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Ivory, Horn and Blood: Behind the Elephant and Rhinoceros Poaching Crisis Hardcover – July 25, 2013


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Ivory, Horn and Blood: Behind the Elephant and Rhinoceros Poaching Crisis + Killing for Profit: Exposing the Illegal Rhino Horn Trade + Black Market: Inside the Endangered Species Trade in Asia
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 216 pages
  • Publisher: Firefly Books (July 25, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1770852271
  • ISBN-13: 978-1770852273
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #181,114 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

It is a depressing fact that 8 out of every 10 elephants that die have been killed for their ivory. The situation for rhinos is even worse, with rising prices for rhinoceros horn and the escalation of killing in what had been secure and protected habitats. All of this poaching has been going on, and even increasing, despite the highest protection offered by international treaty (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna, or CITES) and the international ban on the ivory trade. What went wrong? Orenstein, a zoologist, lawyer, and author (Turtles, Tortoises and Terrapins, 2012), has worked for years on elephant and rhinoceros conservation issues at CITES meetings, and here he presents a concise and very readable history of the attempts to protect rhinos and elephants, along with the economic and criminal issues that drive the illegal trade in ivory and horn. Describing wildlife crime at this international level as threatening not only to the environment but also the overall rule of law, Orenstein’s impassioned yet precise and well-­documented text is a call to action. --Nancy Bent

Review

The poaching of elephants and rhinos in Africa is at an all-time high, in large part owing to continued demand coming from East Asia. Approximately 25,000 elephants were killed for ivory in 2011. Orenstein, a wildlife conservationist, tells an appalling story of how persistent greed for ivory and rhino horn has drastically reduced African elephant and rhino populations. Crime syndicates meet the unrelenting demand by using heavily armed poaching gangs to raid Africa's wildlife preserves and national parks. Orenstein brings his considerable expertise to bear on this complex catastrophe, presenting all sides of some of the most polarizing issues debated today, such as legalizing the ivory trade. This book, on a tragedy that demands worldwide attention and informed consumers, is recommended for all wildlife conservation collections. (Cynthia Lee Knight, Hunterdon County Library, Flem Library Journal 2013-12-15)

Reduced over millennia from vast herds across Eurasia and Africa to tiny remnant populations in Africa and Asia, elephants and rhinoceroses are vulnerable to human predation in a way smaller, more numerous animals can never be. Now, politics, war and economics have converged to create an ecological crisis of epic proportions, one exacerbated by underfunded law enforcement and a vast network of poachers and traffickers. Conservationist Orenstein provides a short but informative guide to this latest phase of the crisis. The work has three sections: a historical context, both ancient and recent, and explanation of what efforts have been made to preserve the remaining populations; a discussion of what went wrong--an unfortunate confluence of misapprehension, human greed and political malfeasance; and what might be done to mitigate the situation. Orenstein rejects a simplistic monochromatic moral worldview, providing a nuanced perspective of the issues involved. Although the situation is serious and some species have already been driven to extinction in recent years, the author does not give into despair. He believes that some of these magnificent animals may yet be saved and that the means to do this are at hand. (Publishers Weekly 2013-09-30)

In the tradition of crusading animal lovers such as Jane Goodall and Dian Fossey, zoologist, lawyer and wildlife conservationist Ronald Orenstein has penned a passionate call to rescue two of the planet's oldest and most recognizable species, the elephant and rhino. Both face imminent extinction not so much from the usual media culprit these days--human-induced climate change--but from an international criminal enterprise. At a time when scientists are finally beginning to learn about the remarkable similarities between humans and elephants--everything from social habits and communication to an ability unmatched by mammals (other than beavers) to manipulate their environments--the species is at risk of disappearing because of the automatic weapons brandished by poachers and international gangs who fund wars and other criminal activities through the sale of ivory tusk. Despite the best efforts of sympathetic governments and conservationists, including armed guards dispatched to protect herds of rhinos, little appears to stem the lust for ivory which is used for everything from talismanic gifts to impotence cures. With rhino horn said to be as valuable as gold or cocaine, especially in East Asia, shady profiteers let nothing stand in their way and some 700 park rangers charged with animal protection have been murdered. Orenstein and his colleagues wrestle with possible solutions, from new treaties to legalizing the ivory trade as a means of setting controls, but the uphill battle continues. Ivory, Horn and Blood testifies to its author's encyclopedic knowledge of the issues, from an understanding of elephants' and rhinos' roles in maintaining the African and Asian ecosystems to their unique interactions with humans. The author is intimately familiar with international efforts to ban the ivory trade and quash poachers and has clearly had his hopes dashed by each new strategy to subvert whatever minimal protections against poaching are put in place. Orenstein has a tendency to overload the reader with the minutiae of international conventions and debates but this does not detract from the forceful plea he makes. As someone repeatedly digging in his heels for another stand to save the great mammals, he writes about the fight with equal parts passion, knowledge and commitment. (Matthew Behrens Quill and Quire 2013-11-30)

