Threats to Elephants
Elephants are primarily poached for their ivory, which comes from the tusks of all African and male Asian elephants, and is used for carvings, ornaments, jewelry, chopsticks, and other crafts. While the use of ivory dates back hundreds of years, scientists believe in the last century ivory has been processed on an industrial scale to supply markets in the US and Europe, and recently Asia.
In 2007, African elephant populations were estimated at between 500,000-700,000, while the global Asian elephant population was estimated at around 30,000-50,000.
WildAid’s mission is to end the illegal wildlife trade in our lifetimes by reducing demand through public awareness campaigns and providing comprehensive marine protection.
The illegal wildlife trade is estimated to be worth over $10 billion (USD) per year and has drastically reduced many wildlife populations around the world. Just like the drug trade, law and enforcement efforts have not been able to resolve the problem. Every year, hundreds of millions of dollars are spent protecting animals in the wild, yet virtually nothing is spent on stemming the demand for wildlife parts and products. WildAid is the only organization focused on reducing the demand for these products, with the strong and simple message: when the buying stops, the killing can too.
Via public service announcements and short form documentary pieces, WildAid is partnering with Save the Elephants and The Yao Ming Foundation to educate consumers and reduce the demand for ivory products worldwide. Through our highly leveraged pro-bono media distribution outlets, our message reaches one billion people per week in China alone.