Category Archives: elephant

Zambia says it will re-submit bid to sell ivory at CITES

Zambia: Region to Resubmit Ivory Trade BidTimes of Zambia
30 July 2010

TOURISM, Environment and Natural Resources Minister Catherine Namugala has said Zambia will resubmit its proposal to the parties to the Convention in International Trade and Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) to enable Zambia trade in ivory.

In a ministerial statement in Parliament yesterday, Ms Namugala said Zambia would submit its proposal to the next conference of parties scheduled to take place in Bangkok, Thailand in 2013.

During the last CITES in Doha, Qatar, held on March 13 to 25, Zambia had applied that the country’s elephant population be down listed from appendix I to II so that the nation could be allowed to trade in ivory but the proposal was rejected.

“Zambia as a sovereign State still has the right to resubmit a proposal to the next conference of Parties 16 which is scheduled to take place in Thailand in 2013.

To increase the chances for favourable consideration of our resubmission, we plan to increase funding allocated to law enforcement in lower Zambezi National Park and to reduce the high level of illegal off takes,” Ms Namugala said.

Through diplomatic channels with foreign missions, Zambia would engage regional groupings to support the intentions to down list the elephants.

The ministry would step up measures to monitor elephant population as well as controlling illegal trade.

Kenya, through some non-governmental organisations (NGOs) was against Zambia’s proposal.

Ms Namugala said this when she responded to questions from Chimbamilonga MP Brian Sikazwe (MMD) and Kankoyo MP Percy Chanda (PF) who wanted to know which countries and NGOs were against Zambia’s bid.

She, however, said the entire Southern African Development Community (SADC) region was behind Zambia’s proposal.

Article at the following link:

Thailand seizes 1.4 tons of ivory at airport on tip-off from Qatar

via Melissa Groo – Save The Elephants

Thailand seizes 1.4 tons of ivory at airport on tip-off from Qatar

Associated Press
April 21, 2010

BANGKOK, Thailand (AP) – Thailand has seized 1.4 tons of elephant tusks, worth more than $2 million, hidden in crates labeled as computer printers, officials said Wednesday.

Thai Customs officials confiscated the 296 tusks Saturday at Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport, acting on a tip from authorities in Qatar where the ivory was shipped from, said Kornsiri Pinnarat, deputy director-general of the Customs Department.

The seizure reflects how Thailand has emerged as a hub for the illicit ivory trade.

Poaching of elephants in central and eastern Africa has intensified in recent years, with much of the illegal ivory exported to Asia.

“Smuggled ivory comes from every part of world to Thailand,” Kornsiri told a news conference. “In this case, the ivory was imported to be turned into jewelry, like rings and bracelets and decorative ornaments.”

He said the estimated value of the ivory was 70 million baht ($2.2 million).

Ivory shipped to Thailand typically goes to carvers who fashion it into Buddhist statues, bangles and jewelry to sell to tourists in Thailand or in other countries. Thailand is also a transit point for ivory forwarded to other markets like China.

In February, the Thai authorities seized two tons of elephant tusks from Africa labeled as mobile phone parts destined for Laos.

The U.N. Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species banned all international ivory trade in 1989. But a legal loophole in Thailand, which does not address domestic trade, has led to a thriving local ivory industry.

Article at the following link:
Melissa Groo
Save the Elephants News Service Researcher
For further information on elephants please see Save the Elephants’ web site

MPs say No to EA common market (Tanzania)

via Melissa Groo – Save The Elephants

MPs say No to EA common market (Tanzania)

Florence Mugarula, The Citizen
April 19 2010

Some MPs have advised the government to abandon the East Africa Common Market idea for the time being and sort out its relations with other regional partners instead.

They made the suggestions here yesterday during a workshop to enlighten them on the EA Common Market protocol.

They cited Kenya as a country that showed hostility towards integration agenda by campaigning against the government’s plans to sell part of its stock- pile of ivory.

The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (Cites) held recently in Doha rejected Tanzania’s request on the ground that allowing any country to sell ivory for whatever reason could fuel poaching of elephants.

Yesterday’s workshop was held ahead of the tabling of the EA Com- mon Market Protocol in Parliament next week for ratification.

