For GSS Losing Biodiversity chapter 8. Excerpt: Seventy-two percent of elephants have been lost. ...preliminary indicators suggest that 2013 may have seen the highest levels of illicit ivory trade ever. ...despite the fact that elephants are being killed at such an alarming rate that they could be gone entirely within a decade, demand for ivory is booming. ...the U.S. is the world’s second largest retail market for ivory and that New York is one of its epicenters. ...New York law prohibits the sale of elephant ivory unless the seller has been given a license by the Department of Environmental Conservation and ...the seller possessed it prior to the species’ Endangered Species Act listing: 1976 for the Asian elephant and 1978 for the African elephant. ...New York law ...actually facilitates a large parallel illegal market focused mainly on small ivory figurines sold at gift and antique shops. ...sellers can simply falsify the date.... ...the law continues to allow other kinds of ivory, such as mammoth tusks, antique walrus. and whale teeth, to be sold. ...illegal sellers can also claim that elephant ivory comes from these other species instead.... The easiest way to crack down on the illegal sale of elephant ivory is to simply end the legal market, through either a ban or a moratorium. ...With 30,000 elephants being poached every year, there is no time left to waste.... http://switchboard.nrdc.org/blogs/epepper/nrdc_asks_new_york_to_restrict.html. Elly Pepper, Natural Resources Defense Council.
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