Sunday, September 4, 2011

Magnificent Monday: Conservation. Sept 5th

Conservation: What can we do?

Photo Courtesy SOS Elephants of Chad.
Sad and shocking isn't it!

That such a wonderful huge elephant, one of God's great creatures is killed for its teeth to make ivory chopsticks, seals and carvings; mere trinkets for demanding Asian buyers. Chinese and Vietnamese backed criminal syndicates are ruthlessly raping wildlife in many parts of the world, endangering species such as African elephants, rhino, lions, and many other animals such as Asia's tiger.

Check out the extent of the problem at these links-
"People are being killed in the field trying to kill elephants, government officers are being killed as well by poachers, this trade is encouraging massive corruption in Africa and people are being bribed and removed in order to get the stuff out of the continent and over to China," Martin said.

Will elephant, rhino, lion, and tiger exist in the wild in a decade?

Drugged by poachers, this Asian rhino
 survived only a few days even with treatment. 

Rising affluence in Asia, particularly China, ensures a growing market and demand for ivory, pushing up prices, and encouraging corruption. And not just ivory; the growth of Traditional Chinese Medicine is causing  rhino killings in Africa and Asia at an alarming rate. Poaching for their horns threatens their survival as a species. Tigers are critically endangered in Asia because of CTM demand for body parts; now Africa's lion parts are on-sold from 'canned hunting' as a substitute, fuelling profitable returns for this disgraceful industry that should be totally banned. Lions were estimated to number 200,000 in the 1970's, now down to less than 20,000 throughout Africa.


Poaching needs to be urgently addressed by a multi national approach. Completely banning the ivory trade is a start. Kenya recently burnt 5 tons of ivory to send a message that ivory is useless except as teeth in a living elephant, and that the ivory trade should be totally banned. BBC News
 For this to happen China needs to crackdown on its ivory trade and its cultural ideals need to change. Chinese Traditional Medicine needs to accept rhino horn has no more medicinal value than toenail parings! 

Meantime I have joined the Jim McIntosh inspired ''Ban Travel to China" movement.
Anybody else can join - it's free. Just take the pledge and blog it to spread the word and save an elephant or rhino from destruction. Stuff China - plenty of other places to travel.

Human encroachment on wild areas is another cause of falling wildlife numbers.

That extra land comes at the cost of diminishing wilderness, putting pressure on animal numbers as they are pushed into ever decreasing areas. Closer human contact spreads domestic animal diseases to wildlife.

How do we protect wildlife, and at the same time find more land for the growing human population  to farm, or raise crops for their existence?
Many organisations are dedicated to solving human-wildlife conflict by educating local communities to change their attitudes to what they see as merely pests, crop marauders or meat on the hoof. New strategies are being developed: chili peppers inter planted with crops; bee hives along fence lines; introducing Kangal dogs as sheepdogs for Namibian farmers.
And of course, my pet project, Elephant-Human Relations Aid, EHRA in Namibia build rock wall water-point protection. I have volunteered twice.
Just a few ideas, and organisations needing support and funding to carry out badly needed conservation work within local communities.
This is how I want to see elephants. Photo by J McIntosh. Chobe National Park.

What can I do?

* Supporting Chobe Wildlife Rescue financially and by promoting them through Social Media.

* I have re-newed our adoption subscription at N/a'an Kuse' for Lilly the African Painted Dog.
N/a'an Kuse' are establishing a re-introduction to the wild program for these critically endangered Wild Dogs.

Our adopted baby ele Turkwell, at left.
* I have just re-newed our baby elephant adoption subscriptions at  sheldrickwildlifetrust.org . Check this important wildlife conservation organisation out. Not only do they rescue and rehabilitate elephant calves after their mothers have been killed by poachers, but they operate within the community to encourage locals to value and protect Africa's diminishing wildlife. However with Asian demand for ivory pushing prices sky-high, some locals will be tempted to value a quick dollar over protecting an elephant.

* Holes In My Soles will become more centred on wildlife preservation.
I'll not just be writing about our travels, but also publicising organisations at the coalface of wildlife conservation. This will better reflect my passion, and my style of travelling.

*My future travels will continue to be a mix of volunteer and wildlife experience.
Galapagos Islands is next.

How can travellers help?

*Avoid buying anything made of ivory.

*Don't buy fur or exotic hide clothing or footwear. Snake or lizard skin for example.

*Avoid indulging in cultural practices that exploit wildlife. Think about that fresh snake blood drink you macho'ed on in Vietnam. Visit an elephant sanctuary instead of taking that elephant safari in Cambodia or Nepal.

*Join a wildlife volunteer project as your next travel experience.

*Highlight these issues by writing about them to encourage discussion and spreading of awareness.

*Value all wildlife as precious gifts to share this planet with.
.


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48 comments:

Kerrie said...

I love your photo taken at the Chobe National Park

Kerrie Setiawan said...

