Elephanatics

Mandate For Elephant and Rhinoceros Ivory Tusk Trade To End

Great news in today! A time to celebrate the work of so many wonderful people who have made this happen.
Prime Minister Trudeau has mandated that our new Minister of Environment, Steven Guilbeault:
  •  Work with partners to curb illegal wildlife trade and end elephant and rhinoceros tusk trade in Canada.
  •  Introduce legislation to protect animals in captivity.
We thank the Canadian government for making these issues an integral part of the Environment Minister’s mandate.
It goes without saying that we are extremely pleased, but realize we could not have accomplished this without the help of all of you.
Our deepest thanks to all our supporters, domestically and globally, our #IvoryFreeCanada coalition partners, the hundreds of scientists, politicians, conservationists, and NGO’s who signed our letter, our petition, and the Canadian consultation requesting for a ban on the domestic trade of elephant ivory in Canada.
It’s a time to rejoice and be grateful for steps taken! The future of elephants and wildlife depends on getting regulations done. We look forward to making sure it does.
🐘 Way To Go Team Elephants! 🐘
Read full mandate letter here

#GivingTuesday 2021 – Mara Elephant Project – Rangers

This #GivingTuesday November 2021, Elephanatics is raising money for their partner organization, the Mara Elephant Project
Please consider purchasing of one of the items listed in the AmazonSmile Wish List. Make it a gift to give someone for the holiday season that will be appreciated and used. Let’s keep elephants safe and alive!
A great way to support Mara Elephant Project’s rangers and research department is through their AmazonSmile Wish List. Loaded with items essential to their work both in the field and in their office at headquarters, you’ll find a great, tangible way to celebrate these men and women’s work that protects elephants and their habitats in the Greater Mara Ecosystem. Featured items include Garmin watches and iReach devices used by MEP rangers to communicate back to headquarters and send location coordinates and provides them with GPS navigation. The list also includes some basic essentials like a First Aid kit, re-chargeable flashlights, binoculars and a UV protection hood and face mask perfect for working in the field under COVID conditions. So, shop now to support MEP’s rangers and research staff this holiday season.

Study: More elephants are at risk of conflict with humans than previously thought

Human-elephant conflict is on the rise across Africa and is a major threat to wildlife conservation. Crops provide a highly nutritious food source, but elephants pursuing that source results in the destruction of farmer livelihoods, erodes human tolerance toward wildlife and manifests in retaliatory violence on crop-raiding elephants. 

Crop conflict was assumed to be mostly carried out by a select few elephants, but managers have lacked the means to assess this at a detailed level. New research, however, offers a first look at long-term trends in crop-raiding behavior. Researchers found that habitual crop-raiding elephants are only a part of the problem. 

The study was led by an international team of researchers from Colorado State University, Mara Elephant Project, Grumeti Fund, Tanzania Wildlife Research Institute, Kenya Wildlife Service and Save the Elephants. It was published Nov. 2 in the Journal of Animal Ecology

Researchers said that the findings could help conservationists better understand elephant behavior and develop new mitigation methods to reduce human-elephant conflict.

The team used the time spent in crops each year to classify the raiding elephants’ behavior as:

  • Rare, for 26% of elephants studied.
  • Sporadic, for 34%.
  • Seasonal, for 31%.
  • Habitual, for 9% of the elephants. 

Sporadic and seasonal elephants made up two-thirds of the population and accounted for 67% of agricultural use, while habitual individuals made up just 9% of the population and accounted for 32% of crop-raiding. The choice of tactics was not constant over time and elephants frequently changed tactics between years, which showed how the animals must balance the mortality risks and nutritional benefits of crop use at both daily and yearly scales. Only five of nine elephants remained habitual raiders for consecutive years. 

Patterns of elephants accessing agriculture as a food source ‘remarkably consistent’

“Elephants are incredibly unique animals and populations and individuals within those populations vary markedly in the extent to which agriculture is utilized,” said Kristen Snyder, a conservation scientist at CSU and the Grumeti Fund, and a co-author of the new study. “But the patterns of how agriculture is accessed — nocturnally, and while moving quickly — is remarkably consistent across individuals and populations.”

Traditionally, researchers and managers believed only a small contingent of elephants was responsible for the majority of crop raiding, and as a result, management strategies have been designed to thwart them, explained Nathan Hahn, a doctoral student in ecology at CSU and lead author of the study. 

Hahn said that the team wanted to assess how that expectation aligns with actual elephant behavior.

