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Found 65 results

  1. 10% Discount in all overland camping trips from October 2017 to June 2018!! Plan your trip soon and get an advantage of discount If you are looking for small group overland trips/accommodated trips or tailor made trips of your lifetime in India.... Welcome to Overland Expeditions India! Your passion may be big cats, birds, jungle safaris, photography, travelling, camping, angling, adventure sports, culture, history, meeting people.. (Off course the list goes on), or simply relaxing in the serenity of a remote wilderness..... An overland trip through India allows you to experience all of that and much more. With 412 different types of mammals, more than 1300 bird species, 8% of all the world's reptilians it is one of the naturally most diverse countries. Boasting almost 500 wildlife sanctuaries, 100 national parks and 14 biosphere reserves, this country will never let you run out of options. With one of the wonders of the world – The Taj Mahal, towering forts like the Mehrangarh fort, culture rich state of Rajasthan, God's own country – Kerela, foodies paradise of Gujarat, the country really has something to suit every taste. Overlanding with us, we assure that the destinations you will reach are a perfect amalgam of the most famous names like Corbett, Ranthambore and lots of offbeat places like the salty vastness of Rann of Kutch, dunes of the Desert national park, Himalayan high altitude parks, remoteness of Leh-Ladakh and some spots where probably no tourist has ever ventured. This concept till now has mainly been dominated by Africa and South America. After gaining the expertise and the experience in Southern Africa, we have now brought this concept of travelling to India. You must be thinking why you should travel with us, please follow the link to know the reasons - http://overlandingindia.com/why_travel_with_us.php Back to Back overland Camping trips 45 DAYS SOUTH INDIA EXPLORER - http://overlandingindia.com/camping_browse_tours.php?pid=27&tour=45 DAYS SOUTH INDIA EXPLORER 8 Days Central India - Tigers and much more - http://overlandingindia.com/camping_browse_tours.php?pid=28&tour=8 Days Central India - Tigers and much more 11 DAYS WILD WONDERS OF GUJARAT - http://overlandingindia.com/camping_browse_tours.php?pid=29&tour=11 DAYS WILD WONDERS OF GUJARAT 11 DAYS WILD TRIANGLE OF RAJASTHAN - http://overlandingindia.com/camping_browse_tours.php?pid=30&tour=11 DAYS WILD TRIANGLE OF RAJASTHAN 22 Days Big Cats of India - http://overlandingindia.com/camping_browse_tours.php?pid=33&tour=22 Days Big Cats of India (Guranteed depature 20th Dec 2017 , few seats left now) 12 Days Wildlife of Central India - http://overlandingindia.com/camping_browse_tours.php?pid=1&tour= 12 Days Wildlife of Central India 20 Days Delhi to Jabalpur - http://overlandingindia.com/camping_browse_tours.php?pid=2&tour=20 Days Delhi to Jabalpur 27 days Necklace of India Part - 1 - http://overlandingindia.com/camping_browse_tours.php?pid=3&tour=27 days Necklace of India Part - 1 36 days Necklace of India Part - 2 - http://overlandingindia.com/camping_browse_tours.php?pid=5&tour=36 days Necklace of India Part - 2 31 days Jabalpur to Dehradun Explorer - http://overlandingindia.com/camping_browse_tours.php?pid=4&tour=31 days Jabalpur to Dehradun Explorer 61 days Necklace of India - http://overlandingindia.com/camping_browse_tours.php?pid=6&tour=61 days Necklace of India 82 days Trans Himalayan Expedition - http://overlandingindia.com/camping_browse_tours.php?pid=7&tour=82 days Trans Himalayan Expedition (Guranteed depature 20th September 2017 , last 3 seats left now) 4 DAYS JUNGLE BOOK TRIP - PENCH - http://overlandingindia.com/camping_browse_tours.php?pid=25&tour=4 DAYS JUNGLE BOOK TRIP - PENCH 9 DAYS WILDLIFE & HERITAGE - http://overlandingindia.com/camping_browse_tours.php?pid=26&tour=9 DAYS WILDLIFE & HERITAGE NOTE : 1- All these trips are camping trips but on guest demand can be customized as an accommodated trip according to their budget. 2- All trips have an option of hop-on hop-off 3- If you are travelling in group, kindly contact us for group rate. 4- All national parks remain closed from 1st July till 15th October due to monsoon season 5- All trip booking are open now. Contact Us - Overland Expeditions India - Overlanding India +91 8989239471 +91 8959189811 info@overlandingindia.com overlandingindia2016@gmail.com www.overlandingindia.com http://overlandingindia.com/contact_us.php
  2. https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/jun/07/demand-elephant-products-drives-dramatic-rise-poaching-myanmar ~ This June, 2017 article from the U.K. Guardian explains the impact that traditional medicine is having in demand for elephant parts, leading to increased poaching within Myanmar. Inevitably much of the elephant trade is taken across the border to China, where the elephant trade continues to flourish.
