Sign in to follow this  
FenwickG

TOTAL US IVORY BAN

Recommended Posts

Oh, I don’t think anybody here is just being politically correct.  But the question is, where do we draw the line, and will it work?

 

I don’t think there’s a question of needing to draw a line or not, because the ones that have already been drawn haven’t totally ended poaching.

 

So, the question isn't really NIMBY vs KNEE JERK, Fox vs MSNBC, it's what do we, as a species, choose as the future for our planet?  

How about intelligently managed stewardship of our resources?  I'll note that no species, animal or vegetable, that is being farmed or has managed hunts that generate leases, etc., rather than being allowed to become a pest or a nuisance to landowners through regulation, seems to be in any danger.  Want to see the fox and mink go extinct?  Ban fur coats.  Want to see the end of the whitetail deer?   Ban hunting.   No more pigs, chickens, and cows?  Let PETA have its way.........

 

Find a way for African farmers to make a renewable buck off elephants, and you'll have ivory forever.  Keep 'em in Western forced preserves and you'll have eventually have people swarming over the fences to hack the last one down with machetes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Make a renewable buck off elephants? It's called ecotourism. Not new, and not stopping poaching.

And btw, whitetail deer are, using real data here folks, much more common now then they were before game laws.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

How about intelligently managed stewardship of our resources?  I'll note that no species, animal or vegetable, that is being farmed or has managed hunts that generate leases, etc., rather than being allowed to become a pest or a nuisance to landowners through regulation, seems to be in any danger.  Want to see the fox and mink go extinct?  Ban fur coats.  Want to see the end of the whitetail deer?   Ban hunting.   No more pigs, chickens, and cows?  Let PETA have its way.........

 

Find a way for African farmers to make a renewable buck off elephants, and you'll have ivory forever.  Keep 'em in Western forced preserves and you'll have eventually have people swarming over the fences to hack the last one down with machetes.

 

THIS is the only thing which does and will work.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Make a renewable buck off elephants? It's called ecotourism. Not new, and not stopping poaching.

And btw, whitetail deer are, using real data here folks, much more common now then they were before game laws.

Ummmm....Ecotourism doesn't profit the locals, who are lucky to get a job serving drinks in the gated resorts while the elephants ravage their crops.  Granted, it's a big deal to the "Wa-Benzi", who get rich off of it.  Some places they hate elephants like the plague, damn near as much as they hate monkeys, another major crop eater adored by tourists. 

 

Whitetails are more numerous because managed hunting has stopped the overpopulation and massive famine dieoffs that followed "Bambi" inspired hunting bans in the 1950's.  The Edwards Plateau deer herds in Texas were very nearly exterminated by that.  It's a classic example in Wildlife Management courses.

 

This isn't a simple situation and all bans will do is make the animals even more threatened.  Elephants are actually overpopulating their remaining open range.  You figure it out...........small managed herds that show a profit, or quite possibly none outside of Western zoos.  A carefully managed ivory, hides, and meat trade could actually pay for steps necessary to the survival of wild herds, and help make conservation more politically palatable to the Africans themselves..

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh, right, Blame Bambi. Or maybe the Soil Conservation Service? Taking marginal lands and steep slopes out of cultivation, to prevent erosion caused a huge amount of forest regeneration. But fragmented forest. What does that have to do with white tails? They're a forest edge species. Management AND an increase in habitat since the 1930's are responsible for the increase n population.

That's not the case for elephants. Decreased habitat means decreased population. Add poaching, and you get pretty close to a one way ticket to extinction. Oh, one more thing. Poor people tend not to make conservation a priority. And I can't imagine a majority of central Africa's population being supported by a legal elephant industry. A legal industry would just make it easier to get away with illegal trade.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Poor people tend not to make conservation a priority.

There's most of your problem, and it's the same with the rainforests.  So go solve the poverty problem, and stop trying to grab my heirloom ivory necklace.  BTW, don't go near the Steinway............... :lol:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 And I can't imagine a majority of central Africa's population being supported by a legal elephant industry. A legal industry would just make it easier to get away with illegal trade.

