Rising ivory prices may lead to more elephant poaching: study

Jul 30, 2019 | News

By Xinhua

LONDON, July 29 (Xinhua) — The market price of ivory has increased significantly since 1989, which might pose a major threat to elephant populations, according to a study released on Monday by the University of Bristol.

Researchers from the university used a large dataset of ivory prices collected between 1989 and 2017 to assess the change of ivory prices and related impact.

They found that the global price of ivory increased tenfold since its 1989 trade ban by the Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). Since the ban, ivory has become an increasingly valuable commodity, with Asian markets having the highest prices and Africa the lowest.

And despite the CITES ban on ivory, poaching associated with its illegal trade has not prevented the suffering of elephants and is estimated to cause an eight per cent loss in the world’s elephant population every year, according to the study.

The researchers hope that by revealing these trends and the variables relevant to price determination, better decisions can be made with regards to global ivory policies.

The next steps for the research team include incorporating their conclusions into bio-economic models, which may add evidence to support decisions concerning the CITES ivory ban, national trade regulations, as well as to global ivory stockpile management.


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