WCS and Esri Develop Interactive Online Story Map on Elephant Poaching for Media Use

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Denver, CO – November 13, 2013 –
The Wildlife Conservation Society and geographic information system (GIS) software innovator Esri jointly developed and produced an online Story Map that combines spatial data, excellent cartography, and Web mapping tools to visually tell the story of the elephant poaching crisis.

The release of the Story Map coincides with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s ivory crush event in Denver, CO, at which six tons of illegal elephant ivory will be destroyed.

The story map gives a broad overview of historic and current African elephant ranges, the collapse of forest and savannah elephant populations, and the ivory trade within Africa and extending to Asia and Chinese demand for ivory. It tells the story of an elephant collared by Save the Elephants named Khadijah that was eventually killed for her ivory as well as the story of the elephant massacre at Dzanga Bai in the Central African Republic. Also included in the story map is an interactive map that highlights recent poaching incidents across Africa with links to additional details about each story. The page will be kept current with new points added as news emerges regarding more poaching incidents and conservation successes.

The Story Map is available for news organizations to illustrate the depth of the crisis visually to their readers and viewers. The added dimension of a highly-specific representation of the crisis adds value to any account of the ivory crush or wildlife poaching and trafficking.

To end the elephant poaching crisis, WCS advocates a three-pronged approach: stop the killing, stop the trafficking, stop the demand. African elephants are being lost at an unprecedented rate and the demand for ivory shows no decline. Approximately 35,000 elephants were killed by poachers last year – some 96 elephants each day. WCS recently launched 96 elephants a public outreach campaign aiming to bolster elephant protection and educate the public about ivory trade and consumption. WCS is also part of a Clinton Global Initiative commitment to end the elephant poaching crisis.

Note to the Media: WCS President and CEO Cristián Samper will issue a statement following the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service ivory crush event on November 14th.

CONTACT:
Chip Weiskotten – 202-624-8172; cweiskotten@wcs.org
Stephen Sautner – 718-220-3682; ssautner@wcs.org
Brian Peterson - 909-793-2853 ext. 1283; bpeterson@esri.com
The Wildlife Conservation Society saves wildlife and wild places worldwide. We do so through science, global conservation, education and the management of the world’s largest system of urban wildlife parks, led by the flagship Bronx Zoo. Together these activities change attitudes towards nature and help people imagine wildlife and humans living in harmony. WCS is committed to this mission because it is essential to the integrity of life on Earth. Visit www.wcs.org.

Since 1969, Esri has been giving customers around the world the power to think and plan geographically. The market leader in GIS technology, Esri software is used in more than 350,000 organizations worldwide including each of the 200 largest cities in the United States, most national governments, more than two-thirds of Fortune 500 companies, and more than 7,000 colleges and universities. Esri applications, running on more than one million desktops and thousands of web and enterprise servers, provide the backbone for the world's mapping and spatial analysis. Esri is the only vendor that provides complete technical solutions for desktop, mobile, server, and Internet platforms. Visit us at esri.com/news .

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