But MPs were categorical that Kenya’s attitude had demonstrated that the much talked about brotherly relations between East Africans were based on utopian thinking.

However, some MPs urged that rejecting the EA Common Market based on the outcome of Doha conference would be illogical.

The minister for EAC, Dr Diodorus Kamara, told the lawmakers that President Jakaya Kikwete, alongside his counterparts in the region, had already signed the protocol, giving a green light to the countries to ratify the law.

He said it would be very unbecoming for MPs if they refused to agree to what the Head of State has assented to.

But Mr James Lembeli (Kahama- CCM) said more time was needed for

Tanzania to mull over the issue because the “system will only benefit other countries, especially Kenya.” “I am saying this because I know how our friends behave…
Kenya was in the frontline to campaign against us in Doha, what kind of common market will we have with such people?” he asked.

He said it was strange that Kenya was among countries that were pointing an accusing finger at Tanzania for condoning poaching while Kenya has fewer elephants than Tanzania.

Same East MP Anna Kilango Malecela (CCM) weighed in, saying Tanzania should push for a delay in implementation of Common Market for at least another ten years so that the country prepares better for it.

On Dr Kamala’s statement that the Protocol has been signed by the presidents, she said MPs have powers to reject anything sanctioned by the Head of State if they feel that it is not at par with national interest.

Ms Kilango added the common market was aiming at benefiting few countries and that the vivid example was clearly shown in Doha where all East African countries campaigned against Tanzania.

The deputy speaker, Ms Anna Makinda cited at lack good coordination, patriotism and extreme bureaucracy as major factors impeding Tanzanians from developing.

She said poor coordination among ministries and ministers

as well as other workers was a big problem that makes Tanzanians to miss the common idea when it comes on making arguments and decisions on national matters.
The Lulindi MP, Mr Suleimani Kumchaya, was also of the opin- ion that East Africa Common Mar- ket was impossible to implement at this stage because Tanzanians still needed to be educated on the arrangement.

“The whole World has wit- nessed Tanzania being ashamed by Kenya because of our ivory, we cannot allow Common Market under these circumstances, I think our friends do not think about this cooperation in the same context as us,” said Mr Kumchaya.

For his part, the Kongwa MP, Job Ndungai (CCM) expressed concern over what his colleagues were proposing.

Article at the following link:
Melissa Groo
Save the Elephants News Service Researcher
For further information on elephants please see Save the Elephants’ web site

Ivory, python, leopard skins confiscated in Kenya

Courtesy of Melissa Groo – Save The Elephants

Ivory, python, leopard skins confiscated in Kenya

Associated Press

April 12, 2010

Police official Phomas Atuti says the three Kenyans were arrested in the capital of Nairobi on Monday after a tip-off.

They were trying to sell a small amount of ivory and the skins of three python, a leopard and three civet cats.

The animals are protected under Kenyan law.

Kenya recently has pushed African countries to step up enforcement against animal poaching, particularly poachers who target elephants for their ivory tusks. African ivory is often sent to China and Japan, where demand for ivory is high.

Melissa Groo
Save the Elephants News Service Researcher
For further information on elephants please see Save the Elephants’ web site

Kenya weighs options to dispose ivory stockpile, after CITES vote

via Melissa Groo – Save the Elephants

Kenya weighs options to dispose ivory stockpile, after CITES vote

By COSMAS BUTUNYI, The East African
April 5 2010

Even after successfully waging a campaign that saw the defeat of a proposal for a one- off ivory sale by Tanzania and Zambia, Kenya is considering various ways of disposing of its own stockpiles.

Sources estimate the country’s stockpiles could raise $9 million for the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS).

An assistant director of KWS in charge of species and conservation management, Patrick Omondi, said the disposal plans have been under consideration since 2000. A series of proposals are soon to be presented to the Cabinet.

Among the options that the country is exploring is a non-commercial buyout where the ivory will be offered for sale to a consortium of donors before it is destroyed.

Another alternative is the establishment of ivory museums in one of the national parks where elephant skulls and other body parts preserved after the animal’s natural death would be on display.

