tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:/xml/elephants1 elephants news from mongabay.com 2015-06-30T22:11:42Z tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/15061 2015-06-30T22:02:00Z 2015-06-30T22:11:42Z Using DNA evidence to pinpoint poaching zones <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/i/tanzania/150/tz_1437.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A study published last week in <em>Science</em> showed that most of the ivory being trafficked today comes from two areas in Africa: savanna elephant ivory from southeast Tanzania in East Africa and forest elephant ivory from the meeting point of Gabon, the Republic of Congo, Cameroon, and Central African Republic. Rhett Butler 2.247879 16.167828 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/15024 2015-06-23T23:56:00Z 2015-06-24T13:40:48Z On the fence about wildlife fencing: new paper outlines research needed to resolve debate <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-imgs.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0617-pereira-drylands-150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Fencing is used to protect wildlife against poaching and human encroachment, and also to protect people and livestock from wildlife. As a conservation strategy, it has proponents as well as detractors. A recent paper by a team of 45 international researchers in the Journal of Applied Ecology questions the wisdom of erecting wildlife fencing in dryland ecosystems. It also seeks to ease decision-making on fencing initiatives by setting a research agenda to answer open questions that will help resolve the debate. Brittany Stewart tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/15007 2015-06-19T21:32:00Z 2015-06-19T21:49:29Z Elephant poaching gets center stage in NYC ivory crush Public awareness of the global elephant ivory poaching crisis got a high profile boost today with the crush of 2,000 pounds (907 kg) of confiscated ivory in New York City's Times Square. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14995 2015-06-18T17:15:00Z 2015-06-18T19:59:18Z Real-time monitoring: How timely location data can keep wildlife out of danger zones <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0618Collared-elephant_George-Wittemyer150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Do you know where your study animals are? How fast have they travelled over the past day or week? How far are they from a river, or from a highway? Previously, wildlife biologists had to estimate the locations of their study subjects, using either triangulation from two or more receiver locations or identifiable landscape features on aerial photos or hand-drawn maps. With the advent of GPS technology, they can pinpoint the location of their subject to within a few meters, at any given time. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14977 2015-06-16T19:24:00Z 2015-06-16T19:29:57Z What do China, Kenya and India have in common? Wildlife trafficking When it comes to trafficking rhino, elephant, and tiger parts the biggest players are China, Kenya, India, Vietnam, South Africa and Thailand, according to a new paper in PNAS. Examining news media reports aggregated by HealthMap: Wildlife Trade, researchers were able to pinpoint the most important countries for exporting, moving and importing illegal wildlife parts worldwide. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14953 2015-06-13T02:19:00Z 2015-06-13T02:22:36Z The ivory trade and the war on wildlife (rangers) [commentary] <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/i/kenya/150/kenya_0258.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In this commentary, Fred Bercovitch, wildlife conservation biologist at Kyoto University, confronts the conservation community with an unconventional approach to stopping the ivory trade and illegal elephant killing. The views expressed are his own. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14897 2015-06-02T18:38:00Z 2015-06-03T16:19:18Z The poachers' bill: at least 65,000 elephants in Tanzania <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0602.THUMB.elephants.Cristian-Samper_7540_African-Elephant-Aerial-Views-Ruaha-National-Park_TZA_03-17-14.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>During the last couple years there have been persistent rumors and trickles of information that elephant poaching was running rampant in Tanzania as the government stood by and did little. Yesterday, the government finally confirmed the rumors: Tanzania's savanna elephant population has dropped from 109,051 animals in 2009 to just 43,330 last year&#8212;a plunge of 60% in just five years. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14882 2015-05-29T23:54:00Z 2015-05-30T02:10:39Z Elephants rejoice: China to end ivory trade <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/south-africa/150/south_africa_kruger_0654.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The Chinese government announced today that it will 'eventually' shut down its legal domestic ivory market. The move, which surprised conservationists, could provide a major boost in efforts to stop the mass killing of elephants for their ivory. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14867 2015-05-27T21:16:00Z 2015-05-27T21:17:24Z Uganda's elephant population has risen 600% since its 1980s low <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0527.Elephant--acacia.THUMB.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In the 1980s, Uganda's elephants looked like they were on their way to extinction. The country had only about 700-800 elephants left, all in a single park; poachers had exterminated the rest. But a new survey as a part of the Great Elephant Census has confirmed that Uganda is today a bright spot in the current ivory poaching crisis. The country has more than 5,000 elephants and growing. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14862 2015-05-27T16:29:00Z 2015-05-28T16:49:32Z Drone Herders: Tanzanian rangers and researchers use UAVs to protect elephants and crops <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-imgs.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0527-digirolamo-elephant-drone-150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>HEC, otherwise known as human elephant conflict, is a centuries-old problem responsible for the deaths of untold numbers of elephants. This ongoing battle between African farmers trying to grow crops and hungry elephants foraging for a meal, has motivated conservationists to find solutions for protecting the largest and one of the most intelligent land animals on the planet. Scientists’ most recent effort -- Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), frisbee-sized remote controlled quad-helicopters -- may provide the answer that researchers have been looking for. Brittany Stewart tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14855 2015-05-26T18:18:00Z 2015-05-26T18:18:48Z Mozambique loses almost 10,000 elephants in just five years <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0526.THUMB.Niassa-Reserve-poached-elephant-6Sep14---Alastair-Nelson,-WCS.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Mozambique has lost nearly half of its elephants to relentless, brutal, and highly-organized poaching in just five years, according to a new government survey. In 2010, the country was home to an estimated 20,000 pachyderms, today it houses just 10,300. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14812 2015-05-15T19:35:00Z 2015-05-15T19:39:53Z Weapons trafficking experts target criminal wildlife trade networks <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/south-africa/150/south_africa_kruger_0799.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>An outfit usually associated with investigating arms dealers and weapons traffickers is applying its advanced network mapping capabilities to go after wildlife trafficking syndicates. This week Washington D.C.-based C4ADS unveiled the Environmental Crimes Fusion Cell, a unit which consists of a team of analysts, network mapping technology provided by software company Palantir, and a network of NGOs and enforcement agencies. The unit analyses wildlife trade data to provide actionable intelligence to pursue and apprehend traffickers. