Talk:Ivory trade

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Just a stub[edit]

I searched and searched for a Wiki article on the ivory trade. I was astonished not to find one. I have a funny feeling that this topic is covered somewhere, but I am not looking in the right place. I will wait a while to see if other editors find this under a different name before I expand it. Anna Frodesiak (talk) 07:31, 29 March 2010 (UTC)

yes - very poor entry[edit]

I will look this over in the next weeks to try and improve it with strong refs. This is a highly controversial subject and plays a significantly central role in deliberations on consumption of wildlife / conservation. I'll try and pull it together. (Enviro2009 (talk) 13:46, 24 January 2011 (UTC))

Making changes[edit]

Please note that I'm adding considerable info to this article in the coming days. Editorial comments most welcome. (Enviro2009 (talk) 13:57, 26 January 2011 (UTC))

Walrus[edit]

I would be happy to make the walrus section. Anna Frodesiak (talk) 13:33, 27 January 2011 (UTC)

possible good lead image[edit]

Fang traders with ivory.jpg

Anna Frodesiak (talk) 15:46, 27 January 2011 (UTC)

please go ahead and put it in there - good pic. (Enviro2009 (talk) 17:46, 27 January 2011 (UTC))

Yes check.svg Done Anna Frodesiak (talk) 02:50, 28 January 2011 (UTC)

Long quote[edit]

I've added a long quote from eminent scientists (referenced). Is that within Wiki guidelines? It makes the point quite succinctly why there is so much debate - different interests. What do you think? (Enviro2009 (talk) 17:46, 27 January 2011 (UTC))

It should be fine. I formatted it and fixed the ref. Anna Frodesiak (talk) 02:50, 28 January 2011 (UTC)

Almost finished expanding[edit]

Almost there I think. Don't know how you do this DYK thing but it sounds good! (Enviro2009 (talk) 18:48, 28 January 2011 (UTC))

Well, we start by writing an interesting "hook" in the form of a question. Here are some examples.
We can hash something out here. I will write one that is terrible, and you suggest a better alternative:
  • Did you know that...
  • ...the ivory trade has been conducted for hundreds of years?
  • ALT2 ...
  • ALT2 ...
I'm sure you can do better than my example. Just be sure that the claim in the hook has a good reference to support it in the article.


Then, after we are happy with the hook, I will submit it to DYK. Easy. It will almost certainly be accepted and appear on the Main Page of Wikipedia for several hours. That page gets 4 million or so hits a day. The attention will pull other editors in to improve the article. I guess that it will get 2,000+ hits on the day it appears. :)
Anna Frodesiak (talk) 04:04, 29 January 2011 (UTC)
OK - sounds good. As a hook - how about DYK "the ivory trade reduced the African elephant population from 1.3 million to around 600,000 in the 1980s?"
I can come up with more - but that is the point that started all the CITES attempts. (Enviro2009 (talk) 12:35, 29 January 2011 (UTC))
Nice. How about a tweak:
  • ALT2 ...in the 1980s, the ivory trade cut the African elephant population by more than half?
Anna Frodesiak (talk) 17:09, 29 January 2011 (UTC)
Perfect. So I'll leave it up to you to do the DYK thing! Many thanks for your help on this. Although I'm not new to writing articles - it's my 3rd - I found changing a poor article quite confusing! But it's there now! I'm still getting used to how Wiki people do things. (Enviro2009 (talk) 18:25, 29 January 2011 (UTC))
I will look after the DYK. You removed all the confusion. You are indeed a wiki person yourself. Anna Frodesiak (talk) 08:10, 30 January 2011 (UTC)


I'm having trouble with the refs that support the statement made in the hook. This ref I cannot access, and the Oxford journals ref doesn't say trade was responsible. Are there other refs that say it was due to trade? Sources for a DYK hook must be rock solid.

Otherwise, maybe a different hook would be better. I just googled "ivory trade" statistics site:edu and came up with good hits. Can you select a statistic that will really grab readers? Many thanks. Anna Frodesiak (talk) 09:27, 30 January 2011 (UTC)

Yes - you are right it was not solely due to trade (also habitat loss) but trade was recognised by just about everybody as by far the most important factor - hence the ivory trade ban. So I would suggest the hook is "Primarily due to the ivory trade in the 1980s, the African elephant population was cut by more than half?"
REf for that nos 4, 13, 15. Don't know why the above link This ref didn't work - I can still access it! (Enviro2009 (talk) 11:42, 30 January 2011 (UTC))
I'm in China, where some sites are blocked. If the source doesn't say "primarily", it will be challenged as supposition. We can't interpret. The source and the statement must match. What do you think we should do? Anna Frodesiak (talk) 13:59, 30 January 2011 (UTC)
The ref you can't access states (KEF factsheet) - "1. In 1979 there were an estimated 1.3 million African elephants. By 1989 only 600,000

remained. 2. The loss of more than half a million elephants in a decade was due primarily to killing for ivory. Natural habitat loss was a second important factor: human population had doubled in elephant range states since 1970."

