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Ivory, Horn and Blood: Behind the Elephant and Rhinoceros Poaching Crisis by [Ronald Orenstein, Iain Douglas-Hamilton]

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Ivory, Horn and Blood: Behind the Elephant and Rhinoceros Poaching Crisis Kindle Edition

3.9 out of 5 stars 25 ratings

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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 --This text refers to the hardcover edition.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Foreword by Iain Douglas-Hamilton, OBE

As Ron Orenstein's book goes to press the killing of elephants in Africa for ivory has intensified to new heights. Elephants are fewer in number than they were in the previous ivory crisis of the 1970s and 1980s. I have never witnessed such a demand for ivory in the 48 years I have studied them. The prices for ivory to the poacher and, in ever increasing increments, to the final buyers in the Far East exceed all previous records. Demand for ivory is driving the illegal killing and exceeds all possible supply. If demand is not reduced the elephants will be largely eradicated.

Already populations have been exterminated in places like Comoe National Park in the Ivory Coast and in the Affole Mountains of Mauritania, both of which had thriving elephant populations when I started the first Pan-African Elephant Survey in 1975. There has been a horrific roll call of incidents in the last few years. Bouba N'Djida in Northern Cameroon was attacked by horsemen from Sudan allied to the notorious Janjaweed, and half the elephants were killed in a few days. Minkebe National Park in Gabon lost 11,000 elephants, Tsavo, Samburu and Mara are under attack in Kenya, and in East Africa nine out of ten populations are in decline. The Central African Forest Elephants have lost 62 percent of their numbers in one decade. All of this and far more is recorded in papers, reports and scientific publications.

The sheer weight of the destruction is overwhelming, but the statistics give no idea of the individual suffering, wounding and bereavement that accompany them. The rhino situation is even worse, with far higher prices for rhino horn and escalating killing in what formerly were the most secure havens. For these species to survive we need champions to tackle the poaching on the ground, to lower the demand, and like Ron to fight in the high corridors of power, at treaties like CITES, for political will and for united international action to counter these disasters.

Ron is one of those Westerners who care deeply for elephants and rhinos that still live somewhere "out there," far away on other continents. Where Ron is exceptional is that he has made it a lifetime mission to secure their future with the skills he has at his command, an eloquent, tireless and legally encyclopedic knowledge. Those who ask the question "What can I do to help?" should read his book and learn of the endeavors of so many highly motivated conservationists. The future of these endangered creatures is often decided by policies forged in the remote assemblies of CITES, far from flesh and blood struggles. Though Ron has experienced the dust of the field he is known as a redoubtable warrior, always on the side of the animals, within the halls of the CITES Conferences of the Parties, where the rules are hammered out that determine how species may survive the relentless international and often criminal trade.

As a bewildered field person arriving at CITES for the first time I first met Ron as a guiding hand on the floor of a debate of CITES CoP 1987, and for many Conferences since. He is an unfailing source of legal advice in the labyrinthine complexities of this huge living, working treaty that has to cater to so many endangered species and conflicting human responses.

As Ron's book goes to press at this crucial time, it will help people understand the history, background and current situation of elephants and rhinos. Ron is helping arouse the world to understand how we can secure a future for these species. Their fate is in human hands. The policies we adopt to save wildlife are generated from our sentiment and our understanding of the facts. We are the ultimate destroyers or guardians of wild creatures' existence. Ron's book tell stories of how we can save them.

Iain Douglas-Hamilton, OBE
Samburu, Kenya
March 2013

--This text refers to the hardcover edition.

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Top international reviews

Dr S S Nagi (NYROBE)
5.0 out of 5 stars IVORY, HORN AND BLOOD
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 3, 2013
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H. L. Reynolds
5.0 out of 5 stars Must read book!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on November 20, 2013
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asif mashhadi
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on February 28, 2018
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J.M.S.
4.0 out of 5 stars First-rate overview
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 16, 2013
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jed_91
5.0 out of 5 stars shame they had do book of world could be better
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on May 16, 2015
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Terry A Oates
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book, very informative
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 15, 2015
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Edgardo Peacock
1.0 out of 5 stars Aburrido,leguleyo!!
Reviewed in Spain on October 18, 2018
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G. Waldhauser
2.0 out of 5 stars Not bad, but expected more
Reviewed in Germany on February 26, 2014
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