By Aisia Rweyemamu
Tanzania Tourism Board (TTB) has appealed to the international community to abolish the illegal ivory markets worldwide to ease the war against the extreme scaling up poaching crime.
TTB advised the stakeholders, saying: “To end the problem and save the decreased number of elephants in the world, there is a need for joint efforts” to abolish ivory markets that are generating high demand of the product.
TTB Managing Director Dr Aloyce Nzunki said: “There would be no illegal ivory trade only if the markets were closed worldwide.”
During a public lecture organized at the Institute of Diplomacy in Dar es Salaam recently, Dr Nzunki told participants that Tanzania loses 30 elephants every day as a result of poaching, and a shocking statistics of 10,000 every year.
A study conducted by Tanzania Wildlife Research Institute (TAWIRI) revealed that the number of elephants in two wildlife sanctuaries in Tanzania indicated a sharp fall by more than 40 per cent in just three years, as poachers increasingly killed the animals for their tusks.
The study conducted in the Selous Game Reserve and Mikumi National Park revealed that elephant numbers had plunged to 38,975 in 2009 from 70,406 in 2006 (TAWIRI 2010),given the estimated total elephant population in Tanzania as between 110,000 and 140,000.
It is feared that such a large drop in numbers over such a short period could lead to wiping out the country’s elephant population within seven years.
According to Monitoring Illegal Killing of Elephants(MIKE) and Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, the latest analysis of poaching data estimates that in 2012 some 15,000 elephants were illegally killed at 42 sites across 27 African countries.
“With an estimated 22,000 African elephants illegally killed in 2012, we continue to face a critical situation. Current elephant poaching in Africa remains far too high, and could soon lead to local extinctions if the present killing rates continue.
The situation is particularly acute in Central Africa, where the estimated poaching rate is twice the continental average,” said John E. Scanlon, CITES Secretary-General.
“From 2000 through 2013, the number of large-scale ivory movements has steadily grown in terms of the number of such shipments and the quantity of ivory illegally traded. More....