  3. https://elifesciences.org/articles/25413 https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2017-06/uoia-gss060617.php ~ This June, 2017 research article published in eLife proposes that the immense straight-tusked elephants, Palaeoloxodon spp. were widespread across Eurasia. It further presents evidence that Loxodonta was not confined to Africa. Paleogenomic analysis revealed that the giant Palaeoloxodon antiquus was a relative of the African forest elephant, rather than African savanna elephants or Asian elephants. A comparative graphic is provided.
  4. Good afternoon We have started planning for a special family holiday in July 2018 and are actively exploring Conservancies and tented safari camps in Kenya. We have already performed quite a bit of research and are interested in hearing from the Safaritalk community. Please review our below, self-developed "Safari Profile" to gain insight into our safari goals and provide us with your recommendation and reasoning for: "The single, best Kenyan Conservancy and Camp that fulfills all, or 90+%, of our safari goals." Thank you for your time to respond to our inquiry and we look forward to hearing from you soon! Best Personal Regards, Darryl & Catherine FAMILY SAFARI PROFILE: Family of 4 adults (ages 54, 53, 23 and 21) Safari Date: Mid-July 2018 Total # Nights in Camp: 7 nights & 8 full days in camp (not incl travel time to camp/Nairobi) Total # of Safari Camps: Prefer 1 Kenyan Conservancy and Camp. Will consider max of 2 Conservancies and Camps (based upon objective and additional cost) Safari Theme & Goals: Family & Photo Safari Must-See Wildlife include:Big Cats - Lion, Cheetah, Leopard, etc… Big Grazers - Elephant, Rhino, Hippo, Giraffe, Zebra, Oryx, Gazelle, Antelope Must-See Landscapes include:Sunrise and Sunsets Plains, Savannahs, Kopje Valley River, Watering Hole, Lakes Rock Cliff Close views of Mt Kilimanjaro and/or Mt Kenya Tented Camp Must-Do Safari Activities:Camp owned and operated, open-side/top 4x4 safari vehicles (4 adults + guide/driver) - e.g. modified Toyota Land Cruisers Guides must be annually trained and certified by Conservancy Private Game Drives (day and night) Off-road Game Drives Private Walking Safari with Samburu or Masai Guide Horseback Safari Sunrisers and Sundowners with panoramic views Relaxing at camp - reading, playing games, sleeping (hammock or the like), listening to music Fitness & Exercise (jogging and/or yoga) Safari Camp Preferences: Camp Location:Elevated camp position overlooking plains and savannahs with hills and mountains in background High probability for, and frequency of, in-camp encounters with large wildlife Predictable, short game drive (< 40mins) to view large wildlife Predictable, short game drive (< 1hr) to experience a variety of landscapes (see Must-See Landscapes above) Camp Style & Quality:Permanent Tented Camp that is camp equivalent of a full-service Marriott hotel or W hotelAll camp products, services, activities, and amenities are owned and operated by Camp and/or Conservancy All camp products, services, activities, and amenities are of excellent quality, function fully, reliably, and as intended “Upscale Casual” style & comfort Private & quiet camp ambience (e.g. peaceful, bright, solitude) Down-To-Earth with Family and "Locals Only vibe" “We expect our safari experience to be hot, cold, sweaty, and dirty! We expect an adventure - with reasonable comfort and amenities. Not Desired:No Excessive Glamping - we are not seeking camping equivalent of Ritz Carlton, Four Seasons, or St Regis hotels “We should not feel like we are staying in a downtown full-service luxury hotel and visiting the national zoo" No "Bare Bones Camping" - quality equivalent of sleeping cots/bags and “a hole in the ground for a loo.” Close proximity to many, loud, and obnoxious tourists and traffic Daily rain, high humidity, and cloudy skies High season for mosquitoes and other biting insects General Safari Experience Questions: Based upon your recommendation and reasoning, what specific safari goals are we unlikely to fulfill? Why?What Kenyan Conservancy and Camp would you recommend to achieve those unfulfilled goals? Is there a great deal of "wildlife and landscape overlap" with your first recommendation? What is the estimated travel time between the 2 camps? What can we expect for cost per person per night (not including travel to/from Nairobi) for each camp? For each camp, what specific fees/costs are typically negotiable? non-negotiable? highly variable based upon season?
  5. I was very sorry to read this just now: "A Belgian was trampled to death by an elephant near Kenya’s famed Maasai Mara wildlife reserve, police said Wednesday, the second such incident in a month. “He was badly injured by the rogue elephant and succumbed to injuries at the Talek Health Centre,” a police officer in the area said on condition of anonymity." https://www.capitalfm.co.ke/news/2016/10/belgian-trampled-to-death-by-elephant-in-kenya/
  6. Here is the report of the Great Elephant Census. There is a 30% collapse in the last 7 years, principally in Southern Tanzania, Northern Mozambique, Zambezi region and South-Eastern Angola. Northern Botswana, which is the main stronghold hosts a stable populations. There are remarkable results in Kenya. http://www.greatelephantcensus.com/final-report/ Numbers are on the table, it is now time to make decisions for politics in order to invert this trend.
  7. One of the main reason's I stay at Sweetwaters tented camp is it's very busy waterhole. Elephants come and go in small groups, but every now and then big herds arrive. These are probably many small groups arriving at the same time.
  8. The title of this thread was the title of a posting I read on Facebook from a group called Informante, which seems to be a Namibian newspaper. Apparently, a group of men opened fire indiscriminately on a herd of elephants peacefully grazing on the Angolan side of the banks of the Okavango River that divides Angola from Namibia. A posting on Facebook by Informante, which was re-posted by Wildlife At Risk ("WAR") described a horrific scene which was witnessed by guests staying at a tourist lodge on the Namibian side of the river. According to this posting on Facebook from 11 hours ago: https://www.facebook.com/informantenam/photos/a.277814335618867.64085.183476948385940/1086967078036918/?type=3&theater Informante posted an update about 3 hours ago. According to a witness It sounds like in addition to the three killed, a number of other elephants may have been wounded: This is the update from which the latter quotes came: https://www.facebook.com/informantenam/posts/1087174298016196 These attacks took place in what is supposed to be a protected area in Angola, Luiana National Park. The second post indicates Namibian police are crossing the river to help Angolan authorities investigate, but this is just horrific to read about. I wonder what will become of the poor wounded elephants.
