Actually, African Elephants Are Not on The Verge of Extinction

Few species are as iconic as the African elephant, the world’s largest terrestrial mammal. With long lifespans, high intelligence, and complex social structures, elephants evoke powerful emotions in people. Long pursued for their ivory, elephants have been increasingly exploited in recent years by certain environmental groups that rely on them for fundraising. We are inundated …

Community Leaders Speak Up for Sustainable Use Conservation and Livelihoods at CoP17

Yesterday and today, rural community leaders from around the world voiced their concerns about several proposals that were considered at the CITES 17th Conference of the Parties in Johannesburg.  One set of proposals related to the sale of elephant ivory were particularly controversial.  Community leaders from Namibia gave impassioned speeches in support of sustainable use of natural …

CITES Issue: African Elephant

During the last couple of months, SCI and SCI Foundation have blogged about issues that are particularly relevant for hunters and will be addressed at the upcoming CITES 17th Conference of the Parties.  Previous blog topics include African lion, wood bison, secret ballot voting, and cape mountain zebra.  This week’s post is about another iconic …

The Science Behind Sustainable Use

“How can you hunt an endangered species?” Members of the public frequently pose this question to wildlife biologists. The answer, quite simply, lies in a concept referred to as sustainable use. Sustainable use means harvesting the annual surplus while leaving enough adults to replenish the population. The anti-hunting community frequently cites numbers of animals hunted …

A Song of Ivory and Fire: Why destruction of ivory stockpiles might not be a good idea

As Kenya prepares to destroy its entire wildlife products stockpile--an estimated 100 or more tons of elephant ivory, rhino horn and parts from other species--at the end of April, some are welcoming this move as a bold display of defiance against trafficking of wildlife products. Billionaires, Hollywood celebrities, and other well-meaning but misinformed individuals are …

SCI Foundation Celebrates World Wildlife Day

World Wildlife Day is this Thursday, March 3rd! This is an event to raise awareness of the world’s biodiversity and celebrate the benefits that conservation provides to people. March 3rd was officially recognized as World Wildlife Day by the United Nations in 2013, to commemorate the adoption of CITES, the Convention on International Trade in …

Death of Pilot Highlights Tanzania’s Struggle with Poaching

The world of conservation was shocked last week by the death of helicopter pilot, Roger Gower. Mr. Gower was shot and killed while conducting an anti-poaching surveillance over Tanzania’s Maswa Game Reserve. This tragedy adds to the list of recent poaching related deaths in Tanzania. At least five people connected to the incident have already …