Internet auction house eBay has banned all sale of elephant ivory beginning 2009, on the heels of a new report tracking online ivory sales conducted by the International Fund for Animal Welfare.
Over 20,000 elephants are killed by poachers each year, and ivory harvest is behind 73 percent of the slaughter, according to the IFAW. They tracked over 7,000 ivory sales online over from May to June 2008 and found 83 percent were done through eBay.
A significant amount of elephant ivory, according to the IFAW, shipped internationally, contrary to international protections established by the U.N.-backed Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna. Looking at the bigger picture, the report found that 70 percent of all “endangered species products” listed for sale on the Internet occur in the United States.
eBay’s decision to ban ivory sales could help stem the tide of extinction facing elephants and other creatures crucial to Earth’s biodiversity and ecosystem health.
In his years with EarthSky, Jorge Salazar conducted thousands of in-depth interviews with scientists. He knows a lot about as diverse as nanotechnology, ecosystem-based management, climate change, global health, international environmental treaties, astrophysics and cosmology, and environmental security. Jorge currently works as a Technical Writer/Editor for the Texas Advanced Computing Center, which designs and deploys powerful advanced computing technologies and innovative software solutions for scientific researchers.