herd of African elephants in dusty savannah landscape

   

Where previously poachers were subsistence or small-scale operators, now, organized groups engage in ruthless killing sprees. Poaching in Africa today involves militias, crime networks, and even terrorist groups motivated by the demand for ivory and rhino horn in Asian countries predominantly. The illegal killing of wildlife is more efficient than ever before — the syndicates equip poachers with gear such as military-grade weapons, helicopters, and night-vision goggles. In one of the worst events on record, armed poachers on horseback in Cameroon’s Bouba N’djida National Park slaughtered as many as 650 elephants over three months in early 2012.

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Humans are the biggest threat to Africa’s wildlife

Herd of elephants graphic asking where the species is headed

     

The energy, food and financial needs of our species pit us against various flora and fauna in our complex ecosystems. But human encroachment on habitats and migration routes is not the only way we are facing off with wildlife. Humans are also actively wiping out iconic species like the elephant, lion, and rhino by turning them into commodities.

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