 

 

Not at all - quite the contrary. And not ALL africans expect to be supported by the elephant population. Some drive BMWs...   :)

 

And the elephant population is on the increase. And that's not good news if you happen to be a subsistence farmer somewhere in Africa, facing the urgency of feeding one's children. My suggestion is that each of us should mind our own elephants. I'll mind the Bavarian ones. :)

 

You are right when you say : "poor people tend not to make conservation a priority". And there is the solution : give them YOUR money. :) :) :)

That was a joke but my suggestion is that we should stop patronizing them. We've harmed them enough and now we're pissed they're no "ecological" enough.....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think the fires have cooled on this thread enough for me to throw in a conservation biologist's perspective.  I am not a conservation biologist, but I have had undergraduate and graduate courses in conservation biology, wildlife management, and natural resource economics.  I also have friends that are conservation biologists and this is the type of thing we talk about over dinner.  So here it goes.

 

Conservation is always difficult because the number one cause is loss of habitat.  As the human population grows, the demand for natural resources continues to increase (e.g. forest product, farmland, roads, and urban sprawl).  In most cases, habitat fragmentation is nearly as bad as losing the habitat because what is needed is continuous habitat (deer are one exception as Addie mentions).  So you can't just add up all the pieces of habitat and say you have x number of hectares of land.  The problem is much worse for terrestrial migratory species.  Corridors between habitats help, but it's not ideal. 

 

The next problem is figuring out who all the stakeholders are.  It's not just the poacher and the buyer.  It's all the people in between as well.  For example, the farmer that can barely feed his family, and then has his crop destroyed by a herd of elephants.  We can't say that saving an elephant is more important than saving a human life.  So a way to provide habitat for the elephant and land for the farmer is needed.  But then what about...  As you can see it gets complicated.  I would guess nobody even thought of musicians and makers when they were thinking a trade ban of all ivory (to reduce demand) was a possible solution.

 

One conservation strategy is to reduce demand for the product.  For example, the Eagle feather law that makes it illegal to possess an eagle feather (unless your an American Indian) regardless of how it was acquired.  Thus, the market for the product was removed.  In the case of ivory, the push back from stakeholders with expensive and historic artifacts would not make a possession law feasible.  But a trade ban would potentially reduce demand if there was international support.  For any solution there are always winners and losers.  So making your voices herd is important so that the decision makers know that you are a stakeholder.  Whether or not it will help is hard to say.   

 

-Jim

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 I can't imagine a majority of central Africa's population being supported by a legal elephant industry.

Non sequitur warning.  I said:

 

 A carefully managed ivory, hides, and meat trade could actually pay for steps necessary to the survival of wild herds, and help make conservation more politically palatable to the Africans themselves..

 

Wildlife conservation programs elsewhere are often paid for via permitting/licensing fees.  Taxpayers like programs that pay for themselves. 

 

BTW, if Africans were coming over here spending millions to lobby the government into shooting you to protect the squirrels in your garden, how would you like it?

 

I foresee a bright future for draconian enforcement of an ivory ban in the US.  The snoops, door kickers and confiscators get yummy Federal funding.  After all, it's worked so well with alcohol, drugs and several other excuses to "stop and search", why not ivory, pernambuco, rosewood, maple, spruce, sheepskin, gut strings, fur coats, hamburgers..........., [slides down slope rather rapidly...........].

 

Reasonable:

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2008/jun/26/humanrights.animalwelfare

 

Questionable (use of habeas corpus for an animal)?:

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/03/science/rights-group-sues-to-have-chimp-recognized-as-legal-person.html

 

Tomorrow??

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Lots of misleading information and downright misinformation starting to creep into this thread, such as elephant populations are increasing, eco-tourism does not benefit the common Africans, or mink and fox would go extinct if fur was banned. Populations of the savanna subspecies in the southern Africa areas are increasing due to stronger anti-poaching and conservation measures. The forest subspecies is under tremendous threat of local extinction throughout their range. A lesson learned. Be careful where you get your information from. This applies to instrument making and repair. Caveat Emptor...