It is a depressing fact that 8 out of every 10 elephants that die have been killed for their ivory. The situation for rhinos is even worse, with rising prices for rhinoceros horn and the escalation of killing in what had been secure and protected habitats. All of this poaching has been going on, and even increasing, despite the highest protection offered by international treaty (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna, or CITES) and the international ban on the ivory trade. What went wrong? Orenstein, a zoologist, lawyer, and author, has worked for years on elephant and rhinoceros conservation issues at CITES meetings, and here he presents a concise and very readable history of the attempts to protect rhinos and elephants, along with the economic and criminal issues that drive the illegal trade in ivory and horn. Describing wildlife crime at this international level as threatening not only to the environment but the overall rule of law, Orenstein's impassioned yet precise and well-documented text is a call to action. (Nancy Bent Booklist 2013-12-01)

Ivory, Horn and Blood chronicles the recent developments surrounding the exploitation, poaching, trade of, and consumer demand for Africa's elephants and rhinoceroses that yet again threaten their survival.... The book provides an excellent history of the ivory trade, and reviews the role of organized crime and overwhelmed law enforcement staff and conservationists. It is particularly sobering that such keystone species as Africa's elephants and rhinoceroses fall victim to fashion trends in far-away places.... It is doubtful that these species stand a chance even if better law enforcement, more border security, and more habitats are made available through international treaties or agreements. Only a change in consumer behavior can break the lucrative poaching and smuggling operations. Highly recommended. (B. Blossey, Cornell University Choice 2014-06-01)

More About the Author

Ronald Orenstein holds a Ph.D. in Zoology (Ornithology) from the University of Michigan and an LL.B. from the University of Toronto. Dr. Orenstein is the author of eight books on science and nature, including Songbirds: Celebrating Nature's Voices (Key Porter / Sierra Club 1997), shortlisted for a 1998 Science in Society Journalism Award by the Canadian Science Writers' Association, and New Animal Discoveries (Key Porter / Millbrook Press 2001), shortlisted for the Norma Fleck Award and winner of the Science in Society Journalism Award for best children's book published in 2001. His most recent book is Ivory, Horn and Blood: Behind the Elephant and Rhinoceros Poaching Crisis.

Dr. Orenstein is a consultant for Humane Society International (HSI) and is a member of the Board of Directors of the Species Survival Network (SSN) and the Elephant Research Foundation (ERF). Since 1987, he has been an Observer at meetings of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). At the 1989 meeting he was one of the engineers of the compromise amendment that led to an international ivory ban.

In 2002, Dr. Orenstein was appointed to the Freshwater Turtle and Tortoise Specialist Group of the of the World Conservation Union's Species Survival Commission. He is a contributing author to the Handbook of the Birds of the World.

Dr. Orenstein enjoys performing in opera and operetta, especially in Gilbert and Sullivan, and has sung roles ranging from Figaro in The Barber of Seville to Hajj in Kismet. He has performed onstage in Canada, the USA, Australia and Great Britain, and his translations of Offenbach operettas have been performed in Ann Arbor, Chicago and New York, and Virginia.

Dr Orenstein and his wife Eileen Yen live in Canada but spend part of each year in Eileen's home country, Malaysia.