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14805 2015-05-14T15:55:00Z 2015-05-14T15:56:27Z South African Airways bans all wildlife trophies from flights <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0514.trophyroom.thumb.67877557_149afec7e7_o.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Trophy hunters may need to find another flight home, as South African Airlines (SAA) has announced a new ban on any wildlife trophies from their flights. The debate over trophy hunting in Africa is rising as many of the continent's most beloved mammals&#8212;including lions, elephants, rhinos, and giraffes&#8212;face precipitous declines. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14785 2015-05-12T05:00:00Z 2015-06-23T15:11:25Z Wilmar, Musim Mas supplier caught clearing elephant habitat for palm oil in Aceh <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="//lh3.googleusercontent.com/-i3BU3Oulgt4/VVGKBSA_L4I/AAAAAAAABl0/0toVHnTHPko/w150-h100-no/sumatra_9219%2B%25281%2529.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A new report provides evidence that a supplier of palm oil giants Wilmar and Musim Mas is bulldozing valuable forests in Indonesia’s Leuser Ecosystem in violation of the companies’ zero-deforestation policies as well as the Indonesia Palm Oil Pledge (IPOP), a high-profile, joint sustainability pact that also includes Golden Agri-Resources, Asian Agri, Musim Mas and the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Kadin). Philip Jacobson 4.520011 97.679989 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14760 2015-05-07T12:12:00Z 2015-05-07T12:12:29Z Ranger killed by poachers in park known for grisly elephant slaughters <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0506.Agoyo_Ranger.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>On April 25th, poachers shot and killed wildlife ranger, Agoyo Mbikoyo, in Garamba National Park in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), according to the organization African Parks. On the frontline of the illegal wildlife trade, Garamba Naitonal Park is known as a hotspot for elephant poaching. Jeremy Hance 4.514637 29.664044 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14755 2015-05-06T17:40:00Z 2015-05-29T15:30:45Z Activist deported from Cambodia continues fighting dam from abroad <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-imgs.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0505_RHarbinson_Tree_Thumbnail.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Alex Gonzalez-Davidson has been campaigning to prevent construction of a proposed dam on the Areng River in the Cardamom Mountains. The Cambodian government deported him in February, but evidence is mounting that the dam project may have stalled. Rebecca Kessler 11.986773 103.419316 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14719 2015-04-30T23:51:00Z 2015-05-01T00:59:36Z Tapping into evolutionary responses to guard crops against elephants <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/namibia/150/namibia_0969.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The search for effective measures to reduce human-elephant conflict is a top priority for wildlife managers and a significant challenge. Ongoing conflict incidents exacerbate anti-wildlife sentiments among rural populations, as conflict events can lead to the deaths of both people and elephants. The continued expansion of development and agriculture into traditional wildlife grazing lands pushes elephants into more frequent contact with people and crop fields. Rhett Butler 11.668104 76.631985 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14700 2015-04-28T16:39:00Z 2015-04-28T16:39:39Z Illegal ivory trade alive and well on Craigslist As it has become more difficult to buy illegal ivory from slaughtered elephants on places like eBay, Etsy, and Amazon.com, traders and buyers in the U.S. have turned to another venue: Craigslist. A new report by the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) and the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) finds that the ivory trade is thriving on Craigslist. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14691 2015-04-27T12:50:00Z 2015-06-23T03:19:09Z Two more Sumatran elephants found dead in Aceh <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="//lh6.googleusercontent.com/---E_hm__EwE/VT4xvoOSSPI/AAAAAAAABf0/g8Kwd0Y8lCM/w150-h101-no/11139639_10206130801447578_1020840274_n.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A pair of critically endangered Sumatran elephants were found dead this month in Indonesia's Aceh province, just the latest casualties for a species that has been brought into increasing conflict with humans amid the country's oil palm boom. One was shot through the head by a poacher. The other was injured by a snare trap and perished shortly thereafter. Philip Jacobson tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14649 2015-04-17T14:13:00Z 2015-04-17T14:24:44Z Zimbabwe selling baby elephant calves to China, says environmental group <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-imgs.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0417-montoro-zimbabwe-elephant-150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A hundred thousand African elephants were killed by poachers for their ivory between 2010 and 2012. Now a new threat looms: a growing wildlife trade in baby animals to satisfy international tourism. Zimbabwe has reportedly taken 80 elephant calves from their mothers and families in the wild, and is currently holding them in two heavily guarded facilities in Hwange National Park and near Victoria Falls. The baby animals await transport overseas for sale to unidentified buyers, possibly in China or other countries, says the international elephant rights organization, Global Action Ending Wild Capture (GAEWC). Brittany Stewart tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14534 2015-03-25T16:02:00Z 2015-03-25T16:12:56Z Elephant poaching rate unchanged – and still devastating <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0325.south_africa_kruger_1099.thumb.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>New figures show essentially no change in the number of elephants killed in Africa by poachers last year, despite a high-profile meeting on the crisis which was attended by 46 countries and a number of commitments. Data from CITES' Monitoring the Illegal Killing of Elephants (MIKE) estimated that around 20,000 elephants were killed in 2014, the same as in 2013. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14486 2015-03-12T16:31:00Z 2015-03-17T16:38:06Z Conservationists announce program to protect East Africa's largest elephant population <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0223_elephants_150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) and the Tanzanian government have launched an ambitious new initiative to protect East Africa's largest population of elephants (<i>Loxodonta Africana</i>). With funds from USAID, the plan aims to reduce poaching and protect biodiversity - including the area's 25,000 elephants- across an 115,000 square kilometer ecosystem. Tiffany Roufs -6.897289 31.171173 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14437 2015-02-26T22:50:00Z 2015-02-26T22:51:56Z China bans carved ivory imports China has established a one-year ban on imports of carved African elephant ivory. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14323 2015-01-29T19:53:00Z 2015-01-30T15:13:19Z Videos: new film series highlights bringing Gorongosa back to life Tracking lions, photographing bats, collecting insects, bringing elephants home: it's all part of a day's work in Gorongosa National Park. This vast wilderness in Mozambique was ravaged by civil war. However, a unique and ambitious 20-year-effort spearheaded by Greg Carr through the Gorongosa Restoration Project is working to restore this rich and little-studied African wilderness. Jeremy Hance -18.812994 34.331024 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14287 2015-01-21T17:33:00Z 2015-01-30T16:17:23Z Video: clouded leopards and elephants grace drowned forest in Thailand Camera trap video from Khlong Saeng Wildlife Sanctuary in southern Thailand has revealed an impressive array of wildlife, including scent-marking clouded leopards and a whole herd of Asian elephant. The camera traps were set by HabitatID, an organization devoted to using remote camera traps to prove to government officials that wildlife still flourishes in forgotten places. Jeremy Hance 8.972407 98.790539 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14244 2015-01-08T20:50:00Z 2015-01-10T15:00:39Z California introduces bill to close ivory loophole California congresswoman, Toni G. Atkins, introduced a bill yesterday (AB 96) that would close a major loophole allowing ivory to be sold all over the state. Thousands of miles away, across Africa, poachers are decimating elephants for their ivory tusks. A recent study estimated that one fifth of the continent's elephants have been slaughtered in just three years. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14188 2014-12-23T16:23:00Z 2015-01-21T20:13:49Z Top 10 Environmental Stories of 2014 <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/sabah/150/sabah_2297.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In 2014, the unimaginable happened: companies representing the majority of palm oil production and trade agreed to stop cutting down rainforests and draining peatlands for new oil palm plantations. After years of intense campaigning by environmentalists and dire warnings from scientists, nearly two dozen major producers, traders, and buyers established zero deforestation policies. Jeremy Hance -2.391216 -64.166830 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14171 2014-12-18T16:25:00Z 2014-12-18T16:32:31Z Enough for an elephant: why are Cameroon's elephants raiding fields? <table align="left"><tr><td><img src=" http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/namibia/150/namibia_1025.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Waza National Park in West Africa is a refuge to many endangered and vulnerable species. Walk through the grounds and you may see red-fronted gazelles grazing or giraffes sauntering between trees in search of foliage. Head to the park's perimeter, though, and you may see a less serene scene: elephants raiding local farmers' crops. Tiffany Roufs 11.333265 14.666613 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14076 2014-11-26T20:53:00Z 2014-11-26T21:00:16Z Meet the world's most wanted environmental criminals In keeping with recent efforts to ramp up action against environmental crime, INTERPOL has highlighted nine fugitives for breaking laws related to illegal logging, poaching and the wildlife trade, illegal fishing, and waste dumping, among other crimes. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14048 2014-11-19T22:15:00Z 2014-12-08T17:36:36Z Conflict-fueled deforestation, poaching in Assam continue despite truce <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1119-thumb-samba.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Northeastern India boasts nearly 44 percent of the country’s dense forests, and contains one of the most biodiverse areas in the world. However, the region lost approximately 548,440 hectares of tree cover—more than 3 percent—from 2001 through 2012. Sonitpur, Assam, has been particularly hard hit as people flooded into the area and cleared forest. Morgan Erickson-Davis 27.009059 92.886862 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14040 2014-11-18T19:26:00Z 2014-12-08T17:36:18Z Disappearing oasis: northeastern India losing forests as people move in <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1118-thumb-rhino-assam-lip-kee.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Northeastern India is part of the Eastern Himalaya biodiversity hotspot, one of the megadiverse areas of the world. The region boasts more than 60 percent forest cover, compared to the 15 percent for India as a whole. However, not all is pristine when one visits areas designated as forest on the map. Morgan Erickson-Davis 26.444599 90.739560 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14021 2014-11-14T21:18:00Z 2015-02-06T15:12:07Z Man plants forest, becomes film star <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1114-thumb-indian-elephant.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Jadav “Molai” Payeng is a 51-year-old man who lives in India’s north-eastern state of Assam in the village of Aruna Chapori. A member of Assam’s indigenous Mising tribe, Payeng is better known as the “Forest Man" for spending the last 35 years planting a forest bigger than New York City's Central Park. Morgan Erickson-Davis 26.847090 94.162522 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14018 2014-11-13T20:49:00Z 2015-02-06T15:12:18Z One man plants forest larger than Central Park <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1113-thumb-Kaziranga_Rhinoceros_unicornis.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Jadav “Molai” Payeng resides in northeast Assam’s Jorhat district in the village of Aruna Chapori. Here, for the past 35 years, he has worked to plant trees on a sandbar island in the river near his home—and in the process, single-handedly established a forest larger than New York City’s Central Park. Morgan Erickson-Davis 26.848009 94.164410 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13962 2014-10-30T05:29:00Z 2014-10-30T05:34:10Z Agam, the adorable baby elephant that captured hearts in Indonesia, is dead Agam, an orphaned two year old Sumatran elephant, died over the weekend presumably from injuries suffered during a fall last May. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13879 2014-10-06T19:07:00Z 2014-10-06T19:08:41Z Elephants worth much, much more alive than dead, says new report <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1006-antipoaching-2-thumb.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Elephants are worth 76 times more when they’re alive than dead, according to a new analysis released this past weekend. The report follows on the heels of findings by WWF that the world has lost 50 percent of its wildlife over the past 40 years, with more than half of African elephants killed for ivory in just one decade. Morgan Erickson-Davis -2.994009 38.462995 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13846 2014-09-30T02:03:00Z 2014-10-01T14:35:46Z Joint force uses Google Earth to find elephant poaching camps in Mozambique, captures poachers in raid <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0929-guns-3-thumb.png" align="left"/></td></tr></table>On Monday, September 22, two ivory poachers were arrested in Mozambique during a late-night raid near Niassa National Reserve. The arrest followed on the heels of nearly two-dozen reported kills in the reserve in just the first two weeks of the month. Morgan Erickson-Davis -11.880410 37.467319 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13775 2014-09-12T17:05:00Z 2014-09-12T17:09:28Z WCS-led raids lead to six arrests near Mozambique’s largest reserve <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0912-forest-elephant-thumb.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A joint force of the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) and government authorities are in the midst of carrying out a series of raids against poachers in Mozambique aimed at halting the illegal killing of elephants in Niassa National Reserve, the country’s largest protected area. Six men, thought to be responsible for killing 39 elephants in 2014, were arrested in an early morning bust in the town of Marrupa, just south of the park. Morgan Erickson-Davis -11.880809 37.467158 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13764 2014-09-10T18:27:00Z 2014-11-06T17:49:50Z Elephants pay the price for palm oil in Malaysian Borneo, impact may reach far beyond reported kills <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0810-borneo-elephants-thumb.