Meticulous research, chilling facts.... an important and much needed book.
-- Dr. Jane Goodall, DBE, Founder, The Jane Goodall Institute
If it is understanding you seek, turn these pages.
-- Virginia McKenna, OBE, Founder, The Born Free Foundation
If you care about elephants and rhinos, and the poaching onslaught that threatens their extinction in the wild, this is the book for you.
-- Ian Redmond, OBE, Ambassador, UN Great Apes Survival Program
As recently as ten years ago, out of every ten African elephants that died, four fell at the hands of poachers. The figure today is eight. Over sixty percent of Africa's Forest Elephants have been killed by poachers since the turn of the century. Rhinoceroses are being slaughtered throughout their ranges. The Vietnamese One-horned Rhinoceros and the Western Black rhino have become extinct in the last decade, and the Northern White Rhinoceros, the largest of them all, barely survives in captivity.
This alarming book tells a crime story that takes place thousands of miles away, in countries that few of us may visit. But like the trade in illegal drugs, the traffic in elephant ivory and rhinoceros horn has far-reaching implications not only for these endangered animals, but also for the human victims of a world-wide surge in organized crime, corruption and violence.
Since the worldwide ban on commercial ivory trade was passed in 1989, after a decade that saw half of Africa's elephants slaughtered by poachers, Ronald Orenstein has been at the heart of the fight. Today a new ivory crisis has arisen, fuelled by internal wars in Africa and a growing market in the Far East. Seizures of smuggled ivory have shot up in the past few years. Bands of militia have crossed from one side of Africa to the other, slaughtering elephants with automatic weapons. A market surge in Vietnam and elsewhere has led to a growing criminal onslaught against the world's rhinoceroses. The situation, for both elephants and rhinos, is dire.
Ronald Orenstein is a zoologist, lawyer and wildlife conservationist who has written extensively on a wide range of natural history issues. His most recent book is Turtles, Tortoises and Terrapins. He has worked for many years on elephant and rhinoceros conservation issues, and is a member of the Board of Directors of the Species Survival Network (SSN) and the Elephant Research Foundation (ERF).
Dr. Iain Douglas-Hamilton is one of the world's foremost authorities on the African elephant. He pioneered the first in-depth scientific study of elephant social behavior in Tanzania's Lake Manyara National Park at age 23. He founded Save the Elephants in 1993 and was awarded the illustrious Order of the British Empire (OBE).
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.
Ivory, Horn and Blood thoroughly examines both the historical and the current situation facing elephants and rhinos. The book is compact, yet answers the questions everyone is asking about trade in elephant ivory, rhinoceros horn--and the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). (It) goes far beyond most treatments of ivory and rhino horn trade, thanks to Dr. Orenstein's extensive knowledge.... .... For those who seek to understand the complexities of the ivory and rhino horn trades--both legal and illegal--Ivory, Horn and Blood provides a solid foundation, written from firsthand experience in the highly political halls of CITES.
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.
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.
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.
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.