So I think it should be fine. It is not really a contested issue. (Enviro2009 (talk) 08:09, 31 January 2011 (UTC))

Categories[edit]

Is there an easy way to search relevant categories?? (Enviro2009 (talk) 16:36, 29 January 2011 (UTC))

I asked around, and nobody seems to know of a tool. I will add a few that seem right -- you can too if you like. Anna Frodesiak (talk) 16:58, 29 January 2011 (UTC)
I see you've done just that. They look good. Well done. Anna Frodesiak (talk) 16:59, 29 January 2011 (UTC)
I haven't added any categories yet but I'll think more about it on Monday. Time for a weekend! THanks. (Enviro2009 (talk) 18:28, 29 January 2011 (UTC))

Clarification needed[edit]

I went through the text, and salt and peppered it with commas. You might want to zoom your browser to 200% to see them. I also did some basic copy editing. Please feel free to revert anything you don't like. The following are some passages that I couldn't quite figure out.

Define period:
"...Early in the twentieth century it is estimated that in excess of 1,200 tonnes of ivory was being removed from Africa and Asia by colonial powers...."

Clarify:
"...that without value (lethal use) wildlife would not be conserved and that local..."

Disambiguate:
"...Tanzania, attempting to break down the ivory syndicates that were corrupting its society, proposed an Appendix One listing for the African Elephant (effectively a ban on international trade) and some southern African countries including South Africa and Zimbabwe were vehemently opposed...."

Disambiguate:
"...To make it more complex it also involves biological factors, census techniques, legal and (more complicated) illegal trade statistics, over 170 governments, conflict, huge sums of money..."

Disambiguate with use of a comma:
"...However, many of those on the ground claimed that the sale had changed the perception of ivory and many poachers and traders believed they were back in business..."

Clarify or split:
"...To many conservationists with knowledge of China and its failure to control trade in tiger parts, bear parts, rhinoceros horn and a range of endangered and vulnerable CITES listed species, the idea that China would be given "buyer approved" status for ivory seemed unlikely since it should be based on China's regulation and control of its system...."

Cheers. Anna Frodesiak (talk) 08:07, 30 January 2011 (UTC) Anna Frodesiak (talk) 08:39, 30 January 2011 (UTC)

Thanks - I'll look at these tomorrow. (Enviro2009 (talk) 11:44, 30 January 2011 (UTC))
I think done it all. (Enviro2009 (talk) 13:17, 31 January 2011 (UTC))

Excellent. Anna Frodesiak (talk) 13:42, 31 January 2011 (UTC)

DYK nomination for Ivory trade[edit]

The nomination is here. Anna Frodesiak (talk) 09:41, 31 January 2011 (UTC)

I hope all goes well at DYK. I can't see two out of the three refs supporting the statement, so I can't really tell.
I would love a copy of this ref. Is there any way you could send it to me via email, or IRC? Much obliged if you can.
As for the article itself, it is a good asset to visitors. You did a fine job. Around 2,000 people a month currently visit the article, and that will increase. I am delighted. Many thanks to you. Anna Frodesiak (talk) 13:50, 31 January 2011 (UTC)
I can send you the ref - no problem - what is your email address? And once again many thanks for your advice & support. (Enviro2009 (talk) 08:28, 1 February 2011 (UTC))
My pleasure. This email should work. Anna Frodesiak (talk) 09:11, 1 February 2011 (UTC)

Article tone[edit]

Hi there! This a very nice article you've written here. I don't think it's a huge deal at all, but the tone of the article reads as slightly biased. I understand how difficult it is to find contrary viewpoints on such an obvious issue (most people are against elephant poaching, for instance), but would it be possible to add a little bit more pro-ivory trade stuff? The thing is, most of the people who are for the trade in ivory (supposedly collected from already dead elephants) are written off as criminals in the article, or so it seems. Like I said, it's no big deal, but if you could find some reliable sources that support a limited trade in ivory and back up their positions, they would really make the article perfect. I just came here from the main page, and I'm certainly not an expert, so please let me know if I'm out of line here. Also, as a small side note, I've read before that walrus ivory can be sold legally by Alaska natives if it's carved or scrimshawed in some way; do you have any information about that? Just curious. Anyway, nice work, and I hope I'm not too far off the mark here!-RHM22 (talk) 03:18, 3 February 2011 (UTC)