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>More than a dozen elephant kills were reported in Sabah in 2013 alone, but it is unknown exactly how many have lost their lives in recent years as palm plantations encroach further and further into the rainforest. What is clear is that if the loss of their forest habitat continues to drive conflicts with humans at the rate it is now, Borneo elephants’ long-term survival may be in jeopardy. Morgan Erickson-Davis 6.180661 116.893646 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13757 2014-09-09T17:39:00Z 2014-09-09T18:02:00Z Zambia ends trophy hunting ban, elephants fair game After 20 months, Zambia has lifted its ban on hunting, allowing trophy hunters to target numerous species in the wildlife-rich country including elephants. The announcement was made by the country's Tourism and Art's Minister, Jean Kapata, who stated that the ban had resulted in a loss of revenue to the Zambia Wild Life Authority (ZAWA). Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13686 2014-08-19T16:11:00Z 2014-08-19T16:32:54Z 20 percent of Africa's elephants killed in three years <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0819.elephants.14-03984-large1.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Around 100,000 elephants were killed by poachers for their ivory on the African continent in just three years, according to a new paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Between 2010 and 2012 an average of 6.8 percent of the elephant population was killed annually, equaling just over 20 percent of the continent's population in that time. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13669 2014-08-14T23:15:00Z 2014-09-23T01:56:10Z Elephant poaching soars as Sumatran forests turn into plantations <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0814-sum-elephants-thumb.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>There has been a spike in elephant deaths in Sumatra this year, and conversion of rainforest to plantations is one of the main causes. The number of Sumatran elephants poached in the province of Riau so far this year is staggering, with 22 reported kills in the first six months of 2014 compared to 14 for the entirety of 2013. Morgan Erickson-Davis 1.410429 101.647161 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13654 2014-08-12T19:54:00Z 2014-08-12T20:39:02Z Jane Goodall: how many elephants will be killed on World Elephant Day? Marking World Elephant Day, a designation intended to raise awareness about the plight of elephants that are being widely poached for the ivory trade, primatologist Jane Goodall urged people to have greater compassion for Earth's largest land animals. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13638 2014-08-07T16:44:00Z 2014-08-19T15:46:30Z Want to save Africa's elephants? Close all ivory markets <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0807.gabon-27820.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The only way to save the long-suffering elephants of Africa is to close every ivory market on the planet and destroy all ivory stockpiles, according to a bold new essay in Conservation Biology. Written by Elizabeth Bennett, the Vice President for Species Conservation at the Wildlife Conservation Society, the paper is likely to prove controversial. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13632 2014-08-05T21:23:00Z 2014-08-05T21:30:36Z New Jersey bans elephant ivory trade <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/namibia/150/namibia_1142.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has signed into law a ban on elephant ivory sales, reports NorthJersey.com. The measure, passed earlier by the New Jersey State Senate and Assembly, establishes fines for first-time offenders caught buying or selling ivory products. Repeat offenders have stiffer fines. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13613 2014-07-31T05:10:00Z 2014-07-31T17:22:55Z Poachers target elephants, tigers in Sumatran park The Leuser Ecosystem in Aceh, Indonesia is gaining the attention of international animal traffickers, according to the Leuser Conservation Forum (FKL). From the beginning of 2013, FKL patrols have dismantled 282 makeshift traps targeting high value threatened species, and the situation is getting worse. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13577 2014-07-24T00:05:00Z 2014-11-06T17:42:21Z Rebuilding Kissama: war-torn Angola's only national park affected by deforestation, but refaunation gives hope <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0723-sable-thumb.png" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The story of Kissama National Park is one of perseverance, vision and disaster in waiting. The only functional national park in Angola, a country wracked by war for decades, Kissama (also called Quiçama) lost much of its wildlife, with that which is left still impacted by poaching and deforestation. However, a project is attempting to bring the park back to life. Morgan Erickson-Davis -9.750132 13.583006 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13542 2014-07-15T18:18:00Z 2014-11-06T17:39:54Z On track to 'go beyond the critical point': Sri Lanka still losing forests at rapid clip <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0715-pf-langur-thumb.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>During the latter half of Sri Lanka's civl war, between 1990 and 2005, Sri Lanka suffered one of the highest rates of deforestation in the world, losing about 35 percent of its old growth forest and almost 18 percent of its total forest cover. The conflict ended in 2009, and while deforestation has slowed somewhat, Sri Lanka is still losing forest cover at a fast pace. Morgan Erickson-Davis 7.553656 80.579493 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13495 2014-07-07T13:25:00Z 2014-07-07T13:42:30Z Price of ivory triples in China In the last four years the price of ivory in China has tripled, according to new research from Save the Elephants. The news has worrying implications for governments and conservationists struggling to save elephants in Africa amidst a poaching epidemic, which has seen tens-of-thousands of elephants butchered for their tusks across the continent annually Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13490 2014-07-03T19:01:00Z 2014-07-03T19:18:09Z U.S should sanction Mozambique for its role in elephant, rhino poaching, urges NGOs Two prominent NGOs U.S should sanction Mozambique for its role in elephant, rhino poaching, urges NGOsare petitioning the U.S government to slap Mozambique with trade sanctions due to the country's role in regional poaching. The groups contend that Mozambique has done little to combat both its own poaching epidemic or stop its nationals from spilling over the border to kill rhinos and elephants in South Africa and Tanzania. Jeremy Hance -23.861151 31.754577 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13442 2014-06-24T23:41:00Z 2014-07-02T17:19:30Z Discarded cell phones to help fight rainforest poachers, loggers in real-time <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0624-topher-gear150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A technology that uses discarded mobile phones to create a real-time alert system against logging and poaching will soon be deployed in the endangered rainforests of Central Africa. Rainforest Connection (RFCx), a San Francisco-based non-profit startup, is partnering with the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) to install its real-time anti-deforestation technology at sites in Cameroon. 30 RFCx devices &#8212; recycled from old Android handsets &#8212; will monitor 10,000 hectares or nearly 40 square miles of rainforest, listening for audio signals associated with logging and poaching. Rhett Butler 3.967289 14.271044 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13423 2014-06-23T13:33:00Z 2014-12-30T22:43:04Z Broken promises no more? Signs Sabah may finally uphold commitment on wildlife corridors <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/HUTAN-Marc-Ancrenaz6.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Five years ago an unlikely meeting was held in the Malaysian state of Sabah to discuss how to save wildlife amid worsening forest fragmentation. Although the meeting brought together longtime adversaries&#8212;conservationists and the palm oil industry&#8212;it appeared at the time to build new relationships and even point toward a way forward for Sabah's embattled forests. Jeremy Hance 5.531846 118.292569 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13411 2014-06-18T19:41:00Z 2014-06-18T19:42:33Z Billy Joel welcomes New York Senate's approval of ivory ban Musician Billy Joel has weighed in on the ivory bill making its way through the New York State legislature. