A Legal Trade in Ivory Would Wipe Out Elephants, Study Finds
New research suggests that demand far outpaces the amount of ivory Africa’s elephants could sustainably provide.
Legalizing the ivory trade could more quickly make elephants extinct, a study published September 15 suggests. It finds that the demand for ivory is far greater than the amount of ivory that can be harvested sustainably.
This contradicts an earlier proposition by ivory trade supporters that a sustainable trade that could meet demand would be possible.
“There is no way to harvest sufficient ivory in a controlled way that won’t drive elephant populations to extinctions,” says Phyllis Lee, one of the study’s authors and a researcher at the University of Stirling in the United Kingdom. “Our argument is based on one of the best protected populations of elephants. If we can’t make the ivory trade model work here,