Wednesday, June 06, 2018

Illegal World Trade in Ivory

This chart from CITES shows the international trade routes for illegal ivory:

The heaviest black lines indicate the bulk of large scale trade (>5000kg seized)  is headed from Africa's west (Togo) and east (Kenya) coast to China and Southeast Asia.  Consumption of ivory has increased in China in close relation to widespread affluence.  Seizures of illegal ivory worldwide have exceeded 25,000 kgs each year from 2009 through 2013.  In 2016 the amount seized was a record 40,000 kgs.  Japan and Thailand are the other major Asian markets for illegal ivory.  Awareness of the plight of African elephants being poached to death is increasing.  The worse affected areas are central and west Africa.  Unless the rate of poaching drops significantly in the coming years, the African elephant will be extinct. A fate to tragic to contemplate.