Many people may not know where a few everyday things such as piano keys, billiard balls, and identification chops come from; it’s actually Ivory. Ivory is the whitish colored substance that makes up the tusks of elephants. But in order for humans to acquire this material, they have to poach elephants and remove the tusks, which has led to endangerment of the elephant species in more recent years; especially in Africa.
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Despite the 1989 ban put on poaching elephants for their ivory, (Wikipedia) hunters still continue to do it illegally, desperate to continue selling it. These actions will come out to negative consequences because elephants are important to their environment. Elephant population is rapidly declining and it’s important we stop this, so we don’t lose a vital part of Africa’s ecosystem. Some may ask, what is the cause of this economic conflict?
To begin, there are many factors that contribute to elephant poaching. Ivory has been considered a valuable material for hundreds of years, even in today’s society it’s purchased frequently. The illegal trade continues due to high demand that mirrors Asia’s economic growth. (birds.Cornell.edu) over the course of the 1990s to 2007, the price has increased by $750 per kilogram. Many people sell and or trade ivory due to poverty. Poverty is the state of being extremely poor, so people have to resort to other methods of acquiring money. Since selling ivory provides an income source, many people will kill elephants to get it, in desperation to obtain wealth. This is causing a rapid decline in the elephant population. It’s an effective method, simply not an ethical one. As of 2017, the price was around $730 per kilogram, according to a report by two ivory trade experts (phys.org). These selfish acts can lead to significantly disastrous outcomes not only for the elephants, but for the environment and the people in the areas as well.
Consequently, elephant poaching could be linked to many future issues in Africa.
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