To Dunedin! On an ivory quest! Brendan Moyle Oct 22

Well, not exactly.   But on Friday, I will be at Otago University and giving a seminar on ivory black markets.  One topic I’m going to highlight is whether the legal factories in China (all 37 of them) are a significant source of illegal carvings. The production problem is usually glibly ignored or assumed away. [...]

Lost at sea: Impressions of Leonardo’s Sailors Brendan Moyle Oct 13

One day someone might write a useful review of the economics of wildlife trade.  Nadal and Aguayo’s “Leonardo’s Sailors” is simply not it.  The tragedy is that an opportunity has been squandered.  Economic models of wildlife trade and poaching have lagged behind policy issues.  They are simplistic. As yet they offer only limited guidance on [...]

Ivory- it’s a business Brendan Moyle Oct 02

The first of the papers I’ve written on the illegal trade in ivory has appeared.  It’s in the journal Ecological Economics. This is some research informed by work in China but also from data outside there.  It’s about some of the macro-drivers of poaching and partly explains why poaching did surge after 2009. One of [...]

Excellent elephant conservation blog by Daniel Stiles Brendan Moyle Sep 16

Long-time elephant conservationist Daniel Stiles has an excellent blog at National Geographic on elephant conservation and the ivory trade.  I think everybody who is concerned with conservation policy and elephants should read it. On the 80′s poaching crisis- Tragically, the rising calls for an ivory trade ban increased poaching because East Asian dealers and factories [...]

The next project: Tracking tusk throughput Brendan Moyle Sep 07

While I think the evidence points to the volumes of poached ivory being sent to Asia is being stockpiled, others are convinced otherwise.  There is a theory that this poached ivory is being made into carvings to be sold to unscrupulous consumers.  One potential pathway for this is the legal factories.  The legal factories (36 [...]

Elephant count from the Mara-Serengeti Ecosystem Brendan Moyle Sep 05

The Serengeti-Mara ecosystem refers to a group of connected nature reserves in Kenya and Tanzania.  It includes the Masai Mara Reserve in Kenya and the Serengeti in Tanzania. It represents an important area for elephant conservation as it very large refuge (32,000 square km) for many of East Africa’s elephants.  The latest report on population [...]

Inside a Chinese Ivory Carving Factory Brendan Moyle Sep 04

As part of the ongoing investigations of the ivory markets in China we have been visiting carving factories.  We’re slowly getting through them.  Of late we have also been interviewing every carver about their output, experience and when they started their employment.  To date, that is about forty carvers we’ve interviewed.  This gathers valuable information [...]

Ivory Connections: Poaching and civil wars Brendan Moyle Aug 08

As has been widely noted, elephant poaching in Africa has risen to very high levels- and once again is, threatening many populations of elephants.  The debate over the causes has not been entirely settled.  Some have advocated that this increase is a result of surging demand in East Asia (chiefly China).  As an explanation it [...]

Looking for spiders Brendan Moyle Aug 04

Winter isn’t the optimal time to be looking for creepy-crawlies in New Zealand.  Even though expectations were low, I still wanted to try fine-tuning my nocturnal photography macro-rig.  The problem seems to be finding some way to mount the small video light I have, along the central axis of the macro lens.  This time I [...]

No, elephants are not going to become extinct in the next 10-12 years Brendan Moyle Jul 16

It has becoming remarkably common to see the claim that elephants will become extinct because of poaching in the next 10-12 years.  Our august NZ Herald reports this with: Crush NZ’s seized ivory, petition asks: Campaigners say illegal trade could see African elephant extinct in a decade. I’ve seen the message on social media like [...]

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