  9. Conservationist Mike Chase gave an interview to National Geographic about the results of the elephants survey of the South Eastern corner of Angola, one country we know is receiving the surplus of elephants from Botswana. The conclusions are alarming, depressing. But I have huge hopes things change in the future. Angola is the best place to receive the overcrowded elephants from Northern Botswana and from Hwange in Zimbabwe. Once home of an estimated 200.000 elephants before the civil war, the census determined that there are around 4000 elephants in this remote part of Angola. It is far less than what Mike Chase expected. Please see the details of the survey on: http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2016/07/angola-elephants-great-elephant-census-poaching-ivory/
  10. Ian Redmond, a long-time conservationist and consultant with Born Free Foundation, was charged, pushed down and injured by an elephant while working at the Mount Elgon National Park. http://www.iol.co.za/dailynews/news/top-conservationist-survives-surprise-elephant-attack-2039217
  11. Kenyan Port Is Hub for Illicit Ivory Trade http://www.wsj.com/articles/kenyan-port-is-hub-for-illicit-ivory-trade-1447720944
  12. Opening Days Special - 10% Off Regular rates From May 15, 2016 to June 15, 2016 take 10% off our regular low rates by mentioning the Promo Code: Billy The Elephant. Reservations must be booked directly.http://www.zikomosafari.com/contact/ See our new video: https://youtu.be/J3NB-zOXGBs
  13. http://blogs.afp.com/correspondent/?post/the-war-to-save-africa-s-elephants
  14. Here are the last quarterly reports of WCS Nigeria. WCS Took over management of Yankari. Reports available from Okwangwo section of Cross River National Park, Yankari, and Mbe. http://www.wcsnigeria.org
  15. To cull or not to cull? It is a subject that causes heated debate and one that has been discussed to some length in the thread "Hwange's Dilemma" Yet, whereas the issue of culling elephant in one of Africa's National Parks brings howls of protest from all corners of the globe, the regular cull of other species, in the very countries where the loudest voices are raised on all subjects to do with Africa, seem to attract far less attention. Yes there is some local outcry, but it does not seem to be of interest to anyone outside the countries where it is taking place. I read an article today about the proposed cull of over 1,000 bison in Yellowstone Park A few weeks ago a friend mentioned to me that Brumbies, Australia's wild horses (more accurately feral), are culled on a regular basis. Link to just one article Here in the UK, celebrities are jumping on the bandwagon of protest against a national badger cull. badgers are believed by farmers to be a serious pest and spreader of disease. All these proposed culls are seen as a last resort. All are being proposed by the authorities charged with the responsibility of maintaining a particular habitat. Yet whilst all these culls do provoke some domestic protest, that protest very rarely spreads beyond national boundaries. Why is Africa different? Why does the suggestion of a cull in Africa stimulate howls of protest from all corners of the globe? How would Australians feel if Kenyans started a campaign to protest against the Brumby cull? How would Americans feel if Tanzanians swamped the Twittersphere with protests against the proposed bison cull? I am not a proponent of culls. I do not have the expertise to say whether they are right or wrong. But why do people all over the world feel that their views on the management of wildlife in Africa must be taken into consideration?
  16. Hwange's Dilemma (Please excuse the fact that this is a terrible over-simplification of the issue, but I've strived to keep it concise) Hwange is the largest Park in Zimbabwe occupying roughly 14 650 square kilometers. It is one of THE places to see elephants in Africa. According to the 2015 African elephant census it is home to 44,000 elephants, roughly 50% of Zimbabwe's elephant population. And therein lies the dilemma. Actually it is not Hwange's dilemma. What to do about Hwange is a dilemma for the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (ZPWMA). On their website they set out their Vision and Mission Statement: It sounds good but is that really what they are doing? "effective, efficient and sustainable utilisation of natural resources" In the case of Hwange I think not. From its inception, Hwange (then called Wankie) was established on land not suitable for agriculture because it had not reliable source of year round water. The first warden – Ted Davison - found is the dry season his new domain had few animals. Those that frequented the area in the wet season departed as soon as the waterholes dried up. If his new reserve was going to attract visitors it needed animals, throughout the year. Davison saw that the only way to entice animals in and to persuade them to remain through the dry season was to provide permanent water. To achieve this Davison created a series of pump driven boreholes. His strategy worked. Animal numbers rose steadily; elephants and buffaloes in particular. (source Keith Meadows – Afterword in Ted Davison's book “Wankie – The Story of a Great Game Reserve) In earlier times, the way that this burgeoning elephant population was kept under control was through culling. (source Keith Meadows – Afterword in Ted Davison's book “Wankie – The Story of a Great Game Reserve) Unsurprisingly, once the culling had ceased, the elephant population grew unhindered and the food supply became more depleted each year, with animals having to walk further and further between