Visitors would pay extra and the money charges that would be invested in elephant management and conservation.

“The issue has now been left to the government to decide,” Mr Omondi said.

While part of the ivory stockpile was seized from poachers, the rest was retrieved from elephants that died out of natural causes.

It is two decades since the last ivory stockpiles, then only 12 tonnes, were torched by former president Daniel Moi.

The decision on how to dispose of the ivory will however, have to wait until the expiry of a nine year moratorium against trade in ivory that began in February last year.

In addition to this, the country will have to conform to the proposals laid down in the Elephant Action Plan that was ratified at the recently concluded Conference of Parties to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species held in Doha, Qatar.

At the meeting, the 175 countries that are party to the Cites convention voted against down listing elephant populations in Tanzania and Zambia, that would have paved way for a one- off sale of their 90 and 21 tonnes respectively, and reinstated a nine-year moratorium on ivory trade.

While maintaining that relations between Kenya and Tanzania have not been soured by the conflicting stands, Mr Omondi said the ban is intended to allow for the monitoring of the impact of legal ivory sales on elephant populations, besides implementing an elaborate African Elephant Action Plan across the 36 African range states.

“Our relationship with Tanzania is good and we deal with several cross border issues,” added KWS director, Julius Kipng’etich.

Meanwhile, the KWS is fundraising for its recently established wildlife conservation and management kitty, aimed at cushioning it from external shocks such as the 2007 post election violence that resulted in a drastic drop in tourist numbers.

The kitty to be launched in July, targets $100 million in the next 10 years, and amounts raised from the disposal of ivory would be a major boost.

According to the KWS head of resource mobilisation, Edwin Wanyonyi, only $300,000 has been raised so far.

“Once the fund is set up, conservation efforts will not have to wait for resources from external sources to support basic operations,” Mr Wanyonyi said.

The KWS is using the animal adoption programme to raise money for the endowment fund; Mr Kipng’etich said that the government would also increase allocations.

Dr Kipng’etich said the organisation’s internal revenue from entry charges to national parks and game reserves stands at $30 million.

“This revenue stream is however susceptible to external shocks,” said Dr Kipng’etich.

Presently, 70 per cent of the investment into wildlife conservation and management is raised from internal sources, five per cent from international organisations and government takes up the rest.

Article at the following link:
Melissa Groo
Save the Elephants News Service Researcher
For further information on elephants please see Save the Elephants’ web site

All ivory trade illegal, poachers told

Melissa Groo of Save the Elephants has brought to our attention some very disturbing trends in reckless reporting on the part of the media in southern Africa concerning the legality/illegality of ivory trade. Make sure you have a look at the two misleading articles included under the first one which clarifies the legal status of ivory trade in that region.

Melissa says:

In the wake of CITES, several misleading articles have been published. These are addressed by this story. A couple of such articles are included further down.


All ivory trade illegal, poachers told

The Zimbabwean
31 March 2010 08:57

HARARE – Poaching ivory is illegal, in all cases and throughout Zimbabwe, contrary to some reports in the media. Stories suggesting that Zimbabwe had been given the green light by CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species) to continue to sell ivory were totally incorrect, an inside source told The Zimbabwean this week. At a recent CITES meeting, held in Doha, Qatar, Zimbabwe did not have any proposal on the table seeking approval to trade in ivory. In fact, Zimbabwe is bound by a moratorium that does not permit any further ivory trade for nine years. Zimbabwe is not even permitted to reapply for permission to trade in ivory until the year 2017. The same applies to South Africa, Namibia and Botswana. Only Tanzania and Zambia applied to the recent CITES meeting for permission to trade. Both applications were rejected.

