World Elephant Day
Tuesday, August 12, 2014
In 2012 an estimated 35,000 wild elephants were killed for their ivory - 96 elephants per day. The largest population of elephants in east Africa, in the Selous Game Reserve in Tanzania, has decreased by 70% in the last seven years - from an estimated 70,000 in 2008 to 13,000 today.
Elephants are being killed by people linked to organize crime - not by villagers trying to make a living. The ivory trade has been directly linked to terrorism and a range of illegal activities including the trafficking of drugs, guns and human beings.
The United States is one of the largest consumers of illegal ivory in the world. The US ban on ivory* earlier this year was an important step but there is more to be done to completely halt the trade and truly protect elephants.
The 96 Elephants
campaign is uniting people behind these amazing animals - to stop the sale of ivory and end the killing. Among the hundreds of supporters, more than 100 zoos and aquariums are participating in 96 Elephants.
Join us and take action!
*A federal ban on the sale of ivory was passed earlier this year but state bands are needed to shut down all US trade. The state governments of New York and New Jersey both recently passed laws banning the sale of ivory and rhino horn and a number of other states are moving forward in this direction as well.
*Find your state legislator here.
The Zoo & Zoo Society support elephant conservation in Zambia and Tanzania and are also working to combat the illegal ivory trade and protect elephants throughout Africa. In collaboration with the conservation partners below, we are promoting:
- Anti-poaching and law enforcement
- Efforts to further limit trade and disrupt wildlife trade networks
- Consumer education and awareness
or Transfrontier Conservation Areas (TFCAs) link the natural wonders of Africa across international borders - jointly managing and promoting the conservation and free movement of wildlife across international boundaries. The Kavango-Zambezi (KAZA) TFCA
is situated where the borders of Angola, Botswana, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe converge. Officially proclaimed in 2011 at nearly 170,000 square miles, (roughly the size of Sweden) it is the largest conservation area in the world. When complete, it will include 36 national parks, game reserves, community conservancies and game management areasand hold the largest contiguous population of African elephants in the world. The key objective of the KAZA TFCA is to join fragmented wildlife habitats to form an interconnected mosaic of protected areas and transboundary wildlife corridors.One of the primary components of the KAZA TFCA
is the Elephant Corridor. This innovative project will link the Chobe National Park in Botswana to the Kafue National Park in Zambia, creating the world's largest free roaming elephant zone for more than 100,000 Elephants. The project is being developed within the Simalaha Community Conservancy
, ensuring that the corridor will benefit both wildlife and local communities. An important element of the KAZA TFCA will be the development of tourism to benefit local communities
Elephant herds In the Tarangire National Park of northeastern Tanzania move freely in and out of the park. Research, ongoing there since 1993, has produced a vast amount of data on the Tarangire elephant population. With area elephant and human populations growing, human-elephant conflicts have become the primary threat to elephant survival. The Tarangire elephants are also under increasing threat from ivory poaching and loss of critical habitat outside the National Park. The Tarangire Elephant Project
(TEP) works to protect migration corridors and critical elephant areas outside the National Park. Working with local villages and landowners, more than 60,000 acres of land has been protected in a primary elephant dispersal area through community conservation easements. Wildlife monitoring scouts and anti-poaching teams serve as deterrents to poachers and alert the National Park anti-poaching units to illegal activity. The TEP is expanding programs by implementing a Payment for Ecosystem Services program and expanding the network of village game scouts.