Protections Continued for Africa's Endangered Giants
by Rosalinda Villegas, age 13
After a recent meeting in Doha, Qatar of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) and its 175 member nations, the convention announced their decision to continue protection for African elephants.
This vote rejected a proposal by Zambia and Tanzania to allow a limited trade of ivory tusks collected from animals that died a natural death.
Conservationists insisted that such a proposal, if passed, would encourage the illegal ivory trade. Some buyers might be led to believe the ivory products they were purchasing were coming from approved sources.
Prohibiting any trade in ivory is meant to protect African elephants, a species that continues to suffer from declining numbers due to poaching and habitat loss.
Convention members also voted to step up efforts intended to protect Africa’s severely threatened rhino population. Both rhinos and elephants are highly valued by poachers for their tusks.
[Source: USA Today]