 

A good informative graphic about who is doing what to address illegal trade:

 

http://www.flickr.com/photos/wwfint/7884702350/sizes/o/in/photostream/

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Lots of misleading information and downright misinformation starting to creep into this thread, such as elephant populations are increasing, eco-tourism does not benefit the common Africans, or mink and fox would go extinct if fur was banned. Populations of the savanna subspecies in the southern Africa areas are increasing due to stronger anti-poaching and conservation measures. The forest subspecies is under tremendous threat of local extinction throughout their range. A lesson learned. Be careful where you get your information from. This applies to instrument making and repair. Caveat Emptor...

 

We're not worthy...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 

I foresee a bright future for draconian enforcement of an ivory ban in the US.  The snoops, door kickers and confiscators get yummy Federal funding.  After all, it's worked so well with alcohol, drugs and several other excuses to "stop and search", why not ivory, pernambuco, rosewood, maple, spruce, sheepskin, gut strings, fur coats, hamburgers..........., [slides down slope rather rapidly...........].

 

 

Nothing to worry about GLOBALLY. Nobody pays any attention anymore - they wore it out. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Lots of misleading information and downright misinformation starting to creep into this thread, such as elephant populations are increasing, eco-tourism does not benefit the common Africans, or mink and fox would go extinct if fur was banned. Populations of the savanna subspecies in the southern Africa areas are increasing due to stronger anti-poaching and conservation measures. The forest subspecies is under tremendous threat of local extinction throughout their range. A lesson learned. Be careful where you get your information from. This applies to instrument making and repair. Caveat Emptor...

  1. We are talking primarily about the savanna herds, which are increasing because they can, like anything else.  The Congo Basin has a lot more problems than elephant poaching, BTW.  Bad comparison.
  2. Ecotourism benefits people who provide services to tourists, and it takes money to make money.
  3. So show me all the small predators in your neighborhood, (besides housecats of course)..

Something being arguable doesn't mean it's false.  The issues are complicated.  To me the question in this thread is whether or not we want to fund more domestic enforcement (read:  being put "on the floor" with your kids while the thugs with automatic weapons who kicked your door in tear your piano apart and inform you of your "rights"),in a new regulatory area, and we should get back to it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

  1. We are talking primarily about the savanna herds, which are increasing because they can, like anything else.  The Congo Basin has a lot more problems than elephant poaching, BTW.  Bad comparison.
  2. Ecotourism benefits people who provide services to tourists, and it takes money to make money.
  3. So show me all the small predators in your neighborhood, (besides housecats of course)..

 

 

Let's see, we have raccoon, skunk, fox, possums, kites, hawks, perregrine falcon, herons; I think they would qualify as small predators. Also mountain lion and black bear, but those are large predators.

 

Regarding the savanna subtypes, some are increasing and some populations are decreasing. Only in highly patrolled areas are the elephant numbers increasing. And these are all areas having robust eco-tourism industries.

 

Will eco-tourism benefit everyone? No... Will poaching benefit everyone? Absolutely not...

 

For those that know, is there a colorless fluorescing stain that can be applied to dentine to differentiate mammoth/mastodon from elephant? According to CITES, the vivianite in mammoth will fluoresce on it own. A fast and efficient way of distinguishing the two would speed up inspections.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Eco tourisim seems to be working well for Costa Rica and several other nations,fly over guatamala and nicaragua to see the diffrence. it's astounding.

  I wonder what the pocher on the ground recieves for his "work" and what that figure is when compaired to what the traficker gets for the end profit,I suspect they are two extreemly diffrent figgures. In the "old days" the hunters were able to eat the eliphant as a bonus...these days the flesh is left to rot.

  It's to bad that so much of our current conflict resolution methods seem to rely on a "no compromize" type stragity.Soceiologicly, an all or nothing approche rarely results in all parties being satisfied with the end game. resulting in a spiral of violence.

  The decline of Africa's big game was due to unregulated hunting, Not hunting in it's self. that's been going on for thousands of years.

We could try to see the world as a sacred place with gifts from the creator,seeing through this lens might allow a cohabitation and mutual support for all who live on the rock . seeking colabrative solutions to common problems.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

in a new regulatory area.

 

At grave risk of prolonging this thread - which I see as an argument in various political beliefs, rather than an argument in anything remotely violin making related, or even really bow making related... But it is law related and political standing related quite well, and quite vociferously. So be it.