Article at the following link:


Zimbabwe gets green light to sell ivory

ZimOnline 26 March 2010

HARARE – The 175-member Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) has given Zimbabwe the green light to continue trading in ivory despite attempts by some African countries to have a 20-year moratorium, a government official told ZimOnline on Thursday. Speaking on condition that his name was not published the official said the authorisation to continue trading in ivory, follows submissions by Harare on the benefits the country’s wildlife industry is giving communities. “CITES has given us the green light to continue trading in ivory,” the senior government official who is part of Environment Minister Francis Nhema’s delegation attending a CITES meeting which ended in Qatar yesterday said. “This is a major relief to us. We are spending some US$13 million in terms of security and the administration of the ivory we would have recovered from either poachers or dead animals.” According to the official Nhema is expected to officially announce the CITES position upon his return from the Middle East country. Zimbabwe’s bid to continue trade in ivory looked doomed following appeals by Kenya, which lobbied the world conservation body not to allow trade in ivory. The east African country had suggested that there be a 20-year moratorium on moves to ease international trade controls on elephant ivory. “Kenya’s proposal would have been disastrous for our conservation efforts,” the official said. Zimbabwe’s elephants alongside those of other African countries are listed under CITES Appendix I, in which trade is prohibited. The last CITES meeting in 2007 agreed to a nine-year moratorium on any further trade in ivory, after a sale of 105 tonnes of elephant ivory from Botswana, Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe to China and Japan. Elephants, the world’s largest land mammals, are under pressure in many parts of Africa from poaching, loss of habitats to farms and towns, pollution and climate change. Estimates indicate that the numbers have fallen to between 470 000-685 000 against millions a few decades ago. Although Zimbabwe’s proposal has received a nod from the world body, Zambia’s and Tanzania’s appeal to be allowed to sell has been short down. In 2008, Zimbabwe, Botswana, South Africa and Namibia were allowed a once-off sale of their ivory stockpiles. Currently, Harare does not have any ivory stockpiles after it was granted permission for a once-off sale in 2007, but later sold the ivory in 2008.

Article at the following link:


Botswana to continue selling ivory every nine years

Mmegi Online March 31, 2010

Botswana, like other SADC countries will still be able to sell ivory every nine years after Kenya and its allies withdrew their proposed 20-year selling moratorium. The recent CITES conference held in Doha revealed that African countries are divided on the issue of selling elephants. Deputy Permanent Secretary under the Ministry of Environment, Wildlife and Tourism, Edmond Moabi, told the media yesterday that the African Elephant Qualition Group, led by Kenya withdrew their proposal, which was that the selling moratorium of ivory be increased from nine years to 20 years. “SADC states, which have large numbers of elephants do not have any problem with the nine-year selling period while the Southern, Central and Western parts of Africa are against ivory trade,” he said. He however, revealed that if they decide not to sell elephants, they would be endangering other animal species that are found in that area or country. “People who do not want to sell are those who have very little while we have thousands of elephants,” said Moabi. He said that Kenya and her allies withdrew their proposal when they realised that they might not be successful after Tanzania’s proposal to be moved to appendix II was denied. Tanzania’s proposal was turned down on the grounds that if upgraded to appendix II, thus allowing her to sell, this would pave way for more poaching and illegal trading of ivory. “So Kenya and her allies realised that it would be difficult to advocate for a 20 year moratorium, and they then withdrew the proposal they had made at the last conference. We are, therefore, still at the nine-year moratorium,” he said. For the proposal to be successful, the group had to win two thirds of the votes. Because of such differences SADC agreed to meet again and discuss a way forward that would bridge the gap that exists between SADC nations and the rest of Africa. While SADC has in the past donated elephants to other countries they have failed to collect them. “This is due to costs involved. It is very costly to transport elephants for very long distances and no elephant has been collected thus far,” said Moabi. He revealed that there is always a provision for countries that cannot control their elephants. “They can withdraw from CITES and find their own buyers,” he said. Withdrawing from CITES, however, would mean that the countries concerned would have to find their own buyers who would also have to withdraw from CITES unless they were never members. Currently, the only buyers that Botswana has are Japan and China. At the conference, Botswana was given an award and P100 000 as acknowledgement for being the only country that has been consistent with providing intelligent information on animal theft and control. The money will be used for capacity building in the training of the stakeholders involved.

Article at the following link:


Melissa Groo Save the Elephants News Service Researcher For further information on elephants please see Save the Elephants’ web site at

Zambia: Namugala chides ‘immoral’ NGOs

via Melissa Groo – Save the Elephants

Zambia: Namugala chides ‘immoral’ NGOs

Zambia Daily Mail
April 1, 2010

TOURISM, Environment and Natural Resources Minister Catherine Namugala has said it is immoral for some non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and other countries to reject Zambia’s proposal to downlist its elephant population for the purpose of trade.

