With the Ivory Crush in Central Park and World Elephant Day, August offers a big opportunity to spread the word about the elephant poaching crisis. We've been taking an action a day over the 10 days leading up to Elephant Day. Here they are.
Be An Elephant Hero
Elephants are teetering on the brink of extinction. And an important policy that protects them from poachers, the U.S. ban on ivory sales, is under attack. Elephants can't speak up about bad laws or save themselves from poachers' guns and poisons: but YOU can.
Your tax-deductible gift provides training and equipment to rangers to keep poachers at bay, establishes and maintains protected areas, and provides many more effective, science-based strategies to save wildlife. Click here to give now.
As you hear the dire warnings about the poaching of elephants, keep in mind what we can do when we band together, like earlier this year when these 11 elephants were rescued from a mud-filled crater in Cambodia. For Day 7, check out this video and share it with your friends. It's guaranteed to make them smile.
Tell Your Friends
World Elephant Day is this Saturday. We want to make as much noise as possible for elephants. Spread the word about the cause by sharing this post with your network.
Take an Elephant Quiz
Support Pups and Eles
South Sudan is rich with wildlife, including elephants. Amidst the country's civil war, though, the levels of poaching and commercial wildlife trafficking are increasing. These two Belgian shepherds (and their expert handlers) are combating the trafficking.
Let's show our support for them (and sniffer dogs across Africa). Post a photo on social media of your dog, a friend's dog, or any pet, with the hashtag #PupsForEles.
Thank the Rangers
Help us recognize the men and women who risk their lives to protect Africa’s elephants and other species around the world.
Amplify the impact of the Central Park Ivory Crush. Retweet our message and tell the world we will not tolerate wildlife crime that threatens to wipe out African elephants.
Frequently Asked Questions
What's the issue?
African elephants are being poached to feed the illegal ivory trade. Between 2002 and 2013,
work led by WCS showed that the Central African forest elephant population dropped by 65% as a result of this poaching, and its range shrank by 30%, rendering forest elephants locally extinct across large parts of their former range. To help, WCS and its 96 Elephants campaign are working to stop the killing, stop the trafficking, and stop the demand.
Why crush ivory?
Crushing ivory sends a clear message that governments will not tolerate wildlife crime that threatens to wipe out African elephants. By destroying confiscated ivory, we are affirming our stated goal of bringing the domestic ivory trade in the United States—one of the world’s largest markets—to an end.
This crush demonstrates the success that tougher more restrictive ivory bans like New York State's ivory restrictions imposed in 2014 can have on the illegal ivory trade. The ivory crushed at this event represents all the ivory seized and forfeited in New York State since 2014. By destroying this ivory New York has committed to permanently removing this ivory from the illegal ivory market.
The primary benefit in eliminating confiscated ivory is to prevent this material from re-entering the illegal trade and further stimulating trafficking. If not destroyed, stockpiles must be secured in perpetuity. This is very expensive, logistically challenging, and often dangerous to those guarding them. As of June 2016, more than 16 countries had destroyed more than 310,000 lbs. of confiscated ivory representing roughly more than 14,000 elephants.
Doesn't this drive up demand?
This ivory would never be made available on the market. Its destruction has no impact on the overall supply and does not create any incentive for poaching. By demonstrating our commitment to combat poaching and illegal trade, and to arrest and prosecute people who engage in these activities, we are providing a strong disincentive to poachers and wildlife traffickers. In fact, due to ongoing efforts to ban the commercial ivory trade and destroy stockpiles, the price of ivory has declined in key markets like China.
Where does the crushed ivory go?
The crushed ivory will remain in New York until it is completely destroyed and disposed of.
We will make every effort to ensure that some of the crushed ivory is publicly displayed to educate people about the elephant poaching crisis.
What can we do?
August will be a big month for elephants. In addition to the U.S. Ivory Crush on August 3,
World Elephant Day is August 12. We're using this time to maximize awareness of the poaching crisis. Sign up at the top of this page and we'll send you an action a day between the two.
In New York, if you see elephant ivory or rhino horn for sale, ask the salesman for a copy of their NYS DEC permit to sell the ivory piece in New York State. If you suspect the ivory or horn is being sold illegally call NYSDEC's Division of Law Enforcement's 24-hour Conservation Police Officer dispatch center at 1-844-DEC-ECOS or 1-844-322-3267. Outside of New York, you can report wildlife crimes to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service at 1-844-FWS-TIPS or 1-844-397-8477 or FWS_TIPS@FWS.GOV