Article on Elephant Conservation from TFK

Conservationists are working to stop the killing of elephants for their tusks

APRIL 19, 2013
By Suzanne Zimbler

DOZENS OF AFRICAN ELEPHANTS SLAUGHTERED. Slaughtered means Killed . That headline has become all too common. Last month, poachers killed at least 86 elephants in Chad cmafricaand 28 in Cameroon.cmafrica Both countries are in a region of Africa that has lost more than 60% of its elephants to illegal hunters in the past decade, according to a recent study from the Wildlife Conservation Society.

In 2012 alone, experts say, 30,000 elephants were killed in countries across Africa. “We’re seeing the highest levels of poaching since our record-keeping began,” Crawford Allan, of the World Wildlife Fund, told TFK.455px-Ivory_trade

Why are so many elephants being killed? The answer lies thousands of miles away from Africa, in a handful of Asian countries. In China,china-01 business is booming in fancy shops that sell expensive statues 63933_1_610x343and jewelry made of ivory.

The material comes from elephant tusks. But for many ivory purchasers, the gentle giants are not only out of sight but also out of mind. “Surveys indicate that seven out of 10 Chinese citizens don’t realize that an elephant has to die in order [for them] to get ivory,” says Will Travers, of the Born Free Foundation. In recent years, as China’s economy has grown, so has the demand for ivory.

The Trouble with Tusks

The hunt for ivory is not a new problem. In the 1980s, as many as 1 million elephants were slaughtered in Africa. The “Ivory Wars” continued until 1989, when a treaty called CITES banned ( to ban means you make something against the law)  the sale of ivory from one country to another. Elephant populations began to increase. But that progress was short-lived.

Several African countries had been storing large stockpiles of tusks. To many people, allowing valuable ivory to collect dust in storage seemed like a waste. So CITES officials let a few countries sell their ivory. China bought large quantities of tusks. Today, that ivory is sold legally throughout the country. Unfortunately, this has made it possible for illegal ivory to be sold as well.

Now conservationists (conservationists are people who try to save an animal or natural resource ) are putting pressure on China to crack down on the sale of illegal ivory. Experts say more help is required in Africa too. “A lot of our focus has been on providing training and equipment for the people on the front lines, the rangers,” says Kelvin Alie, of the International Fund for Animal Welfare.

Last year, Gabon, in central Africa, set fire to its ivory stockpile. By burning millions of dollars worth of tusks, the nation made a strong statement. “We don’t want our children to inherit an empty forest,” said the country’s President, Ali Bongo. With allies like Bongo, elephants just might stand a chance.

Writing Task:

Should all ivory sales be banned stopped?  Use the information from the article to persuade readers of your opinion. The best pieces will be posted here.

Common Core Standards Addressed

R.1: Read closely to determine what the text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it; cite specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions drawn from the text.

R.3: Analyze how and why individuals, events, or ideas develop and interact over the course of a text.

R.8: Delineate and evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text, including the validity of the reasoning as well as the relevance and sufficiency of the evidence.

W.1 Write arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive topics or texts, using valid reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence.

3 responses

  1. Carlos

    Elephants are warmblooded mammals. We are warmblooded this is different than coldblooded animals. Mammals are warm blooded. Their temperature always stays the same no matter what temperature is outside.

    September 19, 2013 at 9:44 am

  2. khalil

    Mammals are warm-blooded creatures. If that animal is cold the body sends a message to the brain. Then the brain turns on the heating system. This keeps the body the same temperature all the time.

    September 19, 2013 at 9:45 am

  3. DeAndre Bloomfield

    You have to be a mammal to be a warmblooded .
    People are warmblooded too. This means if you go outside when is 98.1 your body stay the same temperature . But if you were like a turtle, coldblooded, and if it like 98.1 and the turtle’s temperature is 53.1 and he goes outside his temperature would rise to 98.1.

    September 19, 2013 at 9:51 am

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