food and water as the vegetation was pushed further and further from the water holes. As large mammals, the elephants can move with relative ease over the increasingly large distances between food and water, but other, smaller, animals cannot. Even when they can get to the waterholes they do not have free access as the elephants keep other species away until they have drunk their fill. Consequently, species diversity is declining in Hwange. What to do? To answer that we must first decide what we want Hwange to be. Do we want a natural sustainable habitat for animals or do we want a national park where the animals are a spectacle for tourists? (This of course begs the question of whether tourists really want to see elephants clustered around a pumped waterhole that sits in the middle of a desert?) Start (resume) culling? The situation has been allowed to slide for so long that, right now, the number of elephants that would need to be culled to achieve a sustainable population is huge. The international outcry would be deafening and it is hard to see this happening. So what else could be done? A decision could be made to turn off some or all pumps? This would force the elephants to move elsewhere and allow time for the vegetation to recover. Certainly elephants would die as a result, but other species would benefit. Kavango Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area Hwange is part of the massive Kavango Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area – a Peace Parks Foundation initiative. Can elephants be enticed to move elsewhere within the park? Or have their migration routes been effectively blocked by human settlement? But although the KAZA TFCA looks great on paper, has it actually achieved anything? There are certainly areas within the KAZA TFCA that could accommodate more elephants but although It encompasses several National Parks they are divided by large areas of human settlement that prevent any significant animal movement between them. I could not even get through to them by phone and emails I sent just bounced back. I have not bothered to mention trans-location as the number of elephants that would need to be moved and the cost involved makes it unworkable. Doing nothing is not an option One thing seems certain – if we do nothing, the elephants will eat Hwange out of existence. Once they have devoured the food supply to a point where it is unable to regenerate during the wet season they will either die or move elsewhere. If we let that happen Hwange will be finished as a viable National Park. The question for the cash strapped ZPWMA is whether to take action now and risk alienating tourists (and the 'armchair and social media conservationists') in the short term to save their resource or do nothing and watch their National Park decline until tourists no longer find it attractive; at which point it will cease to be a source of revenue. Impact on local communities The problem is exacerbated by the fact that many businesses and communities are dependent on Hwange's continued existence for their livelihoods - not because of handouts but as a source of employment and education. Many of the communities around Hwange NP are models of how communities can become involved in and benefit from their country's wildlife and tourism. If the tourists stop coming then the lodges and safari operators will go out of business and then all the local communities that rely on their support will suffer too. And that will create yet another problem for Zimbabwe's government.
  17. WCS Paul Elkan WCS director for South Sudan, says the civil war is leading to a strong poaching wave in the country. The conservation world was surprised to discover huge populations of antilopes in the South East of the country just after the independence of the last African national, but conservationists now fear some specific populations like tiangs have suffered a lot because of opportunists that take advantage of the no-law situation: I hope that the remote and wild Boma Jonglei landscapes will be less impacted than other regions, as it hosts one of the last miracle on earth: the second largest antilope migration in Africa. http://news.mongabay.com/2016/03/exploitation-crisis-civil-war-fueling-sharp-rise-in-poaching-and-trafficking-of-south-sudans-wildlife/
  18. http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2016/01/160104-great-elephant-census-vulcan-paul-allen-elephants-conservation/?utm_source=Great+Elephant+Census&utm_campaign=9dafa69c4f-Nat_Geo_Article1_4_2016&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_f92f372849-9dafa69c4f-184844053 Further information about the results to see in the article...
  19. It was Leonardo da Vinci, the great Renaissance-era mathematician, architect and artist, who said: “He who loves practice without theory is like the sailor who boards a ship without a rudder and compass, and never knows where he may cast.” It is this same rash approach that is being used by the proponents of trade in rhino horn, argues Professor Alejandro Nadal, in his co-authored critique of pro-rhino horn trade literature. By IAN MICHLER. This is a review of a recent paper on the rhino horn debate - read Ian's full article here: http://www.dailymaverick.co.za/article/2014-06-12-leonardos-sailors-seeking-new-solutions-to-sas-rhino-poaching-crisis/#.U5llr42Sxsj And for those who are interested in the whole paper, I have attached a pdf: WP5-Nadal and Aguayo-Leonardos Sailors-2014.pdf Surely this must now be the final nail in the pro-trade coffin and we can get on with conserving rhino's. This entire trade argument has had disastrous consequences for rhino already.
  20. The prevailing notion in the media that the U.S. is the second largest market in the world behind China for illegal ivory is patently false. How the notion came about is a tale of hilarity, but that it so easily propagated unchecked in the media is alarming. (1) The notion actually morphed from the U.S. being the second largest ivory market to the U.S. being the second largest illegal ivory market. The distinction is important. Bear with me. Here is a quick refresher… The 1989 international ivory ban only prohibited inter-country trading. Because pre-ban ivory is deemed to be legally grandfathered in-country (subject to stricter Endangered Species Act and state provisions in the U.S.), statements about the size of the ivory market in the U.S., or anywhere else, without regard to the legal/illegal distinction, are moot. (Most countries in the world have similar legal stances on ivory.) (2) No one has conducted a comprehensive study on the size of ivory markets around the world. If we are simply talking about the size of the ivory markets without regard to the legal/illegal distinction, the U.S. would certainly rank high (though not necessarily second… read on…) on the list simply because it has a free market system and lots of historic (legally grandfathered) ivory, much of it being pawned around today. Other countries that have lots of historic legal ivory include China, U.K., Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Japan, Egypt, etc. The U.K. was the dominant consumer of ivory for a better part of the 19th century. Unbeknownst to many, the U.S. was the top consumer of ivory at the turn of the 20th century. (Ivoryton, Connecticut was the ivory trading capital of the world for a brief period. It should come as no surprise then that there are lots of old ivory items being pawned around today in the U.S.) Japan dominated the ivory scene just prior to the 1989 international ban. (3) The relevant question, then, is what countries are consuming new (illegal) ivory, which is responsible for the current elephant-poaching crisis? China is, without a doubt, the largest market for illegal ivory today (and since about the early ’90s… note that this situation arose post-ban). Thailand is believed to be a distant second. It is believed there is another significant drop-off from second to third (Vietnam? Philippines? Malaysia?). The infamous “Gang of Eight”, so coined at about the time of the last CITES conference, include China (including Hong Kong), Vietnam, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, Uganda, Tanzania and Kenya. Note the absence of the U.S. on that list. (4) The genesis of the false/moot notion that the U.S. is the second largest ivory market in the world (which notion, through the game of “telephone”, somehow evolved into even a “falser” notion that the U.S. is the second largest consumer of illegal ivory (per even the New York Times)) can be traced to a report written by Esmond Bradley Martin and Dan Stiles back in 2008. In this report, Martin and Stiles (“the surveyors”) visited 16 cities in the U.S. and recorded their findings of ivory items for sale in various stores. In one summary table, the surveyors compare their findings in the U.S. with those of other countries in which market surveys were also conducted. In this table, the U.S. comes in second to China/Hong Kong (the two were combined) in terms of ivory items seen by the surveyors. The problem with this table is (i) it does not speak to whether the items are legal or illegal; (ii) the surveyors spent vastly differing amounts of time surveying ivory in different countries. For instance, Martin and Stiles surveyed only four cities in China/Hong Kong (Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Hong Kong) as opposed to 16 cities in the U.S. In the U.K., where one would expect to see tons of historic ivory being pawned, the surveyors visited London only; and (iii) the surveyors only cite a limited number of countries in which they or others conducted ivory surveys. In fact, the list is fairly random. The ivory market ranking in the summary table goes thus: China/Hong Kong, U.S., Thailand, Zimbabwe, Germany, Angola, Sudan, Cote d’Ivoire, Egypt, Ethiopia, U.K., Japan, South Africa. Unfortunately, with respect to the summary table, the surveyors state: “The USA most likely ranks second in scale after China (including Hong Kong) in the size of its ivory market at the global level, followed by Thailand in third place.” But this statement is based on selective and vastly skewed sampling techniques. This is akin to one’s visiting 100 kindergartens in Uruguay and 10 kindergartens in Brazil and concluding that there are more children in Uruguay. Fortunately, there is a footnote accompanying the summary table: “However, the sampling intensity was not equal between countries and the total number of items seen is therefore biased towards those countries where more cities and outlets were visited… If sampling intensity and the number of large cities are taken into consideration, China would be even further in first place. Also, the U.K., Japan and Nigeria would move up in the rankings. It must also be stressed that the Table represents the number of items, not the estimated weight of the ivory observed.” It is, again, important to note that the summary table and the