Remember the thrill when you first saw elephant? Or the joy on your Child’s face in his first visit to some Zoo? But perhaps you have never given a thought whether our next generations are going to enjoy the same thrill.
That is because you do not know that an estimated 100,000 elephants have been poached for their ivory from 2011 to 2013 across Africa. In 2014, 1,215 rhinos were killed for their horns in South Africa alone. In Chad the population of Chadian elephants was around 20,000 in the 1980s, but due to the intensive poaching, it has been reduced to a little more than 3,000 now illustrating a total decline of 85 percent in less than three decades.
Fortunately there are experts who know and who care about preservation of animals. Two such leading organisations, the Secretariat of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species, CITES, a United Nations treaty with 181 government members, and the International Union for Conservation of Nature, IUCN, signed an agreement on 28th August to beef up their cooperation to prevent animal poaching.
Speaking following the signing ceremony, John E. Scanlon, the Secretary-General of CITES, said, “This enhanced collaboration between IUCN and the CITES Secretariat draws upon the comparative advantage of both organisations in advancing our collective efforts to minimise the escalating poaching of, and growing illegal trade in, elephants, as well as to protect other CITES-listed flagship species, such as rhinos, great apes and marine turtles. Through this enhanced collaboration, CITES will benefit from IUCN’s presence on the ground in African elephant range States, as well as in the Caribbean and the Pacific, in stepping up efforts to minimise the illegal killing of these flagship species.”
Starting from today leading scientists from across the globe are meeting in Tel Aviv, Israel, from 30 August to 3 September 2015 for the 28th meeting of the Animals Committee of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).
Discussions on the sustainability of international trade in sharks and snakes are likely to dominate the meeting. Sharks are traded internationally in significant volumes and are vulnerable to overexploitation owing to their late maturity, longevity and low fecundity.
Snakes are bred in high numbers in certain countries to supply the demand for food, skins, and pets. The harvesting of snakes, and in some cases the processing of their skins and other body parts, is of economic importance and contributes important revenue to local communities. However, unregulated or unsustainable trade in snakes can pose a significant threat to wild snake populations, and enhanced international cooperation is needed to address these threats.
Fortunately India has responded well to the Save Tiger campaign. Actually it is not surprising considering Indian ethos of ‘live and let live’. According to the report “Status of Tigers in India, 2014,” issued by the National Tiger Conservation Authority India’s wild tiger population has risen to 2,226 animals, an increase of 30.5 percent since the last estimate four years ago. Seems to be some good news for animal lovers.