“It turns out crop-raiding is a lot more prevalent in the study populations than we knew previously,” he said. “In addition, patterns of conflict are complex because we saw that individuals frequently changed their agricultural use between years.” 

The research team analyzed nine years of GPS tracking data from 66 collared elephants 32 male and 34 female in collaboration with Kenya Wildlife Service and the Tanzania Wildlife Research Institute in the Serengeti-Mara Ecosystem. This ecosystem is a vast network of wildlife reserves, parks and community conservancies that straddles the Kenya-Tanzania border. 

The GPS data was used to determine the extent to which each individual elephant used agriculture and assessed the animals’ perception of risk based on the raiding tactics they employed in comparison to their daily movement patterns.

A ‘silver bullet’ approach is elusive for a complex species

Jake Wall, director of research and conservation for Mara Elephant Project and affiliate faculty at CSU, said that by using GPS tracking coupled with remote-sensing agricultural spatial information, scientists now have a method for characterizing crop-raiding behaviour within a given elephant population.

“This in turn should help improve elephant crop-raiding mitigation strategies by wildlife managers,” he said. 

Snyder said that the study’s findings can identify crop-raiding mitigation strategies that could have an impact and, just as importantly, eliminate those that do not suit the local context. 

“In the western Serengeti, the high prevalence of agricultural use among the study population indicates that strategies targeting individual problem animals are unlikely to significantly reduce crop damage,” she explained. 

Individual or small-scale approaches will make little difference if 80% of the local elephant population regularly utilize agriculture as a food source. 

“Instead, solutions that prevent elephant access to farms across broad scales are required,” said Snyder.

CSU Professor George Wittemyer said that elephants employ complex, adaptive movement that balances their desire to access resources while avoiding threats. He is a senior author of this study and also serves as chairman of the scientific board for Save the Elephants. 

“This research shows how that perceived balance differs between individuals, but also shifts over time for a given individual,” Wittemyer said. “This variation underpins the difficulty in solution oriented human-elephant coexistence measures. As we often find, a silver bullet is elusive for a species as complex and clever as elephants. We must be as adaptive as they are when trying to solve these problems.” 

###

This work was supported by the National Science Foundation. Permissions for the Tanzania elephant collaring, and research were granted by Tanzania Wildlife Research Institute, Tanzania Commission for Science and Technology, Tanzania Wildlife Management Authority and Tanzania National Parks, and in Kenya by the Kenya Wildlife Service. 

Journal of Animal Ecology, (author note): “Risk perception and tolerance shape variation in agricultural use for a transboundary elephant population” https://besjournals.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/1365-2656.13605 DOI: 10.1111/1365-2656.13605

Journal of Animal Ecology published by the British Ecological Society features the best animal ecology research that develops, tests and advances broad ecological principles. Visit https://besjournals.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/journal/13652656 to learn more.

Images:

Olchoda: Meaning “disturber” in Maa, Olchoda was collared in November 2016 by Kenya Wildlife Service and Mara Elephant Project in response to conflict in Pardamant Conservancy, a high conflict area. Photo Credit: Mara Elephant Project

Caroline Collaring: The collaring operation for Kenya Wildlife Service and Mara Elephant Project elephant Caroline in May 2018. Photo Credit: Mara Elephant Project

 

Fitz Collaring: The collaring operation for Kenya Wildlife Service and Mara Elephant Project elephant Fitz sponsored by the Angama Foundation in the Nyakweri Forest in August 2019. Photo Credit: Mara Elephant Project

Fred: Kenya Wildlife Service and Mara Elephant Project collared elephant Fred; a large male that has been continuously tracked since 2012. Photo Credit: Mara Elephant Project

Ivy: Kenya Wildlife Service and Mara Elephant Project collared elephant Ivy; a habitual crop raider that has been continuously tracked since 2011. Photo Credit: Mara Elephant Project

 

Lucy: Kenya Wildlife Service and Mara Elephant Project collared elephant Lucy who was collared in April 2015 and monitored until September 2017. Photo Credit: Mara Elephant Project

 

Author Contact:

Nathan Hahn

Colorado State University

nhahn@rams.colostate.edu 

George Wittemyer

Colorado State University

g.wittemyer@colostate.edu 

Jake Wall

Mara Elephant Project

jake@maraelephantproject.org 

walljcg@gmail.com 

Kristen Denninger Snyder

Grumeti Fund

kristens@grumetifund.org 

Media Contacts:

Claire Bolles

Communications Director

Mara Elephant Project

claire@maraelephantproject.org 

317-440-0083

Jane Wynyard

Head of Communications 

Save the Elephants

jane@savetheelephants.org 

+254 (0) 708669635

Mary Guiden

Science Writer and Senior Public Relations Specialist

Colorado State University

mary.guiden@colostate.edu 

Just Released “A Place Like No Other”

A BIG Congratulations to Dr. Rene Beyers and Professor Tony Sinclair on their recent publication of “A Place Like No Other” by Princeton University Press.

