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China bans ivory imports for 1 year as tusk smuggling threatens existence of African elephants.

China is banning the import of ivory products for one year amid criticism that its citizens' huge appetite for ivory is threatening the existence of African elephants.

The State Administration of Forestry declared the ban in a public notice issued Thursday, in which it said the administration would not handle any import request. The ban takes effect immediately.

In an explanatory news report, an unnamed forestry official told the state-run Legal Evening News that authorities hope the ban would be a concrete step to reduce the demand for African tusks and protect wild elephants. The official says the temporary ban would allow authorities to evaluate its effect on elephant protection before authorities can take further, more effective steps.

China is the world's largest importer of smuggled tusks.

The government also has warned its citizens not to bring back any ivory, but critics say the public awareness campaign is inadequate as many Chinese do not know that tusks can only obtained by killing the elephant.

After China acquired a legal stockpile of ivory in 2008, demand for ivory has surged among increasingly affluent Chinese who see ivory as a status-defining luxury, and high profits have fueled a strong underground market for the product.

 

Gaborone - The Minister of Environment, Wildlife and Tourism, the Honourable Tshekedi Khama, says the latest wildlife census shows that Government’s efforts against poaching were bearing fruit.

Speaking at the handing over of the Elephant census report, Minister Khama said while other countries in the region had been assisted by international donors, 99.9% of Botswana’s efforts against poaching were funded by the government. He said the government’s decision to ban hunting was the right decision as certain species were declining.

In July to October 2014, Elephants Without Borders (EWB) in collaboration with the Department of Wildlife and National Parks (DWNP) undertook an aerial survey counting elephants and other wildlife in the northern part of the country, he said. It was part of the GEC which was fully sponsored by Mr. Paul Allen and his sister, Jody.
For his part, EWB director, Dr Michael Chase said the total elephant estimate in the northern part of Botswana was over 129,000, the largest population in Africa. He said the elephant population in Chobe appeared to be decreasing while in Makgadikgadi and Nxai Pan national parks it grew at a rate of 15% per year. “Many of the changes in the local elephant population are due to movement of elephants between different parts of Botswana and surrounding countries,” he said.

Dr Chase said during the survey, they saw 18 elephant carcasses but that none appeared to have been killed by poachers. He said this showed improvement as the 2010 EWB survey showed that 20 per cent of the fresh elephant carcasses were attributed to poaching. The survey indicated that there were about 48,000 zebras, 26,000 buffaloes, 9,000 giraffes, 57,000 lechwe, 9,000 hippos and over 72,000 impalas. The survey showed a decline of between 7 to 10% for wildebeest, tsessebe and springbok. Ostrich are also declining by 9% annually in the northern part of Botswana, he said.

Source (BOPA)

 

 

These poor little calves left behind when poachers kill their Mothers.

What most people don't realize is that of all the reported Rhino killed by poachers, there are so many Rhino calves that are left behind without their Mother. Fortunately, some are rescued - but so many die.

None of these losses are added to the Rhino poaching statistics each year, and makes the situation so much worse.

This little Boy's name is Bruiser and was rescued after his Mother was poached for her horn. The calf was only a few weeks old when he lost his Mother. He was one of the fortunate victims of this attack to be rescued by rangers. Bruiser is now in an animal sanctuary recovering from unspeakable psychological trauma. 

1,215 Rhino were poached in 1014. This number would be far higher if the unborn and calves that die as a result were also counted.

Spare a thought for the babies left behind...