Correction to bid to reopen elephant ivory trade rejected
Correction to "Bid to reopen elephant ivory trade rejected"
Iain Douglas-Hamilton, Save the Elephants
March 24, 2010
Iain Douglas-Hamilton would like to make a correction to the CNN story "Bid to reopen elephant ivory trade rejected," sent around March 23. Following are his words:
I would like to make a correction to the CNN report "Bid to reopen elephant ivory trade rejected". I did not say categorically that the elephant population of Central Africa numbered 1 million, 30 years ago. What I said was that "some estimates" had put the elephant population of Central Africa as high as a million.
I agree with the press release of John Hart, Rene Beyer and George Wittermyer, cited in your news service earlier, that the Central African elephants have since the mid 70s suffered more severe declines than any other region of Africa and that widespread illicit ivory markets severely endanger what elephants remain. It was within this context that I mentioned the high former estimates in relation to today's estimate of 20,000 in the DRC.
There is an urgent need for more historical research and modelling of elephant numbers in Central Africa so we can have an idea of what might happen next if this elephant reservoir is drastically depleted. The question remains where will the illegal traders and poachers turn their attention to next. Will it be to East Africa, or perhaps to Southern Africa where populations have been mostly secure until recently?