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13398 2014-06-17T15:38:00Z 2014-06-17T16:11:23Z What does SOCO's withdrawal really mean for the future of Virunga National Park? <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0617_virunga_150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Recent headlines have touted an agreement between SOCO International, a British oil company, and WWF, as bringing about an end to oil exploration in Virunga National Park. For example: Oil company Soco not to drill in Virunga World Heritage Site, Deal aims to ban drilling in gorilla preserve, and Soco halts oil exploration in Africa's Virunga national park. However, the same news banners flew in 2011, and oil exploration returned. Tiffany Roufs -0.064983 29.510750 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13397 2014-06-16T21:55:00Z 2014-06-17T19:16:43Z Too tempting, too easy: poachers kill Kenya's biggest elephant <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0616-elephant-thumb.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>While illegal, the ivory trade is having a huge impact on elephant populations throughout the world. A new report issued by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) finds that while there was a small reduction in the number of African elephants killed by poachers in 2013, the rate is still unsustainable. Morgan Erickson-Davis -3.266808 38.728122 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13389 2014-06-15T16:29:00Z 2014-06-15T16:39:17Z Grenades, helicopters, and scooping out brains: poachers decimate elephant population in park <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0615.Massacre-site,-photograph-taken-from-aircraft.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Over the last two months, poachers have killed 68 African elephants in Garamba National Park representing around four percent of the population. Poachers have used helicopters, grenades, and chainsaws to undertake their gruesome trade, and, for the first time, the park has recorded that the criminals are removing the elephant's brains in addition to tusks and genitals. Jeremy Hance 4.245461 29.167766 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13387 2014-06-13T23:34:00Z 2014-06-13T23:40:43Z Chelsea, Hillary Clinton urge action to save elephants Former secretary of state Hillary Rodham Clinton and her daughter Chelsea are urging for further action to protect elephants from the devastating ivory trade. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13380 2014-06-13T18:07:00Z 2014-06-13T21:47:04Z New York State Assembly approves bill banning ivory trade The New York State Assembly has passed a bill that would ban the purchase and sale of elephant ivory and rhino horn, reports the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), which played a key role in pushing the legislation. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13319 2014-05-30T14:49:00Z 2014-11-25T22:16:27Z Culling elephants leaves an impact on their social structure decades later <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0530-Youngsters-McComb-thumb.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Researchers from the University of Sussex studied and compared the social behavior of two elephant herds: one that was severely affected by 1970 and 1980 culling operations and a herd that was relatively unaffected. In their results, the researchers found that the elephant herds that had experienced culling operations exhibited signs of post traumatic stress disorder. Morgan Erickson-Davis -2.653080 37.259142 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13258 2014-05-21T14:25:00Z 2014-05-22T12:45:48Z Epidemic of elephant calf kidnapping hits Sri Lanka, say conservationists <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0520.elephant.IMG_0412-(1).150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In Sri Lanka, an underground wildlife racket has been simmering for a while. And a recent incident has brought it to a boil. On the night of May 1st, a gang attempted to kidnap a wild elephant calf out of the Uduwalawe National Park in Sri Lanka. But tipped off by alert villagers, police and wildlife officers foiled the abduction. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13246 2014-05-17T23:31:00Z 2014-05-17T23:39:34Z Hong Kong begins destroying 131,000 pounds of elephant ivory <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/namibia/150/namibia_1042.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Hong Kong has begun destroying its 29.6-metric-ton stockpile of confiscated ivory. On Thursday authorities in the semi-autonomous Chinese city crushed and incinerated a ton of seized ivory in an action they hope will send a message to poachers and traffickers. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13213 2014-05-12T22:26:00Z 2014-05-13T20:26:45Z Leonardo DiCaprio donates $1M toward ending elephant poaching crisis Actor Leonardo DiCaprio has stepped up with a $1 million donation to the Elephant Crisis Fund, an initiative that aims to stop the ivory poaching crisis. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13198 2014-05-08T16:57:00Z 2014-05-08T17:02:25Z Elephants in the midst: warning system prevents human-elephant conflicts in India, saves lives <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0508-ele-thumb.JPG" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Indian elephants once freely roamed the rich mid-elevation evergreen forests of the Valparai plateau in the Western Ghats, one of the world’s mega biodiversity regions, but they can’t move the way they used to. Ever-increasing commercial plantations and settlements have become obstacles to the daily and seasonal movements of elephants, creating more chances for often-deadly encounters between humans and elephants. Morgan Erickson-Davis 11.289838 77.176193 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13161 2014-05-01T16:55:00Z 2014-05-01T17:03:29Z Police apprehend elephant-killers in Sumatra <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0501-elephant-thumb.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Eleven people were arrested on April 16 by West Aceh police for allegedly killing a Sumatran elephant in a forest six kilometers away from Teupin Panah village, Kaway XVI, in the West Aceh district. Morgan Erickson-Davis 4.298359 97.176277 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13156 2014-04-30T19:44:00Z 2014-04-30T20:00:36Z Featured video: elephant advocates ask Antiques Roadshow to stop appraising ivory The 96 Elephants campaign has asked the television program, Antiques Roadshow, to stop airing appraisals of ivory, even if it is antique. To help convince the PBS program, the campaign produced a satiric video capturing not the worth of ivory, but its cost. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13095 2014-04-17T15:37:00Z 2014-04-17T15:45:19Z Okapi-killing warlord shot dead in the Democratic Republic of the Congo <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/deadokapi.okapi.unesco.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The head of an informal militia and poaching group, Paul Sadala a.k.a. 'Morgan,' was killed on Monday after surrendering himself to the army in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). A well-known elephant poacher and terrorist, Morgan became most famous for leading an attack on the Okapi Wildlife Reserve station in 2012. Jeremy Hance 1.402597 28.573283 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13021 2014-04-02T17:44:00Z 2014-12-30T22:50:21Z How locals and conservationists saved the elephants of Mali amidst conflict and poverty <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0402.mali.elephants.trunk.