Save the Elephants, an organization dedicated to “developing and deploying cutting edge tracking systems to monitor and protect elephants,” is reporting that the price of ivory has recently dropped by over 60 percent in China – the world’s largest ivory market. This is great news for endangered elephants, which have seen a 30 percent decrease in population due to illegal poaching since 2007.
The recent price drop is due to several factors, including the Chinese government’s increased regulation over the abhorrent slaughter and trade of elephants and their ivory. As reported by Save the Elephants:
“Findings from 2015 and 2016 in China have shown that the legal ivory trade especially has been severely diminished. There are several driving factors behind the decline in the wholesale price of raw ivory in China observed from early 2014 to early 2017. An economic slowdown has resulted in fewer people able to afford luxury goods; a crack-down on corruption is dissuading business people from buying expensive ivory items as ‘favors’ for government officials, and the Chinese government has made strong commitments to close down the nation’s legal ivory trade. Meanwhile public awareness campaigns have exposed many potential buyers to the impact that buying ivory has on Africa’s elephants.”
Hopefully China will follow in the footsteps of the Japanese ivory trade – formerly the most robust in the world – but now is only a fraction of what it once was due to government regulation and social awareness campaigns.
The decline in the price of ivory is a much-needed win for the world’s largest land mammal, which is facing ever-increasing challenges to its survival due to illegal poaching and climate change.