I love your photo taken at the Chobe National Park...wish they were all like that

Nancie said...

Wonderful post Jim. I couldn't agree with you more about China. I traveled there for a month last summer, and came home thinking there are a lot of places I'd rather visit.
I love the shot of your elephants.

Nelieta said...

It is an amazing experience to see these animals in the wild. What is not amazing is when you see them bleeding to death for tusks or horns.

Thank you for helping to spreading the word and creating an awareness.

My contribution: http://nelietatravellingadventures.blogspot.com/2011/09/magnificent-monday-nature-conservation.html

Judie said...

The photo of the elephant and the rhino just broke my heart! It is the result of ignorance and greed in the world. So sad!

Jan said...

so sad and needless. It is amazing what the human race is capable of for the sake of a $. Fantastic post, I will do what I can through social media to help the awareness.

Cathy Sweeney said...

It's so terrible what's being done to these beautiful creatures. Thanks to people like you bringing attention to it and trying to do something about it. Wonderful photo of the elephants at Chobe Nat'l Park.

Rachel Hoyt said...

The first few images were so painful to see. I love jewelry but do not have any ivory for this reason. And, although I truly do want to travel to China, I'm going to take your pledge NOT to do so until this thing is under control. Thanks for issuing the challenge! :)

I've linked in two turtle articles today, but there will be more to come. :)

JIM said...

Thank You Jim for breaking my heart today. It is hard to see those images but they need to be seen and people need to try and do something about it. I'll start checking out the org. that you recommended today. Great blog today!!!!!



http://jpweddingphotograpy.blogspot.com/2011/09/future-of-our-birds-water-conservation.html

John in France said...

In fact I think I am no longer going to use chop sticks - full stop, especially if they are ivory! Why does this stupidity continue? Greed?

Elephant E-ctivism said...

Hi Jim - thank you, thank yu for the ivitiation to post this link! XX

http://sunsuperdreams.com.au/dream/view/conservation-education-for-zambian-children-1

HELLO FRIENDS OF JIM. IF YOU HAVE BEEN MOVED BY THIS STORY - YOU CAN HELP. IN SEPTEMBER 2011 I HAVE A DREAM AT SUNSUPER DREAMS - ALL I NEED IS FOR THE MOST VOTES AND CHIPEMBELE WILDLIFE EDUCATION TRUST WINS $5000! PLEASE VOTE AND SHARE....

http://sunsuperdreams.com.au/dream/view/conservation-education-for-zambian-children-1

Jim said...

Hi Kerrie, that has to be the greatest ele photo I have tken!

Hi Nancie, yes, problem with China is it's such a huge population that just doesn't know or care that ivory comes from a dead elephant. Even traders there tell customers that elephant tusks re-grow juat like teeth!.

Jim said...

Glad you've posted up about Absa Nelieta. Such a shocking case. Not the first, and there'll be many more atrocities like that!

Savira Gupta said...

The pictures were very upsetting.... I just don't understand why and what kind of people would do this...

Karl said...

maybe because I'm not into jewelry or animal heads on walls that's why I don't understand the logic behind some people's pursuit of killing endangered animals for display.

Jen said...

oh my gosh...this is making me cry!!! how terrible!

Sophie said...

Absolutely heartbreaking! Thanks for making readers aware of this.

Mica said...

Omgoodness those 2 photos broke my heart. So ashamed of what the human race does sometimes. How can people do that to those creatures? I am checking out your links.

David Jr said...

I am truly saddened by acts like this. Recently in Malaysia, there has been two raids at our local ports on containers from Tanzania where the customs found over 2000 ivory tusks headed fro Hong Kong on transit here. This all happened in a span of 2 weeks and one can imagine how many elephants were sacrificed for the greed of humankind.

aviewtoathrill said...

This broke my heart. Thanks, Jim for making us aware of this and urging us all to do our part and making sure that this travesty stops.

Christy @ Ordinary Traveler said...

I'm so glad you wrote this post. I have been researching a good place to donate to an elephant cause and to share with our readers since I have had some people asking about it. I was looking into the adopt an elephant and am glad to know you use sheldrickwildlifetrust.org also.

I'm also fully prepared to join the "Ban Travel to China". I like your ideas for incorporating wildlife conservation with travel. Scott and I are looking into traveling to Japan to document the dolphin slaughters to show people that it is still happening.

Jim said...

Thanks Judy and Jan, hopefully this post spreads awaeness of the problem. Thanks for spreading the message!

Hi Cathy, yes, truly a wonderful photo of elephant concern for their young one, just like any mother.

Jim said...

Hi John,
The stupidity continues because illegal ivory traders in China perpetuate the myth to their customers that tusks are re-grown by elephants. They do not say elephants are killed.

Jim said...

Thanks Rachel, love those turtle stories and posts!

Jim said...

Good luck Judy on the voting. Hope it goes well!

Debbie Beardsley @ European Travelista said...

