The Pros And Cons Of Banning The Tuaching Of African Elephants

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Through the synthesis and analysis of both quantitative and qualitative data, it can be concluded that Chemical Alteration of the tusks of living, wild elephants has little potential to protect large populations from poaching. There may be potential in the future if research reveals a major breakthrough; however, all of the current Tusk Alteration Methods would be ineffective in discouraging and eliminating poaching of elephant populations in Africa due to the sheer numbers and spread of wild elephant populations, the high cost of research and execution, the adaptive nature of the illegal ivory market, the political and economic instability of the nations involved, and the steep demand for ivory in Asian countries. However, there are multiple…show more content…
In order to combat this potential loss of profit, these countries are working to ban the black ivory market while still allowing a specified quota of completely legal ivory harvests to be performed by local rangers in order to meet Asian demand. Their rationale is that this would deter overpopulation of African elephants, which could have adverse effects on the environment and habitat. However, the nature of a habitat is that all aspects are balanced unless an outside force, such as an invasive species or excessive poaching, disturbs the natural cycle that is established through the relationships of predators and prey. Research has speculated that this government regulation of ivory harvesting would not be successful (Rice,…show more content…
First, an emergency worldwide ban was placed to allow some rejuvenation of the populations, but it was later lifted to allow some ranching and legal trade. A majority of the alligator populations are abundant again, partly because of the reduced price through legalized ranching providing a steady and lawful alligator product source (Animal Welfare Institute, 1983). However, replicating this method may prove more of a challenge since the quantity of elephant products would be significantly harder to control. The legal market would have to be supplied through natural deaths and lawful shootings only. It is possible that this may reduce the effectiveness of a partial ban, which contributes partially to the controversial nature that surrounds this proposal.
While the Tusk Alteration Methods may not be successful in preventing poaching, the very idea encourages creative approaches to complex problems, which is necessary in order to progress. More extensive and thorough research should be conducted on such proposed solutions in order to determine their effectiveness before an underinformed or impulsive decision is made. Trial and error is extremely risky and unnecessary when it comes to the future of an entire keystone species and a whole continent’s environmental, social, economic, and political well
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