Tracking the origin of ivory through genetic analysis in Cambodia
Ball, A., Senn, H., Darith, S., Srey, C., Ith, S., Weckauf, R. and Frechette, J. (2018). Tracking the origin of ivory through genetic analysis in Cambodia. 5th European Congress of Conservation Biology. doi: 10.17011/conference/eccb2018/107527
© the Authors, 2018
Cambodia is one of 13 countries that still contain dwindling numbers of wild Asian elephants, Elephus maximus. Now in highly fragmented populations, the Asian elephant is classified as endangered on the IUCN red list and they are believed to have declined by at least 50% in the last 60-75 years (Choudhury et al. 2008). The Asian elephant is facing multiple threats including deforestation, habitat fragmentation and illegal poaching. The latter, also a huge threat to its closest relatives in Africa, is often driven by demand for ivory. Although the trade of Asian elephant ivory is prohibited in Cambodia, trading non-native species, e.g. African Ivory, is unlegislated, and therefore ivory can be found for sale legally within the Cambodian domestic market. However, the origin of ivory is difficult to trace without laboratory analysis and so African and Asian ivory are often interchangeable in the market place. With the increasing wealth of China, the world’s biggest market for ivory (Milliken et al. 2016), and the increasing number of Chinese tourists visiting Cambodia there is a high risk that this could increase demand for ivory. Not only could this threaten Cambodia’s dwindling populations of Asian elephants but potentially create a hub for illegally trafficked ivory from around the world (Nguyen & Frechette 2017). We are therefore establishing in-country conservation genetic analysis capacity for the determination of species identification and origin of ivory samples traded within Cambodia. 1. Choudhury, A., Lahiri Choudhury, D.K., Desai, A., Duckworth, J.W., Easa, P.S., Johnsingh, A.J.T., Fernando, P., Hedges, S., Gunawardena, M., Kurt, F., Karanth, U., Lister, A., Menon, V., Riddle, H., Rübel, A., Wikramanayake, E. (2008). Elephas maximus. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. www.iucnredlist.org. Viewed 5 January 2018 2. Milliken, T., Underwood, F.M., Burn, R.W. and Sangalakula, L. (2016). The Elephant Trade Information System (ETIS) and the Illicit Trade in Ivory: a report to the 17th meeting of the Conference of the Parties. CoP17 Doc. 57.6 (Rev. 1), CITES Secretariat, Geneva, Switzerland. 30 pp 3. Nguyen, T. and Frechette, J.L. (2017). The market for elephant ivory in Cambodia. TRAFFIC Bulletin 29(2):65-72 ...
PublisherOpen Science Centre, University of Jyväskylä
ConferenceECCB2018: 5th European Congress of Conservation Biology. 12th - 15th of June 2018, Jyväskylä, Finland
MetadataShow full item record
- ECCB 2018 
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