The Wildlife Conservation Society and geographic information system (GIS) software innovator Esri jointly developed and produced an online Story Map that combines spatial data, excellent cartography, and Web mapping tools to visually tell the story of the elephant poaching crisis.
The release of the Story Map coincides with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s ivory crush event in Denver, CO, at which six tons of illegal elephant ivory will be destroyed.
The story map gives a broad overview of historic and current African elephant ranges, the collapse of forest and savannah elephant populations, and the ivory trade within Africa and extending to Asia and Chinese demand for ivory. It tells the story of an elephant collared by Save the Elephants named Khadijah that was eventually killed for her ivory as well as the story of the elephant massacre at Dzanga Bai in the Central African Republic. Also included in the story map is an interactive map that highlights recent poaching incidents across Africa with links to additional details about each story. The page will be kept current with new points added as news emerges regarding more poaching incidents and conservation successes.
The Story Map is available for news organizations to illustrate the depth of the crisis visually to their readers and viewers. The added dimension of a highly-specific representation of the crisis adds value to any account of the ivory crush or wildlife poaching and trafficking.
To end the elephant poaching crisis, WCS advocates a three-pronged approach: stop the killing, stop the trafficking, stop the demand. African elephants are being lost at an unprecedented rate and the demand for ivory shows no decline. Approximately 35,000 elephants were killed by poachers last year – some 96 elephants each day. WCS recently launched 96 Elephants a public outreach campaign aiming to bolster elephant protection and educate the public about ivory trade and consumption. WCS is also part of a Clinton Global Initiative commitment to end the elephant poaching crisis. More....