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Au Revoir: France Crushes its Ivory

France has now joined a growing number of other countries—including the United States and China—in destroying its stockpile of ivory. More than three tons of ivory was pulverized at Champs de Mar at the foot of the Eiffel Tower. The ivory stash was worth more than one million dollars, and was comprised of 698 individual…

Reporting on the Ivory Trade in Angola: Will the Nation’s Entry to CITES Make a Difference?

By Elena Bersacola and Magdalena Svensson Destruction of stocks of illegal ivory has been prevalent news in the media lately. Most recently it was Hong Kong announcing the intention to crush 28 tons of its illegally smuggled ivory to show support for the fight against wildlife trafficking. This comes soon after China, the United States,…

China’s Ivory Crush Is Important First Step

In a surprising step, China last week became the latest in a growing number of countries to publicly destroy large quantities of ivory to bring attention to the global trade in illegal ivory. From any angle, China’s move has important and positive implications for the fight against an illegal ivory trade that is killing tens of thousands…

Elephant Declines Vastly Underestimated

By Trevor Jones and Katarzyna Nowak Earlier this month, international media ran with a major prediction released by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) that “one-fifth of Africa’s elephants could be wiped out in the next ten years, at current poaching levels.” This is a damaging underestimate that undercuts the seriousness of…

Urban Wildlife Corridors Could Save Africa’s Free-Roaming Elephants

Wildlife corridors could pay a major role in reducing human/wildlife conflict and saving the largest remaining population of wild-roaming elephants on the planet.

The Silent Crisis: Vietnam’s Elephants on the Verge of Extinction

As the slaughter of the remaining elephants in Africa continues without interruption, elephants in Vietnam—without media attention and a pack of NGOs calling for their protection—are quietly disappearing. Victim of an intensely and increasingly fragmented habitat, weak environmental laws, human-elephant conflicts, logging, and poaching, elephants in Vietnam are teetering on extinction. According to some reports,…

Elephant Snack

An African elephant can make quick work of a tree and this one did while I was filming at South Africa’s Royal Malewane Game Reserve.  This week when I heard the new poaching numbers that 22,000 elephants were killed last year & 25,000 the year before I thought of this encounter and how special it…

Ivory Mandala: A Fitting Memorial from the U.S. Ivory Crush

Tomorrow the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will use an industrial rock crusher to destroy its six-ton stockpile of confiscated elephant ivory. The event is both a demonstration of the U.S.’s commitment to stop ivory trafficking and its belief that the legal ivory trade stimulates consumer demand and promotes elephant poaching. What it is not…

Deep River and the African Elephant

One Connecticut community is honoring the 100,000 elephants that died for the town’s thriving ivory trade in the 18th and 19th centuries.

Elephant Wrestlemania

We had a ringside seat for what I call “Elephant Wrestlemania” at Royal Malewane Game reserve in South Africa. It was an incredible day of elephant entertainment and play fighting. I interview Juan Pinto, Royal Malewane’s head ranger this week for my radio show, “National Geographic Weekend” and we talk about elephant behavior and what…

November 3, 2013: How to Survive an Avalanche, Following Family History Through Asia and More

Join host Boyd Matson, as we survive potentially disastrous avalanche, swim with manta rays in Mozambique, walk the length of Africa looking for water, and follow our family tree’s roots throughout Asia.

Walking for Elephants: One Conservationist’s Journey

Jim Nyamu, a 37-year-old Kenyan research scientist, finished his 560-mile walk in Washington, D.C., last week to raise awareness about threats to elephants in the wild. He spoke to a gathering of about a hundred people in Lafayette Park opposite the White House. His finish was timed to coincide with the International March for Elephants,…

Elephant Crisis: An International March, As Warning and Call to Action

Elephants have captured the imagination of individuals across the world. Majestic beings, they have enthralled even those who may never have enjoyed close contact with them. It’s this empathy that has led thousands of people worldwide today to join the International March for Elephants organized by iworry, a campaign by the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, to sound the warning that the future survival of elephants is in serious jeopardy. By Daphne Sheldrick, founder of the conservation charity.

Al Shabaab and the Human Toll of the Illegal Ivory Trade

The real boon for Al Shabaab’s ivory business is soaring demand in consuming countries, which translates into high prices. Illicit raw ivory now fetches over U.S. $1,500 per kilogram in Asia; in China the “official” cost for raw ivory is supposedly more than $2,865 per kilogram. That means higher profits for Al Shabaab—and a treasury it can use to wreak chaos. Consumers can help break that lifeline by not buying ivory.

Hippo vs. Elephant: Giants Face Off

What happens when a elephant crosses a hippo’s home turf?