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Digital Subscriptions > Travel Africa > October-December 2018 (84) > PROMISING DEVELOPMENTS


The ivory trade is a dire threat to elephants, but countries are taking action, says Megan Berman
The illegal wildlife trade is one of the most urgent threats to iconic African species such as elephants

The tides are turning in the war against the ivory trade. In the past several months, China, Hong Kong and the UK have all implemented or announced bans on domestic ivory trade – long overdue measures to help stop the slaughter of elephants.

Although the ivory trade has been outlawed under international treaty since 1989, poaching continues to ravage African elephant populations.

Poachers kill as many as 35,000 elephants each year for their tusks, which are then sold and made into jewellery, ornaments, musical instrument parts, religious objects and other collectibles. Today, fewer than 415,000 elephants roam the continent of Africa, and with current poaching rates causing an 8 percent population decline each year, this iconic species could be wiped out in our lifetime.

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