Posts Tagged With: New York

Elephant Size awareness in Times Square

In 2013, a massive campaign for awareness was launched. The goal: a giant digital billboard in Times Square, New York to raise awareness to the massive crisis of elephant and rhino poaching.

elephant in times square

The campaign raised the necessary $25,000 and the billboard ran for a month, once every 2 minutes, 24 hours a day, exposing the message to thousands of people.

Now two years later, Times Square will serve as the center of attention again for the New York ivory crush. 1 ton of ivory will be pulverized today as a symbol of the USA’s commitment to stop wildlife trafficking.  According to the Fish and Wildlife Service, most of the pieces are large statues and tusks confiscated in seizures in Philadelphia and New York.

ivory crush denver

Denver, Colorado ivory crush in 2013

This is the second public crush for the US, the first was a destruction of 6 tons in Colorado in 2013.

According to the group ’96 elephants’, since 1989, 13 nations have burned and crushed almost 150 tons of confiscated ivory, which represents slightly more than 13,600 elephants.

 

 

 

 

 

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Big Five Bill

To combat the rapid scourge of wildlife trafficking, the United States has responded with swift action. Twenty of the fifty states have taken the step toward a nationwide ban on ivory trade. An enormous step, considering the US was the second largest ivory market in the world.

Ivory bans March 2015

 

Now New York is seeking to take it a step further. Bill s.4686, better known as the “Africa Big Five” bill, would ban the import, possession, sale or transportation of any of the Big Five (elephant, rhino, lion, leopard, and cape buffalo) in the state. This bill would amend a current law by classifying the Big Five as “foreign game”.

Senator Tony Avella said “The ban eliminates much of the incentive to continue hunting these animals overseas and shipping their remains off to buyers in New York with a high price tag. It is high time New York take a stand against this horrible practice. By passing this legislation we can ensure that New York, which is one of the largest hubs for importation and transport of these animal carcasses, does not become just another contributor to the inhumane trade of the bodies and parts of these animals.”

protect big 5

Senator Avella with Edita Birnkrant, of Friends of Animals.

New York was among the first states to pass the ivory ban. If the Big Five Bill passes, this could lead the way for not just other states, but the world. Stricter laws could give Africa’s big game, as well as other endangered species a fighting chance at a comeback.

YOU can help! Send a quick note to your local representatives and ask them to support Senator Avella and take action in YOUR state! Look up your state senators and representatives here: State senators and representatives.

 

Categories: Good News, Making a Difference, Rhino Ramblings | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Victory-The US Addresses the Elephant in the Room

elephants holding trunks

The US is a huge part of the global trade in ivory, second only to China. And within the US, New York is the number one importer ivory into the country. So the decision by the New York Legislature to ban the sale and purchase of ivory AND rhino horn is remarkable.

With support from conservation groups (The Wildlife Conservation Society, Natural Resources Defense Council and The Humane Society of the United States) and celebrities  (Billy Joel, Meryl Streep, Kristin Davis, Leonardo DiCaprio, Dave Matthews, and Matt Sorum), the bill is expected to be signed into law.

The law places a permanent ban on the sale of elephant and mammoth ivory and rhino horn and increases the penalty for those found to be possessing or selling it.

This does not come as a complete surprise, as President Obama prioritized cracking down on wildlife trafficking in July of 2013, but it is definitely a crucial win in the battle of poaching.

rhino field

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Corey Who?

Ever since the Dallas Safari Clubs auction to hunt a black rhino in Namibia, one man has become the face of this tragedy. His lust for the hunt has earned him both contempt from conservation advocates, and defense from hunters. Although he bears disdain for his action, he is one of many “thrill of the kill” hunters, who deserves no further mention.

Blaming Knowlton is like blaming a single roach for an infestation. They only come because the conditions are right. And they will continue animal trophiesto come unless the environment is changed.

We mustn’t lose focus on the big picture. Namibia offered this rhino up to be hunted, the US has no qualms of the trophy being brought back, and the Dallas Safari Club encourages it. This is  barbaric, unsettling, but legal.

The big concern and goal is to stop the practice of trophy hunting altogether. How?

In some ways this seems as grand and daunting as saying “I want world peace”. There is not a one step answer.  But it’s something that is necessary if our endangered species are to survive. It requires cooperation from all countries, one law at a time.

