17 Aug '11, 1pm

Illegal ivory openly on sale in Chinese cities

Illegal ivory openly on sale in Chinese cities

Elephants, while revered in some cultures as highly emotional and intelligent creatures, are prized elsewhere purely as a commodity. The long-held desire for elephant ivory has fuelled an industry which has placed both of the earth’s two species of elephants - Asian and African - on the IUCN red list, the former listed as endangered and the latter as vulnerable. In China, a deeply rooted cultural emphasis on ivory as a status symbol - coupled with the recent exponential growth of the consuming class - has created a demand for ivory that is the highest in the world. Just ahead of this week’s meeting of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), the international body created to protect wildlife from over-exploitation, the findings of an investigation into the illegal ivory trade in China were released by the NGO Elephant Family. The report details ...

Full article: http://www.theecologist.org/News/news_analysis/1019180/il...

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