Ms Namugala castigated the NGOs and other countries which campaigned against Zambia’s proposal, saying they had no moral right to oppose a proposal which came from a sovereign state.

Speaking in Lusaka yesterday during the media briefing on the outcome of CITES, Ms Namugala said some NGOs which had never been to Zambia and knew less about the country opposed the proposal to downlist elephant population.

The so-called African Elephant Coalition which own a small percentage of the total 430,000 elephant population on the continent campaigned aggressively with Kenya against Zambia’s proposal.

‘‘This group, which is largely supported by NGOs, was collecting money from emotional old men and women. What moral right do these organisations have to decide for us that elephants should continue terrorising villagers in Chiawa and other parts of Zambia?’’ she asked.

Zambia’s proposal failed to reach a two-thirds majority vote, polling 57 votes in favour and 54 votes against.

The implications of the non-acceptance of Zambia’s proposal entails that the elephant population still remains on CITES appendix I listings, and international trade in raw hides, trade in live animals and ivory would not be permitted.

‘‘This group, which is largely supported by NGOs, was collecting money from emotional old men and women. What moral right do these organisations have to decide for us that elephants should continue terrorising villagers in Chiawa and other parts of Zambia?’’ she asked.
This means that funds for conservation would remain a constraint and the Zambia Wildlife Authority (ZAWA) would continue the stockpile of ivory at high cost.

The communities would also continue suffering crop and other forms of damage without any real benefits accruing from elephants.

Ms Namugala, however, said the Zambian proposal received outright support from parties such as Japan, China, the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region, Uganda, Libya, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar and Canada as well as NGOs such as Wildlife Fund, the World Conservation Trust, Japan Federation of Ivory Arts and Crafts

Association, Safari Club International and Global Guardian Trust.
As a way forward, Ms Namugala said Zambia needed to engage the United States of America to allow import of trophy ivory from Zambian elephant population before the country could propose to increase hunting quota to 120 elephants as outlined in the proposal.

‘‘We lost our bid but we are not out. The Government will commence preparations for Zambia to make another proposal for the next Conference of Parties due in 2013,’’ Ms Namugala said.

It cost US$10,000 to hunt a single elephant. Currently, hunters are only allowed to hunt 20 elephants.

During the 15th CITES held in Qatar from March 13 to 25, 2010, Zambia lost the bid to downlist elephant population from Appendix I to Appendix II of the Convention which in pursuant to Article XV of the congress which gives Parties to the Convention the right to propose amendments to Appendix I and II for consideration by the Conference of Parties.

The major setback to the Zambian proposal was the opposition from Kenya which counter-lobbied for the ban on trade in ivory.

Zambia’s proposal involved trade in hunting trophies for non-commercial purposes as well as trade in live animals to appropriate and acceptable destinations.

Other proposals the country had made involved trade in raw hides and trade in the registered 21.6 tonnes of Government-owned stockpile of raw ivory which is safety stored at Chilanga.

Tourism Council of Zambia (TCZ) chairperson Mark O’Donnell, who was present during the briefing, said it was disturbing that some people rejected Zambia’s proposal when they did not offer alternatives to support the country’s development agenda.

Article at the following link:
Melissa Groo
Save the Elephants News Service Researcher
For further information on elephants please see Save the Elephants’ web site

China Fuels East African Elephant Poaching

via Melissa Groo – Save the Elephants

China Fuels East African Elephant Poaching

Damian Robin, Epoch Times
March 30, 2010

Tuskless Elephant

China’s influence in East Africa is fueling an upsurge in elephant poaching, gunrunning, and corruption according to a report on U.K. television Friday.

A Channel 4 reporter spoke to people in villages and cities, wildlife managers, rangers, government officials, and illegal ivory sellers in Kenya and Tanzania—all of whom said China is the main buyer of banned ivory.

Filmed secretly, sellers told the journalist from Unreported World that during a presidential visit from Chinese Communist Party leader Hu Jintao in 2009, two hundred kilos of ivory was bought by Chinese diplomats and taken out of Tanzania.