“A Place Like No Other” is Anthony Sinclair’s firsthand account of how he and other scientists discovered the biological principles that regulate life in the Serengeti and how they rule all of the natural world. Co-authored with Dr. Rene Beyers.

A must read and a wonderful gift for the holiday season ahead!

https://lnkd.in/gD2BcRpk

#Rewilding #Biodiversity #Ecology #Ecosystems #climatechange #endangeredspecies #Serengeti #conservationeducation #conservation

 

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – Call for Ban on Elephant Ivory Trade in Canada

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

More than 40 NGOs call for ban on elephant ivory trade in Canada to help save African elephants

Tens of thousands of concerned Canadians and international stakeholders participated in public consultation on possible trade prohibitions

MONTREAL (Sept. 27, 2021) – As the Canadian government’s public consultation on elephant ivory trade comes to an end, Humane Society International/Canada, Elephanatics, and more than 40 Canadian and international NGOs, together representing tens of millions of supporters globally, have signed on to a letter calling on the new Canadian government to take urgent action to prohibit elephant ivory trade.

Environment and Climate Change Canada launched the public consultation to hear feedback on proposed measures to restrict or end elephant ivory trade on July 23, 2021. During the 60-day consultation period, Canadians and individuals around the world voiced their support for ending Canada’s role in the elephant ivory trade.

Kelly Butler, the wildlife campaign manager for Humane Society International/Canada, stated:

“Canadians have made it clear that there is no place for elephant ivory trade in Canada. We are now calling on the newly elected Canadian government to listen to the overwhelming number of Canadians and international stakeholders who supported strict elephant ivory trade prohibitions and implement these measures urgently. Elephants do not have another four years to wait.”

Tessa Vanderkop, vice-president of Elephanatics, stated:

“The African elephant population has declined by a staggering 96% in the last century alone and the species is at risk of going extinct in the wild within the next few decades without global intervention. The United Nations Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) and leading conservation organizations including the African Elephant Coalition have called for countries to close their legal elephant ivory markets in order to curtail poaching and save African elephants from extinction. Experts around the world agree that it’s beyond due time for Canada to close its elephant ivory market.”

The NGO-led sign-on letter calls on the Canadian government to implement the strictest measures that were proposed in the consultation, including prohibitions on importing elephant ivory for commercial purposes or as hunting trophies and is signed by:

African Conservation Foundation, Animal Defenders International, Animal Justice, Animals Asia Foundation, BC SPCA, Big Life Foundation Canada, Born Free Foundation, Bring The Elephant Home, Canopy, CATCA Environmental and Wildlife Society (CEWS), Earth League International (ELI), Elephanatics, Elephant Listening Project, Elephant Reintegration Trust, Family and Animal Wellness Inc, Fondation Franz Weber, For the Love of Wildlife Ltd, Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation, Global March for Elephants and Rhinos, Humane Canada™, IFAW Canada, Insure Our Future, International Animal Rescue, Mara Elephant Project, Member of this planet, National Council of Societies for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. New Zealanders for Endangered Wildlife founder, No Whales In Captivity, NRDC, Nsefu Wildlife Conservation Foundation, NSPCA, Pan African Sanctuary Alliance, Performing Animal Welfare Society (PAWS), Pro Wildlife, Rhino & Elephant Defenders (RED), Save Elephant Foundation, SEEJ-AFRICA (Saving Elephants through Education and Justice), Shark Research Institute, Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, Species Survival Network, Standfast Developments Ltd, The Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee, Two Million Tusks, WildlifeDirect, World Animal Protection Canada, World Animal Protection International, World Elephant Day, and Zoocheck Inc.

Quick Facts:

· Every year, as many as 35,000 elephants die at the hands of elephant ivory poachers in Africa.

· In March of 2021, the International Union for Conservation of Nature updated the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species and declared the African forest elephant to be Critically Endangered and the African savanna elephant to be Endangered.

· Canada’s top trading partners, including the United States, China and the United Kingdom have closed their elephant ivory markets in response to declining elephant populations.

· In addition to elephant ivory trade, Canada allows the import of elephant tusks and parts from trophy hunts. Approximately 300 African elephant tusks – representing 150 elephants – were legally imported into Canada from 2010-2018.