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>At a time when Africa's elephants are facing a relentless poaching crisis, one community has managed to safeguard their elephants in the most unlikely of places: Mali. In a country that has suffered from widespread poverty, environmental degradation, and, most recently, warfare, a collaboration between conservationists and the local community has kept Mali's elephants from extinction. Jeremy Hance 15.662697 -2.605392 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12970 2014-03-21T15:09:00Z 2014-03-23T15:51:30Z The power of connections: India to establish Asia's largest protected forest <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0321-karnataka1-morgan-thumb.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>India has stepped up forest conservation efforts in recent years, with a major project underway to establish a large swath of uninterrupted habitat through the designation of additional protected areas and expanding those already under protection. If realized, these areas would converge to become Asia’s largest unbroken forest, encompassing approximately 15,000 square kilometers (5,790 square miles) over three states. Morgan Erickson-Davis 13.509241 75.091853 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12907 2014-03-10T20:34:00Z 2015-02-16T04:45:40Z Islamic clerics issue 'fatwa' against poaching, declare the illegal wildlife trade 'haram' <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/indonesia/150/sumatra_9236.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Indonesia’s Islamic clerics drew praise from conservation groups last week after the top clerical body in the world’s largest Muslim-majority country issued a <i>fatwa, </i>or religious decree, against poaching and wildlife trafficking. The Indonesian Council of Ulema (MUI) announced the <i>fatwa </i>on Tuesday, declaring the illegal wildlife trade to be <i>haram</i>, or forbidden under Islamic law. The <i>fatwa</i> forbids Indonesia’s Muslims from “all activities resulting in wildlife extinction” and is meant in part to help support existing national laws protecting endangered species, which are poorly enforced and have done little to prevent poaching. Rhett Butler -6.185611 106.806915 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12851 2014-02-28T17:20:00Z 2014-02-28T17:37:21Z Palm oil plantations allegedly poison seven Critically Endangered elephants in Sumatra Wildlife officials suspect foul play in the deaths of seven Sumatran elephants on the outskirts of Tesso Nilo National Park. Officials stumbled on the corpses of one female elephant, five young males, and one male calf in mid-February. Although the males had their tusks hacked off, the officials suspect the elephant were poisoned in revenge for disturbing illegal palm oil plantations inside the park. Jeremy Hance -0.252685 101.712685 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12768 2014-02-12T17:44:00Z 2014-02-12T19:41:34Z Ivory trade's shocking toll: 65% of world's forest elephants killed in 12 years (warning: graphic image) Forest elephants have suffered unprecedented butchery for their ivory tusks over the past decade, according to new numbers released by conservationists today in London. Sixty-five percent of the world's forest elephants have been slaughtered by poachers over the last dozen years, with poachers killing an astounding nine percent of the population annually. Lesser-known than their savannah cousins, a genetics study in 2010 found that forest elephants are in fact a distinct species, as far removed from savannah elephants as Asian elephants are from mammoths. These findings make the forest elephant crisis even more urgent. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12767 2014-02-12T14:16:00Z 2014-02-12T14:20:44Z One person killed, two injured in elephant attacks in Indonesia this year <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/indonesia/150/sumatra_9255.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>It was near dawn on Jan. 4 when a critically endangered Sumatran elephant (<i>Elephas maximus sumatranus</i>) destroyed a small shack near a plantation in Indonesia’s Aceh province, killing a local farmer from West Aceh district and injuring his 13-year-old son. Yusmani, 59, was trampled to death while his son, Reverendi, escaped with a broken leg. Rhett Butler 5.10847 96.664053 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12683 2014-01-24T19:52:00Z 2014-01-24T19:57:26Z Hong Kong to destroy 4,000 dead elephants' worth of ivory <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/namibia/150/namibia_1100.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The government of Hong Kong will destroy 28 tons of ivory confiscated from traffickers, reports CNN. The announcement, which comes just weeks after China destroyed six tons of seized ivory, suggests that the leaders of the world's largest market for ivory may be getting more serious about addressing a global poaching boom, say conservationists. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12598 2014-01-06T18:57:00Z 2014-01-06T19:01:06Z China destroys 6 tons of elephant ivory China authorities destroyed 6.1 tons of illegal ivory during a public event held in Guangzhou on Monday. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12594 2014-01-03T22:12:00Z 2014-01-03T22:37:31Z China to destroy ivory stockpile The Chinese government plans to destroy a stockpile of contraband elephant ivory and other seized wildlife products next week during a public ceremony in Guangzhou, reports the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS). Rhett Butler 23.132783 113.268828 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12579 2013-12-26T23:48:00Z 2014-01-08T22:33:36Z Rainforest news review for 2013 <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay.s3.amazonaws.com/sabah/150/sabah_aerial_1827.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>2013 was full of major developments in efforts to understand and protect the world's tropical rainforests. The following is a review of some of the major tropical forest-related news stories for the year. As a review, this post will not cover everything that transpired during 2013 in the world of tropical forests. Please feel free to highlight anything this post missed via the comments section at the bottom. Also please note that this review focuses only on tropical forests. Rhett Butler -3.118576 -60.076675 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12563 2013-12-20T23:34:00Z 2013-12-20T23:37:40Z Anti-elephant poaching story goes viral in China <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/south-africa/150/south_africa_kruger_0661.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A newspaper story about the impact of the ivory trade has gone viral in China, raising awareness among millions of Chinese, reports the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS). The story, published November 15 in <i>Southern Weekly</i>, has been shared widely across Chinese web sites and social media. Rhett Butler 23.126468 113.270202 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12544 2013-12-19T18:39:00Z 2013-12-20T16:16:59Z Little elephant is the first scientific record of dwarfism in the wild <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/13/1218elephants150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Biologists in Sri Lanka have published the first documented evidence of dwarfism in an adult wild animal. A male Asian elephant (<i>Elephas maximus</i>) measuring just over 1.5 meters (five feet) in height was seen in an aggressive encounter with another male of average size. The elephant's small stature was due to disproportionately short legs, according to the findings published in the IUCN/SSC Asian Elephant Specialist Group journal Gajah. "The 'dwarf' was by far the main aggressor in the altercation and appeared to be older than the other, a young adult," states the study. "Other than for the disproportionately short legs, morphologically and behaviorally the dwarf appeared normal." Tiffany Roufs 6.348056 80.418091 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12523 2013-12-16T22:06:00Z 2013-12-16T22:26:16Z Asian elephants depend on shifting cultivation during the dry season Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) have co-existed with human practices for thousands of years, including shifting cultivation. Shifting agriculture encompasses a variety of different practices that involve abandoning plots for periods of time to allow natural vegetation to grow. The practice consists of cutting and burning the natural vegetation at the end of the dry season and cultivating with the rains. Harvesting is completed by the end of the wet season. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12496 2013-12-10T14:09:00Z 2014-12-28T19:57:48Z Top 10 Environmental Stories of 2013 <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/south-africa/150/south_africa_kruger_1126.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>1. Carbon concentrations hit 400ppm while the IPCC sets global carbon budget: For the first time since our appearance on Earth, carbon concentrations in the atmosphere hit 400 parts per million. The last time concentrations were this high for a sustained period was 4-5 million years ago when temperatures were 10 degrees Celsius higher. Meanwhile, in the slow-moving effort to curb carbon emissions, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) crafted a global carbon budget showing that most of the world's fossil fuel reserves must be left untouched if we are to avoid catastrophic climate change. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12481 2013-12-04T19:46:00Z 2013-12-04T21:24:49Z Microsoft founder funds Africa-wide elephant survey to measure ivory poachers' toll Beginning next year, light planes and helicopters will undertake the first ever continent-wide aerial survey of Africa's vanishing elephant populations. The hugely ambitious initiative, which will count elephant herds in 13 countries, is being funded by Microsoft founder, Paul Allen, through his Paul G. Allen Family Foundation. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12479 2013-12-03T22:10:00Z 2013-12-03T23:27:40Z Sri Lankan elephant amnesty will lead to poaching, warn conservationists <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/13/elephant150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Environmentalists have responded with alarm to a proposed amnesty permitting the registration of illegally captured elephants in Sri Lanka. Recent reports in Sri Lankan media have outlined the proposal, stating that during the amnesty period it would be possible to register elephant calves for a fee of about $7,600. Elephants are closely linked with Sri Lankan history and culture, and are considered sacred in both Buddhism and Hinduism. But the situation for elephants in the country is complicated. Tiffany Roufs 7.656553 80.703735 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12473 2013-12-02T15:28:00Z 2013-12-02T16:57:13Z 22,000 elephants slaughtered for their ivory in 2012 As the African Elephant Summit open in Botswana today, conservationists released a new estimate of the number of African elephants lost to the guns of poachers last year: 22,000. Some 15,000 elephants killed in 42 sites across 27 countries on the continent, according to newly released data from the CITES program, Monitoring the Illegal Killing of Elephants (MIKE). But conservationists estimate another 7,000 went unreported. The number killed is a slight decrease over 2011 numbers of 25,000. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12469 2013-12-01T23:01:00Z 2013-12-01T23:03:42Z Illegal timber, rhino horn, elephant ivory seized in raids across Africa Raids in southern and eastern Africa yielded a stash of contraband linked to illegal poaching and logging, reports Interpol, which coordinated the operations. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12423 2013-11-20T19:48:00Z 2013-11-20T19:48:50Z Remote sensor captures sound of ivory poacher shooting an elephant A sensor used by researchers to capture low-frequency communication between elephants inadvertently recorded the audio of an elephant being gunned down by a poacher in Gabon, reports the Wildlife Conservation Society, which used the sound byte in a video highlighting the carnage of the ivory trade. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12282 2013-10-30T15:40:00Z 2014-08-21T21:59:24Z The mystery of the disappearing elephant tusk <table align="left"><tr><td><img src=" http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/13/1021elephants150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Give it a few thousand years, and tusks could completely disappear from the Asian elephant (<i>Elephas maximus</i>). The beautifully smooth, elongated ivory incisors neatly bordering a long trunk are iconic in the public mind. The reigning hypothesis is that tusks evolved to help male elephants fight one another, as demonstrated when males compete over females in estrus. However, a recent study published in the journal <i>Animal Behaviour</i> has shown that tusks may not be key factors in tussles, at least as far as elephants are concerned. Tiffany Roufs 26.577493 93.17114 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12273 2013-10-29T17:40:00Z 2013-10-29T17:51:11Z New campaign: hey China, stop killing the 'pandas of Africa' <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/1029.Do-you-want-to-own-ivory-dripping-with-blood_-When-the-buying-stops-the-killing-can-too.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A new public-service campaign in China will ask potential ivory and rhino horn buyers to see the victims of these illicit trades in a new light: as the "pandas of Africa." The posters are a part of WildAid's 'Say No to Ivory and Rhino Horn' campaign, which was launched earlier in the year. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12207 2013-10-16T17:59:00Z 2013-10-16T18:18:53Z Advertising campaign changing minds in China on ivory trade <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/1016elephant150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>For three years, the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) has been running advertizing campaigns in Chinese cities to raise awareness on the true source of ivory: slaughtered elephants. A recent evaluation of the campaign by Rapid Asia found that 66 percent of those who saw the ads said they would "definitely" not buy ivory in the future. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12181 2013-10-09T15:53:00Z 2013-10-09T15:59:52Z Tanzania should implement shoot-to-kill policy for poachers, says government minister A government minister in Tanzania has called for a "shoot-to-kill" policy against poachers in a radical measure to curb the mass slaughter of elephants. Khamis Kagasheki's proposal for perpetrators of the illicit ivory trade to be executed 'on the spot' divided opinion, with some conservationists backing it as a necessary deterrent but others warning that it would lead to an escalation of violence. Jeremy Hance -2.254362 34.600983 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12152 2013-10-01T14:29:00Z 2015-02-11T23:43:44Z Bornean elephant meets palm oil: saving the world's smallest pachyderm in a fractured landscape <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/09._DSC2466.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In the Malaysian state of Sabah, where most conservation students are still foreigners&#8212;either European or American&#8212;Nurzahafarina Othman stands out: not only is she Malaysian, a Muslim, and a mother of a young daughter, but she's rapidly becoming a top researcher and champion for the world's smallest elephant: the Bornean elephant (<i>Elephas maximus borneensis</i>). Although sometimes described as a pygmy elephant, they still weigh 2,000 kilograms (4,400 pounds). The origin of these 'tiny' elephants in Malaysian Borneo have baffled scientists for decades. Jeremy Hance 5.515952 118.2988 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12136 2013-09-27T16:52:00Z 2013-09-27T17:01:47Z Clinton Global Initiative pledges $80 million to combat elephant poaching Hillary and Chelsea Clinton on Thursday deployed their mother-daughter star power to help the effort to save African elephants, brokering an $80m effort to stop the ivory poaching which threatens the animals with extinction. Jeremy Hance 40.761638 -73.979783 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12068 2013-09-12T14:12:00Z 2015-02-11T23:39:38Z Butchering nature's titans: without the elephant 'we lose an essential pillar in the ability to wonder' <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/0911.christo.18_009_17.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Africa's elephant poaching crisis doesn't just threaten a species, but imperils one of humanity's most important links to the natural world and even our collective sanity, according to acclaimed photographers and film-makers, Cyril Christo and Marie Wilkinson. Authors of the book Walking Thunder - In the Footsteps of the African Elephant, Christo and Wilkinson have been documenting Africa's titans in photos and film for several years. In 2011, the pair released a film Lysander's Song (named after their son an avid fan of elephants) which depicts the millennial-old relationship between humans and elephants. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12054 2013-09-11T14:26:00Z 2013-09-12T02:52:56Z 600 vultures killed by elephant poachers in Namibia <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/13/0910vultures150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>As the illegal poaching of African elephants and rhinos reaches epidemic levels, other species are also suffering catastrophic losses as a direct result of poachers' behavior. A recent incident in July, where a poisoned elephant carcass led to the death of 600 vultures near Namibia's Bwabwata National Park, has highlighted how poachers' use of poison is now one of the primary threats to vulture populations. Tiffany Roufs -18.076918 21.54086 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12046 2013-09-10T16:38:00Z 2013-09-10T17:00:29Z U.S. to crush its six ton ivory stockpile On October 8th, the Obama administration will publicly destroy its ivory stockpile, totaling some six tons, according to a White House forum yesterday on the illegal wildlife trade. The destruction of the stockpile&#8212;via crushing&#8212;is meant to send a message that the U.S. is taking a tougher stand on illegal the wildlife trade, which is decimating elephants across Africa and imperiling other animals worldwide. The U.S. remains one of the biggest destinations for ivory and other illegal animal part aside from East Asia. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11913 2013-08-14T17:18:00Z 2013-08-14T17:25:55Z Five Aceh elephants die in just six weeks Police in Indonesia’s Aceh province are investigating the killings of three critically endangered Sumatran elephants, as conflicts with humans led to a series of elephant deaths across the province last month. Five elephants have died in Aceh since late June, including two orphaned calves, highlighting the need to mitigate conflicts between elephants and local communities as deforestation drives the animals into villages and plantations in search of food. Rhett Butler 5.031268 95.577423 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11879 2013-08-05T13:57:00Z 2013-08-05T14:20:14Z Featured video: Sumatra's last elephants versus palm oil A new video by The Ecologist documents the illegal destruction of the Leuser protected area in Sumatra for palm oil production, a vegetable oil which has become ubiquitous in many mass-produced foods and cosmetics. The destruction of the forest has pushed elephants and people together, leading to inevitable conflict with casualties on both sides. Elephants are increasingly viewed as agricultural pests for crop-raiding while locals&#8212;some of them squatting in protected land&#8212;lack the means and resources to keep elephants at bay. Meanwhile, palm oil plantations often see elephants as a threat to the palms. Jeremy Hance 4.707828 96.293335 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11866 2013-08-01T20:44:00Z 2013-08-01T20:54:44Z Elephant killer gets five years in prison in the Republic of Congo The Congolese Supreme Court has ordered Ghislain Ngondjo (known as Pepito) to five years in prison for slaughtering dozens of elephants for their ivory tusks. The five year sentence is the maximum in the Republic of Congo for poaching. Ngondjo was considered the "kingpin" of an elephant poaching group; in addition to killing pachyderms, Ngondjo recruited new poachers and made death threats to park rangers and staff in Odzala National Park. Jeremy Hance -0.875782 14.822216 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11823 2013-07-24T14:57:00Z 2013-08-21T15:36:23Z Zoos call on governments to take urgent action against illegal wildlife trade (photos) <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/0722.chimp.zaccBASKET_DB9F392FAD98F.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In a single night in March, a band of heavily-armed, horse-riding poachers slaughtered 89 elephants in southern Chad, thirty of which were pregnant females. The carnage was the worst poaching incident of the year, but even this slaughter paled in comparison to the 650 elephants killed in a Cameroon park in 2012. Elephant poaching is hitting new records as experts say some 30,000 elephants are being killed every year for their ivory tusks. But the illegal wildlife trade&#8212;estimated at $19 billion&#8212;is not just decimating elephants, but also rhinos, big cats, great apes, and thousands of lesser-known species like pangolins and slow lorises. This growing carnage recently led to representatives of over 40 zoos and dozens of wildlife programs to call on governments around the world to take immediate action on long-neglected wildlife crime. Jeremy Hance 41.604661 -93.646889 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11810 2013-07-23T14:30:00Z 2013-07-23T15:02:45Z No sweat: elephants living with people aren’t stressed <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/jlh/zimbabwe-botswana/150/chobe_768.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Nature preserves, wildlife sanctuaries, national forests, parks, grasslands and protected areas are the cornerstones of conservation. These are the wild places where animals can still dwell, grow, and reproduce in their natural environment without any human-caused stressors. While many of these special places have facilitated leaps and bounds for wildlife conservation, the reality is that these areas are extremely limited and most plants and animals live beyond, or must migrate out of, their bounds. Tiffany Roufs -2.652529 37.260548 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11807 2013-07-23T00:27:00Z 2013-07-23T02:14:11Z Hunting, logging could threaten long-term health of Congo forests by wiping out key animals <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://www.mongabay.com/images/gabon/150/gabon-23070.JPG" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Unsustainable hunting of forest elephants, gorillas, forest antelopes, and other seed-dispersers could have long-term impacts on the health and resilience of Congo Basin rainforests, warns a study published today in a special issue of the journal <i>Philosophical Transactions of The Royal Society B</i>. Conducting a review of more than 160 papers and reports on trends in wildlife populations, hunting, and land use in the Congo Basin, an international team of researchers conclude that unless effective management plans are put into place, hunting pressure in the region is likely to increase, with knock-on ecological effects. Rhett Butler 3.636777 11.95703 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11800 2013-07-22T05:47:00Z 2013-07-23T05:31:08Z Deforestation rate falls in Congo Basin countries <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/13/0722-africa-rainforest-map-150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Deforestation has fallen in Congo Basin countries over the past decade despite a sharp increase in the rate of forest clearing in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, according to a new study published in the <i>Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B</i> as part of a set of 18 papers</a> on the region's tropical forests. The special issue, which was put together by Oxford University's Yadvinder Malhi, covers a range of issues relating to the rainforests of the Congo Basin, including deforestation, the impacts of global change, the history and key characteristics of the region's forests, and resource extraction, among others. Rhett Butler -4.171115 20.823212