Customer Reviews

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I have learned a lot of important information that I wasn't aware before reading this book.
Ericka
Those who care about the plights of elephant and rhino and want reliable information from someone who "walks the walk" will want to read "Ivory, Horn and Blood".
Spudman
Orenstein ends Part 1 of the book with a more detailed discussion of the recent history of conservation.
Silvester Percival

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Alan L. Chase VINE VOICE on November 26, 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Ronald Orenstein has written a book that pleads with readers to understand the complexities of the poaching of elephants and rhinos in Africa and Asia. "Ivory, Horn and Blood: Behind The Elephant and Rhino Poaching Crisis" is a comprehensive analysis of the current crisis, and a balanced discussion of the many options being considered to save the remaining populations of rhinos and elephants in both Africa and Asia.

The book is written in a rather pedantic manner. I suspect that this is a deliberate choice on the part of the author to avoid undue sensationalism and emotionalism. The result, however, is a book that is rather dry and plodding. He writes primarily from the perspective of the plethora of government and NGO bureaucracies that have sprung up to address various aspects of the ivory and rhino horn trade. Particular attention is paid to the controversial CITES - Convention of International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora.

It is clear from this book that CITES is like Winston Churchill's notorious definition of democracy: "Democracy is the worst form of government except all the others that have been tried." CITES, with all of its flaws, is probably the best option available now for curbing the trade in ivory and rhino horns and thereby preserving what may be left of our herds of elephants and crashes of rhinos.

The bottom line in reading this book is that the best actions that any individual reader can take in helping to ensure the perpetuation of these magnificent creatures is to refrain from buying ivory and rhino horn products, to encourage others to refrain from making such purchases, and to contribute to NGOs like the World Wildlife Fund and similar organizations.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Spudman TOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 13, 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This isn't an easy book to read. Yes, there are numerous acronyms and too many names, and groups, and numbers to juggle in one's head, but that's not wherein lies the difficulty. What's difficult is to bear witness vicariously to the vicious slaughter of rhinos and elephants despite the futile efforts of the well-meaning to protect them. In 2012 twenty-five to thirty thousand elephants were killed for their ivory. In parts of the world species of rhino and/or elephant have become extinct or endangered. Why? Mostly for money, and in the case of the rhinoceros for ancient and present medicinal beliefs. Contrary to popular belief, not many still believe in the aphrodisiacal properties of rhinoceros horn, but desperate cancer victims look for rhinoceros horn to be their salvation.

The author and conservation groups ponder solutions. Ponder legalization, criminalization, punishments, protection for the animals. Unfortunately some groups eschew laws, and have no respect for human or animal life. Al Shabaab, a Somali terrorist group that conducted 2013's Westgate mall attack in Kenya, is said to get up to 40% of its income from the poaching of ivory. These Islamists think nothing of slaughtering elephants and people to support their jihad.
They'll sometimes kill the calves first. When the adults come to the aid of their young, they are shot down and then unceremoniously hacked with machetes for the removal of their tusks.

The killing of rhinos for their tusks is not less horrible. They're trapped in pits studded with bamboo stakes, shot with semi automatic weapons, electrocuted, or strangled. Horns are sawed or chopped off the animals, some of whom are still alive while being brutalized.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Ericka on September 16, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Ron's book offers a rare approach to understand the very complex and political web of deception, murder and international corruption that hides behind the illegal international trade in elephant ivory and horn trade.

Each chapter is very intense and it contains a rich source of information with very interesting detailed data, that will keep the reader glued to the book while helping the reader understand the extend of the current crisis that are facing the elephant and rhinos in Africa and Asia.

It will also help the readers to understand how CITES (The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) works, its complexity, and their main role of in this trade.

Most of the people aren't familiar with CITES or with the daily butchery of the elephants and rhinos in Africa and Asia, but even people like me who closely work with this Convention and for the African elephant conservation and protection, I found in this book some amazing, shocking and quite disturbing facts. I have learned a lot of important information that I wasn't aware before reading this book.

"Ivory, rhino and blood" explains in detail the intricate corruption and all the organized crime behind the poaching of these magnificent animals.

This is a very well researched book that will make you understand in a clear and easy wording, how multinational and political this tragic issue is.

I highly recommended this book for all the people working in animal conservation, for the people that are interested in elephant and rhino conservation or that are fighting against the ivory and rhino horn trade, or just for the people that want to understand and learn more about the reasons why those animals are been driving to extinction.
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