- Between 1979 and 1989 man's hunt for 'white gold' has caused the death of 600,000 African elephants which is half the population of an entire continent. As of 2007 Africa and Asia elephant poaching appears to be on the rise yet again.
- An investigation by Care for the Wild International (CWI) revealed that the
U.S. is one of the world's leading ivory markets and fails to comply with both
CITES regulations and its own domestic laws. There is more worked ivory for
sale in the United States than anywhere else in the world, except for Hong
Kong. Large quantities of worked ivory from China are illegally imported to the
U.S. by individuals and through the Internet. The U.S. also maintains a largely
unregulated ivory crafting industry.
- Large, unregulated ivory markets in China and Thailand use vast amounts of illegal
ivory from Africa. Forest elephants in Central Africa, only recently recognized
a separate species, had been decimated to supply tusks for ivory workshops
and factories in the Far East. Ivory poached in eastern and southern Africa
have been shown to find its way to Asian markets.
- Retail outlets visited in the United States offered at least 23,741 ivory items
for sale. Almost half (11,376) were found in New York City alone.
- Mislabeled as antiques, mammoth ivory or bone, significant quantities of illegal, worked ivory are imported to the U.S. primarily from China. The most common types of worked ivory for sale were netsukes, human figurines and jewelery. Most originate from China and Japan.
Top 5 facts sources: Report by Dr Esmond Martin and Dr Daniel Stiles for Care for the Wild International, 5th June 2007