statement do not address (and probably were not intended to address) the legal/illegal distinction. But elsewhere in the same Martin & Stiles report, the surveyors do state that most of the ivory items they saw in the U.S. “probably were legally for sale” and also that “relative to the size of the USA's population and economy, little raw ivory enters the country legally or illegally (based on seizures). From this perspective, the U.S. ivory market does not appear a significant threat to elephant populations.” But hey, who reads footnotes and details these days? The media, knowingly or unknowingly, ran with this second largest ivory market thing, IFAW quoted this in its 2014 ivory market report in bold letters, and it has now somehow morphed into the notion that the U.S. is the second largest consumer of illegal ivory. So, what is the level of illegal ivory activity in the U.S.? There are certainly many “pawn shops” carrying presumably old, legal ivory items. The trouble is, it is not always possible to tell what is old and legal ivory versus what is not. Circumstantial evidence, however, seems to suggest that the level of illegal ivory activity is extremely low. Illegal ivory seizures at U.S. ports are rare and mostly of small worked ivory items. Raw ivory seizures are practically non-existent now. Apart from die-hard antique collectors, there just doesn’t appear to be much demand for ivory. In addition, ivory experts indicate that there is a huge spread in ivory prices between the U.S. and China (ivory being much more expensive in China). Under these conditions, an illegal ivory dealer would have to be “a Homer Simpson” to try to push ivory into the U.S. instead of into China. And if you talk to some of those pawn shop owners, they will tell you that the buyers of ivory are often visiting Chinese tourists. If anything then, old, legal ivory may be leaving the U.S., as opposed to new, illegal ivory entering the U.S. In any case, the most important question is: does the level of illegal ivory activity in the U.S. contribute significantly to elephant poaching? The answer is a resounding “no”. All this is not to suggest that the trading of old, legal ivory is perfectly innocuous. If the demand for old, legal ivory outpaces supply, the laws of economics dictate that the shortfall will be filled, to the unwitting buyer, by illegal ivory being posed as legal ivory. I just do not see this happening in the U.S., however. The moral of this story, to me, is how easily myths can spring up, morph themselves into convenient narratives and endure in this “Wiki-ized”, “Twitter-ized”, have-unpaid-interns-do-the-research world. And the media, so desperate for a juicy story, politicians, so eager for PR, and NGOs, so thirsty for “elephant money”, all knowingly or unknowingly – I find both distasteful – propagated this particular myth. Truth is always better than myth. Look not beyond the rhino-cancer cure myth for an extreme example. Oh, and please don’t get me wrong… I am “all in” for enforcement against whatever illegal ivory activity there is in this country. “Shoot to kill”, if we must (relax, it’s metaphorical… maybe).
  21. This is a video clip from a live safari drive broadcast on wildearth.tv on the internet of the afternoon/sunset drive on November 13. I didn't see it live but this clip is exciting to watch. A herd of elephants is NOT happy with the wild dogs' presence and the dogs are just trying to get a little water to drink. Enjoy! (it goes on for about 17 minutes but I find it worth it to watch the whole thing).
  22. I thought some would be interested in this article. I'm not looking to argue with anyone or debate - just wanted to share what I thought was a well-written article - so I didn't post it in the debates section of Safaritalk. http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2015/11/151715-conservation-trophy-hunting-elephants-tusks-poaching-zimbabwe-namibia/
  23. I first saw this video on the Ol Pejeta Facebook page It was taken by Sandy Gelderman - staying I think at Kicheche Laikipia A very touching example of elephant behaviour - and why they are such special animals
  24. http://africageographic.com/blog/iconic-elephant-shot-zimbabwe/ Not sure if this has already been posted. The pro side are all going to say the same things all over again. That it was legal. That it pays for conservation. That the hunter was perfectly within his rights. Yadda yadda yadda. It may be legal and he may have been within his rights, but I challenge that hunting outfitter to show us the breakup of that money and show us how much went to conservation. What a load of crap. In the meantime, the world loses one more precious and irreplaceable animal.
  25. I don't remember I've seen the following article on the website. It was published in the 2015 September issue of the National Geographic magazine I read in the afternoon. I follow the situation very carefully in Central Africa, but I did not realize the magnitude of the challenge that APN was facing in Garamba, Chinko and Zakouma. This article was devastating for me. I really admire the bravery of APN. Cutting the traffic is clearly the key to make peace in this remote corner of Africa... http://www.nationalgeographic.com/tracking-ivory/article.html

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