 

I'm seeing a general leaning towards "legal regulation" in all areas of life -  

 

Good or bad? well, we'll see in the long run, won't we?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It looks like x-ray fluorescence may hold promise for a quick onsite determination of legal vs illegal ivory.

 

This study which assessed the capability X-ray flourescence multi-element analysis had to distinguish ivory samples from regions of Africa and Southeast-Asia, in order to characterize ivory from the various elephant populations and therefore be a useful method to identify the origin of the ivory and distinguish between legal and black-market ivory. Ivory samples included material taken from the tooth neck of tusks from Ethiopia, Namibia, Zimbabwe and Thailand, and a tusk of unknown origin from a museum in Bonn. After the samples (1sq cm with a thickness of 2mm) were cleaned, polished and dried overnight they were analyzed, for major and trace elements, by wavelength-dispersive X-ray flourescence. The element distribution was assessed in percent as of all measured elements (the intensity of all elements (the total) was set to 100%). The spectra of ivory samples from geographical areas varied and the ratios of elements in the samples also varied allowing preliminary results to 'show this method is suitable to characterterize ivory from the different elephant species as well as ivory from different populations of Loxodonta africana'. Cluster analysis enabled the African ivory samples from Namibia and Zimbabwe to be grouped according to their origin, and to separate these groups distinctively from samples from Ethiopia. Although results from neuton analysis studies suggest the concentration of elements may be influenced by the sampling locations (Takeuchi et al, 1996, 1998), this method appears to enable better detection of some elements (eg chlorine and iron) than did glancing incidence X-ray florescence used to discriminate between African elephant and mammoth ivory. (Shimoyama et al, 1998).

https://www.zotero.org/groups/ael/items/itemKey/FNSNUVUP

 

http://www.oxford-instruments.com/products/spectrometers/x-ray-fluorescence-analyzer

 

There are even hand-held instruments

http://www.niton.com/en/

 

If the government wants to solve the problem of identifying legal vs illegal ivory, it can be done.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I personally feel that regulated/taxed open sale of anything works better than total bans because it gets the authorities involved in ensuring that they get their cut (and so protect the source).  I also feel that, species-wise, species that become farmed/managed rather than having their survival left to chance survive better.  Humanity takes better care of its chattels than of its competitors.  Self interest, enlightened or not, is a more powerful motivator for most people than altruism.

 

One problem with control through legislation is that it produces vested interests in the enforcement community which never "wither away" of themselves, nor control themselves as well as they will "the governed".  This makes it important to try to stop the empowering legislation at the source.  Follow my lead, and go annoy your Congresscritters  They all have web addresses., .

 

http://www.gocomics.com/pibgorn/2013/12/27

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm seeing a general leaning towards "legal regulation" in all areas of life -  

 

Good or bad? well, we'll see in the long run, won't we?

Personally, I think it's our awareness or perception of regulation that changes most, as we grow older. Although, there is a recent trend for lawmakers to pass more legislation, to show they're doing something. Sigh!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It looks like x-ray fluorescence may hold promise for a quick onsite determination of legal vs illegal ivory.

 

https://www.zotero.org/groups/ael/items/itemKey/FNSNUVUP

 

http://www.oxford-instruments.com/products/spectrometers/x-ray-fluorescence-analyzer

 

There are even hand-held instruments

http://www.niton.com/en/

 

If the government wants to solve the problem of identifying legal vs illegal ivory, it can be done.

The article refers only to WAVELENGTH dispersive XRF. The portable instruments I'm aware of are all ENERGY dispersive. Big difference. Maybe EDXRF will work, but that was not shown and I doubt it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm definitely against poaching or any post ban ivory, but destroying works of art made from post ban Ivory (or pre ban)doesn't bring back the elephants but is an act of vandalism none the less.  There are more intelligent solutions, but I don't expect those from the US.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There will probably be special interest groups cropping up now  "Save the Tagua Nut from extinction" now that anything remotely resembling ivory is under fire. Make sure you hide any ivoroid plastic in case some government agency kicks down your door in a sting operation.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.