· Repeated government seizures of elephant ivory in Canada are irrefutable evidence of illegal ivory trade in this nation. While such seizures may intercept some of the illegal trade that is occurring, it is conservatively assumed that customs intercepts just 10% of all contraband ivory.

· In June, an open letter calling for an end to elephant ivory trade in Canada was signed by notable Canadians including David Suzuki, Robert Bateman and Bryan Adams.

· According to a 2020 poll by Insights West, 94% of Canadians support an elephant ivory trade ban. A public petition calling for a Canadian ban on elephant ivory trade has amassed over 600,000 signatures.

 

For interview requests, please call or email media contact below.

Media Contact: Michael Bernard, deputy director, HSI/Canada, cell: 613-371-5170 email: mbernard@hsi.org.

Humane Society International/Canada is a leading force for animal protection, with active programs in companion animals, wildlife and habitat protection, marine mammal preservation, farm animal welfare and animals in research. HSI/Canada is proud to be a part of Humane Society International which, together with its partners, constitutes one of the world’s largest animal protection organizations. Celebrating animals and confronting cruelty worldwide – on the Web at http://www.hsicanada.ca

Paul Rodgers Stands Up For Elephants!

Elephanatics is so very fortunate to have Paul Rodgers support the Canadian consultation launched to gather feedback on appropriate measures to restrict the elephant ivory trade in Canada. The responses to the consultation will determine whether or not Canada moves ahead with a ban.
Please go to the link Paul provided to sign and share. Asian and African #elephants are on the critically endangered and endangered #IUCN Red List. Please – StandUpForElephants!

Thank you, Paul!
……..
Paul Rodgers Official
Yesterday at 10:41 AM

We have an opportunity to close the legal trade of elephant ivory in Canada but we need your help. The Canadian government has launched a 60-day consultation asking Canadians and the international community to tell them what action they should take.
You can help by going to the link below and signing the global consultation letter.

Anyone can sign-> https://lnkd.in/gEQibJ7Y

Paul Rodgers Stands Up For Elephants

Congratulate Mara Elephant Project 10-year Anniversary!

Join Elephanatics in congratulating our partner, the Mara Elephant Project (MEP) on a decade of operation today, September 12, 2021. In the last decade, MEP focused on teaching, training, and employing Maasai men and women to be first responders to save wildlife and wild spaces. Their commitment has disrupted poaching in the Greater Mara Ecosystem, protected critical forest habitat and ecologically key areas, and kept community’s farms and families safe. Elephanatics’ support has helped increase MEP’s impact and allowed them to strengthen, build and grow their decade of success. By working together, we can save wildlife and wild spaces.

Please consider a #donation to @MaraElephantProject to celebrate their 10 years of success.

#MEPKumiAnniversary

World Elephant Day 2021

Happy #WorldElephantDay! 2021
The wondrous world and existence of elephants is trumpeted today!
World Elephant Day has highlighted our coalition’s #IvoryFreeCanada campaign and consultation brought forth by the Canadian government to ban the trade of elephant ivory in Canada.
Please read the article below. #Donate to your favourite elephant organization and be sure to take in all the ‘elevents’ found on World Elephant Day website.
Mara Elephant Project is our elephant organization of choice to donate to.

O Canada, We Stand to Ban Ivory

Everyone Urged To Speak Up For Elephants In Global Public Consultation

PUBLIC CONSULTATION  – The Canadian federal government has launched a public consultation to hear feedback on proposed measures to restrict or end the elephant ivory trade!

Everyone is urged to participate in the consultation to provide government feedback.  Please take action by sending in pre-written letter here.

VANCOUVER (July 23rd, 2021) – Elephanatics and the Ivory-Free Canada Coalition (Humane Society International, Jane Goodall Institute of Canada, Elephant and Rhino Defenders, World Elephant Day) are pleased to hear that the Canadian federal government has launched a public consultation to hear feedback on proposed measures to restrict or end elephant ivory trade.

The Ivory-Free Canada coalition along with William Shatner, Bryan Adams, Robert Bateman, and other notable Canadians are calling for a ban on the elephant ivory trade in Canada.

In the past century, the African elephant population, which is currently listed as critically endangered/endangered by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, has declined by 96%, with leading scientists warning the population could be lost altogether within the next few decades in the absence of global intervention to disincentivize poachers.

A Canadian petition launched by the coalition has garnered 636,180 signatures asking the Canadian government to end the legal trade of elephant ivory in Canada.

