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  • Pairs of elephant tusks that are separated during smuggling are illuminating the tracks of wildlife crime.

    Identifying matching elephant DNA in different shipments of tusks can help scientific sleuths connect the shipments to the same ivory trafficking cartel, a new study finds. That technique has already revealed the presence of three major interconnected cartels that are active in Africa, researchers report September 19 in Science Advances.

  • Reports of elephant poaching in Botswana are under the spotlight with various claims in national and international media that the current adverse situation is driven by anti-poaching budget cuts, disarming of anti-poaching units, poachers being spoilt for choice with wildlife finding a safe-haven in the country, and even the trophy hunting ban.

  • Africa’s elephant population has plummeted from roughly a million in 1970 to around 400,000 today – a decline which is largely blamed on poaching for their ivory tusks. At its peak in 2011, poaching claimed 36,000 elephants a year, or one every 15 minutes.

  • As the Botswana government rumbles towards the lifting of the ban on hunting its famous wildlife, an authoritative poll in the United States, from which the second greatest number of foreign tourists come, has found overwhelming public disapproval of the plan.

  • In the arid north of Kenya, Trinnie Cartland is preparing to scale up her organic acacia honey business. She tells me that local communities have been keen to work with her: many young people are looking for alternatives to livestock farming. There’s high demand for honey in Kenya, where prices are similar to those in Europe and beekeepers can make good money.

  • Research conducted by the Elephants Without Borders conservation group indicates that elephant poaching could have caused the deaths of as many as 400 animals in Botswana since 2017.

  • Demands from southern African countries to allow international trade in elephant ivory are extremely dangerous. Proponents are trying to create the impression that wild populations are growing to problematic numbers when, in fact, the species remains in decline across the continent and is threatened with long-term extinction.

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