United States

Here in the US, it is LEGAL to buy and sell ivory within the country, AND to import ivory and horn via hunting trophies But the tide may be changing.

June 2013 President Obama gave an executive order to combat wildlife poaching. Recognizing the international importance on not only the effects on wildlife, but on national security, as illegal wildlife trafficking is within the top five world crime.

November 2013 The US Fish and Wildlife Service destroyed 6 tons of it’s ivory stockpile. 25 years worth of illegal seizures were pulverized in order to send a message of zero tolerance to poachers. As the second largest ivory market (behind China), this is an important step in the countries’ stance on wildlife conservation.

crushed ivory

US Fish and Wildlife Service involved in Denver, Colarado’s ivory crush.

January 2014 The state of New York held a meeting to discuss banning ivory within the state. Assemblyman Bob Sweeney wrote a letter imploring the Department of Conservation to prohibit the sale of ivory in New York.

“New York state must close the market that is driving the elephant to extinction and helping finance terrorism,” Sweeney said.

February 2014 The state of Hawaii just announced the House Committee unanimously advanced a bill to outlaw the sale of all ivory products in the state.

If this country is indeed on it’s way to a full ban of ivory, trophy hunting WILL be affected. As there would be no elephant trophies allowed into the country. And in this matter,  ivory is no different than horn. The same notion applies: preservation of wildlife and the poaching connection to international terrorism.

If the great thrill hunters cannot boast of their hunt with trophies on their walls, perhaps they will be less inclined to do it at all.

Sign and share this petition by the International Fund for Animal Welfare to urge the US Fish and Wildlife Service to stop allowing permits to import endangered species. Protect Black Rhinos from Trophy Hunting & the petition by Animal Advocates to the Secretary of the Interior Prevent Dallas Safari Club from Importing Rhino Trophies

rhino and baby at watering hole

 

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Lights, Camera, Action: for Wildlife

Like movies? Care about world conservation? Then New York is the place to be Oct. 16th through Oct. 20th.

The New York Wildlife Conservation Film Festival attracts over 4,000 attendees from the conservation, education, wildlife film and travel industries; including representatives from NATURE, National Geographic, PBS, Smithsonian Channel as well as wildlife filmmakers, distributors, producers and newcomers to the industry.

The festival provides a chance for discussion and negotiation for business opportunities for experts and wildlife activists alike.  It also gives ample opportunity for the audience to interact with leading figures in the wildlife community.

There is a variety of film covering everything from otters to elephants. Check out the following rhino and anti-poaching  film trailers:

Spotter Come Home  (about a runaway rhino being brought back home to Lewa WIldlife Conservancy)

Boots on the Ground trailer  (about the Protrack anti-poaching rangers in the bush risking their lives to protect our rhino)

Rhinoceroses The Curse of the Magic Horn (about three different rhinos, and the threats they face)

rhino with ranger

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The Elephant in Times Square

EVERY DAY…

*There are 100 elephants killed  for their meat and ivory.

* 2 rhino are killed for their horn (a lesser amount due to the lesser population). A rate that has increased an unimaginable 3,336% in 4 years!

Poaching is killing not just our animals, but our economies and through vast criminal networking-our people. Poaching is not just the deed taken on by the poor man, but terrorist groups, using the funds of the ivory and horn for their darker cause, making the illegal wildlife trade the fourth most lucrative global criminal activity.

This is a global issue needing IMMEDIATE attention from our people, and immediate action from our governments.

Therefore one of the biggest global issues of our time, concerning the biggest land mammal should have the biggest platform…Times Square in New York.

The advocacy group March for Elephants  envisioned a billboard in Times Square to bring an urgent call of action to the poaching crisis. The enormous digital billboard will be launched on Sept 29th and will run for a month at a frequency of once every 2 minutes, 24 hours a day. (Using imagery and art, it will feature the tragedy of extinction caused by greed and question if trinkets are worth the price.)

There is a campaign to raise $25,000 to fund this endeavor. Elephants NEED this exposure. Many people are not even aware they are in danger. If we can’t stop this, they will be gone in just 10 years.

Please go to THE ELEPHANT IN TIMES SQUARE to make a donation.

Watch here on Youtube: The Elephant in Times Square

elephant in times square

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