Air Date: Week of November 5, 1999
This week, facts about the African elephant, classified as an Endangered Species in 1990.
CURWOOD: It's Living on Earth. I'm Steve Curwood
(Music up and under)
CURWOOD: Twenty-five years ago this week, the world's largest land animal was slaughtered in Mocusso, Angola. The creature, an African bush elephant, weighed more than 13 tons and stood 13 feet tall at the shoulder. At the time an international debate was brewing whether the African elephant should be classified as an endangered or a threatened species. Nations that depended on ivory sales to boost their economies wanted the lesser protective classification of threatened so they could continue to sell tusks. Other countries, alarmed by the rapid population decline, wanted the animal marked endangered, and a ban on international trade. It wasn't until 1990 that the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species classified the African elephant as endangered. This status hasn't kept poachers from killing elephants, but it has lowered demand for ivory and curbed the population decline. There have been a few recent attempts to repeal the African elephant's endangered status and open the ivory trade again. But for now, at least, the creature that John Donne once called "nature's great masterpiece" is relatively safe. And for this week, that's the Living on Earth Almanac.
Living on Earth wants to hear from you!
P.O. Box 990007
Boston, MA, USA 02199
Donate to Living on Earth!
Living on Earth is an independent media program and relies entirely on contributions from listeners and institutions supporting public service. Please donate now to preserve an independent environmental voice.
Sailors For The Sea: Be the change you want to sea.
Innovating to make the world a better, more sustainable place to live. Listen to the race to 9 billion
The Grantham Foundation for the Protection of the Environment: Committed to protecting and improving the health of the global environment.
Energy Foundation: Serving the public interest by helping to build a strong, clean energy economy.
Contribute to Living on Earth and receive, as our gift to you, an archival print of one of Mark Seth Lender's extraordinary wildlife photographs. Follow the link to see Mark's current collection of photographs.
Buy a signed copy of Mark Seth Lender's book Smeagull the Seagull & support Living on Earth