The sellers did not say if Hu knew of the trade, but did say that a prominent diplomat from the Chinese Embassy frequently bought large amounts of ivory from them.

Kooky Gorman owns a wildlife park in Kenya. Accompanied by armed rangers, she took the reporter to many spots in her park, where elephant carcasses rotted, their heads split open to make it easy to saw the tusks off.

Many hides showed multiple bullet holes. The lead ranger said the killers had used AK47 automatic weapons to spray herds. The shootings were indiscriminate, killing young and old.

Gorman said the weapons were bought from neighboring Somalia where the civil war has continued since 1991.

The intensity of the poaching has been increasing for the past two years. In 2007 six elephants were poached from her park. In 2008, twenty-eight were poached. Fifty-seven were poached in 2009.

She says there is a threat of elephant extinction.

The Kenya Wildlife Service has strong rooms full of tusks and carved ivory taken during raids and confiscated at Nairobi airport. It has about 65 tons to 70 tons estimated at $10 million.

The U.N. recently rejected Zambia and Tanzania’s request to hold a one-off sale for their ivory stockpile, valued of approximately $15 million.

Since trade in ivory was stopped in 1989, some countries have been allowed to do a small amount of business in ivory if they have good conservation measures. Zambia and Tanzania are currently prohibited from any trade in ivory. The International Trade of Endangered Species of Fauna and Flora (CITES) annual meeting in Doha disregarded arguments that the sale could help police wildlife parks and stop the burden of protecting the horde of ivory.

Selous Game Reserve in Tanzania has 40,000 elephants.

On the TV program, a police informant who lived nearby in a village known for its illegal ivory deals said armed groups of 30 often came from Dara Salam in Senegal to take back ivory in 440-to-660-pound batches. (An average tusk weighs about 4.4 pounds.)

The informant, whose face was not shown for fear of reprisals, had had his house burned down recently.

Another man, who did not want to be identified as he had received death threats, was a safari operator who brings tourists to the Selous Reserve. “I think the wildlife department knows exactly what’s going on here,” he said. “There are some members of the games department who are poaching to supplement their pay and feed their families.”

He said he thinks movers are coming from China and the Far East to take bones and that they are in collusion with local authorities.

He said they could not get through the 15 to 20 policed roadblocks without help from “some very well-placed people.”

One illegal dealer said he had friends in airport security. “It’s no problem with money,” he told the reporter. “If you have money, it’s easy.”

There is a small industry carving the poached ivory for the East Asian trade. “Many people from China come and buy,” he said. There is a market for trinkets, seals, and chopsticks.

Chinese regime officials told Unreported World that they are against the illegal ivory trade and that Chinese diplomats did not illegally purchase or export ivory by misusing diplomatic immunity in 2009.

Most villagers have stood by while violence around the poaching continues. They felt threatened and were unable to prevent the elephant deaths. Now, many see tourism as the main way they can earn a living, so they are protecting the animals and habitat as much as they can.

Article at the following link:
Melissa Groo
Save the Elephants News Service Researcher
For further information on elephants please see Save the Elephants’ web site

CITES Addendum on Tanzania and Zambia’s Proposals

From Melissa Groo – Elephant Voices

Today the CITES Secretariat released an addendum on Tanzania and Zambia’s proposals. This consists of final recommendations to the Parties concerning Proposals 4 and 5 related to Loxodonta africana (the African elephant).

In short, this states that, regarding Tanzania:

“The Secretariat is of the opinion that the proposal demonstrates that the population of Loxodonta africana
of the United Republic of Tanzania does not meet the biological criteria for its retention in Appendix I.
However, as evidenced by the findings of the Panel of Experts, the Secretariat is concerned about the
precautionary measures that are in place regarding enforcement and compliance. Anti-poaching efforts in
some parts of the country seem inadequate, the ivory stocks cannot be fully verified, and controls of illegal
trade in raw ivory originating from or transiting through the United Republic of Tanzania appear to be
For these reasons, the Secretariat recommends that the proposal be rejected.”

And, regarding Zambia:

“The Secretariat is of the opinion that the proposal demonstrates that the population of Loxodonta africana
of Zambia does not meet the biological criteria for its retention in Appendix I. On the basis of the findings of
the Panel of Experts, the Secretariat is satisfied that the management by Zambia of its population of
Loxodonta africana allows for the implementation of the requirements of the Convention, in particular
Article IV, and that appropriate and effective enforcement controls are in place.
For these reasons, the Secretariat recommends that the proposal be adopted.”

Please read the full document at:

Melissa Groo
Save the Elephants News Service Researcher
For further information on elephants please see Save the Elephants’ web site

Elephant Documents from CITES

This compendium of CITES documents is shared courtesy of Melissa Groo – Save the Elephants News Service Researcher

Currently, CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) is holding their 15th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (CoP15), in Qatar. The meeting ends on March 25.

Below are listed CITES documents related to elephants, including Proposals, Working Documents, Reports, and Summaries of Events.

There are three proposals up to amend elephant (loxodonta africana) listings in Appendices I and II. These can be found at the following site, but I will sum them up below the link.

Note that Appendix I lists species that are threatened with extinction and are or may be affected by trade. Appendix II lists species that are not necessarily threatened with extinction, but may become so unless trade in specimens of such species is subject to strict regulation. All African elephants are currently listed in Appendix I, except for those in the countries of Botswana, Nambibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe, which are in Appendix II.

As proposed:
Tanzania wants to transfer their ele population from Appendix I to Appendix II to allow for:
a) trade in hunting trophies for non-commercial purposes;
b) a one-off sale of 89,848.74 kg (89 tons) from registered government-owned stocks

Zambia wants to transfer their ele population from Appendix I to Appendix II to allow for:
a) trade in hunting trophies for non-commercial purposes;
b) trade in live animals to appropriate and acceptable destinations
c) trade in raw hides;
d) a one-off sale of 21,692.23 kg (22 tons) from registered government-owned stocks,

Congo, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Mali, Rwanda and Sierra Leone propose the following:
a) The only four countries whose ele populations are already in Appendix II–Botswana, Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe–not be allowed to trade in ivory for nine years.
b) That no further proposals be submitted for trade in ivory from any country, for twenty years from the date of Cop15.
c) Cessation of trade in individually marked and certified ekipas incorporated in finished jewellery for non-commercial purposes for Namibia and ivory carvings for non-commercial purposes for Zimbabwe

Monitoring of Illegal Trade in Ivory and Other Elephant Specimens.
Prepared by the CITES Secretariat, this includes an overview of recent trends in ivory smuggling and seizure. It has an action plan section, general comments, and recommendations. Find it at:

The Elephant Trade Information System (ETIS) and the Illicit Trade in Ivory
This is a report by ETIS, which is a comprehensive information system to track illegal trade in ivory and other elephant products. ETIS is managed by TRAFFIC on behalf of the CITES Parties. Find this at

Monitoring of Illegal Hunting in Elephant Range States
In addition to information on global trends in the level of illegal killing of elephants since 2002, this analysis investigates a number of site- and country-level variables that are significantly associated with levels of illegal killing at MIKE (Monitoring the Illegal Killing of Elephants) sites.

And more on MIKE’s results here:
Trends and Factors Associated with the Illegal Killing of Elephants

MIKE contracted Save the Elephants to undertake a detailed analysis of the illegal killing of elephants in a well-researched MIKE site, namely Laikipa-Samburu in Kenya. This is a unique site as it reports one of the highest elephant carcass recovery rates in the MIKE database, due largely to community involvement. Find this document, Levels of Illegal Killing of Elephants in the Laikipia-Samburu Mike Site, at

The CITES Secretariat will be taking into account the Report of the Panel of Experts on proposals to transfer populations of the African elephant from Appendix I to Appendix II. This was recently completed, and posted. The panel was made up of a CITES representative, a few consultants, and representatives from Tanzania and Zambia. Find the description of the panel composition and the process at:

The actual reports are found at:

Report of the Panel regarding the proposal of the United Republic of Tanzania

Report of the Panel regarding the proposal of Zambia

CITES Summary Records of each day’s events can be found at