Skip navigation

no spam, unsubscribe anytime.
Skip navigation
In less than two weeks, authorities in Kenya, Hong Kong, and Vietnam apprehended nearly seven tons of contraband ivory in four separate raids -- thousands of pieces destined for illegal markets where uninformed consumers trade elephants' lives for trinkets. We can't lose these majestic creatures to greed! Sign below to help end this deadly trade.
Goal: 100,000 Progress: 85,279
Sponsored by: The Rainforest Site

After facing decimation in the 1980s, a global ban on ivory sales barely saved Africa's elephants from extinction.

Then, in 2008 the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) agreed to unleash stockpiles of ivory in a "one-off" sale to China, and the decision kicked off a surge in demand for the coveted "white gold". Rather than reduce the need for black-market ivory and the poaching that supplies it, China's growing middle class wants more.

And they are willing to pay for it. Soaring prices encourage more poaching and attract the attention of armed rebel groups, corrupt government officials, and international criminal organizations. The profits, in turn, fund other illegal activities elsewhere in the world.

2011 and 2012 were especially lethal years for elephants, smashing previous records for illegal ivory seizures, typically captured en route to China. The trend shows no sign of slowing in 2013.

Petition the Chinese Ambassador to the United States to help reverse this bloody path towards extinction.

Sign Here

Dear Ambassador Tiankai:

As long as there is a market for ivory, there will continue to be a demand. Far from reducing demand, the 2008 sale of stockpiles in China has only whetted the world's appetite for additional ivory, driving up prices for this coveted "white gold". Rising prices, in turn, have corrupted government officials and attracted organized crime. And as the New York Times observed, the availability of legally sanctioned ivory has provided the "ideal legal camouflage" for smugglers to launder their illicit goods. And African elephants pay the ultimate price.

In just one example, a recent study published in the scientific journal PLoS One illustrates the consequences for Africa's elephants. According to the research, populations of forest elephants in Central Africa, highly valued for their hard ivory, declined an astonishing 62% over the past ten years, a pace that spells extinction within the next decade.

But the illegal ivory trade is not just a threat to elephants. The increasing scale and sophistication of the poachers and smugglers suggests the involvement of organized crime and militarized rebel organizations with networks spanning national boundaries. These groups threaten stability and peace well beyond the forests and savannas the elephants roam. The tremendous profit made from a shipment of illegal ivory then finances violence elsewhere, much in the same way blood diamonds funded human conflict in past decades.

It remains in China's best interest to see an end to this bloody trade. The 2011 ban on ivory in auction houses and the 2012 ban on online sales both represent positive steps towards this end. Continued seizures, arrests, and prosecutions demonstrate a dedication to cracking down on the illegal trade. Unfortunately, the legal trade is also part of the problem, deceiving consumers into believing their purchases are sanctioned by the state. And a growing middle class further burdens already taxed elephant populations.

As the mounting death toll illustrates, it is not enough to target smugglers and range states alone — destination markets must enforce stricter measures as well. Evidence suggests as much as 50% of the world's ivory is destined for Chinese markets, requiring about 220 tons of raw ivory, or roughly 20,000 elephants, each year.

The current state of affairs suggests three areas for improvement:

  1. Better education for consumers who don't fully comprehend the impact of their purchase. One survey suggests that seven out of ten Chinese consumers believe the ivory is harvested in a sustainable way. If they better understood the consequences for elephants — an early and brutal death — then they could make better purchasing decisions.
  2. Better coordination with range states, sharing law enforcement resources and intelligence to crack down on the criminal networks responsible.
  3. Better regulation culminating in a renewed ban on the sale of ivory in China.

The crisis facing Africa's elephants offers China an opportunity to lead the way, leveraging your growing influence in the world and establishing a model of international cooperation. Without Chinese cooperation and leadership on this matter, African elephants face a dire future, or worse, no future at all.

Petition Signatures

Oct 7, 2015 Callen Samuel
Oct 7, 2015 Judith Reynolds Help stop this tragedy, PLEASE!
Oct 7, 2015 Marie Socash
Oct 7, 2015 (Name not displayed)
Oct 7, 2015 (Name not displayed)
Oct 7, 2015 (Name not displayed)
Oct 7, 2015 (Name not displayed)
Oct 7, 2015 Taiga Cortelazzi
Oct 7, 2015 (Name not displayed)
Oct 7, 2015 (Name not displayed)
Oct 7, 2015 Kirsten Brandt
Oct 7, 2015 (Name not displayed) Save the elephants
Oct 7, 2015 Tony Zaadel
Oct 7, 2015 (Name not displayed) Thanks for your work on this... been to Africa... Love the animals there.
Oct 7, 2015 Hilary Ratcliff Protect our elephants. Stop persecution!
Oct 7, 2015 (Name not displayed)
Oct 7, 2015 Nora Ammar
Oct 7, 2015 Louise Tyrrell Leave our elephants alone, they are God's creatures.
Oct 7, 2015 cat hebert
Oct 7, 2015 (Name not displayed) This is the truth elephants need their tusks we don't
Oct 7, 2015 Patricia Byers The killing of elephants for sport is disgusting in all its forms. It's bad enough they have to fight for life where they live. They should be kept and people will come to see them, making more money for you. Protect the Elephants.
Oct 7, 2015 Melissa Lee No one needs an elephant risk but an elephant! Stop needless slaughter!!
Oct 7, 2015 betty powers
Oct 7, 2015 Kristina Bergström
Oct 7, 2015 Erika Acosta
Oct 7, 2015 (Name not displayed)
Oct 7, 2015 Angella Houlbjerg
Oct 7, 2015 Cheryl Johnson When the last elephant is gone is when they'll realize what they have done, but they still won't care! The almighty $ dollar $ trumps everything else!
Oct 7, 2015 Higinio Barranco
Oct 7, 2015 Bente Millek
Oct 7, 2015 Katie Russell
Oct 7, 2015 Theresa Crichton
Oct 7, 2015 Marisol Abelenda
Oct 7, 2015 Irene Richards This is so wrong the killing needs to stop now!
Oct 7, 2015 Terri Gits
Oct 7, 2015 Oksana Vakoulenko
Oct 7, 2015 melody O'Connor Stop the deadly tradeing and ilegal marketing of the elephants.
Oct 7, 2015 (Name not displayed)
Oct 7, 2015 Vickie Lixey
Oct 7, 2015 Margaret Novitski Please help to save the elephants! Once they are gone it will not be possible to bring them back.
Oct 7, 2015 (Name not displayed)
Oct 7, 2015 Linda Curry
Oct 7, 2015 pascale vlemincx
Oct 7, 2015 Clare Coates
Oct 7, 2015 Julie Lozano I am the voice of all animals who have ivory. I want to end all poaching animals for tier ivory. It is not right to kill these animalswhom are GODS beautiful creatures. You are making our Gentle giants to go extinct from this world
Oct 7, 2015 Michelle Joplin
Oct 7, 2015 Hannah Lynch
Oct 7, 2015 Karen BROWNLEE
Oct 7, 2015 Emily Mills
Oct 7, 2015 Kieran Horvath

back to top

Loving Paws Flannel Pajama Pants
Share this page and help fund food & care: