Threatened by habitat destruction and victims of the abominable and illegal ivory trade, elephants are constantly being decimated and their existence threatened. Engaged in the defense of wildlife and pets for over 40 years, IFAW conducts a monumental job of protecting elephants which are based on a number of initiatives in the field that have repeatedly shown their effectiveness.
Accent on the fight against poaching and illegal ivory trade
According to figures from IFAW, 25 000 to 50 000 elephants were killed for ivory in 2012, a trade that is currently booming, especially in Asia, where it is known as "white gold." Despite a moratorium on international ivory trade that was supposed to curb the slaughter in the 80's, many African states are regularly pressured to sell their stocks. But the marketing authorization for a small, managed quantity of "lawful" ivory, inevitably leads to uncontrollable explosion of demand and therefore illegal poaching. IFAW opposes tirelessly all ivory trade.
For in Africa, protected zones are still invaded by heavily armed (and heavily motivated) poachers, in front of which African states are often powerless. IFAW can then intervene by equipping ecoguards in parks, training them so that they can effectively fight against poaching. IFAW also helps in emergency situations, mobilizing local authorities, such as in February 2012 in Boubanjida National Park in Cameroun, where, in the space of two months, Sudanese poachers had killed 650 of the 1000 elephants that were on the park.
The association also seeks to work with organizations sworn to fight against illegal ivory trade. A long collaboration with INTERPOL led, in 2012, to the arrest of 214 people and the seizure of two tonnes of ivory and 20kg of rhino horns. In 2008, IFAW also persuaded Ebay, the world's largest online auction site, to prohibit the sale of elephant ivory on its network.
Saving the elephant's habitat and the prevention and resolution of human/elephant conflict
There are many other threats facing elephants. Highly migratory species, elephants roam during dry periods on ancestral pathways that lead to the food and water they need. Human populations encroaching on the elephants' native environments has rendered access to these resources increasingly difficult.
Unfortunately, this competition often leads to human/elephant conflict, fueling the idea that elephants are the intruders and slaughter is the only solution. IFAW opposes this practice systematically and promotes more effective and sustainable alternatives, such as the creation of protected migration corridors so that elephants can coexist with local communities areas. In some cases and as a last resort, IFAW has conducted elephant relocations to suitable and safe areas, such as in Malawi in 2009 where it managed the transfer of 83 elephants over 250km!
Today, IFAW has succeeded in developing a comprehensive and effective action that allows it to contribute to the preservation of this cruelly threatened animal. Unfortunately, but predictably, saving elephants incurs substantial costs which requires constant funding. You can donate now to support this noble cause: add our Shop Fairly browser extension, and with a few clicks your purchases online will automatically send money IFAW at no extra cost to you.
Since 1969, the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) has been working across the globe to improve the lives of wild and domestic animals. The association follows very ambitious general objectives:
- reducing commercial exploitation of animals, notably through the fight against the trade in ivory,
- supporting animals in distress, particularly in cases of natural disasters
- protecting wildlife habitat and the protection of endangered animals, especially elephants, tigers, whales and seals,
- prevention of cruelty to animals and promoting their well-being among the general public, particularly young people.
To do this, in addition to disseminating information, IFAW actively works to pass legislation for animal welfare and protection and actively supports the development of conservation policies at national and international levels.
In 2012, for instance, the association has medically assisted 216 dolphins, provided emergency assistance to 4559 animal victims of monsoons in India and Pakistan, treated more than 21,000 pets through its CLAW project in Johannesburg SA, organized for the twentieth consecutive year, the educational program "Animal Action" throughout the world, particularly in 20,000 French schools, and through its collaboration with INTERPOL in its fight against the ivory trade, achieved 214 arrests and the seizure of 2 tons of ivory.
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