I am at a loss for words. Tragic just doesn't seem to be enough. As with a lot of things in the world, it is time to stand up and say no more! Thanks for opening our eyes.

Jim said...

Hi JIM, sorry to break your heart, but it is a truly heartbreaking situation that elephant and rhino are being poached at an increasing rate as Chinese influwence in Africa increases.
Too much money is corrupting officials at all stages, because huge shipments of tusks are still being confiscated after shipment from countries such as Tanzania and Kenya.

Stephanie - The Travel Chica said...

As much as I hate to see horrible photos like this, it is important that people know this is going on and that people are working to stop it.

Jim said...

Savira, the killings are for ivory because Chinese demand ivory chopsticks and seals. High cultural value to have your seal made in ivory. And a plethora of other items. Even ivory cellphone covers!

Hi Karl, start researching the canned lion hunting industry and that'll sicken you.

Hi Jen, sorry to upset you. This article is supposed to make more people aware of what's going on.

Jim said...

Thanks Sophie, I believe we travellers can do a lot to spread the message by blogging about these issues.

Jim said...

Hi Mica, I hope you find those links informative. I could have included a lot of others.

Jim said...

Thanks David, yes those reports of staggering number of tusks seized there indicate a lot of elephants killed, and a lot of official corruption for them to have got that far.

Jim said...

Hi Cathy, hope you help spread the message. Sorry to upset you.

Jim said...

Hi Christy, glad you are looking into the dolphin slaughters. Be careful...authorities there don't like that being exposed.

Patrick Webb said...

There is a growing movement of the younger generation of Chinese (and other Asian people) who reject the cultural traditions of exploiting animals for bogus medicines and status symbols. We shouldn't distance ourselves so much, that we aren't able to assist and support their efforts.

We need to continue to protect and conserve the dwindling wildlife species until such time as those younger Chinese activists are able to effect change. The inferno of change can start from a single spark.

I reject hating all Chinese, or any nationalities, because of the actions of a more visible and heartless segment. We have to reach beyond them, to offer a spark, when and where we are able.

Jim said...

Great news Patrick. I reject hating Chinese also. Change doesn't come about by hating and distancing as you say.
But a well publicised campaign to boycott travel to China may just force Chinese officials to get serious about observing CITES ban on ivory, and promote changes in CTM practices.

Rachel Hoyt said...

LOL. I seem to have listed my name as Rhyme Me a Smile instead of Pokey's Pals on two of those. I'm just so used to linking in for posts on my other blog. :) I'm glad you are enjoying the turtle posts. Pokey has been tweeting the link to this site regularly. :)

Leigh said...

I admire the fact that you don't just talk about helping wildlife - but that you put your money and your time into saving them. I thoroughly enjoyed my visit to the elephant orphanage in Nairobi last fall and added my link to that blog.
Your photos show just what a devastating impact the ivory trade has on the animals. Horrific and I hope with education it comes to a halt.

Nomadic Samuel said...

Powerful articles & message Jim!

melissa said...

It's sad to see human cruelty towards animals. I've seen Nelieta's on rhinos and these elephants...

It's wonderful that you've included ways and means to conserve wildlife. I support your cause and your good intentions. I'm here to help in other ways.

I see that many are participating MMs depending on the topic I guess and there are lots who care...:)

Great job Jim...

Jim said...

Thanks Rachel, you deserve to be on that volunteer project with your dedication!

Jim said...

Leigh, yes,when I came back from Africa in 2009, I figured that the best thing I could do was to blog about these issues. So while writing about our travels I will be using those experiences to spread awareness about the plight of endangered wildlife.

Jim said...

Hi Melissa, yes, the topics will change each week and if you have a topic you want to be featured let me know.

Randy said...

Thanks for sharing this information. You've highlighted a lot of important points that don't make it up through the mainstream media to often.

Nadya said...

The first two photos on this post broke my heart... I hope that our future generations will still be able to see elephants and rhinos wild and free!

Thank you for writing your blog and promoting conservation. We'll all make a difference together!!! :)

BarbaraW said...

Well done, Jim. I wholeheartedly agree with everything you've said. Perhaps we will cross paths in Galapagos - I leave next Thursday.

Diana Edelman said...

Thank you for helping sharing these animals stories. My link is about one such elephant who led a life of abuse, but was able to live out her final months at Elephant Nature Park. Info on her, and the elephant tourism in Thailand.
Two links, one about the park; one about tourism:
http://www.dtravelsround.com/site/2011/09/28/speaking-for-the-elephants-in-memory-of-mae-sai-roong/

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/diana-edelman/elephant-nature-park-comf_b_984769.html#s376421

Jim said...

I'll be keen to read about your Galapagos trip Barbara. Kay and I will be there 3rd Jan as it's our 40th (would you believe ) wedding anniversary splurge. Wea asked each other where we'd most like to be, and Antartica and Galapagos were tops. Both because of the environment and nature's wonders.