Every year, as many as 35,000 elephants die at the hands of elephant ivory poachers in Africa. The African elephant population has declined by a staggering 96 percent in the last century, and African elephants are at risk of becoming extinct within a couple of decades. In March of 2021, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) updated the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species and declared the African forest elephant to be Critically Endangered and the African savanna elephant to be Endangered. Africa’s biodiversity is already threatened, and further loss of elephant populations will have devastating consequences.

The decline of African elephants is largely driven by poaching, motivated by demand for ivory. Accordingly, a Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) resolution calls on the world community to shut down legal domestic ivory markets “as a matter of urgency”. This resolution mirrors the position of The African Elephant Coalition, which represents 78 percent of African elephant range States, as well as the position of an IUCN resolution on the closure of domestic ivory markets. Canada’s top trading partners, including the United States, China, and the United Kingdom have taken action in response.

Fran Duthie, President and Founder of Elephanatics, stated: “Tens of thousands of African elephants are killed every year to fill the global demand for elephant ivory. The world community is taking action, and more than 630,000 people have signed a petition calling on the Canadian government to ban elephant ivory trade as a matter of urgency. We encourage all Canadians to take part in the consultation and make their voices heard for African elephants.”

Robert Bateman, renowned Canadian artist and conservationist, stated: “The survival of African elephants hinges on the actions of the global community, and progressive nations like Canada have a responsibility to act accordingly. I am joining countless Canadians in calling on the Canadian government to act now and ban elephant ivory trade. I commend the government for launching a public consultation and encourage all concerned Canadians to take this critically important opportunity to speak up.”

Michael Bernard, deputy director of Humane Society International/Canada, stated: “Canada is at a crossroads and the actions we take now to protect African elephants will be remembered for generations to come. In keeping with its commitments to preserve global biodiversity and end human-induced extinctions, the Canadian government has launched a crucial public consultation. We urge all Canadians to participate and make clear that only a robust national ban on elephant ivory trade can truly help us end the senseless killing of African elephants.”

Quick Facts

  • Studies indicate between 25,000 and 50,000 African elephants have been poached annually in recent decades, and even the lowest estimate exceeds the elephant birth rate, thereby posing a direct threat to these populations.
  • In March of 2021, the International Union for Conservation of Nature updated the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species and declared the African forest elephant to be Critically Endangered and the African savanna elephant to be Endangered.
  • In 2016, delegates to the 17thmeeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) agreed in a resolution recommending that, “all Parties and non-Parties in whose jurisdiction there is a legal domestic market for ivory that is contributing to poaching or illegal trade, take all necessary legislative, regulatory and enforcement measures to close their domestic markets for commercial trade in raw and worked ivory as a matter of urgency.” Repeated government seizures of elephant ivory in Canada are irrefutable evidence of illegal ivory trade in this nation and likely represent a fraction of existing illegal trade.
  • The African Elephant Coalition, comprised of 32 African nations (including 29 elephant range states) states, “any supply of ivory, including that within otherwise legal domestic markets, inherently increases the risk to elephant populations and local communities, due to the opportunity it creates for the laundering of illegal ivory under the guise of legality.”
  • Canada’s top trading partners, including the United States, China and the United Kingdom have closed their elephant ivory markets in response to declining elephant populations.
  • In addition to elephant ivory trade, Canada allows the import of elephant tusks and parts from trophy hunts. Approximately 300 African elephant tusks – representing 150 elephants – were legally imported into Canada from 2010-2018.
  • 94% of Canadians support an elephant ivory trade ban (Insights West, 2020) and a public petition calling for a Canadian ban on elephant ivory trade has amassed over 600,000 signatures.
  • Canada recently backed the G7 2030 Nature Compact to stop and reverse biodiversity loss, specifically pledging to “meet targets to increase the abundance of species populations worldwide, significantly reduce overall species extinction risk and eventually stop human-induced extinctions”.

More information regarding the Open Letter can be found here.

For interview requests, please call or email media contact below.

Media Contact

Tessa Vanderkop – Vice President, Elephanatics t. 604 789-8886 e. elephanaticsinfo@gmail.com

 

Donations to Asian Elephants!

Captive elephants in Asia are still suffering from a lack of tourists and food. Elephanatics today donated $1500 in total to WFFT Elephant Refuge – Thailand and Friends of the Asian Elephant Foundation
WFFT has 25 elephants so their food costs are very high. FAE built the world’s first elephant hospital and is also the permanent home of Mosha and Boonmee, 2 landmine victim elephants.
We are so happy to be able to help these deserving creatures!
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