Tagged: poaching

Where is the poached ivory going? - Chthonic Wildlife Ramblings

Brendan Moyle Nov 03, 2014

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 in carvings for sale has … Read More

To Dunedin! On an ivory quest! - Chthonic Wildlife Ramblings

Brendan Moyle Oct 22, 2014

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.  But essentially, if you do … Read More

Ivory Connections: Poaching and civil wars - Chthonic Wildlife Ramblings

Brendan Moyle Aug 08, 2014

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 doesn’t match a lot of … Read More

Ivory Crimes: Supply or Demand Shock? - Chthonic Wildlife Ramblings

Brendan Moyle Apr 22, 2014

One of the unsettled issues with the surge in elephant poaching seen after 2008/9 is explaining why it took off. The scale represents a break from the past.  It seems inexplicable in terms of what we understood the drivers of poaching were.  These were basically either affluence in consumer markets (like Asia) or poor governance in African countries.  Neither … Read More

Killing to save, saving to kill – hunting rhino - Politecol

- Wayne Linklater Jan 27, 2014

Resurgent killing for horn that is then traded on the international black market for thousands of dollars a gram threatens to undo two decades of progress recovering the black rhinoceros from near extinction. Countries are mobilising and people are dying protecting rhino from international crime syndicates that out manoeuvre and out gun them. Do not … Read More

The 25,000 elephant question - Chthonic Wildlife Ramblings

Brendan Moyle Dec 08, 2013

Poaching levels for African elephants have now accelerated to a point where about 25,000 are being killed a year.  The population in Africa is projected to decline by 20% in the next decade.  This is starting to get people very worried. The illegal trade in elephants has several important features.  The first is that there is a separation between final … Read More

Ivory Bust in HK & a question for the economists - Chthonic Wildlife Ramblings

Brendan Moyle Nov 13, 2013

It’s interesting holding an elephant tusk for the first time.  You’re not quite sure what to expect. But the first thing you notice is that they’re heavy, heavier than I expected. This aspect distinguishes elephant ivory from other wildlife products.  It’s heavy, and it’s going to take up space.  This has to affect the smuggling techniques. Last month … Read More

Grand, empty gestures? What does destroying ivory accomplish? - Chthonic Wildlife Ramblings

Brendan Moyle Nov 08, 2013

The decision by the US to destroy its stockpile of (6 tons) of ivory is being held up by many as a bold conservation measure for elephants.  This is a puzzle. Destroying ivory is hardly new. Kenya did it publicly in 1989 [1]. This was after their elephant population had plunged from 65,000 elephants to 17,000. Southern African countries who … Read More

A Tale of Two Rhinos - Chthonic Wildlife Ramblings

Brendan Moyle Nov 04, 2013

One of the challenges in modern conservation is agreeing on what conservation is.  There is a widely held belief that conservation is about reserves, it’s about protecting wildlife and it’s about banning their use. But most wildlife doesn’t live in reserves.  Many endangered species are in developing countries. They don’t have a lot of resources to put into conservation. Corruption … Read More

Looking the wrong way: legal ivory market not linked to illegal - Chthonic Wildlife Ramblings

Brendan Moyle Feb 12, 2013

This piece has already appeared on the NZ Herald Opinion page. My main concern here is to highlight that the legal market appears to be pretty well insulated from the illegal. —– I visited China for a research project on the ivory trade in January. It took two years of groundwork first. China is not an easy place to get … Read More