Rhinos are imperiled as well: the Southern White Rhino is near threatened; the Northern White Rhino is believed to be extinct in the wild; the Javan and Sumatran rhinos are critically endangered; and the status of the Greater One Horned Rhino is vulnerable.
The trafficking of wildlife, the fourth largest transnational crime in the world, generates annual revenues in the neighborhood of 10 to 20 billion dollars. This exploitation is decimating the natural environment and precious species all over the world, including endangered populations of elephants and rhinos.
Elephant poaching in Africa is at a record high—one elephant is slaughtered every 15 minutes for ivory tusks, to satisfy global demand in Asia and United States. Experts estimate that
the elephants, at this rate of poaching, will be gone from the wild in East Africa within 5 years and in South Africa within 10 years.
ON BEHALF OF ELEPHANTS, RHINOS,
AND FUTURE GENERATIONS
The Nature Conservancy and Martin Guitar launched a partnership to accelerate conservation actions in Africa and China. Martin Guitar has been creating the finest instruments in the world for almost two hundred years. In the 1970s, it began to stop using elephant ivory in the manufacture of its instruments, instead replacing it with synthetic material. Currently elephant ivory is no longer used in the guitars that Martin Guitar produces.
Martin Guitar’s partnership with The Nature Conservancy generated a wildlife conservation campaign designed to increase resources for elephant protection, add to growing global pressure on world leaders, and provide concerned individuals with an opportunity to be pro-active on this issue of ivory consumption. This campaign (#SaveElephants) provides people with simple actions to help elephants that collectively, will make a big difference.
One such action that you, as a Vermonter, can take to help save elephants and rhinos is to contact your state lawmakers NOW to support H.297, An Act Relating to the Sale of Ivory or Rhinoceros Horn. The bi-partisan Bill is sponsored by Rep. Kurt Wright (R-Chittenden 6-1) and Rep. Joan Lenes (D-Chittenden 5-2), and 11 additional co-sponsors. This proposed law seeks to prohibit the import, sale, offer for sale, purchase, barter, or possession with intent to sell of any ivory, ivory product, rhinoceros horn, or rhinoceros horn product.
Against a larger backdrop of federal regulations designed to clamp down on illegal wildlife trafficking and illegal ivory consumption in the U.S., ivory sales must be outlawed in every state of our union. New York and New Jersey have recently enacted legislation to this effect, and nine other states have proposed bills as well. Vermont has always prided itself as being a state of firsts and as such, has been a leader of progressive social and environmental initiatives designed to make the world a better place for all.
Let’s send the message that Vermonters do not want to take part in the cruel ivory and rhino horn trade. Please contact your representative in support of this bill today!