How to Solve the African Elephant Poaching Crisis - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

how to solve the african elephant poaching crisis n.
Download
Skip this Video
Loading SlideShow in 5 Seconds..
How to Solve the African Elephant Poaching Crisis PowerPoint Presentation
Download Presentation
How to Solve the African Elephant Poaching Crisis

play fullscreen
1 / 11
How to Solve the African Elephant Poaching Crisis
227 Views
Download Presentation
althea
Download Presentation

How to Solve the African Elephant Poaching Crisis

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - E N D - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Presentation Transcript

  1. How to Solve the African Elephant Poaching Crisis By: Scott Ross April 30, 2014

  2. Background: African Elephants • Vulnerable Species (VU) on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List: A species considered to be facing a high risk of extinction in the wild • Unique feeding/sleeping habits/gestation period • Life expectancy (wild vs. captive) • Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES)  banned the international commercial trade in African elephant ivory (1989) • 1930: 5-10 million • 2014: 400,000-700,000 • 8% lost each year! • Native to 37 countries but extinct in 3 • Extinct in Burundi, Gambia, and Mauritania; reintroduced in Swaziland

  3. Why are they important? • Keystone species: a species on which other species in an ecosystem largely depend, such that if it were removed the ecosystem would change drastically • Size  Intrinsic value • Preserve biodiversity: digging into Earth for soil  rich minerals and salts and benefits other species, too • Maintain trails used by various species • Keep down vegetation surrounding water holes, enabling safe drinking locations for all other species • Source of attraction in Africa  Tourism • $14,375  income from tourists for every year of its life • Average elephant is worth $862,500- $1,006,250 in tourism costs alone • Elephant-related tourism = $200 million/year

  4. Main Threats • Habitat loss and poaching • Poaching #1 threat • 20% population decline if rates continue • Organized crime, corrupt officials involved with illegal poaching and ivory trade • Demand: >35,000 elephants/year • 38.8 tonnes seized (2011) • Effects of Poaching • Tourism decreases  less elephants • Economy suffers, political instability ensues • Rising demand of ivory has “contributed to funds used by terror and insurgent High groups” (Peter Knights, Executive Director of WildAid)

  5. Why are African Elephants Poached? • Ivory and meat • #1 reason: ivory • Symbol of wealth; cultural significance • Unique texture • Softness (carving, durability) • Lack of hard outer coating of enamel; does not splinter • Piano keys • Spear tips • Bow tips • Needles • Combs • Buckles • Jewelry • Weapons • Scottish bagpipes • Billiard balls • Buttons • Flatware handles • Furniture inlays • Carvings • Statues • Hairpins • Chopsticks • Ornamental items (i.e. okimono, netsukes)

  6. China’s Influence • 70% of ivory • Growing middle class • High demand • 1 pound of ivory = $1,000 • Comparison to African countries yearly income • Piano keys: Steinway funded a study at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) • Invested $232,000 • Developed synthetic polymer • RPIvory • Feels/plays like ivory to pianists

  7. Progress Taking Place • Chinese NGOs, Yao Ming, and Li Bing Bing (2013): raise awareness, lessen demand, protect endangered wildlife • January, 2014: Prince William, Duke of Cambridge; David Beckham  voiced support via PSAs broadcasted throughout China • January 6, 2014: Dongguan, China confiscated and destroyed 6 tonnes of ivory • The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) supplies equipment and training that is necessary for: • Anti-poaching operations • Securing critical habitats • Working towards demand reduction of ivory

  8. Economics of Elephant Management • Valuable because they preserve biodiversity; largest land-living animal; tourist attraction • Interactive resource: population size determined by biological considerations and actions taken by society • Finding the efficient level of harvest, AKA efficient sustainable yield is very hard with elephants • Find the “catch,” or hunting level that would produce largest annual net benefit if maintained continuously • One component of the sustainable yield is assuming that the price of elephants is constant and does not depend on amount sold  constantly changing, increases difficulty

  9. Economics of Elephant Management • Private market does not provide socially optimal quantity because elephant tusks are a common resource • Considered to be common resource because Africa does not have the necessary resources to protect this species • Elephants are being “over used” • Unsustainable practice • Killed faster than the rate they replenish their population

  10. Solutions • Increase awareness; education • Protect younger generations of African elephants  birthing population grows • Pay poachers to do the opposite of what they are doing currently • Increase regulation and monitoring; stiffen penalties • Raise price of ivory  exceed middle class

  11. Worth Saving? • “The presence of African elephants helps to maintain suitable habitats for many other species. In central African forests, up to 30 percent of tree species may require elephants to help with dispersal and germination. They play a pivotal role in shaping their habitat because of the enormous impact they have on factors ranging from fresh water to forest cover.” (https://worldwildlife.org/species/african-elephant)