Good points. I agree. The trade employs people. Also, if you ask a Kenyan villager how they would like a zero-cull policy, they would tell you what a pain in the butt and danger elephants are. Please feel free to neutralize the article anyway you like.
As for the Inuit trade, please dig something up and add it to the article. You are very welcome here. If there is anything I can help you with, please ask. Best, Anna Frodesiak (talk) 04:38, 3 February 2011 (UTC)

Is there any evidence that the ivory is "supposedly collected from already dead elephants"? Everything I've seen is contrary to that claim. In other words, the animals are hunted for their ivory, often in protected areas where there is no hunting allowed. Viriditas (talk) 05:11, 3 February 2011 (UTC)

Good point. RHM22: If you can find "already dead elephant" sources, that would be great. Anna Frodesiak (talk) 06:44, 3 February 2011 (UTC)
Hi. Thanks for comments. It is certainly true that elephants die and as a result some ivory ends up in national stockpiles. I tried to cover this in the "southern African" section. The article is about the ivory trade - not the management of elephants - so I tried to cover the different sides which are basically summed up by the southern Africans versus most of the rest. The trouble with the ivory trade is that refs point very strongly to the fact that most of the trade IS criminal! And in the last 30 years has been mainly criminal. I even covered the legal stockpile sales - but again they seem to have been exploited by those wishing to smuggle additional ivory! Yes some villagers will talk about damage by elephants etc but I did not feel this was the remit of the ivory trade article - more appropriate under elephants / African elephants or Asian elephants articles. There is a lot of misinformation on this subject - for instance I found a statement under African elephant article that large culling programmes are taking place in South Africa - based on a BBC ref which did not even say this. In fact South Africa had stated it "might" cull (in 2008) but it has not.
(Enviro2009 (talk) 08:11, 3 February 2011 (UTC))
Like I said, I understand the difficulty in finding pro-ivory sources. This really isn't my area of expertise at all (though I have read a little about it before), but I'll see what I can find from the pro-ivory crowd and about the Alaskan stuff.-RHM22 (talk) 13:45, 3 February 2011 (UTC)
Here's a source for the Alaskan ivory: http://alaska.fws.gov/fisheries/mmm/mtrp/pdf/factsheet_walrus.pdf (forgot to sign)-RHM22 (talk) 16:11, 3 February 2011 (UTC)
I did a quick Google search and I couldn't find any good, usable and reliable sources that are pro-ivory, so I would just leave it as is for now. I did add a small section about the Alaska natives, though.-RHM22 (talk) 02:22, 4 February 2011 (UTC)
OK THanks. I'll keep my eyes open for something concrete from the pro ivory crowd. (Enviro2009 (talk) 12:32, 4 February 2011 (UTC))

This article is terribly disorganized and difficult to read[edit]

I'm not taking any position on the content of this article, but it is terribly organized, rambling, and difficult to read. I'd like to see someone with an understanding of the topic and an understanding of the English language rewrite it. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 68.115.211.226 (talk) 15:20, 18 July 2012 (UTC)

Poaching[edit]

The article may have been improved since the post above, but I'll second that it is still unhelpfully arranged. The practices of poaching need to be addressed clearly in a separate section, with coverage (seemingly lacking in all the ivory, elephant, &c. articles) of why death is necessary or common for what is essentially tooth removal.  — LlywelynII 09:20, 17 May 2013 (UTC)

An idea concerning elimination of killing Elephants for their tusks[edit]

 I have been hearing a great many ideas on the subject of the terrible waste killing Elephants for their Ivory.  the Diane Rhem PBS show today 3/4/2014, moved me to comment. 
 In my mind, it's like the old story of the Goose that laid golden eggs.  The greedy people couldn't wait for the next egg to be laid, so they killed the Goose.  No more eggs.
 That story should be told to the Humans of all of the countries of Earth. educating them of the fact that if they kill all the Elephants, there surely won't be any more!!!! Their greed will have brought to an end all prospects of making a living, enjoying the beautiful carvings or in any way enjoying the many benefits Elephants bring.  It applies to all the other body parts of animals and birds that have been killed for their attractive horns, feathers etc.
 All of the animals will die eventually of old age,  So those parts they seek will be available then.  Those that covet the art, money, that they are able to acquire, and all the other benefits that they seek will eventually be theirs.  Can they resist their greedy nature, make the animals lives what nature intended, or must they obey their greedy nature right now? It seems a trait of humans to be impatient, rules, laws and common sense go by the wayside when they seek something they would like to have.  
  Education seems to be the tool that will save us from ,ourselves  Let's employ that desire with the same zeal that is being used to gather items that can't be waited for.Going strong for us (talk) 19:09, 4 March 2014 (UTC)