The Role of Ivory in Human Civilization
Both the endangered Asian and African elephants are now listed in Appendix I of the Convention for International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). This is because they are severely overhunted as a result of illegal ivory trade. Ivory comes from the tusks of elephants.
The Advance Method of Tracking Illegal Ivory Trade
The illegal ivory trade has continued to rise despite efforts on banning such business activity. The problem now lies on how to track illegal ivory traders. This is a question on the inability to determine geographic origin of contraband ivory. Ivory traders smuggle it across several international borders using many differing trade routes. This strategy made poaching hotspots and potential trade routes difficult to determine especially in the forests of Central Africa.
The Course of Africa’s Ivory Trade
The current population of African elephant is about 600,000 down from about 1.2 million in 1979. Why? It is because of the exploitation of elephants for their ivory and skin. Hence, a sharp increase in elephant poaching, including illicit ivory trade, across Africa in the recent years.