Where is the poached ivory going? Brendan Moyle Nov 03

One of the enduring questions we have with respect to the black-market in ivory, is where the raw ivory is going.  The somewhat glib answer is that it is being churned into carvings to be sold to East Asian (i.e. mostly Chinese) buyers.  This is regarded as glib as to date, evidence of this eruption [...]

Local weather, local beach Brendan Moyle Nov 02

On Friday I decided to take a side excursion to Waiake Beach on the way to work.  The weather wasn’t picture perfect, but I wanted to take some photos before hitting the office.  These were very low angle shots, using Rangitoto Island in the background.  I wanted to try some ideas out with the tripod [...]

On the Otago Peninsula Brendan Moyle Oct 26

I visited Dunedin on Friday and Saturday this week.  Friday was the very academic part of the trip.  I presented a seminar at the University of Otago on the elephant-ivory black-market.  One showed how shipping costs, African instability and interest rates affected poaching and smuggling levels.  The other was a paper I hope to submit [...]

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 [...]

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