Poaching elephants for ivory

Search Share Government stockpiles of elephant tusks, like these being incinerated in Kenya, are not fueling the illegal ivory trade.

Poaching elephants for ivory

North Atlantic right whale The gruesome reality of poaching. Photo by Karl Ammann Poaching caused a decline of African elephants from 1. Mortality was unusually concentrated among the largest adults with the biggest tusks.

Old matriarchs the oldest adult females that provide the social glue in elephant herds were particularly vulnerable. Their tusks are large and their groups were easier to find than solitary adult males.

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Many family groups lost their matriarchs, compromising their social, competitive and physiological functioning. The youngest offspring often perished with their mothers, causing a disrupted age structure. Many older offspring were orphaned, only to range solitarily or in atypical groups of unrelated females.

Documenting the long-term consequences of social disruption caused by poaching on the African elephant is crucial to the conservation and management of this species.

Poaching elephants for ivory

Objectives We examined long-term impacts of poaching on elephants of the Mikumi-Selous Ecosystem, Tanzania—one of the largest and most heavily Poaching elephants for ivory elephant populations on the continent prior to the ivory ban.

Our study focused on Mikumi National Park in the northern part of this ecosystem. Methods We compared group structure, social cohesiveness and physiological health of poached and unpoached elephant groups. Poached groups were identified by their peculiar group structure, based on age and relatedness of their adult females.

The degree of relatedness among group members was determined from DNA extracted from their feces. Hormones extracted from feces were used to quantify physiological stress and reproductive function in these groups.

Rates of aggression, affiliative behavior and competitive exclusion from resources were also compared across groups. Results A high percentage of single adult female families had an atypically small family size, with an average of only 2.

Recently killed elephants are fueling the ivory trade | Science | AAAS

Thirty percent of all adult females were solitary in Mikumi, changing little from what was observed in despite increased protections since the ivory ban. Comparison of family size in a poached Mikumi versus unpoached Amboseli population of savanna elephants.

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Poaching elephants for ivory

There was also high variance in adult relatedness, with some families consisting entirely of non-kin. This is unusual for a species characterized by close family units of several related adult females, and quite consistent with our predictions of long-term impacts on this heavily poached elephant population.

Variance in mean pair-wise relatedness was significantly greater in small groups 2 adult females than highly fluid and large groups adult females.

Mean relatedness also corresponded with strength of social association for adult female elephants in Mikumi. Small families tended to be less closely related and some exhibited very fluid, uncohesive social behavior, whereas on average larger families, which are more consistently closely related, tended to form stronger bonds and tighter social units.

Individual mean AI was significantly greater in large groups adult females than small groups 2 adult females and solitary females.

Physiological measures of stress and reproduction were also consistent with the disruptive effects of poaching.

Poaching - Wikipedia

Stress levels were highest in groups that lacked an old matriarch, had few closely related adult females, and weak social bonds. Females from genetically disrupted groups, many in their reproductive prime, also had fewer young calves. Log fecal glucocorticoid levels for female elephants according to close relative presence kin or absence none and poaching risk of home range location low and high.

Our findings suggest that these are long term consequences of poaching since the distribution in group size has changed little sincethough the number of families with tusked old matriarchs increased by Percentage of female elephants in genetically disrupted and intact groups that had an infant.Keywords: elephant poaching essay, ivory trade ban Poaching of elephants has been present from days gone by years.

Nonetheless it increased substantially in the 's and consequently the elephant people of the world recorded a sharp drop with statistics displaying that the amount of elephants in Africa dropped from 1. 3 million in to just , in ("Ivory trade threatens. Recently killed elephants are fueling the ivory trade.

But stopping the poaching is a tall order. Despite an international ban that prohibits the sale of ivory from elephants killed after During this time period, poachings fueled by ivory sales cut Africa’s elephant population in half.

Since they were big targets and sported the largest tusks, savannah elephants took the worst hit. The illegal trade in elephant ivory is being fueled almost entirely by recently killed African elephants, not by tusks leaked from old government stockpiles, as had long been suspected.

(All elephant poaching statistics.) The poachers killed the elephants by lacking water holes and salt licks with cyanide.

Once the elephants die, the poachers cut of their ivory tusks. The poachers are able to sell the tusks for $ (4, South African Rand) to cross-border traders in Zimbabwe.

Ivory-seeking poachers have killed , African elephants in just three years, according to a new study that provides the first reliable continent-wide estimates of illegal kills. During

Poaching Elephants for Ivory